– Hello, thanks for taking the time. What’s the band currently up to?
hello there. The band is kinda on stand-by for the moment, since all of us have several other «musical obligations», besides Torchbearer. We have
plans on shooting a video, though, for one of the songs from our latest release, entitled «Death Meditations»; where and when I do not know, but hopefully we’ll be shooting it asap. Time will tell…
– First off, I hope you don’t mind to start making some history of TORCHBEARER….
Not at all, but since I wasn’t with the band from the beginning, I don’t have any in-depth information on the very birth of this band, so to speak. My journey with Torchbearer began prior to the recording of our 2nd album «Warnaments», in late ’05, I think it was. We have released 3 albums, thus far; «Yersinia Pestis», «Warnaments» and the latest one; «Death Meditations».
– Why did you pick «Torchbearer» for the band’s name?
If I don’t misremember, I think its origin’s from one of Christian’s other bands, more exactly Unmoored. On one of its albums there’s a song with the title «Torchbearer». Don’t know which album, though…hehe.
– And what are the main musical influences for the band?
There are many sources of influence, within the band; everything from Electronica to Black/Death Metal. We like to go to the extreme when it comes to pushing the envelope on what we’re capable of, both with the songwriting and with the instruments.
– How’s being the response for «Death Meditations» so far? Are you satisfied with it?
The response has been great, no doubt about it. And yes, we are very happy with it. It took us quite a long time to finish it up, but it was worth every second of it.
– I could say this album is your most versatile and powerful effort so far; what are your thoughts on this?
Thanks! To describe it shortly, we feel exactly the same way. We’re very happy with the end result, to say the least.
– And how could you describe the album in a few words?
Hmm, let’s see… Beautiful, ugly, mellow, aggressive, and so forth. In other words, it’s full of contrasts.
– As I said, this album is quite dynamic, that’s why I would like to know how was the songwriting process; if it’s a team-work, if things go naturally….
Mainly, Christian is the main force, when it comes to writing the structure of a song. Then we have the incredible lyrics, which Pär, the vocalist, mainly writes. But, when it comes to the final shaping of the album, it’s definitely a method of teamwork. Everbody puts their sign on it, more or less, but yet so important.
– Have been 5 years since your previous album and this one; what have you guys been up to during these years?
Oh, there are way too many things to line up. But, for my part, I’ve been working hard with my other bands, for example Ammotrack and Solution .45. I think it’s the same with the other guys. As I mentioned earlier, we all have our «musical obligations», and that takes a lot of our time, in a good way, mostly…haha.
– There have been some line-up changes since the mentioned previous album, «Warnaments»; new drummer and new bass player. What did it happen? And what have Thomas and Rolf brought to the band?
People come, people go. That’s how it is. But, there’s no bad blood at all. Anyhow, Thomas has made a huge impact to the sound, since he has mixed and mastered the record (and «Warnaments» as well), along with some keyboard playing. Rolf, the new drummer, is incredible, as you can hear on «Death Meditations». They both are versatile musicians and have good ears, so to speak.
– Leaving behind the albums sound, I would like you to tell us a bit about its artwork and lyrical ideas.
The artwork is made by the amazing artist Pär Olofsson. The artwork per se matches the lyrical work perfectly. In other words, the lyrics is thematic and based upon «Hagakure», which is «the Book of the Samurai». It was served as a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, apparently. Really interesting stuff, if you ask me. Historical facts combined with Black Metal can never go wrong.
– All your albums so far have been released by different record labels; what happened with them all?
No comment! No, seriously, I honestly don’t know. I haven’t been involved in any of that bureaucratic bullshit. I just wanna write and play music, and put my focus on that.
– Also this time you’re working with a samller label than Regain or Metal Blade, Vic Records; what are the prons and cons of this?
I think smaller labels more often puts stronger focus and interest in their «fewer» bands, and as a result the band itself is automatically high priority material, in most cases. More pros than cons, in other words.
– Metal scene in Scandinavia seems to be quite huge and well-known but, how do you see this as an «insider»?
It’s always hard to look upon it with an objective point of view, when your in the shit, so to speak. But, in general terms, I think people appreciate the nordic metal sound because of its pureness and «close to heart»-attitude. There were a lot of bands coming from this area really early on and, of course, then built the metaphoric metal bridge between continents, worldwide, and inspired many youngsters, as I once were…haha.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
As for myself, I’m in the middle of a promotional phase with my other band Ammotrack, in respect to our 2nd album, which will be released in October. As for Torchbearer, I think we will be starting with some song-writing for a fourth album asap. Hopefully in the near future.
– That’s all, thanks again. Now feel free to add some final words.
My pleasure! All I have to say is «If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Down button». Peace! Take care y’all!