A traditional hard rock album with a very authentic sound. We recorded the whole album live to get the right feeling and mood that a good rock album should have. We did avoid using click-track for the drums or any “help” from computors. (With help I mean for example playing a riff only ones and move it to the rest of the places in the right place). We really wanted to make this album sound very groovy. We made it very clear from the beginning that we wanted to record the album live to get that groovy and “living” kind of sound that most of the bands today are missing, I think. I really don’t understand some bands today that contains of a bunch of macho-men wearing militaryclothes and the songs sound like eurovision songcontest with double bassdrums and cheep “casiokeyboards”...What a crap! Absolutely nothing to do with real hard rock.
2. What was the atmosphere like during the recording sessions? Was the process streamlined?
Very positive and carleless really. We had a great time recording it. By having fun and being very relaxed we really avoided the recording session to be streamlined. It was a typical old school kind of recording. Four hard rockers together in a studio with no bullshit or any silly egos can’t go wrong, can it? It’s not only all about making a great album but also to have fun and laugh at all the mishaps that happen to every rock band in a studio. (You know, the lyrics for the song “dark cloud” came from a lot of bad luck and things going wrong all the time). And working with Fred as an engineer and producer really helped the positive vibe in the studio. The guy is very professional and knows exactly what he wants and he won’t waste any time by taking a whole week to find the right snaresound. And he’s also very respectful to every member in that sense that he knows how important your personal style is. He’s not “pushing” anyone to play in a certain way. I like the old way of recording, which means in a real studio. Today it seems more and more common to record “your parts” and send it to the engineer (who would have a “studio” in his livingroom at home or something) who would put everything together in a computor. Today bands also tend to concentrate at the wrong things, playing SO tight and stiff and that makes it very boring. We did let some “mistakes” pass through if the right feeling and mood was in that particular song. I think that personality, feeling and “grooviness” is more important than technical skills and playing 100% tight and being in 100% pitch all the time. Heart comes before brain so to speak...
3. How much did the songs change during recording? Which song had the most drastic changes?
Since we wrote all the songs as instrumentals we made some necessary changes when Jani would put the vocals to it. We simply made some instrumentalparts a bit shorter and took some soloriffs away because Tyrant didn’t play on the album. I didn’t want to play “his” solos, I don’t think it would make any sense to play two long solos in a row as the songs were written for two different guitarists. And my style of playing solos is not very “wide” so to say. I’ve never really cared about trying new things in my style of playing solos. “Skygazer” was a song that we made a bit shorter. We simply cut off the instrumentalparts a bit.
4. What is your favorite song off the new album? Why is it your favorite?
Hard one. I’ll for once be “democratic” and say more than one song, sorry..Seriously, I really love the end of “ballad of an old man”, the guitarharmonies and Jani’s vocals are stunning on that one! We managed to capture the melancholic feeling of the song. I also like “call of 9” because it’s very simple and to the point. Even if I wrote them, I have to say I like “skaygazer” and “ahead of you all”. Why? Because they contain plenty of twin guitar-harmonies and they have that “old” feeling that I like. The hammond organ really made them sound like old whitesnake and deep purple.
5. What is it like playing in a band like The Dagger, compared to your past projects?
You have to be more concentrated when you play the dagger-songs then when we used to play death metal obviously. Even if most of our songs have quite simple riffs and structure, you still have to be alert. A very big difference is that you have to think about writing the melodylines for the vocals which means you could have very simple riffs and let the vocals do the melody. We really believe in strong melodies and we’re not afraid of writing short and melodic songs with memorable choruses and hooklines.
For this one I can’t answer for the dagger since we haven’t done any full tour yet. Anyway, I remembered a long time ago in munich, germany, I had a really bad show because of monitorproblems or whatever so after the show I sat alone in a very small dressingroom being very pissed off and in comes this guy and looks at me and I was thinking “what?!”. (All these years I’ve said to myself that I would NEVER treat a fan disrespectfully so I didn’t tell him to leave or anything and then he suddenly takes his shirt off and I was thinking, “what the hell is he doing?”. Next time I looked up I saw that he had our first album tattooed all over his back! I really went, bloody hell, respect! All sorts of strange stings would happen on a tour. The tank exploaded on a bus in poland so the driver looked like he had “reversed corpsepaint” in his face, headbaning with the militarycops in costa rica and promotors paying our money with coins..That’s stuff you’ll never forget.
7. When not on tour, recording, practicing, or writing music, what do you like to do?
I spend a lot of time with my daughter. And to see my old friends and family. Go fishing and get away from all the people and the busy life in the stockholm subway.. But music is my life really. I like to listen to my old hard rock heroes every day. I’m a true nerd in that sense. I love old vinyls and cassettes and I don’t listen to downloaded music at all and I refuse facebook and have absolutely no interest of that virtual world. I get more pleasure of listening to rainbow’s first album than “getting myself locked in” with an iphone. I also love old classical music. Renaissance and baroquemusic.
8. Who are the people in your life that influence you? How do they do it?
People that don’t give a shit about fashion and trends or care about what’s “hip” at the moment. People who dare to do their thing and stand up for it. One of those musicians is of course Steve Harris. He didn’t wear make up or making his hair bigger in the late eighties, didn’t care about grunge in the nineties, didn’t write nu-metalriff in 2000 and is still very uncompromising in his way of writing and thinking in 2014. And as a guitarist I have to say Ritchie Blackmore. He has absolute everything! A true genius with the guitar. He has the tone, very melodic and he really knows how to improvise to make the solos more exiting and “unpredictable”. Stunning songwriter, very cool poses on stage and the fact that he kept this sort of “mystisism” about himself all these years and still is very “private” makes my respect for him even bigger. He hasn’t become one of those mediaclowns. I love singers like Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale. Coverdale’s bluesy voice really gives me shivers especially in the melancholic ones like “soldier of fortune”, “the orangejuice song”, “only my soul” ans “lonely days, lonely nights”. My favoritedrummers are Ian Paice and Brian Downey for the total “groove” they have when they play.
9. What is the album that blew your mind, the one that made you say “I want to be a musician?”
Iron maiden’s first album. All the twin guitar-harmonies, Dave Murray’s guitarsolos and Steve Harris’ intense bass!
10. Out of all of your influences, what one, single element in the music did you hear that really stood out?
Have to say the twinguitar harmonies on this one!
11. Anything you would like to add about your new album? Do you have a message for your fans?
Thanks for supporting the dagger! Hope to come and play for you and show you the swedish dagger! Enjoy the album! Cheers! Up the daggers!
You Can Catch Capt Complicate every Sunday night at 8 pm PST on Broken Neck RAdio