It took me almost a lifetime to transcribe this interview - sorry dear readers! The interview was conducted on April 28th 2005 - enjoy! |
Hi Stefan, how are you?
Stefan: I'm just very fine - except that I'm doing the taxes and that's a jungle! *sighs*
Haha, oh, I still have to do my taxes for last year as well... But this leads to our first question, I think. How is your personal situation?
Stefan: A lot of papers... Well, I started to work two weeks ago. At a cemetery.
Stefan: Yeah, Death Metal! *laughs*
Sounds good. Especially as I remembered from one of our interviews several months or years ago, I don't know, that we were talking about your job situation and you were desperately looking for a new job.
Stefan: Maybe it was during the time when I was a butcher. I don't think that's a very suitable job for a guitar player.
*laughs* It's great danger for your fingers!
Stefan: Yeah! Well, this work is just perfect. It's a season work, so I begin in April and work until the last of October.
And then you have time to write music and record it.
Stefan: Exactly. So it's perfect.
Let's go to the music then. What were your impressions from this album's recordings and production?
Stefan: I felt more involved in the recording process, because Andy (La Rocque, producer) let me or Kristoffer attend many times when recording the others in the band. I think that created a much bigger unity feeling in the band. Instead of each member just working with Andy and then going home and another member comes. Now we work together instead and I think that was a very good idea for the future.
Stefan: Yes, exactly. Beside that I think it went as usual. This time by the way we didn't have time to record one of the songs. If I was in charge we would have about two months in the studio. But we had only five weeks so we had to cut out one of the songs, but it is probably going to be released on the next album.
Aha, so there already are plans for the next album.
Stefan: Oh yes, we have a lot of material. It seems Jimmy (Hedlund, guitar) is going to do some music for the next album, too, a couple of riffs here and there.
That would be another question; what were the influences from the new members on this album?
Stefan: I think the only effect they had on the music was the guitar solos. Other than that I think it would have sounded exactly the same without the new members. Of course some bass guitar things would have been different, too, but they don't really affect the song in the big picture. But they are still quite new in the band, so I don't think they came with any ideas, if they had any, they just did as we wanted them to do. But it seems like on the next album Jimmy on leads will do some material, too, and I'll see about Magnus (Lindhardt, bass).
But Kristoffer had some influence...
Stefan: Yeah, I really don't see him as a new member anymore. *laughs* Kristoffer did about one third of the lyrics, I think, and 'Jack The Knife' the entire song, both lyrics and music. That did something for the sound, I think, to get two minds into the album. Then there's more ideas and more wills involved. There's not only new music, but also new lyrical content, too.
So you got new music, but the style somewhat went back to the initial sound from the debut album.
Stefan: That differs from who you talk to. Because many fans say that there is not enough of the folk music in the new album, but some fans say that it reminds them more of the first album than any other album. I think it's more speed and more intense music - that would bring the first album back to mind. But of course the music has progressed, so there's something new, too.
Is it maybe due to the pressure by the fans that "Grime vs. Grandeur" sounds more like the debut album than like the last albums?
Stefan: If I had wanted that, I think I would have done more folk influenced music. But of course for some reason the fans like fast songs better than slow songs. So that's pretty much the only thing I thought about when I wrote the new music; to have faster songs. But other from that we just did the music that came to mind. But maybe we will think of that for the next album to have more folk influences.
As we talk about fast and slow songs, it appears to me that there is no really slow song on this album.
Stefan: Yeah, I know. We should have had an accoustic ballad, but as I said before we didn't have time to do that one, so it was left out, but only because we didn't have time, because I think it's a very good song.
Haha, you manage to keep the longing for new material big!
Stefan: Yeah, I love to be in the studio, so I'm always writing material. I think I have material for maybe three more songs plus that left over song.
What drives your creativity, what makes you write, what are your thoughts you put into your music?
Stefan: It got very great when we got the new lineup. I think that mood inspired me much. And of course when I had a fulltime job I didn't have the energy when I came home to write music. That's the time when I did "Sceptre of Deception", so maybe that has had some effect on me. If I get my time and don't feel stressed and the band's situation is good, that's a top thing. I don't think that I'm that influenced by music anymore since I don't listen that much to music for some reason. It's just mood.
Something slightly different. How do you feel about the past trend of incorporating orchestra, classical instruments into metal music?
Stefan: Hmm, I would want to do that too, yeah. But it costs money. I think that it was some kind of a trend a couple of years ago that all bands should do it. Some did it good and some did it just because others did it, but it didn't really bring anything to the music. But if you can use an orchestra or other kinds of instruments in an interesting way, it's a very good idea, I think. Although a bit hard to perform it live.
So maybe if the future albums of FALCONER are selling great, you might do it as well?
Stefan: If we get the possibility to do it, I think I would take it, yeah.
How have the sales of the albums been so far by the way?
Stefan: I don't know that much, but I think "Sceptre..." has sold less than the first two albums and "Chapters From A Vale..." has sold the most - if I'm correct.
But still not enough to get anything back from the label.
Stefan: Oh, no, no, no. We don't get anything from that direction. Only what's coming from GEMA. I got a new guitar now, so it's something.
At least! And you get the possibility to see other countries, play live and so on.
Stefan: Yeah, exactly. And that's a good reason to play music. You get free vacations! You can thing of vacations in money, too, if you want. *laughs*
After being hesitant to play live in the beginning you totally changed your mind meanwhile.
Stefan: Yeah, it felt very good to play live after a while. The first gig was not that great to do, because I was so fucking nervous. But after a while the live experiences got better and better and now I think that is one motivator in the band, to play live, although the studio time is still number one for me.
So what are your dreams and wishes for the future career of FALCONER?
Stefan: Hmmm... Of course I wish it to go really good, so I can make a living out of my hobby, but I have to realize that I do metal music, so I won't think about that much more. *laughs* See more places, play more live, that's about the realistic plans you can have. Also I do have wishes to use a lot of instruments and big choirs and everything, but then we can't really perform it live... So we have to do some kind of mix between it.
As we have done so many interviews together already it was really hard to find new stuff to talk about tonight. Therefore I am going to ask you: What would you like to talk about?
Stefan: I can tell you that next week we are going to record a music video for 'Emotional Skies'. We got the opportunity for free, so we will see what the results will be. It will be fun to do it, of course, but we've got to see if it is good enough to release or spread it around.
(Tells about Bleeding for Metal TV and offers to do a video interview as soon as FALCONER are in Germany again)
Stefan: Yeah, would be great! We might have a show coming up in October in the southern part of Germany.
October - that's long to go still...
Stefan: Yep. But it's a plan that we got today. Other than that we only have suggestions from our tour agency to maybe go on tour in December or something. Hopefully as a support act.
To be on the road with a larger act.
Stefan: Yeah, I think we have more to win from that. More people to play for. More venues and maybe better circumstances, too. Because last time we were headlining act and I don't think FALCONER is a headlining act.
What was the outcome of that tour, was it okay?
Stefan: Yeah, I don't regret doing it. It was a great time. Maybe Metal Blade didn't make that much money of it, but we made a lot of experiences and have a lot of memories from it. And I think that's what counts in the long run - the fun you had. Although it was a little cold to tour in January... And I didn't realize it before we did the tour, but I thought 'okay, now we're going to see some parts of Europe' - ah, how I was mistaken! I think we drove over the Alps a couple of times, but I didn't see it at all, just because we did it during night.
The future musical direction of FALCONER is not going to switch do death metal, but...
Stefan: No, no, no, I left death metal, because I thought it was a bad music genre for me. So, yeah... The next album, hmmm... I think it will be more 'produced', if you know what I mean. More harmonies, more choirs and more keyboard lines - bigger so to speak.
More tracks on the mixing board... that would remind even more of BLIND GUARDIAN...
Stefan: Yeah, I came to think of that, too. I'm not really a big fan of BLIND GUARDIAN, but I know that they got some criticism for "A Night At The Opera", because it was too over-produced. Something in between maybe. Something that you can play live anyway.
Okay, I think I'll let you go back to your taxes now...
Stefan: *sighs* I think I'll do it for 30 minutes more and then just watch TV and go on tomorrow.
Thanks for calling, for the nice talk!
Stefan: Yeah, thank you very much!