Interview with Stefan Weinerhall, guitarist and founder of Falconer (September 4th 2008)

The band Falconer just released a new outstanding record. We at Powerofmetal.dk were very pleased and of course also very curious about the whole process. We also took the opportunity to ask some things we always wanted to know!

Congratulations with your new album! Again it is recorded in Studio Sonic, never change a winning team?

Stefan: Damn right. He is like the 6th member. A kind of mentor you could say. I think Andy brings out the essence of Falconer, what makes us unique. After so many albums he really knows what we want and understands our ideas. We know him and his studio and learn more and more for each time, so I think that the process runs smoother and faster for every time. Some might say that a new producer might add or bring something new to the band. I say that a new producer might fuck it up and make a worse album.

In my opinion the album is a little heavier than 'Northwind', but has also the folky parts in it that makes the band special. What is your opinion?

Stefan: I would say it's faster and a bit more progressive than 'Northwind'. Northwind was probably easier to get into and had more instant hits where the new one is a bit more tricky and hard to get into. But I think that it will last longer thanks to that. You have to digest it. Then of course the new album has simpler songs too.

Looking back at the record 'Grime vs. Grandeur', still satisfied with it?

Stefan: I must say that I am. Many of the songs are really good. Most of the material doesn't really feel as close to me, I don't feel the same intimacy with them as I do with most of our songs. I think it is because I tried to adapt my writing to Kristoffer's voice and a plan to try out something new. It didn't come a natural as it used to. For a Falconer album I think it is misplaced, but good.

What makes Falconer special is Mathias Blad, without him Falconer isn't Falconer anymore, do you agree with that?

Stefan: Yes I do. Falconer is about 2 things: Folk/medieval spiced metal and Mathias Blad. If you take away any ingrediŽnt you get something else. When he came back in 2005 and went into the studio to do his vocals, I had a religious moment. As I heard his voice I knew we were back and the stuff really came alive as they used to do. I wouldn't say that he is the best singer in the world, but he certainly is for the kind of music I write.

Before recording the first record 'Falconer', Mathias had never heard metal singers before, I guess he has now. Are there singers in metal bands who inspire him?

Stefan: I wouldn't say that but there are singers that he thinks are good, for example Tom S. Englund of Evergrey. Mathias is still no metal fan, but of course he can find ingredients that he likes.

On a few songs we hear a female singing, who is she?

Stefan: An old colleague of Mathias named Evelyn Jons.

Am I right when I also hear another male singing in the song "Dreams and Pyres"?

Stefan: Yes, also an old colleague called Anders Wšngdahl.

The band did a video for the song "Carnival of Disgust", do you think it will be broadcasted a lot? I mean, there is not much metal on TV, isn't it a waste of money?

Stefan: It probably is. We knew from the beginning that we would have to pay for it ourselves and it would probably end up on You Tube in an out of sync version. We saw it more as some kind of visual substitute for live gigs and a way to give the fans something. And it is possibly a way to gain more fans. It was fun to do it and I think it ended up fucking great. If it will generate something, I'm not sure of.

Did you write all the songs again? Are you perhaps the only one that knows how Falconer songs should be written?

Stefan: Mathias did one lyric this time and Jimmy helped out with some small parts, but I did 95% of the material as usual. I am the founder and responsible guy so of course you can say I am the leader. I'm not saying that I am the dictator, but the responsability, giving interviews and paying the bills gives me the right to steer the ship. I'm not holding the guys back but I don't force them to contribute either. I guess they think I'm doing a good job.

Every band finds his last record the best one, but I think this one is indeed your best so far. Still I'm a little afraid that the band will repeat itself in the future, any idea how te keep interesting without copying yourself?

Stefan: Yes, the next album will be quite different. I won't say anything now, that I can be held responsable for but it will be something new in more than one way. I don't want to do the same thing over and over again.

We live in a time where downloading songs and albums is normal. CD-sales are still declining. Some bands earn still some money by selling merchandise and especially with playing live. Falconer isn't a band which plays a lot of live-gigs because Mathias is a busy man. How does the band keep it's head above the water?

Stefan: By having members that have real jobs. Falconer is just a hobby for us, we have 7-16 jobs, families and other things so you can't really spend all your time on the music.

Are there any gigs coming up?

Stefan: We haven't got anything booked now, but we'll try to get summer festivals for 2009.

Two members also play in a band called Choir of Vengeance, is this a serious act, or just a hobby?

Stefan: They haven't rehearsed for 3 years so......

Metal Blade has still big confidence in Falconer, what do you expect from the album and how are the first reactions?

Stefan: I don't expect anything really. By the time I've learnt that the difference between a superb album and an OK album is quite small. The same thing happened, it sells almost the same, the response is somewhat the same. The reactions so far have been that some people think we're getting back to the first album which is great by them. Others seem to think that we drift further away form the first album. I wonder how they think.

Why should metalfans buy your record, what makes it special in your opinion?

Stefan: I think that the folk/medieval elements and the theatrical inspiration in the song structures is what defines this album + of course the very original and passionate voice of Mathias.

I leave here the space to tell anything you want to our readers....

Stefan: Danskjšvlar!!!! Snart kommer vi Ųver Stora Belt igen!!

Interviewed by: Reinier de Vries

Falconer - Among Beggars and Thieves

Album available on Metal Blade Records.

Webpage: www.falconermusic.com