Before the concert at The Rock on March 10th, Benny
from Powermetal.dk and Frederik “Evilsyde” from Revolution-music.dk
met with Daniel Gildenlow and Fredrik Hermansson from Pain of
Benny: The name Pain of Salvation: How did
you come up with that, and what does it mean to you?
I came up with that in 1990 or 1991. I know we played the first
show as Pain Of Salvation back in 1991. I formed the band when I
was 11 and I called it “Reality”. When you’re 15 or 16, you
don’t want to have a band name that you came up with when you
were 11 – you get tired of it. I wanted something different –
something that would make people think a little bit. So during
math lessons I was writing band names up and down papers, and
“Pain of Salvation” was one of the names I decided not to
go with, because it was too long, and people wouldn’t remember
it. But I couldn’t forget it. It just kept popping up all the
time, so in the end I decided to go with that.
For me it’s just kind of a yin/yang thing, I guess. It’s been
said so many times by so many different people: There is a long
way to Heaven but a short way to Hell. Sometimes you have to go
through stuff, or take a rougher strip of land to get where you
want to go. And in the end it might be worth the trouble. I
guess that kind of defines Pain of Salvation as a band pretty
much. We’ve never been making it easy for ourselves. We try to
change the world instead of changing ourselves, ha ha.
Evilsyde: You used to be five members in the
band, but now there are only four of you. What’s it like having
a “touring bassist” with you?
The idea is that we are going to have a fifth member of course,
but it was kind of nice being four people too – it’s easier when
you take photos. The more people you are, the bigger the risk of
one making a stupid face, ha ha.
guess that we will have to say that Simon, who is following us on the tour, has a very good chance of becoming new bass player
of the band, because he has really proved himself worthy in any
We have decided not to make a decision until we get home after
the tour. Even if we know what we’re going to decide, we still
mustn’t decide. It’s a principle.
Benny: The song “Disco Queen” on your new
album is pretty for from what you usually do. What made you do a
song like that?
It always comes up, ha ha. On all of our albums there are
songs that stick out. The musical ceiling is high in the band. I
don’t think that there is really anything that we would not do
because it’s “not Pain of Salvation”. Pain of Salvation as an
institution is pretty open minded.
There are a lot of ideas floating around during rehearsals. No
restrictions. It’s been like that since the beginning.
Yeah, if you think Disco Queen is weird, you should hear the jam
sessions that we have during rehearsals. One song can be two
hours long and go everywhere.
- And afterwards we
will regret that we didn’t record it!
Yeah! “That was the perfect album right there, and it’s never
gonna happen again.” It’s like installation art.
The things we do on the albums are actually very organized and
thought through compared to where we could go if we
Benny: You blend a lot of musical styles on
your albums. Is that a conscious decision or something that just
To me it just comes naturally – as long as it’s interesting. You
play around with most things, and depending on what you want to
say and what’s in your system at the moment, the music that you
create will be different.
think it’s more about what we are not doing than what
we’re doing: We’re not limiting ourselves to certain
genres or music styles. I think it takes more effort not to do
that than to do that, but it’s worth the effort of not doing it.
Evilsyde: You have made seven albums in ten
years. That’s pretty productive. Do most of your ideas from
rehearsal end up on albums?
Thank you. It’s good to hear that, because sometimes we feel
slow and unproductive. No, it’s way the other way around. For me
as a composer, I probably throw away more than 99% of everything
that comes to me. The music that ends up on the albums is a very
small fragment of the music that passes through. We could
probably do things in a different way, but the way we’re doing
it, and have been doing it since I was 11, is that composing and
playing are two different things, and composing and jamming are
two different things. Very rarely the one seeps into the other.
For the new album there were a couple of times where I had parts
that I wanted to be more…free. That is one of the problems when
you play with other people and sometimes you want to get
something specific out of them as musicians. For instance, our
drummer is very organized. He really likes to be in control of
what he’s doing – which is good because he’s very good at it too
– but sometimes you want to catch him when he’s not aware of it.
So a good thing is if you have a part in a song – like we did
for that time – I played the chords over and over for like 1½
hours or so. And somewhere in the middle, you get him off guard,
when he’s focusing on something else…when he’s a little bit slow
and laid back, and he just plays around, then suddenly – [snap]
that’s what I want.
Then you record that of course, and he’ll learn that exactly the
way it was played, so he is going to be organized again. But
then at least you have the feeling you want to have for that
The only problem is that in the recordings you’re going to have
remarks like “Try to be more laid back”, “try to focus on
something completely different”, “play it a bit uneven” and
“pretend that you’re drunk, basically” ha ha.
Evilsyde: Perhaps you could try to get him
Maybe that’s a good idea. Actually we were talking about that a
few weeks back. It would be interesting to do a whole album
where everyone was drunk, just to see what happens. One take,
and that’s it. I think it wouldn’t be released anywhere.
We’re not very heavy drinkers, so I think it would be more fun
if we did it than any of the other metal bands, because they’re
so used to being drunk. In our case it would be a novel
Benny: Speaking of albums – Are you working
on a “Perfect Element, Part 2?”
Ha ha – not anymore. Scarsick is The Perfect Element Part
2. So we are not working on it anymore. It’s been done. We just
didn’t tell people because we didn’t want to use the first album
as a selling point. We wanted people to buy Scarsick because
it’s the best album out there, and if they realize that it’s The
Perfect Element Part 2 in the process, then that’s just fine.
Actually, if you have the album and you look inside the spines,
you can see that it says The Perfect Element part 2.
Evilsyde: You just recorded a live DVD in
Amsterdam. When is it going to be released?
Hopefully it’s going to come out at Christmas. It all
depends…you have to gather extra material, have menus done, you
have to make a rough cut, then a new cut, and a cut after that.
Then you have to make a mix of the sound – there are so many
We should also start focusing on a new album too. And the record
label is interested in having a video of Disco Queen. So there’s
too much to do, as usual. We’ll see, but Christmas would be
Evilsyde: How was it to have the show
It was weird because it came up so late. I suggested several
months back that we should record something on this tour, but
the interest was not very high at that point, since we didn’t
have a full member on the bass and stuff like that, so maybe it
was better to wait for the next tour. So we didn’t think more
about that, and then it just came up like…Actually we were
supposed to be recorded in Amsterdam and Paris. First it was
just Amsterdam, then only Paris, and then both – then not
Paris, and then – just a few days before – “It’ gonna be
Amsterdam!” “Well, OK.”
Usually I’m very much in control over these things, but this
time it was…Well, we got there and we played, and we knew it was
being recorded, but that was it. It felt a bit odd.
It’s always nice to record two shows, I think, because the
second one is always better then. For the first one, you’re kind
of tense and not really relaxed. Then after that, you know that
you have one show recorded, so we’re on the safe side, and now
we can just record the other one as a backup, and you’ll do
everything much better. Actually the Paris show was very
good, ha ha.
Benny: This is not your first show in
Denmark. What do you think of the Danish audience?
It’s harder to say than other audiences, because we’ve played
pretty seldom in Denmark. The last time was with Dream Theater 5
years ago, I think. I seem to remember that they were pretty
We played in Tex too, which was interesting because we had only
one monitor. Well, we had two, but one of them broke. So we had
one. And it was very far from me.
Benny: Last question: How do you make use of
the internet to promote your music?
I guess that we do like everyone else – we have homepages and
stuff. We were going to get a MySpace page, but it turned out
that we already had ten. We just didn’t know.
think that what you want to do to be out there is to have it
possible for people to be able to purchase one song for
download. We don’t do that, but I know that the record
label is trying to make it happen somehow.
It has happened. The new album is available for download
at Itunes and other websites.
Oh well. What do you know…