The new album by Swedish true heavy metal band
Wolf has just been released. Niklas found some time to answer a few questions about
the new album and other stuff about the band. Hope you will enjoy reading it and
perhaps it will help you to get through the last weeks before buying the new
PoM: Please tell our readers what the band has
been doing after the release of your 2011 album ‘Legions of Bastards’ and the
recording of the new album ‘Devil Seed’.
Niklas: Might sound weird, but I hardly
remember. Personally, I’ve been sick and have done everything I can to get back
my health during 2013. The band has also been through a lot and we have used
most of 2012 and 2013 to write and record the new album Devil Seed.
Just after the release of ‘LoB’, Simon Johansson joined the band. Why
did Johannes Losbäck leave the band?
You’ll have to ask him about that. But to be frank, there was no other way for
Wolf to go on as a band but continue without him.
The new album
seems to be a bit more melodic and with even more focus on the songs and
refrains, do you agree on that?
Oddly enough, yes I agree. You are not the only one that has pointed out this.
For me, personally, the songs have always been what it’s all about and that is
what I care most about. But for some reason, people receive this album as more
song oriented and that makes me very proud to hear.
The band also
used some non metal instruments like xylophone for example, not afraid that the
fans will not find this metal enough?
No, not at all. We have also a nylon stringed acoustic flamenco solo, some surf
rock guitars and fuzz guitars. But as we never do these things just to impress
people, the listener hardly notice these elements because they are there only
there for the song, not as a gimmick. If we would use a tuba inside a bathroom
recorded through a telephone on the next record it would still be metal and
journalists would continue to call us ”old school” unless we had a press release
that stated that ”Wolf has begun a new era of tuba-metal”. So the quick answer
to this question is: No, we are not afraid. We are so metal that we have to oil
ourselves in not to rust when it rains.
Tell us a bit
more about the song “The Dark Passenger”, which is not a typical Wolf track.
Our drummer Richard came to me with a song idea that was based on this very cool
beat. So we worked on it and felt like this will be the ”Princess of the Dawn”
song on the record, ha ha. I love that kind of song writing, almost like Raga,
but then there are a part that breaks away from that monotony. The lyrical theme
is taken from the TV series ”Dexter” off cause. I have always written about that
theme since the first record but I think it is so elegantly put in Dexter when
he talks about his ”dark passenger”.
Another song I
want to mention is “Skeleton Woman” with an acoustic Spanish sounding solo, what
made you decide to add that to the song?
We didn’t decide so much. I try not to control the songs, but rather let them
control me instead. That’s when I get my best ideas. It just felt right. I asked
Simon if he could do it which he did brilliantly. The whole song was Simon’s
idea but I have lots of freedom from the other guys to ”wolfify” everything we
do. If I would came up with an idea that really sucked, they would stop it.
In my opinion
you did your
best singing job so
far, but perhaps this is also due to the fact that the songs are easier to sing
a long with. What is your view on this?
Thank you very much! I have to give the producer Jens Bogren a lot of credit why
the vocals are at this level. I was sick and my voice wasn’t in the best shape,
but he managed to get the very best out of me and I gave everything I had in
every take. Also, this time I wrote the lyrics along with the music. By that I
mean, when we wrote the songs we wrote with the vocals, lyrics and everything
else in mind at the same time. And I have not tried to be intellectual with the
lyrics, on the contrary, I sing what feels right and sound right for my voice.
How does Wolf get
ideas for a song, does it start with a riff, a singing line, piano part or an
acoustic guitar part?
A Wolf song usually starts with a riff or some kind of guitar part. If it feels
right and it rocks we go on, if it doesn’t feel like Wolf standard we throw it a
way and burn it. After all years of writing songs, I have a sixth sense
now when it comes to songwriting. I feel very quickly if it’s a Wolf song coming
when I hear an idea. When I get that feeling, I trust it and I go for it. I’m
involved in all Wolf songs, but the ideas may come from any member in the band
and all four members contribute to every song and make it Wolf.
It isn’t easy for
a band to earn any money with playing music. Is that why Wolf has his own brand
of absint? Doesn’t beer sell a lot more?
Yes, beer sell a lot more so maybe we should also have our own beer as well. We
did the Wolf Absint because it is way cooler than anything else a band could
ever sell and an absinthe is just so Wolf! It’s a bit expensive, but very high
quality and very strong so it lasts for a long time. The idea came naturally
after we recorded the song ”Absinthe”.
On top of that
there is also a sauce with the name Wolf, tell us something more about that.
It’s so strong you can’t really describe it. You have to try it. It’s made out
of Naga Jolokia pepper, also known as ”ghost pepper”. I love it! Very good in
cooking, but you have to be careful not to take to much. A little goes a LONG
way. I gave a buddy of mine a drop on a tea spoon. He took it all straight up
before I warned him. He had to call a psychiatrist that day because his body
reacted with a panic attack. Very funny!
What’s next, an
own supermarket with Wolf products? Haha.
Ha ha, yep. Good idea. A band has to make money from other sources than music
nowadays. Sad but true. We have as much bills to pay and kids to feed as the
Are you planning
a tour and can we expect some festival gigs next summer?
We have our first tour planned out in UK and continental Europe in September. We
will also do gigs in Sweden as a two band package with Sister Sin. We’ll try to
fit in another tour in spring and do as many festivals in 2015 as possible. We
have some really cool spots already but it’s not official yet.
Which 5 albums
express for you what metal is about (what are in your opinion the blue prints
Mercyful Fate - Don’t Break the Oath
Judas Priest - Killing Machine
Accept - Breaker
Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
Iron Maiden - Killers
Anything else you
want to say to the (Danish) readers?
A huge thanks to our Danish fans and hope to see you live in a venue near you