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Bjorn 'Speed' Strid (SOILWORK): when we thought about the new album, many of us pictured more than ever how it was going to sound live

Bjorn 'Speed' Strid (SOILWORK): when we thought about the new album, many of us pictured more than ever how it was going to sound live
BANDS : Soilwork

Ten minutes with Bjorn “Speed” Strid seemed too little compared to what this musician has to say.  But it proved enough to quickly touch his previous experience in Romania, Soilwork’s latest album, and the gig they’re about to play this week-end in Bucharest during B’ESTFEST.

Metalfan: Hello there! Let’s start with a normal human question, haha! How are you right now? Caught in thousands of interviews and concerts, right?
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Hi there! I’m doing fine, I try to get a rest in between the festival week-ends. Last week-end has been intense, it was Tuska Open Air in Finland and then we also did Basinfirefest in the Czech Republic. Didn’t get much sleep at all, so I really try to get some sleep when I go home, because doing festival week-ends can be really really intense. One would think that one month of touring is much harder, but with festival week-ends the fact that you don’t get any sleep makes it even harder. But I’m also enjoying it, so...

Metalfan: But I would imagine that the lack of sleep is not entirely caused by the professional commitments, right?
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Hahahaha, no, of course not! You can go to bed at 10 o’clock after the show, if you want, but of course it’s kind of hard. Sometimes you want to get a couple of beers after the show, you know... I guess you COULD get more sleep if you wanted to... So it’s not entirely our manager’s fault for booking flights where you need to have the lobby call set for five in the morning, hahaha!

Metalfan: I had the pleasure of seeing you back in 2001 during your tour with Nevermore and Annihilator in a city called Targu-Mures in Romania. It’s most like that you don’t remember much of it, but if by chance you DO remember something from that trip, we’d be delighted to share it with our readers. I pretty much remember everything, you know... Do you???
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Yes, I remember it because this was something very special for us as well. Of course playing in Transylvania and everything - that seemed like a really cool thing, because we’ve been growing up listening to black metal and knowing the whole story about blood suckers and that made us very curious. And Transylvania seemed like the perfect place to play metal. I remember that we were driving through Bulgaria, if I’m not mistaken, and we were heading for Romania and we have taken some dirt roads and we got stopped in the middle of the night by police on one of those roads and we got to come out. They were pointing at us with AK 47 guns and they asked us to show our passports. We were asking “What the hell is going on here??” and we found out that some policeman got murdered on that road by some robbers or something, so I guess they suspected it was or whatever, haha! So it had already started there, it was kind of scary, but very interesting! And then we rolled into Targu-Mures and there were old ladies standing along the road and doing the cross sign, like Satan was coming to town, you know... And then we got to the venue, which was like a sports hall, right?

Metalfan: Yes, exactly...
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: And there was like military police around the building, they had German shepherds and everything, and there was barbwire around the sports hall, so it was a really really special feeling. I had never experienced something like that ever since, hahaha! I remember that right before the show, when the doors opened, you could hear people yell and scream with excitement in the distance... And the place... I mean, it didn’t really fill up, but the people who were there were SO excited!


Metalfan: Yes, we all were, I was there and I can testify for that!
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Yes, it was really cool!

Metalfan: I think you’ll find a really different Romania from the last time that you were here, haha!
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Yes, I’m sure!

Metalfan: Of course, now we should talk a bit about the concert that you are going to have this week-end at B’estfest.  Maybe talk a bit about how you feel – you said something about festivals and this is a festival as well. How have you prepared for this one?

Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Well, we are prepared for the festivals by doing a nine week American tour and sounding really tight as a band and I also think we’ve chosen a really really good setlist that represents pretty much every album that we’ve made. Which is pretty hard, cause it’s nine of them, haha, so it’s kinda hard to build a setlist around that. But we are really excited and I think we are really good live at festivals, because it’s a certain feeling, being outdoors and everything... I think there’s a certain excitement when you’re playing festivals. So, basically, I think that the people who saw us back in 2001 are going to have a big surprise; I think we’ve grown a lot as a band and our music has also grown. So I think it’s going to be an interesting experience to see people’s reactions. I know some people have followed us by buying our albums after A Predator’s Portrait (2001), but it’s a different thing to see us live. It’s a very energetic show and it will definitely be a special moment – to be back in Romania and perform so many songs from so many different albums.

Metalfan: The Living Infinite is a double album, so how can you include it in the setlist and make sure it’s properly represented?  There’s so much content in it, after all... This one should deserve a double portion, haha...

Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Hahaha, yea, we are still promoting the new album, you know... So I think it’s important to show songs from our most current work. But we are also trying to find a way to include songs from all our albums that we’ve missed to promote in Romania, haha... it’s not an easy task. I think we’ll perform like four or five songs from the new album and the rest will be from our previous albums.

Metalfan: Yes, you still have a five albums gap, if I’m not wrong, haha...
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: I know, I know, and it kind of makes it harder – to be in a place where you’ve been before, but you haven’t been in a long time. But we’re trying our best to make a very interesting setlist that people will enjoy – including ourselves.

Metalfan: You have here quite a dedicated fan base. Would you like to send a message to them?
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Well, first I want to apologise that it’s been taking us 12 years to come back, haha... and I hope we have some new fans that haven’t seen us before and have grown up since then and have discovered Soilwork and hopefully we’ll make them very happy by seeing us as well. But I also hope that everyone that saw us back in 2001 is still with us and will come to see us as well.

Metalfan: Yes, I hope too. Now to the unavoidable question which you’ve probably heard 10.000 times: why a double album right now? Please feel free to give me the unofficial, laid back, festival-like answer, haha.
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Uhhh... Wow...

Metalfan: The standard, logical answer would be easier, right, haha?
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: No, but it’s hard to describe precisely because it’s something that we felt. We needed a challenge, this is the key word, I think. And I don’t know how logical that is, but we don’t talk about what kind of music we are supposed to write, we all slam things, and I think that’s the beauty of this band. The fact that we have this mutual feeling and vision that we don’t have to talk about. It kind of just happens and I think that the time was really right to create something bigger, more epic, and something to also be able to play live. We wanted something very technical, but also very atmospheric. And many of us pictured more than ever how it was going to sound live. So I guess you can connect that to the live shows, including the festivals.

Metalfan: Thanks a lot for your time and see you soon!
Bjorn “Speed” Strid: Thanks a lot, see you soon!
Autor: Tzugu
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Soilwork

   July 06, 2013  | 0 Comments  | 6869 Views « BACK

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