Interview with Darkane
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: January 2, 2004
Hello, how are you doing?
Hello! I'm fine, thanks. Working hard to complete the writing of our new album, but it will be ready to be recorded in a few weeks I hope!
Your first album, Rusted Angel, was released pretty quickly after you started your band. What do you think made you accomplish this so fast?
We started to write to songs in December 1997, and when we were signed to WAR Music, they booked the studio time for us in August 1998, so we had to complete the songs as fast as we could.
Can we expect another album pretty soon?
Hopefully in around April/May 2004.
Are you pleased with the current record sales or will there be more promoting?
You always want to sell as much as you can, of course, but I'm at the same time happy that we've sold as much as we have so far. I hope there will be more promoting for the next album, but that is up to Nuclear Blast.
Darkane is featured on three Compilation CDs, two of which are tributes. Has that been working well for you?
We've been on tribute albums to Accept and Iron Maiden. I don't really think that it has had a very big impact on our career. It was fun to do, but those albums don't sell that much, I guess. The first compilation (WAR Dance) sort of gave us the chance to reach the listeners before our debut album was recorded. But that didn't sell many copies either.
How do you get your CD designs and how important is CD artwork to you?
We've worked with different artists. Chad Michael Ward did a great job on Rusted Angel with his Hellraiser theme. After that we worked with Thomas Ewerhard from Germany on Insanity and Expanding Senses, and he is capable of doing a lot of different styles and we like that a lot. He will probably do the next album as well. I think CD artwork is very important. That is what you see in the record store, and it can also set the mood in your mind before you start to listen to the music. It's good when the lyrics are connected to the artwork.
How is the music and being Darkener connected with the person you are? Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
We don't really have a lot of image, I think. We dress in black (mostly) and play the music we love to play. When I'm home I listen to metal or classical music or jazz, and I don't really try to live the metal style but just being myself.
How do you pick your instruments? Do you have or hope to have endorsements?
I play Banes guitars because I think they make the ultimate metal guitars! Peter is endorsed by Meinl cymbals and Tama drums at the moment. None of the others are sponsored right now.
I like your website a lot and I noticed you have gotten help with it. Nice job.
Thanks! Right now we've got help by one of Peters students who is managing www.darkane.com. I also have my own website at www.christofermalmstrom.tk and I manage it myself. It doesn't look very good, but there is a lot of additional information about me and Darkane. There are also guitar tabs to most of our songs.
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
At first we write straight from the heart. When the album is starting to take shape, we check if there are too many fast or too many slow songs and then try to compensate it so that the album won't get boring. Peter and I meet in our studio and sit by the computer gathering our ideas and create songs out of it. He programs the drums and I record the guitars. The lyrics are always written in the last second before the vocals are recorded.
How do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
Mostly by watching movies and reading books. I also search my own mind a sometimes I find some scary thoughts.
Do you consciously think about staying in the Darkane style or music? As a musician, do you play other sorts of music on the side or is this your 100% musical taste?
We don't want Darkane to be something else than it is right now. As I see it, we are a modern melodic thrash metal band with some death influences as well, and that's the style we will continue to play. I try to learn other styles as well. Both Peter and I have been to jazz improvisation schools and I also study classical music on my own to develop as a musician.
The music scene really changed between the 70's, 80's and 90's. What would you say has been your strongest influence?
I guess, the 80's since that's when I grew up and started to be seriously interested in music. I used to be a big fan of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Accept, Scorpions and Ozzy.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
You wouldn't find a lot of new stuff. I don't buy a lot of new albums these days. My favourite bands are Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad, Death, Slayer and I have everything with Yngwie Malmsteen.
You have toured quite extensively and just was playing the Wacken Open Air this summer. Where you excited?
I think that the Wacken show went very well! We played in a tent, but it was packed to the limit, which made us very happy! I think Wacken is a great festival, and I hope we will be able to play there again on a bigger stage.
Which songs do you like most playing Live?
A lot of them. but to name a few: "Convicted," "Violence from Within" and "Third."
When you play live, do you try to stay close to the studio version or do you like to change things up?
We try to stay as close to the audio versions as possible. I sometimes change my solos from night to night, but the riffs are exactly played as on the albums (I hope...)
Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
I try to spend times with my wife as much as I can. I also enjoy watching movies and reading books, but playing the guitar is my main interest, and I do that at least one hour every day. I wish I had time to do it more.
Have you gotten any gifts from fans? Which would you say would be the coolest or weirdest?
The weirdest gifts we've got was in Japan where they gave us a plastic axe. Also, when we went by train from Nagoya to Osaka, Peter met a fan at the train station who gave him a box of cookies. But mostly we get CDs from people who play in bands.
What, in your opinion, separates a good band from a bad one?
The fact that they know they are the best band in the world! You should be critical to what you're doing and always try to develop as musicians and as a band. I can't listen to bands where it's obvious that the musicians can't handle their instruments. I always know after a few seconds if this is going to be a good or bad CD.
How do you see yourself as a role model to many young people?
I don't see myself as a role model, but if I can inspire people to pick up the guitar and start to practice and then get a meaningful life, then I am very happy!
What kind of books do you read? Any good books or movies you would like to mention?
I like horror books and drama movies. I like Dean Koontz books, and if I should suggest a good movie it would be "Amadeus" from 1985. It's about Mozart's life and it's very well done! Also read "The Dirt", the autobiography by Mötley Crüe. It's great entertainment!
What holds your band together?
The fact that we now see the results of many years of hard work and that we get to travel a lot and that we have a lot of fun together!
Any last words to fans?
If you liked our albums, I hope you will like our fourth album coming out around April/May 2004. I think it will be very good! I will also record a solo album next year with Gustaf Hielm (Meshuggah) on bass, Ryan van Poederooyen (Devin Townsend Band) on drums, and Peter Wildoer (Darkane) on vocals. The band is called "Non-Human Level" and I think it will be very cool. But more of that later!
|Other information about Darkane on this site|
|Review: Expanding Senses|
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