1. Hi there, first of all welcome, and thank you for taking some time to answer some questions for Metal Storm!
Thanks! No problem at all.
2. Dark Tranquillity is a established act and pioneers of the style called "Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal", did you ever imagined getting this far with the band? Or you just were playing as a hobby?
No, we never thought that we'd get this far. When starting out, none of us had played in a band before, and the only ambition was to write good music and perhaps release a demo tape and play a few local gigs. It's truly weird that we're still around after 16 years and that we've pioneered an entire subgenre of metal.
3. New Dark Tranquillity album is out, can you talk a little about this new album? What's different?
The new album is faster, more aggressive and more technical. Probably a bit more demanding as well.
4. Why the album title, Character?
It's a strong title that can be interpreted in lots of different ways. It can be seen as a statement, a metaphor for the band, as well as a representation of the lyrics of the album.
5. Tell us about the creative process of a Dark Tranquillity album, how do you achieve such cohesion when writing and composing music?
It's basically a matter of hard work. The basic riffs are composed at home, and then we bring everything to the rehearsal room where we experiment with the ideas and arrange the material into proper songs. During this process we try lots of different things out and tend to re-arrange every song several times in order to see which version that has the best flow to it. Whenthat's finished, lyrics and vocals are added.
6. A little about yourself Niklas, how come did you started as a graphic designer? Did you ever studied this?
Yes, I've studied art at the university as well as having undertaken one of the better web/multimedia educations in Sweden. I've always been painting and drawing, even long before I developed a taste in music. I started playing the guitar when I was 14, which is pretty late.
7. You have reputation of being a great graphic designer, there's always aband wanting to have one of your designs in their cover, how do you managethis? Does it take you much time, how do you handle your musician and designer professions without letting one down?
I'm a workaholic, so it's no problem to combine the activities. I like being busy even if it can be a bit too much at times. Right now, I'm having a break from the design business since I'm just too busy with the band, and I also need to recharge the batteries a bit.
8. Where do you draw your inspirations when designing?
As with music, inspiration can come from just about anywhere. It's more a state of mind than a list of conscious influences.
9. Here in the site, we have each month a compilation Cd, we upload some songs so people can download them for free, and besides we design a cover art so people can put together a Cd at home. How about designing us a cover for one of our compi Cd's? ha, just kidding!
Cool! Well, as I'm having a break right now it'd be kind of hard...
10. Really, would you?
Well...I'm not discussing business in band interview, ha ha! I'd work with anyone that is able to pay what I want, no problems.
11. Now, returning to the band, what's the next logic step for Dark Tranquillity? Do you guys gather to talk about these kind of things? What's in store for Dark Tranquillity?
No, we don't really care about planning any smart marketing moves or anything. It's all about the music, and we all hate the music business, so there's no point in trying to analyze what we could do to get bigger or more famous or any of that bullshit. We'll be touring a lot this year, and hopefully we can start working on new material pretty soon as well, but wehave to wait and see what happens.
12. Well, this was really nice! Let's do it sometime again! Thank you very much for your time Niklas, best wishes for you, the band and your family. Any last words?
Well, thanks for the interview!