Pain Of Salvation interview (03/2009)
|With:||Daniel Gildenlöw [vocals, guitars]|
|Conducted by:||FreakyMarge (in person)|
Pain Of Salvation
In November, I had the chance to go to Eskilstuna, Sweden to see my friend Leo and the rest of the band Pain Of Salvation during the recording of their next album. I had done two interviews there, one with Leo, already posted on Metal Storm, and this one with Daniel. We had to cut it before the end, and I was waiting to finish it by mail but…well, he kind of forgot me. So after a little nervous breakdown, I've decided to post it NOW. Hope you'll enjoy it!
- Marge: In the whole creation process, what parts do you fear and do you like the most? Maybe when you write the lyrics, when you're on stage, what do you fear? What do you prefer?
Daniel: It's hard! I think…every single moment has a lot of possibility to feel both fear and pleasure. Probably it's just like with life. If it's something that you fear and you manage to face it and go through with it you gonna feel more happy about it than if it's something that you don't fear as much…so I don't think that there is a particular moment, a particular part of the process that is more fearful than any else, it's just different and…it depends on the song I think. I mean there's always the moment when you're on stage when you feel that it would be easy to panic (laugh) because your voice is not too good or you haven't rehearse the song as many times as you should of. It's a very… exposed situation in many ways but I think that's also what makes you trigger to the situation. So it's unnecessary an important part of the whole process and it runs through every single thing. (Moment of reflection)
I can say that: if there's one thing that you fear the most it's, I think, not to be able to achieve what you want to achieve. Not to be able to reach all the ways to where you want to be weather its being on stage or weather its when you seat down and finish a lyric or if you seat down with the mix, you always have this visions about what you want to achieve and I think the biggest fear would be…to fail in that process. Not getting the music to the point where you want it to be.
- Ok! And do you listen to your own music? When you're listening to your old work and records for example, what do you feel?
Oh (laugh) Way too often I think I feel "oh…I wish I've done that like this or that way" When your listening to other kinds of music you can have a much more objective way of listening to it. When I'm listening to my own music…I'm still a part of the whole process. There is a lot of just…picking up a part and looking at how you did that or why you did that. Then occasionally every once in a while I can just listening to it. Probably the best thing is when you're going in a car or something and you just have it all and you don't think too much…then I can just listening to it and usually I'm surprised and I'm like "I wrote that? Mm, but that was pretty good!" (laugh) So yeah, that can be nice sometimes.
- In your opinion, what music brings more than other forms of arts like I don't know, painting, drawing…? Why music?
Why music? I have no idea. I think I have done all of it since I was a kid…I've been writing and I've been drawing and painting and making music. It's just happened to be music I guess that…I got stuck in. I don't know why (laugh). It's a very direct communication I think, emotionally. I was 11 when I started with the band, and from a child, bad age point of view it's more obvious how to do that. I mean, if you are good at drawing, what would you do with it? It's not like "ok I'm 11 years old I'm gonna start a comic book" you know. Those options are much more hidden and abstracts I think. Music is: "ok I'll form a band and go out on the road and be successful" you can see a very straight line to where you wanna end up. If you like drawing cartoons, I don't know where to go with drawing cartoons when you're that age I think.
- So music is inside you from the beginning, from your birth?…
I guess so. I can't remember when I ever started with it, it was always there I think.
- Some of your fans consider you like a god or role model…
- How do you feel about that? Do you feel responsible to them?
Yeah I think you're always responsible. I think you should. There is a lot of those things going around today that "well you know I just play music I don't have any responsibility, I don't have to behave a certain kind of way just because I have a lot of kids looking up to me". I think that's a part of the trade: if you go into that you have to accept partly a responsibility. I mean it's good that people look up to you I guess. It's kind of scary too (laugh)
- I guess!
But…yeah of course I think you should take a least a part of that responsibility, think about what you're saying.
- And do you think there is a typical fan of POS?
I used to think that there was a particular type of fans but it's winding a lot, especially the last maybe five years, probably because we've gone all over the place musically and picked up fans from, you know, here and there. When we started out we were playing pretty much together with other typical progmetal bands and they would had a typical progmetal audience witch will be Caucasian, meanly white, meanly male and…Caucasian and white is pretty much the same thing so (laugh), and like somewhere between 27 and 53 (laugh), receding hairline and a lot of figuring out what the musicians are doing on stage from technical point of view. But as we have kind of formed our own fan base it has become much more wide when it comes to gender, age, origin and everything…and I really appreciate that because I would like to reach people more than just particular groups of people.
- What do you think POS brings to the public? Do you think there is a real exchange between the audience and you?
Yeah definitely. I mean, when you make the album you don't have that direct contact, you don't really see what happens so I think that's why it's very necessary to go out and play in public and meet people. Every time we play we hear people saying how important our music or lyrics have been in their particular lives. I don't know if that's scary or impressive but I know that a lot of people have said that our music or many times my lyrics have actually changed their lives which I think it's very nice. The contexts in which the music and lyrics of POS are active are not in the entertainment scene so much. It is a lot about important issues that I think people can relate to and that would affect them in their everyday life. That's what I think it makes the biggest difference. So…I know for a fact that we effect, and even change the lives of those who listen to our music and I know, just as much as for a fact that when they come to the shows they affect me and change the way I live and work and breathe. And I think I would have quit doing this a long time ago if it wasn't for seeing the kind of importance the role our music plays for people and the kind of energy that they can provide for us when we go on and play. There is no way that we could spend so much energy ourselves if we didn't get that back. So there's definitely a mutual exchange of energies (laugh)
- And do you fear their reactions when you're recording a new album?
Yeah! (laugh) I try not to let that control anything because I know I said that once or twice that...fear is good when you're being chased by a bear or something in the forest, it's a very…healthy survival mechanism but it's not the best creator of things, it doesn't open your mind, fear is the complete opposite of inspiration I think. It can probably trigger some inspiration to start with but it's not very good for…it doesn't write very good songs! So I try to keep fear out of the song writer process as much as possible but of course, you always…especially when you're spending so much of yourself that I can feel that I'm doing in music and lyrics you're even more vulnerable I think to the reactions of the public…I can be very easily hurt or…well it hurts to see people not liking it. I think people, especially now in the days of Internet, it's very easy to just, you know, throw something outhere without actually thinking that it would be received somewhere on the other hand and it would affect people. So it's very easy to write negative review or email or whatever and probably think that, you know…I can completely understand that, I would probably think that if I sent a message to someone who makes music that I would listen to, it's difficult to see that that person would just be a regular person as well and actually read that or somehow get that information and be hurt by it but yeah, you're nervous every time , and there always gonna be people who like it and people who don't like it and, in the end, if ten people like it and one person doesn't like it, that's the one you're going to remember, that's the hard part of it. And intellectually you can try to decide not to let that get to you but…emotions don't work that way. So you can decide, you know, how ever much you want that it's a stupid remark and that you shouldn't let that get to you but of course it does, because you can't stop that! (laugh) But I think it makes us, or at least myself even more triggered to throw myself outhere because …I guess I'm just that kind of guy that if I would dive from whatever…trampoline? (diving board ) into the water and I'd hurt myself and I'd be free to go back up I would go one trampoline higher just to challenge my fear… not that I want to hurt myself (laugh), but I think…as I said if you let fear start controlling you I think you're heading down the wrong path, definitely…So we keep on not giving people what we think they want but what we want to do.
- Ok! Do you have some dreams or fantasies concerning music that you still want to achieve?
I guess there are tones of them. I think first of all you always want to be more successful, even thought you've decide to be in a music style that's not very commercially successful you somehow have this idea that, you know, maybe it could be different for us, with our music because you want your music to be heard, you know, it deserves the best it can get. So that part's always been there, and I think it would never be satisfied when it comes to that. You want your music to have recognition, to be generally accepted and appreciated, not only for this small…
Yeah exactly. I mean that's fine, it's good to have that community, but I think very few musicians would not secretly want everyone to like their music, to be able to hear it on national, normal kind of radio instead of a lot of other things that you have to think "but that is worse music! Why? Why is that on the radio everyday?" you know we have those reactions and it's impossible to stop them. But there is so much crap outhere you think what if I'm not making crap, and I have to agree that I feel that I'm not doing crap, I wouldn't make it if I thought I was making crap so then It's becomes very annoying. A bit more like of a musical side, one thing was to work with an orchestra for an album which we did and that felt good. But I think that every week, I have ideas of bands that I would want to start with very different kinds of instrumentation and line ups, but there's just not time or possibility for that. I have enough music ideas to actually fulfil that, but time wise it's just doesn't work out. Pain of salvation just takes a lot of my time weather like now when we're actually meet or all of the other time that I've spent on just turning things around in my head and tried to make things work out…so I don't see that happening in a near future (laugh). But yeah that's the most obvious ones anyway, that I could think of.
- And I have to ask, why did you choose Leo, and are you happy with your choice?
- Tell me! Tell me about him, he's not here! (laugh)
Yeah! Well, when it comes to Leo, he just has a lot of what I always missed with Johan, cause Johan was extremely nice to have as a drummer in the band cause he was extremely reliable, so he played everything exactly the same, every time, and it's very very nice to have that but it can be very frustrated as well. He's a very controlled kind of guy even when it comes to play. Well, you've heard the kind of music that we're doing right now (referring to the new material), you have to find a very fine balance between being out there and… expose yourself from a playing point of view as well, and I think Johan was never the kind of guy that would expose himself playing wise because that would mean taking a risk, and he hated risks. I think Leo is much more prone on taking risks, maybe too much sometimes (laugh). So I think the only thing that was against him was that he wasn't from Sweden…I mean you'd think today that the world isn't really a big place anyway, but there always are barriers you know, you have different cultures, different languages and, especially, to have to drag someone from their own specifics contexts and cultural and social circles and everything…there is just a very big risk because I know, being in this band especially is not… I mean we're very Swedish (laugh) and I think maybe more than others, maybe that's just musicians and there's nothing to do with swinishness but you don't get a lot of positive informations and I can imagine, coming from southern France and up here is such a big thing on its own, and then you get in into this circle of guys they are pretty bad at as saying positives things, and, we're kind of used to that so, I think it's easy not to see that. And after a while, everyone is on a budget when it comes to sharing positive expressions or whatever. I didn't have much appreciation the last two years so, I don't think I could spend any right now and we'll trying to break that circle I think, what is gonna take some time and you have Leo coming in in the mix of that and…I don't know, probably being used, I'm not sure about this, he's not said anything about it but I can imagine coming from southern France which is probably to start with a much more emotional context socially and other bands and I could just imagine that being as good of drummer that he is, he must have been pretty much used to being in centre of the bands and probably have received tones of appreciation in every possible kind of way and then he comes here ! I can just imagine that, all together that would make a very big change but so far he's done really well! Impressive. But I asked him a lot of times on the phone before, if he was really really sure about this whole thing, because it is a stupid thing, you know, moving from southern France up to Eskilstuna I have to say (laugh). But I think it would be impossible for the rest of us to move to southern France, even though I think many of us, many times would want that…Well you've seen the weather, it's nice
- Yeah! It's cool, it's cool (laugh)
But that was what he's said though. He said "oh I don't like the heat, I want it to be cold" And he got here the first time and we had 30 degrees, and he was sunny and he thought it was way too warm, he was surprised , like "I though it would be colder!" but I think now…
- He's happy now (laugh)
(Laugh) Yeah! It should be happy with this yeah. It's definitely not 30 degrees warm now...
Thanx again to the band for the welcome and the great memories.
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