Four years since a while since the last tour but it’s not long now…
Yeah, it has been a while and it is right about time to come over and get down to business over there.
Will this tour be focused on the best and the greatest or lean more towards the relatively new album From The North?
No, we’re not in to the best and the greatest. We’ll be picking songs here and there and the new songs is the frontier we’re pushing now. We won’t be playing that from start to end or whatever but at least two or three. Not to over exaggerate but we are on a headline tour and we won’t playing covers, that’s not going to happen. The band is evolving from year to year and it is a totally different thing today than it was ten years ago or even five years ago. That is how it is!
When you say the band has evolved over the years what do you put that down to?
Life has a great impact on our work and the music that I write. Speaking for myself I am one of the main writers both musically and lyrically. For me music is connected to my personal life and everything around. It has been two years since I had a child and I’m a father this time and I wasn’t a father when Veil Of Ignorance came out. You move through life and relationships, you buy houses, you get unemployed, whatever you do it’s there. We had new musicians coming in and out of the band throughout the years so there are different talents you can use when producing albums. Our guitarist Jimmy who has been with us for a long time it was his first album where he wrote songs and if you listen to the song Man & Earth he wrote that one. There are other songs where you can hear his special guitar talents and it is amazing standing alongside him and producing music with that kind of that talent. That is the evolving part I think…
You have been quoted as saying that From The North is the perfect puzzle with everything essentially slotting together. Can you believe how amazing the experience of making the album was?
It was a very rough time right from the start to the finish. I spent a lot of time writing and recording the vocals, I didn’t over do it, and something’s were left as first take. It doesn’t feel or sound perfect but it suited the album. I think it was good that I left it as it is. A lot of work went in to getting what we thought were the best songs to present to our fans and even expand our fan base. What is Raised Fist about? What time is it right now? What songs do we want to make? How does it feel? How do we attack the vocals and how do we want the guitars to sound. We had a good time in the studio but sometimes mentally painful.
Is it hard to contemplate the next album and what you might do given the experience you had with this album?
We knew that From The North was not going to be a biggest album we had ever done. Albums like Sound Of The Republic were bigger and had much cleaner sounds. The cleaner sound gets you on the radio. Our last album got a Grammy nomination in Sweden and heavy rotation on the radio. We knew this time that it would not be played on the radio because the production is not suited to be heard on a car stereo and suit radio listeners. The production is more annoying with more punk bite to it.
The producer’s approach was that he wanted the feeling of a live band playing in the background and literally put the microphone in front of my face to start screaming. That was how we wanted the whole thing to sound. The critics keep saying that the sound is fucked up and those people don’t realise they have been manipulated by us because they still love the album because it sounds very aggressive. That is because the sound is what it is, we didn’t try to make this the biggest album. My style of singing isn’t so perfect, I can sing in every way and if you’ve listened to the Raised Fist albums over the years you can hear small snippets of me singing in every style. I know my voice sounds like a scruffed up dog with perfect rhythm.
There is an element of getting back to our roots like what The Beastie Boys did for hip-hop and Rage Against The Machine for their genre with a dirtier sound. That was what we wanted to do for the metal and punk hardcore community because we think it is overloaded with these clean sounding bands that all sound the same. I just want to have a huge fucking step away from that. I want to go in the totally opposite direction and it feels like a teenage rebellion like ‘fuck this’ let’s go the other way, we’ve done this Stronger Than Ever from the start. Everyone was moving from the heavy hardcore at the time, it was not like death metal as it is today. Hardcore has to be fast otherwise it isn’t hardcore, so everyone else can just fuck off as this is how it is, so we went in that direction. Every band thought they were playing the coolest thing right there, then we stepped up and played this way.
What do you love the most about touring Australia?
The weather is pretty good, that is one the big reasons for going there. It is pretty amazing coming from a place which is far up north from Iceland in December when it is Christmas time where it is snowing and very cold. I’m not a religious person but we are blessed to be able to do this and travel to different places. Australia is fucking amazing and wonderful! Not only do you get the chance to play music but we get to meet all the good friends that we have met over the years from fans to bands that we have toured with. Australia has always had a special place in our hearts because we know that the fans backed us up in 90s supporting us before we started supporting you.