The band needs no introduction, pioneers of the Melodic death metal Soilwork had released 8 studio albums. ‘The Living Infinite’ being their 9th studio album. The highly anticipated double album hits the stores in Asia on February 27th. We got a chance to sit down with Ola Flink from Soilwork and have a chat about their double album.
Metalbase INDIA: Living Infinite is all set to release (the release hits Asia first , Feb 27th in Asia and then in March it releases in Europe and North America), how excited is the band about rolling out a new record after close to three years?
Ola Flink (Soilwork): Very excited. We are super proud of what we have done with the living infinite, and it is exciting to see how people will react to it, especially since we feel that we have done something new and interesting. I hope that will translate to the listener. It sure does not feel like 3 years since the panic broadcast and it feels a little extra exciting and a little bit nervous due to the fact that we have been gone from the scene for a while. It is not that we have been completely absent but we did not, for a few different reasons. We were very busy touring wise on panic broadcast so this time around we try to do everything right and go as many places as possible, play a bunch of new songs along with stuff we have not played for a long time.
MBI: How would you compare Sweden and other countries with respect to the Melodic/Death Metal scene? The band sounds remains very true to the melodic/progressive death metal genre, Did you guys ever happen to think to move out and experiment with the sound?
Soilwork: Well there are, and always has been a lot of bands in Sweden. Growing up almost all my friends were either in a band or listened to some sort of alternative music. In the early 90s when I got started it really was exciting times and so many new bands popping up left n right. Watching a new genre, melodic death metal, and even being a part of it, was a true pleasure. It is great to have been a part of that whole scene, and through the years we have met bands that took influence from that and to see that what you have done made an impact on people is truly great. I am probably not the right person to ask about what is going on in Sweden today because honestly I am not a big fan of what is going with music today, I might be getting old but I miss originality and bands that really has their own sound, to me everything kind of blends together. I feel that with Soilwork we always tried to develop our sound without losing our identity, for us that has always been super important. However to completely change your sound and release music under the name Soilwork would be crazy, there is so much you can do musically within our genre and still be interesting. We have been around for many years and I believe that there is still much for us to explore.
MBI: David joined in Soilwork and has fitted in smoothly; the guitar work on the album is intense. What has the band got to say on this? Since when have you all known David?
Soilwork: We have known David for many years and he has done a lot of live shows with us. When it was time to look for new guitar player it was almost like the decision had already been made. He fits perfectly both as a musician and as a person. Not only did he join the band he also made a huge difference with his song writing and ability to think a little bit outside of the box. People might be freaking out due to the fact that Peter left the band again, which I totally understand. But for us it was a necessary change and it needed to happen or else the band would no longer exist. With this line up we are all on the same page both musically and personally, even if we live spread out all over the world there is always a great vibe once we get together or bounce new ideas. It is probably been said before but I am confident that this is the final line up for Soilwork, because even if we wrote 27 songs for the living infinite it feels like we are only scratching the surface of what we are capable of doing.
MBI: After the band released the Panic Broadcast, was the double album on cards since then? When did the idea of a double album did came to your minds?
Soilwork: After panic broadcast we toured for a little while, not as much as we wanted to so it was kind of quiet for a sometime. However on one of our few shows, sometime in 2011, Björn presented the idea of making a double album. It has all been pretty spontaneous and not something that we have been going back and forth on for a long time. With that said it wasn’t without being sceptical, at least not for me. It is usually pretty hard to come up with 12-13 songs, good songs. But once people started to right music and send demos around it became obvious pretty quick that we would be able to pull it off. My fear was that the music was not going to be interesting for more than 80 minutes of music. You really need to be diverse and dynamic to not bore the listener, and also yourself. But with 6 different minds creating music that task becomes more interesting than anything else.
MBI: The new album has a real flow to it. When you were making this album, as the tracks started to Soilwork – The Living Infinite – Artworktake shape did you find that they were all coming from a similar place in terms of inspiration or process?
Soilwork: The whole process of writing the record really was a joint effort, being that everybody contributed in one way or another. Everybody gets their inspiration from different places but we never had any rules or boundaries just an open mind to everybody’s ideas and thoughts. That way it gets interesting for us, and hopefully also for the listener. All of us are into all kinds of music and that is always a good start when you are looking for inspiration. It is also necessary that you create music that you like, if you start to write music for a different reason I believe that you might want to rethink what you are doing. We also entered the studio with our minds open and we wanted to see how the songs developed once we started recording them, we had demos but was not sure what the end result was going to be like. We had done little to no rehearsal as a full band before we got to the studio. That allowed us to keep it spontaneous and we came up with a lot of good stuff once we all were together. We made a lot of things while recording while in the past we have had a much clearer picture of how it was going to sound in the end.
MBI: The 2 CDs have a different vibe to the music on them. The first CD has got hard hitting tracks where as the second CD has this dark vibe to it . Did the band happen to plan this or was it down to the song writing?
Soilwork: Once we got all the songs done that is something we wanted to achieve. I think it is important when you release 20 songs that you get something different and that the music evolves throughout the albums. If you can give the listener a certain vibe when they listen to your music I believe that you have done something great. On our past releases I feel that I got a lot of energy from listen to our music, while on the living infinite I am left with a more sinister feeling. There is so many twists and turns throughout the album(s) and it is necessary that the music takes you different places emotionally when you listen to it. The darker, more melancholy road is one I would like to travel further down.
MBI: Of what we have heard of the album, you guys have incorporated many choruses in a lot of your songs on this album , which one would you guys pick up as THE chorus of the album and why?
Soilwork: That is really hard to say and I am pretty sure you would get 6 different answers if you asked all of us. I am going to say ‘My memories confined’ though. It is not your typical melody and it really has its own identity.
MBI: Lyrics have been something that always hits you in a Soilwork song, was there any lyrical theme to this album ?
Soilwork: The lyrics deal with existential matters. A really wide concept and something that everybody goes through. You have to accept that there are questions that will remain unanswered. You might not be able to stop ask these questions, but the answer might not be of your liking. Everything is constantly in motion, and the title the living infinite is Jules Verne’s way of describing the ocean. A good comparison to life in general, it’s out there, always moving and changing, depths of creatures and unexplored territories. You can observe and learn about it but there will always be a part of you looking for further answers. A big part of it is about acceptance i would say, not the easiest always but if you want to remain sane you need accept certain things, not stop questioning and explore your mind, but do not let it take control of you.