Archive for Gothenburg

Interview with Through The Cracks

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 30th September 2015 by Pieni

Just a little more than a year has passed but a lot has changed in Through The Cracks since I’ve last talked to founder Jimmy Bergman about it (read here); a new interview was in order. I amended that on the day the band played their first show (report here), catching up with them before soundcheck. It was a sunny afternoon in Gothenburg, so we had our interview outside, near the canal that runs close-by Sticky Fingers.

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Renata: hello boys and girl. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me on such an important day for you. When I interviewed Jimmy last year, Through The Cracks had a whole different line-up, so I’d like to start there. Sara, how did you join the band?

Sara Lindberg: Well, I knew Niklas (Aggemyr, bass) from before. He recorded me with my old glam rock band, Lazy Lizard, when I was just 16 years old. Then on Facebook he wrote me a couple of times “oh, come down and try out for my band”. But I was skeptic at first. I didn’t like what they were doing at the time, the song that he sent me, so I was always coming up with excuses like “I don’t know if I have the time”(laughs) But I ended up going to the studio and it was great fun. Especially because they said I could make changes, write new lyrics and new melodies, so it turned out a really good match.

Renata: I guess that’s an automatic “no” to my question regarding hearing the first two singles (“Breathless” and “Marionette”) with your voice…

Sara: Exactly! We’re not playing those songs!

Renata: I also read on Jimmy’s blog that you wanted to go heavier. How heavier?

Jimmy Bergman: Death metal! (everybody laughs)

Sara: A little bit more… progressive. I really like Alter Bridge because I love the way Myles Kennedy sings, with a lot of heart, a lot of soul… it’s beautiful! And the riffs and the music are heavy and still groovy… I think they’re more advanced than some of the other bands. And that’s the direction I want us to go. I want our music to touch people.

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Renata: Niklas, your turn: how did you go from producer to bass player? Do you even know how to play (laughs)?

Niklas: Yes, I promise! You’ll see it tonight. I’ve actually played bass for some 20 years now. I think it was when we recorded “Marionette” in my studio that Jimmy asked me to join the band. I thought “yeah, what the hell”.

Jimmy: But it was when he toured with The End Of Grace (Jimmy’s other band – Niklas replaed bass player Johan Hagman while the latter was on paternity leave) that I thought of it. That tour was his trial by fire. (grins)

Renata: And since we’re talking about TEoG… Andreas, how did you ended up replacing Daniel (Holmgren, currently studying in U.S.A.)? You actually like it or you’re just giving a helping hand to your band mate Jimmy?

Andreas Hagman: Well, to be honest… this sucks. (everybody laughs) No, it was Sara who came to me at a gig and said they needed a stand-in drummer. I don’t know if they were desperate or if she wanted me…

Sara, interrupting: No! I really thought Andreas was good.

Andreas: So she asked me if I wanted to join the band, I said I’d think about it… But then I heard the demos she sent me and I really liked it. I think this band is stepping up their game and can go far, so even just as a stand-in member, I’m stoked.

Renata: Well, you’re in the promo shots, so…

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Sara: Yeah, he’s part of the band! (Note: meanwhile, it seems that Daniel isn’t coming back and Andreas was made full-time member of Through The Cracks).

Renata: And how’s the songwriting process? Everybody’s involved or Jimmy’s the big boss?

Niklas: The thing is that Jimmy works like two hours a day… (everybody laughs) No, I’m joking, but he has more free time than the rest of us and so he sits down and works on the songs. But that’s cool ‘cause he has great ideas and records many great songs. Then he sends them to the rest of us and we let Sara take on the lyrics and the melodies, but we all add a little something to the process, we all have a saying in it.

Sara: Jimmy isn’t a dictator. (grins)

Renata: And how do you write the lyrics, Sara? You think of a theme you want to approach and you adapt it to the song, or it’s the song that inspires the lyrics?

Sara: The latter. When Jimmy sends his stuff over, I try to figure out some fitting lyrics to that melody, to that vibe. If it’s a sad song it’s got sad lyrics, if it’s an angry song, I’ll write about something that makes me mad…

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Jimmy (joking): She writes angry songs about meatballs. (everybody laughs)

Sara: I write songs about Jimmy being a dork. (grins) But my dad actually said to my mom that if “Mother” was about her, then “Hateful Things” had to be about him. (laughs) But he was joking.

Renata: And favorite songs? Which is your favorite?

Sara, Jimmy and Andreas: “Soulless Man”!

Niklas: Yeah, the new song is good, but my favorite is “Learn To Run”.

Sara: That’s because you sing on it!

Niklas: No, it’s not because of that! I really think that that song has something more than the others, much more spirit in it.

Sara: Well, one of the reasons I prefer “Soulless Man” it’s because it’s challenging to sing it. It’s not hard but it gives me the chance to show a side of my voice that I really like to use, that it’s fun to use.

Renata: And when will we be able to hear this new song?

Niklas: Well, you’re going to hear it tonight (grins). We’ll release it as a single this autumn. Then after the New Year we should return to the studio. We haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be an EP or a full album; we’ll see how many songs we come up with. But we’ll be working on it and we’ll be posting updates on Facebook, so stay tuned.

Renata: Jimmy, Through The Cracks is your baby. When you started it out a little over a year ago, did you think this is where you’d be today?

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Niklas: Did you think you’d have me in your band? (everybody laughs)

Jimmy: No, to be honest no. Through The Cracks started as a ballad project, with lots of string arrangements. But I like heavier songs and I think that now we have a great mix of both, so we’re going in the right direction. Our new song, for instance. “Soulless Man” is groovy, has more riffing and not so many back tracks. That’s what I want for Through The Cracks now.

Renata: And expectations for tonight?

Jimmy (quoting The End Of Grace): World domination! (everybody laughs)

Sara: That nobody fucks up. And that there will be a lot of people coming to see us. This is my first gig outside of Stockholm so I’m a bit nervous but also excited for having new faces seeing me. I hope they see us and think “look at them, what a cool band!”. I hope they’ll like us.

Renata: I’m sure they will. Thanks again for this little chat and see you in a couple of hours, on stage!

Through The Cracks: Thanks for your support!

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

We Are The Catalyst w/ Through The Cracks – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , on 13th September 2015 by Pieni

We Are The Catalyst, Through The Cracks
Klubb Defused, Gothenburg
4th September 2015
Promoted by Kriss Clark/Klubb Defused

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After rating their debut EP, “Hateful Things”, 5/5 (read here), I wanted to see if Through The Cracks could match it up live. They can.

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In support of We Are The Catalyst, Through The Cracks took the stage for the first time last weekend, at Klubb Defused/Sticky Fingers, in Gothenburg. It was precisely the title-track of their EP that kicked off the show, the first notes extended and revamped to form an intro. The crowd didn’t stand that close to the stage, which disappointed me a bit, but every time I glanced back, they were moving their bodies to the rhythm, and would cheer loudly at the end of every song – so the distance, in this case, wasn’t a bad sign after all. All members of the band were quite restless themselves, Jimmy (guitar) and Niklas (bass) even synch-jumping at some point, and Sara headbanging that red hair of hers, as beautiful as her voice, never going out of tune once, not even at the highest notes. After the songs from the aforementioned EP, they closed the gig with a thrilling new song, “Soulless Man”, that follows the heavier path Through The Cracks have announced wanting to ride on. “Soulless Man” should be released as a single this fall.

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We Are The Catalyst were more popular among the crowd, as they’ve been around for about three years now and have a longer discography – an EP from 2013, “Panem et Circenses”, and a full-length from last year, “Monuments”. There was even a group of what seemed to be die-hard fans (and probably friends) of bass player Joni, as they kept screaming his name. But friendships apart, the band’s good, really good. They play alternative rock, just like their support act, and also have a girl – Cat – as lead singer; but guitarist Kenny take a big part in the singing, and the combination of both is quite powerful. Songs such as “Never Fall”, “Not Alone”, the catchy “Fight For Air” and the brilliant cover of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” kept everybody in high spirits.

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In a nutshell, I had a blast: witnessed the live premiere of a promising act, and got to know another dynamic rock band. My trips to Sweden always pay off.

Text & photos: Renata “Pieni” Lino

Nightrage: new album with new singer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 25th February 2015 by Pieni

Four years after “Insidious”, death metal act Nightrage is back with a new album, recorded with a new singer in a new studio, and to be released under a new label – Ronnie Nyman (from Swedish hardcore band Always War) gives voics to “The Puritan”, that shall hit the stores on April 24th, via Despotz Records. Artwork and track listing below:

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1. The Puritan
2. With a Blade of a Knife
3. Desperate Vows
4. Endless Night
5. Foul Vile Life
6. Stare into Infinity
7. Lone Lake
8. Son of Sorrow
9. When Gold Turns to Rust
10. Fathomless
11. Kiss of a Sycophant

‘The Puritan’ is an uncompromising, dramatic and melodic death metal journey in its purest form. Eleven tracks crammed with brutal riffs, unforgettable hooks and the biggest production on any Nightrage release. Trends come and go but Nightrage always deliver!”

Despite announce new bass player

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23rd January 2015 by Pieni

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After enrolling Zoran Panovic last month for the third guitar, prog/melodeath metallers Despite have now announced Anthony Cui as their new bass player, replacing Mathias “Matte D” Dagerhed, who left the band in November due to lack of time and other personal reasons. With the line-up complete, the band from Gothenburg, Sweden, is ready to hit road, while writing the follow-up to their latest EP “Epic”.

Says singer Peter Tuthill: “It feels absolutely killer to have Anthony on board! I had a gut feeling about him right from the get go, and I’m positive he will be a fresh blood injection into the veins of Despite.”

As for the man himself, he claims: Despite is a killer ride and I’m absolutely stoked to be on board. Home is where the gut tells you it is, and thanks to Despite‘s warm welcome I know where I’ll be. The future is NOW!”

“Epic” was released in January 2014 and in November the band brought to light the single “Chaos Trigger”:

In Flames – Siren Charms

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 4th September 2014 by Pieni

In Flames
“Siren Charms”
Melodic Metal
To be released on 5th September 2014
Via Epic Records

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A smile lit up on my face when I heard that In Flames would release a new album. That smile still glowed when the first single “Rusted Nail” was available. Not a spectacular track but good enough – the guitar licks in the intro flow pretty easily through your ears; Fridén’s vocal tone – mainly clean but harsher here and there and backed by occasional screams – sounds quite pleasant; an exquisite bridge preceding the first chorus, and the catchy melody of the latter…  There’s something standard in the riffing, though, hence the “not a spectacular track”.

Then the aforementioned smile got wider with the release of “Through Oblivion”, a melancholic song, almost depressive, that stirred something in the darkest side of me.

But then I listened to the whole album and the smile faded, almost completely. We already knew the “melodic” was growing stronger and the “death” was dimming, so it isn’t a big surprise that “Everything’s Gone” is the only true heavy song in “Siren Charms”. What disappoints me is that it’s not a very good song. The heaviness of “When The World Explodes” is better, but the softer parts are weak, not because they’re, well, soft and slow, but because they don’t seem to have any spirit in them. This one features soprano Emilia Feldt, who has a beautiful voice but doesn’t help this track at all. Weren’t sirens supposed to have an enthralling vivid chant? Feldt uses a very languid tone here.

Also “Paralyzed” and “Dead Eyes” make justice to their titles, being quite dull tracks. “With Eyes Wide Open” is a nice ballad, though, and “Filtered Truth” has a rock-ish vibe, a lively sound that’s refreshing to hear in the end.

The production is amazing, but something’s missing in “the whole musical picture”. And it’s not the more melodic approach that bothers me. It’s its lack of ability to embrace my senses and leave a positive remark.

3 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Göteborg Metal Fest – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2014 by Pieni

Lost Seconds + Chasing Neverland + BatAAr + The End Of Grace
Valand, Gothenburg
25th July 2014

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Göteborg Metal Fest was this really cool event that took place last Friday. Well, cool in the sense of “awesome”, because the literal meaning, regarding temperature… dear Lord! As The End Of Grace-Kriss would later say, “it was like playing in a sauna”.

The original line-up included A Silent Escape and pointed BatAAr as the headliners. But about a week prior to the show, The End Of Grace were announced as the headliners and A Silent Escape’s name erased, just like that. No one gave an explanation for these changes and I didn’t ask for any either – I don’t know A Silent Escape well enough to be bummed by their cancellation, and as you probably know by now, TEoG is one of my favorite bands and so I was stoked to see them topping the bill. Even if just for “prestige” sake, as every band played exactly the same time (half an hour).

I got delayed and almost missed the first band, Lost Seconds (sorry guys). So I’m not very comfortable in saying that I wasn’t impressed with them, as I’ve only seen the two last songs. Especially because I was now listening to them on Spotify and they sound good enough (“Broken” and “Forgotten” particularly standing out). It just seemed they needed a little bit more of attitude – the passion’s there, they just have to let it flow outwards. (3,5 / 5)

Lost Seconds on Facebook

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Chasing Neverland, on the other hand, got on stage like they owned it. A solid discharge of anger, with a handful of fans backing it up loudly. Their debut album “Dissonance In Harmony” was released early this year, I think, and songs such as “Hollow Eyes” (for which there’s a video), “Two Birds One Stone” and “Treat Her Right” seem to be quite popular. The latter is barely one minute and a half long but in this show it lasted a lot more than that, the chorus being sung over and over again by the crowd – let’s face it, “treat her like a princess, fuck her like a porn star” has a catchy ring to it… (5 / 5)

Chasing Neverland on Facebook

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Last year, at Rockbitch Boat, I was advised to see BatAAr’s show. I ended up not following that advice and when I checked them out later on, I was really pissed at myself. So I was more than happy for this chance to make up for that mistake. Needless to say that both the music lover and the photographer in me were enthralled by their show – despite the aforementioned heat, the bad lights and the smoke machine. They’re playing Rockbitch Boat this year once again and this time I’ll make sure to watch it and bring you a detailed report. They have a new single/video out, “Riskbreaker”, but I invite you to take a look at all their YouTube channel and listen to everything that’s up on Spotify, so you can grasp the full talent and diversity of this band. (5 / 5)

BatAAr on Facebook

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Now, what’s there to say about The End Of Grace that I haven’t said before? Oh, wait, there is something – this was their best show! And the funny thing is that the heat affected the band’s computer and some of the backtracks simply didn’t play; that Thomas wasn’t playing on his drumkit and, according to him, “some things were missing” so he wasn’t totally satisfied with his performance at the end; that, again because of the heat, Kriss’ voice was somewhat broken near the end; that they skipped one chorus in “Metal Mulisha”… But a great show doesn’t need to be technically perfect – for that, you stay home and listen to the studio recordings. A great show is all about the band’s commitment to their music and the empathy they establish with the crowd. Who, by the way, was just as amazing – there’d been lots of headbanging and a small mosh pit in Chasing Neverland, and BatAAr had some devoted fans screaming along the lyrics, but The End Of Grace got the most vigorous circles and fists in the air. Kriss covered every inch of that stage, and during “Fist Face Bleed” (that BatAAr-Seb helped singing) Jimmy jumped into the front rows, playing his guitar side-by-side a fan in a TEoG t-shirt. And since they improvised well enough to make up for the little slips I pointed out, which also takes skill, I say it again without second thoughts – best TEoG show I’ve seen so far. (5 / 5)

The End Of Grace on Facebook

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Dead By April w/ support – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 20th February 2014 by Pieni

Dead By April, Seventribe, The End Of Grace
Sticky Fingers/Klubb Defused, Gothenburg
14th February 2014

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With the release of their third full-length album, Dead By April threw a release party – read “concert” – in one of the most famous venues in their hometown. The End Of Grace and Seventribe had already announced a gig there on the same date, although on a different stage (Sticky Fingers has a middle and a top floor stage), so I guess having those two bands as support was a matter of chance, not a plan. Personally, I was more than happy with that line-up.

Despite merging the events, The End Of Grace and Seventribe still performed in the middle floor (Klubb Defused), which was wise. Let’s face it – no matter how amazing they both are, it was DBA’s night and the majority of their pop-metal fans isn’t exactly keen on fierce metalcore. So it’s better to play on a smaller stage in a smaller room that will fill up easily, than in a bigger stage where the room would be almost empty.

Being the younger band (they were formed in late 2012), TEoG played first. They’ve been gathering a solid fan base – me included – since the very beginning and especially after the release of the “Lost In Transition” EP, so there was a considerable number of people singing along the choruses. The rest of the crowd seemed to surrender to the band’s sound and vigour, as when I looked around, everyone was either headbanging or smiling approvingly.
They played the aforementioned 5-track EP, kicking off with “Betrayer” and ending with the title-track, and in-between presented us with a new song which will be released as single on 28th February – punchy riffing and with a catchier-than-ever chorus, “Beneath The Waves” has everything to be a hit.
As in their first live gig, at Rockbitch Boat last November, Sebastian from Bataar got on stage to sing the Swedish verses in “Fist Face Bleed” – and spike the people in the front row with a beer shower… Speaking of that first show, TEoG have only played two more between that and this one but you could see a major difference in their self-confidence. I know that despite the Plexiglas cage in which the drum kit was set, this stage was still bigger and allowed them to move around, which didn’t happen at Rockbitch Boat. But it was more than that. Their performance was thicker, more intense. And even though there wasn’t a killer mosh pit, the response was great, which must have had a special meaning to singer Kriss, as he’s been working as a promoter there at Klubb Defused for over a year. [5 / 5]

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I was glad of finally having the chance to see Seventribe live. I’m a subscriber of Sweden Rock Magazine, and when they won the Released, Live and Unsigned contest and got to play at Sweden Rock Festival 2011, the single “Dream Me” came with the magazine and completely won me over. But that was it – I totally lost track of them afterwards. Well that won’t happen again.
I’d seen live videos of them, but even if I hadn’t, when a metalcore band gets on stage wearing some kind of school Summer uniform where the shirt is pink, you just know that something wicked is coming your way. Even if someone is missing. Seventribe is an eight-piece but I only counted seven members. I don’t know what happened, and I hope one day I can see the full line-up in action, but maybe it was for the best – things were pretty crammed up there already. Still, they managed to jump and headbang and dance and whatever, without bumping into each other or missing a note. Eventually, near the end, two of them hopped into the middle of the crowd and played from there.
As I’ve said before, I’d lost track of them and only when I learnt they would play a couple of shows with The End Of Grace did I remember of checking what they’ve been up to since that single on Sweden Rock. Well, a new EP, “Reborn”, had been released last year, and even if I really enjoyed it, I confess I didn’t memorize the songs, except for “Be Reborn”. I can tell you for sure that they played that one, as I was humming along the melody, but can’t tell you much more about the setlist (apart from the mandatory “Dream Me”). There’s a video for “Takedown Syndrome” and a recent lyric one for “The Aftermath”, and “Wings Of Belief” is their most played song on Spotify, so maybe these were some of the songs played that night. Whatever those were, they were loud, aggressive, a total adrenaline discharge. [5 / 5]

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As expected, the top floor of Sticky Fingers was crowded. I tried to get close to the stage but quickly gave up – the first three or four rows were already packed with eager fans. So if I was disappointed when Dead By April didn’t play more than 45 minutes, I can only imagine how those fans must have felt. But at the same time… to say I’m unimpressed with “Let The World Know” is quite an understatement. That’s why I haven’t written the review about it yet, as it’s taking me quite a while to process it and find the right words in order to be fair. It’s not that it’s a terrible album, but… Let’s just say I was glad that this release party didn’t include the entire track-list and that old songs such as “Losing You” or “Within My Heart” were strategically played here and there.
This was also the first full show of Marcus Rosell as the new drummer. Marcus has played with DBA several times in the past, as a stand-in drummer for Alex Svenningsson whenever he needed to step out of some gig. But now that Alex has left for good, it was only natural that Marcus’ role would become permanent. So natural that there wasn’t even an official announcement. It took the video for “As A Butterfly”, where Marcus is featured, for the fans to realize the new line-up change. Alex would recently confirm his departure on his own Facebook page, but since main songwriter Pontus Hjelm is still on board and Marcus’ face is already familiar to the fans anyway, there shouldn’t be any fuss about this.
The intro of “Beautiful Nightmare”, the first track in the new album, echoed and thrilled screams followed suit. Truth be told – even if I’m still struggling with the new songs, DBA are all about emotions and put their full hearts in their performance and establish an empathy (no pun intended regarding their song with the same name) with the audience, which are essential features in a great live show. And that’s what this was – short but great. [4,5 / 5]

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Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Robert Åkerlund becomes permanent member of The End Of Grace

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 31st December 2013 by Pieni

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The End Of Grace finish 2013 announcing that Robert Åkerlund is now a permanent member of the band. Original guitarist Sulan Von Zoomlander had some personal affairs to take care of that prevented him to play TEoG‘s debut live performance at Rockbitch Boat and its follow-up at Göta Källare. Robert, who had played in Road To Repent along guitarist Jimmy Bergman and bassist/clean singer Johan Hagman, was called to fill in. Now that Sulan is leaving for good, Robert is the undoubtful perfect choice.

Quoting drummer Thomas Manell in the interview which Valkyrian did with the band last month, » One thing I can say about Robert is you can really tell that they’ve played together before. It’s a thing of magic. It’s like kindergarten all over.« Johan added: » Robert’s a great guitar player and he can feel the rhythm like Sulan does. «

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BatAAr release new video

Posted in News with tags , , , on 1st December 2013 by Pieni

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BatAAr is a band from Gothenburg (Sweden) who’s constantly renewing their sound and adding all kinds of elements to it. This means it’s kind of hard to define their genre, so they came up with their own – “Art Metal”.

They have just released a new video for the song “The Distance”:

BatAAr online:

Interview with The End Of Grace

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 13th November 2013 by Pieni

You’ve probably seen some of our posts about a Swedish new band called The End Of Grace. With roughly a year of existence, an extraordinary EP was released last month and this weekend they finally had their live debut. Perfect time for Renata to meet up with some of the boys and have a little chat with them.

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Renata: Hello boys. Thanks for taking some time to talk to me. My first question is something I’ve been wanting to ask you since the band was formed… Why is The End Of Grace a Gothenburg band when the majority of the band lives in the Stockholm area? What’s so special about that city?

Jimmy (Bergman, guitars): Gothenburg scene is bigger than Stockholm’s…
Johan (Hagman, clean vocals/bass): I don’t agree with that. It used to be bigger. The metal scene in Gothenburg used to be “the shit”, the “Gothenburg sound”. There was In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates… But five years ago or so, the underground bands from Västerås, Eskilstuna… they started to pop up and the underground scene got bigger around here. Adept is one of them, coming from Trosa, near Södertälje, near Stockholm. So I don’t agree ‘cause Gothenburg has a lot of great bands but I’m not sure if the scene is better than in the rest of the country.

Renata: So now you’re going to change your location?

Jimmy: Yeah, I think we’re changing it to Stockholm/Gothenburg.
Johan: Anyways, who the fuck cares where we’re from? I don’t give a fuck. (laughs)
Thomas (Manell, drums): I say Småland. (more laughs)

Renata: Yes, it doesn’t matter, but I was curious because until recently, only Kriss (Panic, vocals) lived there and yet your Facebook page says you’re from Gothenburg.

Johan: I guess it had something to do with them travelling to Gothenburg when they started out, as Jimmie Strimmel (former singer) lived there.
Jimmy: Yes, we were going there when we made the page so we adopted Gothenburg.
Johan: And people around the world know the Gothenburg sound, so when you say “Sweden, Gothenburg” it means that okay, this is a great sounding band… (laughs)

Renata: you’re a metalcore band, but you have your own special “genre”… how did “deathcore popcorn” come up?

Johan : Ha ha ha!
Thomas: Oh Lord…
Jimmy (smiling): Yeah, that was me again.
Thomas: It’s always you!
Jimmy:  We have a thing like a pop band…
Johan: It came up during the recordings, while Jimmy was playing around. Since Kriss has a deathcore background and… I didn’t do the choruses in the first four songs but for “Lost In Transition” it was me who wrote the chorus on the spot, in the studio room, and i made it really poppy.
Thomas: Along with me!
Johan: Yes, but you did the uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh and I did the chorus. It doesn’t matter. It’s all great.
Thomas: It’s all gay!
Johan: In our old band (Johan and Jimmy played together before, in Road To Repent) we’ve always said that we wanted poppy choruses. Not because we want people to like it but because WE like it. It gives the music another dynamic. And that’s why it’s hardcore / deathcore / pop…
Jimmy: CORN!
Johan: Yeah, deathcore popcorn!

Renata: Thomas, you joined TEoG by the end of March, replacing Marcus Rosell, but I know that you were Sulan (Von Zoomlander, guitar) and Jimmy’s first choice. They’ve asked you a few times but you refused. What made you change your mind?

Thomas: That’s a really good question.
Johan: He likes the tail! Ha ha ha!
Thomas: What can I say? I really wanted to give it a try, you know? This is a genre that I’ve never played before and I’m all about developing as a musician. To me that’s what music is all about. So if I can become a better metalcore drummer, that’s all good. And the fact that Jimmy buttered everything up and said that “hey, we’re going to play this stadium and this stadium and you’re going to get laid like every hour…” so I was like yeah, okay, shit, I’ll be there!  photo _DSC0713_zps8e7d3250.jpg
Johan: I’ve heard that before! He said the same thing to me.
Thomas: But seriously, I love working with Jimmy. He’s a great guy and he writes good music. And I’m really happy that I met Johan and Kriss and Sulan… and now Robert (Åkerlund, live musician temporarily replacing Sulan), as well… it’s a great group. I’m really happy to be working with these guys. ‘Cause that’s what music is – a team effort.

Renata: And you, Johan. You’ve joined on bass but you’ve never played bass before, right?

Johan: Me, Jimmy and Robert used to play in Road To Repent and there I was just a singer. We did a lot of shit together for about three, four years. I used to play guitar in the older bands but I haven’t played an instrument for a few years. And then Jimmy called me because their bass player had stepped down. And he just asked me if I wanted to be in the band. I said, “dude, I can’t play bass. I’ve never played bass!”. And he said, “first thing, I need someone I can trust”. Okay, no problem. “I need someone that can sing”. Yeah, no problem. “And then the bass… yeah, that, well… whatever”. And I said, yeah, I can do that! As long as the bass is “whatever”! So it’s kind of a leap of faith because I have to trust in my musical talent to understand how I’m supposed to play bass. But when I look at other bass players… oooooh shit! I say I’m only here for the beer and play the bass as good as I can. And singing. It’s different, because I used to be the frontman. I don’t give a fuck about being a frontman or not, I just want to sing. That’s the baseline.
Thomas: I just want to say that when we rehearse without Kriss, Johan steps up with the microphone and the bass and he does a great job. I really enjoy watching it, as he hasn’t a bass school background, and he still plays his instrument well and is able to sing the way he sings.
Johan: You have to remember that I’ve been playing bass for 3 months
Thomas: So this is a music guy from deep down in his bones!
Johan: Thank you Queen!

Renata: Even before “Lost In Transition” was released, you were already working on your upcoming debut album. How’s that going so far? Is everyone more involved now?

Jimmy: We are working on the album right now. We have 8 or 9 songs, actually. And yes, we’re doing it as a band.
Thomas: There are a couple of songs that I’ve listened to two years ago, old songs that Jimmy played for me when we got to know each other for the first time. And that’s coming to light now. It’s really funny, really sweet to know that I’ve listened to these songs, I really felt that this was good at the time, and now he wants to bring them into The End Of Grace.
Jimmy: Also Johan is including a more hardcore feeling into the sound.
Johan: And that’s a problem! I only love hardcore and metalcore. I like metal but what I love is hardcore / metalcore. And I’m afraid I’ll ruin the sound of The End Of Grace. That’s the thing when I work with Jimmy. We went out to his family house and we sat down for a whole day working on a song. i wrote the song on the bus there and we started recording it and he was like “fuck this, fuck this, this is shit, this is hardcore shit” all the time. And then he got to write a breakdown.  photo _DSC0900_zpsd0cc01d8.jpgThat’s the only thing he was really passionate about. He wrote other stuff but he was really passionate about this breakdown and four hours later… “dude, this is a fucking good song”. (Jimmy laughs). “Yeah, I’ve been telling you!”. But that’s the problem! They wrote four or five or whatever songs two years ago, they had a song in mind and then I get in and mix it up with hardcore sounds and I’m just afraid of ruining the sound. Hopefully I won’t ‘cause Jimmy’s always there spoiling my shit. (Thomas and Jimmy laugh) So I think we’ll find something halfway.

Renata: You’re adding a new element; I don’t think you’re ruining the sound, you’re making it richer, more unique.

Johan: We keep focused on that. As far as we know, there’s no real band in Sweden right now using the deathcore vocals and then doing the really really REALLY poppy choruses. Because you have Betraying The Martyrs and some things like it from other countries but in Sweden I haven’t heard any band that sounds like we do. Because we have this kind of happy riffing, this kind of happy breakdowns… I can’t explain it. But yeah, we’ve got some shit. A lot of shit. (laughs)
Jimmy: I have to say that it’s a lot more fun to write it all with these two guys and not just alone or with Sulan.
Johan: it’s more fun when we’re all on top of it. we can send our stuff to Sulan, because he’s living in Hindås now, instead of them doing it together. It’s more fun getting  the input of everyone. Even if he (points at Thomas) hates my punk intros. Fuck you! (everybody laugh)
Thomas: Since Johan joined the band Jimmy’s like a little kid on Christmas Eve when it comes to writing and creating. Everything is exciting and I think these two are a great combo and they’re bringing it to the group. Jimmy has a lot of drum ideas for the songs but I try to make them some sort of my own. But since I’m not a metalcore drummer, I try to maintain whatever ideas he has and just make a twist or something with what I’ve got.

Renata: I’ve noticed it in the EP, in comparison to the first recordings with Marcus. (Read review here)

Thomas: Yes, like the end of “Betrayer”. I’m more of a groovy drummer. I’m not that typical metalcore drummer that just keeps on hammering. I want to keep the beat. I really think the working combination between Jimmy and Johan is going to make The End Of Grace come to a whole new level. In a good way.
Johan: Hopefully… Well, the thing about him being “like a kid on Christmas” is about trust. He knows he can trust me. I will tell him when it’s fucking shit. And I will say when I see something that’s good and he will tell me… well, no, he will not tell me. He will be like this (crosses his arms and looks sideways). And I know him, ‘cause we’ve been playing for years, along with Robert. We know each other that well. I can tell when he doesn’t like something.
Jimmy: I stay quiet.
Johan: Yeah, he will shut up, that’s how he reacts.
Thomas: One thing I can say about Robert filling in for Sulan is you can really tell that they’ve played together before. It’s a thing of magic. It’s like kindergarten all over.
Johan: you have to keep in mind that we’ve played for so long and didn’t have a gig for one year and a half. In Road To Repent we were taking a step back, considering our sound. We wanted to go more metalcore, more like The End Of Grace but not The End Of Grace and so we didn’t have a gig for a year and a half or so in that band. So when we got together last night, it wasn’t just the first gig of The End Of Grace but also the first gig that Robert does in all this time. Last night was insane because it was like old times for us. For now it’s three parts of Road To Repent in this band. it feels weird but good. And we really appreciate that he could step in. We can’t wait for Sulan to get back , but we know that Robert’s a great guitar player and he can feel the rhythm like Sulan does.
Thomas: We miss Sulan in the group because of what he always brings but Robert does a really great job for the moment. That’s the thing with The End Of Grace – we always get by. The music comes first.

Renata: You’ve been talking about a video for ages. Is the idea still on? And I’ve heard that maybe it wouldn’t be for “Metal Mulisha” after all…

Jimmy: We’ve been thinking of maybe doing “Fist Face Bleed” if Martin (Westerstrand, from Lillasyster, guest vocalist on this track) can join us. If not,“Lost In Transition”.
Johan: It’s all a matter of budget. We were talking to Robert from Adept and discussing their videos and our videos and he told us it’s fucking expensive. I’m not sure that’s a number we can talk about, really. We’ll do it when we can do it good. We don’t want to put up shit on YouTube. It’s better to just post videos of us because poorly made videos… nah, not good enough.

Renata: You’ve played Rockbitch Boat yesterday, you have another gig in  Göta Källare next Saturday… Can the fans expect a tour or you’ll continue to play random shows for now?

Jimmy: We are working on something but it’s not 100% confirmed, nothing we can discuss at the moment.
Johan: Of course we want to get out there, so stay tuned.

Renata: The gig yesterday was The End Of Grace’s first ever. What did you think of it? Did it meet your expectations?

Jimmy: It was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!  photo _DSC0823_zps1a5d4734.jpg
Johan: It was awesome to see people we don’t know down there. That’s what I care about. That was kind of a warm up for us. It was the first time we were together, the five of us.
Jimmy: We’ve never practiced all together before that.
Johan: Never. That was our first practice yesterday. We were expecting less. That’s what warms our hearts. There were kids there that none of us knows. The first thing when I got off stage was that I was stopped by two kids that no one in the band has ever seen and go “dude, that was fucking sick!”. And then I went five steps and I met another dude, “dude, that was fucking sick! I’ll see you in the next gig”. So it was above all our expectations.

Renata: And Sebastian from BatAAr, who got on stage to sing “Fist Face Bleed”? How did that come about?

Jimmy: That’s a Kriss question.
Thomas: Kriss knows a lot of people and he played a couple of artists for us to choose from. We chose Sebastian because he resembled Martin and could maintain the tone and energy that Martin brings to the song. Sebastian is the best choice, definitely. And I’ve never met the guy, so after having him up on stage was like “okay, I officially love this guy!”. He was just all over the place, Then we met him after the show, had a couple of beers and get along very well. So I think it’s a thing we will maintain.
Johan: He’s an awesome dude. And BatAAr, his band, has been around the Swedish scene for a long time. They are a big band, especially in Japan, so it’s kind of an honor to have him jumping in and he being so psyched about it. It was really cool.

Renata: And still speaking of Rockbitch Boat, they used precisely “Fist Face Bleed” for the trailer of the event. Is there anything else where you’d like to see your music as soundtrack?

Jimmy: Fäbodjäntan! (famous Swedish porn movie)
Johan: Because I’m a gamer, I would love to have our music in a game but I don’t know if it works… Maybe in a Battlefield-ish story, a game of intense action. I would love that, but I’m not sure. I don’t think it fits in a movie either, but if it would, cool. If they did another “Die Hard” with a young John McClane
Thomas: “Married… with Children Reunion”! That would be fucking awesome! (starts singing the chorus of “Lost In Transition”)

Renata: The last verse of “Metal Mulisha” is “world domination”. Is that the goal for your music?

Jimmy: Yes, yes, YES!
Johan: I think that’s how you should think. When you dream about being a rock star when you’re a kid, you dream about being in a stadium tour. Being a rock star isn’t going around in a fucking small Toyota through Sweden, spending more than you earn. That’s not what you dream about, that’s not what we have in mind. Well, we have the music in mind, of course, but playing in stadiums, that’s world domination.

Renata: And I really hope you achieve it. Thank you once again and keep up the good work!

TEoG online:
Official Facebook

Windhand: new song available for streaming & European tour announced for November

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 22nd August 2013 by Pieni

 photo WHAND_zpsd535dc26.jpg

Richmond’s psychadelic doom band Windhand are about to release their second full-length album, “Soma”, and decided to show the world its first track by making it available on Soundcloud. The song is called “Orchard” and it’s streaming on this location. As for the album, it’s set to hit the stores on the 16th of September, although the fans in Germany and Benelux will be able to get it three days before, and the Americans one day later. One can also pre-order it at Relapse Records store here.

In order to promote “Soma”. which was recorded and mixed by the band’s own guitarist Garrett Morris, the band will embark on an European tour in November, along with their friends in Pilgrim. The dates/locations are as follows:

Nov 01 Gent Belgium Charlatan (w/ Weedeater)
Nov 02 Venlo, Netherlands Mudfest
Nov 05 Manchester UK Star & Garter
Nov 06 London UK Our Black Heart
Nov 08 Barcelona, Spain Rocksound
Nov 09 Madrid Spain Rock & Pop
Nov 10 Bilbao Spain Sentinel Rock Bar
Nov 15 Aalborg Denmark 1000Fryd
Nov 16 Gothenburg, Sweden Truckstop Alaska
Nov 17 Copenhagen Denmark KB18
Nov 18 Hamburg Germany Rote Flora
Nov 19 Berlin Germany Cassiopeia
Nov 20 Leipzig Germany Zoro
Nov 21 Vienna, Austria Arena
Nov 22 Gunzburg, Germany Donaustubel
Nov 23 Cologne, Germany MTC
Nov 24 Amsterdam, Netherlands OCCII


Sabaton reveal formats for Swedish Empire Live and cover artwork

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 31st July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Sabaton – the stars of Sweden’s heavy metal scene – have recently revealed not only the cover art for their upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray live release Swedish Empire Live but also the list of formats it will be released as plus tracklisting.

Swedish Empire Live – which is the band’s first ever DVD/Blu-Ray release – features their stunning performance at the renowned Woodstock Festival in Poland last year where over half a million had gathered to watch Sabaton. Besides that overwhelming main feature, Swedish Empire Live will also feature footage of Sabaton performances in London, Gothenburg and Oberhausen on their extensive Swedish Empire Tour.

Swedish Empire Live will be released on September 23rd, 2013 and will be available as:

2Blu-Ray Digi
2DVD Digi
CD Digi
2LP (limited black vinyl in gatefold + poster)
(2Blu-Ray + 2DVD + CD + exclusive bonus CD, 48 pages Earbook)

Sabaton online:


Rival Sons announce limited edition Record Store Day UK vinyl

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 11th March 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Rival Sons have revealed that they will once again be offering a limited edition vinyl release for this year’s Record Store Day in the UK and Europe, which takes place on Saturday, April 20th.

Founded in 2007 and officially kicked off in 2008 by Metallica, Record Store Day takes place on the third Saturday of every April and brings together artists and independently-owned record stores around the world to celebrate the art of music.  Special vinyl and CD released and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and sold in independent stores.

To celebrate Record Store Day UK 2013, Earache Records and Rival Sons will be releasing an exclusive 10″ vinyl picture disc, strictly limited to 1000 copies.  The picture disc will feature the following tracks:

01. Manifest Destiny Pt. 1 (Live in Gothenburg)
01. Manifest Destiny Pt. 2 (Acoustic Version)
02. Nava (Full Length Version)

Rival Sons guitarist Scott Holiday comments: “As we’ve talked about quite often, all the band are big vinyl junkies.  Travelling all over the globe, it’s exciting to see how many people around the world are becoming enlivened by this vinyl trend – as they should!  Vinyl is finding its place once again and improving the way we listen to and enjoy music.  Living in the digital age, we’ve begun to realize how much quality and sonic experience we sacrifice for convenience, and how much is gained from hearing a recording sounding closer to the product we (as musicians and recording artists) intended to be enjoyed.  That said, we’re always excited to deliver something cool for Record Store Day, and this one coming up is one of my personal favorites.” He continues: “With all the response we’ve received for the Manifest Destiny tracks, we’ve decided to offer up something special: a very limited run on 10″ dual-sided picture vinyl… Side A will be an inspired live version of Manifest Destiny Pt. 1, live from Gothenburg, Sweden, recorded on our last European tour, playing to a sold out theatre of very excited Swedes!  Side B will be an acoustic interpretation of Manifest Destiny Pt. 2, mixing our love for Eastern and Native Indian flavors.  Side B will also present the full length arrangement for my instrumental tune, Nava. What more could there be, you ask?!  Well, we had a friend of ours create comic book style covers for the front and back of the jacket.  The front depicting Pt. 1 and the back depicting Pt. 2.  This release is very close to my heart, and something I think our fans will really dig.  Limited to only 1000 copies… So get ’em while the gettin’s gettin’!

For more information and to see which stores are participating in Record Store Day UK, head to this location.

A small quantity of RIVAL SONS Record Store Day picture discs will also be released on April 20th via the Earache Webstore.  Get your copy on the day in Europe at this location or get the import in North America at this location.

See Rival Sons on tour in Europe at the following shows:
Mar. 22 – Bonn, Germany – Harmonie (WDR Rockpalast)
Mar. 23 – Aarhus, Denmark – Vox Hall
Mar. 24 – Malmo, Sweden – Malmo KB
Mar. 25 – Linkoping, Sweden – Linkoping Garden
Mar. 26 – Uppsala, Sweden – Uppsala Katalin
Mar. 28 – Hamburg, Germany – Mojo
Mar. 29 – Frankfurt, Germany – Zoom
Mar. 30 – Paris, France – Le Trabendo
Apr. 01 – Zurich, Switzerland – Komplex
Apr. 02 – Lyon, France – Ninkasi Kao
Apr. 04 – Treviso, Italy – New Age
Apr. 05 – Bologna, Italy – ZR
Apr. 06 – Arles, France – Cargo de Nuit
Apr. 08 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli
Apr. 09 – London, UK – Shepherds Bush Empire
Apr. 10 – Cardiff, UK – Solus
Apr. 11 – Birmingham, UK – Institute
Apr. 13 – Leeds, UK – Leeds Metropolitan University
Apr. 14 – Edinburgh, UK – Picture House
Apr. 15 – Preston, UK – 53 Degrees
Apr. 16 – Cambridge, UK – Junction

Rival Sons‘ new album, Head Down, is out now in Europe on CD and limited edition vinyl at this location and on iTunes at this lcoation.

Head Down is due to be released in the USA on March 19th via Century Media/Earache Records.


Rival Sons’ Keep On Swinging video premiers on VEVO

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 6th September 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Rival Sons have premiered their brand new music video for the track Keep On Swinging (#KeepOnSwinging) on the front page of VEVO.

Keep On Swinging is the first single from the band’s highly-anticipated new album, Head Down.  The band once again worked with director Greg Ephraim, who also shot the band’s music videos for Pressure and Time and All Over the Road.

Watch the video for Keep On Swinging now on VEVO’s front page carousel, or go directly to the video here.

For viewers in territories where VEVO is not available, the video is also available on YouTube or down below.

Rival Sons frontman Jay Buchanan comments “Shooting the video for Keep On Swinging was a pleasure.  Snake handling while wailing to a congregation in an old church is pretty high up there on the list of odd ways to pass the time.  Excuse me while I go to hell.

Rival Sons drummer Michael Miley adds “We recently returned from an exciting expedition; it was an adventure.  The Spirit was moving in that room.  We were playing in a church somewhere in the South (can’t reveal exact location) and had to convince this congregation we could be a musical catalyst for the casting out of demons; we succeeded.  We had to tame snakes with our music.  There was a swarm of ravens.  A girl that was baptized was on fire!  Crazy stuff!  And it was all caught on tape…  I’m sure it will be all over the interwebs soon.  Be on the lookout…

Head Down is due to be released on September 17th, and was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Dave Cobb (Jamie Johnson, Shooter Jennings) and Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell (Jack White, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon).

The album is available to pre-order now on CD, digi-sleeve CD and limited edition audiophile vinyl.  A special stencil edition hand-made by the band themselves is also available exclusively from the Earache Webstore.  Pre-order HEAD DOWN now in Europe here or in North America here.

See Rival Sons on tour in Europe at the following shows:

Sep. 21 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
Sep. 22 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Sep. 23 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
Sep. 24 – Sheffield, UK – Corporation
Sep. 26 – Newcastle, UK – Academy 2
Sep. 27 – Glasgow, UK – Garage
Sep. 28 – Manchester, UK – Ritz
Sep. 29 – Wolverhampton, UK – Wulfrun Hall
Oct. 01 – London, UK – Electric Ballroom
Oct. 02 – Antwerp, Belgium – Trix
Oct. 03 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
Oct. 04 – Cologne, Germany – Werkstatt
Oct. 05 – Berlin, Germany – Postbahnhof
Oct. 07 – Warsaw, Poland – Hydrozagadka
Oct. 08 – Vilnius, Lithuania – New York Club
Oct. 09 – Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Cafe
Oct. 11 – Helsinki, Finland – Club Circus
Oct. 12 – Tampere, Finland – Pakkahuone Club
Oct. 13 – Oulu, Finland – Club Teatria
Oct. 15 – Stockholm Sweden – Tyrol
Oct. 16 – Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
Oct. 17 – Stavanger, Norway – Folken
Oct. 18 – Bergen, Norway – Hulen
Oct. 20 – Gothenburg, Sweden – Trädgår’n
Oct. 21 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
Oct. 22 – Hamburg, Germany – Knust
Oct. 23 – Munich, Germany – 59:1
Oct. 24 – Vienna, Austria – B72
Oct. 26 – Bern, Switzerland – Bierhubeli
Oct. 27 – Milan, Italy – Magazzini Generali
Oct. 28 – Zurich, Switzerland – Plaza
Oct. 29 – Paris, France – Nouveau Casino