DARK TRANQUILLITY singer Mikael Stanne recently spoke with Portugal's LOUD! magazine about the band's upcoming album, "Character", due in Europe on January 24 and North America on January 25 via Century Media Records. The Swedish band recently released an EP, entitled "Lost to Apathy", as a teaser for the upcoming full-length. It includes four songs, a video-clip (for the title track) and a screensaver. Several excerpts from Stanne's interview with LOUD! follow:On "Lost to Apathy": "If you like that song, you'll like the rest of the album… that's at least how I feel about it. It's a good indication of where the album is leading, but… I don't know, it's something that we did with the record company just to show off the record. We were really divided on the subject, actually. All six of us got different opinions of which song we should pick for this release, so we just let the record company decide and in the end I think it's the right choice. There are also a couple of the songs on the EP that are exclusive to this release… One is a remix of a song off the album ['The Endless Feed (Chaos Seed Remix)'], we just decided to focus on the electronic elements and tried to do something different from the original version, which is more guitar-oriented. The other one ['Derivation TNB'] is actually bits and pieces of different tracks on the record… we took some melodies, give them a different treatment and came up with kind of a trailer to the album." On "Character": "The album is very diverse. There are songs that are heavier, other ones that are much more complex and a couple of others that are really fast. Overall I feel it's more varied and also much angrier, the whole thing just fells different. We wanted to make an album that wasn't that easy… We don't want people to listen to one of our records today and think it sounds great, just to forget about it two weeks later. We tried to do something that sticks with the listener, which they can explore over a long period of time. I personally haven't got tired of it yet, so I think we managed to do it pretty well — we didn't want to be too obvious with this one. It was actually kind of a conscious effort to do it this way… We love music with a progressive edge and we played around with these songs for months, worked every little detail to make it as interesting as possible [for us] to play." On the recording process: "We worked again at Studio Fredman but we did it all by ourselves, we actually didn't have a producer working with us. We fell pretty comfortable and think it's easier to do it this way; we just need a good studio and [we] were left alone for a couple of weeks. It's not a big production or anything like that… We have a pretty good idea of how the material should sound and basically just try to get the sound that we have in our rehearsal place in the studio. We spent so much time writing these songs that we didn't even feel the need to bring an outside ear to the recordings; we have plenty of different ideas between each other. Fredrik Nordström just came along in the end, to mix the tracks… And that was it. We finished it some time ago, but it still sounds fresh and everybody's totally happy with the final result." On the new record deal: "Actually we had some other offers and that was one of the reasons why the album got a bit delayed, but… We heard all these bands complaining about their labels, terrible stories about record companies and know that most of them are true. We talked to a lot of people and just decided to sign a new deal with Century Media. It's not easy to talk with someone at a big company, some of these labels try to control everything about the band and we were obviously not interested in that. We know that the people at the label are metal fans and really care about what we do, so there was no big reason to change. Thankfully we've always been really lucky with the labels we worked with and that feels really good." DARK TRANQUILLITY will be teaming up with long-running German thrashers KREATOR for the "Enemy of God Tour 2005" beginning in February 2005. Also appearing on the bill will be Hungarian hardcore/thrash metallers EKTOMORF and Danish thrashers HATESPHERE. (Thanks: José Rodrigues / LOUD!)
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