Metal Pigeon webzine conducted an interview with SOILWORK vocalist Björn "Speed" Strid this past Wednesday (Sept. 27) in Cardiff, U.K. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Pigeon: what is the situation with Peter's [Wichers, ex-guitarist] replacement?
Björn: Well, basically we've been trying out different guitarists since April when we did the first tour after Peter's departure. We tried one during the festival season, we have Andreas [Holma, ex-HYPOCRISY] playing with us now and we'll have another one for the U.S. tour and then we'll make a decision because the U.S. tour is going to be the last for this album.
Metal Pigeon: So the guitarist will be one of the one's that has played live?
Björn: Yep, it's down to three now.
Metal Pigeon: With Peter leaving and him being a huge part of the style of SOILWORK, do you foresee a change in that area?
Björn: Not really. I don't think we should underestimate ourselves there since we have been a part of this sound since ten years back. It's what the SOILWORK sound is all about. It's what we love. Meanwhile it's just a matter of getting from here [points to head] to the fingers basically. But, it's going great. We have a couple of new songs that sound great so…
Metal Pigeon: Are we going to hear those live?
Björn: No not yet. We thought we might as well wait before we play those songs live.
Metal Pigeon: So are you going to wait until after you've chosen the new guitarist before you start to think about the new album?
Björn: We're planning it right now. It looks like we're going to record in March and mix it in April. Get it out maybe in the summer. We don't know if that's good or not. Maybe put it out, you know, after the summer.
Metal Pigeon: SOILWORK's sound has clearly developed over the years since "The Chainheart Machine". Was this as intentional as it sounds?
Björn: Not really. I guess that everyone says that everything is so natural all the time. Whereas development for us is… we can't do it any other way. We come from [such] different backgrounds, you know? In metal and rock, hard rock, you know whatever. So, I mean everybody brought something into the band and we always tend to develop it naturally. We always want to challenge, we don't want to make that great album over and over. You know, make the same album twice? We always wanted to be a challenge and want to surprise our listeners and even ourselves sometimes. You can always tell that the basic SOILWORK trademark is there.
Metal Pigeon: How do you feel about the so-called fans that always want you to go back to the original sound with less melodic vocals?
Björn: Well I respect that if that's what they like. You know I can look back when I was a fan myself - I still am in a way but it was different back then — and you wanted them to make the same album every time but they would be pretty fed up with it after a time though. I think so! I guess they respect us for it too. We want to develop and always find a new challenge.
Metal Pigeon: What was the reason for the change in producer from Devin [Townsend]?
Björn: Devin was only cooperating on the "Natural Born Chaos" album. We kind of miss working with Devin, especially me in the way that he brought out the best of me as a singer because he's such an amazing singer himself, you know? He knows how to deal with people, in a way, so I'm looking forward to working with him again. That's what I'm going to do for the new album, with the vocals.
Metal Pigeon: Oh so he's doing the vocals, will he be producing?
Björn: No, no. He's just doing the vocals but I'm going to lock myself in with him for two weeks with the crazy professor! Hehe. So I'm sure it's going to turn out great!
Read the entire interview at www.metalpigeon.com.