Kjo of Germany's Moshpit Passion conducted an interview with frontman Björn "Speed" Strid of Swedish metallers SOILWORK prior to the band's January 11 concert at Turbinenhalle 2 in Oberhausen, Germany, alongside AMORPHIS, JINJER and NAILED TO OBSCURITY. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he feels now that the band's new "Verkligheten" studio album was just released:
Björn: "It's very exciting, obviously, [having] a new album out. People really seem to like the album so far, and [we're getting] good reviews. We're on a fantastic tour right now with AMORPHIS. It's about time."
On the album artwork for "Verkligheten":
Björn: "It has sort of to do with a little bit of escapism. The lyrical theme running through the album is very much about facing reality but also finding ways to escape. That's the symbol right now."
On how he would define "reality":
Björn: "I think we have all our own realities. That's what it is in the end. I mean, I just turned 40 and I sort of realized that I have to face reality more than ever. It was easier to escape reality when you were 25. But then again, you're facing reality, but you also need to invent new ways to escape it. And I think, obviously, music is a great tool."
On whether his '70s rock side-project THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is intended to "escape the reality of SOILWORK":
Björn: "I don't know… I feel like I have the best of both worlds. It's totally different musical expressions. I think it's something that I wanted to do for a very long time, so I feel very balanced. So I think both bands are sort of my escape, in a way."
On how he determines what is a song for THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA and SOILWORK:
Björn: "I think I sort of put on a SOILWORK hat or a NIGHT FLIGHT hat; that's sort of what happens. It's fairly easy for me to separate, and I think David [Andersson, guitar] agrees as well. It was sort of an interesting switch when we finished up THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA album. Then I just re-stringed the guitar and tuned down to B and I started recording SOILWORK stuff. It was an interesting switch, but it worked. It was a smooth transition."
On whether he considers "Verkligheten" as SOILWORK's version of METALLICA's "The Black Album":
Björn: "I don't know. It's kind of hard to say if it is. I think it's an album that has a very unique flow to it. I think it has a very beautiful sort of melodic language running through it. It sounds very Scandinavian. It's very melancholic, but so intense and dreamy, but also sort of right in your face, kind of thing."
"Verkligheten" was released January 11 via Nuclear Blast. The first-edition digipack, as well as the vinyl versions, also contain the exclusive "Underworld" EP, containing four more songs. The digipack version also features special artwork with lavish foil print.