A multi-instrumentalist who has played keys, bass and guitars with a number of bands and artists like OPETH, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, CANDLEMASS as well as CLUTCH/BAKERTON GROUP, SWITCHBLADE and KAMCHATKA, to name but a few, Swedish musician Per Wiberg has made a living out of playing most things "heavy" for more than 30 years. His new album, "Head Without Eyes", is the result of an urge to constantly move forward artistically. Combine this with a lifetime of music addiction and record collecting and you'll get an amalgam of catchy hooks and memorable melodies layered on top of trippy sounds exploring the more experimental sides of rock music.
Impossible to categorize, but let's paint the scene. Imagine, if you will, having afternoon tea with KILLING JOKE and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, followed by a smokeout in the company of HAWKWIND and YOUNG GODS, while later being invited for a night cap with TALK TALK and SWANS. Are you with us? There's a dense doomy, sometimes dissonant vibe to the songs and together with the melodic parts it creates an interesting sense of dynamics. This is underlined by the surreal landscapes portrayed by the sometimes sinister lyrics.
Says Wiberg: "The challenge for me and something that I really wanted, was to keep things within the so-called 'pop format' with a verse and a chorus part, also on the longer songs.
"The majority of the music I've played in my life has been based on guitar riffs. But with this, I wanted to focus on moods and let the lyrics set the tone. Kind of a singer-songwriter vibe but instead of using the traditional Americana backdrop, I worked with using field recordings and noisy parts in the songs as well as some quirky arrangement ideas to give it more of a cinematic feel.
"I've always liked the yin and yangs in music, to have a very defined melody on top of something atonal or dissonant. It creates a lot of tension and in this case, it's the thread that runs through the album. This shaped the lyrics as well, as they all deal with the fear of leaving, or the fear of being left in different contexts. Little stories with a nihilistic tone…"
Per handles all instruments and vocals with the exception of drums which are played by Karl Daniel Lidén (CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, KATATONIA, SWITCHBLADE) and Lars Sköld (TIAMAT, AVATARIUM). Billie Lindahl (PROMISE AND THE MONSTER) lends her ethereal voice to "Anywhere The Blood Flows" and "Pile Of Nothing".
Says Per: "Asking Karl Daniel Lidén to mix the three songs he plays drums on was an easy choice as we share a lot of common ground when it comes to influences and sound references. Drums for the other three songs were recorded at Black Lounge Studios by Jonas Kjellgren and it was natural that he'd mix those tracks. Both guys are good company, very creative and always manage to bring something extra to the table which made the whole mixing process seem effortless to me. All other instruments and vocals I recorded at my rehearsal space during 2016 - 2017”."
"Head Without Eyes" will be released on May 10 via Despotz Records. The album's latest single, "Get Your Boots On", can be streamed below.
"Get Your Boots On' turned into more of a traditional rock song than what was originally intended, but I'm really happy with how it came out," Per says. "It's a catchy song, shorter than the rest but I'd like to think it gives the whole album more dynamics and a good balance between the dark, doomy and more adventurous stuff on there. I already had the words so this was the only song where the music was written after the lyrics. I was aiming for a KILLING JOKE/HAWKWIND vibe on the drums for this one and Lars Sköld gave the song some great energy that shines through Jonas Kjellgren's attentive mix. Enjoy!"