Peter Wichers - Soilwork

March 18, 2005


Photo Credit: www.nuclearblastusa.com

You guys started out in '97 with four guys and spread out to six. Tell me a bit about the band.

The main founders of the band would be me and Bjorn the singer right now. There was also a guy called Jimmy Persson and a guy called Matthias Nilsson. We started out in '97. We were actually a different band before that called Inferior Breed in '95. We did two records for a record label called Listenable Records and the two records were called Steelbath Suicide and The Chainheart Machine.

When you started out with four guys, what led up to developing a larger band? Did you want to do more with your music?

That was just when we started the band. Then we got more guitar players. We wanted to add a more atmospheric touch to the music so we got a keyboard player. It's actually the guy who's doing the moderation for the guestbook and all that stuff on the website now. He's our old keyboard player called Carlos Del Olmo and then we had a drummer who started playing with us called Henry Ranta and he quit recently like last album too. There are a lot of things and lineup changes going on but we've had so far three drummers and three guitar players. Everybody else like me, the bass player, and the singer have been there since the beginning.

You have the Spinal Tap syndrome.

Yeah, that's not the first time I hear that actually.

You guys have toured with bands like Hypocrisy and Killswitch Engage. You had a studio drummer named Dirk Verbeuren. Is he going to be your regular drummer or was he just on this album?

He is the session drummer for now. The door is open for him if he wants the spot. It's his. He's been working with this other band, Scarve, for such a long time and it's his baby. Therefore we don't really know if he wants to have the spot in the band or not but he's going to come out and he's going to be doing the U.S. tour for us now in April. He'll be doing the festivals and he will also be playing on Ozzfest when we play Ozzfest. We just got confirmed.

Kickass. Are you guys on the main stage or second stage?

We'll be on the second stage.

I can't wait to see that.

Yeah, that's going to be awesome.

That is my festival of the year.

We've been looking forward to that for a long time. It's going to be a lot of fun.

You guys just recently released Stabbing The Drama.

Yeah, the title reflects a little bit in what Bjorn has been going through since the last album. We had two drummers that left us and also a lot of things that have been going on in Bjorn's life. He really just wanted to put an end to all of this. He put it out on paper and he's stabbing the drama in his life and just moving on. He's a more happy and focused person now than he ever has been. That's the title. The music I think is more diverse than the previous stuff we did. We wrote a lot of the stuff more spontaneously. We didn't really think about like do we want to make an album that's more mid tempo or do we want to make a super fast one. We just wrote whatever we came up with and I think it shows on the album. It all sounds pretty good I must say.

I love the name of the album because it reminds me of all these drama queens you're surrounded by. I like how all the songs are different from one another.

Yeah, it creates a lot more interesting diversity if you're listening to an album too. You get all kinds of different songs.

There's something for everyone on it.

Yeah, definitely.

Are there some tracks on the album that are particular favorites of yours?

It changes from day to day. I think the opening track would be my ultimate favorite. I think that that one will work very well live. It's got that kind of Pantera feel to it like the verse and stuff like that. Recently my favorites have become "Nerve" and "The Crestfallen". Those two are really good.

When you guys sit down to work on a record, does everyone pretty much contribute to the record or are there certain people who do most of the writing?

Me and the singer do most of the writing but also the keyboard player and the other guitar player write some stuff as well. Everybody is allowed to write in Soilwork if they want to but usually it's me and Bjorn who end up doing most of the stuff. Actually I think "The Crestfallen" was written by the keyboard player. Those two songs are actually very, very good. We always sit down when we do a lot of songs and listen to them and see which ones we want to use for the album. It's like a democracy. Whoever votes for the song, it ends up on the record.

I thought it was cool that Rob Halford declared you guys as a band to watch for in the new metal millennium. Are you guys big Judas Priest fans?

Oh my God, Bjorn is like the biggest fan there ever has been on this planet. Heís just obsessed with them.

Then he must have died when Rob said that.

When he heard that, he shit his pants. Thatís for sure. He actually met him kind of close after that. This was actually like three years ago that he said that but he really enjoyed that comment. We all did. To be honest with you, I was also a Judas Priest fan but not to the extent as Bjorn. Heís like everything just revolves around Judas Priestís realm.

I was excited when I went to Ozzfest last year and Rob was back with the band.

Yeah, itís awesome.

The lyrical content of your album is about wanting to be rid of trouble and pierce problems and search ways out of things. It sounds like a very positive album.

It is. This is what we were always about. We're not really like a negative band or hateful lyrically and I think that Bjorn is trying to put a little bit of himself into the lyrics. That's his way of dealing with his inner demons. To get them out, he describes how he did it. He won't tell anybody the exact lyrical content of every song but I know that he tries to put as much as possible of himself into the lyrics.

A lot of people complain that metal bands are all dark and negative but some of them are very positive.

Yeah, if you come out and meet us, we're a very cheerful band to be around. We're not negative and we don't sit there and cut ourselves in the arms and talk about death and whatever. We're just guys who like to party and hang out with people and just have fun. We think that's what it's all about.

I think so too. I think music should be about fun and having a positive outlook on life. I always like to point that out in interviews so people get the idea.

Yeah, definitely.

What festivals are you guys going to be on this summer?

We're going to play Graspop in Belgium. I have a lot of festivals that haven't been confirmed yet so I can't really go out and mention those festivals but just keep track of the web page. We'll post it as soon as it gets confirmed.

Are you guys planning on doing a full tour outside of Ozzfest and the other festivals?

Oh yeah, we have do that otherwise you get bored. You can't have days off like every other day. You have to be able to play a little bit or else you go crazy.

What's your touring schedule looking like?

That's going to be two months straight touring. We've never done anything like that before. All the bands playing Ozzfest are going to be really busy. After we do Ozzfest we plan to go to Europe. We're going to need some time off after that one. After that we're probably going to go to Europe and do a headlining tour. Kind of a short one. Then we'll probably head on over to Australia and Japan. Then after that, come back to the States again to check the reaction after Ozzfest.

Any other thoughts or comments?

For all the people reading your webzine, go check out the album. We're very proud of it.

Soilwork