Your new album, Unholy Saviorhas just been released (today in fact). When did you start writing it?
Around a year ago.
What’s the song writing process in the band – is it a collaborative thing or are there one or two main song writers?
Until now it’s been only Anton writing the songs, but in the future we’re definitely going to use the whole potential of this band because everybody has so many good idea. One thing I love to do as a singer and artist is lyrics, and be involved in doing the melodies and that sort of stuff. So that’s the future but until now it’s only been Anton. What I know about his writing on this album is that almost 100% of the material is new material. Usually he has a lot of ideas and maybe some already written songs in his notes, but this was a different approach. He had some kind of spiritual awakening or something like that and he’s been through some growing personally, and he’s been writing about that, so this has been like a concept album for Anton with his emotions.
The first song to be released was “Touch in the night” which I think shocked a lot of people as its so different from anything you’ve done before. Was it your choice to release this first?
Anton says that when he starts writing songs he doesnt think about how the audience will react, he just writes what he feels like. It wasn’t our decision to make it the first single, but I always stand behind everything I do, 100%, and I love the 80s stuff. It was my idea to bring the Samantha Fox kind of sound in that. I like it.
I think it widens the metal genre, not always thinking that metal should only be one kind of thing, it can be various things. I don’t see anything bad about doing different things in metal.
There have been pop elements in the previous albums, but on this album it seems to have gone a bit further than before. Listening to the vocals there seems to be a lot more variety on the album than on previous ones – the ballad style, pop style, metal vocals, screams – all on one record. Was this a deliberate thing or something that just came naturally?
That was one of our goals – to bring more variety and to use the different sounds that I have, to show I have other things in me rather than just roaring and screaming.
Presumably on tour you have to take care to protect your voice?
Yes. I don’t take alcohol at all, and just try to exercise every day and keep healthy otherwise it’s difficult. If someone on the bus has the flu or something then we all have the same air conditioning so we all get it, but so far it’s been good.
You’re on tour with Sabaton and Delain, how have the first few dates gone?
Very well. I think they’ve all been sold out, and yesterday in the Netherlands the audience was particularly good. We are the opening band and they took us very well – they didn’t disappoint at all.
You’ve got another 25 dates to play after tonight covering a large part of Europe. What are the plans for after this tour?
We’ve got some shows in Finland for our new album, then we’re going to Russia for one or two shows. We’re also planning on doing a headline tour but nothing confirmed yet. There will be a lot of festivals in the summer – just living the dream actually.
Are you enjoying touring with Sabaton and Delain?
We have a long history with Sabaton. They did a cover of our song “Out of control” and they have been very supportive, I have never seen that kind of support from a band with that kind of status before, so its awesome that they want to help us. The Delain guys are very nice too, and it’s nice that there are females on board because, sometimes you need to talk about the girl stuff and that’s not possible with guys.
I guess that if you don’t drink alcohol that leaves more for the rest of the band to drink.
I’m that “Mom” kind of person, always looking after the guys, “do you have enough of this?, do you have everything with you” and so on. Sometimes the guys forget stuff backstage so I’m always reminding them. That’s me, I love to take care of people. I take things very professionally I think, because touring is about entertaining the audience and enjoying the moment with them, I don’t need anything else.
Last time you were in London you played the Underworld which holds around 500 people, whereas tonight its over 2000, so much bigger.
Yes this is going to be awesome. Looking at the past few shows the Sabaton audeince have been great, so I’m looking forward to this one too.
Thank you very much for your time.