Q&A With Niklas Sandin of Katatonia
I really dig what I've heard from the new album "The Fall of Hearts", I've been a fan for over 10 years now, I like the way every album progresses and you can always expect something unique from every album. How did it go writing and recording? What is the overall theme of the album? and what were the new members Daniel Moilanen – [drums] and Roger Öjersson – [guitar] like to write with?
Niklas: That´s great and cool that you dig how the sound is progressing from album to album. I think it´s refreshing when a band doesn't release the same album over and over again, but still keeps the core sound intact. In my opinion, Katatonia has never released a record that doesn't have the significant Katatonia vibe!
Jonas and Anders was, like always, the songwriters for the new album. Me and Mojjo got to hear demo songs quite early in the making and could already then start practicing and also figure out some own things to spice it up with. After all songs were completed, we hit the studio. We where in three different studios for this album starting with "Studio Gröndahl" where David Castillo recorded Mojjo´s drum parts. After that we went down to a much more intimate studio where Karl Daniel Lidén recorded the rest. The last, but not least, studio to enter was when Jonas and Anders together with Jens Bogren did the mixing and mastering at "Fascination Street". All these steps led up to a great sounding record!
For both Jonas and Anders it unlocked some earlier boundaries, when it comes to writing drums, when Mojjo stepped in. Mojjo is a technical drummer and can pretty much play everything he put´s his mind to. Roger came in so late that he is in fact a guest musician on the album, playing kick ass solos. The ideas he came with, just to take the solo in Serac as an example, was something none in this group would have thought of. So he has put some extra color on the album, that's for sure!
I really like your last live album 'Sanctitude", will you continue to perform some of the re-imagined/unplugged songs on future shows?
Niklas: You should never say never. But there´s no plans yet to do that in the future, but damn that was a cool tour! Everybody was thrown in to this totally new situation which was everything else than safe. With Sodo and Daniel parting ways with the band, we needed to do this with two guys i´ve never met, yet played with before rehearsing the re-arranged songs. The whole thing was a challenge and when i think back at it, i´m more than proud to been a part of it. Has there been any talks yet of an upcoming Australian tour?
Niklas: Of course there has been talks about coming back to Australia. We´ve been there twice now and both times you've treated us well. First time was back in 2010 when we were a part of the "No sleep till..." festival. Other bands playing that was Megadeth and Nofx to mention a few. A couple of years later we did a support run for Opeth, which went really good. I actually thought we would return sooner and i can´t wait to go back down under! What albums are you currently listening too? What would you say are the top 5 albums you've been listening too the most over the 18 months or so?
Niklas: The most recent one that´s been spinning a lot is "Nightfall" with the legendary Swedish doom band Candlemass. This is actually an album that the Paradise Lost boys recommended to me years back when we did a tour with them and Lacuna Coil. They said that they've been influenced by that album and that i should check it out. It only took a couple of years, but now it´s polluting my air and it´s just great!
Another one is Yngwie Malmsteen's "Rising Force". I´m not into music where solo playing is put to that extreme extent, but there´s just something with his playing that catches my attention. And the songs are holding up as well!
Swedish band "Tribulation" released an record called "Children of the night" last year. That´s been on the vinyl player many times and even though it´s not as good as the previous release "The formulas of death", it´s a killer record.
Next one is the latest album by Cannibal Corpse. "The skeletal domain" is a record that doesn't leave anything to chance and it delivers that massive sound and groove significant to Cannibal Corpse.
When i now look at what i've been listening to, it´s easy to spot that it´s mainly Swedish artists, and the fifth and last mention doesn't stray from that track. That one is "Like and ever flowing stream" with Dismember. That´s an album you can listen to as much as you like, and it will never sound or feel bleak. It´s the ultimate death metal record, and i might just put a song or two from that album on as soon as i´m done with this interview haha!
Check out 'Old Heart Falls' from the new album The Fall of Hearts!