Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?
Switchblade: Well… I think that it´s a good combination of doing things our own way at our own pace. And since I release our recordings on my own label, we have no outside pressure at all. And the fact that we write and play our music only for the sake of ourselves and not to please anybody else.
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music changed over the years?
Switchblade: Yeah, I remember that feeling very well. I think that the feeling is kind of similar today but it is much stronger since we write a lot longer compositions now and we´re a lot pickier and more critic when writing so the writing process is harder and therefore the rewarding feeling is greater.
Musicscan: How does Switchblade feel about having post-metal and progressive heavy sounds become the "new" thing in metal music?
Switchblade: I haven´t really thought about that much but I guess it´s all good. It could be a lot worse. If there are bands out there that use it as a formula just because it´s trendy they will probably sort them selves out pretty soon and those who do it for the love of the music will remain.
Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?
Switchblade: It´s all old elements that are re-used and twisted in to new forms and variations. I guess that evey once in a while there is a truly original band or sound born but they are very rare. I´m not complaining though cause I like a lot of older music.
Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while it stays the same for the core. How do you make sure to progress on what you are doing to keep yourself and the listeners interested?
Switchblade: Yeah, we have always had the same basic ideas with our music but have changed the form of it during the years. I guess it´s a combination of not wanting to repeat ourselves and that your musical taste changes over the years of course. And the fact that there has been 3 years between the 3 latest albums makes you think pretty different from writing each album.
Musicscan: What are you looking for in a song, and how do you know that a new Switchblade song is done and ready for recording?
Switchblade: Well, we don´t really have a ready “formula” for songwriting so it’s hard to say what we´re looking for when writing. But since we keep our focus on writing songs that we enjoy playing ourselves more than please the listener we just trust our own gut feeling. And the same things goes for how to know when a song is done, you just have to trust your inner feelings about it.
Musicscan: Do you think modern information technology will inevitably change not only the way music is listened to but also how it is written?
Switchblade: Yeah, I think we have seen results of that already even though the heavier music scene has not been hit quite as hard as other music scenes cause most people who are in to metal and heavier music wants to listen to an album as it´s intended to be listened to.
And yes, some bands/people probably write music in a different way taking advantage of all the technology available these days.
Musicscan: Do you think it is reasonable to assume that the concept of an album will soon be a thing of the past and people will solely listen to certain songs? Will the songwriting and the music change as well because of that?
Switchblade: As I said in the previous answer, I think that most fans of heavy music like doom, stoner etc still want to be able to hold the album in their hands, listen to it on good sounding stereo equipment. So that particular “scene” is probably not threatened that much by the same things as the more mainstream music business is. Or at least I hope so.
Musicscan: Right now, the harder music scene seems to go even more extreme than ever before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. In a way you did the opposite as you were focussing on the homogenous flow and the emotional intensity of your tracks. How did you go about writing your new record, and would you agree to my statement?
Switchblade: Yeah, a lot of bands want to take things to a new level and also challenge them selves and the listener I guess. But there are of course bands who take thins to an extreme just for the sake of it and not for the sake of making the music more interesting or progressive.
We have always gone for the “Less is more” approach and, as I said before, only focused on making the music for ourselves for us to enjoy. And if other people like what we do, then that´s just a bonus that makes it possible for us to be able to travel and tour to perform our music at other places than our rehearsal space.
About the writing process; we usually bring single riffs and ideas to the practice space and try them out together and make small changes to it and try to make the most out of every riff. We have never been a band where someone bring a complete song to the rehearsal space. We always start out with a simple idea and twist it and add things to it along the way. On the latest album I wrote a big part of the riffs and then Johan and I spent a lot of time together perfecting them and figuring out what should come before or after that. The original idea was to make one long track of the album but we ended up splitting it up into 3 different tracks/songs that connect together into 1 long composition.
Musicscan: With the direction of Switchblade heading a certain way and fans growing with you over the years and releases, do you feel the fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music?
Switchblade: Yeah, hopefully. I like to think that even if we sound a lot different now than 10 years back, you can find a red thread thru all of our releases and recordings over the years. Because our basic thoughts when creating music has been the same since we started, it´s just the form of expression that has changed a little bit.
Musicscan: A last question: What makes Switchblade special to you, and how would you describe the essence of the band?
Switchblade: That´s a hard question to answer… Switchblade is a big part of my life and something that I need to do. Both in the creative and the experince aspects of it.
The essence of the band is that we´re three people playing the music we like to listen to ourselves.