Musicscan: Since "Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind" is Your debut album, please be so kind as to
introduce the band. What happened between the founding year 2003 and the release of
the album in September of 2009?
One Without: I could tell you, but then Iīd have to kill you.
No seriously, itīs a looong story with a lot of ups and downs, Iīll try to give you a short edited version of our history.
First of Iīll just copy+paste what Lifeforce says in their commercial, I think they sum it up really good.
"ONE WITHOUT is the result of taking the well-known Gothenburg Metal Sound and expanding it with elements of
modern rock and pop in order to create an incomparable and fresh style of its own. There is nothing to fear
about the combination of powerful brutality, catchy grooves and an advanced pop-approach.
It all depends on the self-confidence of the involved musicians and their songwriting skills, which is exactly
what makes the difference with ONE WITHOUT."
When Joonas started the band, he was playing alone in the band, making songs and recording them himself. He later got joined by Olle, our drummer, this was in 2004, and
some other guys we are not going to talk about today. I joined the band in 2007 originally as a Bass player.
When I joined, the band was already making plans for a bigger recording, I think it originally was supposed to be an EP or something like that, but then Joonas built his own Studio "Audio G8"
and so we decided to record a full length album instead, as we realised we had plenty of songs and as much time as we wanted to record it in, without having to think about paying studio costs
and dreading dead lines.
We recorded the album from around february 2008 to december that same year. The reason why it took so long was because of several reasons, one which I will explain a little later, and because of simple things like work, economy and time. As an unsigned band you simply donīt have anyone to fund your recording, and therefore you canīt take time off work and things like that. At least that was how it was in our situation.
And the other reason. In 2008, in the middle of the recording of "Thoughts of a Secluded Mind" we chose to go separate ways with our former guitarist and singer, and after a month or so Catrin joined the band. I had played with her in a previous band so I knew she was good. She rewrote all the lyrics and made new melodies in about a month or so, which in my opinion is amazing. We have had reviewers saying that you clearly hear that the music is built around her singing which is in fact totally wrong, but obviously shows that she is a very talented musician. (We have even had reviewers saying that we have built our songs around the FX, which is even more wrong. Funny thing about reviewers.. They decide how you did something and you donīt have a chance to debate it)
Kristofer was also in that previous band with me and Catrin, and when I switched from bass to guitar in late 2008 he took the position as bass player.
So when we finally had the perfect line-up, (Seriously, couldnīt be better) and being done with the album, we started contacting labels all over the world. We got in contact with several labels, both by phone and e-mail, and started negotiating. After some months we decided to sign with Lifeforce. They had the best deal and we all respected the label as it seems they take good care of their artists.
And now we are getting up to date here. We have been recieving a lot of reviews lately, some are great and others not that great, which in my opinion is very interesting. It only shows that you canīt really take reviewers for real (Not always though). Iīm not going to lie, I get happy if we get a good review, but sometimes they base their opinions on very loose ground, some judge us out of how heavy we are and things like that, not how we really sound.
We have also just begun working with a German booking agency known as Go Down Believing, they work with bands like Burning Skies, Nightrage, Raunchy and many others.
Allen at GDB is currently putting together some form of tour in december I think, not really sure when everything is going to happen right now, and it will probably be around Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, most likely in Germany as well.
Now itīs about two weeks or so until the release dates.. And it feels.. Well I donīt know really, itīs hard to know what to expect because we are all new in this releasing-albums-thingy.
Itīs actually pretty sick, I donīt feel a bit more "professional" than I did a year ago, and Iīve been interviewed during the same radio show as August Burns Red and Nightrage, been interviewed by several big international and national magazines, played at Sweden Rock festival and many other "Professional" things. But I guess you donīt see it when your in the middle of it? I donīt even know if anyone really listens to us? Maybe we will have to release three more albums before we break, who knows? And maybe not. We will just have to wait and see. But what I do know is that we will do everything we possibly can to make One Without a bigger name, as this is what we all want to do with our lives. Could there be a better job? As for any big interest really, being able to live on doing what you love, is that allowed in this world?
I certainly hope so...
Anyway, a sign that we might get big is that we are releasing our album in all of Europe, North America and later this year in Japan. So it seems that Lifeforce at least believes in us!
Wasnīt that a veryvery short piece? Too much coffee I guess..
Musicscan: Talking of ONE WITHOUT as some kind of newcomer band would not really match. What
were the main differences between the band and it's sound back in the days compared
the today's sound and setup?
One Without: And still almost everybody do talk about OW as a "newcomer" band. Pretty funny!
In the past I could have understood if someone said that One Without was a "Gothic" band, as the songs back then were slower and with a dark male voice, something like Charon or bands like that.
You could say that in 2008 the band got a fresh start as we changed our sound totally, this was nothing planned, it just turned out that way because of the influences of the current members.
Some people STILL think that we are a "Gothic Metal" band, which in my opinion is totally wrong, it seems that as soon as you have a female fronted metal band, they are "Gothic". We have been compared to Within Temptation, Leaves Eyes, Lacuna Coil, Hanging Doll and many other "Gothic" bands. Would you say Soilwork is a "Gothic" band? Or what about In Flames? I really donīt get the comparison between us and for example Leaves Eyes.
Our sound today are different in many ways. The songs are faster (Although not "Dragonforce Fast") and heavier. We changed the male voice against Catrins, added some growls to support her, and topped of the production with various fx and piano. You wouldnīt recognize the band if you had heard it before. I would categorize it as Metal, alternative, rock, pop and possibly modern rock/metal.
Musicscan: Looking at where ONE WITHOUT is located, the band's sound and approach is a bit of a
surprise. Gothenburg / Göteborg is well known for it's melodic death metal acts like
At The Gates, In Flames or Dark Tranquillity, but although You seem to embrace these
trademarks, Your songs contain an obvious pop appeal and catchy melodies. Was there
a certain point in time where you decided to combine that or has it more of a
One Without: No, it was just natural. We all listen to such much music in so many different genres. There is noone in the band who listens exclusively to Metal or any other Genre, which of course effects us when we write our music. We donīt want to play just "Metal", even though I believe that is the genre which is most appreciated by everyone in the band. I think at least I would get bored after a while if I only played Metal, because of the apparent boundaries in playing just in one genre. Instead we just play whatever we want to play, and the result always becomes something we all feel we can stand for. There is an enourmous freedom in being able to play across borders in music, if we want to make something a little softer we can get away with it without loosing integrity, and the same goes if we want to do something heavier. It was nothing we planned, it just turned out this way. And it also leaves you very satisfied, we are all very much satisfied in playing just with One Without, not feeling the need to have anything heavier or softer as a side-project, because we all know we could use it in OW. Not saying that none of us will ever have side-projects, but itīs a great relief not feeling the need to use some of your songs in some other band.
And as you might hear we are all great fans of "The Gothenburg Sound", that is why we chose to have such a big and heavy production instead of being satisfied with something a little more rock sounding.
Musicscan: Given the sound, Your musical influences must be manifaceted. Are you able to name a
few bands which influence ONE WITHOUT the most?
One Without: This question is always hard to answer, because we canīt pin-point one or two bands that have helped us create our sound, we have hundreds of bands that influence us. We have never had a band we wanted to sound like, we just create what we want to hear and play, and somehow it always turns out in about the same sound. The chemistry between us in the band is absolutely amazing in my opinion.
But on a more personal level I can tell you that in my song writing I get very much inspiration from bands like Katatonia, August Burns Red, Underoath, Kent, In Flames, Soilwork, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Raised Fist, Paramore, Linkin Park and The Haunted among many, many others.
Musicscan: How would you describe the sound of "Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind" and which
influences do you yourself hear on the record?
One Without: I think Lifeforce said it best again with their commercial:
" Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind is offering an invigorating mixture, that quickly catches
the listeners with distinctive hook lines and the beautiful voice of Catrin Feymark. Diversity and depth
are the main strengths the album is based on."
Now donīt go and think Iīm lazy, I just think they sum it up really good!
Musicscan: How does the songwriting process for ONE WITHOUT happen? Do you jam on tunes, or
does one within the band write the main ideas for himself and introduce them to the
One Without: Thatīs actually different from time to time. We have been making some songs by jamming them, but mostly someone record a "demo of a demo" at home and we all pass it around and listen to it, putting our own style to it. For example I decide what Iīm going to do with the guitar and Olle decides for himself what he is going to do with the drums. And then we get together and rehearse. And then we all get into details and decide what to keep and what to discard. We see the band as a democracy, so everyone has the right to decide what is good and bad, If everyone thinks I play a bad riff at a verse or something then I wonīt do that anymore. But that rarely happens, we all usually like what the other guys are doing. Luckily enough. I donīt really get bands that have one guy that makes all the songs, whatīs the fun in that?
Musicscan: In April 2009 you signed to Lifeforce Records not only for a nationwide but a worldwide
release of "Thoughts Of A Secluded Mind". What did it feel like to see things come
together like this?
One Without: Haha, as I said before, I sometimes feel like I get a Windows blue screen in my head. I just canīt understand it. Right now Iīm sitting here writing an interview in the middle of the night, and some hours ago I came home from my work at a market research company, where I sit for some hours and phone people about certain issues. Then I get home, feed the cat, listen to some bands, (Raised fists new album is f'****g awesome! Not to mention the little I heard from Katatonias previews of the new album) answer e-mails about various things concerning the band, sometimes itīs questions from our booker, sometimes itīs someone registering to our newsletter, and sometimes itīs a new interview Iīm going to write, and I just donīt get it! But Iīm actually pretty satisfied with that. Because I have the feeling that if I understand how big this (Possibly) is then I would become someone I donīt want to be. I prefer being down to earth and humble. I never had the "rock-star" attitude, and I donīt want to have it. We are all just humans after all. (That is also what I am thinking before a gig when I get too nervous. "We are all human, if I make a mistake it doesnīt kill me" but it might kill my career. "SHIT!")
Musicscan: Now that the record is released in Europe, Asia and North America, You must be
full of plans and hopes. What are ONE WITHOUT's main goals for 2010?
One Without: Touring, touring and touring! Iīm hoping for a tour that would be expanding over years and all over the world. But I know that is a bit to much to hope for!
Well, at least play at some of the bigger festivals in Europe, and hopefully getting the chance to go on a support tour with a bigger band. Letīs hope Allen at GDB manages to work everything out for us!
My personal favorite part with playing music is the chance to perform it live. I never feel so alive as when I get the feeling that I own the stage, being able to give the energy and the same feeling that I feel to the people coming to see us is truly amazing. Getting the chance to play our music for hundreds, possibly thousands of fans, is absolutely mind-blowing! This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Musicscan: Fans as well as the press might be quick with labeling You as a Lacuna Coil / Within
Temptation sound-a-like. What do You hold against that statement?
One Without: People are of course free to think what they want, they will anyway. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, people draw their own conclusions based on who they are and how they relate to things, but I just canīt see the connection. In my opinion we are nothing like them. Youīd be better of comparing us to later In Flames or Katatonia. Not that I think we sound like them, but because itīs at least a better comparison than Lacuna Coil or Within Temptation.
Musicscan: Is there any development in your sound when writing new tunes, or are You too busy
to work on new material right now?
One Without: Oh, there is developement alright, the songs on "Thoughts of a Secluded Mind" was written over a long period of time, and not with all of the members in the current line-up, which in my opinion is typical for a debute, so the new tunes will be a little different yes. But I donīt want to focus on the next recording right now, letīs leave this question until our next interview with you guys, and put all the focus on "Thoughts of a Secluded Mind" right now. But I can tell you this much: We have a bonus track for our Japan release that will release on the 25th of november in Japan. Itīs not impossible that future songs will be more like that one.
Musicscan: Does the feedback of the media and people from all around the world influence your
approach when writing new songs?
One Without: Hmm.. I will have to say no. At least we donīt want it to. We try not to care to much what anyone else thinks of our sound, and focus on what we want to do. But who knows, we are just human and humans are social creatures, and we all want to fit in more or less, so I canīt really say. But we try not to. And on the other hand, we have our little family in the band, so we always have somewhere to fit in no matter what people think of us. That is actually very much one of the reasons I think why I started and continued to play music when I was younger. To fit in somewhere, and especially being in an exclusive group of people. Itīs a great feeling, knowing that you are accepted for what you do and who you are amongst people who think and feel as you do.
Musicscan: Now let's ask the delicate questions: I can imagine a lot of "old school" metal fans
(you know these lether jacket wearing, full beard growing long haired sourpuss kind
of guys) hating You and bands like Dead By April to bring pop music and heavy metal
together. Did You ever encounter someone throwing that at You?
One Without: Haha. Yes, but it actually hasnīt been many! Some of these guys have told us they like us, to our surprise! Before we even put up any previews of our songs, I thought we were going to have to fight of all the haters with teeth and claws, and judge to my surprise when most of them compliment us. Pretty funny shit. I hope all our listeners understand that we donīt play the music we play for money. We just do our thing. Integrity is something that is a very important part in my life. I need to feel that I can stand for everything I say and do, and seriously, I wouldnīt compromise with our sound to make money or anything like that. Our music comes from the heart, and if some people donīt understand that, well thatīs too bad.
We actually had a reviewer at one of our shows that really hated us because we had a commercial sound, he compared us to a IKEA catalouge and said that itīs a shame that not every band can be like Slayer. What the hell kind of a reviewer is that? As I said before, some reviewers has a tendency to draw their own conclusions based on absolutely NOTHING. We donīt play commercial music because it is commercial, it just happens it turned out that our music can sell a little more than for example some black metal bands. Should we have made a heavier album just to be "True"? In that case screw "True". Or as Rage Against the Machine said : "Fuck you, I wonīt do what you tell me!"
Musicscan: Bands like the afore mentioned Dead By April can count on the 12 to 15 year old
girls to buy their records and come out to their shows. Does that work for a female
fronted band as well? What does the crowd at your shows look like?
One Without: Haha, no, we have fans from all ages and both genders. It seems we have some fans who listen to "radio music" and other fans who listen to death metal. I have said sometimes that we play metal even your grandma can listen to!
I think there is something for (almost) everyone on "Thoughts of a Secluded Mind". For example, "Withered Serenade", would be perfect for someone whoīs a little more radio listening, and likes rock ballads or something like that, and "Your Game" is probably more of a "Melodic Metal" song, but most people could of course enjoy all of the album. At least thatīs what I think.
Musicscan: Right now everybody talks about a worldwide crisis of the music industry. What seems
to be the thorn in the record companies' side at the same time is a blessing for the
fans. Nevertheless almost every band dreams of signing to a record label. What would
you say will happen in the future and will it turn for the better?
One Without: What I already see happening is that many bands choose to start their own labels and release albums on their own, but unfortunately you canīt get it so far if you release it yourself, at least not in the first couple of years. This isnīt something Iīm certain of, but more of my thoughts on the subject. If you release an album on your own, you might get it out in your home country, and possibly in some other countries as well, but for us this would not be enough. One of the things we aimed for when looking for a label, was just that the album would be released in as many countries as possible, giving us maximum exposure and hopefully making us big enough to be able to go on tour in those countries and maybe one day being able to quit your day-time job and focus on playing music.
But I am in no way saying that it is a bad thing, releasing your own album. If you think you have the time and patience, and letīs not forget money, to do it, then do it! But be aware of all the things you have to think of on your way there. Itīs a hard business and I imagine it being even harder without the support from a good label.
If the result of the changes in the industry would be that there would be more independent labels, and the major labels of today would loose more and more ground, then I definatly think there would be a brigther future for us all. Maybe a musician wouldnīt have to live on well-fare between gigs. And more bands would be signed. One of my idols in these matters is Peter Dolving from The Haunted, he is one of the leading debaters about this issue in Sweden and I canīt compliment him enough for bringing this up. Maybe someday I too can help change the industry to something a little more fair, but as it is now I feel Iīm not that certain about how everything works to speak out loud enough.
Musicscan: Any final words You'd like the German people to read?
One Without: Alright, I have been sitting and writing this interview for about 3 hours now, the time is 02:36 at night and Meshuggah is shredding the speakers (and now itīs Nightrage), and I have to say I truly enjoyed this interview, it was different from others I have done, and I can honestly say that I havenīt answered this much, this honest or this good in an interview before! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed answering it.
I really hope you take the time to listen to our album, and maybe even buying it! Give it a chance, as I said before, I think there is something for everyone on the album. The release date for Germany is set to the 25th of September, but you can preorder the album through Amazon or through Lifeforceīs website.
I know I speak for us all when I say that we really hope that you guys enjoy our album so much that we get a chance to come down and tour for you some day soon!
If you want to hear some songs from the album, you can check out our myspace, we will upload 10 songs from the album on Monday the 21:st of September.But there are already some songs there now.
Take care all you crazy Germans and hopefully weīll see you at a show soon!