Musicscan: How big interest in Sonic Syndicate being back with a new studio album after your break? Do you get lots of requests from your fans and press people? Why there is only small information to find about the new album on the internet?
Sonic Syndicate: We’ve had a lot of contact from fans. And a big part of why we are back is because of them. We knew at some point we were of course going to step out of our hiatus, but the pressure from the fans was a very healthy push for us to do it quicker. It feels great to be back. The studio time was amazing and working with producer, Roberto Laghi was unbelievable. It just felt right and we never had to worry. He understood us, our music, our sound and knew exactly the kind of record we wanted to make. He was also very interested in things like colours, moods, artwork and other stuff that is a big part of a how you hear an album in your head. I had never experienced that before with other producers.
Musicscan: As high expectations sometimes lead to disappointments: do you somehow worry at this point? I mean you have been away for some time and people always are looking for the next hype…
Sonic Syndicate: Of course. Those bands that say “We don’t care about what the fans think of the album” are liars and idiots. I think we realise there is a lot of hype for this record, and if I was fan I would be expecting something fucking good too. But we have a great relationship with our fans and it seems they are all on the same wavelength as us. All I can say is that we had a lot of fun making this album, it has a lot of heart and a lot of balls.
Musicscan: Can you tell us something about the intention and the spirit of the band in its early days? Has the approach towards being Sonic Syndicate changed in any way? What kind of philosophy is the solid basis for the fresh start of the band to say so?
Sonic Syndicate: Sonic Syndicate has always been about having a great time live, communicating that energy, and making great songs. That has always been the foundation of the band and that philosophy stays true to this day. The difference being we’ve now had a lot more experience and have grown enough to be able to pull off a lot more ideas on record and bust-out an even more energetic stage show. In comparison to a lot of bands that have done as much as we have, age-wise we are still pretty young. So be it in the studio or on the stage there is no slowing us down.
Musicscan: Let us have a short look at the first rehearsals of the band – what feelings would be the best to describe the mood in the rehearsal room playing and start to work together again? What kind of feelings came up when writing new songs?
Sonic Syndicate: Although we only started to really take it seriously the past year, before that Robin and I had been passing a lot of song ideas back and forth to each other. The next step was showing it the band and then working on it together. I remember John’s face when he first heard the chorus to song, The Flame That Changed The World. He was all smiley and shouting “the hairs on my arms are standing up!”. Its a different album again for us, and quite strange in the way that we have never had so much fun writing something before, but it has this very dark and moody undertone that runs through the whole record. I think it was just time to blow-off some steam and really give a middle finger up to anyone who deserves it [laughs].
Musicscan: Could you please offer us your explanation why Sonic Syndicate sounds like (and is ;-) one of the most modern and vital modern melodic death acts all around? What about your recipe?
Sonic Syndicate: I also think that is part of the reason why we are back. Someone has to show these “new kids” how modern melodic metal is supposed to be done. The genre seems to have become diluted with all of these crossovers. Don’t get me wrong, to an extent this is a good thing, variety is awesome. But at the same time, especially Swedish melodic death metal has a very defined sound and I would hate for its essence to be forgotten. With that said, the recipe for our sound is super simple. Just play what you are good at, push yourself but play to your strengths. Ours is great guitar riffs, big drums, and massive choruses that make you wanna scream ‘em out loud until your lungs bleed. All other elements are malleable.
Musicscan: When starting the songwriting – did you know you would create something completely different than you did in the past, or was it kind of a conscious decision to just let your creativity flow?
Sonic Syndicate: We never overanalysed anything. But we go into the studio with the mind-set of never wanting to repeat ourselves. I never want to do an album that sounds like the other albums. We achieved that goal with We Rule The Night and now we have done it with this album in a very different way again. I just always try to think of it from a fans point of view. Because that is what I am. A metal music fan. And when I listen to a band I want to go on a different journey from their first album, all in between, until you reach their latest album. I also think this makes for a more dynamic live show.
Musicscan: The sound of your band still is very modern, catchy and melodic. Could this be the introduction of a more modern kind of death metal having the chance to win the hearts of different groups of listeners outside of the death genre?
Sonic Syndicate: Definitely. But also its just what we enjoy doing. We want to be able to beat someone nearly unconscious with a super fast kick-drum and brutal vocals, and then I want to crack the sky and illuminate everything with catchy guitar hooks and beautiful parts that they will be humming still afterwards. Isn’t life more fun that way? Its what we enjoy and along that road people seem to have enjoyed it too. If more and more people wanna come along for the ride too thats fine also.
Musicscan: On the other hand you chose to be more aggressive again and it seems that you headed for the direction of writing real songs - right? There always is a good dramaturgy to keep things interesting and diverse without losing the heavy edge…
Sonic Syndicate: If we were to break it down to a really basic level so that even a blind-deaf Goblin-Ork could understand it, I would put it like this. All the members in the band like a lot of “Pop Metal”, dare I say words like Paparoach, Limpbizkit, Marilyn Manson and even [dun, dun, dun!] Linkin Park. But we also love a lot of “Heavy Metal” bands like Dark Funeral, Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Pantera and [dun, dun, dun!] Slipknot. Not to mention a load more old school rock n roll bands and a lot of the very modern metal bands. The point is we are not afraid of putting ideas like this into our own songs, and as a result I think we have built a sound which is identifiable to us. The previous album was leaning more towards one end of the spectrum and this album seems to be a lot heavier. But to be honest as long as we like it and our fans like it I don’t give a shit about genres. Whoever you are, wherever you are, Just enjoy whatever it is you’re listening too.
Musicscan: If you compare the visions you had of your new album before the record was produced and compare it to your own impressions listening to the songs now – what´s the difference? What can you as a band say about Sonic Syndicate being back with a new record?
Sonic Syndicate: We were actually just talking about this at the photo shoot we did yesterday for the album art. And with a few exceptions, the album has turned out exactly how we thought it would. The songs sound how the pre-production recordings sounded, and how they sounded in our heads, only much much better! I think a lot of that was us being very determined this time, and also Roberto Laghi as producer really helping us get what we wanted.
Musicscan: Can you tell us something with regard to the title of your fourth record?
Sonic Syndicate: The album is simply called, Sonic Syndicate. We have been away and this states the obvious but powerful message that we are back. Also this album has a lot of homage, encapsulating the journey as a band and also as musicians. I think it was the right time to go with a self-titled release as we couldn’t be more happier to be playing together again, and we can’t wait for our fans and friends to hear this. Funnily enough, just for fun we put out a Facebook post a while ago asking “What should we call the new album?” even though we had already decided on the title, and the majority of the replies were that it should be called, Sonic Syndicate. So thats even more reassuring that the fans will love it as they are really in sync with us.