Musicscan: Any news regarding Switchblade you want to tell us about besides this new
record coming out pretty soon?
Switchblade: Not really. The biggest news is the new album that we´re really happy
about and that we have a guy named Kenneth Thomas in the US making a 20
minute video/film for the first track of the new album. We will play live to
that video at the releaseshow here in Stockholm and the video will probably
be available later on as a limited DVD release together with a bunch of
other videos and live footage. No touring plans for the moment cause we all
have difficulties getting time off from work, families etc. but we hope to
be able to come down to mainland europe soon.
Musicscan: The word on your guys band has at least spread quite quickly all over the
world. How does all of this attention make you feel?
Switchblade: Well.We are now about to release our 4:th album and we´ve been doing
this band since late 1997 so I would say that we´ve been working quite hard
from the start with getting more or less no attention at all. But with the
selftitled 2003 album, that was also released on Deathwish/Icarus in the US,
I guess some more people, (even in europe) got interested in us just because
we were on a label which is considered to be pretty cool. But I still see us
as a pretty low-profile band. If you judge popularity based on record sales,
we are a very unpopular band.
Musicscan: Does it feel good to be back with a new studio record finally?
Switchblade: Yeah, we are really happy with the way the new album turned out and
that we got to work with the great people we worked with. It really doesn´t
feel like it was almost 3 years since we released the last album but that´s
probably because that we´re still pretty satisfied with that album and we
still play a few of those songs live. And I guess there was some renewed
interest in the album when it got released about a year later in the US on
Musicscan: It´s considered to be an anticipated release by many. What are your thoughts
Switchblade: Well, we don´t really think about that kind of stuff that much. I know
it will sound extremly cliché but we have never really paid attention to
what other people think about our band or music. We do this band out of
egoistic reasons only. If people enjoy and get something out of our music
and liveshows that´s just a bonus. If people anticipate the new album that´s
great cause that means they might buy the album and come to our shows so
that we can afford to travel and play shows.
Musicscan: What did you guys do differently on the new record, that you hadn’t done
previously to keep things progressing?
Switchblade: I´m not sure to be honest. It´s kind of hard to look on your own music
with objective eyes cause I think you can see a pretty clear red line from
the very first 7" up to the new album even thought the music has a few
different directions and shapes over the years. But there are a few obvious
things, like guestvocals in pretty diverse styles, the songs share a feeling
of deconstructed momentum and and not so much "groove" in contrast to the
last album which I feel was pretty straight-on, riff based and not as
dynamic. I guess we go in a little different direction with every recording
without really thinking about it.
Musicscan: Were there any particular adjustments or things that you wanted to improve
upon from a technical aspect or something?
Switchblade: Nothing really special that I can think of more than getting closer to
what we see as the "perfect production". I know that sounds cheesy but we
are slowly getting there.
Musicscan: Where do you see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and
completely offering a new direction or sound?
Switchblade: Well personally I like to hear bands take new directions and exploaring
new territory but still keeping the feeling and unique signature sound of
the band so you can still hear it´s the same band but with a new twist. But
it can be hard as a band to do that cause sometimes the band have written
loads of songs between two albums and over the period of those songs
written, the sound may have changed dramatically to the listener but not to
the band who has heard all songs in between and progressed with the songs.
That is not the case with Switchblade but I hope you understand what I´m
trying to say.
Musicscan: Do you feel that the record is a pretty good representation of bands
sounding as of right now?
Switchblade: Yeah, I hope so. We will probably make small adjustments and versions
of the new songs as we go along.
Cause Switchblade is a band that rarely play new songs live at shows before
we record and release them so sometimes a few songs or parts don´t really
"work" when we try to play them live so we have make small adjustments to
make to songs feel better to play live and to make them fit together with
older songs in a set..
Musicscan: And do you think you captured the intensity of a Switchblade live show on
Switchblade: Well, I´m not sure. Even though we record most of our stuff on live in
the studio, I think it´s hard to really capture the intensity of a live
show. And as I mentioned before, most of the times we´ve never played the
songs live at shows before we record them so they might be a little bit
"stiffer" on record and we put more agression in to it when we´ve played the
songs live for a while.
Musicscan: Out of my view your album is perfectly balanced one in all aspects. Has this
been something you were heading for?
Switchblade: Thanks alot, I´m glad you feel that way about the album. Yeah, I think
that we always try to find a good balance in our recordings and releases. We
usually have a really clear picture of exactly how we want the recording to
sound, what order the songs should be in, how all the ambient parts between
songs should sound like etc. I think that with the new album we have finally
come really close to the sound, feeling and production we´ve been looking
for all along.
Musicscan: Would you agree to say the new songs are more focused as well as being more
Switchblade: Yeah, absolutely. There is not a single riff, tone or part in there
that´s not there for a specific reason.
Musicscan: What was your main focus creating this new songs onto?
Switchblade: We definately wanted the new songs to be alot more dynamic than what
we´ve ever recorded before. And being heavy and dark without being loud all
the time. And we kind of wanted to bring forth a little of our black metal
influences shine thru I guess.
Musicscan: You slowed down from the tempo-side and accentuated the atmospheres still
clearly. Again there are lots of instrumental parts on the record, the music
itself has room to grow and there is some kind of special mood around your
tracks, but has it been your aim to create some kind of darker feeling this
Switchblade: Yeah, as I mentioned before, we wanted the songs to be pretty dark and
bleak without being heavy and dense all the time. Heavy but calm if you
understand what I mean. I think that we have always had a pretty dark
feeling to our songs and I think that comes from all three of us in the band
being influenced by more gothic/darker bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus,
Fields Of The Nephilim etc.
Musicscan: What´s your motivation to play this intense kind of music? You´re playing
such music for a couple of years now and your songs are in a way really
Switchblade: I see no problem with motivation at all since we keep on evolving all
the time and we always do what we feel is the right thing for us to do at
Musicscan: I´m interested in how you came up with the idea once to let all your studio
longplayers untitled. What´s behind this?
Switchblade: It´s just something we agreed on early on, that albumtitles are often
useless and often kind of cheesy in a way. And we have never been a band
wanting to make it easy for the people listening to us.The same thing with
songstitles on the last 3 albums. There´s just no use for them.
Musicscan: I know a lot of people running a label and being member in a band at the
same time, that avoid it, to release their albums on their own labels. So
far all Switchblade longplayers have been on Trust No One. What¥s the reason
for it, and do you see any conflicts?
Switchblade: Yeah, I know what you mean. There is a few reasons and the biggest one
is that we´re obsessive controlfreaks, or at least I am myself. Releasing
the albums on my own label means that I know that the album will look, sound
and come out exactly the way we want them to. If you leave it to others
there is always something part of the record that turns out the wrong way.
The second reason is that no european label has never really showed any
interest in us or wanting to release any of our records. Of course there is
both up and down sides to releasing your own albums.One downside is that I
have a very hard time hyping and promoting my own band and I usually end up
losing money. So far there haven´t really been any conflicts that I can