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Interview von: arne mit Tim, am: 21.01.2006 ]

Die schwedischen Switchblade melden sich mit ihrem vierten, erneut selbstbetitelt belassenen Album zurück. Auf diesem hat das Trio das Tempo der eigenen Post-Core-Kompositionen noch weiter reduziert und widmet sich nun noch ausgiebiger musikalischer Intensität und fragiler Atmosphäre. Zwischen Melancholie und düsterer Anmut sind beeindruckende Songs entstanden...


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 Deathwish/Icarus.

Musicscan: It´s considered to be an anticipated release by many. What are your thoughts on this?

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 record?

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 controlled?

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 time?

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 melancolic.

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 that moment.

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 think of.

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