» Peter Stålfors - Dream Evil
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Swedish heavy metal band Dream Evil stand united again after slaying dragons, being evilized and writing the book of heavy metal. Their fourth album United saw a couple of changes in the line-up and members that went and returned, so we decided to ask bassist Peter Stålfors what lied behind all this turbulence and how the new album United sounds.

Thomas: It has been rather silent about Dream Evil lately but now you are back, with new members in the band and the album United set to be released. How are thing in the Dream Evil camp right now? Excited to be back with a new album again?

  • Peter: Hi Thomas, yes... It feels great to be back with a release like this one. Mark and Pat are great and has performed over my expectations.... They kill.. It's a lot of things happening now (release party, rehearsing, interviews and stuff) so it's a lot of Evil in my life at the moment.

With United you have an album that is in my opinion way stronger then Book Of Heavy Metal, it is perhaps the strongest Dream Evil album up to date, is that how you feel as well? I guess you are obligated to say that 'this is the best album we have done', can you sign to that statement?

  • Peter: I have no problems at all to sign to that statement.. I mean this is IT. This is the music I listen to and the music I want to play... so I couldn't be more proud about it.

Thomas: To me United feels to be a more mature album in some sense, your sound is still recognised quickly as Dream Evil but it feels like there are some more thought behind the songs this time, was that something you set out to create?

  • Peter: We cooperated more in the songwriting process for this album, compared to TBOHM, and we had more time to write the songs, so that helps out I guess.

Thomas: What served as inspiration for the United album? Any particular things or just the will to play metal?

  • Peter: It was more or less just the will to play Metal as you so nicely describe it, but life itself always contributes with inspiration to the lyrics...and in some cases not at all.. just pure fiction lyrics... So it's a mixture...

Thomas: Who did the cover for United? The artwork kind of sends out a signal of strength, did you in the band have any conceptual plans or did the artist get free creativity?

  • Peter: Seth Siro Anton (www.seth-design.com). We wanted to capture the feeling of the power in the Heavy Metal of the middle 80's and that design was just right.

Thomas: So what has happened since the last album really? First you and Niklas left the band, only to later return. While Gus and Snowy left the band not to return, can you please straighten this out?

  • Peter: Yes, I know it's been a lot of turns.... And it's not easy to explain all details but I can try...First in september 2004 Gus decided to focus on his own band Firewind and as he lives in Greece and the rest of us in Sweden he decided to leave Dream Evil. Snowy and Fredrik found Mark at a live show in Gothenburg with his band Kung Diamant.. And he was a great replacement, I'm really stunned by his skills on the guitar. Niklas had some trouble with his throat in the beginning of 2005 so he couldn't go away on long tours, my wife was pregnant at the same time and I felt the same way, I didn't want to go on long tours and beeing away from home with a newborn baby.. So when the rest of the guys had the ambition to focus on longer tours I felt like I was holding them back, I guess Niklas felt that way too.. So we announced that we left the band in june 2005 I think it was. Snowy, Fredrik and Mark tried out some replacements but they never was satisfied with the guys they tried out... they convinced both me and Niklas that if we came back to Dream Evil we would keep on doing live shows in the same manner as we've done in the past so that I would still have time for my family and Niklas could handle his throat which by this time already bacame better. That was in september 2005. About the time we said that we would plan the recordings for the new album Snowy decided to walk his own way and do his own thing. So he decided to leave the band in late January 2006. At this time we'd just begun to write songs for the coming album and was focusing on that, at the same time our webmaster decided to back off, that explains why we were silent for a while. Fredriks friend and great drummer Pat Power was asked to join the band and as you can hear on the new album, he fills out Snowy's shoes with excellence.

Since your last album, you have two new members in the band, what can you tell us about them? Who are they, what have they done earlier and what has they brought with them to Dream Evil?

  • Peter: Mark Black - lives in Uddevalla, Sweden and was earlier in some bands like "Ton of bricks" and "Kung Diamant" as examples.. He's an "axeswinger" with the guitar. Pat Power - Lives in Hyssna , Sweden and has handled the drums in the band "Passenger" and works as a producer/engineer in Studio Fredman. Mark and Pat brought their feeling of Metal into Dream Evil which of course gives DE an addition of their sound to the "old sound"

Thomas: Who is the most productive concerning the song writing in the band? Do you all contribute to the songs and does anyone have the final word or is it a democratic process?

  • Peter: It's a pretty democratic process and in the past all members have been writing for the albums. For this album I have to give Niklas a "salute" for the time he spent and all the songs and lyrics he wrote for the album. But overall the most of the songs are written in co-operation between Niklas, me and Fredrik.

Thomas: It must be rather convenient to have a guy like Fredrik Nordström in the band, an awesome producer with his own studio?

  • Peter: No question about that. He knows the business and he knows how to produce an album... So we're happy with that.

Thomas: Doomlord, great song, but seriously, what the hell was you thinking with the spoken parts? To me that understand what is being said it gets somewhat hilarious. And am I correct if I say that the song actually is about the bird bullfinch? I guess you'd better straighten this out now and - who does the spoken part by the way?

  • Peter: He he he..... You're right about that... but it sounds cool doesn't it? It's a known swedish commedian Lars Brandeby a.k.a. Kurt Olsson who makes the speech. We've been talking about these word games (Swedish - English) and writing lyrics in that way for a long time, and here it just showed up...

Thomas: Next song you will have to explain is the choice of cover with My Number One, what where you thinking now? Did you chose to cover this one (you are doing it great by the way) just for fun or do you have any bigger plans and hoping to get a hit with it? As Evergrey did with their cover of Dilba’s I’m Sorry? And this was recorded with Gus and Snowy still in the band, correct?

  • Peter: Yep, both Snowy and Gus is playing on that song and was recorded right after me and Niklas rejoined the band... Well, Snowy was writing a song and the new song reminded him of something... and it was "My number One" so we just recorded it for fun.. but it turned out so heavy and cool so we decided to add it to the album... It was not because we had too few songs, because the limited edition of United will be released with 5 more original Dream Evil songs.

Are there any plans made for touring in support of United yet or is it to early to say? And is it hard to fit in touring concerning Fredrik’s producing job with Studio Fredman which I suppose keeps him rather busy?

  • Peter: Well, we're doing a festival in Scottland (Ragnarok) on November 4 and a show on the Underworld in London on November 5 and some other shows just waiting confirmation in December and January-February...

You have a couple of dates line-up for Great Britain in November, have you ever been there before? And must have been a while since you last played live, excited to get back on stage again?

  • Peter: Yep, we've both been to Glasgow and London before, but we haven't been on stage since we were in Tokyo in february 2005... so it's been a while and I can't wait to get up on stage again.

Thomas: Many of the songs from United feel like they would work perfectly live, anyone in particular that you look forward to perform live, and why in that case? If you ask me, it would be great if you include Doomlord, complete with the spoken parts in your live-set.

  • Peter: Ha ha.... No, I don't think we'll play Doomlord live at this point. United is a great song, it's heavy and clean.. and should works great live just because of that. Let Me Out is another song which is a lot of fun to play and has a bit of speed in it which also is nice...

Thomas: What would you prefer, an own smaller headlining tour or to tour as supporting act to a larger band that can draw a bigger audience? What would the ideal situation be?

  • Peter: Hard to say, the longer tours we've been on has been as support to larger bands and that has been great. We've been headlining in Japan and that alway have felt really nice to know that the people in the audience is there just for you and not just because you happen to be there as a support band... So I'd probably say a smaller headlining tour.

Have you never had any plans to cover the Dio song Dream Evil? Considering the name it would be kind of suitable.

  • Peter: No, that has never crossed our minds.

Thomas: Ok then, while I have you here I just have to ask a few things about Pure-X where you and Niklas played, any activity there or is it laid to eternal rest?

  • Peter: It's put on ice to say it mild... We planned on taking it up again after we quit Dream Evil but we were just out for three months so nothing concrete happened... And I don't think we will have the time for a while... But you never know... It's quite fun to do those songs...

Thomas: You made a couple of albums with Pure-X but how seriously intended was that band really, or was it just about having fun?

  • Peter: Not serious at all, just for fun. We were a cover band without planned shows who chose to write Pure-x songs instead of rehearsing the covers we already knew how to play.

Thomas: I assume that the albums where self released, but how many copies were made? Since a lot swedish metal heads have heard or at least they have heard of Pure-X, and particularly the album Heavy Mental, and it seems like if they do not have the album themselves they know someone who does.

  • Peter: Yep, we made the albums ourselves and just didn't care about the sales at all... So it must have become just like what happened to the Eddie Meduza tapes in the 80's... everybody had a copy of the tape, no one had the original... If we would have done that seriously we probably could have earned a lot of money from those albums.. :)

Thomas: What gave you the idea to take classic metal songs and to give them new lyrics in Swedish? And who was responsible for the lyrics?

  • Peter: I can't really remember who it was, it was so long ago we did the first cover with own lyrics so I don't know... We all wrote the lyrics.

Thomas: Many of the songs, well most of them, was below the belt so to speak, did you ever get any negative responses concerning that? I mean, you must have managed to offend at least someone that felt it was distasteful?

  • Peter: Well, one member wasn't allowed to play in Pure-x anymore after the last one because his wife was afraid their kids would be bullied at school for that... So I guess it offended his wife :)

Thomas: And to round this off I would only like to say a big thank you for taking the time to share this with us, and if there is anything more you would like to add or share with the readers of Metal Covenant, feel free to use this last space as you like…

  • Peter: Thanks for letting me speak my mind, and I hope you choose to buy the limited edition of "United" which contains as I earlier said more songs than the "normal version". Some of those bonus songs are among my favourites. I hope to see you on tour some day soon and last but not least... beware of the Doomlord !!!

See also: review of the album United

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