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.
Thomas: 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?
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?
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?
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
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.
Thomas: 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
Thomas: It must be rather convenient to
have a guy like Fredrik Nordström in the band, an awesome producer
with his own studio?
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 Dilbas Im 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.
Thomas: 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
Fredriks producing job with Studio Fredman which I suppose keeps
him rather busy?
Thomas: 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?
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
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.
Thomas: Have you never had any plans to cover the Dio song Dream
Evil? Considering the name it would be kind of suitable.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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