Swedish band Falconer is just getting
set to release their fourth album, Grime Vs. Grandeur in early May. An
album that in a way is to be seen as a comeback since the last album Sceptre
Of Deception left the band dissatisfied in many ways. But now back with
a more confident singer, as he was more involved in the songwriting, and
two new members in the band Falconer is once again ready to spread their
wings and we took the opportunity of conducting a mail interview with
mastermind Stefan Weinerhall. The following
is what he shares with us..........
Thomas: Hi there Stefan. Let me just start
with saying that I really appreciate that you are taking the time to answer
my questions and letting me and the readers of Metal Covenant know whats
up with Falconer and your new album Grime Vs. Grandeur.
So, a new album completed and ready for release, and this is an album
that you seem to be pretty pleased with and to me it comes with a feeling
of revenge after you not being totally satisfied with your last release,
Sceptre Of Deception. Tell me, how does it feel right now and what are
your expectations on the nearest future with the release of your fourth
Stefan: According to all of us in the band:
this is the best album yet. I do see the cliché in saying this
but it has never felt this good when an album has been done. Maybe
it´s because "Sceptre
" was a bit of a downer
that this album feels so good. The only expectations we actually can
have on this album is that people will think it's better than the
last one. Then we can only hope that they will think it's the best
one, as we do. I hope that the result of a better liking in this will
result in more interest for live shows.
Thomas: What can you say to convince the
average metal fan to buy the new Falconer album, what is it that makes
Falconer better than other bands?
Stefan: Ha ha, I don't know if we're better
than other bands but I think that we can offer some things that others
can't. For example some folk influences (although less now) and great
melodies, not only those jolly Power metal melodies but big melodies.
I think this new album has such a variety that all metal fans can
find at least one song they like.
Thomas: Not because we at Metal Covenant
believe that you need, or should for that matter, but how do you feel
that you in the future can develop your metal/folk concept that you has
beaten yourselves into? You went out hard with it from the start and have
stuck to it in a great way, even if it is a little less of it on Grime
Vs. Grandeur. Can you bring this to new levels, if you now are planning
for it, and how should it be done in that case?
Stefan: Of course we could increase the folk
elements, but do we want to? I have written quite many folk melodies
both in Mithotyn and now in Falconer so it might not be as appealing
now as it was before. I still like it but it's not the same wow feeling
when I make them. I can't really say that it was a plan to decrease
the use of them this time, it just happened. I just happened to make
other things some times, also a new line up brings a new feel and
also inspiration to the band and me. I think you can hear it in the
more intense pulse of the record. Mood can be quite an inspiration.
So we'll see what the folk will have for role in the future, it might
be bigger or smaller.
Thomas: Normally I like to ask bands where
they gather their influences from, which bands that have made the biggest
impact on them. But in your case I am more interested where you gather
your influences for the more folk music inspired parts of Falconer from?
Stefan: No idea. I don't really listen to folk
music. Even from the beginning of my musical life my ideas and riffs
have been tainted with folk music. It's just very natural, well maybe
more natural before. I have some folk music like albums but I rarely
listen to it. So I can't give you any good answer on this one. It's
my personal style.
When I look at the lyrics to Grime Vs. Grandeur it is less of the historical
content within the lyrics and this time they tend to deal with more contemporary
and everyday topics. Have you got tired of the past or was it just the
way it turned out when you started to write the lyrics?
Stefan: Not really a plan there either but
I was not that hungry for more crowns and swords. The inspiration
for fairytales have a bit dried up. I got my dose on "Sceptre
maybe an overdose. As it feels right now it's more rewarding for me
personally to write about something where I have an opinion or feel
for. It feels good to get things out instead of just writing about
made up things or telling a story. The only historic lyric this time
is actually written by Kristoffer. It feels like this is the way we
will go in the future to because I feel no hunger to write about historical
themes as much as I have.
Thomas: Four albums and all done in Los
Angered with Andy La Rocque, what is it that makes you choose him and
his studio? Never had any thoughts about changing to another studio or
producer or is it simply working so damn good with Andy that there hasnt
been any need to make a change? Does he understand you and share the same
vision on how Falconer should sound like?
Thomas: When I read about the break-up from
the former members Anders and Peder on your website I get the feeling
that you are giving hints about that the differences between you was almost
turning into a fist fight, was it really that serious? And how is the
relation between you now, still infected?
Thomas: What can you tell us about the
new members Magnus Linhardt and Jimmy Hedlund, who are they and what has
they brought with them to band? And do you feel Falconer has a solid setting
now, like these are the guys that are going to be in Falconer for many
years to come?
Stefan: Oh yes. The new line up feel very confident,
both Magnus and Jimmy has been the ones to push us to rehearse more.
It feels like there is more will in the band nowadays, everyone is
pushing in the same direction. Rehearsals have gone very smoothly
with old songs and the making of the new ones. So I feel very fine
and content with how everything is working at the moment. I think
we have at least got the right person for each spot in the band, every
member knows what to do and how to do it and really WANTS to do it.
Normally a change of vocalist tends to create a stir among the
fans, and in your case perhaps worse than usual since many of the fans
werent too pleased to see Mathias Blad leave the band since he was
a favorite among many Falconer fans. Personally I feel that it is almost
a dead race between him and Kristoffer but how has the reactions really
been since your last album, what has been said from the fans? Has it been
positive or has there been any fans abandoning Falconer because of the
- Stefan: Both good
and bad. It's actually sad to see that some fans don't have a life outside
of music. It's like their entire world goes under because of this. Others
felt it was a fresh feel and a welcome adding of attitude with Kristoffer.
Of course I understand that Mathias was something that set us apart
from other bands and made it more unique. It was also more limited.
I just wish that we could have used Kristoffers potential on the last
album instead of being cowards and trying not to upset those "Mathias
fans" too much with a real metal voice. I love both Mathias and
Kristoffers voice. They are different but fits better to different kind
of music. No one can make a song like "Portals of light" better
than Mathias, but "Busted to the floor" was not his kind of
song just like no one can make "The assailant" better than
Kristoffer, and a song like "Under the sword" didn't fit him.
Since we have taken a more intense and aggressive turn in our music
I think that Kristoffer is the best one for the job.
Thomas: Kristoffer Göbel is sharing
his vocal duties between Falconer and the band Destiny, does that work
without any conflicts? Does he prioritize any of the bands or is it full
focus with both of them? Is that something that interferes when planning
tours and recordings when he has to split time between two bands?
- Stefan: It has
interfered one time I think. So I can't say that we have suffered from
it and Kristoffer has always done his job and shown all interest for
us so we have no reason to wish him to leave Destiny.
Thomas: And now I would like to take the
opportunity to quote you: It is what we would like to call a
comeback, states mastermind Stefan Weinerhall, since the last
album felt a bit too unfocused and not as good as it should have been.
This time though... oooh, how I have rubbed my hands to some of the stuff!
Does this mean that you will exclude songs from Sceptre Of Deception at
live shows, or is there any songs from that album that you feel satisfied
with and will bring out live?
Stefan: I still
think that the title track, "Ravenhair" and "Hear me
pray" are good songs. We will still keep one or two songs from
that album in our arsenal depending on how fans like the new album.
I would like to play only play new songs but it's not for my sake
we play live. The ones we've played from "Sceptre
Is "The coronation", "Night of infamy" and the
You are going to play at a couple of this summers festivals, is
that something you look forward to? And will you follow that up with an
own headlining tour to the fall? When I look at your website www.falconermusic.com
it doesnt look like that you have been doing that much of touring
in the past, how come? And is that something that will change now?
Stefan: When you
have problems with the line up you get stranded for a while. First
you must find new guys, then rehearse the old songs and meanwhile
you have new songs that you can't wait to start rehearsing. We will
now try to get more shows since the line up is stable. We hope for
a tour in the fall, hopefully as a support band since then we can
play for more people at more places and maybe under better circumstances.
Festivals is booked during the winter so releasing an album in May
might not be the best thing to do if you want festivals. Well well,
we'll have to think of that in the future. We have some Swedish shows
for this year though and hopefully more will come as soon as people
have realised that this album is "världmästarbäst".
Thomas: In Sweden a new law will soon surface
that will make it illegal to download music, do you think that it is the
right way to get at start of dealing with the problems of downloading?
Or perhaps you dont see downloading music as a problem? What is
your opinion on this issue?
- Stefan: The younger
generation see it as totally normal to only get albums as mp:3s so of
course that is a problem. It's the same thing as shoplifting. It might
be a good way to spread the music but since this is not a samarithan
thing we're doing we don't like it cause we sacrifice income, time and
a lot of things to do this and of course you don't like when people
just take it without saying thank you. It's not for the money we do
it at all but it doesn't make it right for someone to get our product
without paying for it. Then we can discuss CD prices and such or that
Madonna is getting 50 millions a year anyway. But most bands loose money
on doing this. Recording an album is one month without salury and 5
trips to Gothenburg 2 ways. Then we have all the shows that often are
one a profit-less level to. Club owners, record labels and tour managers
is making money while the bands just stands there like fools being thankful
to be taken advantaged of.
Thomas: We all know that the Japanese fans
always shall have bonus tracks on their albums, but how do you pick out
those ones? How do you decide which song that are to be bonus track on
the Japanese version and what kind of goodies do they get and we in the
rest of the world
- Stefan: They get
the worst song, or the song that wasn't made seriously or just was too
different. This time they got a song that sounds like Deep purple or
Rainbow. About 2:52 long of real Rock 'n' roll. You don't waste a great
song on the Japanese. You get nothing for doing that, just throw them
something and they will release it in Japan.
Thomas: If you stare into the crystal ball,
let's say 2-3 years from now, and with another album in the back - how
do you realistically see the situation to be for Falconer? What would
an ideal situation be, according to you?
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 and share with the
readers of Metal Covenant, feel free to use this last space as you like.
That will be all for now Stefan, and thank you for bringing
us the great metal of Falconer and Metal Covenant wish you all the best
and much of good luck with your new album. Keep it heavy.