» Stefan Weinerhall - Falconer
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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 what’s up with Falconer and your new album Grime Vs. Grandeur.

  • Stefan: Well, I´m glad that you find interest in asking me and my little band some questions.

Thomas: 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 album?

  • 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.

Thomas: 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 hasn’t been any need to make a change? Does he understand you and share the same vision on how Falconer should sound like?

  • Stefan: He has learnt our way and thinking very well by now. Most ideas and thought are the same with him as it is by us. We did think about using another studio this time but then Andy managed to win us over again. What I think would be great for the next time is to just mix it in another studio cause I very much trust Andy and his focused and perfectional attitude to music. He doesn't let any bad things or mistakes slip through. We do wonder how it could sound with another mind involved in the album so another mixing studio is about the step I want to take right now.

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?

  • Stefan: It is and has always been good. But it sounded better and more interesting if we said it was a fight. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

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.

Thomas: 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 weren’t 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 mostly
positive or has there been any fans abandoning Falconer because of the change?

  • 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 title track.

Thomas: 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 doesn’t 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 don’t 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?

  • Stefan: As it is now but bigger, getting more chances. Or evolving the music to the level that we have to be about 12 guys to be able to perform it live. That is a studio band again. As it feels now it is just perfect but things and opinions and tastes change with time.

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.

  • Stefan: Be sure to get a great tan this summer and eat a lot of ice cream, just like a true metal head does.

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.

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