Interview conducted December 02 2012
Interview published December 09 2012
As most fans know, Folk/power metal
outfit Falconer has been a studio band from the beginning and extensive
touring has never been their game. It's record release and then a pair
or a couple of years of dormancy. Metal Covenant approached Falconer mastermind,
songwriter and guitarist Stefan Weinerhall
with some questions to check the band's status, future, history, etcetera.
Tobbe: What's the status of the band at
this point? Is the line-up from the latest release, Armod (English: Penury),
intact and are all willing to continue with the band as it is now run,
with a record release approximately every other year and inactivity in
Armod had Swedish lyrics, apart from the bonus tracks. How was that received
when you now look back at it, both from your native Swedish fans and from
fans from all over the world?
Stefan: Well, the outcome was pretty good,
I think. Most negativity probably came from the Americans, but on
the other hand, they believe that the entire world should rotate around
them. I was a bit caught by surprise, that there were so many positive
reactions from around the world at precisely the Swedish language.
Perhaps it has something to do with the melody in the language itself?
Tobbe: Are there also any thoughts of continuing
with Swedish lyrics, or will you go back to English again?
Stefan: No, now it's back to English. It's
feels like I've had enough of stable boy/maid-romance (Swedish: fäbodsromantik.
Free translation), gnomes and medieval folklore. During the two latest
albums, all lyrics have been very historical and based on facts. The
new lyrics I've written are more varied and more similar to what they
were in the beginning, where the major part of them really weren't
historical at all.
Tobbe: So when can we look forward to the
next release from Falconer and are you still cooperating with Metal Blade,
who has released all your albums thus far?
Stefan: We're still on Metal Blade. I'm aiming
for a release in spring 2014. Four songs are already done and there
are also some bits and pieces of material in addition to that. After
a long break, it feels like starting over again, since I almost didn't
play any guitar for a year. The new material sounds tougher and hungrier.
I, myself, sense earlier Falconer and also parts of Mithotyn, mixed
with a tough approach. This sounds undeniably like sales tricks, but
in all honesty, it feels like some stuff might as well could have
come from 2000-2003.
The obvious question. What about live activities? Fans from all over the
world dying to see you live, although most of them do understand that
the economics and touring for you are hard cases to beat.
Stefan: Tours or full schedules are out of
the question, due to Mathias' activities, so the few gigs we may approach
must be interesting, in order for us to rehearse a set. We'll see
what eventually may come out, but Falconer was in the early days in
fact meant to be a studio band, so if we stand without gigs, it's
no wonder. During 2013, I want to focus on the new material and for
best possible outcome, there will be no shows.
Tobbe: Your attempt to be more of a touring
band, with the two album long singer swap to Kristoffer almost ten years
ago, because Mathias often is busy with other obligations, didn't turn
out as well as you wished. Many fans deserted you and many didn't care
for the new sound. Is this something you regret trying?
Stefan: Actually no. No one can tell what our
current situation would be, if we had done things differently. With
Mathias, we couldn't play more shows or expand our promotion, to feed
a much greater career. With the singer change we got to experience
trips to foreign countries, gigs and other stuff we couldn't have
done else. I'm thankful for the things we experienced and I personally
think that it was worth it, although our success decreased. The albums
we released during this period weren't state of the art, but that's
a different story.
Tobbe: The music also became more power
metal oriented. Did you know even before your second release with Kristoffer,
Grime vs. Grandeur, that you had to try to get Mathias back again and
go back to a sound more similar to what the first two albums showed, and
thus try to win back the fans' trust?
Stefan: No, but we noticed that Kristoffer's
voice didn't really fit The Sceptre Of Deception, so we had to make
some adjustments to fit his voice for Grime vs. Grandeur. I thought
it was awesome at times, but a major part of our identity was lost,
which after a while the fans made us realize. The chemistry within
the band was good, but the music we created wasn't what we were comfortable
with, so the idea to get closer back to our earlier days came around
about a month before we asked Mathias to rejoin. I knew that it would
turn out half-assed if we didn't have the whole concept; music, lyrics
You compose the major part of the music yourself. How does it work when
you are recording? Do you tell everyone else exactly what to play, and
by that the rest of the band are limited to some extent, or do you even
play most parts to have it your way, as the bandleader you are?
Stefan: Oh, that sounds dictatorial. I create
demo recordings with rhythm guitars, vocal melodies and drum structure
at my place. The bassist can't actually do much, besides playing something
that fits and since so much stuff is going on with the guitars, it
turns out to be a simpler version of the rhythm guitar. Poor opportunities
for Magnus. Karsten tends to basically copy what I've created in the
drum machine, even though I give him free hands, because it's really
boring to play to a standard beat. Most of the time, for simplicity,
I play all guitars, except solos, in the studio, but on some songs
I play nothing, because Jimmy is indeed a much better guitarist than
I am. It would probably be a major difference, if we wrote the songs
during rehearsals, but then it feels like there would be less possibilities
to rule stuff out.
Tobbe: You also write most of the lyrics
as well. That you are familiar with and have an interest in history can't
be mistaken and the lyrics are often rather cruel and brutal too, without
happy endings. Is that something you strive for or is it just random?
Tobbe: Two quick questions to end this.
Which albums are Falconer's best respectively worst, and why is that?
Stefan: The best album is Northwind, because
some songs are so damn catchy and there's not even one single bad
song on it. The hunger and the joy of being back where we belonged
made it all so easy and flowing. The sound however is perhaps a bit
too polished. The worst is The Sceptre Of Deception. Three new members,
including a singer, and then we write a concept album on top of that.
Bad choice. The lyrical concept turned out well, but many songs were
written too quickly and were not that good, except the title track
and Hear Me Pray, that I really dig. The vocalist didn't fit the music
and the sound is lame, flat and dead.
Tobbe: Which is the worst Falconer song
you have recorded and officially released?
Tobbe: Okay Stefan. Thanks for taking your
- Stefan: You're welcome Tobbe. Thanks for having