The killing machine One Man Army
& The Undead Quartet keeps on turning and now evolution has come to
the time where they are ready to unleash their second full-length album.
Error In Evolution which is to be released in March is the highly acclaimed
follow-up to 21st Century Killing Machine, released only a year ago. We
took the opportunity to put vocalist Johan Lindstrand
against the wall and confronted him with our questions.
Thomas: First of all, it is great to have
you back with another killer album with Error In Evolution, but for someone
less initiated how would you describe the sound of One Man Army? The music
screams of thrash but the vocals are more of death metal, what kind of
band do you consider One Man Army to be?
Johan: Hi Thomas! Cool that you enjoy the music,
and talking about music, hmm, I don't wanna get to complicated when
I describe the music of One man army to someone. I mean, a lot of
bands has a description on 10 words you know. Either you say thrash
metal or death metal about us. It doesn't matter. Both are correct
in one way or another. But we get influences from all kinds of shit
with different elements releasing each other so a 10 word description
would probably be necessary, but within the roots we are death metal:.
Damn, it got complicated in the end after all.
Thomas: With your last album, 21st Century
Killing Machine, everything I have read about it has been in a positive
sense, and rightfully so if you ask me, so I suppose one could say that
you had a successful start? Did the album live up to the expectations
you had on it, or did it even exceed them? Moreover, did you think that
the album would get as good response as it has?
Entering the studio to record Error In Evolution, what where your thoughts
concerning the making of the second album? Did you ever think that it
was going to be hard to make an album that could live up to the high standards
that you set with the debut?
Johan: The cool thing about this new album
is that everyone more or less has put some input. Well, 3 guys has
written the stuff but when going into the rehearsal room we all kind
of messed a bit with the songs and came up with improvements to each
others songs. That was not the case on the debut which I almost wrote
on my own. We knew that we had a strong debut but the new songs just
came naturally and I think they are a step in the right direction
on what the future sound of The Army will be. It's also cool now that
we are more songwriters because we can make a wider sound without
Thomas: Now with the new album, what can
you say about it? What is different from your last effort 21st Century
Killing Machine, any new things that you are trying out or things that
you set out to do differently?
Johan: Yeah, there are some different elements
in this new one. Mainly that the songs are shorter and have a more
classic arrangements to it compared to the last one. It's also way
more diverse, including some new vocal approaches here and there.
More catchy, melodic and everything at the same time it actually has
more fast parts than the last one. But the changes we did wasn't that
much intentionally. Well, we knew that the songs needed an extra punch
and spice but most of the "new" stuff were created in the
studio which turned out great in my opinion.
Thomas: Do you feel that now with your second
album and when you have gained some routine for the band from touring
that you are starting to be where you want to be with One Man Army? Or
did you hit the right spot from the start, considering that even if One
Man Army is a relatively new band you as musicians aren't, so that you
perhaps could achieve directly what you went out to create?
Johan: You always want more, hehe. I mean,
just as you say, we have gained a lot of routine and respect out there
but we still have a long way to go cause of all the other million
bands out there that gets attention. The main goal is of course to
release loads of great albums and be able to stand on our own on every
possible level. I want this to be the source of money for us so we
can live on it and just focusing on music instead of working 9 to
5 in a shitty place that takes away the strength for us to write music.
Unfortunately it's a necessary evil at the moment.
Thomas: What are your hope and expectations
on Error In Evolution? Or are you by now just eager to get out on the
road to see how the songs work live?
If we take a more in-depth look at the title: Error In Evolution. What
error in what evolution? And is this a common theme for the album in its
entirety and something that reflects in the lyrics as well?
Johan: Yeah, it's a bit reflected in the lyrics
as well. The title refers to all the actual wars, criminality and
all that kind of shit that actually is increasing in this world, even
in Sweden. I mean, you think that people should learn from past mistakes
but apparently not. And now it seems like Bush will send another 21000
soldiers to Iraq, hehe. That's insane. That's what the error is referred
to cause things are not looking that much brighter compared to 10-15
years. A lot of suffering to say the least.
Thomas: Where do you gather lyrical inspiration?
And what kind of subjects are you dealing with in the lyrics? Are there
any subjects that or opinions that you feel strongly about that you like
to get off your chest in the lyrics?
Johan: Just as the error is referred to I´m
getting inspiration from true events but them I mix it with some fiction.
And some lyrics are also pure fiction but 50-60 % comes from the real
world. Some topics comes from the school massacres in the states like
in "Such a sick boy" and some from fanatic religious countries
like in "Knights in Satan's service". Others from actual
Swedish criminality but with some new touches to have a bit distance
to it. You could say that I write about everything which I feel has
something weird with it, hehe. There's also a couple of personal ingredients
in the lyrics as well.
Thomas: Who writes the songs in the band?
Is there anyone that is to be seen as the creative force behind the band
or does all in the band chip in with material to the songs?
Thomas: On the album you have a song entitled Knight In Satan's
Service, by the title it looks to me like it is a tribute to KISS? Is
that correct, and if so, what kind of relation do you have to KISS?
Johan: Yeah, that's kind of a tribute to KISS
but only title-wise. I just had to use this title to send out a punch
in the face to all those ridiculous Christians back in the 80´s
that claimed that KISS stood for "Knights in Satan's service".
It's so bizarre that's it's funny. Anyway, KISS is one of the best
bands ever to exist along with early Metallica.
Thomas: You also do a cover version of Alice
Cooper's song He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) that originally appeared
on the soundtrack to Friday The 13th Part 6, what made you chose that
one? Even if I personally think you could have done an even more aggressive
version you have managed to capture the essence of the original version
as well as making it sound as a One Man Army song.
Johan: The reason was basically cause I've
wanted to do this song for a very long time. Even back in The Crown
days but it took me a couple of years before it came true:. This song
and movie has become very special for me through out the years. Since
I first saw this movie with pretty poor quality I have loved this
song and I´m not a huge Cooper fan or anything but I relate
the song with the movie. Yeah, we could of course have done it even
more aggressive but I love the original too much to change the very
important chorus. And one cool thing is that Christian Älvestam
from Scar Symmetry is doing the chorus. That was kind of funny cause
we have been friends since the military service 11 years ago, and
he called me up after he read on Blabbermouth that we would do this
and he said: "-Hey Johan, I heard you're doing He's back!! Well,
I will be very disappointed if I can't join you", hehe. And even
if we weren't suppose to have a guest on it I´m not regretting
taking him on cause he has an amazing voice and he's also the biggest
Jason fan in the world. That's why he needed to be on it :)
Thomas: You have some really awesome artworks
for your albums and there is a similar style on both of them. Is there
a conceptual theme behind the artwork? What is the story behind the Sauron-like
warrior in black and the faceless creatures surrounding him? Who is the
artist and is did you have directions for him or did he get creative freedom
with coming up with the concept?
Johan: We've had directions to him on both
albums with some freedom to create on his own. It's a guy called Anthony
Clarkson who is also responsible for the new exodus and Hypocrisy.
He knows this shit very much and he also came up with these very cool
creatures which we've had now for 2 albums. I think this fits very
much what this band is all about. I am the beast, the frontman and
the undead quartet is my rhythm section. We don't have a name for
the beast yet but a competition will take place very soon just to
name this demon and the winner who has the coolest name will win something
Thomas: In about a year you have soon released two full-length
albums, one EP in time for Christmas and done more than 80 live shows,
don't you ever rest?
- Johan: Apparently not :). But the reason for
being so creative is that the whole band is more involved now which
Thomas: How has the touring been, I saw
you as support to Children Of Bodom in Gothenburg and I must say you did
well, but what do you prefer - to act as support or as headliner, which
you have done as well during the past year?
- Johan: Touring has been great. We've done huge
shows as well as very small club shows. The best thing when you are
a new band is of course to open for other bigger acts so that you could
promote your name in front of more people but the small headlining shows
has been very funny as well. And now when we have more songs to chose
from it will be even funnier.
Thomas: Which countries have you visited
during the year and where would you say it was the most fun top play and
where did you get the best reception?
Thomas: You seem like a great outfit, it
sounds splendid on album, there is such a high level of musicianship on
it, and the band appears to be very tight. Is there as good spirit in
the band as it sounds to be on the albums and on stage?
Thomas: And if we talk about your vocal
techniques, how the hell can you keep doing what you do without destroying
your vocal chords? Have you learned any techniques or does the growling
come natural for you?
Johan: Well, I have done it for 17 years now
and I guess this is my call, hehe. But sometimes I have bad days just
as everyone. This isn't something that is pretty good for your chords
but I love it too much and basically don't give a shit if I wreck
´em. Well, If I destroy them I wouldn't be able to growl at
all so that was a bad thing to say. I just wanted to be metal enough
for you ;-) No, but seriously, I am self learned and it just comes
naturally. Can't remember how it started but where other normal people
starts to puke blood I just get a little sweaty.
Thomas: You released a limited X-mas EP, Christmas For The Lobotomizer
that was only available through Nuclear Blast. How did it turn out and
why limited to only 500 copies?
Thomas: How does the future look concerning
touring, any plans made yet? And what would you like a tour to be, as
headliners or as special guest to a band that is more established and
has a bigger following of fans?
Johan: So far we have like 5 or 6 shows booked
but we have a couple of other things in progress. I think we'll work
pretty much in the same way as last year, like playing with more established
bands to continue building up the band, cause you never get new fans
by playing on your own.
Thomas: Any festivals lined up for this
summer? What festivals are confirmed and is there any further in negotiations?
Can you give us a hint on what is about to come?
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
- Johan: Ok, thank you very much for this great
interview Thomas. Good luck with Metal Covenant, and to all the readers.
Check out the new album "Error in evolution" or you will likely
be stuffed into the error ;-) Cheers!
See also: review
of the album Error In Evolution