Since their formation and their first album “Eden Fire” SONIC SYNDICATE are back on track. They hit bottom and now they are back up with their new Album “Confessions”. Ready to share every detail of their fall and the way the overcame it, SONIC SYNDICATE are here once again and confessed everything, from stories of the past, up until their future plans and goals.
Let’s start with a pretty standard question. Why Confessions? What’s the meaning behind the word and the whole album?
It’s kind of just a chance for us to get completely back in touch with ourselves. We have been involved in this metal game for a while and every part of my body loves it. But it was a chance to get back to ground zero and we just thought to own up to everything so nobody can have any hold over us in any way, lay everything on the line. I think a lot of bands spend so much time trying to be “bulletproof” that they almost lose touch with their fans. So we did these confessions episodes and the whole thing of the album. We are people too, we’ve been to hell and back, over the years we’ve changed band members, we changed record label and what it came down to, it was just the three of us wanting to make music. That was are building block from the start of the this album, so we thought to just roll with it.
Listening to your self-titled album, “Sonic Syndicate” someone can realize there’s a lot of rage, anger and power behind the music. This time, your sound was softer, calmer, happier for the most part. What were the emotions behind “Confessions” ,what guided you to this result?
We are all feeling really positive more than anything. It’s got this kind of feeling when you are in highschool and jamming with your friends, that kind of atmosphere with song writing and positive energy behind the music. It just all came really naturally. That doesn’t mean that the subject matter of the songs is all positive, we are dealing with a lot of negative stuff. I realized a while ago that, you have a certain amount of responsibility while being in a band. It dawned on me when we released the “We are the night” album. It started of just once, I had a fan writing me saying:”I listened to your song and it stopped me from committing suicide” and I was like “Ok, that is amazing, glad I could help”, I didn’t know what else to say. The same thing happened again, from that song I ended up getting six or seven emails from people saying it stopped them from committing suicide. I realized this isn’t just me writing music for me, it can influence other people. From that moment onwards, I was like “Ok, I’m going to deal with whatever the hell I want in terms of emotions”. So there would be anger, love, hate even death but I always like to put a light in the end of the tunnel now, even if I’m talking about things I have been through recently, such as relatives passing away, disease. I always want it to be uplifiting in some way. Life is beautiful, that is the message behind “Confessions” .
I watched all of your confessions videos on YouTube, which are great by the way. You mention in the first video that you are no longer part of the Nuclear Blast family anymore. What really got my attention though was your statement, that you were free to create anything you like. Does that mean that the sound in “Confessions” expresses your feelings and inner world better than your previous ones?
Yeah, definitely. This is the most deep and most expressive we have ever gone. We have been through so much and there was a point we were thinking not to carry on as a band anymore, granted it was for a few milliseconds and then we realized that we can’t waste this, of course we are going to carry on because we all love writing music and creating so much together . When you hit that bottom, if you decide to get back up and write music then you are going to sure that it’s for you and that it makes you happy. I’m not saying that I’m not proud of everything we did before or that I wasn’t happy. Of course I was, but this has been so reinvigorating and so life changing in a way.
How’s the recording process for you generally? How do you come up with the songs and put them down to paper. Do you contribute to the music writing process?
Yeah, we all do. We are a small band now, we are a three piece. So it’s really easy to bounce ideas off each other and we are thinking the same. So we are all creating together very quickly and once we decided to go with this album, the songs rolled out very quickly. It can start off with a guitar melody or a keyboard melody or a vocal melody but we build it together. A huge part of the writing does come from Robin with his guitar. But he will have a riff, I will hear it and inspire me to write some vocal melody and then we bounce it off each other, until it’s a song.
People love labels and categories as you know very well. So, in what genre your music belongs? any labels to put on?
This is really the wrong question for me, because I hate labels. They just seem to narrow people’s perspective. Or they expect what are they going to hear before the even listen to it. So it narrows their mind even before they heard the music. We’ve heard lots of labels in the past. I guess I’m happy that I can’t seem to put a label on it, I guess that’s a positive thing. Before that, we were trying to evolve and become better as song writers. You could still, from the first album up until the one before this one, you could still very easily, from an outside perspective, put us in a bracket or subgenre quite easy. That bracket is core, metalcore or melodic death metal thing that people like to lump the band into. Every interview I’ve done is like “How does it feel that you are not in the core scene anymore” and I am like “Whatever..”*laugs*. I guess I will just have to go with Rock.
In your song “Still Believe” you collaborated with Madyx. How did you decide to do this collaboration?
It was just something I’ve always wanted to. We’ve been trying a lot of different things on this album, opening our own minds to different ways of song writing and I’ve always wanted to write a part for a female vocalist or I always wanted to write a duet. Now that seemed as the perfect time to doing it, since we’ve been trying the other things we have never done before. It kind of shaped itself, ended up being this, almost, pop-rock ballad. Then we told our label that we are looking for a female singer to feature on it and they went to work. They came back to us with Madyx, and I listened to her stuff, she is from the band Life Down Here, which did tours with The Used and Paramore. They are from LA so they’ve got this American sound which works really well, because the lyrics are about a guy living in Stockholm and a chick from LA, so it worked out perfectly. I wasn’t looking for a girl from LA to sing the song but it happened. She really dag the track so we flew her over and recorded the song.
You have changed many members since the band’s creation, and you changed your sound to such extend. It’s like listening to a completely new band with the same name. What is the thing that connects Sonic Syndicate of today, with Sonic Syndicate of the past?
We’ve been changing members but me and Robin stayed the core song writers since 2009, when I joined the band and me and Robin, we work together so well. When we did the “We are the Night” album, we were adding these rock and roll flavors, a lot more melody, playing with the electronics in a more mainstream way and we developed a huge core fanbase from that record. Since then, fans have been growing in terms of what they listen to and I think they’ve been expecting “what’s going to be our next step” . I think a lot of people expected us to write this album in some way. The self-titled album that we did before this one, that was more like a homage to our roots and all the stuff were listening, growing up, listening to Swedish music. That was looking at the past while this album is looking at the future and we’ve been very honest with our fans about that. I’m sure there’s going to be some division between people that preferred that metalcore or melodic death metal kind of style, but we are a modern band and we’ve got a fanbase of modern listeners. Sure there is going to be some division but, our listeners are growing with us and they are listening so many types of music, as we are, in this day and age, as it is more and more easy to consume music. That’s who we are, music fans in this band. We just love listening different types of music and we know our fans do so we’ve created something which is a lot more diverse and a lot more ourselves and just being honest.
You used to have some fascinating album covers in every album from Eden Fire to Sonic Syndicate. Your last cover is pretty minimal and simple. Why did you break your pattern once again? Any meaning behind the cover?
First of all it’s a new artist, a guy called Emanuel Papael(?), he’s from Italy and is a great young guy. We had plenty of talks about what I wanted. He sent some ideas and I was like “this isn’t quite right”. I sent him some the demos and we were just talking about the music and I told him when I close my eyes and listen to music, I see colors. Whether negative or positive, music conveys different emotions. And I told him this album is all about us reaching a point in our lives where we are very honest with who we are as people and songwriters and the fact that we are now having fun and we are loving music. He came back to me with these colors, which are really vivid purple and blue and I was like” Wow, that looks awesome, that’s it, that’s the one”.
Again in your “Confessions” video, you mention that you are ready for new experiences, visiting places you never did before. Would you consider visiting Greece in more than one cities?
I’d love to, definitely. It can be difficult because in major cities you know you are going to get a bigger turnout of people and honestly it costs money to get over there to play. But if we can have some sort of pledge and help from the radio of the different cities that we can play, then we are definitely up for it
I read an interview of yours, when you were not part of the band, for “Powerofmetal”, from 2006, that’s like 10 years ago. Some members mentioned that they wanted to be rockstars, have a lot of girls and make money. Did you achieve those goals? What are your goals and ideals now as a band?
Really (Laughs)? That sounds pretty childish, I guess 10 years ago that’s what I wanted to. I guess we’ve achieved those goals. When we are touring and doing this full time, we are able to live of the band which is something amazing itself and it’s something I’d never be able to do. When I was a kid if someone told me you could live of your music I’d be like “No way..”. We had a lot of fun doing that, there’s been a lot of parties, a lot of girls and all sorts of things. But all that comes and goes. The important thing is that we, and I can speak for the rest of the band, still love writing music and performing live and that’s way better than all the other stuff that comes with being in a band. In terms of other goals, I just want to keep doing what we are doing. There’s places that we haven’t really hit in this world. We have a strong fanbase in South America, which I really want to get over and play there. Some other places like Greece and Turkey would be amazing, more like the deeper in to Europe there, than just the central Europe. We’ve never been to Australia either, so just taking of the boxes of places we haven’t been and building a fanbase and meeting new friends and fans. We went to China for the first time this year and it was awesome.
What are your future plans now?
Yeah, it’s nonstop now. In the morning we go to Russia, playing a few shows there. Straight from Russia, we fly from Saint Petesburg to Germany and then we start a tour with another Swedish band called Amaranth. That is going to take us right until Christmas, then we have a break for Christmas. Then we have already started confirming tours for the next years. So it’s nonstop. And we’ve got our new music video coming out tomorrow.
I don’t have any other questions. Before we say goodbye, any message for yours fans out there?
We are coming, slowly but surely. This is it, this is our life now. We overcame the tragedy that we are way so long. We are back with an album which we have completely fallen in love with and we know everyone else will. Now it’s just a case of getting out there and playing live.