Interview with Mikael Stanne
Band: Dark Tranquillity
By: Mohammad Farid - 2013-03-24
JorZine, as media partners of Dubai Rock Fest 2013, are making a series of interviews with the bands that will participate in this event. Reporter "Mohammad Farid" has conducted the following interview with Mikael Stanne, vocalist of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal band DARK TRANQUILLITY
1. Dark Tranquility needs no introduction, but what would you tell us about yourselves?
We are five guys that grew up on metal at a very crucial time and basically had it grafted into our DNA. Our goal has been to create and write melodic and intense metal music since day one and we are constantly trying to best ourselves.
2. What made you take up your instruments and play metal?
We started out of boredom and frustration. We were sitting around listening to music everyday and realizing there is so much awesome music out there but there is room for something different. So we took the influence from our favourite melodic bands and combined that with our love of intense Death and Thrash Metal to form something that we thought was original.
3. You've been around '89, and you haven't gone through many line-up changes. Tell us about the stories behind your survival as a band.
We grew up together and we have a mutual respect and understand for each other. And also we feel that we are only as good as the band is and it´s never been about the individual members. The band is more than the sum of it´s parts.
4. Your style has gone through changes over the years, how do you reflect on that now, and where do you see yourselves in 5 or 10 years?
Wow. Cannot even think about tomorrow. We try hard not to take anything for granted or plan too far ahead. Albums should be time capsules that reflect the time, mood and feeling of the band at that particular time. So naturally they differ and stand out on their own.
5. You were among the pioneers of a subgenre of metal named after your hometown. Tell us how you feel about that. Also who were your influences and inspirations?
I feel proud and weird about that. Proud of our small contribution to the world of metal. Proud of all my friends I grew up with who are in amazing bands too. And kind of weirded out by the fact that what started in a tiny garage has become a fullblown subgenre. Very cool. Very weird.
6. You have a new album coming out this year. Tell us about its concept, lyrical theme and musical style. Which of your older albums - if at all - would it be closest to?
The album has been in the works for a very long time and to finish it has been the hardest ever for the band. But we are very proud of the fact that we made it and the result is exactly what we wanted. There is no concept, just ideas of betrayal, skepticism, anti-theism and truth. It has a straighforward feel both in music and lyrics. Someone I just spoke to referred to it as a mix between 'Projector' and 'We are the void'. Could be true. I don´t have the capacity to view it objectively.
7. When is the first single off the new album coming out?
The album will be out on 27th of May and the single or first digital track/video will be out a couple of weeks before. No date set yet.
8. Are you planning to release a music video? And is Niklas Kvarforth going to direct it, again?
A video will be made in the next couple of weeks for the best song on the album. Kvarforth will have nothing to do with it though.
9. When are you going to start touring with the new album?
We start off with festivals through the summer and then move over to the States in Sept and then back to Europe in the winter and then the rest of the world. We are pretty much booked until next summer. Good times.
10. Tell us about your songwriting process. Is it collaborative, or is there always a mastermind behind everything?
Its always been a collaborative effort. Martin Henriksson is usually the mastermind who works everything together. This time was different though.
11. Your fans would like to know about you, your hobbies and favorite books and movies, your jobs. Tell us something about yourselves.
I am just a metal dude into what most other guys are into. Fave beer is Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Fave Whiskey is Ardbeg Corryvreckan, fave band is Rush, fave movie is Donnie Darko, fave game is Mass Effect 2. That´s me!
12. How does it feel after 20 years of DT to play first time in Dubai?
13. Are you familiar with the Middle Eastern acts that are going to perform on the same stage with you in Dubai on June 7th (Myrath from Tunisia and Anuryzm from Dubai)? What do you expect of those acts?
I really am not familiar with those bands but I intend to find out exactly what they are about. Very excited to hear bands from other regions of the world other than the ones I am used to. It´s going to be amazing.
14. What does Dark Tranquillity expect from the Middle Eastern fans, and how is it going to be for you to perform in the region?
I really don´t know. All I know is that the first is always the best. Definitely the best thing about being a touring band is to be able to see a country and fans for the first time. The expectation and the energy is so amazing. Cannot wait.
15. What should the fans be expecting of you and will you be playing any songs off the upcoming album or from your backlog?
We will put on show full of new and old. We will for sure be playing some new stuff from the brand new album as well.
Dubai Rock Fest 2013 is bringing some of the greatest Rock/Metal bands from all over the world to the United Arab Emirates. The event, which will take place on Friday 7th June at Dubai World Trade Center Arena, will be headlined by the Swedish-born US-based guitar maestro YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. Other participating bands are the Swedish Melodic Death metallers DARK TRANQUILLITY, Tunisian Oriental metallers MYRATH, French Heavy Metal act NIGHTMARE and the local Progressive Metal band ANURYZM.