Interview: Sonic Syndicate, Underground (Köln)16. Oktober 2014
Nathan – Vocals
Lest We Forget: 2008 you were on tour with one of your idol bands In Flames, how was your first meeting with them?
Nathan: Actually I joined the band at the end of 2008 so I missed the In Flames tour unfortunately, but we see the guys a lot. Robin is living in Stockholm and Bjorn in Goffernburg, so we bump into each other on festivals and shows, they are all really nice guys.
Lest We Forget: So you are friends with them behind Stage?
Nathan: Yes! Definitely, they are all super cool. But I guess I am better friends with bands like Soillwork and Dark Tranquility as well, those guys I just see more often. Whenever they come to Finland and I come to Sweden we usually hook up and have a few drinks and things.
Lest We Forget: The Band exists since 2002 and has published a few albums since then. What is your favorite Album Artwork?
Nathan: Hmm.. I don’t really know… The first ones were all a little bit more cartoony. I mean they were cool. But I think I like the newest album cover the most, it is black and white and has a bit of red in there. And it is this picture of 4 survivors and the rest of the world in an apocalypses-thing. So I really like the new album cover!
Lest We Forget: So you are the survivors ?
Nathan: Thats right, it is kinda like a metaphor for the band. We have been through a lot of shit and the band is still here. We survived no matter what happened and we are stronger then ever.
Lest We Forget: It has so much meaning behind it!
Nathan: Yes definitely !
Lest We Forget: So what is the most important/ best part of the CD booklet?
Nathan: Oh I see you are into the old school media. That is cool! Definitely! Me too! I am one of these people that buys the CD`s of my favorite bands and even smell the booklet! It has this new smell to it. And I like the picture of us – its really cool – and of course the artwork! I think it is really nice to have the whole package with the artwork and lyrics and stuff. A lot of that gets missed with a MP3 download. Well you can download these digital booklets afterwards… but it’s not the same as holding it in your hands. Its physical! And not behind glass!
Lest We Forget: I agree! With 4 band members you are very small for a metal band. Would you say it is easier because you only have 4 opinions to discuss?
Nathan: Definitely. In our lineup now we are all on the same wave length. We all have the same musical taste, it is just a lot more solid. We used to have to talk about a lot of things, now we have one clear goal together. That goes for the music, the touring or anything.
I think it sounds huge if a band plays that tight together, like Pantera. One of the best bands ever.
Lest We Forget: So you can hear every instrument and don’t have like 3 guitars or something like that.
Nathan: Yes, you don’t lose it behind a complete wall of sound, it can still sound massive out the front of the PA. But on stage you can exactly hear when somebody fucks up. And then you know who’s ass to kick…. It is usually me.
Lest We Forget: What is the coolest merch you have ever seen?
Nathan: I remember when all the kids were buying the Korn hoodies and Slipknot hoodies, that was just crazy. There were a lot of death metal bands before. But these Slipknot hoodies had all these disgusting pictures on the. Like a pig`s skull with Maggots coming out of it and me being younger and I just was like “FUCK”, that really shocked me, someone is walking around with that on them. I remember one hoodie from Cradle of Filth which had in huge massive letters the words “Jesus is a cunt” written on them and I just thought “Whoa, that is fucking hardcore!”. But I love all the artwork that goes into albums and stuff, as long as it looks cool and has the artwork on the front. I think it is a really good way to support the bands you like. The new merch we just kicked out is really cool, really loving it! Back to the question, I would say Slipknot.
Lest We Forget: Would you buy an album or some merch even if you don’t know the band and just think it is cool?
Nathan: I have done it before, I think I bought Blood Bath`s album because I saw the artwork and thought that it looked cool. But I have done it a few times, sometimes it is a mess and sometimes it is really great stuff. They say never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes: Go for it!!
It might turn out to be one of your favorite bands ever. I mean images and music are both expressions of art and if the band has chosen that as their album cover and somehow that speaks to you. Then pick it up.
Lest We Forget: October is a big month of your European tour, so you have to see each other every day. Which habit of the other band members is most annoying for you?
Nathan: Robin! He snores like a wild beast. I am such a light sleeper, if I can here a clock ticking or a freezer humming or something then I can’t sleep. If he is in the bunk next to me or we are in a hotel we had the situation we had to share a double bed, I cant stand it! But otherwise we are not so bad I guess.
Lest We Forget: If it is only that it is ok. So what was the craziest thing that has happened on stage?
Nathan: It was actually 2011 around this time and we were on our tour in Prague. On stage we had this “Sub Bass” effect, like a big “BOOM”, which John triggers on the drum kit. And it shut down the whole power in the building, nothing worked. I don’t know how but not even the cash registers behind the bars worked. Nobody could buy beer and the music just stopped and we just stood on stage and thought “What the Fuck”, we just stood there for a minute. Suddenly the power came back! That was very funny. The stories are stupid and endless…
Once we were pulled over by the cops in Russia, in St Petersburg the police told us to stop playing- for some reason. The stages are falling apart in some venues, I put my foot in a massive hole and I was down to my waist in this hole and still kept singing. So there is always something on every tour.
Lest We Forget: So it never gets boring! No something very different: What do you sing at home under the shower?
Nathan: For some reason I am one of these people that sing Christmas songs in my head, even in October.
Lest We Forget: I can’t remember which band it was, but some other band member sings Christmas songs under the shower too!
Nathan: I don’t know why, sometimes they just pop up in your head. I guess I am looking forward to Christmas – It could be anything. I listen to so much different music, from Snoop Dog to Slayer. But in the shower it are Christmas songs!
HAVE YOU EVER…
– thought about stop making music?
Nathan: I thought about it for a few split seconds and then I thought about it serious for a day or something, but I can’t go through a whole day without listening to music! It does not matter if it is me singing or on my phone or my iPod. So if I would stop making music I would feel guilty enjoying it because I like to create. So no is the answer I guess.
– played drunk on stage?
Nathan: Yea a couple of times, but I don’t do very well. I turn into an asshole on stage, for my voice I cant drink on stage. The alcohol really dehydrates my voice, if I have the next day off I will have a few beers towards the end of the set, Robin and the others have a few beers and even a couple of shots sometimes on stage. The music comes first.
– thrown a television out of the window?
Nathan: Yes! We just did it because we had been on tour for 2 years and had never thrown a TV out of the window. So we did. We were somewhere in Germany. The landlord acted like he was really pissed off, he said he was going to send the bill to our record label or something. And we just said “No you won’t!” and he was like “ Na I won’t, that was an old TV and I need to get some flat screens in here anyway”. It was one of these massive old ones, it was huge!
Lest We Forget: Did you film it?
Nathan: Filmed it? No way we were far too drunk to film something. We will try again this tour, we have a camera man with us on this tour.
-Had a crush on a famous or prominent person?
Nathan: yea…. I was being into Kat von D for a while.
Lest We Forget: The tattoo artist?
Nathan: Yes the tattoo artist… there is this chick in a band “ Want to drive from LA” she plays the guitar and I think she is super hot. But celebrity crushes come and go…