Interview date

May 2007


Yann G

I N T E R V I E W (Richard Sjunnesson)

Thanks for accepting this interview for

You're a swedish heavy-metal band. Your band has the specificity to have 3 brothers as members. Is it easy to work inside a same family ? How do you manage the conflicts ?

Yes it is very relaxing and effective working with your own brothers, seeing as you can be so honest to each other. And that in turn favors the music greatly. Like if any of us ever come up with a bad idea we just tell each other straight and there will never be any hard feelings what so ever. I think in some cases of other bands they wouldn't filter out these kind of crap details or musical flaws just to be nice to the composer which in turn would affect the band in a bad way. We've all been working together since the band started also, so we are comfortable working together always.
We rarely have issues with each other but if we do we solve them pretty much instantly. I guess everyone knows each other's soft spots and simply don't touch that nerve in respect to the other person. Also I think we all are pretty diplomatic when it comes to conflicts so it's never a problem. I guess we have a somewhat unconventional relationship in comparison to most other brothers.

Don't you think that the other band members might feel a little bit outside the circle ?

Not one bit, seeing they are our family as well hehe. Doesn't matter if it's by blood or a really strong friendship Sonic Syndicate is a big family and always will be even if it's just three of us that are genetically connected.

What bands did influence each of you ?

Such a hard question for a person that listens to countless of bands everyday. I can only talk for myself and I pretty much get influenced by all medias I interact with daily whether it is TV, radio, computer/console games or all the bands I just happened to listen to. I mean in all that noise you pick up some fragments of inspiration and when you create music you just do your own rendering of whatever you picked up from that noise subconsciously. I guess the quotient of bands we jointly listened to during the time we wrote the songs was: Killswitch Engage, In Flames, Soilwork, Bullet for my Valentine, Story of the Year, and All that remains. But I mean that's just about scratching the surface of what influenced us all in creating the music we play in Sonic Syndicate.

You have won the Nuclear Blast contest. Can you please tell us more about this ?

Sure, In 2005 there was this big band contest thrown together by Nuclear blast to vote up one single band to get a contract with Nuclear blast. The elite of German metal / hardrock magazines were recruited to act as jury for this event and 1,500 brave contestants of underground bands showed interest. Among them Sonic Syndicate and somehow we managed to walk victorious out from that contest, what are the chances?

"Only Inhuman" is your second album. What do you think of your first release "Eden Fire" ?

Well it's a historical part of the band since it walks you through two of the early demos of the band (Extinction 2004 / Black lotus 2003). And was probably the best album we could have done at that moment with the time / money that was available for us. It's pretty far from what we sound today music wise except the three opening tracks that were the bands latest efforts at the time we recorded the album. Also the production maybe wasn't as good as we hoped for and that is a money issue as well. But I mean I'm proud to have "Eden fire" as our debut album and it shows whoever picked it up what Sonic Syndicate evolved from. It is still a must for all Sonic Syndicate fans.

If you had to change things on it, what would you change ?

Would have changed nothing, I don't have any intensions of changing history. But If we rerecorded the "Eden fire" songs today I'm pretty sure it would have turned out very different from the actual outcome in 2005. I mean the band have additional two years worth of experienced on its back and I believe we have matured grandly in our music and maybe is even more open minded to cross the boarders of other genres than just limit us to metal as everyone know it.

How would you compare your evolution between these 2 albums ?

Eden fire and Only Inhuman are very different both music wise and production wise but overall I guess it's just the natural development of the band. It's more of everything! If you listened to the latest tracks on "Eden fire" like "Jailbreak" and imagine how that would evolve you are pretty close to the truth. You really see the impact, dynamic, and intensity of having two singers on the record as well which is really nice. Also the keyboards have been slightly pushed down to give room for more guitar work (There is obviously keyboards everywhere but they are just not as overwhelming as they where in Eden fire, more like background functions than actual leads). Also it's a bit more house-trained then "Eden fire" was and it will appeal to more listeners. The boarders between the American metalcore and the Swedish melodic metal have been shaded out even more in this record and I guess that's our identity.

All your names finish by "Sson" what is very common in Sweden. You also sound like the common swedish metal scene, like bands like Soilwork, In Flames ... What is so specific to scandinavian metal ?

Really hard question. But I think we have a very open minded connection to music. We don't want to dwell in the past and we are always hungry to take everything to the next level. It's hard to point out what is specific to Scandinavian metal it just is, like the American metal have their own touch we have ours. Could be culture, society of today, how we are raised or our history hard to tell really.

Are your proud to be compared to these bands ?

Well they are both great and succeful bands so of course you get flattered. But when I listen to our music I have a hard time to pick out what people think is simular in our music to these bands except the fact that we are wielding the same instruments. I mean we are two vocalist that sound nothing like there vocalist and how we structure up our songs are way diffrent to the mentioned bands. If you tell me we are simular because we all intend to compose good songs I'm all with you, but sometimes it just feels like people compare us to the bands mentioned above in lack of options.

Aren't you afraid to arrive too late on this metal scene, already very full ?

Hardly, The ultimate goal of a band is to have an eccentric sound. We know we aren't there yet but we will be in a not to distant future. And where we intend to go we are the pioneers so there will be plenty of room hehe.

Could you please explain us the composition and recording processes of "Only Inhuman" ?

First I'll shed some light on Sonic Syndicates way of writing music: Roger write the song in a computer software and upload a midi-format draft on our forum. Including drums, keyboards, guitars you name it. Anyway everyone d/l and I start to figure out the vocal arrangment, write the lyrics and name the song. We meet up in the reharsal room where everyone already has good knowledge about the new song. I explain my vocal intensions for Roland and he develops and color his parts. Also of course John adds his own flavour to the drums. However we start to reherse the song and while doing this everyone always have alot of inputs and suggestions and we basically try everything out. If it's good enough we implement it to the song if it dosn't work we just trash it obviouslly. After the reharsal Roger add the new adjustments to his composition in the software and that is the final stage of our song writing. Along the way to the studio alot of minor things change of course, but this is how we make the fundation of a song.
After the release of "Eden fire" Roger started to write new songs so thats really when the work for "Only Inhuman" started off. This triggered two years worth of song writing giving us 12 new songs plus 1 cover. We ended up in Black Longue studio (Scar symmetry) in Avesta (Sweden) with Jonas Kjellgren as producer and studio engineer. Drums was also co produced by Christian Silver (Studiomega) who produced and mixed "Eden fire".
John started to nail the drums in early December, Christian Silver was alot involved in that work. Then Roger / Robin started off with the guitars and was done in around two weeks I think, Jonas was alot involved in the guitar work. Karin nailed the bass pretty swiftly after the guitars and then me and Roland screamed our asses of for a week working us trough two songs a day. Me and Roland were pretty much our own producers seeing as Jonas already liked the ideas we had already. Of course there was some inputs and stuff but overall the vocals we're pretty simular to the original idea.
After that it was time for Roger and Jonas to work out the keyboards and ultimatly Roger, Christian and Roland went up another session to Avesta to help Jonas mix the tracks. Also Jonas mastered the whole thing.. All this was done between early December 2006 to late Jaunary 2007.

Are you proud of it ?

Well yes of course im proud of the album it was undoubtly the best album we could make at the time. But during the studio session and by listening to the final outcome you gain so much experience and you get alot of knowlage about what you can improve and what you could have done better. I guess that's what people call progress hehe. Anyhow what im trying to say is the album is great it really really is but the next generation of Sonic Syndicate songs will be even better hence all the new experience.

If you had to convince a reader to buy it, what would you say to him ?

Dear Aux Portes Du Metal reader I have tickets to heaven for sale!
I want you to do a good deed, and by doing this you'll be granted a ticket that is your security of getting your own reserved place in heaven (Yes it comes with jacuzzi). That is what comes from doing good deeds obviously. But remember I will only show you the door it is you that have to walk through it!
I will not be rude and release you into this self consuming world again without even giving you an good reasonable option of what this good deed could involve so here is one very good pick that will defenetly take you direct to heaven after your demise, hear me out:
Sonic Syndicate releases their steaming new album "Only Inhuman" 18th of May 2007. And by picking this up you get first in line of the I-made-a-good-deed list. I know you all saved about 20 euros for a world crisis and I'll asure you brothers/sisters that day has come!!!
If you'll ever even think about downloading this fellow you'll be condemned to eternal damnation IN HELL!!!
Thank you for your time and your MONEY!!!
See you in heaven everyone!
hahaha you think that would work out?

You have a very pretty bassist (Karin). How does your metal audience react during concerts to this charm ?

I can't possibly know since I'm blinded by a million photo flashes of guys that take pictures of her during our stage time.

How do you plan to promote this new album ?

Well during the summer we will work us through alot of festivals pretty much taking all the gigs that gets offered to us. Also we are printing up a good arsenal of merchendise that will hopefully help us to spread the word. There's a lot of internet and radio campains. And I don't even know half of it becouse it is mainly Nuclear blast and our manager that takes care of the whole promotion circus. Of course the band is very involved with all phone interviews, written interviews, myspace and gig promotion.

Do you plan to tour ?

Theres vague plans for a tour in the coming fall but nothing confirmed. Yes there will be ALOT of festivals for us this summer Wacken open air being the biggest this year for us.

Is there an opportunity to see you live in France ?

Nothing confirmed in France at the moment unfortunatly, but we get new gigs everyday so I'm possetive something will come up sooner or later.