Dark Tranquillity

Interview date

Février 2010




Interview Niklas Sundin

The band has celebrated his twentieth anniversary last year. But you release, depending the countries, in February or March your ninth album. Do you definite your band as one that needs time to compose?

Definitely. Writing an album always takes a lot of time for us, so we're happy if we can release something every two or three years. These days, every album release means a long period of touring as well, so I really can't see our schedule changing so much in the future. Some bands can lock themselves up in a studio and compose ten songs in two weeks, but that would never work for us.

What is your message through the title "We Are The Void"?

It's all up to the listener to find his or her own meaning and interpret the title in any way they wish. We never want to give any full solutions away; those who have a genuine interest aren't very concerned about our own ideas anyway. None of our titles in the past have had a specific message as such; they're just phrases that reflect the music and lyrics and set the mood for further exploration.

How did you work to composite it?

All members come up with basic riffs and ideas at home and then we assemble everything into real songs in the rehearsal room. When the music is complete, Mikael writes the lyrics and the final changes are made if necessary. This is more or less the same method of working as when we started back in 1989.

Have you the same inspirations or have you change them a little?

Every member of the band listens to different music, and throughout the years there have been lots of inspirational sources for different periods.

You are a main band in the melodic death metal scene. Is it important for you to be known as you are and would you work as you do if you were less known?

No, attention is not important, and I couldn't care less for being a known band. There are lots of advantages with being small and unknown too and there are plenty of annoying things about being percieved as popular. We'd sound the same and have the same ways of working regardless of the status of the band, though if we were less popular we couldn't tour as much.

There is a DVD on the limited edition of this album. What is it about?

I think the DVD contains a studio documentary and a "making of" clip from the recording of the "Shadow in our blood" promo video. I'm honestly not 100% sure, ha ha!

May a new generation of fans will discover the band with this album. What do you want to say to them?

Everything that we want to say to people is on the album already, so there isn't much to add. I guess we don't really think in that way. If people give our music a listen and decide that they find something that's worthwhile for them in it, that's great - but it'd be weird to tell them what they're listening to and how they should interpret it. We always preferred the "empty canvas" approach - make of our music what you will.

During your last US tour, you stayed there about two months. You will go there in February and March. Does the American audience is important for you and is there some differences between them and the European fans?

As a touring band, playing everywhere is important to some degree. We're a bigger band in Europe than in the US, so the potential of growing and finding new listeners is bigger overseas. There's no huge difference between fan reactions though; reactions are pretty much the same no matter where we play.

For now, no dates are announced for a real European tour. Can you reassure your fans, the tour will also come in Europe and in France?

Absolutely! Our booking agent is currently working on a European headline tour, and I think that all the dates will be announced within a month or so. There's still some gaps in the schedule, but most of the tour is at least partly agreed on, and France is included as always.

How do you see the evolution of Dark Tranquillity from the beginning to now?

Every album has been different, so I don't really see it as a journey from point A to B. There's no constant, linear evolution as such - we've tried different things out on different recordings. Sometimes we've glanced to the past for inspiration, sometimes to the future.

You wrote the lyrics of the first album of the band and the first three albums of In Flames. What does writing mean for you?

These days, it doesn't mean much. I stopped writing lyrics on a regular basis 12-13 years ago, partly because I'm already busy with music and artwork and partly because I don't have the need to express myself in this medium anymore.

On the official website of the band, it's written you are interest in "voluntary human extinction". What is that and why are you interest in it?

Well, I'm always interested in radical ideas, and the VHEMT simply proposes that instead of awaiting the inevitable destruction of mankind through overpopulation or warfare, we should chose to end humanity here and now by not giving birth to any more children. It's a very utopian thought, and of course it'll never happen, but there's something noble about making the rational decision to just call it a day and give way for other lifeforms to populate the planet. For the record, I don't necessarily support mass eradication of humanity, I just find it a fascinating

You are in another band, Laethora. The new album will come out in 2010, one month after the new Dark Tranquillity one. How will you combine the two live lives?

Well, Laethora doesn't really play that much live, so I don't foresee any problems. We've had two gigs in 6-7 years, and even if there probably will be a bit more for this album, it's not really a full time band as such. We all have other priorities, so Laethora things happen when every member have time for it, but when we actually work, it's serious business.

If you had to choose between these two albums, which one will you defend fiercely?

I like them both, and they're very different from each other. Dark tranquillity has a legacy of 20 years, and the new album builds on that while introducing some new elements and ideas. The band is more like an institution in itself. Laethora is more about iconoclasm and chaos; we have no legacy or name to live up to, so therefore we

Have you something else to say to end this interview, a message for your fans?

Thanks for the interview! Looking forward to playing in France later this year!