RIDDARNA – DEBUT ALBUM REVIEW

Edward Forslund (singer of the band) interview

This record is AbsRecommended

Références musicales : Queens of the Stone Age, The Darkness

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First time I mentionned Riddarna in Absolut Noise, we were in 2009, and it was a 1st of April. The band is not a joke though. I have been following them since their very beginning, even before they were signed on a label actually. So you can imagine I was quite excited when I listened to their debut record (release date : 6 April. Their new single Känner du som jag is released just today!). Well, I have not been disappointed: those of you who already enjoyed the very Queens of the Stone Age sound of their EP, will love the record. A strong album with absolutely nothing to throw away.

Those guys manage to sound heavy AND melodic, powerful AND fun. From the shiny “tooo dooo tooo dooo” that open the record to the dark “ooohhhh” that ends it, Riddarna multiplies the singles (Känner du som jag, Sjuk, Lyssna, rock n’ rollen är död, Vi ska ut, Glömma allt are the most obvious heavy anthems) and can even add a very weird cover of Corona – yes, the euro shitty disco band -hit Rhythm of the night (Rytmen i natten), that you can download exclusively here for free.

I already wrote here that this band would be one of the huge discovery of 2011. I did not change my mind. With Paper’s second album (produced by the same label Novoton), Riddarna eponymous debut is the best record I heard so far in 2011.

I guess I could do an interview with Edward Forslund (singer of the trio) then. I did it, by gmail chat. It is quite a long one. Funny and chaotic, just like Riddarna’s music.

 

AbsNoise: How long did it take to make the record?

Edward: well, four of the songs we already had from the EP, the remaining seven, we recorded them live in a couple of days. Everything but the vocals. We put them afterwards. Mostly one or two takes. It’s fun to work that way. It’s really tiring to record every riff or word until it’s “perfect”. We just do it fast and then it is what it is. There is a lot of places on the record that we screw up! Well, maybe not a lot, just a little.

 

Is it important for you to sing in Swedish ?

More inspiring than important? I would say…

 

Ok, so tell me: what the lyrics are about ?

Well, most of them are about depressing stuff, frustration and things like that. Let’s give you some examples:
Lyssna, rock n’ rollen är död: “rock’n’roll is dead / we’ll bury it tonight / rock’n’roll is dead baby / it’ll never come back, no no. Then chorus: listen… listen to the radioooo”

 

Mmmmhhh… and the opening song Känner du som jag?

Känner du som jag = “do you feel like I do”. It goes something like: “do you feel like I do / do you feel like I do / do you feel like I do / do you feel like I do / enough is enough / enough is enough / enough is enough / so do ou feel the way I do / come on! / come on! / come on! / I said YOU / stand up / come ooooon”

 

Ok then, how about Rytmen i natten, the Corona’s Rhythm of the night cover? That might be one of the most amazing cover I have ever heard!

He he, thanks! That’s actually a wild card: we have no idea what people will think. Well, we’ve all grown up in the 1990s and when we were like 12-13 years old, there were these discoteques, the DJs only played like eurodisco. So these songs by Corona and everything make us nostalgic.

 

You know what? I actually saw Corona live last year, for a “generation 1990 revival thing”. It was terrible! The girl sung in playback and the audience made a stage invasion and… well everybody laughed about her… it was sad somehow…

That’s amazing… amasingly sad and funny in a weird way. I read the woman on the pictures never did sing the front figure so to speak… Well, anyway, that song is a party monster, one of the best euro disco song. A tribute to the 1990′s.

 

By the way, I was wondering, to which extent your music is an homage to heavy music? Is it just for fun or a serious thing? How should I take it?

The songs are serious and we are serious when performing them. The only way that we might make fun of things is perhaps by the way some of our photos or videos look. We are a heavy band, but still we find it kind of hard to embrace the heavy metal attitude…

 

I got it. Actually you remind me me two bands : Queens of the stone age and The Darkness. What do you think of those comparison ?

I understand it. The darkness because of our looks?

 

No, because of the homage to heavy music.

Ah. Our music is not an homage to heavy music, and from our point of view, there’s no “humor” in what we do in that sense. We simply make music that we think sounds dangerous, exciting and sexy and interesting, and we put on clothes that makes us feel “right” on stage.

 

Which bands inspired you ?

Well, the three of us come from totally different backgrounds, so it’s hard to speak for Patrik and Erik. But I get inspired by all kinds of music… I can go see some brutal metal bands and get inspired by some drum beats and the next day I’ll mix that with some ideas I got from listening to Empire of the sun. But the main influences I had when I was young was Nirvana and Soundgarden. Nirvana has had a major impact on me: the melodies, the chords…

 

You’re a heavy band. What do you think of the metal scene in sweden?

Mostly, I think metal is super boring. Swedish metal is mostly really well played and well recorded and everything, but that “well produced” tight sound isn’t ispiring. I know there are some really cool heavy bands too, but when you say “swedish metal scene” I instantly think of In flames and bands like that. Maybe that wasn’t what you meant, but “Swedish metal” it’s like a brand right? At the gates, In flames, etc…

 

Well, that was actually the bands I was thinking about

Ok good, then I stand by my words!

 

You might feel closer to Pascal?

Closer to Pascal than to In flames you mean? Absolutely! Actually, this is funny: we were not aware that we were a heavy band, or even a metal or hard rock band, until some reporter at P3 over here – a Swedish radio station – told us that we were. We thought we were just playing some weird rock, and then it dawned on us that we actually sounded like a really hard band. So yes, we feel closer to Pascal or Elvis or Phoenix, and not the bands people perhaps would associate us with…

 

What are your favourite songs in your record? I mean the funniest to play live?

Vi ska ut is really funny to play. It’s insane. Sjuk is always amusing: when we do it live, we always do psycadelic stuff in the middle of it and run around in the audience and stuff. So that’s a favourite. Also Glömma allt feels great to play, of course, since it’s so dark and heavy.

 

And Rytmen i natten? Did you play it live?

Yes, we’ve played it a couple of times, when it feels right. When we played it the first time, it felt magic when people started to realize what song it was they where hearing…

 

Cool, thanks a lot for your time

Anytime! Always a pleasure.

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