RIDDARNA – Under Jorden (album review + Edward Forslund interview)

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I have mentioned it weeks ago: “Under Jorden”, the new and third Riddarna album, is and will be one of the albums of the year 2014 to remember. It is actually the best one of the band so far, and God knows how much I loved their previous ones! (Get the album here).

Since I like to play the role of the Riddarna web archivist, here we go again with a new interview of Edward Forslund, singer of the band. Released by chat. A little bit chaotic since it goes from one idea to another. But kind of fun, I guess.

AbsNoise : To begin with, I picture this third album as the one from you with the most numerous singles (at least “Hjärtat slår”, “Simma hem”, “Så hårt”, “Skuggan”and “Nu eller aldrig” are killers). Do you agree with this?
Edward Forslund: Yes! Agreed.

Which songs are your fav? I know it’s like kids and blablabla, but still… You might have some fav, right?
Of course! I think personally and at the moment (since these things seem to change during time) that my favourites are “Skuggan”, “Hjärtat slår” and “Över gränsen” (in English : “The shadow”, “The Heart beats” and “Over the Line”)

I asked you in a the latest interview we did about your previous record: “In three words, what has this album than the previous one did not have?”. You answered : “Coherence, jungleroars and shufflegrooves”. So what about this one?
Well, first of all, it has glue between the tracks in the form of jamming and sounds so: instrumental glue in between the tracks! Furthermore… it has length! Compared to the incredibly short power burst that the latest album was. And… let’s say: a courageously soft ballad.

Really? Isn’t it quite heavy for a ballad?
I guess you’re right! It is quite heavy for a ballad. That just shows how screwed our definition of “soft” is…

You released three albums in few years… do you think you will keep on making one album a year?
I don’t think we will be making an album a year. I do however think we will keep making music every year.

Do you mean albums are dead? Like you will more put a song on itunes and everything? I have actually a wonder : the previous album was probably more homogeneous than this one. This time, did you attend to make a proper album or just to put songs all together?
I don’t think albums are dead. I think it’s kind of hard to start from scratch and say “let’s make a proper album!”. In the end it’s about the songs, and I think that songs which are made at the same period of time, often tend to be about the same things or sort of. So, in a way: it IS just songs together, but we did also attend to make a proper album. When I look at the tracklisting, the album cover and the wholeness of it all, I strongly feel that it is complete, and that it all belongs together.

I see… I picture you as less stoner than at your beginnings… Maybe more melodic. What differs, according to you, to what Riddarna is now to what it was at your beginnings?
I guess, maybe, we are a little more about the “songs” , the grooves and the melodies. And a little less about the riffs.

Do you picture Riddarna as a “Gothenburg” band? And what does this actually mean for you?
Hhmm… let’s see. Not sure what it really means to be a “Gothenburgsband”, except from the fact that you are from Gothenburg! I guess Gothenburgs music scene is a bit alternative and edgy, and a lot of really cool bands has come from here. So to be a band from Gothenburg is something I consider to be positive. We were based here in Gothenburg for quite a while, but we are originally from Gotland, and for some periods of time we have lived in different cities

Do you feel close to other Swedish bands then?
You know what? We kind of feel like outsiders, in a way. Sure we have lots of friends that are in bands, but musically and artistically, I don’t really know…

And musically? Close to Queens of the stone age? Probably less than before though, if you ask me…
I think one can compare us to lots of other bands like QOTSA, bands that enjoy the screwed melancoly, the falsetto, the grooves, etc.

What’s next with Riddarna?
Well for us, we are going to tour Sweden, Norway and maybe a little bit in Finland. This year we will be doing a lot of live shows. With three albums, we have a lot of songs that want to come out on stage.

Last question, an usual one for an Absolut Noise interview: what were you doing just before to answer those questions?
Before talking to you, I had been watching cartoons and just eating all sorts of stuff, simply just trying to rest my ass off. A day of rest after a week of doing release gigs and driving and flying across Sweden. Man, just watching cartoons and chewing on snacks and drinking something sweet and snuggling, that’s what needs to be done after you have been on stage with this band for a couple of nights in a row!

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