Revisited: interview with ROBIN SJUNNESSON (May 2010)

I’m importing some of my favorite posts from my old blog at MySpace.

» When I joined Backstage Music Forum “for real”, the “big boss” asked me if I was willing to make cd reviews and interviews as well. I’ve made a couple of cd reviews before, for Elegy Ibérica, but interviews was something new for me. So I was more than happy to try it. Especially when I was told that I could choose who I wanted to interview. A certain band came immediately to mind… :D

And here it is, my first interview ever. It was originally released here: http://backstageforum.hot-me.com/t3325-entrevista-sonic-syndicate, but for those of you who can’t understand a word of Portuguese, here goes the English version. I thanked Robin for his time, and now I also want to thank Michael Gargano at MGM Management, for making this possible.

Although SONIC SYNDICATE are pretty famous throughout Europe, Portugal seems to know them very little. Now that they’re about to release their 4th album, “we rule the night” (out on August 27th through Nuclear Blast), Backstage talked to guitarist Robin Sjunnesson so we can learn some more about this Swedish/English band.

BMF: Hello, Robin. First of all we’d like to thank you for talking to us. We’ve read some reviews about your upcoming album and they’re all unanimous on how Sonic Syndicate has evolved in its music and how much better the voices sound. We already have a preview with the new single “revolution baby” (really cool, by the way) but be your own critics and tell us, what to expect from “we rule the night”?

Robin: Thank you! If you ask me, “Revolution, Baby!” is fucking ace and it’s just the perfect 1st  single from our new album. It’s heavy, it’s catchy but also very open in a way. I would say that our new album is overall very open to everybody. I think that all our fans will have different favorite songs since it’s so wide and different from what we’ve done before. We’ve been trying stuff we’ve never done, and we’ve been working so hard for this album to get everything perfect. I could easily say that this is our best album, and I’m so proud over us for pulling it together and having such a great album ready to be released.

BMF: In the previous albums the songs were basically written by Roger and the lyrics by Richard. But the idea I got from things you’ve said on Twitter and Rockspot is that you’re all more active in the songwriting process now. What changed and how do you feel about it?

Robin: That changed pretty long ago actually, but I think we took it to a even higher level this time. With Nathan in the band, we’re having such a great time writing new material because he’s such a brainstormer. If I just show up with a 10 second guitar riff to the studio, he could work out a chorus on top of that in a couple of minutes.

When we write new music, it usually begins with me or Roger coming up with a guitar part, and we work from there. Everybody gets to say their thoughts and add their ideas and then Nathan or Rich writes lyrics to it. This album was both pretty hard and pretty easy to write. It wasn’t a problem to come up with new stuff, the only thing that took time was to get the songs perfect. We really wanted every part to be interesting and something worth to the songs.

BMF: You sometimes incite a wall of death in the beginning of “Jack of Diamonds”. Is there any song on the new album where you think a wall of death could also work?

Robin: Oh hell yeah, man! There’s a lot of energy on this new album so of course there will be a couple of “crowd anticipating songs”. Sure, “Jack of Diamonds” is our little “Wall of Death Soundtrack”, but we will sure have a new tune for people who loves rocking out. We think it’s very important to have songs that people really move and dance to.

BMF: And speaking of that, last year, at Sticky Fingers, Richard himself joined in! At other bands’ concerts, how many of you do that or get into mosh pits? 🙂

Robin: Nathan and Rich sometimes jumps out and join the kids in the walls of death, but it can sometimes be a little bit dangerous when we’re playing in front of a couple of thousands of fans. I think it’s pretty cool actually.

Haha! Hmm… When I was younger, I was always in the first row or in the pits, rocking out to my favorite bands. Now when I’m older, I guess that I’m more into the music than I’m into the pits. I love going to concerts and have a great view from the seats sections, where it’s good sound. I guess that I’ve been to over 200 concerts (not counting concerts or festivals we’ve been playing at the same time), so I’ve been rocking out and having fun when I was younger for sure, haha.

BMF: You’ve toured with bands of all kinds of flavours, so much different from your own, like Nightwish, Deathstars, Takida or Hollywood Undead. Was it hard to play for their fans? Which ones you think it was more difficult to win over?

Robin: Those bands you just mention, I must say were my favorite tours because we had such a great time with the bands and the fans were amazing. That’s what I mean with that our music is so “open”, I mean we can tour with bands like Takida and still pull it off because their fans likes our stuff too. I wouldn’t say that any of those tours were difficult. People really thought it was weird that we were going out with Hollywood Undead because they play more Rock/Hip Hop, but we’re fans of their music and we knew before we went out, that it would work out great, and it sure did! We had a great time!

BMF: All musicians have this “thing” for Japan, rewarding the Japanese fans with bonus tracks, being all excited about playing there… If your record company wanted to release a live cd + dvd, where would you prefer to record it – somewhere in Japan, in Falkenberg, or somewhere else?

Robin: We had a really great time in Japan and it was definitely a dream coming true for all of us. I really hope that we will go back soon!

I don’t know really where I would prefer to record a live disc. Sure Japan, would be really cool and also Falkenberg, our hometown, as you mention. But I think that we would in this case record it in Germany because we have so many fans there who always go crazy when we’re playing live. I really hope that we will record a live disc pretty soon because we fucking kick ass live, haha!

BMF: Open air festivals or indoor concerts with just a couple of bands besides yourselves – which do you like the most and why?

Robin: I get this question pretty often and I never have a good answer to it, since I can’t really choose. I love playing big ass outdoor stages with thousands of people, but I also really love playing indoor, right in your face, sweaty gigs too because the crowd and the band really becomes one. I guess that I prefer open air in the summer and indoor during the winter (well, pretty clever since it’s like that it works, haha).

BMF: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Rockspot, Sonic TV (which personally I still think you should release an official dvd with those epidodes)… you reach out to your fans in a way that very few (if any!) do. How much do you think that being this close to the fans helped in your popularity?

Robin: Being that close to our fans has really helped us with our popularity. I think it’s very important to show out fans that we’re really thankful that they are supporting us for everything we do and we try to give something extra special back, like SonicTV and stuff like that. I think that every band should do these kinds of stuff, but most of them are too lazy I guess.  We love our fans, and we’re proud over all of them!

BMF: Last question: you’ve just toured Russia as headliners for the first time, and then you hit Japan for the first time ever. We know you had a few surprises for them, like playing “all about us”, which you never had done before. If one day you play here, in Portugal, can we expect a little surprise, too? 😉

Robin: I’m pretty sure that we can come up with a cool surprise! We’re trying to make every show something special and memorable, so maybe we’ll do a Sonic cover of Portugal’s national theme, haha. I really hope that we will go to Portugal soon, because I’ve never been there but I’ve heard lots of great stuff about it!

BMF: We hope so as well! Once again, thanks for your time!

www.myspace.com/sonicsyndicate

I must confess I burst into laughter at the idea of SONIC covering the national anthem :XD: «

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About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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