Interview by Tarja Virmakari
New Swedish metal act DRÖMRIKET (Dream Kingdom) – featuring Niclas Engelin (IN FLAMES, ENGEL), Adde Andreasson (HARDCORE SUPERSTAR), Jonas Slättung and Ralf Gyllenhammar (MUSTASCH) – has recently released their self-titled debut album in Scandinavia, On Gain/Sony Music, starting a new fairy tale…
“It has princes and princesses, trolls, dragons and castles with turrets and towers. There is evil, there is good, there is simplicity and there is difficulty. There are heroics and there is cruelty.
For those who grew up in a concrete suburb there is all that and much more; a tree hut in a hollowed out portion of a thorn thicket, a cinnamon bun with red juice in a school cafeteria with kicked shutters. The beauty in the ugly, the warm in the cold. First love; the moist, wet kiss on the saddle of a moped…
The loud gang on a concrete floor, covered with weed, beneath a street basketball hoop that never had a net… Snuff and cigarettes , cheap alcohol mixbottles, banana strings and oregano in a stolen pipe, pilfered LPs and singles, mixtape and drug free school discos…
This is not a desire to return to what has been. This is not nostalgia. But it is a tribute. A tribute to those we were and the forces that, there and then, made us what we are today.”
Just a couple of days ago Tarja Virmakari had a chance to interview Niclas Engelin, the mastermind of this new fairy tale, named DRÖMRIKET, so please sit down and go on reading…
Hi Niclas, and welcome back to Metal Shock Finland! The first time we talked about ENGEL, the second time about IN FLAMES and today we talk about DRÖMRIKET, however it seems to be a highly kept secret, a fairy tale… so are you now ready to reveal me more about it? I start: “It has princes and princesses, trolls, dragons and castles with turrets and towers. There is evil, there is good, there is simplicity and there is difficulty. There are heroics and there is cruelty.” … and now it’s your turn to go on…
But first, please introduce us your band mates… and how you guys got together?
Adde is from Hardcore Superstar and Ralf is from Mustasch and Jonas is a childhood friend to me and we got together as from a tips from the mighty Biffen who suggested to both me and Adde to make music together. After a while we started just making music and hanging out which was a really funny and inspiring atmosphere and we sometimes just took a coffee and talked for hours about music and life which you almost can hear from the material which is full of life and happiness!!
So, there’s guitars, vocals, bass and drums… but what is the genre that you play?
Yeah it´s almost as a classic rock thing and the music itself is a blend of everything we grew up on such as Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest and also some Pink Floyd… We call our music HÅRDPROGG!! Due to the fact that we sing in swedish and have some kind of a social awareness within the lyrics.
Talking about your band-name DRÖMRIKET, which means Dream Kingdom. Why this choice?
As you mentioned first in this interview it´s a hymn to the times and places where we grew up and everyone can relate to such a place in both good and bad, so if you close your eyes for a second you can easily be back at where you started out playing soccer or learning the first chord on your guitar or jus had a great laugh with your friends!!
You sing in your mother tongue, in Swedish, please tell me about this decision.
We felt that the world didn´t need another english singing bands.. hahaha No, we wanted to push the envelope a bit and ourselves by choosing to sing in Swedish which makes it stand out a bit and makes intressting for us as well and also a HUGE challenge to make it happen cus`to us it´s such a huge task to do… we’ve seen other bands try and fail which makes it a challenge..
Also your facebook and info in it, is all written in Swedish… so is your music basically directed to your home-country?
Hahahah… No, not at all, everyone is invited to join in on the Drömriket feast of course 🙂 We wanted to have all the info as we talked to a friend back home and that´s the meaning of Drömriket cuss´you can relate to it in one way or another cuss` no matter were we live on this earth we maybe experienced the same kind of thing but differently.. Love, Sadness and tons of laughter of course…
Just recently you released your debut album, via Gain/Sony Music, but I gotta say that you really have managed to keep a “low profile”, why this discretion?
Not here in Scandinavia, the album is not released somewhere else but it will for sure and then I think you can grab it in Italy as well 🙂 We have created some buzz over here and we are getting ready for some shows!!
So let’s talk about the album, and the songs in it… how they were born, and what are the topics you’re handling through your music?
As I said it´s our kind of Classic Rock and it was a huge challenge to write the lyrics in swedish but Jonas is such a talented and great with words so we managed to keep it really cool without using Hell or Screaming For Vengeance!! The topics are about “Don´t close the doors on the small people or don´t close the youth centers down or stand up for your rights very much we against big brother system..”
How you’ve organized for the song-writing process?
It was Adde and me who got together and wrote I guess around 15 to 20 songs in total and then added Jonas into the writing process with his wonderful lyrics.. Ralf came into the studio at the end and gave that blend of happiness and a big fist in your face kinda thing, it went really smooth and there was tons of laughter!
Just recently you released the second video “Natten Lever” from your debut album, while the first released video was “Arendal”… what has been the reaction of the fans, and how you’ve found your audience? I mean each of you’re coming from wellknown bands (In Flames, Engel, Hardcore Superstar and Mustasch)…
The reaction so far has been over our expectations and we didn´t dreamed of getting attention for our music this much cus´ we did this for our own and didn´t care to look some other way, there was no compromise in any way and we just did go with the flow!!
What can you tell me about the upcoming shows? where and when?
We have done one gig which was one the first of May and it´s a huge demonstration going on and it´s ceremony and we got invited to play and it was a full on rock show 🙂 and we are doing our second show on the Bråvalla Festival in the end of the month.
Give me 3 reasons why the peeps should come to your shows and buy the album? 😉
1. We are doing stuff you have not heard us do before.
2. It rocks and can´t stand still while listening.
3. Cus the gatefolded vinyl is smoking´hot!!
And pls remind us the way how to buy it?
It will be out in the EU during the fall or winter!
And what will happen next in the DRÖMRIKET-camp? You think it’s going to go on as your side-project, releasing albums and doing shows, or how do you see its future?
We have already written 8 new songs and they are ready to record anytime!! So I guess you haven´t seen the last of us just yet..
And now the word is yours, Niclas… how would you like to close this chat? and what is your message to your audience?
Check out Drömriket if you like groove and good songs that moves!!
Thanks Niclas for this chat, it’s always a pleasure to talk with you! Cheers and Take Care! \m/
Drömriket (Dream Kingdom) is:
More information at: https://www.facebook.com/dromriket
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