“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping.” As of some one hardly rocking, rocking at my smart phone. WOLF to reveal some surprise, raven has never told me any lies. Ah, distinctly I remember it was a night in September. Picked up my phone called Nik, Let’s talk, it will be quick….
Swedish heavy metallers, WOLF have recently shocked their fans with their new line up, featuring Johan Koleberg and Pontus Egberg and that was not all. They revealed that they working on their eighth studio album, entitles “Feeding The Machine”. To find out more I conducted an interview with Niklas Stålvind, an excerpt can be read below.
Asked him about the days that Richard and Andy left the band, what was the story, Nik seemed to be not very happy to talk about that era but he answered:
“We still haven’t finished recording. We have date set for mixing, dead line and we have a release date but it’s been very long process this one… Couple of weeks before [UK] tour, Andy called me, we are good friends but he’s not the guy who call you or at least he never called me. So I was really happy when he called me but then he said there’s nothing to be happy about because I’m quitting the band, but I’ll do the tour but the last thing I’ll do because I don’t feel it’s fun for me to be in the band anymore. Also I should say that Andy is playing totally a different kind of music in his other band and he seems really happy there…. I phoned up Richard to discuss the situation with Andi and everything and he told me that he’s also leaving the band…. I felt like let’s just let it go, because it seems to me neither of the guys are happy with the band and in my head I only had to finish the album and then we can sort it out.”
So what’s story of finding new members, now he sounded more excited and he replied:
“I felt a bit chaotic and I had no idea how we’re gonna to release this album with just half of the band…. Then a friend of us Mike Wead from King Diamond, he’s a close friend of Simon. He knew that we’re looking for people, so he asked Pontus the bass player of King Diamond if he knows anyone around Stockholm area for drummer. He said, yes I know a really good guy, my childhood friend, Johan, who I’ve been playing with for a long time. So I checked out Johan and he was really good drummer and seems to be a nice person as well. Mike Weed also told the bass player of King Diamond the they [WOLF] are looking for a bass player as well but I don’t think you’d be interested. But actually he was …. I did a bit of research on the guys of course, I thought they sound great and they seem to be normal nice guys! So we had a meeting with the guys and they are in the band now.”
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster the last couple of months because it’s not a good way of, I mean people quitting and new members getting in, it’s been really very exhausting to say the least. But I am very happy to have the [new] guys in the band and they wanted to be not just like hired musicians, they really wanted to be in the band for real.”
I asked him what took them so long for a new album, as “Devil Seed” was released in 2014. Nik answered:
“When we were making the “Devil Seed” album I didn’t have a job, I had to quit my job because I was burned out and I took my sick leave and invested on writing music… After the release of the album, I got a new job and start to work full time and that’s what I was doing. I have a family with two kids and also we did more touring on “Devil Seed” than we done with other albums so we were playing more lives… But mostly because I’ve been working, all the WOLF members have been working full time with day jobs but I wrote the first song for this album in 2015…. For this album, I wanted to go deeper into myself, I couldn’t really force it, to me it is just not like any songs….”
What’s the concept and idea behind the title of “Feeding The Machine” album, Nik answered me thoughtfully:
“The idea, I got, I think it was in 2016, I started to noticing that social media has become something very manipulating. When I was unemployed, I used social media to sell my artworks and I was fortunate that people saw them and buy them so I can buy foods for my children, I was very thankful. But around 2016, I started to noticed, what the f*ck is this, it’s not me using Facebook anymore, it’s Facebook using me. It’s so manipulative and it just make people gather in small groups hating each other and I felt something is really wrong there. Whatever. I take Facebook as an example but it’s the same with Google and everything, if you don’t buy service then you are the merchandise! Not only that, they are really manipulating opinions, elections, these companies are not neutral… Some people recognize it and some people don’t…. We are all feeding this machine!”
Nik and I spoke many other things like how the upcoming album would sound like and its production, so you can listen to the whole of this interview on the Audio Player below: