DESTINY is a Swedish heavy metal band formed in 1982 by bassist Stefan Björnshög. The band have released six studio albums up to now and have changed the line up many times.
I, Mohsen Fayyazi, am really interested about the metal scene in Scandinavia, and I found DESTINY’s music to be great. So I contacted Stefan for an interview about a year ago. As you will find some of these questions out of date, it is because I wrote them about a year ago. Unfortunately as you will read, Stefan faced a tragic event and some problems which resulted in a delay with his answers.
Hello Stefan, How are you doing today? It seems people play METAL so loud in Sweden, don’t they?
I have not been doing all that good most of the time since you sent me these questions. On the 17:th of January 2012 my fiancé Therese Hanserot, whom also was the original singer in Destiny, passed away. She was my soul mate and we planned to get married, but now she’s gone and I’m devastated. I did not talk to anybody for almost six months since it happened, except through facebook. Being with my kids was my salvation, when they where around I could handle the situation. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, not even if I wanted to go on with Destiny, or even if I wanted to play music at all again. After a couple of months I finally picked up my bass again. It was hard in the beginning, but after a while I realized that playing kept away the most painful thoughts. I tried to play at least a couple of hours a day.
About playing Metal loud in Sweden… I never really thought about that…
Let’s talk about your 30th-anniversary album first, “The Incompatibility Of Philosophical Terminology”, how is the recording process going?
Well, as you probably understand, the recording came to an abrupt halt. I was going to record the bass but I couldn’t handle it. In the beginning of April I finally started to record the bass. All the drums weere already completed. We had to get a session drummer, the very talented Adde Larson (M.A.N and Black Candy Store) to keep the recording schedule. I’m very happy with his work and I highly recommend him to anyone who needs a fast working skilled session drummer.
Anyway, when the bass finally was recorded we continued with the guitars. The plan was to have as many old Destiny members as possible to guest on the album. Therese was going to be on it but that will unfortunately not happen now. So far Janne Ekberg, Anders Fagerstrand (Futureof the past), Knut Hassel (The Undiscovered Country) and John Prodén (Beyond All Sense) have agreed to participate. Magnus Österman (Beyond All Sense) and Gunnar Kindberg (Nothing Left To Fear) have declined as they don’t play guitar any more, but I haven’t given up on them quite yet…
Knut Hassel was actually in the studio with us the second of January and recorded guitar for four songs and it sounds great.
I like the artwork of this album but would you tell me who created it for you?
The artwork is created by Mats Gustafson, who among other things runs a web page called Metal Rose, http://metalrosedesign.daportfolio.com
The name of the album is really great and made me think a lot, would you tell me more about it and also about the album itself? What kind of style will it be and what kind of material will it consist of, new songs or re-recorded? And are you able to give us a certain date for releasing?
Well, as you probably understand the original time schedule completely failed. The plan now is to release a digital single in February 2013 and for the full album to be released in spring of 2013. The album will feature 14 songs. Nine of them are rerecording’s from past albums. Six of them are from “Nothing Left to Fear” and one each from “Atomic Winter”, “The Undiscovered Country” and “Future of the Past.” There will also be new recordings of five old Destiny songs that were never released on any album before, but that have been played live in the past. The earliest song is from 1983 when Therese was still the singer in the band. The other four songs were originally meant for a second album. All these songs are much too good to be forgotten and will fit perfectly on the anniversary album.
Are you recording the songs without a singer? Or do you now have a vocalist with the band?
We have a new vocalist. His name is Jonas Heidgert, he has recorded five albums with Dragonland before he joined Destiny. He is a very nice person and an excellent singer that fits Destiny’s music perfectly. He will sing on all the songs of the Anniversary album. He has already recorded one song, the single, and it sounds amazing. We will record the rest of both the vocals and the guitars track by track during the first months of 2013.
We also have a new drummer, Roger Christiansson, but as all the drums are already recorded, he will probably only rerecord the drums for one of the songs on the album.
Roger and I have been friends for about 25 years but we have never played together before.
Another exiting development for Destiny is that we now have a keyboard player in the band, Carl Dalberg, whom joined Destiny in the beginning of 2013. Originally he was just going to guest on the album, but as we always wanted a keyboard player in the band I asked him to join, which he happily accepted.
Destiny previously announced that the new CD, “Global Warming”, is still under production but is temporarily put on hold and will be made available at a later date. Can you tell us more about this album? Especially who is on vocals and if there was were any guest musicians during the recording process.
The album has been mostly recorded for some time now; all but the vocals and some additional instruments are completed. There are several reasons for the delay but of course the main reason has been that it took so long to find the right vocalist. Jonas Heidgert will of course be singing on all of the songs on the album. As far as any guest musicians goes there are no plans for that at this stage, but you never know. The album consists of nine new songs, that I wrote the music for some years ago. No lyrics are completed at this stage. As always the album doesn’t sound like any of the previous albums, even though it still sounds very much like a Destiny album. I think it’s our strongest album so far. We are all very excited to complete it and release it, not to mention playing the songs live.
And when do you think the album will be ready for release?
The plan is to release it in January 2014, but it could be earlier even though I doubt it…
I’d like to know your opinion about the Global Warming issue, many scientists and people think we have trouble ahead, we seem to be doomed by ourselves – we cut the trees, infect the seas and oceans …. what do you think we can do and what is/ are Destiny’s suggestion(s)?
When we released Atomic Winter, a nuclear war was what most people feared. The atomic winter was what survivors from such a war could expect. Today the Global Warming is an even bigger threat, so we thought that it would be a fitting title for the new album.
I think that most people, including governments and business people, are living in denial. I think that it’s almost too late to act and therefore this is the biggest threat to mankind ever. The Earth will survive but mankind might not. I don’t have any easy solutions other than that we have to stop poisoning the earth, no matter what and to achieve that the richer countries will have to sacrifice a lot more than they are willing. There are scientists that can tell us what to do, but as long as people are unwilling to recognize the threat and listen I’m afraid I don’t see a very bright future for our children. The best we can do is to make as many people as possible aware of the situation.
The band has released several albums, one of which includes a tribute for the legendary Yngwie Malmsteen, “A Guitar Odyssey”. I’d like to know more about this album and can you tell us if you met and had a talk with Yngwie before or after the releasing of that album?
It’s a tribute album which features different bands covering Yngwie songs. It was released by the same label that released The Undiscovered Country. The original reason for us to be on that album was that our then guitarist Knut Hassel was an extremely fast player and he used to be very influenced by Yngwie before he joined Destiny. Unfortunately, he left the band before the recording begun so we decided to do a quite different, heavier, more Destiny version than we had originally planned.
I have never met Yngwie, but I have a lot of friends that know him. One of them told me that he thought that our version of the song “Anguish and Fear” was too slow. This was also our first recording in our own studio, we could probably do a much better job today. Especially the mixing wasn’t as good as I would like it to be. We we also recorded another song, Into the Nightmare, for a Demon tribute album at that same time which was much better.
Me personally and perhaps many of our readers would like to know more about your upcoming shows, would you tell us more details?
We have not planned our new shows in detail yet, but we will have some new stage equipment and we will play songs from every album, as it’s our 30th anniversary. The plan is to film a full concert at the end of 2013 to document the anniversary.
How do you see Destiny in next 10 years, still active and playing loud Metal?
I don’t see an end to Destiny for a long time, but I’m also old enough to know that you can’t predict the future. We are still creative and have lots of good music in us, especially with this new great line up. I’m sure that we will at least do one more studio album after the release of Global Warming. Our best years are still ahead of us and the future of Destiny should be brighter than the past.
Thanks Stefan for giving me your time, as your final word feel free to leave a message here for Destiny’s fans and our readers.
Well, as Destiny might be a new band to some of your readers I invite them to visit our homepage. http://www.destinymetal.com. Apart from lots of information about the band there is also a music player featuring songs from all Destiny albums. At the moment none of the Destiny albums are available as downloads or on Spotify and so on. We are actually about to change that real soon, but until then our homepage is the best place to go if you are curious about the music of Destiny. You can also interact directly with the band via our facebook page. Finally, hope to see you on the road in 2013!