Hi there guys, and congratulations on the upcoming release of your third album called 'Hell Machine'. How is life?
Hello Jori, thank you! Life is great in the Screamer camp. We are super excited and can't wait for our upcoming album ’Hell Machine’ to be released so people can hear and enjoy the songs!
Five years ago you did an interview with my esteemed colleague Nima. Since then, the band has undergone a few line-up changes. So please, introduce your new friends to us.
We have two new great guys in the band who brought awesome energy to the band and enabled us to kick everything up a notch. We found our singer Andreas Wikström in the far north of Sweden and realised the he was the right fit for the band both musically and on the personal level (beer drinking level). We didn't want a singer who sounded like our old one and I think we found that with Andreas! Fredrik on the other hand came in like whirlwind about a year ago and blew us away with his bass playing and it was real nice to have a bass player that is a bass player and not a "guitarist" who thinks he can play the bass and we felt that was really important because its brings so much more depth in to the band and the songs. So with the two new guys it's been awesome so far and we can't wait to bring the new songs on the road!
Listening to ‘Hell Machine’ it became quite clear that you have not strayed an inch from your old school heavy metal style that could also be heard on ‘Adrenaline Distractions’ and ‘Phoenix’. What is it about the classic NWOBHM style of metal that makes this almost forty-year old genre so interesting still according to you?
That’s the music we grew up with and still love and enjoy listening to today as well. There is something special and epic about those classic songs and bands, the choruses, melodies and all the awesome melodic twin guitar action that just leaves you mesmerised!
Definitely one of the strongest songs and at least the one most standing out is of course ‘Lady Of The Night’. Anything to comment on this one? Who is this lady you sing of?
That song began with the melodies in the intro and we used to play it during sound check with a slow Manowar-ish drum beat over it and of course it became something completely different in the end and I also remember that the working title for that song was "The Manowar Song”. Haha well, she’s a fictional character of the ups and downs in the hard life of love, unanswered love and all that goes with that. This is too much emotions for a heavy metal song, I’ll stop here. But for the listener that has a trained ear, there is also perhaps a Dolly Parton tribute to discover, lyric-wise.
Anything about the lyrical themes of the other songs?
Some of the song have our favourite lyrical theme that is being on the road, singing along to your favourite songs and having a beer! But usually we leave it to the people to make their own interpretation. But one song that stands out the most for me since it was the first time I contributed with some lyrics in the band is the song ’’Warrior’’. The song has a classic battle hymn feel to it with a lyrical theme about war and death that ties it together nicely with the epic intro with the acoustic guitars and the thunderous drums and not to forget the super catchy chorus.
With the release of an old school metal album, you could of course not stay behind in this trend of the comeback of vinyl. While I can understand the nostalgia one could argue it would be a waste of the crystal clear sound production you experience on the CD version of the album. Care to weigh in here?
To be honest, I don't think it’s a trend anymore I think vinyl is back and it’s here to stay, but of course there will always be that discussion about what’s better sound quality wise CD, vinyl or digital. But for me there is no better feeling when you've worked on an album for a couple of months or more and you get your hands on the vinyl and see the artwork and then put the needle down. So I will have to side with the nostalgia side hahaha.
Though Swedish bands have large role in the resurrection of 80’s metal, the first cracks have appeared in the scene here. Bands like In Solitude and recently Steelwing have thrown in the towel, while for example Portrait has been suffering endless line-up changes. Seemingly keeping a band together after successes is harder than it seems. Screamer has been a relatively stable band compared to many others, how are you keeping everything and everyone together?
Tough question, We played with Steelwing in the beginning of ours and there career so it’s sad to see them calling it a day. But I guess that the difficult part of being in a band is keeping it together especially if you don't make shit loads of money and you also need a day job to survive. You also need to fit together as people and being on the road can be tough and especially when you live so close to each other all the time so it’s important to know when to give each other space haha. Now I feel we are stable band, we focused a lot on the getting to know each other part, having a few beers and a party! But for every time we play, rehearse or get together we grow as a grow I and think that’s important.
What are the plans of the band once the album has been released? Any plans for live shows across the European continent?
After the album is released we will do a album release show in our hometown at a new festival called “Turbo Fest” February 25th to the precise and then we have a couple of shows planned in support of the album, but not a lot. We decided to take a few steps back on touring intensely on our own, since we know from experience that it burns the candle at both ends. We focused on good venues, weekends, and some great fests and that is the current approach. But you never know what shows up, but one can say that we are definitely being a bit more selective this time around.
Guess that pretty much covers it, unless of course, if there is something you would still like to get out there?
Thank you for the interview and to all the people out there make sure to check out our new album ‘Hell Machine’ and make sure to give us a follow on all the social medias and of course our website for upcoming tour dates! Hail Joey Tempest!