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The Night Flight Orchestra

De aanstekelijke stadionrock met knipoog naar de jaren tachtig en zeventig van het eminente Zweedse The Night Flight Orchestra kent een nieuw hoogtepunt op ’Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough’, nadat de heren – ook actief in heftigere bands als Soilwork en Arch Enemy – een ware doorbraak beleefden met ’Amber Galactic’. We schrijven het vervolg op dit succesverhaal nadat we een gemoedelijke babbel hadden met zanger Björn Strid.

Door: Vera | Archiveer onder hardrock / aor

We did a phoner when the previous album ‘Amber Galactic’ came out, but wow, it has been a nice flight since then! What happened after the release of that record?
It has been a nice flight yes. We got some rave reviews and massive response, more than we could ever imagine. I think this band really became every metalhead’s guilty pleasure. We embarked on our first European tour. That was exciting, it went really well and we basically just kept on writing music. We never really leave the studio with this band, because we have two producers in the band with their own studio. We can go to the studio whenever we want and we like that. We had no scenario when we sat down and said: okay, let us write a new album. We just had writing and recording sessions whenever we feel like doing that. So we kept on being busy and we were even nominated for a Swedish Grammy! It is an honour! Pretty crazy!

Maybe it is because it is coming from the heart. Of course you are not the only band who makes that kind of music, but I think you have a kind of fervency because you also play in heavier bands…
I guess there is an element of surprise when it comes to that. It is not what people expect us to do. It is not written by their usual bands, I always like to tease people, it is always fun. But I think we are providing something that people have been missing for a long time. That is the impression I get when people are coming up to me and say: ‘thank you for starting this band! I did not even know I missed this kind of music, but I guess I did, because I love it.’

When you did that first European tour, which kind of people showed up? Old AOR fans or juvenile people as well?
I think it was a big mix of everything. Everything from curious metal kids to prog dads to hipsters to rock fans and everything in between. It was really nice to see. It felt like sort of we united people that normally do not come to the same show, which is really cool.

I know that keyboardist Richard Larsson has a studio, but who is the other technical guy in the band?
Our second guitarist and percussionist Sebastian Forslund, he also produces and mixes our albums.

I know you have a space theme with attractive female space commanders so to speak, but can you tell a bit more about the lyrics this time?
Yes, I guess the lyrics of the new record are a prolongation of those of ‘Amber Galactic’. They were based on a lot of personal experiences, but we take those experiences and put them in a different setting, a lot of them in space. It is an interesting setting, rather than just tell about things that happened to yourself.

It is also a kind of escapism, isn’t it?
Yes, there is a lot of that running through our music and lyrics as well. I think it is also a soundtrack of being in motion, that is how we really based the band on. We like travelling and listen to this kind of music. It is refreshing. It takes you back, but it is also a kind of moving forth wards somehow. Movies about space and TV shows like ‘Stranger Things’ have always remained pretty popular.

When you record, how do you manage to have that sound of the eighties?
I don’t know. I don’t think we try that hard. It is just something that we always hide in our lives. It is not based on nostalgia, it is actually a way of writing songs, it is a way of composing songs and a way of performing songs which has been lost and I think that is the main inspiration, but also visual things, like… I have been a big collector of TV themes of the seventies and the eighties when growing up. I love this over the top music. I was watching a lot of cop shows, like Hill Street Blues, Kojak… also trashy American shows like Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest and The Greatest American Hero has one of the best themes. I don’t know if you know it, but it was pretty popular over here. I still feel kind of guilty when saying that (laughs).

Why a song about Barcelona?
It is actually a female name, it is not about the city. David had written the lyric and the music, I had the same reaction. I never heard that before, I am very intrigued haha.

The last song ‘The Last Of The Independent Romantics’ is a special one. My favourite!
Yes, it is extremely epic. Beautiful melody.

And with the title track I get a Toto feeling…
Yes, it has this feeling running through it and it is almost like Abba recording at the Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas in 1982. It has a little bit Swedish Eurovision late seventies feel to it as well. That is one point we want to make clear: this influence comes from when Eurovision actually was good. One of my favourite songs from that era is from Teach In: ‘Ding-a-dong’.

band image

Indeed, that was in the wake of the conquest of Abba. And Abba is coming together again. What do you think of that?
Well, I am definitely intrigued and really curious, because they are doing it for the right reasons, I think they are probably missing each other and the music they made. I think they have enough money. I think it is very sincere.

Was there a specific reason why you called the album ‘Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough’?
Yes, at first it was just the title of a track on the album, but if you look at the girl on the cover of ‘Amber Galactic’… she looks confused. She is standing there, trying to make up her mind because it seems like she did not do that. With this new one, she looks more determined: the helmet is on, the suit is on, that works well, surely since it is so close after ‘Amber Galactic’ was released. It makes sense.

What are the plans for singles and video clips?
‘This Time’ is the single and video clip, but there is going to be another video clip coming up at the beginning of June and I think I am not allowed to reveal that. I think there are coming two videos before the album is released. ‘Lovers In The Rain’ is going to be next and it is going to be an animated video.

Who did the artwork?
The artwork is done by Carlos Del Olmo Holmberg who used to play keyboards on the three first Soilwork albums actually. He is a fantastic photographers and good in artwork as well. Sebastian was also involved in the artwork. He is usually involved in that creative segment.

Is David (Andersson, guitars) still writing the lyrics or is it a group effort now?
It is mostly David. I write some and Sebastian did some. We are really arranging the songs together, so in the end it is really a group effort.

[/b]It is funny, because the last time we spoke, you only did six shows with TNFO…[/b]
Yeah and then we did an European tour and I think it is going to be more and more in the near future. All of November and December we are on the road.

What are the plans with Soilwork?
We just pretty much finished up the next album. It will be released at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2019.

Since it is an ongoing process to write songs for TNFO, I think there must be a lot of ideas laying on the shelf…
Yeah absolutely. I talked to David a couple of days ago and he said he already had another five songs for the next album. That’s how it works, you know…

Is there a song you have a special bond with on the album?
Well, when I heard the main guitar part of David for ‘The Last Of The Independent Romantics’, I said to him: ‘Thank you for playing the best guitar melody I have heard since the soundtrack of ‘Local Hero’ by Mark Knopfler’, which used to be my favourite melody when I was a kid. It really has a special place in my heart.

Which bands of the genre did you see live yourself?
I watched Foreigner a couple of years ago. Of course Kelly Hansen was singing, but wow, what a singer! Holy hell… I was blown away and this weekend I am actually going to this festival in Stockholm, called ‘Back To The Eighties’ and Nik Kershaw is playing and a lot of Swedish bands from the seventies and eighties. I am super excited! Most of them I have not seen before. And I saw Europe live of course. I think that would be a great match to go on tour with for The Night Flight Orchestra! It is a great live band and they still sound very good. I am working on it.

Was ‘Speedwagon’ inspired by REO Speedwagon?
No, it was written by Sebastian (Forslund) and I don’t think he is listening that much to REO Speedwagon, but they have done a lot of great songs. I have said in another interview: ‘ Let us just call it a tribute to Kevin Cronin in the eighties.’

I think I am almost through the questions. If there is something you’d like to add, please do…
Well, I think we covered most of it. We will play one show in Belgium and two in the Netherlands on the next tour. We only did one show in the neighborhood on the previous tour, in Utrecht. Hope to see all of you there! And pick up the album, I think people will be happily surprised!

In November live in our areas:
25/11: Zoetermeer – Boerderij
26/11 Arnhem – Willemeen
27/11 Vosselaar – Biebob

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