Arik Roper, Bathory, Björklöven, Bullet, Crucified Barbara, Fox, Grand Magus, Iron Will, JB, King Diamond, Ludwig Witt, Mercyful Fate, Quorthon, Skellefteå, Skellefteå AIK, The Birch Leaves, The Hunt, Umeå
– Yorck Segatz for Psychorizon –
I guess you get asked a lot of questions about the new album, so we’ll keep that one short! Can you describe „The Hunt“ in three words?
JB: True, powerful, metal.
What does the hunter who’s depicted on the cover stand for?
JB: Well, that’s part of the thing I want the listeners to find out by themselves. The whole album has got a theme and it deals with the relation between nature and mankind. All the songs deal with this in one way or another and people have to make up their own minds about what the artwork stands for.
How did you get Arik Roper as cover artist?
JB: We worked with him before, he did the cover for our record „Iron Will“, so we knew that he’s a great artist and totally understands the band and everything around it. It was pretty easy, we basically gave him the title, talked a little bit about certain things and the he came up with the perfect artwork for the album.
Could you describe (new drummer) Ludwig Witt in three words?
JB: Oldschool, professional, superdrummer!
Three words about Fox?
JB: Star quality, best friend. That’s it!
The title track features a line that says „there’s a beast inside of me“. Is there beast inside JB? If yes, how does it manifest itself?
JB: Well again, I’m not trying to be difficult, but I never go into detail about the lyrics, because I’ve always felt that when you listen to music, especially metal, music that has some kind of meaning just beyond „I love you“ „Let’s have a drink“ and things like that, the impact is much stronger when you find things out for yourself as a listener. When I listened to Mercyful Fate or Bathory when I was much younger, there were a lot of songs where I didn’t understand what they were about. When I finally found out, it became so much stronger than it would have been if for instance Quorthon or King Diamond would have said in an interview that for example A Dangerous Meeting is exactly about this and that…
But suffice it to say, I believe that mankind has gone too far away from its “animal instincts”… And I certainly feel that I have a very strong connection to animals. Sometimes much stronger than I have to other human beings. This is something I think many people need to realize for themselves, you know!
That’s certainly true! So, what would you regard as your best character trait and which one would be the worst?
JB: Wow… one of my best character traits is discipline. I’m very disciplined. And worst? Well… I worry too much!
What’s your day-to-day routine like when you are not involved with Grand Magus at all?
JB: I usually work a day-job when we are not recording or touring, so normally I get up early in the morning and go to work. Nothing really special! But this is obviously only in periods when we are not on tour! Then it’s the same as with every other band: you just try to get through the day until you have your hour or so of fun in the evening… I like to have variation in my live. I wouldn’t want to be doing exactly the same thing every day. Touring can become really stereotype, you know. We’ve been on tour with bands of whom you could say to have a more boring live than working people do because every day is exactly the same! I don’t want to have a live like that.
I hear that from a lot of bands actually. Every day’s like: next city, next place to sleep… same shit, different crowd so to say!
When did you start singing or making music in general and are you still in possession of your very first instrument?
JB: Haha! No, I don’t have my first instrument. That was some very bad Les Paul copy, called “Duke”, I think it was Japanese, but none of the good ones! I guess it was alright, but the neck was fucked up. Got that from my older brother and I don’t know where it is now. I started playing guitar much earlier than I started singing. Singing I started very late actually, when we did our first album in 2001, I think I had only been singing for about four years or so.
What’s your opinion about the current European Heavy Metal scene?
JB: I don’t really have an opinion, because I’m mostly concerned with my own band and my friend’s bands. I’ve never seen bands as part of a scene. All bands that are really special, they are much more than part of a scene, you know?
We never felt part of any movement or any scene like that. We do what we do and other people do what they want to do. I’m a huge fan of many bands, but most of them have been around for at least ten years!
What do you think about women making heavy music? E.g. Crucified Barbara from Sweden…
JB: Well, that’s something I have never really thought about! We know the girls in Crucified Barbara, they’re a really good band. I don’t really care if it’s an all-girl band or whatsoever. Of course they have a different type of challenge compared to male bands. They also get attention because it’s not that common, but I don’t really care as long as the music is good. I think the most important thing is that you feel they do things for the right reasons, that they really believe in what they do. Then they deserve my respect.
A friend of mine and myself were trying to get some GM merch besides the tours, but we utterly failed! It’s really hard to get some cool stuff outside of Sweden… just two items for sale on your website… What’s the matter???
JB: We haven’t really sorted this out in the past, mainly because we’ve been so focused on playing music and merch wasn’t the top priority… It’s really our own loss, you can actually make a lot of money from that, but that’s never been the reason for us to start the band.
Regarding the website, we just don’t have people to run it, we do it by ourselves. I think it’s fucking boring, you know. But we’ll fix it, I promise!
Are you interested in football at all? I just got the latest Allsvenskan results on my desktop!
JB: Ok! Well, Fox is really interested in football, I’m more of an ice hockey person. Today the World cup starts, so that’s where I’m gonna be!
What’s your favorite team in the Swedish league?
JB: My favorite team is not in the top league anymore, they’re called “Björklöven”, The Birch Leaves, from my hometown of Umeå in the north of Sweden. My 2nd favorite team made the finals this year. they’re calles “Skellefteå AIK” (from Skellefteå, which is near Umeå).
Cool, I’ll keep an eye on that! That’s it for today. Thanks for taking the time, I hope you liked the not so obvious questions, too!
JB: That’s cool! I really liked the new stuff! Thanks!