BraveWords Interview: SOILWORK – Making Waves

By Carl Begai

Blame Soilwork guitarist David Andersson for the band’s new EP, A Whisp Of The Atlantic. It’s all his fault. And he’s proud of it.

Of course Andersson’s bandmates were all present and accounted for when Soilwork put the EP together over the summer, but it was the 45 year-old guitarist who fired up the machine again and put everyone back to work. A Whisp Of The Atlantic offers up some startling work from the band, spearheaded by the monstrous 16-minute title track that, once again, makes a bold statement with regards to collective talent that Soilwork bleeds into their music. For Andersson it was a chance for the band to continue exercising this creativity rather than waiting for the world to get back to something resembling normal before releasing a follow-up to their previous spotlight-worthy album, Verkligheten.

“We released Verkligheten early last year, and this line-up of the band has a really good time together, so we’re very creative and enthusiastic about what we’re doing,” Andersson explains. “I thought it would be a waste to wait two or three years before we record something new, so I wrote a few songs starting with ‘Feverish’. I made a few more and everyone seemed to like them. Since I joined the band in 2012, I’ve always had this idea of writing one long epic, progressive song. Just because I loved prog rock growing up, and I also think that Soilwork is a bit underestimated as a band. People think of us as writing catchy Swedish melodic death metal but we’re more than just that. With this line-up we’re pretty much able to play any kind of music and it would be really nice to just be able to show people that we’re much more than they think.”

The word “progressive” is a dirty one for some metal fans, but Andersson doesn’t shy away from the potential fallout of using that label in association with the new EP.

“As I’ve gotten older I don’t think about music as different genres; I think about it as music. There is good music and bad music, and if I hear a good song I don’t care if it’s Taylor Swift or Necrophobic. I love them both.”

Perhaps the biggest complaint about bands labelled progressive rock or metal is the instrumental wankery that goes on without any rhyme or reason. That isn’t a justifiable complaint about the genre as a whole, but a lot of prog bands seem to lose the ability to write actual songs as time and careers go on.

“I’ve always loved prog rock, but what I love about it was the songwriting,” Andersson says. “Bands like Genesis and Yes, those kinds of prog bands. I love the catchy vocal melodies and catchy, memorable instrumental parts. I’ve never been a big fan of stuff like Gentle Giant. Of course it’s impressive but they never wrote epic choruses. I’m a sucker for a great melody or verse or chorus. A lot of prog rock tends to disappear up its own ass, in my opinion. I like songs that convey emotions, not ‘Let’s do five minutes of 19/8 and scales…’ That doesn’t go anywhere. Even if it’s progressive it can still be catchy and fun.”

That said, Andersson had to sell the idea of A Whisp Of The Atlantic to his bandmates, a task he says was quite easy.

“Me and Björn (Strid / vocals), since we have two bands together we’ve done all kinds of strange of strange stuff. And Björn’s pretty much like me; he listens to all kinds of music as long as the songs are good. Bastian (Thusgaard / drums) and Sven (Karlsson / keyboards), they’re all really open to everything. I presented the title track and the whole storyline behind the five songs, and they all liked it. It turned out to be quite interesting. I started with ‘Feverish’ and discovered I could make a theme out of it which would culminate with ‘A Whisp Of The Atlantic’.”

Read the complete interview here: