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Christian Lindell (Portrait)

Interview with Christian Lindell from Portrait
by Jean-Francois Poulin at 29 September 2017, 9:37 AM

I was one of the lucky ones in 2008 to have discovered the band, PORTRAIT; they were right up my alley and their traditional Heavy Metal was a blast. But with the whole Metal scene turning over a new leaf, I almost forgot about the band but did continually listen to the self-titled album a few times a year, nonetheless. I am truly happy to be able to speak to Christian Lindell, lead guitarist of the band! -Jean-Francois Poulin

First of all, you guys have added two members to the band in 2017, Fredrik Petersson and Robin Holmberg; what do these guys bring to the table and how has the dynamic of the band changed?

Both of them have shown to be very talented musicians and fit perfectly in the band, attitude wise. So far the dynamics feel very good and I look forward to start writing new material with both Fredrik and Robin!

How did the 2014 Split come about with RAM? Was the plan all along was to cover each other? How awesome was it to do an EXCITER cover for that EP?

Me and Oscar (RAM singer) have had long discussions on heavy metal and everything else. We have always shared a similar view upon the power of metal music and how strongly it can change and shape a person if he or she is receptive to it. We decided it would be cool to do a split covering each other's bands, and then it evolved from there to each band also including an exclusive song for the release as well as another cover - we chose the EXCITER song, as we wanted to show our appreciation for their raging barbaric heavy metal and that they have kept doing it always, even in the 90's when it was totally "wrong", according to mainstream media and many others, which was one of the reasons for why we choose a song from that specific era.

I have to ask; what's the feeling on being on the legendary Metal Blade Records? Being the importance of the label in bringing Metal to the Masses in the early 80's.

It’s great, of course. It feels nice to have that classic logo and everything like that on our albums, but the most important thing is that they do a good job of course, which they have also done so far and we are much satisfied with their co-operation.

What were the bands that influenced you in your youth and what bands influenced the sound of the band throughout the years?

The musical influences have been pretty much the same over the years: JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, MOTöRHEAD, DIO, ACCEPT, MERCYFUL FATE, SLAYER, SODOM, CANDLEMASS, BATHORY, DISSECTION… the list goes on, and I think that all music we like somehow influences us also in more subtle ways. I'm personally a big fan of KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, WISHBONE ASH, THE MISFITS, and many others that might not be so obvious when hearing PORTRAIT, but I know that they play a big part, and the same goes for movie soundtracks and so on.

Any plans on touring outside of Europe for the new album?

Nothing is confirmed yet, but we definitely want to and hope that it could happen some time in the beginning of next year. We are working on it!

Any bands you would love to tour with in the near or distant future?


How did you guys get Tyrant from NIFELHEIM to do your awesome retro logo?

I have known him for many years and he was the only one I knew that would understand what kind of logo that would fit the music of PORTRAIT, so I'm glad he said yes, and I still think the logo is great.

Any side-projects you guys are working on that we can expect in the near future?

Not really, our main focus is PORTRAIT, even though some members are in other bands, as well. But as far as I know, there are none of them planning on any releases in the near future.

You guys are from Kristianstad in Sweden; is there a big Heavy Metal scene in this city? We know a lot about Stockholm, Malmo, and Gothenburg, but the lesser know cities of this Scandinavian country is pretty unknown to us.

There are very few good metal bands from Kristianstad. VERMINOUS (Death Metal band) is pretty much the only one worth mentioning, and they don't live there anymore. There was some other good stuff 10-15 years ago, as well; one band called EXTINCTION and one called SPIDER VOMIT. Also, NECROVATION had some members living in Kristianstad. Other than that, I can't really recall any worth mentioning.

What can we expect from you guys in 2017; any plans of returning to the studio at the end of the year, or is it up in the air?

We don't want to wait three years for another album (well, I don't want to!) We might record something for a kind of tribute album; we'll see. And we also have plans on releasing a 12" EP at the beginning of next year. We will see how it turns out, but as for now, all the focus is put on touring and promoting the new album.

Any advice for up and coming bands?

Dedicate your life to heavy metal or die!

Thanks so much, it's been a real pleasure interviewing you for Metal Temple.


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Edited 28 January 2023

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