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Christoffer Svensson (Screamer)

Interview with Christoffer Svensson from Screamer
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 11 February 2013, 3:08 PM

The beginning of 2013 finds the Swedes SCREAMER with their sophomore album "Phoenix". An album full of relentless Metal, true in the spirit of NWOBHM, that set standards and expectations from them at new heights. Steinmetal demanded answers and Christoffer Svensson (vocals and bass) gladly offered knowledge, more questions and some insight on big fiery birds.

Hello there Chris, how have you been doing? Thanks for taking this interview for Metal Temple Web Magazine. Your band SCREAMER has been doing the Metal road more than three years and here you are releasing your sophomore album, “Phoenix”. Have you ever expected for such a rapid progress for you guys or was it planned ahead beforehand?

Well, all of us have been playing in a lot of different bands over the years, and you always thought “With a bit of luck we will make it bigtime”. As time went by you sort of realized that it wouldn't happen with one beersoaked rehearsal a week. When Screamer took its final form we all sat down and said “Let's kick this ball as hard as we can, and see how far it rolls”. And that's what we did. So I guess with the amount of work we've put in we were expecting some sort of result!

The first time I listened to you guys was right before you released your debut “Adrenaline Distractions”. Frankly, I liked the release, especially that astounding NWOBHM vibe you guys have been feeling, yet is still was as flamboyant as your second offering, “Phoenix”. What do you think that changed between the albums?

The thing that has changed is that the first album only had a couple of “new songs” the rest were the songs you've already written so far. Phoenix on the other hand was written in a couple of months, which means the album has a better feeling as a whole.

Maybe that is the reason that you called this album “Phoenix” as if rising into a new level of musical expertise? If not, what does this title stand for?

That is a very good description and I am going to steal it, but truth be told I just think big fiery immortal birds are awesome.

One of the major breaking songs for me were “No Sleep Til Hamilton” where I figured that you were describing the great feel of touring from city to city, of course there is the great music as if you knew how to play the right notes. Was that theme of touring really the main idea behind this song?

The song has a really good story behind it, because of very bad planning we were homeless for the first two nights of our Canadian tour, and we didn't get to sleep until after the gig in Hamilton. So yes, the song is about the torment of touring that we for some strange reason love above all else.

Is the title by any chance a tribute for “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” by MOTORHEAD?

A song about touring being dedicated to the hardest touring band in human history, why would you think that?

 “Lady of the River” came a bit as a surprise for me as it was totally different from the rest of tracks on the release. It seemed like a 70s oriented track with a pure Rock vibe kind a bit of LED ZEPPELIN and DEEP PURPLE, especially in the grooves. Do you feel the same way about it? Was it intentional in the first place?

Every song that we write starts as a Jam. But the jam for Lady of the river was so damn good we decided to just keep it as raw as we could so we wouldn't lose the feeling of it.

It would be interesting to know what do you think about NWOBHM and old 70s Hard Rock in general. For a long time, before the 00s, people have been saying that it ended up being a dying art. Yet since the year 2000 there has been a constant revival, especially from Sweden other than England, what drew you guys to this kind of music that many others somewhat neglected over the years and of course also composing songs by it?

Well there's a simple answer. We all love Rock'n'Roll in all it's different shapes, some of us like Black or Death, some of us like 70's one hour long improvisational stuff and so on but we all love NWOBHM. That is why we ended up playing it, because it is where we all meet musically.

There have been bands that started their journey into the wild with a certain direction and over time changed it in order to reach out to more folks. Since SCREAMER has been playing old school Metal, more like vintage Metal to be accurate, do you that the band will be headed down that path in the future?

We won't change because of what people want to hear, because we play the music we love and if you love it too, great! Grab a beer and enjoy yourself! If you don't like it, well go cry in a corner emo-kid.

Do you think that your rather intensified appreciation towards NWOBHM has brought you into a new level of playing and of crafting melodic material?

I don't know to be honest, I still think that there is a lot of good music still to be written and that heavy metal is immortal, because even though a lot of old gods have left us there are others to carry on the flag. Will it be as good? I don't know, it’s not new music anymore, but no one seems to care as long as the music is good and the beer is plentiful!

How about the future of SCREAMER? Tours, fests etc.

We had our release party in our home town on Feb 9th, and with the Hell Over Hammaburg festival in Hamburg 2nd March we kick off a month long European tour. All this and some festival dates will soon be released on our home page and on Facebook.

Chris I wish to thank you for this interview. “Phoenix” is an amazing album and a hell of an improvement in comparison to your debut. Through you there is a chance to enjoy the early 80s of British Metal. I salute you for that. Any last words for the readers?

Have a good time, all the time.

Cheers // Chris.


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Edited 06 July 2020

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