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Christoffer Wetterstrom (Defueld)

Interview with Christoffer Wetterstrom from Defueld
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 22 March 2009, 2:33 PM

It is always nice to 'discover' new bands by coming across to the debut album. And this feeling gets even better if this debut release is a very good one. This is the case with the Swedish act DEFUELD. Their homonymous album drew my attention and to find more about them I interviewed Christoffer Wetterstrom who said some pretty interesting stuff.

Interview with: Christoffer Wetterstrom from DEFUELD

    

 Welcome to the METAL TEMPLE webzine and many congrats on your debut album. Please take some time to introduce the band to our readers.

Hi and thank you! Hmm, how to introduce ourselves? Well, we are a band consisting of five music-junkies that lives and dies for our passion. We're all from Stockholm, except Patrik who are from the town of Gavle.

 How did you end naming the band DEFUELD?

That's a hard question. The short answer is that it sounded cool to say and it looks good written and I think it's quite easy to remember.

 You had recently a release party; how did it go? In the site you mention that you will release a DVD out of that party. Can you give us some details on those plans?

We hired a venue called Kagelbanan in Stockholm. It's a very exclusive place that most of the time hosts more classy events than the local metal band, haha. We felt that in order to stand out of the crowd we had to do something different and that is why we rented that place. We did two shows that night. One unplugged and one real. That was also to stand out of the crowd. The party went great. A lot of people showed up (more than 450 including invites and paying) and everyone seemed to have a good time. I know we had! We decided to record both shows on DV-cameras and multitrack. We felt that it would be a fun idea to record it and release it on the internet. As of now, we haven't looked at the tapes, so I don't know how much of it that is useful, but we have listened to the multitracks and they sound great. The plan is to release as much as possible on the Internet as a downloadable DVD and on YouTube/MySpace. For free of course.

 That's interesting. You have visited Senegal, Africa for a concert; how did you decide to do something like this? And what's the story about Hip Rock?

That's a funny story. It all started out in the studio I work in. As destiny took its turn, I found myself working a lot with Senegalese musicians (and I still am). By doing that I got to know a lot of people there and one day one of the guys asked me if DEFUELD would be interested in going to Senegal to do some shows and a workshop with Senegalese musicians. At first we were very skeptical, but then we decided that this thing would be such a crazy thing to do, so why not do it? hahaha. So, we went to Senegal, knowing nothing about how things would turn out, and I can tell you, we had our share of headaches. The first thing that happened was that almost all of our instruments got lost somewhere and when they finally came to us, they had travelled more than we had. We can laugh about it now, but we really panicked at the time. As you can imagine, it's not the easiest task to find heavy metal amplifiers and guitars in Africa.

Anyway, our stuff finally arrived and we could start to work. The workshop consisted of us plus 4 more Senegalese rap-artists. We were supposed to write songs together for the show, but because of the lost luggage we only had three days to do it. That was headache number two! I don't know how, but somehow we managed to do it. We combined our influences with their influences. Then we asked ourselves, how should we describe what we were doing there to the public? That's when we came up with calling it Hip Rock, since it was a crossbreed between Senegalese HipHop and Swedish Rock/Metal.

 Nice… Let's go to your debut; it's been out for almost 2 weeks so what is the feedback so far? Are you satisfied? Did you expect this reaction from the press?

The feedback has been great. Rock/Metal-zines seem to really like us but Swedish mainstream media dislikes us. But that feels quite good. Rockers generally likes what the mainstreamers dislikes, right?

 Yeah, I bet they do! How long did it take you to write the music for the album? Was it a team effort?

This album is written during a looooong period of time. Most of the songs are from our previous demos. I think it's funny that the listener can actually hear the development of the band during these years just by listening to this album. Early songs are songs like Crime Of The Century and more new songs are songs like Spawn and Retarded. When we write songs we usually have some ideas that we bring to the rehearsal room. It can be everything from just a riff to a almost complete song. Then we jam on it for a while and everyone puts their personal touch on it.

 Your sound is very fresh and I dare to say quite original; did you work on producing something different or this music style was born in the studio?

Thank you. That feels great to hear. It's nothing we've worked on in the studio, but I think we might have a different approach than other bands when writing music. We try not to think so much on what we are writing but rather concentrate on getting a groove that feels good to play and a good melody. Also, when mixing the album we felt that we wanted to have a more timeless sound. It should be a modern mix that could compete with other modern metal mixes, But at the same time we didn't want that over-compressed sound, But more of a classic, dynamic mix, Getting the best of both worlds. It was hard getting there, but we feel we got the sound we wanted for this album.

 Nowadays many mostly new bands want famous producers to work on their albums, so my question is; how important is the producer for a new band?

Both yes and no, Of course, a big-name producer would help sell the album, but in the end I think that the important thing is to record the best songs that you as an artist can produce at the moment.

 Expanding the above question do you think that in this way many bands sound pretty much the same due to the same producer? Is self-producing the ultimate solution?

It might be like that and it might be that it's a trend right now to sound a certain way. I think that a lot of bands today try to hard to sound a certain way instead of concentrating on them selves and what makes them unique. Self-producing is both heaven and hell. You get the chance to really get your sound and ideas, but at the same time there is no one to exchange ideas with, and that is an important part as well.

 So, what is 'wrong' with the Scandinavian Metal scene and especially Sweden. Many very good bands are born there and I strongly believe this is the most active Metal scene.

Haha, If I knew that I would be a rich man selling the secrets. Might be because of that we basically spend the winter half of the year indoors? Hehe, I don't know. Maybe someone should hire a professor and investigate.

 I will get into it (laughs) What are your tour plans? Summertime is coming so what are your 'festival' plans? Is there a country that you'd love to visit?

Our plan is to be out on the road as much as possible. It's there that we have to most chance of really promoting ourselves. We would really like to visit large parts of eastern Europe. But we need to a good booking agent for that.

 What bands would choose for the ideal tour?

There are a lot of good bands out there, and hopefully we will have the chance to meet and work with many of them, but I think that in order to make a tour work smoothly is to find a band that you are enough friends with to now want to kill everyone after five minutes haha…

 Taking into consideration the deep economical crisis how difficult can it be for a new band when it comes to find a record deal and release an album?

Well, we have actually signed ourselves. We started our own record label that we call ShortWave Records and signed a distribution deal with a Swedish distributor called Soundpollution. I think that that is the way to go today. A major label isn't really interested in you until you really don't need them anymore, and as our own label, we are always in complete control of ourselves, No one telling us what to do and how to sound. This means of course a lot of hard (really hard) work, but hopefully it will pay in the end.

 Do you think that someday you will be able to make money by just playing music?

Isn't that the dream of every musician? Hopefully we will, at least make enough to be able to afford to keep on doing what we love, and then again, who can ask for more? Happiness is more important than a large bank account (even though it would help, hahaha).

 Well Chris, thank you for your time. I wish the best for the future and hope to see you on-stage sometime in Greece. Say anything that I forgot to ask.

Thank You and all the best to You!!! A show in Greece would be real cool (know anyone interested in helping us get there???). We will try to visit as many countries as our wallets allow us to!



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