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Johan Lindstedt (Astral Doors)

Interview with Johan Lindstedt from Astral Doors
by Grigoris Chronis at 23 October 2007, 3:24 PM

If your taste ranges from late 70s Hard Rock to 80s Euro Power Metal, then ASTRAL DOORS is your newest favourite band! This Swedish six-piece had already delivered three excellent albums the last 4-5 years but this year's New Revelation can easily act as their finest (so far) creation. Skinsman Johan Lindstedt was kind enough to answer a dozen of questions via E-mail. Enjoy!

Hi from Metal Temple magazine and congratulations on your latest album, New Revelation!

Hi and thanx; this is Johan from ASTRAL DOORS.

We were looking for this interview, since we never had the chance to talk in the past plus New Revelation maybe is the best ASTRAL DOORS effort to date. How do you feel ’bout this album now, plus what’s the feedback so far (fans, Media)?

It feels great! In my opinion this is the best album we’ve done up to date. The production is awesome and the songs come straight from the heart.

How long did it take you from start to finish? You know: the songwriting, recording, final mix? Where did you record the album? You used Joachim’s and Martin’s studios again?

We started to write and record after the BLIND GUARDIAN tour in November last year. We used Joachim’s and Martin’s studios for the recordings and then we went to Peter for the final mix of the album.

I feel the ASTRAL DOORS songs may come off some endless jammin’ dunno, I just feel this. Is it true or you use a different approach for composing songs?

We never write the songs in the rehearsal room while jamming together like many other bands do. Here’s how we do: me, Joachim and Martin create instrumental demos and record them at home & complete songs but without vocal arrangements. Then we send the stuff to Patric who tries to come up with the

vocal parts. Patric writes all the lyrics and the vocal melodies/lines.

It takes time for a trio to decide stuff, in music. With ASTRAL DOORS being a sextet, how do you manage to work things out and make decisions (laughs)?

Ha ha! Well, for us it’s not really that hard when it comes to make music, but it’s harder with other things. One thing is to get six people into the rehearsal room, that’s not so easy all the time.

New Revelation sees, again, some wonderful hard-meets-heavy-meets-power Metal kind of music. Many may criticize the band’s focus on the same formula. Do you feel you should give a word to anyone? Is ASTRAL DOORS a band that likes to experiment in music?

We don’t have a formula for making music. We just write music straight from our hearts. And I don’t think we are gonna experiment too much in this band, but you never know.

I always considered this uniqueness in combining heaviness and melody the strongest ’weapon’ of ASTRAL DOORS. The same prescription we see the band follows in New Revelation, too. What was the inspiration when writing music for this album?

It has and will always be the great bands of the 70s and 80s, of course mixed with what goes on in our personal lives (not just music, but life in general).

Another outstanding factor in New Revelation is - again - the marvelous production. ASTRAL DOORS sounds both old-school and ’fresh’ at the same time. I used to blame it to the keys sound but I think that’s not enough. What steps did you take regarding the production of New Revelation? Do you have a certain procedure ’bout how each instrument should sound?

I think both Joachim and Martin are getting better for each album we record. Then we have better recording gears for this album.

A few words ’bout the - again - splendid cover artwork? It’s Mattias Noren again?

It’s a German company called Killustrations who did the front and back cover. We sent him (the artist) the music and lyrics to the song New Revelation and then we gave him free hands. And it turned out really really great!

Johan, while the band delivers some really inspiring (in general) Metal music, it is essential to say ASTRAL DOORS is a hard working outfit, too! Four albums and one mini CD in less than five years is a good bill, for today’s standards! How devoted is the band in its existence, bearing in mind all this work/family/obligations stuff?

Yes, it has been a lot of work, many hours in the studio. Every one in the band wants to take ASTRAL DOORS to a new level and I hope we manage to do it with this album. Now we made four albums so it’s time to tour our asses off!

New Revelation marks another album with Locomotive Music. Guess you’re satisfied from the label’s support so far? Are there any plans for further albums via this label?

I think they have done one hell of a job so far. And we still have two more albums to do with them.

Recently Locomotive Music released a vinyl version of 2006’s Astralism? Are there any plans for also releasing New Revelation on vinyl, for all the old-school addicts out there (laughs)?

Maybe, we haven’t spoken to them about it yet. We leave that kind of decisions between our management and our record label.

The release of New Revelation sees ASTRAL DOORS heading on a headlining European tour in a few days. What’s the mood? In addition, what’s the experience playing with both BLIND GUARDIAN and GRAVE DIGGER in the recent past?

I think it’s gonna be awesome. We have a killer set to play and I think the fans will love it. I think the tours with BLIND GUARDIAN and GRAVE DIGGER have made us a better live band, we learned a lot from them. This time it’s our turn to headline and we have a lot of songs we want to play. Also we have some good support bands with us - SECRET SPHERE from Italy and DOMAIN from Germany.

Surely New Revelation is an album that will be adored by European & Japanese Hard Rock/Heavy Metal fans, but I’m curious to know ’bout the American market. What’s the status of the ASTRAL DOORS ’brand’ over there? Are you in any negotiations for a possible set of gigs in the USA?

Things are starting to move over there and I think our management is already planning a US tour sometime next year. Not sure if and when, because it’s out of our hands, but I’m certain we will get over there sooner or later.

Johan, thanks a lot for your precious time. We, in Metal Temple magazine, hope all the best for ASTRAL DOORS in the future!

Thanx…and stay evil!


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