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Niklas A. Olsson (Wolf)

Interview with Niklas A. Olsson from Wolf
by Amy La Salla at 27 March 2005, 6:10 PM

Wolf is a name that evokes images of a fearsome, tireless creature. It is also the name of a vicious, slightly eerie Metal band from Sweden. After hearing their album Evil Star and being suitably impressed by this young act, I decided the thing to do was to interview them. So I contacted the band and was very pleased when singer Niklas A. Olsson agreed to do an interview.

Greetings from Metal-Temple.Com Magazine! My first question would be: how did the original members meet?

To make a long story short: Over a couple of pints in a pub discussing why today’s music mostly sucked. This was around 1995.

If someone asked you to describe Wolf’s playing style, what would you say?

Heavy Metal. Or maybe Classic/Old school/British Metal. Nowadays there are some reviews of other bands where they describe the band as Wolfish etc so I guess we have a specific sound. I would describe that sound as raw, well sounding, melodic, energetic, simple and straight forward.

How has the reaction to Evil Star been so far? Are you pleased with it?

The reaction in Sweden has been good. In Europe and the USA the reaction has been great, to say the least. We’re pleased.

Run us through the creation of a typical Wolf song.

Mikael \[Goding, bass] or Daniel \[Bergkvist, drums] usually come up with one or two riffs that we try out in the rehearsal room. It if grooves we build a song around it. I usually glue the good parts together and fill in the missing parts of the song. Most often I write the vocals and lyrics with some help from Daniel and/or Mikael. Each member comes up with riffs of their own but the magic happens when we play together in rehearsals.

What inspires you to write? Do you have a favorite lyrical topic?

I am a student of psychology and what happens in the depths of the human mind inspires me the most. Also I write a lot about death. I guess it comes from me being afraid that I will not be able to do all the things I want to before I die. Death is final and something that concerns us all weather we like it or not.

Your sound is darker than most power Metal bands, particularly the vocals. What do you think inspired that?

We don’t consider ourselves a Power Metal band. We are a Heavy Metal band. We’re simply not interested in templars, dragons and such as most Power Metal bands write about (I guess?).

Your band shows a high level of musicianship, did you take classes or are you self taught?

We are self taught, except from maybe some classes when we were kids. After Black Wings (2001), I took some singing lessons from an opera professor and that was great. I quit because I could not afford to continue. In my opinion, musical training cannot destroy your feeling as long as you have a genuine talent and a mind of your own. On the other hand it is not necessary with classes and training if you do have the talent and work hard on your own. I once applied for music school but got refused and I can’t tell you that I am sorry for that now.

Do you have any favorite on the road stories you’d like to share?

With Wolf there is a story every time we’re on the road. I particularly remember when my passport was in the wrong tour bus on the Saxon tour and I had to hide in our bus at the Swiss border. They looked over the whole bus but didn’t find me. I am surprised that they did not hear my heart beat and found me.

What do you think of the current Metal scene?

It must be better than the nineties because the nineties sucked. But I am not interested in the Metal scene of today. There are too many bands and I have too little time. But I am pleased that Judas Priest and Iron Maiden are back together again. Maybe Mercyful Fate could reunite?

What is your opinion of the sub-genre’s of Metal? Do you feel they are more helpful or harmful to the larger Metal world?

I think all genres of Metal help the larger Metal world. Well, not Nu-Metal, because it is not Metal anyway.

What do you think of the Internet as a method of promotion?

Even if I consider myself old school, I can’t figure out how we could manage before Internet. I am glad that I don’t have to type this interview on a typing machine and send it over by snail mail.

What are your future plans for Wolf?

We are writing songs for the next album by the moment. There will also be a Swedish and a German festival gig in May.

How did you come about choosing to cover the Blue Oyster Cult song Don’t Fear the Reaper?

It was Daniel’s idea. First of all it is a great song. Secondly, we did not want to cover something obvious like a Priest or a Maiden. Thirdly, the lyrics fit well into the album and offers the album another dimension, I think.

How did you come about choosing the name of your band? Is there any special significance to it for you?

We like predators and are sponsors of the official predator association in Sweden, trying to preserve wolves, wolverines, bears and such in the natural Swedish fauna. But first and foremost we wanted a simple but powerful name.

Do you have any final words to leave with the fans?

Stay heavy, stay true! Thanks for supporting this hard working band.



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