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Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity)

Interview with Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquillity
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 12 May 2004, 11:38 PM

Sweden's got a great scene (and women too - um…and men) and everyday even more people start listening to what we call Swedish Death Metal. One of the bands who was there from the very beginning (excpet for In Flames) and still is, is Dark Tranquillity.  Niklas Sundin (guitarist) took some time off to answer a few questions Metal-Temple had concerning the band's latest album, Damage Done and Dark Tranquillity in general.

It’s been a while since your last release. What has happened since then? Are there any compositions ready for a forthcoming release?

The new release is already recorded, and will be out after the autumn. We spent February and March in the studio, and the result is a fresh and exciting 11-song album that we’re very satisfied with. Apart from writing and rehearsing new material, we’ve basically spent the time after Damage Done touring, playing festivals and working on the DVD.

In the last album, Damage Done, you showed some experimental features in your sounds. Should we expect such a surprise in your next album too? When will you start working on a new album?

I don’t want to reveal too much about the general direction and other specific details since there’s no point to spoiling the surprises this early, but the new album is pretty different from Damage Done, but still somewhat of a logical progression. As always, we have to experiment with our sound in order to make it interesting both for us and for the fans.

Speaking of releases, A DVD was released, which was recorded mainly in Krakow but it also contained some tracks performed live in Greece and France. Why did you choose Krakow when it’s obvious that in other countries the audience is much more light.

It wasn’t really a matter of chosing. We got an offer from the Polish production company to travel to Krakow and record a live DVD, and since we’ve seen some of their previous work we knew that they were able to do a professional recording. I agree that the audience interaction isn’t fantastic, but the recording was done in a TV studio, and they had strict limitations of how many people they could bring in. Luckily,  we were able to add the bootleg footage from Paris and Athens to show what a normal D.T. audience is like, ha ha!

Recently one of the establishers of the New Wave Swedish Death Metal (In  Flames) released an album really different and far away from the recent standards. Do you believe that this might be a proof that the Gothenburg scene has done it’s piece, as far as it concerns music? Is this a sign that the pioneers of the scene  should always make a leap forward? If you’ve heard the fornamed album, what’s your point of view about it?

Tricky question…When we released the Projector album in 1999, it was  generally seen (by ourselves as well) as the farewell to the so-called Gothenburg sound. We were really tired and fed up with the hype and how it was marketed and felt that the only way to keep ourselves motivated as a band was to do something completely different. I don’t really care so much about what other bands are doing, or how this and that album sounds in relation to a supposed scene or compares to their earlier stuff. Every band is free to do whatever they want with their music.

This June you’ll be playing in Greece again, at the Rockwave Festival, together with Running Wild, Firewind and W.A.S.P. We know you’ve got memories from your previous visits in Greece but what are your expectations for a big show like this one among other great names from the metal scene?

I think it’ll be a great experience. The audience in Greece has always been truly fantastic, and this is the first time we do an actual festival show and not a usual gig in your country, so we’re very excited about it. Hopefully we can play a song or two from the upcoming album as well.

For how long will you be touring?

It’s too early to know at this point. There will be some festivals during the summer, and when the new album is out I’m sure that there will be a lot of touring, but the details won’t be ready for a couple of months.

Which moment of your history do you consider to be the highest till now and how far are you prepared to take it as musicians? What are your personal ambitions in life.

I guess we’ll continue playing as long as it still feels that we make good music that makes a difference. We’ve been going for 15 years now, with 4 of the 5 original members still in the band, and I can’t really see us quitting in the near future either. As for the first part of the question, there are lots of things to chose from. I don’t really have a special happening or thing that I’d describe as THE D.T. moment. Releasing the first album or  playing the first gig was very special; apart from that I don’t know.

Last but not least, send out a worldwide message to all your fans who’ll be reading this Interview, since we’re an International Magazine.

Well, thanks for reading this and feel free to check the new album out when it’s released!

Thanks for the Interview! We hope to see you up close when you come to Greece! Take care!

Thanks!



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