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Ola Flink (Soilwork)

Interview with Ola Flink from Soilwork
by Angela "The Hunter" at 01 February 2013, 9:12 PM

One of the main bands that were part of the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal is SOILWORK. Through the years they have evolved their sound but they always remained one of the highly considered forces in the Swedish scene. Angela “The Hunter” talked on the phone with Ola Flink, bassist of SOILWORK about their brand new album “The Living Infinite” that will be released in the end of February via Nuclear Blast Records, the upcoming tour and other very interesting stuff.

Soilwork, has been around for quite a while. When did you first form?

We formed back in 1995, 1996 or something. I first joined the band in ‘97, but I was handed the demo from a friend of mine that actually that was in the band to begin with who was later on our sound guy. So yeah, I think it was around ‘95 or ‘96.

Your new album, “The Living Infinite”, released by Nuclear Blast, is coming out at the end of February.  Tell us about the album.

Yeah, it is 20 songs, and each song has its own identity, super diverse. You get a taste of what we have done over the years. There is something, not really from all of the albums, but just representing the years with a twist on it. It’s a bit darker, and as always, super melodic. Catchy, without being cheesy. It’s pretty awesome!

We all know that illegal downloading of music is hitting a lot of bands quite hard. How do you feel about people downloading your music for free?

Yeah, it seems like people are adjusting to what is going on, though. They kind of pay for stuff through Spotify and iTunes or whatever.  And also, I was never really against it (downloading music) too much, because you just kinda have to accept the way that the times are, and just look at the bright side with the promotion. At the same time, sometimes you know, you get pissed off because people just take it for granted, like everything should be free, ya know? It makes no sense to me but, I don’t know. It’s something I accept and just have to adjust to it, I guess. It’s not too bad for me at least.

Once the album is released, are you back on the road? Do you have any particular venue, or festival, that you’d like to perform at this year?

Yeah we are going to head a US tour that starts in March, with 56 dates. After that, we will do a good amount of European festivals, and then after that, just keep on going. Basically going to try and play as much as possible. As for festivals, we are going to Wacken, which is always fun. But we have done so many of them. There is a place in Australia, I can’t remember the name, Soundwave, or something. That would be awesome. But other than that, playing festivals in general is kinda cool. Wherever we can go, it’s always a good time.

Now the music scene has changed quite a lot over the years, what changes have you seen in the industry? Are they good changes, bad, or are you rather indifferent?

I honestly don’t keep track of what is going on. So the changes these days, I am unsure of. I don’t know, evolving is good I guess. I was more up to date a bunch of years ago, but I just tend to listen to music that was done a long time ago. Don’t know if that is a good answer or not (laughs).

Is there anything special behind the name SOILWORK? Or did it just sound really fucking cool?

No, I just remember, back in the day, we had a different name. Our guitarist at the time, came up with the name SOILWORK. We all thought it sounded cool because it was a made up word. We have had had many questions of the years of what it means, and I don’t know what it means (laughs). It kinda means to do the hard work, kinda. It has just really stuck with us throughout the years. I have lived with it for years, and have just gotten used to it. There really isn’t a deep meaning behind it.

Out of all of the albums you have done, do you have a particular one that you still
enjoy listening to? One that you enjoy the most?

Yeah! With the older stuff, like “Predator’s Portrait”, which I like because it has more of the melodic vocals, when we kind of threw that in there. We also got more technical, more progressive, which I liked. That one is one of my favorites. “Natural Born Chaos” is something that I appreciate listening to still; I am pretty proud of that one.

Is there a particular band or artist that has had a major impact, or influence, on the band?

Oh man, there are so many of those! Like in the making of the new album, there are so many people involved, and there are so many different influences for each guy. I think just the fact that you listen to different music, makes a big difference. Bjorn listens to a lot of classic rock, but at the same time listens to like, death metal, that he grew up on.  Just being open to music is important when you want to create music.

 Do you have anyone, personally, that has been an influence on your music?
Or have you pretty much just listened to everything as you have evolved as a musician?

Yeah I mean when I first started playing, I listened to hardcore music. I came from a hard core background, I listened to BIOHAZARD, and even the Victory era type bands. Then I found out about the metal scene with bands like SEPULTURA and all of their early works, and you know, there are so many influences I have had through the years. But starting out, I don’t know if it really inspired musically, but it inspired me to actually start playing. Over the years I have changed a lot of what I listen to. As a bass player, I don’t know, I listen to a lot of different bass players, to get inspired, I guess.

Do you have a favorite artist that you are listening to?

When it comes to metal, OPETH is my favorite band. They write progressive music, for the right reason, you know? I love to listen to that, so it’s kind of an inspiration. I also listen to a lot of instrumental or electronic music. It’s all just a combination of different types. Is there a specific artist? I don’t think so. Really, anything in general.

Where do you see the band in, say, 5 or 10 years?

As it is feels right now, I think there is a new found energy, because we just got started writing music. We have a new line up with a new guy on guitar that’s been giving us a lot of good stuff. He has a lot of positive vibes and tons of good energy, ya know? So, if we can just ride on that for a couple more years that would be awesome. That my hope! Just to bring this CD on the road.  Five years from now, we’ll still be doing music, but 10 years? That’s too far away (laughs)

I always like to give bands an opportunity to kinda promote any of their side projects. Do you have anything else that you are doing besides SOILWORK, or is that your main focus?

SOILWORK is my main focus. I mean, i do stuff on my own, but there is nothing to promote really. Our keyboard player has a band called SOMOGANDIE which is like psychedelic, kind of jazz, weird project that you should check out.  That is I just sit on the couch and play bass, so there’s nothing to promote.

I know that you guys have a lot of different sites that you use to promote the band, but do you have something besides Facebook to actively promote the band? Do you have a webpage, do you use Twitter?

I think Bjorn does some Twitter, and the photo thing, Instagram. We have a you can check, but it seems that the Facebook page is where you need to go, that is what is updated the most.  I’m not the most updated guy either though, so I may be the wrong guy to ask.

Well that is all of the questions I had for you! Thank you again for your time. We here at Metal Temple wish you nothing but a safe journey along the road ahead. Cheers!


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