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Peder Sundqvist (Assailant)

Interview with Peder Sundqvist from Assailant
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 05 May 2008, 10:50 PM

The Swedish metallers ASSAILANT kicked my sorry ass with their amazing mixture of their NWOSDM influences with Power Metal. Even though I am a fan of the more extreme side of Metal, their melodic heaviness managed to attract my attention. After spending some pleasant minutes listening to their latest album Wicked Dream I decided to contact the band's singer and interrogate him about their plans…

Hello Peder! Congratulations on your new album! Tell us a few things about the band since many people will not be aware of your existence.

Well, where to start. This band of ours consists of 6 totally different people. We are all very interested in music, and when I say music I mean all kinds of music styles. But I guess we have Metal or Rock as a base of interest when we do what we do so to speak.

How did you manage to sign with Dockyard 1? Did they approach you or did you send them your stuff?

We were looking around for a decent label about 3 years ago. And just as it happens PERSUADER got themselves signed after that competition they were signed to. Young Metal gods I believe it was. So my good friend and Oskar’s brother Emil Norberg, guitarist of SAVAGE CIRCUS and PERSUADER told the boss of DY1 Dirk Putzke of our existence so he checked us out and liked what he heard.

This is your second full-length album. Comparing it to your debut, what differences can you find? Do you think you have developed your sound during those 2 years?

Oh, of course we have developed our sound. Or rather we have developed ourselves as musicians and as a band, and of course as human beings. I know that it sounds a bit cliche, but life and time changes people and in our case for the better, we have a clearer view of what we are trying to accomplish, or what our cross hair is set on.

But in truth, I believe we need at least two more albums before we have found what we really want to do when it comes to making music. We have all agreed on that after every song we have completed we are getting closer and closer to what we want to do.

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Who is the main composer of the band? How do you work when composing a new song?

Main composer, hmm, well. There is no really main composer in this six shooter of ours. Oskar always puts the edge on the songs before completion. I write all the lyrics and vocals. Patrik of course does the drums and so on. I would like to say that we work as a team. A good example is when we go into our studio there are often three or four of us sitting down creating. If it’s my turn to put down the vocals the guys sit and comment and if there is something wrong with my ideas we work them through and find a solution for the things that doesn’t work out.

Has the fact that Oscar has two famous brothers helped you? I suppose it is harsh for him to be known as the little brother of Emil and Nils and not as Oskar Norberg.

Hahaha!!! Well. I guess if you asked him I think he would have said no but I think it has some effect on him, not in a bad way but being reminded of being the little brother of Nils and Emil a hundred times when checking the net for anything that even gets close to his brothers would be kind of irritating.

I don’t think it has been a bad thing for us but we haven’t really seen any positive remarks either. Nothing that has changed our career into anything bigger then it already is. I think mostly because we have gone our own way. Oskar doesn’t play the usual Power/Thrash Metal that either NOCTURNAL RITES or PERSUADER does.

You are part of a label that features acts like IRON SAVIOR and NECROMANTIA among others. How do you feel being part of this growing family? Are you satisfied with them?

Hehe, it wouldn’t be a good thing if I said it sucks would it? Haha. Not but for sure. I think for a band of our size it’s hard as hell getting anywhere in this business. Record sales are the prophet in our line of work and as the times are these days records doesn’t sell that easy. DY1 has been supportive and the bands they sign have to work very hard themselves to get through. All of us want an unlimited amount of cash and relentless gig opportunities but as I said. Record sales are not as they were back in the day.

Which bands have influenced your sound? While listening to Wicked Dream I found some references to EVERGREY and MERCENARY. Correct me if I am wrong…

I gotta say that I don’t understand the likeness. I have never listened to EVERGREY to any extent or MERCENARY. I’m a Dio, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, Jorn Lande, CARNAL FORGE kind of guy myself. Or rather the list is too long to really put down here but Ronnie James Dio has always been a singer that has put feelings into vocals for me. I write vocals with as much anxiety, anger and love as I can. Hehe cliche yet again but it’s the truth. And as far as the music goes it’s the same. We want to deliver feelings.

Bands that have influenced us are in fact bands like NEVERMORE, MESHUGGAH, AT THE GATES, SOILWORK and a whole long list. But as I said earlier, we are so different when it comes to our personal music alignment in this band so who knows what foundation we stand on musically. Let’s just put it down with words. Anger anxiety and strength.

I gotta say that I’m pleased of what you wrote in the review about us not sounding like IN FLAMES and the rest of the Swedish Metal scene.

I suppose you write the lyrics for the band. Where do you get your inspiration when writing a song?

Again another cliche. Real life. I have never appreciated all these dragon slaying sword wielding maiden saving lyrics. Nor the satanic bullshit that goes around. I have always thought or rather I get that certain feeling when I write lyrics that I can stand for. I get, let’s say, a more convincing voice. I think all the big voices of our day have that thing. Dio, Coverdale, Jens Kidman from MESHUGGAH. You can’t sing in a convincing way if you play MESHUGGAH Thrash while singing about kittens basking in the sun. I think you know what I mean.

Your music features a wide variety of sounds. How hard do you think is it for a band to create its own distinctive sound nowadays?

Incredibly hard. I don’t think we have done it. Or what the hell. We have not created our own sound. We have just taken what we like from the different styles and thrown in one or two ingredients of our own. But I’m happy when I hear people say that we have succeeded in just that endeavor.

Have you managed to share the stage with any known acts until now?

MORGANA LEFAY, NOCTURNAL RITES are the few we have had the honor to perform with. Also a local festival named House Of Metal in 2007, SOILWORK, SAVAGE CIRCUS amongst others.

What do we have to expect from ASSAILANT in the near future?

A shitload of hard hitting music. And with some hope we will get a good year with Wicked Dream so we may give Europe and the rest of the world a shake down on stage.

If I am not mistaken you used to be in LESRA. Why did you leave the band? I think they are still active but have released only several demos.

I have been active in a couple of bands as a matter a fact. And well. Life is not always what you would like it to be. And people don’t always work out. I think that I wanted something else music wise.

ASSAILANT is right up my alley. I love to be able to sing almost what I want. I like the mix.

I had a question regarding your sound. I was amazed with the quality and the heaviness you managed to have in Wicked Dream but I haven’t managed to find who the producer was. Who is responsible for this great sound?

Who else!!?? Oskar Norberg and Joakim Jonsson were our engineers and they mixed the record as well. We sent the tracks down to Goran Finnberg at Mastering Room down in Gothenburg. Before this record we built our own studio since we have a lot of technical skills in the band. Patrik Larsson (the drumstick boy) built his own digital drum kit. And from that point Oskar and Joakim took over in front of the computer and mixing board.

Thank you for your time Peder. I hope you manage to achieve all of your dreams with ASSAILANT. Anything you’d like to add?

Much obliged John. It was my pleasure.

I would like to say thanks to all that supports us out there. And I hope that this year will provide us with the means and resources so we can come to a stage near you to break down the walls and break some necks.Cheers!


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