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Peter Wildoer (Darkane)

Interview with Peter Wildoer from Darkane
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 August 2013, 12:36 PM

After five long years of scheming, Swedish Melodic Death/Progressive Thrash Metal outfit DARKANE came roaring back with an explosive vengeance in the form of an album that has been hailed for its incorporation of Classical music as well as having heavier elements than ever before. Drummer Peter Wildoer talks with Metal Temple about the effects of vocalist Lawrence Mackrory’s return, plans for European festivals, and the dark messages behind a lyrically impactful album. 

Hi Peter, greetings! It is an honor having you for this interview for Metal Temple. What have you been up to lately?

Hey! It’s a pleasure doing an interview for Metal Temple. Lately I’ve been busy promoting the new DARKANE album and taking care of logistics with our labels. Also for the first time in years I’ve had vacation, a luxury I normally don’t have since there is always too much going on.

Five years after the release of Demonic Art, here you are with DARKANE’s new release, The Sinister Supremacy. Out of obvious curiosity, what took you so long? Can this period of time be considered as a break or something of the sort?

Well it was not a break that was intentional. Some of the guys in the band have had family stuff that they had to deal with that made them have to focus on that instead. We’ve also been building a new studio for ourselves. This took two years since we only have time building during our spare time. In a way we also lost a bit of the spirit and didn’t know where to go for a while. All that changed though when Lawrence came back into the band and made us all very inspired!

After I devoured this release back and forth, this new release seemed way more melodic than what was displayed on Demonic Art, similar to the old harmonious hooks of what your local scene once manifested. Furthermore, The Sinister Supremacy is also a punch in the face with its heaviness along with showmanship of technical abilities. Do you agree with these notions?

I think that is a great description of what I think the new album sounds and feels like too. In a way The Sinister Supremacy captures everything that we think is DARKANE. As you said, melodies, harmonies, speed, heaviness and some technical parts - it’s all there. In a way I think our new album sums up what we have been doing over the years and blended it into an updated sound. I have to say that we are very happy with the result!

While listening, I tried envisioning what this release is all about. What I could decipher led into the darkest midst of human existence. Can you shed light upon the themes that led you guys to write these songs and whether it was about mankind’s survival?

Right once again. Especially on our third album Expanding Senses, the lyrical theme was about mental illness and the dark parts of our minds and souls. I think The Sinister Supremacy once again deals with this theme but through Lawrence’s eyes this time as he wrote almost all lyrics. Here’s some words from Lawrence about the lyrics:

“The Sinister Supremacy is a metaphor for the evil that controls us. It’s not the devil, because we do not believe in religion. It’s the dark part of our minds and it’s inside us all. It tells us it’s OK to do bad things, to hurt other people, and hurt ourselves. It guides us into making choices based on pure selfishness, and it thrives on complete chaos. It is the source of pure, dark hatred - the black in our souls. I came up with the title because I’m a huge fan of the series Dexter. He talks about “The Dark Passenger” - that dark voice inside you that you cannot control and you have to obey to be able to keep your sanity. That’s kind of what I mean with The Sinister Supremacy.”

I know that it might sound like a cliché question, yet I still wonder how you perceive the musical change, if there was an actual change after all, in The Sinister Supremacy?

I would say that all DARKANE releases to date are very different. They all sound like DARKANE but have very different musical approaches and productions. To me The Sinister Supremacy feels like the natural next step after our debut album Rusted Angel and our 2005 album Layers of Lies. All these three albums sound more like they have a common factor and have the typical DARKANE Thrash elements, but the new album also has heavier parts and songs like we had on Expanding Senses.

After listening to the final result of The Sinister Supremacy, what made you tick? What songs affected you most?

To all of us the first reaction was that we were struck by the fact that all of us liked almost all the songs. Normally when you have finished an album you think of what you should have done differently and that some songs didn’t turn out as good as you wanted them to, which was what I felt after we finished our previous album Demonic Art. When I listened to that album I felt there were not many songs, if any, which I really wanted to play live. It’s totally the opposite with The Sinister Supremacy. I want to play almost all of them live and for the first time since our debut album Rusted Angel we have decided to rehearse all the songs from the new album and most likely we will play a lot of new material when we go on tour. It’s just great to be happy about what we achieved with this album and to feel the inspiration wanting to play the songs!

What is your appreciation of “Humanity Defined”? I found it as one of this album’s cornerstones, and in general, one of the band’s greatest songs to date.

I definitely love that track too. It’s a typical DARKANE fast paced Thrash song with all the elements that make us DARKANE. I like the fast tempo, the riffs, the melodic parts and it’s a fun song to play. It has the essence of what we started 15 years ago and what we wanted the band to sound like. We recently asked our fans on our Facebook page which song they liked the most and there was no clear winner but they all liked a lot of different songs and many wrote that they couldn’t pick one song but loved the whole album. So in a way I think there is something for every Metalhead on this album.

The Sinister Supremacy also presents us with an old echo from your past, namely, the Rusted Angel era, and I believe it came from Lawrence Mackrory. What made him come back to work with you guys again? Do you see this partnership as a long term affair?

As I said earlier, we got very inspired when Lawrence rejoined the band. We met Lawrence at a festival already in 2009 when Jens Broman had replaced Andreas Sydow on vocals a couple of years earlier. Lawrence said that he was a bit frustrated that we didn’t ask him to rejoin the band when Andreas left in 2007. We didn’t know Lawrence was interested in returning to the band then. In August 2011 we were offered a European tour. Jens said that he wasn’t interested in touring and he wanted to focus on other things. We asked if Lawrence wanted to do the tour and he said that he not only wanted to do the tour but also wanted to rejoin us full time. After the tour we discussed it with all parts involved and the change of vocalist was a fact. We are very happy to be back with the original lineup and full of reborn energy!

It would be interesting to know, in the first place, why you parted ways with Mackrory after Rusted Angel.

It’s a bit funny because that was almost for the same reason Jens quit DARKANE years later. Back then after Rusted Angel was released we also got offered a tour and Lawrence said that he wanted to concentrate on his own band FORCEDFEED at that point and didn’t want to do the tour. We got in contact with Andreas Sydow who did the tour and right after joined the band full time. You could say that it’s full circle right now with the original lineup back together.

Looping out of DARKANE for just a bit, I noticed that you have been active with James LaBrie, also appearing on his new album. What can you share about this experience with a singer and individual like LaBrie?

It’s my second album with James LaBrie as I also play drums on his previous album Static Impulse (2010). I recorded drums for the new album Impermanent Resonance in February. It’s a great experience and also good promotion for DARKANE. Because of that I was one of the seven drummers asked to audition for the drummer’s position in DREAM THEATER back in 2010 when Mike Portnoy left the band. All these things have been great for me and I’ve not only learned a lot but also got great promotion from it. All in all I can say that it’s fantastic to work with James and the other guys in the band and they are all amazingly talented and great people.

So what is next for DARKANE - back in the saddle with a planned tour?

We are discussing tour options right now but nothing is confirmed. Our goal is to tour Europe and North America within a year and also do festivals in Europe next year. Then hopefully we will also cover some areas we’ve never been to or played a long time ago. We are for sure eager to tour and perform the new songs live!

Peter, I wish to thank you for your time to answer this interview. The Sinister Supremacy is certainly one of your best works, and I really hope for its appreciation by the Metal world. Any last words for the fans?

Thanks a lot for having me for this interview! I just hope that the readers will give The Sinister Supremacy a listen and also not only listen through it just once but give it a few spins as it takes some time to get into a DARKANE album. Stay Metal and see you on the road soon!!!


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