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SINIESTRO's Linus (Commander): “We will not do any form of streaming online concerts. Live music is supposed to be blood, sweat and alcohol and not seen through a computer-screen.”

Interview with Linus (Commander) from Siniestro
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 12 June 2021, 9:09 AM

As the 80’s were ending and the 90’s came, the Swedish Metal scene started to raise its fingers and conquer the world. As a reflex of such phenomena, today the Swedish Metal scene is solid and full of bands of many different genres, from AOR/Glam Metal to extreme Metal. And one fine name is coming from Stockholm: the duet SINIESTRO, a Thrash/Black Metal act with Metal Punk/Punk Rock influences. And as they’re releasing their second album, “Vortexx”, Metal Temple writer Marcos Garcia had the opportunity to make an interview with them, to talk of many matter concerning their work, their latest release, and even about future plans.

To begin with, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity of talking with you. As the first question, how the band spent the 3 years between the EP “Arctic Blood” and “Vortexx”?

Right after the release of Arctic Blood we did a couple of tours and festivals across Europe and started writing the material for Vortexx. Our initial plan was to release the album in May 2020 but due to the fact that the whole world got infected by the Chinese bat virus, everything got delayed. We could not book the studio for the recordings so we had to sit back and wait. We had no deadlines or anything like that so there was no panic for us to get it done quickly. In the end its probably better that we released it now in May 2021. One year here or there. In a hundred years, what difference does it make?

In your perspective, what are the great differences between you previous three releases (“Oppression of the Sunlight”, of 2014; “Revelations in Mayhem”, of 2016; “Arctic Blood”, of 2018) and “Vortexx”? Do you think your music evolved/matured in some ways? And are there any regrets on the past releases that you could work in a better way on “Vortexx”? And a funny event: can you believe that I was the same one that reviewed “Artic Blood”, but didn’t remind it? I need a long vacation…

I have never been 100% satisfied with anything I’ve released. I think that is an important part of being an artist. That is what will motivate me to always strive to be better. But it is also just as important to not over analyze the material cause then you will never be able to release anything. The key for me is to find that sweet spot where everything in the right place at the right moment. Then I move on to the next mission. With that said I want to make clear that I am very proud of everything we have released with Siniestro but of course there are always place for improvements. Vortexx is just a natural development of Siniestro . We never look into repeating ourselves but it is also extremely important to keep true to our roots.

When hearing (and loving) “Vortexx”, one feature was clear: unlike many bands that try to emulate the past sonorities, with an exaggerated filthy. But you, even with an Old School/Metal Punk insight used on your music, prefer something defined that improved the aggressiveness of your musical work and the same Old School spirit. Such choice is intentional, or it was something that came due your work with Dino (Medanhodzic, who worked on the recording, engineering and mixing) and Christopher (Göthberg, the one who mastered the songs)? And by the way, it’s excellent!

Thank you so much for those words! It is definitely a mix of all 3 components. Our vision combined with Dinos & Christophers knowledge is what created the sound of Vortexx. Everything we do with Siniestro we do 100%. It is all or nothing and we will not compromise with what we aim to do. It does not matter how good you are if you don’t have the right people around you.

By the way, how did you choose to work with Dino again and with Christopher?

Our plan was to make the Arctic Blood EP as a "teaser" for Vortexx so then it felt obvious to record with Dino again so we could continue carry the same torch so to speak. He is a fantastic studio engineer and his mixing is elite. For the mastering we chose Christopher Göthberg this time cause I have done many different projects with him before and he has such a great feeling and great ears in everything that is presented to him with music. Therefore, I wanted his to make the final touch of Vortexx before it was done.

One more about the recording sessions: as “Vortexx” is released this year, the idea is that the sessions took place during COVID-19 pandemic. How was to work in such hard conditions? Hope this disease did not took any loved one from you…

As I mentioned before we could not book the studio to complete the recordings due to Covid 19. I don’t remember how much we had recorded before the pandemic but I would say maybe 80% were done before that. But as I explained earlier, since we had no rush with a specific deadline we did not feel any sort or panic in the situation. It probably gave us the opportunity to fine polish the last parts so maybe it was better in the end to get one year of delay. It is almost as I foresaw the virus as I look back to some the lyrics of the album but they were all written before everything broke loose. At least 80-90%. There are always some minor changes in the studio of course. On a personal level I have not been effected with someone close passing away due to Covid or any problems economically so I don’t have the right to sit here and complain about anything. Too many people complain about nonsense these days. It is pathetic.

“Vortexx” has a furious and aggressive energy on the songs, but two songs are really different from the others: “Den Svartaste Flamman Och Renaste Hat” is really near of early Metal Punk/Punk Rock; and “Blod Eld Död” due its melancholy and set of nasty melodies. The main question is: what influenced you to make such different songs? What was the feeling, the ideas when composing and recording both songs?

When singing in your native language, everything gets a special vibe and feeling. It is more honest and true to the heart. That is one of the reasons those 2 songs  sound special. It is nothing new for us stop singing in Swedish. We always had 1 or 2 songs on every album that is in Swedish lyrics. For some reason it’s always the songs with the punk nerve that usually get Swedish lyrics. It just feels right. And we always go by the feel of things. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.

When researching to write this review, I took time to explore your lyrical content. It’s not an easy work to catch some of your ideas, so can you say what do you want to express with your lyrics, the main idea behind them? And by the way, on “Black Acid Rain” and “Anti Human Commando”, the main idea seems to be linked to protest against the greed that destroys the world environment, am I right? If not, correct me, please.

Our lyrics contains topics of greed, religion, destruction of mother earth, war, globalization , murder etc. I don’t have a special theme that I need to stick to. Every song is treated individually and is linked to real life and real emotions. We don’t do sci-fi. Black Acid Rain & Anti Human Commando has a bit all that mixed together. I don’t want to say that this song is about this or that. It is better that the listeners use the lyrics in the way they want to construe it. Nothing is right or wrong.

“Blod Eld Död” means “Blood Fire Death”, so everyone can think it can be a tribute to the memory of Quorthon and BATHORY. But the lyric seems to express a deeper and strong melancholy. What is the idea behind the lyrics of it? And how came to you the idea of having Erik Grawsiö (from MÅNEGARM) and Jens Järvinen making some vocals on it?

That is correct. The title is a tribute to Quorthon and his enormous impact on extreme music. It is a tribute to his immortal legacy. The lyrics on the other hand has a much deeper meaning just as you said. It is linked to my life and my legacy and my heritage. I am very proud to have both Erik Grawsiö & Jens Järvinen to help me sing the song. Jens and I grew up together in Kiruna and we played in numerous bands together in our teenage years. In my opinion he has the best punk-voice in the world. He is phenomenal . No only as a singer but also as a guitarist & songwriter. Erik is also outstanding. I have been listening to Månegarm for many years and it is one of the absolute best bands from Sweden. The song Blodörn is one of the best songs ever written in my opinion. It is elite. As I said, to have them both singing on this song makes me very honoured & proud.

“One Last Bullet One Last Ride” and “Black Acid Rain” are the songs used for promotional videos of “Vortexx”. The question: why these two were used? And were chosen by you, by your label or a common decision between both parts? And are there immediate plans for a one more video or lyric video for promotion of the album?

Making music videos is very costly so you need to make the best of it. These 2 songs were the perfect combo of power & length. I would love to make a video for BLOD ELD DÖD but to make a great video that is almost 9 minutes long would need something like Guns N Roses budget for November Rain. There will not be any more promo-videos for VORTEXX . Our plan is to shoot a video in the Patagonia desert in Chile for the next album but that will probably not happen before late 2022.

I know that is too early, but how “Vortexx” is being received by the fans and media? Had you have a feedback by now?

We got listed in the biggest newspapers in Sweden and also in all the big metal magazines in Europe. It is amazing how well it has been received. We knew that the material was very good so it is not a big surprise that may people seems to like it but of course it makes us very proud and happy to get all this response As always there are both good & bad reviews. I usually don’t read or pay that much attention to it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we don’t create music that is suitable for everyone

I don’t know how things are working throughout the world due the COVID-19 pandemic, but as I write these words, I saw that, for one more year, there won’t be a 2021 edition for Wacken Open Air (and maybe other festivals will follow such way), and “Vortexx” was released 15 days ago. So what are the plans for live shows to promote the album? In Brazil, there are online festivals and live shows from the bands, so do you think this can be a new model for the near future (of course in any moment things will be back to normal, I hope)?

We will not do any form of streaming online concerts. Live music is supposed to be blood, sweat and alcohol and not seen through a computer-screen. We will not play live again before things are a bit settled again with the pandemic and I predict that it will be maybe in the summer of 2022. So at this moment we will not rush things and give any false hope to people.

Well, that’s it. I’d like to thank you for your time and for the opportunity to talk with you. So please, leave your message to your fans and readers of Metal Temple.

Thank you! Great questions you had for me! To all our fans worldwide, we salute YOU! All Hail Metal.


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Edited 07 December 2022

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