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Tomas Lindberg

Interview with Tomas Lindberg from Tomas Lindberg
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 25 December 2008, 10:32 AM

When you have the chance to sit next to Tomas Lindberg, one of the most important people in the Swedish Death Metal scene and the Metal scene in general, you just can't miss it! I was kind of shaking and I was feeling kind of awkward at first, but he was so friendly and talkative that he made me feel like I was talking to a friend. What we said can be read below…

Hello Tomas! Welcome to Athens… again! The first time, it was with AT THE GATES and I guess it was pretty amazing.

Yeah, that was pretty nice. It was a very special day as well, because it was the last AT THE GATES show.

Is the AT THE GATES thing over? I mean, are we going to see a new album or any more live shows?

No, the AT THE GATES thing is over. We are going to release a DVD from the summer's different experiences, both live shows and documentaries and stuff like that. It will be like a DVD box or something and we are probably going to release it next year.

Will there be any videos from Greece?

I don't actually know which shows will make it to the DVD, but I see a really good point of having one or two songs from the last show ever. The quality might not be the same as the professionally filmed shows, but you know… Some tracks as a bonus, even some bootleg recordings. We'll see, we have a big idea about it. We're working on it. But there are not going to be any more shows or a new album. This is something we promised.

Who had the idea of this AT THE GATES reunion?

It was everybody's in a way. We were talking about it for about 7 or 8 years. I think the first one who mentioned it was Anders (Bjorler). He wanted a better ending.

Lately I heard a rumor regarding a THE CROWN reunion. I talked with Lindstrand from ONE MAN ARMY & THE UNDEAD QUARTET and he told me he had an offer. Did they approach you to take part in this reunion?

No, I haven't had any offers. Did he say yes or no? (laughs)

He said no…

Oh, ok then! I haven't heard about a reunion actually. I think that it's Marko that's doing a new album and I think it's everybody else from THE CROWN playing in the album, but the guy from DEATHSTARS is singing, Andreas. I think it's just Marko's solo album in one way. We are actually friends again and I talk a lot with Marcus. So no problem any more but I didn't get the offer! Hahaha…

Would you go if you had an offer?

No, I need my own time as well. I am proud of what we did together. I could sing or record but touring… It's hard.

Apart from Metal, since all your life is into this music, what other kinds of music do you listen to?

Oh a lot! I listen to everything. I can't hide my love for Punk and Hardcore. I also listen to a lot of Ambient stuff, Kraut Rock, old Garage Punk, Progressive Rock. Everything that has this energy… I am a huge music fan!

Regarding DISFEAR now… You released a split 7 with DOOMRIDERS that you are selling on tour, right?

Kind of… There are many versions. We have one version that we are selling on tour and it is already sold out actually. There are three versions. One from Disfear Records, which is totally DIY, one from Deathwish Records… Maybe the collectors will go crazy!

How many copies are there?

For the tour only 350. I think it's altogether gonna be a thousand.

About your other activities now. When you were in bands like SKITSYSTEM and NIGHTRAGE. Why did you leave those bands?

In SKITSYSTEM we were not so organized and I couldn't do much stuff with them, so I told them to start looking for another guitarist. They wanted to do stuff and I couldn't. As for NIGHTRAGE, I don't know if I can call my self a proper member. I sang in 1-2 records, I did 2 or 3 shows. It was all fun, but Marios knew all along that I could do only a few things, so in the end I told them that they had to look for someone else.

Based on what you just said… Have you ever considered yourself a session musician? I say this because you have been involved in many bands and projects.

No, I always had a main band like AT THE GATES and then THE GREAT DECEIVER. I formed THE GREAT DECEIVER, AT THE GATES, SKITSYSTEM and I was a full time member all the time. And I have been with DISFEAR for 10 years, so I am a full time member. The projects just come on top of it. But I can't say no to a good offer. If it's people I want to play with. You get energy from playing with other people, you get influenced and you gain experiences.

How did you get into DISFEAR back then? Did you know the guys?

We had a lot of mutual friends but we never really hanged out. Their singer was not liking being in a band anymore. A friend of mine knew them and they asked him if I was interested. Pretty soon we found that we were having a good time and it clicked pretty fast.

I guess you knew Uffe (Cederlund) before you join DISFEAR.

Uffe, yeah. I know him from the demo days with GROTESQUE.

Sweden always had this thing with the Metal scene. I guess the musicians are kind of close there.

Yeah, back in those days when we were not many people at all…

Yeah, kind of like the core of Swedish Death Metal…

Yeah, and we have ended up playing in a band together. Not a band that we have formed, but I guess we are two core members after so much time.

How is the tour with DISFEAR going so far?

Really great! I mean we are really good friends with DOOMRIDERS, they are really smooth guys. We have had some really good turnouts until now. Really good people, energetic crowds singing along with the new songs.

How about the attendance?

Really good, about 300-400 hundred people every night.

I heard that Marcus (DISFEAR's drummer) was injured a couple of months ago.

It was more like a strain. He played too much. It was something like this…

And is he 100% ok now?

Yeah, he's like any other drummer! He has pain… Hahahaha!

There is also a limited LP version of Live The Storm out.

Also sold out of course! Also 350 copies!

From Disfear Records?

Yeah, hehehe…

Are there any surprises?

No, it's actually the same with the CD edition.

Is Disfear Records releasing stuff from other bands or just your own music?

No, we don't have a distribution at all. We just release stuff to take with us on tour.

Back in the days you were still a kid, what musicians did you look up to and started making your first steps in music?

Well it's a long story you know. I kind of started with my sister's boyfriend's collection with stuff like THE STOOGES, BLUE OYSTER CULT, Punk Rock and Hard Rock in general. It is all about the basic stuff like VENOM's Black Metal, METALLICA's Kill'em All, SLAYER's Show No Mercy. Back in the day that kind of music was pretty brutal.

And you started out as a singer or did you play any instrument at first?

No, I was always more into singing. Back then if you didn't have talent you could always scream! Hahahaha!

Did you still remember the first band you formed?

Yeah, it was some time before the GROTESQUE thing started. It was a Punk band playing in school's music room. We asked a guy to play guitar with us and he was like this sounds horrible! Hahahaha!

Are we going to see any other stuff from GROTESQUE?

No, we did one show and I guess it was enough. That's really in the past. We should better leave it untouched. That show was for a release party of the Swedish Death Metal book, a really special occasion. It was only friends there from back in the days. A family thing.

Is there any chance you may play a show with AT THE GATES or GROTESQUE for a special occasion like the one you mentioned now in the future?

You never know. You never know what's going to happen. Right now I am happy as it is.

Do you find any time for yourself among your numerous activities?

I try to just be home when I am home. I rarely go out. I sit at home all day long.

What's the average time you can sit home and relax each year?

Well, its' not that band as people think. I play a lot and it's nice, but the fact is that as you get older you get more tired.

I guess that at least you have managed to live by what you make out of music.

Aaah, for some short time periods maybe, but not know. Now I am at university so I get money from the state.

I didn't know that you study now.

That's what my main job is right now.

How much time do you have until you finish your studies?

One and a half year…

And when you finish you plan to get a job or something?

Either be a high school teacher or study one more year and then be a doctor. That's another option…

How do you find time to study now that you are on tour for example?

(Showing me his books) I've got everything I need right here. I study a lot during my free time during the tour. And you see, you have a lot of time when you just hang around having nothing to do so it is ok.

What have you planned after the tour?

Actually nothing. We are free which is really nice. We are probably going to schedule one or two tours that will take place in the beginning of next year, probably during the spring.

Your next album will be again through Relapse?

Yeah, our contract is for two albums.

How is your collaboration with them until now?

Pretty ok. Well, it is a record label. Hahahaha! There is not good or bad…

You have spent almost all of your life in music. What would be the one thing that would make you stop playing?

I don't know. I guess if by some way like being tired of touring I would stop being creative. But then I would find another way of doing this creatively. I think I have to express myself somehow.

If something caused you to not be able to play music, would you still be involved in the Metal scene? As a manager, promoter or something?

I would probably just be a listener. I don't want to work with a record company or something. This is not for me. I like music but not the stuff around it.

You have played here with AT THE GATES and THE GREAT DECEIVER. This is your first time with DISFEAR here. How did the guys react?

Actually they are pretty amazed. They are excited to be here.

I guess they asked you a lot about Greece on your way here.

Yeah, Uffe has been here before. The other guys were interested to learn stuff.

I don't have anything else to ask you. I have to thank you for this interview and tell you that I feel really honored talking to you.

That will be a good interview. I guess you have a lot of stuff write! Hahahahaha! Take care!


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