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Tomas Olsson (Bloodbound)

Interview with Tomas Olsson from Bloodbound
by Mike Novak at 17 July 2009, 6:31 PM

BLOODBOUND is a band that is only getting stronger with each release. Their new album Tabula Rasa marks the return of original vocalist Urban Breed. You can find our review for this album on this very site. Guitarist and writer Tomas Olsson took the time to answer a few of our questions regarding the album such as the concept behind the album and the meaning of the title Tabla Rasa.

Interview with: Tomas Olsson from BLOODBOUND

Hi Tomas! I enjoyed listening to Tabula Rasa quite a bit. What has been the overall response to the album from fans and critics?

Hi Mike. I'm glad you like the album? The response has been both good and bad. We have gained alot of new fans as it's a more aggressive modern sounding album; at the same time the old-school fans like the old stuff better. The next album will be a mix between the two hahahaha… Overall, I think it's a step forward for the the band. You can't please everybody.

Is there a certain theme behind the lyrics that is reflected throughout the album? What exactly does Tabula Rasa mean anyway?

Yes, the lyrics are written around the concept of Tabula Rasa. It refers to the thesis that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and sensory perception. You are born like an unscribed tablet. Also it is like a new fresh start for the band. Tabula Rasa is not only the concept of the album, it's the mark of a new period of time for the band.

I noticed that on Tabula Rasa there is a somewhat heavier sound, with more focus on the riffs. Was this intentional or did it just happen to turn out that way (feel free to expand the answer as much as you like)?

After our previous album Book Of The Dead I started to write some riffs that turned out heavier and more modern sounding than our earlier work. It came natural and was not really my intension from the start. Thats how the idea of making something new and a little bit different came up.

Aside from personnel changes, what was different from Book Of The Dead in the writing and recording of Tabula Rasa?

On our two previous albums, Nosferatu and Book Of The Dead, me and Fredrik together wrote 95% of the music, including the lyrics and the vocal melodies. This time I wrote all the music (Pelle co-wrote the Japanese bonus track) and Urban did the vocals. I also think that you can hear more of our modern influences on this album.

What is it like and what is different in the band now that Urban Breed is back as the vocalist?

It kind of feels like he never left. Michael Bormann only did the vocal recordings on the Book Of The Dead album. Shortly after Urban came back and we continued like before.

When you formed the band five years ago, what did you want to accomplish with BLOODBOUND? How close do you think you've come to accomplishing that goal so far?

We are far from our goal, but I think we have done OK so far. We have played in over 10 countries and our fanbase is getting bigger. I think the band has got alot of potential and we are working hard to get to the next level and we will not stop there.

When one listens to BLOODBOUND, they can hear shades of the classic bands like MAIDEN, METALLICA and PRIEST. What other bands would you consider the biggest influences on BLOODBOUND's sound?

ACCEPT and HELLOWEEN are also two big old-school influences. Among new bands we are influenced by IN FLAMES, ARCH ENEMY and CHILDREN OF BODOM to name a few.

Tomas, I love it when bands aren't afraid to let loose on lead guitar. In your playing I hear some of the classic Metal guitarists, but I also hear a bit of a bluesy edge as well. Who are some of your personal influences on guitar?

I think that guitar solos are very important in Metal, a screaming guitar is what Metal is all about. Bands that have no guitar solos or guitar melodies tend to bore me. I like bands with lots of lead guitar. My favourite guitarists to name a few are Angus Young, Joe Satriani, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dimebag Darrell, Gus G., Jeff Loomis, Alexi Laiho, Guthrie Govan…the list goes on.

Are there any other Metal bands that are out there that you feel don't get enough credit or are perhaps overlooked by the Metal community?

I think NOCTURNAL RITES and DAWN OF SILENCE deserve more credit for their work.

Do you guys have any plans to tour America? I would love to see you in concert. What's the plan regarding live gigs?

We are planning a second western European tour for Tabula Rasa at the end of this year. No dates are confirmed yet, but keep an eye on our website for upcoming tour dates. It would be great to tour America, we are working on that too, but I think need one more album before we are ready for that.

What advice would you have for someone who wants to start a band? Any advice for someone who wants to learn to play guitar? You think it's still worth dreaming of becoming a star/icon in the Rock/Metal business?

The most important thing is to have fun, that is what it's all about. Do it because you like it, not because you want to be a star.

Thank you for your time, Tomas! Any final words for your fans that are reading this?

I hope to see you on tour soon, stay Metal! Cheers, Tomas.


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