|Who are your favorite bands, past and present?
- It changes from day to day, but bands that have had a big impact on me are Blind Guardian, Angra, Gamma Ray, Thunder, Queen, Michael Bolton to name a few.
Can you tell us anything about your background, where and how did you start learning to play the way you do?
- I started playing at the age of 9. What inspired me most to pick up the guitar was an Iron Maiden-cassette we had at home, and my neighbor (who played bass in Mikes former band Zonata).
I started figuring out chords and melodies on my own and played along to Beatles records. Trying to learn what they played, by ear. Quickly I moved on to Dream Theater and Yngwie records. It was of course way too hard for a beginner. But I didn't care, because that was what I wanted to play. Not "Row your boat". It sounded horrible, but I learned a lot. After that I got a teacher who taught me the basics, theory and later on introduced me to jazz. At the age of 19 I went to music schools and studied jazz guitar for two years. I've played with different bands who play different styles. Like jazz, country, bluegrass, classic top 40 covers, funk etc. To summarize, I've learned by studying on my own, practicing, having lessons and musician experience (live gigs and studio recordings).
Which guitarplayer(s) do you consider as being you main influence and why?
- Yngwie Malmsteen for his feeling. Victor Smolski for his attitude and playfulness. Pat Metheny for his ability to create the "oh yeah!"-feeling all the time. Allan Holdsworth for his flow and phrasing. Actually it varies from day to day. One day my main influence can be George Lynch, next day Sune Persson. So it depends on my mood and what speaks to me the most at the moment.
Which song by another artist would you have loved to have written yourself?
- 4'33" by John Cage.
Pick three albums that you would take to a deserted island?
- This is the hardest question ever. John Coltrane - Blue Train, Rhapsody - Legendary Tales, Thunder - Backstreet Symphony. Next question quick, please! :)
Can you describe the importance of music in your life?
- It's like a loyal friend who's always available in different forms when you need it. Like a spirit, a god. It doesn't matter how and where I am. It's always there. Most of the times it feels good, sometimes not. It's a very important part of my life.
What would you have done with your life when you would not have become a musician?
- Probably studying. Social stuff, psychology, philosophy, nature etc. I always study things like that by the way, when I don't work. I could also think about being a farmer or a carpenter.
What's the strongest memory of your career so far?
- Probably when I played a Helloween/Gamma Ray cover show with Uli Kusch on drums. Great gig and a great party. We also had Gamma Rays original backdrop from the Powerplant tour. It was really fun because I'm a big fanboy of those bands. And he's one of my favorite drummers (besides Mike Cameron Force, of course).
Which goals in life did you achieve and which ones do you have left?
- My biggest goal as a kid was to become a full time musician. I've achieved that. I don't have that kind of goals now, things that could be on a bucket list or sent to Santa Claus, you know. Nowadays my goals are more like: have fun, learn new things, be more in the present, be aware of my expectations. Pretentious stuff that people have as tattoos and fridge magnets.
Can you tell us something about the brands and types of guitars you use and why?
- I use guitars by LTD, Ibanez, Washburn, Fender and Yamaha. It's all types of guitars so I can cover a lot of styles. Everything from black speed metal to soft Gregorian anthems. It's good to have the right tool for the job. But I'm constantly trying to pare down my collection. I like to have as little gear as possible. Just a few heavy workhorses.
Some guitarplayers give their guitar an woman's name, did you give your guitars a name?
If not, which names would you give them?
- My main guitar is named Margit. I haven't named the rest. But don't worry man, I'll do it right now. Maria, Sara, Veronica, Mjölbagge, Amanda, Sollentuna and Angelica.
Do you have an important topic which you need to share through your music?
- We're not on a mission to send out one specific message with Enbound. We usually don't decide on a theme beforehand. Our lyrics becomes what it becomes. But I think they have power. Something to give to different people in different situations in life.
What is your perspective about the musical climate today?
- I like that everyone can make their music available worldwide without a big record deal. There are so many great bands and creative people doing awesome stuff today. I admire bands who have the will and energy to tour and give good live shows to the people.
But as a music fan it's hard to keep focus because of all the buzz, I think. You're drowning in ads and "Heeey, listen to me!" all the time online. It's easy to get distracted, unfocused and apathetic. Maybe people can handle this better than I can. But don't forget the real life. Like, gather your friends and listen to a whole album through good speakers. Go to real concerts instead of only watching mobile recordings of the show on Youtube the day after. Plan to have a good experience with music. You will probably remember a concert. Not the night when you listened to the first ten seconds of 1000 different songs through your smartphone speakers.
For those that are not yet very familliar with the band Enbound.
Can you tell us how the band was formed?
- The band was formed in 2006 by Mike. In the beginning there was Mike, Swede and two other members. They released a demo and played a few live shows in Borås. In 2008 they parted ways with the singer and the guitarist. The same year I got onboard as the guitar player, and in 2009 Lee became the vocalist.
How do you describe Enbound's style within the powermetal scene?
- Groovy and dynamic. We have elements of pop, AOR, thrash- and prog metal, film score music, musicals. And I think we have a Scandinavian metal sound. To me, that's some kind of abstract energy. I can describe the feeling as sitting in a warm cabin, but outside it's dark and snowy.
Can you tell us something about the different characters in the band?
- I think all of us are quite typical esthetic persons. Here's some random facts about us: I've been training judo for 8 years. Mike is a champion in pistol shooting. Lee is great at technical stuff and singing opera. Swede is the master of structure and efficiency.
Is anyone supersticious, or having unusual habits?
- Unusual habits might be that Mike is air drumming, me and Swede are stretching our hands, Lee is humming. I think it's just to be warmed up and in shape all the time.
Can you tell us about the recording process Enbound feels comfortable with?
- Usually Mike comes up with a song structure or an idea in his studio. Then we work on the ideas together until it becomes a full arranged song. So everyone is contributing with different ideas and their personal stamp on each song. We either meet in a studio or send files to each other. We all have our own personal recording studios too. We are living in different cities, so we mostly work over the phone or web. But when we meet in real life we work really hard for several hours.
Is there something like a general theme on this album?
- Yes. This albums is focused on black. Our debut was focused on gold.
Can you describe if it is difficult creating an album and still being able to be original and yet also recognizable?
- We never plan to be original, recognizable or anything when creating. We just do what we feel like doing in the moment. Then we evaluate it. It can be a song, a band picture, an artwork. We ask ourselves; is this what we want Enbound to be like? If yes, it might end up on our album. If not, we kill our darlings.
What is your favoutite song on the album and why?
- I would say "Make You So Unreal". It's a catchy, straight forward song that almost sounds like an opening track to me. But it ended up as the final track.
How would you describe “The Blackened Heart” compared to the debut “And She Says Gold”?
- When we started recording our debut album we didn't even have a singer. So it was hard to know exactly what the end result was gonna sound like. We had a vision, but we also had a "let's see what happens" mindset. It was really fun recording that album. I think the album shows a new and hungry band. I can hear the childish excitement and strong will through the speakers. The sound is more raw and old school.
Five years have passed since our debut. During that time we have spent more time together. We have refined our skills and got a better workflow. We also had a much stronger vision of what we wanted this album to sound like. Like, what can we do better from our debut album? I think "The Blackened Heart" is more solid, has catchier songs, bigger sound and better arrangements. More emotion and energy. Now I think we have found what Enbound both is, and probably was, supposed to sound like. That does not necessarily mean that it will sound like this forever, but serves as our foundation for what eventually comes next.
What are the touring plans to support the album?
- There are no touring plans at the moment, unfortunately.
How exited are you to finally bring these songs to the stage?
- Very excited, when it's happening. I think they will work great live.
Best personal tour memory so far?
- This lineup has never played live. But we have been traveling together. And traveling is 90% of touring, you know. Wait, we actually played "Combined the Souls" on a backyard in Germany once! With vocals, air guitar, air bass and air drums. That's my best tour memory with Enbound!
What's the best and worst being on tour?
- The best things are to play the show, prepare for the show, meet people, see new places, try new food. The worst thing is when there are logistical problems. Like delayed or cancelled transports. When important gear breaks right before the show. Or when you realize you've trashed your boss' hotel room instead of your own.
Can you tell how it feels being on stage?
- It's a great feeling. You're connecting with the audience and your bandmates on a different level that's hard to recreate in an everyday situation. Adrenaline and happiness. Give and take.
Is there any special preparation you always do just before hitting the stage?
- I try to be relaxed and focused. And keep my body and fingers warmed up. Playing the guitar for a few minutes.
Funniest thing which ever happened to you personally during a show?
- At the backyard show, I tuned my air guitar a whole step down. No one noticed but me :)
Is there any question that still needs to be asked to you but hasn't been asked yet in any interview?
If yes.., what is this question and what is your answer?
Q: Pick ONE album that you would take to a deserted island?
A: The Blackened Heart ;)