Lion's Share interviewed
We say hello to Sampo Axelsson
, bassist with Swedish , melodic metallers, Lion's Share
Interview by Pirage Forsi
M4L: You released this new album pretty quickly after the previous one, how successful was the last and is it a case of going to the well before it runs dry?Sampo Axelsson
With the release of Emotional Coma in 2007 Lion's Share returned after a six years break and with a new line-up. The album received a lot of attention and great reviews! After the release we had a lot of ideas and inspiration so we just continued to write and record songs. Lars and I also released a side project named Road To Ruin between the albums! By releasing Dark Hours just 20 months after Emotional Coma there's no doubt that Lion's Share is back!
M4L: Who are the main songwriters in the band?Sampo Axelsson
I would say we write the songs together as a team. Our music is very much based on riffs so Lars and I usually start writing the music together and after that Patrik steps in. This time we had some ideas that we didn't use on the previous album, ideas that we could continue to develop and use on Dark Hours.
M4L: I am a great fan of your new singer Nils Patrik Johansson. How much hand does he have in vocal melodies and lyrics?Sampo Axelsson
:Patrik is responsible for the lyrics and he also take part in writing the melodies. Patrik lives about three hours from Stockholm so there's a lot of mail and phone communication. We work very well together!
M4L: I've noticed that you guys have quite a low profile as regards to touring in Europe. Is this by choice or lack of record company support? As and example a support slot on Hammerfall's latest tour would have been great for you guys.Sampo Axelsson
: After the release of Emotional Coma in June 2007 we did a lot of festivals like Sweden Rock Festival, Magic Circle Festival, Rock Weekend, Metal Heart and others. By doing festivals you probably reach as much people or even more then by doing a tour. So we focused on the festivals rather than a tour. But going with a bigger band (like Hammerfall) is a very good thing to do for a band like us, of course! Unfortunately we had to say no to a tour With Saxon and Iced Earth this spring- but we're very glad they asked us to join!
M4L: What are your five favourite recent albums if you can remember and do you actively follow the metal scene in Europe?Sampo Axelsson
:I'm trying to keep myself updated via magazines, forums, webzines, and myspace/youtube. A few records I bought recently that I like:
Testament "Formation Of Damnation"
Symphony X "Paradise Lost"
Arch Enemy "Doomsday Machine"
Megadeth "Rust In Peace - remix"
M4L: What is your favourite album from the Lion's Share back catalogue?Sampo Axelsson
:: For me personally it stands between Fall From Grace and Entrance.
M4L: What is Andy Engberg, your previous singer doing these days? Has he given up singing? He had a great voice.Sampo Axelsson
: I really don't know I'm afraid… I don't know Andy personally but I guess he sings in other bands. I agree with you about his voice - his singing on the three first Lions Share albums is very good. I also like Tony Niva who sings on Entrance -a great singer!
M4L: Ever thought about creating an epic concept album like Queensryche or attempting something very ambitious?Sampo Axelsson
: That would be fun and interesting to do! Dark Hours is not a real concept album but it does have a read thread in the lyrics - so it's little bit of a concept album I guess...
M4L: Have you ever thought about forming a power metal super group of sorts from all your Swedish brotherhood? I know Dream Evil is sort of like one already but you could compete with them!Sampo Axelsson
: I haven't thought about that - but why not! It's a good idea! Lars and I actually formed a band/project called Road To Ruin (as mentioned above) in 2006/2007 and we released the self-titled debut album on Metal Heaven Records in 2007. R2R was perhaps not a "super group" but we had some well known names in the band like Matti Alfonzewtti (Jagged Edge, Talisman, Skintrade) on vocals and Tomas Broman (Glenn Hughes, Joe Lynn Turner, MSG, John Norum) on drums. The music was inspired by the big bands of late 70's and early 80's like Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Rainbow and others.
M4L: How many songs do you normally write for an album and what's the process for deciding whether a song is good enough for use?Sampo Axelsson
: We write about 15 to 20 songs - approximately. We select songs based on the tempo, key and how they fit together. You must have the right combination of fast- slow- soft- hard songs etc. to make a solid album. It's very hard to pick the best ones especially if you have a number of songs to choose between!
M4L: I know this a regular question but what's your opinion on downloading and what it's doing to metal music?Sampo Axelsson
: Illegal downloading is stealing! By downloading illegally you make it impossible for the artist to continue recording high quality music. Music is NOT automatically free - it's expensive and takes to much time to create. That's how I see it.
M4L: Is there any chance to see you guys one day in the UK?Sampo Axelsson
: We really like to do some shows in the UK! There's nothing booked at the moment but we're working on it! Meanwhile, check out our new album - Dark Hours and don't hesitate to contact us at Lions Share dot org
- we hope to see you all in a near future!
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