Witchcraft Ė Crimson Is Their Color
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: Was Jens your first choice? I could imagine there were a lot of producers chomping at the bit to work with you guys.
Henriksson: He came up first. We had one other guy a few years ago, but he lived in Stockholm and we wanted someone that lived in our hometown. Jens lives here, so we started talking about him and thought he wasnít going to be interested and that he only wants to do death and black metal bands, but we asked him and he said, ďYeah, sure, Iím interested.Ē Iíve always wanted to work with him because I took a course in sound engineering and he was the teacher. I saw his magic ten years ago and I knew heís gotten better. Apparently, he has. It was a pleasure working with him. He was really professional and friendly.
Blistering.com: Iíve heard a lot of the albums heís done, but itís not like he made you sound like those albums. He took what you guys are good at, and refined it, more or less to sound like Witchcraft.
Henriksson: He didnít push us in any direction, he just said ďFuck it, thatís good!Ē Heís like a puppet master, but in a really good way [laughs].
Blistering.com: You were always associated with Rise Above Records, and [label head] Lee Dorrian certainly did a lot of good work for you guys. Now that youíre on a new label, do you feel that it was the right decision to get away from that label and the ďsceneĒ itís so crucial to?
Henriksson: In a way, we felt that we needed a fresh start. When we found new blood, we wanted a fresh start, and when Nuclear Blast said they were interested, we didnít think twice. Itís a classic metal label and I know that they would do a good job. I have nothing against Rise Above and I still work with them for my other band, Troubled Horse, but we just needed a change. Itís a step in the right direction.
Blistering.com: Along with that, are you going to focus more on North America with this record?
Henriksson: Yeah, of course. I said this before: I love playing in the U.S. because itís a different vibe in America. It feels like the U.S. appreciates [you] more. You get into the music more than the European countries. In Sweden, itís a bit sloppy. You need to prove yourself again and again and again to win the crowds over. In America, if you put on a good show, they appreciate it from the get-go.
Blistering.com: Here, thereís always been this fondness for bands that have the Sabbath vibe or a 70ís feel. That should work in your favor.
Henriksson: It seems to go pretty well for us in the U.S. so far. Weíll see what happens this time, but I hope it will go well.
Blistering.com: You have some new members in the form of Oscar [Johansson, drums], Tom [Jondelius, guitars], and Simon [Solomon, guitars]. Howís it working out?
Henriksson: Itís working out great. When we started playing with [them] a year and three months ago, we felt like we were 16 again because we had that spark. We feel new. When youíre 16 and playing in a band, you feel like youíre on top of the world. I havenít felt that way since I was 16 [laughs]. We have a good group of musicians. Itís fun to play with people like SimonÖheís knows everything about music. Just playing with him develops my bass playing, so thatís cool.
Blistering.com: You have three new guys, so was there any set criteria in their selection?
Henriksson: We wanted guys from around here so we could rehearse regularly. Of course, they had to be good [laughs]. The first guy we asked to join was Tom. Magnus showed me a video on Youtube of his other band when he was 13 and he was playing a solo, and I thought we had to get him. Now heís 21 [laughs]. He joined first, then we asked Oscar. Oscar had been in our minds, even before Freddie joined the band, but he was busy with his old band. So we asked him, then Oscar asked Simon, and Simon said yes.
Blistering.com: Whatís the next year to 18 months looking like?
Henriksson: Weíre touring Scandinavia this fall up until November, then weíll take a break around Christmas. In January, itís Finland, then Europe, then U.S. hopefully in March. And then back to Europe and try to do as many festivals, and hopefully back to the U.S. again.
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