With debut album Vignette set for release on 16th February via Nuclear Blast Records and earlier this year single release “Terminus” (video below), prog/extreme metal act Letters From The Colony were gracious enough to have a little chat with us here at The Moshville Times.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
Borlänge, a mid-sized town in the middle of Sweden.
How did you meet?
It was myself, Jonas (current drummer), Henrik (former drummer) and Max (former singer) that started the band. I have a friend (Daniel) that is Henrik‘s brother, so I met Henrik via his brother and he played music that I liked so we started to play together. They had a band already with Jonas and Max so we started to rehearse together and, after some time, we became Letters From The Colony!
There have been some line-up changes since then, so the band currently consists of:
- Alexander “Backe” Backlund (Vocals)
- Me, Sebastian “Svalle” Svalland (Guitar)
- Johan “Gaard” Jönsegård (Guitar)
- Emil “Ost-Enis” Östberg (Bass)
- Jonas “Kenneth-Steel” Sköld (Drums)
How long have you been playing as a band?
Letters From The Colony was born in 2010, so it has been eight years now!
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
We wanted a name that is not a typical metal name… so nothing with “death” or “paint the kitchen brown before I kill myself”. We have a folk song here in Sweden that is called “Brev från kolonien”, which means Letters From The Colony. It was our first drummer, Henrik, that came up with the idea, and we all liked it. It was something a bit different.
What are your influences?
Pink Floyd, Meshuggah, Opeth, Gojira, Between The Buried And Me, Textures and many more bands.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Progressive has always been a key word for us. Most of the songs we write don‘t follow the traditional recipe of verse, chorus, verse and so on. Instead, we focus a lot on individual parts, and then weave those together into songs in a way that makes sense. It is a lot of work to write just a single song when you have 15 or more different riffs in the mix, but we think the effort is necessary.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The lyrics address a lot of issues regarding society and the environment, but we’re definitely not a political band. Like our lyricist and vocalist Alexander said: “It‘s not an exhortation for us to better ourselves, but rather a nihilistic observation.”
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We are pretty energetic on stage and are always very pumped up! We haven‘t played that many shows with good lighting so far, so I hope in the future that we can add some nice synchronised lighting, lasers and projections.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Many things can happen, especially on a small stage! One time at a festival in Sweden we played on a smaller stage and in the song before the last song I saw that Johan, our former bass player and now guitar player was bleeding a lot from his eyebrow. Apparently I had hit him with my headstock and split his eyebrow open. When that song had finished we got some paper and patched up his wound then finished the set. I remember being very happy at his dedication to finish the set! After the last song we went to the emergency room so the doctors could sew his eyebrow together.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Jonas (Drums): Artbeat sticks, Tama Superstar EFX Hyperdrive Red Silk Drumset, Meinl cymbals, Shure in ear phones.
Emil (Bass): Dingwall Combustion 5 string, Darkglass B7K, Darkglass Omicron, Tc Electronics Polytune Mini, Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor, Boss NS-2 Noise Gate, Line6 Relay G50 Wireless,Truetone 1 Spot Pro CS6 power supply, Sennheiser EW300 IEM System, Shure in ear phones, Dunlop picks.
Johan (Guitar): ESP Horizon 7 string, Lundgren pickups, Kemper Profiling Amp, Line6 Relay G50 Wireless, Tc Electronics Polytune mini noir, Palmer PWT 08 power supply,
Sennheiser EW300 IEM System, Shure in ear phones, In Tune custom picks.
Alexander (Vocals): Sennheiser EW300 IEM System, Shure in ear phones.
Me, Sebastian (Guitar): Caparison Brocken 7 FX-WM, Lundgren pickups, Kemper Profiling Amp, Line6 Relay G50 Wireless, Strymon Big Sky, Boss Rc-300 loop station, Boss DD-500,
Digitech Whammy 1, AMT expression pedal, Tc Electronics Polytune, Voodoo Lab Mondo power supply, Sennheiser EW300 IEM System, Shure in ear phones,
Dunlop M3 picks
We use a Macbook Pro with Cubase to run metronome to our ears and midi changing our kempers and pedals, in that way don’t need to change any sounds or anything, the computer runs that. We also have a Soundcraft Ui24R mixer for our in-ear monitoring.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are about to release our debut album, Vignette, on the 16th of February via Nuclear Blast Records. We have released two singles with music videos: “Erasing Contrast” and “Terminus”. We will release our last single with a music video on the 9th of February.
What are your plans for 2018?
Playing shows, festivals, tour some and meet new people. I will probably be asked to be in various Hollywood movies because of my great looks so probably that as well.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
There is no perfect answer to this, I could probably come up with five thousands of different answers to this. But here is one example: Enrique Iglesias, Letters From The Colony, Big Shaq.
From previous Band of the Day Saccage: How did you start creating music and why?
I have almost from the start had a Boss RC-300, that is a loop pedal. With that I can press a record button and play the guitar or whatever. When I press again it will playback the part that I recorded in a loop. So in that way I started to create layers of guitar and I still write some parts like that.
From another BotD, Hey Charlie: What is your dream venue to play?
I haven’t thought about that, I’m happy if we have room for our gear, good sounding room and some lighting.
And from Huxtable: What is your favourite TV show theme?
The X-Files, but it sounds better when I hum it.