Wolf recently released their brand new album Feeding The Machine to positive reviews from both critics and fans alike. We recently got the opportunity to send some questions over to frontman and founding member Niklas about the new album, what he enjoys outside of music and what he brings with him on tour.
The album just came out a few days ago. How do you feel the response has been?
The response has been great! It’s a solid album, but it might take a few listenings to get into. Some people loved it right away and some people have to give it a few spins and let it sink in.
Yes, I would say so. First there was a long writing process and under that period we still did tours and festivals. There was no time trying out ideas at rehearsals, like we have done some times in the past. When all the songs were written I travelled to where Anders and Richard lived to rehears the twelve songs with them. During that time Simon was building his studio, where we recorded it. The recording process was also very different. It was a long process spanning over almost a year and during that time two old members left and two new members joined. In the end we managed to get the album out without getting fired from our day jobs or getting divorced, ha ha. I think next album will be a lot easier to make.
This was the first album with new members Pontus Egberg and Johan Koleberg. How was it working with them?
Like a dream. They are great guys and extremely good musicians. Everything with them is so easy and sounds so god damned good. I have to pinch my arm sometimes.
What would you say is the main inspiration behind writing this album? Was it different from previous albums?
It’s the kind of the same as the recent albums, in that regard that I write about my own life experiences and merged that with things going on in the world and real stories from life. This time I just went a little deeper and dealt with some difficult things from my youth. We all have our dark sides. My way of dealing with it is by writing lyrics and music and it makes me more content.
You’ve also recently been on tour with Grand Magus throughout the UK and Europe. How did that go?
It was going great until the European leg of the tour got cancelled due to the COVID-19 that was raging, and still is. We all got sick in the tour company as well. It was a really weird ending of the tour. But it’s not the end. We will be back to do the European dates later, as it seems now.
What would you like to see less of in the music scene?
Artists telling people how to vote.
What do you enjoy doing outside of playing/writing music?
Spending time at home with my family. We live very old school on the countryside, so there’s always lots of work to do at home. We haven’t had TV since we moved here over ten years ago. We’re busy chopping wood and taking care of animals.
Other than that I’m trying to stay fit and exercise, lifting weights and stuff. I really need that for my mental health, and I go nuts if I don’t. I’m a very boring person. I have a day job and I have my weight lifting routine. I don’t like traveling. I don’t have lots of friends, and I don’t go to parties. I do some artwork at times, but I can’t focus on art and music at the same time. There is not room enough in my little brain for that. So now I just focus on the music. Isn’t it funny how this answer ended up in music?
Have you had to cancel any upcoming plans due to the current health climate?
There have been gigs canceled other than the European leg of the tour with Grand Magus. We will see what happens in the future. Right now I’m taking the time to write new material for the next album.
A Guest question from Last Hounds, What’s your packing list for a tour?
Books and some art supplies. Somehow I fool myself that I would find plenty of time to read and draw. I also have a fetish for little flashlights and pen knives. And pens. I found a new Sharpie with a chisel tip for this tour. Every time I get to use one of my gadgets I feel happy as a 10 year old getting a new toy.
Another from Khaidian, do you believe metal should challenge the listener?
If by challenging the listener you mean writing boring technical stuff that is only enjoyable for the musician who plays it, then the answer is no. I once saw John Petrucci fiddling with the volume pot on his guitar, playing loooong swelling notes for like five minutes. Live. What the hell is that? I felt challenged alright. ”How much of this can I take before I die of boredom? Where is the nearest bar? I wonder how this would sound on LSD. Has John Petrucci taken LSD right before this part?” Those were the thoughts going through my head. He really seemed to enjoy it though, so I am happy for him.
As a songwriter I try to challenge myself to write something interesting that grabs the listener. And grabs me. It’s hard, but I’ve got to try.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee! And lots of it! In the morning I love it. But I also love tea and make lots of tea in my studio when writing and recording. I’m a morning coffee, tee in the evening kind of person.