In just the last three years, Soilwork has managed to gain quite a reputation as one of the major players in the Swedish metal scene. Still hot off the tracks of the utterly amazing album 'The Chainheart Machine' comes 'A Predator's Portrait, soon to be released upon the masses on Nuclear Blast. I was lucky enough to get a hold of the Soiler's own keyboardist Carlos Del Olmo to get the inside scoop on their latest opus.
Wayfaerer-The moment of 'A Predator's Portrait' is getting very close now, care to share your thoughts on this album and how it compares to your two previous ones?
Carlos-Ok, the predator is the best effort of Soilwork to this day. I'm very proud of the album. The major difference is Bjorns vocals, not that he in any way has changed the agressive vocals but he added some clean vocals to the choruses and the result is great! the guitarwork on PP (A Predator's Portrait) is a bit more progressive but not oversaturated so that it gets difficult to listen to.
W-I very recently heard the Chainheart Machine Japanese bonus track "Shadowchild", in which Bjorn uses clean vocals...I know this song was re-recorded for PP, so is this indicticative of what the clean vox will sound like on PP? If so, we are all in for a real treat!
C-Actually Shadowchild is one of the softest choruses we have done so I can't really say that it is a keymark for how the other songs will sound on the clean vocals...but yes there is similarity.
W-Being the keyboardist, how has your role evolved since the first release, 'Steelbath Suicide' up to the present, 'A Predator's Portrait'?
C-It has gone from playing in the background to playing leads on some songs! The keyboard has got a bigger role in Soilwork now but not in anyway stolen the guitars' space.
W-Any tour plans yet after PP is released?
C-Well, the only tour that is nailed to the schedule is a week of promotion in Japan later in the late spring. But I really hope to get on a great tour with some big band.
W-Do you think you could share with us, what the Soilwork live experience is like (mostly for us poor North Americans)?
C-Ok, he he he...It's very hard for me to put something in words that is meant to be seen but ok... Soilwork is a very intence experience live and we always get the crowd crazy even though it may be a monday morning LOL!
W-The cover art for 'A Predator's Portrait' looks amazing! I know you did the artwork, so any plans for future artwork and expanding to do more band's covers?
C-Does Santa have a red uniform? :) Yes actually I'm starting up my artwork company NAILSTREAM on a URL soon but I have to get the money for it first.
W-Any idea as to the North American release date? I know there will probably be a little delay because of the Nuclear Blast America-Century Media merger.
C-Hmm... what I heard it's going to be released all over on the 16th of Feb, but knowing the metalmarket I know there can be some delays. But we have to hope for the best.
W-How's the promotion been from Nuclear Blast so far?
C-I don't think the promotion has started 100% yet, but I think NB will do a killer job for us at that point. I'm counting on NB. :)
W-I have seen people mention the "greats of the Swedish scene", which include In Flames, At the Gates, Dark Tranquillity, and... Soilwork. How does it feel to be such a young band and be compared with the legends?
C-Well, I feel good about it but I don't think age has nothing to do with it, that's one of the cool things about doing music... if your songs sound great the listener don't give a shit about the authors of the material, as long as it rocks! :) But yes it feels good to be among the great swedish metalbands...
W-OK, I know this seems like an inevitable question, so here it is... how do you feel about all of the At The Gates comparisons, which in my opinion seemed rather uncalled for after the release of 'The Chainheart
C-He he he.... the comparation of us and ATG stands for the Steelbath album. It's a thing that's been attatched to us since that album but nowadays it's so out of line saying that we sound like ATG. Not that I don't like(d) ATG but we play a different kind of metal today. Today we sound more like ourselves with a touch of SYL, Saga, Freak Kitchen, Dream theater and Symphony X.
W-Freak Kitchen is Mattias's (who laid down the killer solo on "Machinegun Majesty") band, correct? Is is true he laid down another solo for PP?
C-That is true, he made a killer solo this time again... on the tune named "Needlefeast".
W-Soilwork is kind of a different name for a metal band. I'm sure there are a bunch of people out there who would like to know how you came to picking it.
C-It's a play of words that Peter came up with. Here's the drill... you write a list of tousands of words you find great to match your music and then you just start elaborating them into something you find good for the band and its music. So the words Peter took was Soil and work finally...SOILWORK.
W-Well, it definitely seems to fit... what's the deal with the soilworker (the logo)? I'm sure you could
sell that logo and make a pretty good chunk of change with merchandise outside of the metal world.
C-That logo is made by my cousin Tobias Green. He is the best artworker I have ever seen. And I just asked him to do a logo with the theme "soil-work" and that is what he came up with. Simple and great! He also helps me in a way with the upcoming artwork for frontcovers, he is an awesome clay-modeler and when he finished a work I go to his place and take some photos of the model and use it for my collage to the artwork. Just wait and see the upcoming NAILSTREAM.
W-Soilwork to me seems like one of the most down to earth bands around right now... you (especially) and Peter are very cool about interacting with the fans. I think it's definitely helping out bringing in new fans, and on behalf of the fans, I thank you for it.
C-Well, thank you guys... you guys are Soilwork... it sounds like a cliche but without you guys where would Soilwork be today??? I think it's cool to interact with the fans out there and I have no intention of stopping doing it :)
W-Ok, fun question time! What have you been listening to lately?
C-I listen to a lot of different music and I'm not ashamed like some other bands are about revealing that they not listen to metal every single second of their lives, I think you produce a 1000% times better metal if you listen to other music types and then convert the great melodies into metal in a cool way... like for instance: If Peter only would listen to metal then the Soilwork songs that is on TCM and PP never would sound like they do today. So it's very paradoxal if a fan of ours says: I hate any music that isn't metal and then seconds after he puts on TCM and likes it...:) I listen to Symphony X, Saga, Porcupine tree, the cure, Depeche mode, Helloween, Iron maiden, Marilyn Manson, Covenant (not the Kovenant) etc etc.
W-In the linear notes from 'The Chainheart Machine', I saw that you thanked Sony Playstation...what's your fave game? And if Soilwork did the soundtrack to a game, what kind of game would it be?
C-My absoulute favourites are: Tekken Tag tournament (PS2), Unreal tournament, Chessmaster 7000, Speedfreaks.
And if Soilwork ever got the chance to be soundhost to a game it would rock if it was to Unreal's next online game then everyone could kill to the sound of Soilwork LOL!
W-I don't know if this is really answerable or not, but what is your least favorite band?
C-hmm...well the guys that did "Who let the dogs out" isn't my favourite band if you know what I mean :) and the backstreet boys ins't on my walls at home either :)
W-Hahaha, "who let the dogs out"! Anything else to say to all the Soilwork fans out there?
C-To prepare your speakers for the PP album and add some x-tra points to the volume bar! :)
W-Many thanks for the interview! I am already heralding PP as my pick for album of the year. Good luck!
C-Thanx man! Really hope you like the PP album!