Cameron Edney of the Disciples Of Metal webzine recently conducted an interview with bassist Jonas Björler of Swedish metallers THE HAUNTED. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Disciples Of Metal: You’re currently touring around Australia, with album number seven released back in March, I would imagine its becoming harder to put together the set list. One that you’re happy doing night after night as well as a set for fans of all eras of the band, how do you tackle that issue?
Jonas Björler: It’s really hard, as you say; we have to accommodate both ourselves and the audience. We try to mix the old and new stuff together, try to mix the fast and heavy stuff with the slow. The set we’ve been using for the past month is really good.
Disciples Of Metal: Whilst we’re on the subject of touring, Jonas; over the years you’ve shared the stage with so many great bands. Who’s given you the best advice and what was it?
Jonas Björler: I’m not too sure. That’s a really good question, but I can’t think of anything… I think somebody gave us advice not to drink. It was a vocalist that gave this advice to Peter [Dolving] saying never to drink before you perform and things like that, and about an hour later we [saw] him falling down some stairs totally drunk. [laughs]. It wasn’t good advice. [laughs]
Disciples Of Metal: Jonas, let’s talk about the latest album, “Unseen”, for a moment. You started writing songs for this album back in 2009 and more than forty songs had been written once it was time to begin recording. Did you find it difficult to cut the list down from forty to twelve tracks?
Jonas Björler: Yeah, it’s always hard to get from forty down to twelve but we had a lot of time to listen to all of the tracks. We had a year to listen to them all and decide and you really get a certain feeling for each song. In the end it was quite obvious to us which songs we should use.
Disciples Of Metal: When it came to the writing process for “Unseen”, where did you draw inspiration from this time around?
Jonas Björler: We’ve always been influenced by a lot of progressive rock from the Seventies, so this time we didn’t cop out; we went all the way with our influences musically. Peter had some other ideas for vocal harmonies. The major change is probably the vocals, more melodic, more singing, but musically, we took it one step closer towards progressive rock.
Disciples Of Metal: Looking back over the whole process now, is there anything you would have changed or wish you’d done differently?
Jonas Björler: You always have some regrets after it’s made but that’s only natural, it gives you motivation to improve on the next one. There are no major changes but just some smaller details in the songs.
Disciples Of Metal: Growing up, what was the first concert you ever attended and how much of an impact did that have on you musically?
Jonas Björler: First show was MOTLEY CRÜE in 1986, and that was the first heavy metal show I ever attended. Naturally, I was blown away by that, and after that I got more and more involved in the heavy metal scene. I went to more concerts and that led to even more extreme music like METALLICA and SLAYER later on.
Disciples Of Metal: Musically is there anything else you would like to achieve? Could we see you putting out something totally different to what we best know you for?
Jonas Björler: I think we’ve reached a certain point that corresponds with my goals in the beginning, I am quite happy with where I am right now!
Disciples Of Metal: When you look back over your entire career, what’s the one most important lesson you feel you’ve learnt?
Jonas Björler: To be humble regarding touring and meeting other people, to have a humble approach to everything.
Read the entire interview from the Disciples Of Metal webzine.