Interview with Niklas Kvarforth 2015 repost
Your new album IX / Everyone everything everywhere Ends is soon to be out! How did you come to that name ?The title has followed me since 2006 but didn’t feel compatible with how things were going back then. The title itself should be self-explanatory. And maybe give a hint where things are heading with this band, who knows? I like the idea of a title that can mean several things, depending on who reads it.
How was the recording process working with Andy La Rocque ?Extremely easy-going compared to last time. When we recorded “Redefining Darkness” we spent eleven weeks in the studio, whilst this time around three weeks was enough. Andy is not only a fan of what we are doing but he also understands and knows how to work with the kind of schizoid material he’s being given. Also, it’s very good that he, unlike most others we have worked with throughout the years, has an opinion about things and therefore pushes you extra hard to give it your best in times of uncertainty and delusion.
Most of your lyrics are written in your native tounge ! Do you find it easier to express yourself in that way or has it just become a natrual thing ?It depends from time to time really. Lyrics are very important to me as an artist but unfortunately, because of this godforsaken internet-age, there have circulated several incorrect translations made by so called “fans” of ours, which ultimately resulted in me having to publish a book a few years back with my own, correct ones. The second edition is actually almost sold out now but I’ll publish a third one in a near future which also will include the new lyrics. To sum up, yes, it is easier to write in my native tongue but as said, it’s nothing I am in control of. What’s being put on paper is what is being put on paper, regardless of language.
Over the past years many people have come and gone in Shining , would you say that the musicans are tools that you use to express your work that is Shining , since Shining is Kvarforth?As I clearly defined my fellow musicians as a “toolbox” since the very early days, yes, that was the case, and several of these people had to be replaced repeatedly. Just as with a real toolbox, the instruments lose their effectiveness and you throw them away, getting new ones. However, the current line-up has remained pretty much the same for the last three years so nowadays I would actually consider Shining as having grown into a real band, whatever that means.
Your new album cover is quite different who was artist behind it ?Yes, the cover is distinctly different from any past album of ours, which is more of a coincidence than a choice really. As with everything else I do with the band, I just go where my gut takes me, and this time around there were no existing ideas that I found suitable for where this album was heading so I therefore contacted one of my favourite contemporary painters, Daniele Serra, asking to use an older canvas of his for the cover. Unfortunately at the time, that very painting was unavailable so he then offered to make something from scratch based on the themes of the album. I think it turned out perfect. However, there are people who seem to disagree, saying it does not look like a Shining cover, but who the hell are they to tell me what a Shining cover looks like?
Could you walk us through your live / studio gear like do you have any special gear that you just can't live without in the studio?No.
There are a lot of blues influences in your music where did they come from?
I’ve always been a huge fan of blues so of course the genre itself has had an influence on my own writing, as have other types of music not related to what we are doing.
You mentioned in many interviews you'd like to do a tour with Opeth, Alice cooper, King Dimond is that something we might expect for the future ?Too early to tell, but yeah, I would rather tour with bands like that so that we can expose ourselves to a new kind of audience. Don’t get me wrong, we’re perfectly fine with what we currently have but the need for expansion is always there and I believe that in order to reach a certain audience, the Opeth one for instance, we would have to tour with them as most of their fan-base wouldn’t even consider having a listen to what we do because of all rumours, things that have happened in the past and so on. And most fans of these other bands probably believe we sound like Darkthrone or something you know.
Many people praise the album Halmstad as your best work! Have you ever considerd doing a full tour playing that album from start to end! ?Actually yes, we’re considering doing a “Halmstad” tour on the 10th anniversary of the album release. I understand why people consider this a milestone of our discography, and I do too, and it would be fantastic to bring the whole thing on stage with acoustic instruments and strings included.
Is there any chance of seeing any covers from Alice cooper or mabye Guns n roses? We already recorded a Alice Cooper cover which was used as B-side for the first single we released with the seventh album. We have also discussed doing a cover of “November Rain” or “My Michelle”, but as things look now we won’t record any covers whatsoever in the nearest future.
How does the writing process work for you ? Are you the person who can just grab a guitar and start pumping out tunes ? Or do you build all music inside your head first ?I mostly complete a full album in my head before even touching a guitar. This time around though, things worked a bit differently as it was Euge, and not me, who kick-started the writing process by contributing his own ideas.
Can you name some movies that really inspierd you ?I watch a lot of movies and must say I have been inspired by countless ones throughout the years. But I guess the one that have made the biggest impression is “Blue Velvet” by David Lynch. There is a certain darkness hidden within that film which no one else has ever come close to conjuring.
Both jazz and blues seem to be some major influences in your music is that something you plan to continue with ?As said, I am not really in control of what direction my music is taking when I write it. I just follow my heart and never think twice about where the darkness leads me. So, if there is a jazz thing here, or a blues thing there that has manifested during the process it’s meant to be there regardless of whether people find it “suitable” or not.
Shining is no longer just swedish members but also have gotten some Finnish blood in
Could you tell us how you meet each member ?No.
Looking back at the early records the sound it has changed quite a lot
since Within deep dark chambers to Redefining darkness ,
would you say that the change was a natural progression as a musician or was it intentional?Definitely. As I said, I just follow my heart and considering I was twelve years old when I started this band and now am in my early thirties it’s not that odd that my writing has progressed quite dramatically from “Within Deep Dark Chambers”. I mean, the sinister and melancholic aura of Shining has always, at least in my ears, remained the same. And that’s really all Shining needs to be.
How long was the writing process for the new record ?Two weeks.
what were your musical influences when growing up ?Guns N’Roses, John Carpenter and Burzum.
At what age did you pick up the guitar also did you take any basic lessons? Or self tought ?I am self-taught, although I did participate in a “how-to-group” for about 2 lessons. I think that was when I was eight or nine if I’m not mistaken.
What are your thoughts on socialmedia is it a good tool for bands to utilise in order to spread your music!It’s definitely a good tool in terms of promotion but nothing I want to partake in. When we travel for example, all the others talk through Facebook and stuff like that, and get this endless stream of meaningless information that I want absolutely nothing to do with. Personally, I think it has somewhat destroyed the basic foundation of anticipation and mystery but yes, it is definitely a good tool to use when promoting something.
From what ive read all members contributed to the new album ?No. Euge and I wrote the album. Huss arranged the intro. But yeah, when you’re in the studio everyone more or less contributes by adding their “colour-scheme” to the result.
Whats the best and worst experience that you've had while being on tour?You have to wait for the documentary to find out about things like that. There are just too many fucking bad things that have happened for me to mention in a brief interview you know. There are hundreds of rumours out there that I am aware of but most don’t know the worst and that’s why Martin Strandberg has decided to make this film, or at least one of the main reasons.
Since half of the new line up are Finnish , how are you able to practice together ? And how often ?We have never practised together. They show up, we perform.
Do you have any festivals planned for this summer?Yes. We’ll play a couple of festivals during the summer. Though, momentarily I cannot recall the names but be sure to check out our website frequently for updates on things like that.
Do you have any last words before we wrap this interview up ?Thank you for the support! Hope you’ll “enjoy” the new album and make sure to attend any future ceremony held in your area, or travel to wherever we might appear.
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