IMM: Welcome to Indian Music Mug guys. What was the first reaction after landing in India?
Andy: My first reaction was ‘its hot!’. The traffic situation in Mumbai is insane. But the people here are very hospitable and the food is awesome. My stomach doesn’t like it but I do.
Mathias: Everyone is shorter than me (laughs). But on a serious note the things we have seen here is awesome. Heard a lot about the nature and landscapes here. Haven’t been able to explore much but whatever we have it’s been awesome.
IMM: Take us through the formative years of the band?
Mathias: Me, Andy and our former guitarist were the first to start the band. We knew each other even before forming the band. We played some shows before with other bands we had. One day we were jamming and I was asked to join with the bass. It clicked and I was asked to do the vocals as well and everything came good. But I realised that I am not as skilled a musician to play both bass and sing at the same time. So fortunately the band decided on what was right for me. We then found Tommy in a shopping mall and asked him to join in with the bass. A couple of years later our former guitarist and us parted ways and Tomas started playing the guitars and later Johan joined as the bassist and our band was complete.
IMM: You guys released two EPs, one in 2007 and the other in 2009 and then took a break to explore your sound, your music, did the break do wonders for your band and were you satisfied with your EPs?
Tomas: I wrote most of the music for the album. We kept 3 songs of the second EP in our album ‘Ghost Road Blues’.
No I am not satisfied with the EPs but that’s just me but I am really happy with the album. The break that we took helped us make a great album. so yes the break did wonders for us.
IMM: What does the name of the band signify?
Mathias: The best part is people think that the name means something but actually it doesnot. I have no idea how we got the name (laughs), there is no good answer we just wanted a short name and not something like flowers in the garden or evil twins in my sister’s locker. Does not mean anything but it sounds good.
Andy: And it’s in capital letters as well (laughs)
IMM: Sweden has had a history of producing legendary rock and metal bands, keeping that in mind how hard it is for a new band coming out of the country and what is the scene like back there?
Johan: It has two sides basically everybody plays in a band in Sweden and so the situation is oversaturated. The Internationally successful bands are doing good but upcoming bands like us have to work harder to get to the next level and hopefully we will do.
IMM: You guys have grown up with music from the 60s, 70s, 80s. How do you take the current music scene and the pros and cons of it?
Andy: Developing and making progress is always good. I don’t think the amount of band is the problem today. There are way too many of them to choose from, everything is so available. you get spoiled for choice with the music today. But then you might really miss the really good bands.
IMM: Tell us a little about your influences and any incident that changed your life?
Mathias: Its kinda stupid but i really got the kick after watching Beavis and Butthead on MTV and the first video I saw was Primus playing and it had a freaky groove and that really caught my ear and got me going.
Tomas: I kind of feel like I’ve been playing guitar for the past 100 years and I don’t know how I got into metal, hard music makes me soft (laughs).
Andy: Music has been a big part of my family, my mother played piano and my dad used to play the clarinet but I don’t know why I chose drums. I kinda like to hit things though (laughs). Music means a lot to me and it has always been around me.
Johan: I started playing after I met Tomas. I was in Singapore back in the 90s and thats where I saw my first Metallica concert and after that moved back Sweden and started doing what I know best.
IMM: Straight forward question-do you guys agree with the line ‘rock and metal music is dying today’?
Mathias: Actually its been the same in every era, no one cared about Black Sabbath back then but look where they are now. We don’t play what’s hot right now but we play what we like, what we enjoy and thats important. Everything gets recycled, its a never ending process. Hopefully people will look into the artists who play well and are not fitted into some pre packaged format and they can entertain people. Its like you can put a good record but can you do it live? can you entertain? Not all bands are capable of playing a live show half as good . You don’t listen to music , you feel it
IMM: What’s your take on giving away music for free downloading on the Internet ?
Mathias: You can do nothing about downloading nowadays. We put our music on itunes and hopefully people will buy it but we don’t go ape ship about it. Its like a two headed snake. There is no right or wrong in it. Both sides have valid points. People go to the movies still. because its an experience. Hopefully we can bring that back in music too.
IMM: What sets NALE apart from other bands?
Tomas: We are good (laughs). We like to play and have fun. It doesnt separate us from all the other bands because they have fun too, they do their thing. but we go all out in everything and people have come up and told us that we were the real thing and that we really have fun on stage.
Johan: We dont have a pre concieved notion about how our music should be, how a typical NALE song should be.
IMM: Have you listened to any Indian bands?
Johan: I am a big Opeth fan and a friend of mine back home found an Indian band whose name I can’t re collect now but they had the same vibe and kick like Opeth. They were good. The latest I heard is Undying Inc and love their song ‘Manimal’.
Mathias: My favourite Indian band is Asylum. They are awesome.
IMM: You guys have played in Gandhinagar. How was it and what can Silchar expect from you guys?
Tomas: We played in Gandhinagar and the gig was a full blown kick to the teeth. We just went 200 miles an hour from the start and it took the crowd about 0.5 seconds to realise that and they went nuts and it continued the whole night and Silchar can expect the same.
Andy: I have never played in front of a crowd like that. It was new experience. The response was loud and awesome. One of our best gigs.
IMM: This is your space. Leave a message for your Indian fans?
Johan: So far the Indian experience has been the best one for us and if Silchar is half as good as Gandhinagar we will be overwhelmed. And stay upto date with our band’s progress and our future albums and songs that we post. We love you all. THANK YOU.