2015 is set to be a massive year for Swedish death metal veterans, The Crown, who are not only celebrating their 25th anniversary as a band, but also the release of their ninth studio album, ‘Death Is Not Dead’ and the return of original vocalist Johan Lindstrand.
All Axess caught up with bassist Magnus Olsfelt just prior to release date for ‘Death Is Not Dead’ to talk about The Crown’s new album, their new guitarist Robin Sörqvist, how they plan on celebrating their 25th year as a band and why he thinks Lindstrand is the best vocalist in death metal. Check it out below.
Your new album, ‘Death Is Not Dead’ isn’t out until January and is already slated as being one of your best offerings to date. What can you tell us about it?
Yes, we are very proud and satisfied with the album as a whole. When you have played for such a long time it’s pretty hard to say that this or that song is the best, but this album is really good if you take the whole ride and listen to it from beginning to end, (if anyone still remember that way of listening…), and as a whole I think it can be one of the best, if not the best album that we’ve made.
How’s the response been to the tracks you’ve released from the album so far?
Well, the album has not been released as you said, so one if the most important response; from our listeners, we have not got yet. But there have been some reviews from magazines and sites, all have been positive and some even top-score 10 out of 10! It seems though that people with little or no beforehand experience of The Crown can enjoy the album more than those who have a special favourite Crown album since a long time. But we in the band are big fans of the album and that is truly important. Janne is our biggest fan!
Will there be a video?
Yes, we did a video for the track Headhunter, which turned out really good I think. Vengeance from the grave!
What song are you most looking forward to playing live?
I would like to try out a number of them, but live we have to have songs from our whole career, so we will include 2-3 in the live set. The set on the release gig will be Headhunter and Iblis Bane. It would be cool to play Struck By Lightning also I think.
This is the first album to feature Johan Lindstrand on vocals in 10 years. Has he been able to pick up where he left off?
Yeah I think he sings very good. A bit darker voice now as he is older but very loud, powerful and clear but still brutal. Fits perfect to our music.
Do you consider him to be the No.1 The Crown vocalist?
I actually think Johan is the No. 1 Death Metal vocalist in the world right now! But we have had the honour to work with both Tomas and Jonas who all are top class screamers in their own right. But Johan is the original voice of The Crown and that means a lot.
‘Death Is Not Dead’ is also the first album to feature guitarist Robin Sörqvist. What has he brought to the table?
He is very talented and is more classic heavy metal and more skilled in music than the rest of us. He has brought some downright awesome solos and leads to the table. Also a great guy with lots of good mood and energy.
Tell us about the writing process for the album, did Sörqvist contribute?
He came in the band when more or less all the songs were already written so he basically concentrated on the solos. It was me (Magnus, bass) and Marko who shared the songwriting like back in the days. We put quite some time in the music on this one. I think is very well done and varied it is music made from a long period of time.
As well as releasing a new album, 2015 also marks the 25thanniversary since the band first formed, what does that milestone mean to you?
That is pretty awesome! Henrik Axelsson who play live drums with us now recently turned 27, so he were 2 when we first started, that is crazy! Ok we had a break for a couple of years but that makes it feel still fresh and exciting being able to come back.
Will you be doing anything to celebrate the occasion?
Yeah I think the album is a good celebration but we also have sone other plans, but I can’t tell you right now, we’ll see about that.
You’ve already announced a few shows for next year. Any plans for a full-blown tour?
No, actually we don’t really do full-blown tours anymore since we re-started the band. We all have jobs, obligations, families etc. that makes it really hard to just tour. So we actually turn down most tour offers that we would have loved to do 15 years ago. Life changes. It was the touring that broke the band and we will try to keep it together as long as we can. But we will still do some special and limited shows.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, thanks for the interview and the support! If you like good music check out our coming album and give it a few full spins. It will be rewarding. Remember to play it LOUD!!!