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Switchblade, one of Europe's leading bands in epic heavy music, recently released their third studio album via Trust No One Recordings. Two members of Switchblade found some time to answer our questions...


Let's start with the formalities. Please introduce yourself and your weapon in the band.

Tim: I´m Tim and I´m the old man in the band and I play the drums.

Anders: I'm Anders Steen, 26 years old and Iplay bass guitar and sing occationally. I also write most of the lyrics.

How’s the new record been doing? How much was the writing process different from the previous releases?

Tim: It´s been doing really good. I just ordered a re-press of the CD so I would say that it´s been doing really good. Well, I can´t say the way really tried to write songs in a different way compared to the previous songs/releases. But we were a bit more selective when it came to what riffs would pass or not and really tried to make it 100% all the way.

Anders: I think that there was a more focused process to this record. The actual wirting of material started probably a year before recording and we also toured the new material befor that. We re-wrote songs 3 - 4 times before deciding if we should use it. Also, I think that everyone was envolved deeper and more integrated in the process then ever before. I think we found a way to really write songs in a efficiant way. In other words, this is the way it's going to be done from now on.

What are Switchblade's influences, what provides inspiration and influence?

Anders: Speaking for myself I am influenced by other artists in different ways. It can be ideologially, musically or whatever. To name a few direct musical influences I would like to mention Melvins, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Daf, Primal Scream, Xtrmntr Era, new Radiohead album, Khanate, Sunn, Darkthrone, Satyricon. But that's the stuff that makes me want to pick up a guitar. Other things that influences me is the tone or concept of bands. Like this summer a saw Ladytron live and expected the ususal indie electronica standarised show with freelove, hugs and the most stereotypical hippie bullshit ever. Insted they floored me with the same toned down attittue towards live shows that my band has. That was inspirational because I got to see it from a spectator point of view and I liked it a lot. Rock has to be more than just a bunch of clowns putting on a show. That's old. Spectators need to put their own imagination and creativity in discovering what a live how is about or else leave. If you want a bunch of clowns posing as rockstars I suggest you watch a hollywood rock movie or something of that sort. Things have to be changed in my point of view. So a band that's coming from a whole other approach to music influenced me by their concept. And that just an example of how I am influenced by energy rather then cool riffs sometimes.

Tim: I have to agree with Anders on that it might not so much be the music from specific bands that influences me but their concept and aura. But a few bands that I really enjoy musically that some inspire me and some don´t, are: Khanate, Old Man Gloom, Logh, Goatsnake, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Isis, Neurosis, Mogwai and so on...

Speaking of influences, Johnny Cash died some days ago... how important do you think Cash was for today's music? And was he important or an influence for Switchblade or yourself personnally?

Tim: I think he was really important to music over all. Maybe not a direct influence musically but he sure was an amazing singer/ songwriter.

Anders: Cash was an influence of course. I really liked the way he wrote lyrics and tells great stories about his own and fictional characters lives. I would like to go in that direction with my lyrics. Being poetical in a avantgardistic way. And not repeating the same way of communicating with words. Cash was the man at that. It was really on target and simple but it made the context of his stories reach depths that few other artists can reach. He was a great influence and will be missed.

What is your favorite Johnny Cash record? I think the last one, "The Man Comes Around" is such an awesome record...

Tim: There is so much good music that has come out of that man but I think the "Unchained" album is one of my favorites.

Anders: I can' t name a single record. I think there is good or outstanding material in all of his works. In diffrent ways and aspects.

There's this strange text printed in the booklet...what is it about and who has written it?

Tim: Those are the lyrics to the whole album. Anders wrote those.

Anders: I wrote that. It's the lyrics to the songs. The lyrics have gotten more and more biographical then before. It seems that I have gone from describing direct emotions to more visualsing the symptoms and consequenses of the life I live. Some are sarcastic and some of them are directly meant from the heart. They are written in a way that leaves them open for personal interpetation.


Ok what`s your greatest concern about the world right now?

Tim: I´m not sure... There is so much crap going on both globally and in sweden at the moment. I try not to think too much about it. That will just make me depressed and apathic.

Anders: The new world order. Westbank conlict. Terrorism. The usual stuff that gives the whole world stomache ache. That's obvious and on a global level. Right now there is also a unceartain point in the history of Europe. will the EU be somthing good or just another corrupt super power going out to further exploit the third world. There is also lot's of destructive things going on within the nearest circuit of close friends. Either way it's a downward spiral and at times I dont see much hope at all. The one's closest to you will always be your biggest concern no matter how the world turns out.

What are you guys doing besides the band, any jobs?

Tim: I work fulltime at a recordstore/distribution here in Stockholm called Sound Pollution, I run my label Trust No One Recordings and I try to find time to do layout jobs on the side. I´m pretty happy with my work situation but I hope to be able to run the label more serious in the future. I think there is a long way to go before I can make aliving out of the label but that would be the dream scenario.

Anders: I'm an assistant graphical designer and flash programmer at a web agency.

When can we expect another European tour of you guys?

Anders: It will not be long. I can tell you that. We are hungry to tour Europe soon.

Tim: Well, we were supposed to tour in October together with the Swedish band LOGH but that won´t happen because of money issues. But that resulted in us getting picked up by 2fortheroad who will be booking a European tour for us in mid-January.

Sounds great, last question: what makes you happy?

Tim: That changes from day to day. But I have found out that it takes more and more for me to be happy. That has to do with age I guess. Grumpiness increases with time...

Anders: The usual stuff that makes humans content. On top of that I feel the need to be satisfied intelectually. And there are some ways to get that done. One is playing muisc.

That's all, thanks for your time. Anything else you`d like to say?

Tim: Thank you so much for showing interest and support in our band.

Anders: I think I've spoken to much already. If anyone wants to know anything else about us, just send an e-mail. Thank you for your time and patience.

Interview conducted by Magnus Jaschke in October 2003.