With their most recent studio album out as of April 6th, 2018, Swedish heavy metal giants MUSTASCH are on the prowl once more. After the release of two music video singles already, the new album had been shaping up to be an interesting inclusion in the band’s discography, so we sent some questions over to Stam Johansson (bass) to learn a bit more about the new material.
You guys are about to release your 9th studio album, and if you were formed in 1998, that means that this is also your 20th anniversary as a band – how does it all feel?
Yes, in late December. Except for a little fatigue after the touring, it feels great. We could easily go on for 20 more years.
How has the industry changed for you after all this time?
The digital deliverance of the music has taken over since we began, and at that time Napster was just in the beginning of the new format. And of course, social media has taken over the traditional websites. Not all for the best, I’d say. People doesn’t look for vital info through websites like they used to, but instead they rely on info from social media.
Tell us a bit about “Silent Killer” – the press release says you were getting back to your roots a bit. How will this album compare to the previous releases?
I don’t know about that, but on this album, David has written like 80% of the music and rest by Ralf and Niclas Engelin [IN FLAMES]. That is the main difference.
What has the response to “Lawbreaker” and “Fire” been like so far?
Live: Excellent! Spotify: I wouldn’t know.
How did you decide to work with Hank von Helvete?
I think it was Sony Music’s idea, and we thought it was a great idea. So he came to Stockholm to record the vocals, and then we went to Oslo to record the video. He has also performed the song live with us in Oslo and Karlstad on this tour.
I liked the simplicity of the music video for “Lawbreaker” a lot – where was it filmed? Who came up with the concept for the style of the video, with Ralf (and later the others) simply facing the camera and walking toward it?
It was filmed in Stockholm in a pedestrian tunnel. It was Ted Lindén from Bullsize who came up with the idea – same brilliant guy who made “Fire,” “Winners,” and also “Liberta” [released April 6th].
In the music video for “Fire,” Hank almost feels at times like a shoulder devil, encouraging Ralf to do his thing. Did you have the same idea, or did Hank represent something else when the video was being made?
No, that was once again Ted Lindén.
Both of the singles seem to be encouraging people to, for better or worse, be true to themselves and be who they are. Is that a coincidence, or is that a theme on this album in any way?
That is very much the theme, at least on a number of the tracks. Otherwise, Ralf‘s general way of writing lyrics is the positive ones are about him and the negative about us band members.
Are there any songs in particular on “Silent Killer” that are personally very important to you at this point in time? Any songs very dear to your heart for any reason?
Personally I like “Winners” because it is a pretty different MUSTASCH song. I also like “Fire” a lot since it changed so much from the demo compared to the studio.
After 20 years in the business, what’s next for you guys? Are there any dreams or goals you’re still chasing?
Next? Touring, new music, touring, and so forth. We are already living our dream, so we now we just have to live it better and better.
Great, well best of luck with the release, and thanks for your time!
No worries, mate! Cheers!
Interview by Bear Wiseman