Interview with Dynazty – “I do believe in the longevity of quality music beyond current trends”

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Being very impressed with DYNAZTY’s latest opus, the grand “Final Advent,” we managed to have a virtual chat with frontman Nils Molin to get some more insight into the album’s creation, but also discuss more things related to the band, touring, and such. Read the full interview below:

[ photo: Mats Vassfjord ]

First off, how excited are you still to share this album with everybody?

Yes, indeed very excited. After a whole pandemic, delays, and whatnot, it feels damn good to finally get this album out in the light of day.

Final Advent” is DYNAZTY’s 8th studio album in about 15 years of existence. Where did the drive and creativity to create such an impressive body of work come from?

I think we have a natural drive for creativity. To write songs and to progress as a band and as individuals. Never during this process was there ever a lack of this. We were simply as inspired as we’ve ever been and very keen on keeping our great momentum going.

Since “Renatus,” the band has been going through a sort of metamorphosis that ultimately led to “Final Advent.” How would you describe this process, and how has each album helped shape the band’s current sound?

What we might have lacked for in identity during our very early years developed during the writing and making of these albums. Now we’ve arrived at what is a very solid landscape sound- and identity-wise, where we feel a very distinct comfort knowing that no matter what we try to do, it will always feel like a DYNAZTY song or a DYNAZTY album.

This is a bit of a speculative question, but with “Final Advent” being the “ultimate version of Dynazty” it is fair to say that this upcoming album is the destination the band aimed towards sound-wise for the last couple of years. So, how do you see the evolution of the band going forward? Will you settle for this sound, or will you keep exploring and experimenting with your music?

The goal is to never stagnate creatively and to always look to improve upon ourselves. Therefore, it’s an ever-ongoing journey where there really is no such thing as an “ultimate version of ourselves.” That being said, yes, in many ways, “Final Advent” was the kind of album and mark that we’ve aimed for, for a long time.

Considering the strengths the album has across all ten tracks, what would you say is the biggest strength that the band has today?

Our songwriting skills, our individual and collective strengths, and our working and personal relationships with one another.

Is there any section in this album that you’re particularly proud to have written or sung?

I’m very happy with how the song “Yours” turned out. We’ve been trying to write that kind of song for a long time. This time it just worked. My vocals are fairly decent as well…

The guitar work on this album is on point. Do you have a favorite solo, lead piece, or riff?

My favorite lead section is in “The White.” Featuring a bass solo, dual guitar solos, and an acoustic flamenco solo to top it off. Also the craziness of the solo interplay in “Natural Born Killer.

I am really impressed with your singing over the last few records, but I feel like on this new one you’ve taken your vocals a step further. How much room do you still have to continue to take it further and further?

Thank you. There’s always room for improvement. I will continue to develop as I always have. And I’m pretty sure I am far from my vocal peak still. My main philosophy in terms of singing on an album is to sing with as good of a tone as I possibly can, to serve the song, and to try to bring out the most emotive rawness out of whoever listens.

Since touring was not possible after the release of “The Dark Delight,” you went straight into writing for what has now become “Final Advent.” Do you see the creation of this new album somehow connected to the creation of your previous record, like one long stretch of songwriting, or are the two albums separate in your mind?

Those two were maybe a little bit more entangled due to this, but I still view them as two very separate processes. We did continue with a lot of inspiration from “The Dark Delight” album, while also bringing in lots of new perspectives.

With “Natural Born Killer” being about idealizing another person, what would you say is the main difference between idealization and simply looking up to someone as a role model in life?

The difference lies in realizing that there is no such thing as an all-perfect human being who can do no wrong. Having heroes and role models as inspirational figures is only humanly natural and healthy. But blindly idealizing and obsessing very rarely is.

As a follow-up, who are you looking up to either on a personal or professional level?

Oh, there are lots. Almost too many to name a few. Albert Einstein, James Cameron, Lionel Messi, Ronnie James Dio, Rosa Parks, my neighbor, and the guy who found and returned my lost wallet some years ago, for example.

Heart of Darkness” is an intriguing title, and I think it has nothing to do with Joseph Conrad’s novel. So, what is this “heart of darkness” you speak of and what is the song about?

The song is about someone walking through the dark night of the soul, finally realizing that the only way out of it is through change from within.

On the vinyl release of this album, there is an eleventh track listed: “Symphony of Tragedy.” What can you tell us about this song?

This was a song that we recorded for the “The Dark Delight” album that eventually got shelved. Bringing it out for an exclusive release on “Final Advent” was the perfect choice. It’s a really cool song.

Do you take your lyrical inspiration from a more personal spot, or for you is music just like an escape where you can use other subject matter outside of who you really are?

Both. Though I draw a lot of inspiration from myself, people around me, or the world in general, I often times just write stories from a fictional perspective.

In order to get that lyrical inspiration do you have a usual place that you have to go in order to cultivate these ideas, like a studio, or do ideas sometimes strike when you least expect them?

No, necessity is the key. Sitting around and waiting for inspiration to strike is a fool’s errand. Sometimes you just gotta force yourself to write and inspiration will come. I prefer to sit comfortably at home and write but many times I’ve finished up stuff on a plane, on a train, or in the studio right before I sing.

[Artwork by Gustavo Sazes]

DYNAZTY has played many shows in Finland, especially in October (Unholy Winter Fest) and December of last year, actually debuting some new songs from both “The Dark Delight” and “Final Advent.” With you guys recently having played at Himos Metal Festival, how does it feel to play for the Finnish crowds?

It’s always a pleasure. The Finnish people have a very special relationship with this kind of music and it always shows whenever we are there. Can’t wait to be back!

Considering the intensity and fast tempo of the vocal melodies on both “The Dark Delight” and “Final Advent,” how much harder are you going to make it on yourself when it comes time to play these songs live? What’s the most challenging song to play live?

It’s pretty hard and I always seem to make it harder for me with each album [laughs]. “Natural Born Killer” is very, very tough on the vocal stamina. It has no breathing pauses for about 2 minutes [laughs].

Do you enjoy the process of going a little bit outside of your comfort zone either in the studio or on stage?

I try to not have much of a comfort zone. That’s in principle how I’ve built myself as a singer. Trying on things that are above my level so that I have to grow in order to master it.

This year DYNAZTY got to play a great number of shows, including at Café Central in Weinheim and in Bucharest supporting SABATON, both shows being performed in hot circumstances. How difficult is it to actually sing/perform in such warm conditions or or does the temperature not really affect the vocal cords?

It doesn’t affect the vocal cords per se, but it does affect your breathing, cardio, and stamina, which in turn will make singing tougher. But it’s part of the game. You learn to like it.

Speaking of your headlining tour in April, what are some of your best memories of that experience?

Just being out on the road, playing consecutive shows, and seeing happy fans again. That was for sure a highlight considering the way things have been the past few years.

For many listeners, the content of the songs can mean a variety of things that are easy to identify with. Do you hear feedback that a listener thinks a song tells about their life or that a song has played a great role in their life?

Yes, we do hear such stories. Nothing makes you prouder than to, for example, hearing how someone had help getting through a rough patch listening to our music.

What do you think of the current situation, where musicians not only write songs but also have to be active on social media? Because today, without popularity on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, it’s hard to break through all that digital noise and get noticed.

Well, it is what it is. I do believe in the longevity of quality music beyond current trends and social platforming duties. Meaning that I hope that bands and artists in music, now and in the future, can survive and thrive without having to be TikTok addicts and social media experts. Personally, it would just suck the life out of me if I’d have to indulge in it on the level that some people in the industry claim is “necessary.” Which I believe it isn’t, by the way. Trends come and go. Great music lasts. A long time at least. Hopefully, the next generations of musicians and bands find a balance and put enough focus and emphasis on the most important thing – making good music.

What do you love about your music that you cannot find in other bands’ music?

If I have to say something, then it would be the combination of old and new influences.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

If you haven’t already… listen to our new album – “Final Advent!” It’s pretty good.

Interview by Andrea Crow