Raised Fist Interview
This interview was made in Albi (France) the 3rd of August 2014.
Yann & O.S. have met Alexander the singer.
How are you today ?
Alexander : I'm fine, a bit tired. But I was sleeping a little bit. I had some food so I'm starting to wake up.
How Ressurrection Fest on Friday ?
Alexander : It was really good, there was a lot good bands. Yeah it's like a really nice festival there. It's in the middle of nowhere so we had no sleep getting there. Ahah. We had going in there, we had no sleep going out there, that's hard. But it's nice, we already played in here and it was also good.
And there was a band you were excited to see in this Festival ?
Alexander : A couple of bands. Not really. I know the drummer wanted to see Testament. Yeah, for me there was no special band. I saw Sick Of It All live and I saw NOFX.
And today, you want to see some bands ?
Alexander : We 're not gonna have the time to see any bands. We play in two hours and then we will go directly to the hotel. But Biohazard is here, I actually wanted to wrestle with him a little bit 'cause they have Matt (Pengelly ?) in the backstage but I don't have the time.
This is your first time here right ?
Alexander : Yeah this the first time. I have no opinion about it. I had no ideas at all, I just got there. But that was much better than I thought 'cause I knew this was a small festival. But the all set up is really good like a big professional one. So, the backstage area, the big rooms...everything is really nice. I must say one the best set ups I've ever seen in my life. So, really good!
You signed a contract with Epitaph one year ago. Before you were on Burning Heart Records (Sweden) and then Epitaph bought it. How was the transition ?
Alexander : No, Epitaph bought the company a long time ago so we are on Epitaph for more than 10 years now. It's the same record contract we signed in 1994 when we were on Burning Heart Records. It's just an option for two more albums but it's basically the same contract. But this album will be released global. Before it was Epitaph Europe and then licensing for Asia, Austriala, North America. Now, it's gonna be released on a monday in Europe and then maybe the day after it's gonna be released in the US and global. So that's the difference.
5 years after "Veil Of Ignorance", you will release your new album. This is a long time, what happened in 5 years ?
Alexander : I think this is a good time, betwen albums, like 3 or more years. Because if you just put out album an album every year, you can't hear the change, you can't hear the difference, you can't hear the new. If you take a couple of years, you have to reconnect with the band. When you have the break, you have a mental break from the life, everything. So it's like a fresh start. It's like when you have a relationship with a girl. If something goes bad, you can't just fix it, fix it, fix it. Sometimes it will break. And when it break, you will have a long break. You have to start something new but if you go with the same girl again, you have to have many years between. And that's the same with the albums, we have a love/hate relationship to the songs. So yeah, I think it's just natural.
It's like the next step for your carrier ?
Alexander : We're not really writing music for a career. We just write the things that we think is good and that we haven't done before and develop it, try new things. We just tried so many things in 20 years, from really old school to brutal. If you listen to Dedication and Not Like Me, it's like fuckin' 360 degrees from each other. The one is brutal, the one is like Punk Rock. So we already did the change back then and no one said anything then. And then we went to Sound Of The Republic, it was different. And for Veil Of Ignorance, it was not really my favorite album, the sound was beautiful, maybe too much. Now we go back to harder, more rough sound.
Who registered you album ?
Alexander : Before it was Roberto Laghi in Gothenburg. But this time we went to a different producer and we have adifferent acoustic sound, no synthesizer, no clean, no trigger, just rough. This was the first time we worked with him and he worked really good. And he knew also what to bring out. He was like "Ok, Raised Fist for me it's this. I want you to play acoustic drums, I want you to play really rough guitar, I want the vocals to be upfront. I want you to be naked." Now when you listen the songs, it's really good. I wasn't satisfied with Veil Of Ignorance, that was my worst album. Friends And Trators for me was ok but other songs were too long or more symphonic, I was like "Fuck that". Now we can go back to the vibe, the energy, the groove.
You wanted to feel more angry again on stage ?
Alexander : Yeah for sure, I wanted to be more angry. Sometimes you get it, sometimes it's a different mood when you write the music and this time I felt it. For example, I usually use the word "Fuck" one or two times in a whole album. In the second song of the new album, it's like "We will drop where the fuckin' heart stop, from the club to the squat" and the next one is "[..]They should be fuckin' dead[..]". Many songs are with the word, I listened to this and I was like "Ok I'm angry, I like this shit".
So, we haven't yet any artwork from the new album on the internet. Can you tell me more about it ? Who did this ?
Alexander : It's Adam from The Path of No Return, he was the bass player of that band. He already made the artwork of Veil Of Ignorance too. We took 3600 nails and we glued them to a plate and them we pushed them down to write the name of the album and the protograph took the picture. We used fire ice, nails, stone.. like natural environmental things. We're coming from the North, we wanted to bring a really rough album, you know, a really painful thing.
So it will represent the songs of the new album ?
Alexander : The sound of the guitars are not clean, the drums are not clean. It wanted to go away from sound like too metal, I wanted rougher sound, a more real sound. And some song are melodic as well, some other songs are really brutal like grindcore. We have like punk rock old school songs too, like punk hardcore. It's a big variety but it's more even than Veil Of Ignorance. There was only one old school song in that album. Now it's all fit together better. Yeah, I think this is the best album we've done. Every band says that maybe, but I usually don't. So I can say honestly, I loved Ignoring The Guidelines and I was not a fan of Dedication. ITG is more punk rock. Dedication is more metal, I don't really like that style. I really like the songs of Sound Of The Republic. And the new one is more like and I think it might be our best album.
Do you have a release date ?
Not yet but it will certainly be in October.
Do you already play some songs of the new album on stage ?
No we hadn't enough time to rehearsal. We had only 40 minutes to rehearse yesterday so we took the old set for now.
So now you are touring in Europe. How do feel the difference between Europe and North America when you are on tour ?
Alexander : We never toured in US. We played in Canada and a lot of surrounding spots. We never toured festivals in there but for a reason. Because I know how it is. I've been there many times. I've been in this environment. It's big and very unpersonal and it's always like fifty days in a row so we couldn't do that. We said no to Vans Warped Tour, we said no to Ozz Fest, we said no to many big things. Just because it's 3 months everyday and we feel like we can't do the thing we do everyday for 3 months. It doesn't make sense. We want to do tour but more like, one 7 days and then off and then one 7 days. We can get energy. I want to feel crazy when I go up on stage.
What do you think about the european scene ? There are some bands you like ?
Alexander : I've haven't pick up any new bands. I have heard some songs here and there. I listen to it in a different way. Before I wanted to hear everything from a band. Now I listen two songs from a band, one song from another band. So it's good and bad, the "Spotify" generation, because you can pick what you want. You don't give songs so much attention like before when you had an album you listened it and start overt, start over and then you start liking songs. Maybe after one month you say "Oh this my new one". So I have no new bands in mind. And I think a lot of bands sounds exactly the same.
Is there any question you wanted us to ask you ?
Alexander : We're back with the clean shit : Raised Fist. We have a new album.We played five years on one album. We played two years ago on big festivals. We played 3 years for the last album so now we're gonna have 3 years to defend the new one. If you ask me how long we're gonna continuing this in our lives, I will say "Until our heart stops".
Thank you Alexander