Fredrik Norrman: “There is a coldness in the sound with more death metal than “sad-boy” riffs, yet with that melancholia we are known for.”
Twee leden van Katatonia richtten ooit October Tide op en de band staat dan ook garant voor uitstekende, melodieuze doom/death metal. Na zijn vertrek bij Katatonia kreeg componist/gitarist Fredrik Norrman terug meer tijd om zich aan October Tide te wijden. Met meer albums als logisch gevolg en dat juichen we toe! Onlangs verscheen de opvolger van ’Winged Waltz’ en dit ’In Splendor Below’ is weer een melancholiek edoch energiek hoogtepunt in hun oeuvre. We waren dan ook blij dat we oprichter Fredrik Norrman aan de praat konden krijgen om één en ander toe te lichten.
Door: Vera Matthijssens Ι 1 juli 2019
Hello Fredrik! I am genuinely glad that October Tide happens to be quite active since your resurrection and creates albums on a regular base. Congratulations with the new one, called ‘In Splendor Below’. How are you doing and what’s going on in the OT camp at this moment?
Hi and thank you very much. I…or should I say we are doing very well. We’ve had a little break from everything after the recording-session. It gets so intense for a while, so a break is well needed and deserved. But we´re about to start rehearsing for a few summer festivals we’ve got. Really excited to play the new songs together for the first time since we don’t rehearse them at all as a band before recording. Everyone is rehearsing on their own before entering the studio.
How would you compare ‘In Splendor Below’ music-wise with the previous album(s)?
In the beginning of the writing process we actually had a discussion about what we wanted to do with the record. And we agreed on that we wanted it to be a bit more death metal with a colder touch. More straight forward metal and less ”sad boy” kind of riffs. Now there’s of course not a huge change in the sound. There’s still lots of melancholy and melodies. But there’s a coldness in the sound that I really think we succeeded with.
When talking about that previous album ‘Winged Waltz’… are you satisfied with the reception of it and could you play enough live gigs and/or tours to support that album?
Yes I’m pleased with the reception. It got mostly really good reviews. As far as I can remember at least haha… Gig and tour-wise I believe we could have done a bit better. I think there was a mix of lack of offers and the balance of having jobs and families. We perhaps didn’t play shitloads of gigs but the ones we did where really good, among them was 70000 tons of metal. We also went to Dubai which was a really interesting experience. What a city.
When did you start writing new material and what can you say about this writing process? I think you are still the main man qua composing and songs, isn’t it?
Yes I wrote most of the songs. But I did get some help from both Mattias and Johan. Their tracks turned out fantastic and I hope they will continue to write. It would be great to have some help and it also brings more variety in the sound. But my writing journey began perhaps a year after the release of ‘Winged Waltz’. I was writing TheNighttimeProject songs during that time.
Who has written the lyrics this time? Can you tell a bit more about subjects or topics that inspired the writer(s)?
It was Alex who wrote the bigger part of the words. On previous records we had a couple of friends who helped us out with the lyrics. Not actually 100% sure what the lyrics are about, but to use Alex own words the lyrics are more aggressive and graphic than on previous records.
The Norrman brothers and singer Alexander are a fine core trio, but I noticed any changes in the rhythm section since the former album. What happened to drummer Jocke Wallgren and guitarist Emil? Why did they leave?
Jocke got an offer to join Amon Amarth which he also did. Not much to think about if you want to make some cash out of your playing. Emil was just tired of the whole thing I believe.
What can you tell about the new members Johan (bass) and Jonas (drums) and their recruitment? Hehe it is funny that they both play in Letters From The Colony. A fertile ground?
Since Jocke was the first one of the two to quit we found Jonas first. Don’t really remember how we found him but I guess it was Alex who knew him. When Emil quit Mattias, who is actually a guitar player, saw his chance to take over the six string duties. So Jonas suggested that we should try his band mate Johan on bass. Lineup now feels very solid.
There is one song with Swedish lyrics on the album. What is it about and can you tell a bit more about this song?
This track was the one that Mattias wrote the music for. As for the lyrics I’m not 100% sure about them. Which is actually a thing I prefer, when the lyrics are not too straight to the point. When there’s room for interpretation.
What is ‘I, The Polluter’ about? Does it mean the album starts with saying ‘mea culpa’ for polluting the planet or am I totally wrong?
Once again I’m not 100% sure. But I think it is something more personal rather than something about polluting the planet.
Sverker Widgren was responsible for the whole recording process of ‘Winged Waltz’, but now I see that the different sections of production (and mix and mastering) are done by other people. So please tell us about the reason for this approach and about the sound fine-tuning in general (sound is ace on the entire album!!!)
Alex had been working with Karl Daniel Liden with Demonical last album and Alex wanted Karl to handle the mix for the new album. It´s not that we’re not happy with what Sverker did with ‘Winged Waltz’ but we had a feeling that Karl could fulfill our vision better this time. It turned out pretty much exactly how we wanted it to sound. Not too polished and a bit dirty kind of sound. But we chose to record everything in studios close to our homes with help from Alexander Backlund who has Nailvillage Studios and also sings in TheNighttimeProject.
Vocals and also guitar solos seem even more emotive than before, but in general the album is pretty energetic, do you agree with that?
Vocals definitely have more feeling and variety to it. I think this is Alex best performance ever. I never heard him so good as now. He really did an outstanding job with the vocals. The overall sound on the album is more aggressive and energetic. That was also the plan we had.
Are there plans for video clips?
We released a ”rock-video” of the song ‘Ögonblick Av Nåd’ recently. This is actually the first video we’ve done that features us in it. If now that is a good thing or not I am not going to speculate on haha….
What are the plans for the near future, for playing gigs and for touring? I hope to see October Tide in the Netherlands and Belgium as well!
We have a few summer festivals we are rehearsing for right now. Then we have some tour plans for the autumn but it is a little early to say anything about it. But it seems that it can be a really good package. We are also planning a little run with October Tide and TheNighttimeProject. A bit early to say much about that too so keep your eyes open folks.
I am glad to find out that the second Thenighttimeproject album is almost finished! What can you already reveal about that (since I loved the first one too)?
It will be out on Debemur Morti Productions on June 28th. Sound-wise it is a bit different. It is made with playing live in mind, so it´s perhaps a bit more energetic than the first album. We also have a guest on a track called ‘Signals In The Sky’ in the great Heike Langhans from Draconian. It is an album we’re very happy with. I hope it is going to be well received out there.
If there is anything you’d like to add, please feel free to do it here…
Thank you for the support. Much appreciated. To the folks out there, come to gigs and buy the album.
Check de onderstaande socials voor meer informatie over deze band.