Rozhovor 21.03.2024 Metalite en - HELLMAGAZINE

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Samuel Sámel


Swedish melodic metal band METALITE came to the scene this year with the futuristic concept album Expedition One. After nine years of existence, they are breaking the charts and we had the opportunity to talk with the brain of the whole band - guitarist Edwin Premberg. A rich interview will reveal the background of the album, but also why vinyl is still a relevant format.

Can you tell us about inspiration that stand behind the new album „Expedition One“?

„Expedition One“ is concept album set in 2055. Many people thought that „Virtual World“ was concept album, but it´s really not. „Expedition One“ was written as a concept album from the beginning. The story follows a group of travelers on a mission to discover another world beyond our solar system where they encounter challenges, mysteries and tempting revelations.

What message do you aim to deliver through your music and lyrics with current album?

The situation we got in the world right now – the war, pandemics and economics and everything – it´s like a hurricane right now. It´s a modern subject that I want to talk about, it´s fictional story that I create, and it´s happening in 2055.

I would like to talk specifically about lyrics of one song – in „New Generation“, it kind of reminds me the generation that lives right now and honestly, i am not really sure if the lyrics are meant in a positive or a negative way. Mentioned lyrics go „We are the one who grew up with the screens, technology has been our teens, we´re independent and we´re used to succeed“.

The generation we are talking about here is used to succeed because they have everything they want. And let´s be honest, it´s not a positive thing. But also it is reality of what is happening right now. There are positive and negative stories in everything, but in this case, we brought this song for standing on the new planet, new people and new ways to do things in outer space. But when we wanted to do this as a video, it got more serious and the new generation do need to take care of this planet so the song is written in a positive way. New generation have to take care of what we started so it won´t all go straight to hell, you know. (Laugh)

The album was released few weeks ago already. What response did you get from both critics and fans on the new music?

Mostly, the feedback was mostly positive, videos were played a lot and the Spotify statistics go nuts all the time. We also got this tour planned for 2024. We are really happy about how things are going. Of course, there are people who don´t like this kind of music and this kind of metal but overall, I think I can say that this was really good release.

I would like to look a bit deeper into songwriting process of the album. Do you need any specific environment you need to be in when writing music?

Of course I need to be in right mood with right influences and stuff like that. Sometimes I can get this creative mood wherever I am so I always need to have my phone with me to take notes and write down some lyrics or ideas, stuff like that. I don´t need to be in specific place or something but ideas are coming my way at any time and I need to write them down and then go to studio and work on it. Most important thing for me are the melodies.

Were there any memorable moments during the recording of the album you want to share with us?

I don´t remember actually. But often when I sit in my studio, I cannot come up with the best ideas for the melodies and stuff. When I have time to relax and not to be stressed up, that´s the best moment for me to write music.

You both written and produced the album. Don´t you miss some “external” point of view on whole material?

You know, it´s not only me who works on the album. There is the rest of the band as well and they always could say something. I mean, the great example is vocals – when Erica comes to the studio, material is only half made. She comes to the studio, we write it together to its final form. She comes with harmonies, some additions. We do a lot of stuff together. But I always have the final producing touch. I got the feedback from other people all the time so we don´t really need another producer to interfere and tell us what to do.

You already mentioned some tour plans. So where can we see you supporting new album?

We are coming in middle of March to UK and Germany and we have gig in Switzerland too together with Leave´s Eyes, North Tale and Catalyst Crime. We will be out for about two weeks. Also, we will be touring together with Pain here in Scandinavia in October.

Are there any plans to visit us in “Eastern Europe” – places like Slovakia, Czechia or Austria?

We talked about it. We have a lot of fans in that area and we really want to go there. We had some plans to go to the Bulgaria in the summer for a festival but it got canceled so that was sad for us. But we will see, best way to find out is to keep an eye on our Facebook and our homepage.

Let´s also speak a little bit about the past a little bit. When was the time you realized that you passed the turning point for the band?

Actually it was when I started the band as a studio project and I wrote the first song “Afterlife” and thanks to the song, we got the label contract. We got label contract with just one song. That was totally crazy because I´ve never written this kind of music. I got a lot of ideas but back then in 2015, I wanted to write my own music and I love melodic metal. So 2015 when I wrote “Afterlife” was turning point for me, but for Metalite, I could surely say it was when Erica started to sing with us. That was Metalite for real.

Your music is speaking a lot about futuristic ideas, we could say sci-fi themes. In modern days, staying in touch with the fans is completely different from what it was like maybe 15 years ago. I think both of us remember times when only option was to read the magazines and stuff like that. How do you adapted to the situation of nowadays, how do you communicate with the fans through the social media and how does whole social media affect Metalite as the band?

As you said, it´s totally different way you talk to the fans right now. As a tech fan, I always like to discover new social media online. We don´t only have Facebook or Instagram, we also have a Discord channel. I really like to try all these different platforms, but let´s be honest, Facebook and Instagram are still the biggest ones. Instagram is the simplest way to show our videos and image pictures so I think those two are the most popular ones. We always try to stay mainly on those places because it´s sometimes hard to have fans spread on all those different places. But we try to be on all the different platforms we can just to not miss anyone. Different countries have different cultures when it comes to the social media so I would say we try to be everywhere.
It all makes whole communication with fans more personal now than it was 10 or 20 years ago and I think the fans like it because it´s simple to just ask question nowadays and we really try to answer them all. We really like it when fans come and ask us anything. We do our best to answer all of them.

As a tech fan, what do you think has the biggest impact on the music industry?

Right now, the stuff that´s going on in the world. It´s pretty expensive to go on tour – the buses to go with, the gas, the ticket prices – economics of this whole think is pretty unstable. It´s pretty expensive for the bands to go on tour and it´s pretty expensive for the fans to go to the venues. I think that this is the worst part of music industry right now. Now that I am thinking about it, I think you wanted me to say artificial intelligence or something like that. (Laugh)

No, I mean, I don´t think AI is that bad, but I´ve already heard some almost apocalyptic predictions for the music industry with AI making videos, writing music, etc. But I wanted to hear your opinion. But it´s not only about what´s new, because for example the vinyl and the physical format of music is still a thing and that´s actually another question I got. Right now, everything is trying to be as modern as possible, everything is automated if possible, but on the other hand formats that supposedly died few decades ago are having something like renaissance. What is your opinion on this?

I think it also depends on the area. Different countries and different cultures, you know. In Sweden, everyone streams music and just the hardcore metal fans are buying vinyls and CDs. In Europe, they love physical formats much more than Swedish fans. I also think that people are getting tired of clicking around in Spotify client – getting new song, listen like 30 seconds and then go to next and next and so on. When you buy the vinyl, you´ll get the whole format, in our case, you have the whole story, the lyrics, great artwork and this beautiful colored vinyl. I think this format goes straight to the heart when you listen to it. I personally think that people are getting tired of whole streaming thing and they really want this kind of records and I am really happy about it because I feel exactly the same. I feel much more happier with physical record in my hands.

Couldn´t agree more. Sadly, we reached the end. If there is anything you might want to add, to say to your fans or anybody out there willing to listen, go on, man.

New fans definitely needs to go to our Facebook page and check out live dates and where to see us this year. I would be really happy to get to Slovakia sometime soon and I have to say one thing – without the fans, we will be nothing so big thank you to all of you!
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