We Sell The Dead is more than just a side project from In Flames’ Niclas Engelin and their latest album, “Black Sleep” proves just that. More than ever this is a new force in good old heavy metal. We talked with Niclas himself that showed us We Sell The Dead’s mystic world. By Fernando Ferreira / Photos by Vincent Laine
Hello and welcome to our World Of Metal. So I have to start this interview by saying something that I usually don’t reveal this (we tend to keep it secret), but “Black Sleep” is on our Top 20 for February, we don’t know yet in what position, but it’s there! The expectations you had when writing and recording “Black Sleep” was in this level? To get this kind of feedback?
Wow!! That´s great news and I´m really flattered and humble for that position! We just tried to write the best possible album we could what we felt was right for us a band. So when feedback like this starts coming in you feel very proud and fulfilled with the mission doing the best album as a band and collective!
Had you any pressure on your shoulders after the first album? What were you objectives for “Black Sleep”?
No, can´t say that we felt any pressure really besides from making the best album we could possible do. So we did what we always do, talk a lot about directions and feelings with colors we should paint our music with and most important having tons of fun record!
All of you in the band have other bands and compromises but in “Black Sleep” it doesn’t feel that We Sell The Dead. It feels that you are indeed a band. Is that the state of mind between all of you?
Thank you for saying so!! The first album was a project and I had a mission with the music being connected to the short film that Dan Lind was making and I painted the music with some darker colors back then and now on ”Black Sleep” when we have become a band there´s another vibe and we are free to create whatever we like and have no script to follow which shows I think when you hear the new album.
Your sound is really strong but yet you take hommage to all those classic hard’n’heavy bands. Productionwise, did you had the commitment to stay as true as possible to what is the core of hard rock, or did you just wanted to sound the best you can with all the tools at your disposal?
Yeah, we all love classic Hardrock & Metal and wanted to create an album that could be bought by ourselves back then so we had a portable turntable in the studio and all albums of our fave bands for getting the vibe right for the album which was important. I think our sound & songs speaks for themselves and it´s of course important to feel inspired and having fun while record. So Hail Black Sabbath with mighty Ronnie James Dio, Whitesnake and Boston!!
How is your writing process? Do you work your own ideas individually and then work in group? It must be complicated with all your differente compromises.
I started to write the new album like two weeks after the release of our first album and couldn’t´t resist write cos´the ideas were flowing and I had a break for other live commitments and then came back during the summer to rewrite the album with my old youth centre leader Morgan Jensen who I tend to jam with a lot and we came up with the song ”Caravan” together! And NO, we are on the same level and works as a team where Jonas & Apollo take care of the lyrics & vocals and Oscar the production.. the whole band works tight together!
Death seems to be the center of your concept but you don’t limit yourselves on the themes and subjects. How important is the message of your songs? As important as the instrumental?
We tend to work hand in hand with those matters and focus on each song to make it the best song possible which I think we achieved this time cut´we all so happy about our new album!! Jonas had a clear vision about the concept and how we could build a whole topic around the most certain things in life Death. ”Black Sleep” means the eternal sleep and it can be bright and hopeful which we choose to enlighten here and also very mythologic and something we don´t know anything about. So the music and lyrics have to work perfectly together therefor the sometimes sensitive songs & passage of the album.
For you personally, how much refreshing is it to be able to be in a band like In Flames and on a band like We Sell The Dead?
Very refreshing indeed and inspiring to be able work with other musicians and humans to get their inputs and thought about music and of life in general. I think it´s important to be curious and on the move all the time especially when you work as a musician.
What are the plans for live promotion? Will you be able to hit the road and bring “Black Sleep” to your fans?
We just had a meeting today about the stage set up and just came back from a mini tour in Germany which was tons of fun, so we are getting ready to bring ”Black Sleep” live!!
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