Diablo Swing Orchestra interview (01/2007)

With: Daniel Håkansson
Conducted by: Herzebeth (e-mail)
Published: 11.01.2007

Band profile:

Diablo Swing Orchestra

-Hello I'm Francisco Eguiza from Metal Storm. To begin with I want to thank you for allowing me to do this short Interview, and of course for giving your fans a chance of reading a little more about D:S:O, so thank you very much.

Thank you for the opportunity to spread the word about the band and music.

-Now, let's break the ice; as an introduction, can you please explain your project to us?

Well, we can be described as a rock band with and female vocalist. A tag of the music we're quite found of is "riot-opera". We feel it captivates the overall feeling of the music. We're rather multi-influenced and do like to create songs using different elements of various styles as an essential part of the song not just as an effect thrown in a bridge or something.

-What about that 16th century story found in your biography; is it true? I mean about your ancestors and their death sentence and all those things?

We can't really take credits for creating this band all by ourselves. The fashion we all got together is rather unusual and we did feel the pressure to create something worthy of our ancestors, but once the composing process began we knew we were on to something. We're still researching so when we find out more about our ancestors whereabouts we will share it.

-You just released your debut right? (Congratulations by the way) I have heard this album and I actually think it's brilliant, but all comments aside, what does "The Butcher's Ballroom" independently represents to you and your career?

Thanks! A starting point to something big hopefully. We put an extreme amount of time and work into making this record happen so we are also very proud of it. We wanted to create something that felt fresh and we like to think we accomplished just that. This record is also a good starting point since it doesn't put us into a specific genre, we feel as if we can go anywhere we want to on the next album.

-Talking about "genres", how did the band come up with all the ideas and the general structure of the aforementioned album?

There is no genre that we won't consider using in our music. But in the end the songs will for the most part end ups as rock/metal songs with a big influence from another musical style. The process was quite natural actually, the lion's share of the songs has been shaped during the last three years and a lot of things fell into place in the studio. We weren't even sure if we would include "Balrog Boogie" on the album when we entered the studio.

A thing we were sure of was that we wanted to create an album, rather than just a collection of songs. And even though the songs are quite diverse we feel that it is an album that you can listen to as a whole.

-When an album comes up wrapped with all this undertones and musical palettes as in "The Butcher's Ballroom", one can only ask what your main influence while writing it was?

It's hard to talk about one main influence in terms on an artist or genre since the main influence on any d:s:o song is different rhythms. Most riffs on the album are based around how the kick and snare work together. Anything that makes someone to dance is a great reference. We will probably explore the jazz/swing/rock/metal territory further in the future.

- That sounds interesting indeed…now, the album also has a big amount of featured instruments; Synthesizers always do the trick when recording an album like this one right? But I see in the inlay of the album that many of them were recorded without the magical synth (Flutes, Trumpets, Cello, Violins, etc.) was it hard? Tell us about the recording sessions a little bit.

We really feel that using real instruments add so much more than synths. Plus that you get the expertise of the player that normally comes up with ideas on how a riff or melody could be played so it better suits the instrument.

The recording process as a whole was quite a learning process for many of us. Pontus (guitar, FX) and Andy (bass) are a bit more experienced but for the rest of us the studio presented us to a lot of new opportunities to work with the material. A lot of the songs were rearranged since they sounded a bit weak in their original shape. We weren't really concerned with making the song fit for live purposes, we just wanted to make a really great record and worry about the live situations later.

- Let's talk about the lyrical content, D:S:O writes about complex ideologies with a philosophical (and even poetical) narrative; lyrics are often misapprehended, people usually interpret expressions independently and then they forget about the actual meaning of those words. Can you please explain what have you been communicating lyrically in your albums?

The lyrics are for the most part dealings with more difficult personal situations in life, and as for many others it is mainly a way of therapy. The important part is that the lyrics mean something to the one who wrote it, and that they fit the music. If someone else interprets the lyrics in a way that comfort, soothes or helps them in any way we feel as if the mission is accomplished. We don't mind if someone interprets the lyrics different from us as long as they are not used in the wrong context, ie homophobic or racial.

-Talk to me about the feedback you received, from both the audience and the press, is it good? Is it bad? Is it totally fulfilling? Is it really sucky?

Up until now the response has actually been overwhelming, we've had some bad reviews but generally we must say that the feedback has exceeded our expectations so far. The music seems more accessible to many more people that we thought. We ourselves always thought that the music was quite easy listening but we didn't know that so many people would agree. There are some people that want to put us in the same category as Nightwish and Within Temptation and that we're copying a concept that is popular at the moment but we're not to worried about it. We think that our next album will set us even more apart from those kinds of bands that the comparison will not longer be necessary. All new bands will be compared with the big names in the beginning.

-Tell me about your whole concept; are you currently following those ideals presented in your work? Or the band just dresses up like Lestat and then arrives home, puts on some jeans and watches soap operas?

Don't understand the question. How do you mean "dress up" ?
We wear our casual clothing in all our photo shoots.
We have also signed a pact within the band saying that no one is allowed to watch soap operas. We feel as it would not be following the ideals of our ancestors.

people at malls must look at your lace handkerchief a lot then…anyway, to the next question

-What do you see in D:S:O's future? And what do your fans could expect from it?

We are trying to find as many gigs as much as possible; we will also shoot a video for "Balrog Boogie" around march/april.

As mentioned earlier, the studio sessions really shaped our sound and we've been working on material for the next record, and it progresses really well so far. We don't have anything booked but hope to be able to put out the next record in the spring/summer of 2008.

-Before this Interview meets its end, let's go back to high school, let's try the old "psychological word test"; I'll give you a bunch of words and you'll write whatever pops into your mind ok?

Diablo: Blizzard

God: Black and White

Mirror: Smoke

Love: X-ray

Hate: Yearning

Noise: Single-coil

Music: Boundless

You: google.com

How did we do?

Well, you did very well, you're a sane person the detailed results are currently in process

-Well, I think this is the end; please close your interview with anything this humble interviewer missed.

We would take the opportunity to say thank you for this interview and to invite all the Metal Storm readers to our forum (www.diabloswing.com/forum) where one can ask more questions to the band members.

-Thank You And Good Luck!



Comments: 16   Visited by: 38 users
11.01.2007 - 03:18
Really great interview Herz! You had great questions and Daniel has really interesting answers. It's great to hear from a band who is able to be as eclectic as they are. I *just* ordered their album and am SO excited

Honestly my favourite part of this interview was:

Diablo: Blizzard
"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
11.01.2007 - 15:35
Genius review, I like these guys more and more each time I read something about them.
11.01.2007 - 17:09
Account deleted
Hope they play live in skåne sometime, would be fun to see them perform.
11.01.2007 - 23:36
Quite a good interview, lots of things to smile at.

These guys didn't appear on The Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks ago did they?
deaththrashdeath/doom/prog ‡ Hail Zoldon!

he's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
13.01.2007 - 07:19
Bitch Boy
"We wear our casual clothing in all our photo shoots."

I really enjoyed the interview!! Congrats!
13.01.2007 - 15:46
Written by Syk on 11.01.2007 at 23:36

Quite a good interview, lots of things to smile at.

These guys didn't appear on The Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks ago did they?

I need to see that if they did!
21.01.2007 - 18:39
humm...never heard of the band until now. but to me, they sort of sound like a mix of the following bands:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Theatre OF Tragedy

i guess i'll check em out

now get on your knees and worship me!
-Zakk Wylde
23.01.2007 - 23:05
Love: X-ray

Hate: Yearning

hahaha, damn... this band's sooo good
and the story about the band is awesome
28.01.2007 - 22:09
Daru Jericho
Nice interview. This band seem to be getting more and more popular in such a short time. Good for them.
Aborted Misanthropic Smurf Puppy On Acid.

07.02.2007 - 00:39
cool interview. Daniel seems a cool guy. I'm sure the whole band's rather fun group.
Hope to get their album soon and perhaps even see some gigs as the samples at their webpage are quite impressive.
21.02.2007 - 20:33
This band seems intresting, perhaps it's worth to check it out?
21.02.2007 - 21:07
Retired Staff
Written by Torelli on 21.02.2007 at 20:33

This band seems intresting, perhaps it's worth to check it out?

Diablo Swing Orchestra are definitely worth checking out!! Trust me.
I'll even guarantee you, you will be highly surprised and amused

Here are already three songs for your listening pleasure.
Your favorite band sucks.
04.03.2007 - 11:30
Account deleted
Whoa, this music is awesome I MUST get the album. Great interview.
04.03.2007 - 12:03
This band is really insane. At the moment listening to their album for a 3rd time in a row. Just can't get enough them. Really interesting people. They're music is so ecletic.
26.03.2007 - 02:48
D:S:O is pure goddamn genius! Finally something FRESH!

Oh, and cool interview, thanks for performing it
'The key to making Oscar Wilde quotes is to add '~ Oscar Wilde' at the end.' ~ Oscar Wilde
29.03.2007 - 02:32
Account deleted
DO the Band will come to Canada sometimes ? I would be really interested to see them live !!
Great band.. I bought the album with napster because I did not found it in store.

Great music.. great band.. great future for them !

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