Shining interview (07/2015)
|Conducted by:||Windrider (e-mail)|
Shining released a new album this year and I had the pleasure to write a review for their new work IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends. Some days later it knocked on my e-mail door, asking for an interview opportunity. As I myself was indeed interested in some things we agreed on doing so and below you may read the answers that Niklas Kvarforth (vocals) gave to my inquiries.
Max: Hello Niklas, thanks for agreeing upon doing this interview. I've heard from your manager that you are rather busy right now, what stuff have you got to do at the moment?
Niklas: Apart from answering interviews and trying to get through my daily routines, I am seemingly endlessly working on putting together a perfect set for the coming autumn and winter tours that lie ahead. This obviously also includes getting control over a ton of small details which is easier said than done. All work and no play makes Nick a dull boy.
Max: This fall you will be on tour again. What do you think of touring nowadays, have the times changed compared to one or two decades ago?
Niklas: The difference between now and let's say 10 years ago are enormous. We are blessed with certain privileges because of our name and reputation, but overall it seems harder and harder and way more complicated to work things out with tours and gigs because of the vast amount of bands and "promoters" out there. Also, when there are 5000 festivals being held each summer instead of 40-50 things get out of hand and harder for both bands as well as promoters to know what is beneficial and what is not. Never mind, we have an agent for that, but I clearly see the difference and the countless of changes that have occurred the last couple of years. On a personal level, I do not enjoy touring. Don't get me wrong, I do somewhat "enjoy" performing, but could certainly live without all the other bullshit one needs to expose oneself to when traveling etc.
Max: Do you care about the other bands on tour, like hanging out with them or do you rather stay with your band mates?
Niklas: It all depends on the bands, but these days I prefer to keep to myself as much as possible and I seldom spend time with the others in Shining because we usually don't get along.
Max: Considering the specific line-ups in fall, what do you think of the bands touring with you (if you know them)?
Niklas: The support bands are all handled by promoters, it's not something we get involved in at all. I just concentrate on Shining, and don't usually know who is supporting until we get to the actual venues.
Max: I have read in another interview from earlier this year that during the crafting of IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends you were quite sober. Did this affect the overall process?
Max: Yeah, I mean since I hurt my back in 2013 I've had to reconsider a thing or two when it comes to lifestyle and such. But I believe being sober got me way more hostile and aggressive than ever before which is something I also feel shines through on the new album.
Max: Do you plan to stay rather sober from now on or at least during recordings?
Niklas: Absolutely not.
Max: How is the relationship with your band mates? I think you have some fine guys when it comes to technique (for example on guitars). Do you appreciate that?
Niklas: Obviously I appreciate what they bring to the table on a pure musical level, I mean, otherwise what's the point of putting up with a bunch of other living organisms if they can't perfect my vision of what this band should sound like live? But as far as our personal relationships go, well, I like certain qualities of some of my members but I am also genuinely am disgusted by others. To sum up, I don't think Shining is a suitable band for anyone looking for friendship and acceptance.
Max: Let's talk about some feelings in music. On your latest release there are two special songs of which one stands for a huge atmosphere with eerie vocals ("Framtidsutsikter") and the other one contains a very nasty and unpleasant riff ("Människotankens Vägglösa Rum"). For me personally, I connect the first one with positive feelings (eerie and hypnotic atmosphere) and the second one with negative ones (it's unbearable). With which one have you rather reached your goal to set me as listener in a specific mood?
Niklas: I would say both results please me actually. Although I find that it's extremely weird that you feel a positive vibe when listening to "Framtidsutsikter", as that particular track is the one that's unbearable for me. However, you know, no matter what feelings my art may stir up inside of each individual listener, that is a blessing in itself as that is proof that it's actually potent enough to have an effect on others. Regardless of what my intentions are…
Max: Why did you cover Rammstein's famous song "Ohne Dich", is it something personal you connect with it?
Niklas: That cover was actually recorded during the Redefining Darkness sessions and was merely used as a bonus feature on the boxset edition of the new album. When we were recording Redefining Darkness we ended up recording six covers as I find recording covers a really good way to learn how to use my voice in different ways than I am normally used to, thereby allowing me to evolve as a singer. I do not wish to comment on the reason for why I chose that particular song though.
Cover of IX - Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends
Max: You have released a video for the opener of the new album, "Vilja & Dröm". The video shows some brutal scenes from different conflicts on this planet. How did you come up with that idea?
Niklas: The lyrics of said song basically deal with a life-long dream of mine and our desire to see the whole world end in a blaze. Therefore, when Martin and I discussed where we were heading with the new video and he was reading the lyrics he suggested we contact a politician friend of mine who happens to have several connections within television, and, through him, purchase enough genuine material that showed where things are heading at this very moment. To explain further would be to kind of ruining a part of the third edition of my book "When Prozac No Longer Helps" which will be released at the end of the year, so therefore I choose silence for now.
Max: Are you pleased with the result?
Niklas: I am, although I wish we could have had more time to work on it but as both Martin and I are extremely busy with other things on the side, with me focusing on the promotional side and he working steady for another band, time was not really much of a luxury we could afford.
Max: Speaking of conflicts, have you got an opinion about politics and the different crises that are going on now?
Niklas: There are so many conflicts going on as we speak it's quite hard to tell them apart, but ultimately, it does not bother me nor affect me in any serious way. I am also not interested in other people's filthy opinions and honestly do not put any emphasis on who oppose who. I strive and pray for Total Death, not selective extermination.
Max: Ok we're almost done here. Last thing I'm interested in is the songwriting process for Shining. How do the ideas evolve from scratches over rehearsals to final versions? And has this changed over the years?
Niklas: Since the birth of this band I have been pretty much responsible for almost every single note, arrangement and execution where I've basically been writing an album inside of my head, booked a studio and gotten people to help me out with any instrumentation I myself cannot handle. Things have changed over the years though, and the most significant change is that I actually wrote this new album together with our guitarist Euge, which was one hell of a change but a necessary one as he was the one who got me out of the two yearlong writer's block that followed the Redefining Darkness sessions. Without him, I would probably not have gotten this album made for many years to come. As for rehearsals, we never do things like that. And even if we would like to it would be extremely hard as we all live in different countries and don't meet each other except when standing on stage and the brief moments before and after.
Max: Thank you again for this interview. Famous last words are yours.
Niklas: Thanks for the support! We're heading out on tour in August and will be infecting most parts of the world in support of the new album, so apart from making sure you fucking buy a copy, also make sure to attend when we're holding a ceremony near you!
We will happily gravely do so!
Posted on 02.07.2015 by
"The future is not guaranteed, all we have is today.
And Today, we have Metal." - Karl Sanders
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