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Interviews   

Transatlantic touched by Gildenlöw’s grace


Daniel Gildenlöw is gifted. Daniel Gildenlöw is clever. Daniel Gildenlöw is funny. Daniel Gildenlöw is handsome. So what are the qualities left for us that Daniel Gildenlöw would not have? This man must have some hidden vices. The whole picture is too perfect to be true and it is obvious that somewhere, in order to restore the balance, Daniel Gildenlöw hides an awful flaw, something totally unbearable and disgusting! But the guy is hiding it well! And it is not today that this meeting will help you to get the answer.

Daniel Gildenlöw is the amazing Pain Of Salvation’s frontman. A band put into the – too restricted- category of progressive metal and who released this year Road Salt One, a record inspired by the glorious Seventies. But here again it is not really the subject of our interview. We will have time to talk deeper about it later on since Road Salt Two will be released by the end of the year.

No, because it is really in a Transatlantic performance that we met this Apollo. So, for us it was much more relevant to ask him about his own vision as an outsider, a talented jack-of-all-trades, a real entertainer, of this « super band ». Despite the fact that this interview was 100 % improvised, one cannot but notice that as usual, Daniel does not disappoint.

Judge for yourself :

 » I have the strong belief that by default every religion must be wrong. Imagine two people coming from a two dimensional universe and get to see two sides of the cylinder. However, the concept of the cylinder is just too difficult to grasp for a two dimensional being. One of the people will see a rectangle and the other person will see a circle, but they can’t understand that these two shapes can be the same shape, which will cause them to argue for the rest of their lives. That is religion to me. « 

Radio Metal : What was your role as the fifth member on this Transatlantic album? ?

Daniel Gildenlöw : On the album I didn’t do anything. They just called me in to play all of that stuff that they played on the album except that they don’t have enough arms to do that live. They just put too much stuff in the albums (laughs).

Would you be interested to play in a studio with them?

It could be fun.

Have you talked about it?

No. From a time point of view, I have so many other things going on at the moment. It would be fun though.

Almost each member of Transatlantic is the leader of his separate own band. How difficult can it be to play with all of those egos?

I think ten years ago, for the first tour, people’s egos were a lot more visible. You could feel that people were used to being very dominant in their own bands. I don’t know if it’s because everyone is ten years older now but there is a much more relaxed feeling. Everything has merged in a smooth and nice way because everyone seems to be happy in this context.

Since he came up with the albums and the ideas, could it be said that Neal Morse is the leader of this band?

Both Neal and Mike are very dominant in a way. I know that they have all contributed lots of music for the album, so even though the proposition came from that direction, I think that everyone came up with some music which they all merged together in the end. Coming in from the outside, you can see that everyone has a different personality. Peter and Roine have more laidback personalities. I think that it could be the result of a cultural thing almost. You have the American way and then there is the Scandinavian – North European way, and they have different ways of making their will come through. It could be said that people work in less obvious ways.

Neal is very dedicated to religion. He mentions it a lot in his solos albums and Transatlantic. Obviously this is not your case…

No (laughs). I have the strong belief that by default every religion must be wrong. The whole idea is impossible to grasp. I made a parable about it on the BE album with Pain of Salvation. It features the idea that if you picture two people coming from a two dimensional universe and they get to see two sides of the cylinder. However, the concept of the cylinder is just too difficult to grasp for a two dimensional being. One of the people will see a rectangle and the other person will see a circle, but they can’t understand that these two shapes can be the same shape, which will cause them to argue for the rest of their lives. That is religion to me.

Did you tell Neal about your thoughts on religion?

(laughs) We haven’t had any religious discussions yet.

You said that you were not involved in the writing of the album. It seems that on stage the songs can sound a bit different. Did you bring any ideas forward for the live performance?

I play my stuff as I play it, but especially for The Whirlwind, I patched in some stuff that needed to be patched in there. I sing in a few parts and I have a very different voice to most of the guys in the band, so from that point of view there is a difference. The older songs that are featured in the second set have more of my guitar playing in them I guess. However, for me it’s interesting to learn the music the way it was originally written. Roine has a way of playing that involves playing a lot with the three top strings and the three basic notes, but this is a playing style that I have never adopted myself. As a result, I have had to adapt a lot to that which I think is a lot of fun because it gives you another perspective on the instrument that you are playing. I like getting into the songs from the outside and having to look at them in a new way.

As an outsider who has only come to play live with this band, do you get bored of having to go on tour with them only as a guest?

On the tour I really feel that we are a family and they are always stressing that point by shouting “we’re five people in this band!” (laughs). I feel very welcome and they constantly tell me to take up more space on stage. In the beginning, you feel a nice change from your regular routine. For example, in Pain of Salvation, I do everything and I am responsible for everything. So at the start it’s nice to see things from the other side and it allows you a vacation in a way. However at this point, I am starting to get my fingers itching into wanted to go back to Pain of Salvation.

« On the tour I really feel that we are a family and they are always stressing that point by shouting “we’re five people in this band!” (laughs). I feel very welcome and they constantly tell me to take up more space on stage. »

Let’s go back to the subject of religion. We have a hard rock festival called Hellfest and every year there are Christian organisations protesting against it by stating that its nature is Satanic. What are your thoughts on this subject?

Well it would be different if the festival stated “we are called Hellfest and it is a festival devoted to Satan!”. The metal scene has always been full of Satanic iconology or symbolism and just lots of props really. We highlight things that are cool but there isn’t much depth in it. I think that in this situation it is the same because Hellfest appears to be cool. I have 666 in my phone number but I’m not a Satanist! (laughs). It’s ridiculous but it’s fun. Hard rock and metal are just like that and about black stuff and the symbolism of good and evil etc.

This seems obvious but the politicians don’t see it like that…

You know what I would do? If I was the guy at the head of Hellfest, I would change the name to Heavenfest to make a point. Then I could say, “alright now it’s called Heavenfest, are you satisfied now?” (laughs).

You just finished touring with Pain of Salvation and now you are touring with Transatlantic. According to the fact that the Pain of Salvation album Road Salt One has just been released, you will probably go on tour again very soon. Do you ever get to rest?

No, not really. The thing is that when I get back home, I need to finish Road Salt Two so that will be in June or July. After that, our guitar player is having a baby so we have two months in which we cannot tour. So I think that the first available period for touring would be October, but at that point we will be getting quite close to when Road Salt Two has to be released.

(he yawns) I’m sorry. With these long sets we are going to bed at about 5 AM at the earliest because we play until midnight or even later and then we have to have showers, pack the stuff and go to the bus. Pete can go to bed directly, but I can’t. I need some sort of winding down period where I maybe watch some television or sit and talk. A few more hours always just disappear at that point.

Anyway, I don’t know when we are going to tour. Hopefully it will be at the end of the year. I just know that there will not be any rest in between that time.

What can you tell us about this new Pain of Salvation album?

There is a lot of vintage and 70s material in there. I’m so sick and tired of the new sound, even though it isn’t even new anymore. The heavy bass, trigger drums and samples with lots of low end and lots of high end, so everything is nice and cosy etc. I need to bleed and sweat. So I’ve tried to go back to a more 70s kind of sound so that I can still be moved by the songs.

You said that the album was inspired by the 70s but with a Pain of Salvation sound. Is this a way to revisit the 70s?

I came to the point when I was thinking that I wasn’t touched by any music anymore. I hear music and I think “that’s a good song” but it doesn’t move me or tell me anything. I realised when I listen to 70s music, even when the song is bad, the music always gets to me and it makes a difference to me. I felt that this was because of the way that they were playing. A lot of times, the music was played together in the studio and they didn’t just pick everything apart. The drums were really dry and they didn’t compress each individual drum microphone that much, so instead they compressed the whole drum kit, leaving in the dynamics of the playing. This is what I like.

Do you think that this way of playing no longer exists and will never come back?

Usually when I like something and I start doing it, two years later other people are doing it. This isn’t because they are listening to us but because I seem to pick up on these things. For example, it’s like when the disco theme came back. I’m just glad My Disco Queen was delayed for almost two or three years because it was written much sooner but it ended up on Scarsick and the timing was much better. I’m expecting more vintage 70s recording to come out.

Do you feel that you were born at the wrong time and you should have been born in the 60s to enjoy the shows of those 70s bands?

Sometimes, but then that would mean that I would be 50 years old now so I’m happy from that point of view (laughs). It would be cool just to go back and visit, go see some shows and then hopefully come back again.

Interview conducted on may 15th, 2010 by Metalo’ Phil & Gaël
Introduction by Spaceman

MySpace Transatlantic : www.myspace.com/transatlanticprog
MySpace Pain Of Salvation : www.myspace.com/painofsalvation



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