Dead By April are a rock quintet hailing from Gothemburg and are signed to Universal Music. Their album ‘Let The World Know’ was delayed by a few months but eventually when it came out it was worth the wait. We gave the album a 9/10 so make sure you check it out when you can.
We had a chat with guitarist/ songwriter Pontus Hjelm about the release of their album. Check out what happened here.
HTF: For those out there who haven’t heard of Dead By April how would you describe your sound?
Pontus: We would describe it as a flow or mix if you will, of different energies. We perform high speed songs with raging riffs and even blast beats along with big and melodic choruses. We also perform ballads and anything in between. Dead By April is all about contrasts. In addition, deep and substantial lyrics is really important to us. That’s what one can expect listening to Dead By April for the first time.
HTF: You’ve just released your new album titled “Let The World Know”, which has reached #1 on the Swedish hard rock charts, congratulations on that. It’s like you’re letting the world know what Dead By April are capable of. Did you expect such a good reaction while recording the album?
P: Thanks! You never know what to expect when working on a new album. It’s really important that we as a band are satisfied with every aspect of the album performance. But to get this kind of response and success is very humbling. We try to show or appreciation back as much as we can to our fans and people in general by communicating personally through all of our social media forums.
HTF: Can you tell us a bit about the album; the inspiration behind it?
P: As a songwriter my (Pontus Hjelm) biggest inspiration is Michael Jackson. But if we dig deeper into the lyrics of the album and look at songs like ->
* As A Butterfly; It’s inspired by the passing of a loved one, relative or friend. Without getting a chance to say a proper goodbye before it’s too late.
* Abnormal; It’s about bullying. Explaining the destructive forces behind it. How it greatly affect people’s lives to the worse. Even to the point where some people choose to commit suicide. Often younger kids. It’s insane. We all need to step up and fight against this negative force.
* Beautiful Nightmare; Is heavily inspired by the book ”50 Shades Of Gray” by E.L James.
HTF: Sweden is well known for being one of the pioneers of heavy music. How has this influenced your sound and musical journey?
P: I’m not sure actually. I don’t think I can give a concrete answer to that. Maybe it has affected me in a sub-conscious kind of way.
HTF: Has bringing in Christoffer on vocals changed the vibe/ sound of the band?
P: It has not changed the sound at all. The Dead By April sound is very much still there. If anything, Christoffer enhances it. Plus the band vibe is better than ever now. Feels like a family.
HTF: You’ll be touring across Europe in March, which new tracks are you most excited to debut to the live audience?
P: Well, my personal favorite is As A Butterfly. However, I think Same Star will be much fun to perform live. It’s packed with energy!
HTF: What are some crazy things on your rider?
P: I wouldn’t consider anything on our rider being crazy actually. Some typical examples is: Sandwiches, protein shakes/bars, coffee, tea, batteries, ginger (for treating the throat), and other types of food etc. We like food. So you be the judge
HTF: What are some of your must-haves while on the road?
P: Definitely a laptop packed with movies, series, games etc. A small rehearsal setup to be able to play together as warm up before shows. Oh, and my special ear-plugs to ensure I get enough sleep on the tour bus. They cut out 25db. Otherwise the diesel engine of the bus and the snoring onboard will shake my head all night.
HTF: When you’re not out on tour what are some of the things you enjoy doing? Or do you have some side jobs?
P: I work as a songwriter/producer in my studio when I’m not on the road. Other than we like to go to the gym a lot.
HTF: You partook in Eurovision last year. How was that journey?
P: It was an interesting experience. We got the chance to perform to several millions of TV-viewers. Also meeting up with other artists, musicians and people in general was a lot of fun.
HTF: You’ve toured a lot of different countries, last year you even toured on a boat. Are there some countries/ certain venues you still aspire to play?
P: We definitely want to go back to the USA! We played at Webster Hall in New York and it was amazing to see all the DBA-fans that came to the show. They all new the lyrics of every song and they went all in, all night.
HTF: You’ve made a name for yourselves in Europe and the UK, but bands are always looking to “break” the States, so to say. How is that going for you guys?
P: We recently signed with Spine Farm (Universal) in the US. This year it will be very exciting to see what we can come up with. You’ll definitely see more of us over there this year!
HTF: What will 2014 look like for Dead By April?
P: 2014 means more hard work, It will be a very busy year. For sure.
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