Interview By Claire Frays
Claire Frays made the trip up and down the many staircases and upstairs secret lairs of Birmingham’s HMV Institute to meet with Jimmie Strimell (Vocals) and Marcus Wesslén (Bass) from Swedish Pop Metal band Dead By April. Here’s what happened....
First of all can I start by asking how the name Dead By April came about?
Jimmie: Actually it was the first Guitar player we had for like one month, he came up with the band name and then he left and we kept the name.
Is there a deeper meaning to it?
Jimmie: We are both like hard metal and really soft pop, so it’s like ‘Dead’ is for the heavy parts and ‘April’ is for the nice parts.
So if I’m correct, this is the first time that you’ve come to the UK for a FULL headlining UK tour. You’ve appeared as a support act for bands My Passion and Skindred in the past. How does it feel to be headlining in the UK?
Marcus: Very Good. It feels absolutely superb
Jimmie: It’s a bit different because at the first show it they were going nuts, they were going crazy, it was the craziest show ever. And it felt really good, because it was the same size show almost as the Skindred shows sometimes and it’s weird because Skindred is English band who have doing this for while so it feels really good.
You released your second album ‘Incomparable’ back in November for the UK and September for Scandinavia. What has the response been from your fans so far?
Jimmie: Crazy good, I think mostly good so far I think.
Marcus: Yeah, really good. If you like the first album, you will probably like this one a bit more.
I noticed that Incomparable had more of a focus on the clean vocals and the synths compared to the first one. (Self-Titled Debut – Dead By April)
Jimmie: I think we tried to make it... because we have two singers now... we tried to make it like... that’s why it’s a bit heavier because I scream most of the times and he sings most of the time, so... but I think that the melodies on the vocals on this one are better than the first one.
I saw that one critic described you as “the Metal version of The Backstreet Boys.” How do you feel about that?
Jimmie: Yeah, we say that as well!
Do you like the Backstreet Boys Songs?
Would you ever like to do a Metal cover of one of their songs?
Jimmie and Marcus (Laugh)
Jimmie: (Laughs) We don’t do covers! We don’t like to do covers, but it would be fun...
Marcus: Except for the Killing Joke song ‘Love Like Blood.’ (Dead By April covered Love Like Blood on their Stronger Compilation album released in January 2011)
What comes first the lyrics or the music?
Jimmie: Pontus does all of the music and me and him we are doing the lyrics together sometimes. But we are... do you mean what I like the most?
When you are writing your albums, do you come up with the lyrics first or the music?
Jimmie: Oh no, first the music!
In 2009, Pontus stepped down from the band to concentrate on his song writing, but he also did some session work for you on the new album and helps with the writing of your songs. Is there any chance that he would make a return full-time to the band in the future, or is he sticking with the song-writing for now?
Jimmie: I think that he’s aiming to do both. I think he wants to try one or two tours and then maybe we will decide together if it is good or not.
Are there any artists or bands that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Marcus: (without hesitation) 30 SECONDS TO MARS!! Linkin Park, Papa Roach... just pick one! (Laughs)
You played at Sonisphere Festival back in 2009, and have appeared at many of the big European festivals. Do you prefer playing the smaller gigs like tonight or at the big festivals?
Jimmie: I like both.
Marcus: For me, I like the festivals a bit more. But this is nice too because you get so close to the audience and it’s packed and yeah.
Jimmie: Of course it is really cool to be playing at the big festivals because you get to meet the bands you liked when you were younger and see them play live and talk to them. And play for a big audience too.
Can we expect to see you at any of the UK’s Festivals this summer like Download Or Sonisphere?
Jimmie: We’re talking about doing some.
Marcus: Hopefully! But it’s too early at the moment.
Jimmie: We don’t decide.
Marcus: No, it’s up to the booking agents and the managers that take part in that. We would definitely like to be at one of those.
What are your plans for after this tour?
Jimmie: Go home and celebrate Christmas!
Jimmie: In February we’re actually gonna play on the Eurovision Song Contest!
Really?! So you’re actually down to play that, or are you still in the stages where people have to vote for you in your own country?
Jimmie: No, we’re actually in it! We have a completely new Dead By April song – it’s not on the album.
What's the craziest story each band member has to share about being with the group?
Jimmie: Yeah, we almost died one time! We had a bit of an older tour bus...
Marcus: Oh yeah...!
Jimmie: ... and we were driving like crazy with all of the gear in the back of the bus and we drove 160 or something and the tyre just exploded so the bus was like bubbling. But Pontus is a strong guy, so he managed to...
Was he driving!
Jimmie: Yeah he was driving.
Did any of the equipment get damaged?
Jimmie: No, so we just had to change the tyres.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s it, but if he had flipped at that speed then there would have been no more Dead By April. That was a close one – STRIKE ONE!
If you could pick any bands to tour with, who would you pick and why?
Marcus: 30 Seconds To Mars because I like them VERY MUCH!
Jimmie: Maybe Backstreet Boys (Laughs)
That would be really good wouldn’t it?! You could do a duet with Nick or maybe show them how to scream!
Jimmie: Yeah! When I was younger they used to call me ‘Little Nick’ because I had the same hair. (Laughs) Blonde.
(Marcus and Jimmie both laugh!) Where would you like to see yourself in the next 2 years?
Jimmie: I would like to do an American Tour. That’s like a dream for me.
What bands do you currently rate? Are there any upcoming Swedish Metal Bands that we should know about?!
Jimmie: I know one actually. As You Drown. They play Deathcore.
Marcus: I have one. They’re Swedish. Marisa Burns Trey – They’re pretty good.
Jimmie: They’re very good actually!
Lastly, do you have anything you’d like to say to the UK fans?
Jimmie: Hope to see you at all our shows and we love you all!