2015-07-26 Walking With Strangers

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WALKING WITH STRANGERS took their time to write and record "Terra". The swedish metalcore band delivered a very solid album, so it has been time well spent. Mikael Noren (dr.) talked with about their latest tour with TEXAS IN JULY and CHELSEA GRIN, the future plans of the band, and the state of the music industry. Interview

Your latest album "Terra" has been released a while ago - how's the feedback from fans and media so far?


It's been good for the most part. Of course you are gonna get some shit reviews here and there, but all in all it's been closer to 10/10 than 5/10 out of the reviews we’ve seen. The fans have seemed to enjoy it as well which is the most important part of it all. Magazines and all that ’setting scores on music’ is something that has always been weird for me. Music is a bit of a personal thing to me, how things speak to the individual. So what one person might hate the next one could love. For us it's only the fans reactions that count, cause in the end of the day they are the one that keeps this 'train' running.


Do you read reviews, comments (i.e. on Facebook), or internet forums about WALKING WITH STRANGERS? Do you care about it?


We read them from time to time, some of us more than others. Reviews we don't think that much about as I said. It's always fun when you get great scores but that is more of a ego boost than anything else. We look more on the fans reactions, what they like and what they would like to see more of in the future. I won't lie though, for the most part when we write music we write what we like and what we can stand for. But we surely take some of the comments from fans into consideration when writing new songs.


Did "Terra" turn out the way you envisioned it during the songwriting and recording process?


Songwriting yes, recording it yes. But the mix could have been better in our own opinion. It could be a situation where we actually produce and mix our pre prods in a way where it sounds so good it could actually be released with that mix. So we get used to it and how prominent some leads/synths etc etc are. And when we then go to another producer it changes the vision a bit from what we had originally thought since he sets his mark on it. Next time we will probably hit up a studio from the start, record it and let the producer be apart of the whole process from start to finish. This time around (as with Hardships) we record everything by our self home in Sweden then we re-amped it in the states and mixed it there as well - only corresponding via emails and Skype, and it just gets tricky at some points. Not blaming the producer or the studio at all, it was just not ideal this time around for us.


Which song has become your personal favourite?


Changes from day to day, right now Im really looking forward to adding Carry the World to the setlist. We did not play that song on the Texas In July tour (not sure why tbh) but Im sure that track will kill it live.


You've released "Terra" via Burning Heart Records - why did you decide to work with the returned Swedish label?


Well, Burning Heart has a such longer and deeper history than most people know. To keep it short Peter Ahlqvist was the founder of Burning Heart. Epitaph then bought the company and Peter went on to found Panic And Action Records who we signed with back in 2011 and released our debut Hardships. When we approached Peter about having a new record coming he told us that he had the rights back for the Burning Heart name, which we of course was thrilled to hear about since it is a legendary label. So for us it was not really a label change more than there are a few more people involved in Burning Heart than in Panic And Action which feels great.



You're currently touring Europe with CHELSEA GRIN and TEXAS IN JULY. How's the tour going? Which has been the best so far?


Back home now when Im writing this. We had a blast. Summer tours is so much more enjoyable than winter tours. The shows might be a bit smaller but you wont have to freeze your ass of just going outside of the venue for a quick walk.


The shows where great, our favourite was probably in Zurich. Sold out show, sick crowd and it's always a plus when the venue has a river just outside the front door where you literally could walk off stage and just jump in to cool off.


Do you enjoy touring at all?


Haha short answer, fuck yes! Long answer, if you don't enjoy touring and are in a band why even do it? For us rehearsing and recording is more a process to get to that golden pot at the end of the rainbow, which in this case is touring. We love being out on the road meeting fans, party and sleep under shitty circumstances. That's why we do what we do.


Did you consider turning WALKING WITH STRANGERS into a full-time touring band?


It's always been the goal so hopefully we can make it happen at some point but with the industry being as it is it will be hard. To quote JJ Peters "But a motherfucker still got bills to pay"


Related to that: what are your plans for the next months with the band?


Right now we will just enjoy that short summer we get up here in Sweden and look a bit on what we will do this fall. We have several ideas for tours just gotta see where it lands so we will deff hit the road this fall at some point.


How often do you hang out with your band mates when you're back home?


Sadly not as much as we should or would like to. I live way up in Stockholm while the others are based in Gothenburg & Trollhättan. So once we all meet up it's more a situation that we need to rehearse or do some other band work.


How important is WALKING WITH STRANGERS in your personal life?


It affects pretty much everything, we have to plan everything from regular vacations with family and friends around the band. Having a steady work back home is hard as well since we are a bit more demanding than the regular employee. Other than that, right now I don't think any of us would be the persons that we are today without Walking With Strangers. So it's definitely something that has set a mark on our life. Nothing weird about it though, since it has been such a major part of our lives for so long now.



The last words are yours...


So yeah, we just had a new album that came out please pick it up on iTunes, or you can pick the physical release over at Impericon, plus some sweet threads.

If you download it (illegally) and like it you better get your ass out to a show when we come to a town near you. You will have to stand in the front (not in the back with your hands in your pockets) and sing along. That's the price you have to pay when you want to get your music cheap. We got a deal? Cool!


See you soon!