CHRIS ADAM HEADMAN SÖRBYE INTERVIEW
We spoke to Chris Adam from Swedish rock band Smash Into Pieces ahead of their last night on tour in the UK. Their new album The Apocalypse DJ is out now.
Photogroupie: How has the tour been going?
Adam: It's been going well. The UK audiences have received us really well It's a big thing for me to end the tour in London, it's a good feeling and we'll be here again sooner than anybody thinks.
PG: You're new album is called The Apocalypse DJ, what does that mean to you?
A: It's a really personal thing, he is the guy or the thing up there that has made the way for us to meet up as a band and make these songs together. He's like the maker of Smash Into Pieces and without him and rock 'n' roll music, I would probably be dead or in jail. It's a really big thing for me and the band. We're thinking of making a mascot or something to show everybody just how big a deal it is.
PG: Talk me through the sound and style you were hoping to achieve with this album.
A: When we were making Unbreakable, Benjamin and Per wrote a lot of those songs at home sitting on the couch. This time we wanted to get the live feeling and show what Smash Into Pieces is all about. It's a very different thing to listen to the record and to actually see the band live. When we did Unbreakable we would get a lot of comments from people saying that listening to the record and seeing the band live was like two different worlds, we wanted to erase that comment. For Apocalypse DJ we wanted to give the feeling that you were standing there watching the band. That's the biggest transformation between the two albums.
PG: That really comes across on the album, it's really energetic and full of life!
A: You know this album took half the time of the Unbreakable. It's not a perfect recording because we wanted that raw feeling. Like for the vocals we didn't do 15 takes, we maybe did 4 to try and get that live feel and to move around in the songs.
PG: We know it's hard to choose, but do you have a favourite track on the album?
(Long pause - we wonder if we might have been cut off...)
A: Wow, that's hard...It depends what I'm doing. If I'm working out Stronger or Don't Wake Me Up are my favourite songs. If I just want to listen to something slower Reaching Out, I really love that track. There's a song on our first album called Come Along and they are quite similar in the way they are recorded. Of course My Cocaine with Elize (Ryd from Amaranthe) that collaboration is breathtaking. We were so happy that she wanted to do it, she's been very supportive of us.
PG: That's actually our favourite track from the album.
A: Really, thanks!
PG: You mentioned Amaranthe, who are also from Sweden. There's a huge rock and metal scene over there with some great bands like Sabaton and Ghost. Why do you think the genre is so popular over there?
A: You know I don't know, I really don't know. Sweden is by far the biggest music expo in the world when it comes to that sort of music, we just have that sort of culture, we love the melodic stuff. There are so many bands in Sweden, everybody I know plays guitar of drums or something. We are really into our music and melody. Our language is very melodic when we talk, so I think it's a natural thing for us to be melodic.
PG: How do you think things would have turned out if Smash Into Pieces had stayed on the TV show Sweden's Got Talent and not left before the semi finals?
A: (laughing) Let's not talk about that! It was so early in our career. When we got to the next level in this contest we though it could be a good thing, but it could also haunt us forever. So we dropped out. I think it was a good thing to have been in that national competition because now we know that it's not our thing. It was good experience, but we just wanted to find the right path.
PG: What album changed your life?
A: Oh my god that has to be Vulgar Display Of Power By Pantera.
PG: We knew you were going to say that from your tattoos.
A: Yeah my whole fucking arm is Pantera!
PG: It is a great album!
A: You know when I heard the first track on that album I was about 13 or 14 years old. I was living at home with my Mum and her Boyfriend was a real rocker, a real rock and metal guy. He said to me 'I don't want to hear your hip hop and trance music all day, just listen to this!' He made me go to my room and listen to it, when I left that room, my whole world changed. From that day on I listened to rock music! I'm really open to other types of music, but I love rock music - it's who I am. I had really bad self confidence when I was a little kid, I didn't know what to do in the world, I hated everything, I dropped out of school. I didn't think I had a future and I have ADHD too, so my whole childhood was really tough. When I started playing with this band things started opening up for me and now I know what I was born to do. Born to rock!
PG: What's the most outrageous rock n roll thing you or the band have done?
A: You know we're not into partying so much, we're into working hard. Of course we've gone to parties and got drunk or whatever. Maybe the craziest thing we have done outside parties was this one show in Sweden when we had 3 shows on one day and driving over 200 miles! That was pretty mad. I've seen other bands and people doing lots of crazy stuff I'm not into all that myself. I'm the one that remembers things.
PG: With all the hard work the band is doing, what's next?
A: World domination! (He laughs) I'm so blessed to be in this position
performing and touring with my band to see people singing along and to hear people come up to you after a show and say how the music has helped them or changed their life that's the biggest thing you can hear. We're noticing that people are spreading the word for us in every town we visit, it's a good start for us. We haven't sold out shows in Europe but we're big in Sweden, Finland and Japan but this is our first time in here. It doesn't matter if there's 80 people, 150 people of 50,000 because we really love to play. To see that people are here for us at our shows and are singing along it means a lot to us. The next step is to bring even more people to the shows and do another European or UK tour in October or November and support a headline band or co-headline. We need to build a fan base in Europe and it's going fast. We have a lot of plans, we have some music videos coming out, then we have a Swedish and Finnish tour, some festivals in Sweden and go to America. We are very excited about what's happening right now.