Swedish band The Dagger will release its debut album next month on June 30. Tobias Cristiansson gives us some details about this new band.
Hello how are you?
Tobias “Tobbe” Cristiansson (bass): Hi there, I’m fine. I’m at home doing interviews today and in a few days I will go with Grave to do two festivals, one in Germany and the other in Czech Republic, so I’m keeping myself busy.
Your debut album will be out next month, you must be excited right?
T: Absolutely! It feels so good to finally have it out. We have been waiting so long for this. I’m also excited to hear the reactions from people who listen to the album. We have an exciting time in front of us.
So some of the tracks were written in 2008 but the album is only coming this year, why did you wait for so long to make this really happen?
T: We formed in 2009 and that’s when we started to write our songs, so all of the songs on the album I think are written between 2009 and 2010. The most difficult task for us was to find the correct singer. People like Jani Kataja is very rare these days, he have this perfect classic hard rock voice that we wanted to have but it took us a few years before we finally found the right guy for the job. Over the years we just kept on rehearsing and working on the songs and trying to get better as musicians. When we had Jani on-board we started to record what would be our debut album but we didn’t yet have a record deal so it also took us time to sort that out before we landed a deal with Century Media Records and also the recording to a bit longer then planned to finish. But now we´re here and we are happy that we finally will have our album out.
By the way, “The Dagger”, what does it represent for you? Why did you choose this name? Which dagger could that be?
T: It’s just a cool simple name. It’s hard hitting and easy to remember. It was actually Nicke Andersson (Imperial State Electric, ex Hellacopters, ex Entombed) that came up with the idea for that name. We thought about it for a while and then we came to the conclusion that it was the best name ever. I’m surprised that not many bands at all have already used that name. In these days it’s very hard to find a name that’s not already taken by another band already.
Nowadays, there are tons of bands playing “vintage” way, aren’t you afraid to get classified this way?
T: I see that we can stand on our own legs. Of course we have our influences and the sound is not exactly modern, but I see it more as something timeless. As far as I’m concerned the best sounding albums came out in the 70´s and 80´s. We don’t want to reproduce something that has already been made but we want to borrow some influences from those old bands and create something that can also be relevant today. I don’t want to put The Dagger in a certain genre, I think we play classic hard rock and heavy metal. After we formed our band we started to notice a lot of other bands coming out that also were drawing their influences from the past but I think we are more diverse then a lot of others.
Can we define The Dagger’s music as a tribute to those legendary bands?
T: I think you will here where we come from when it comes to our influences, it’s pretty obvious, but like I said I feel like we also have an individual sound. We take our influences from a little bit here and there and then we put it together and try to create something of our own with it.
Is there a specific track that you really like over the rest? If yes, which one and why?
T: A lot of the tracks feels really good to me, and they mean a lot to me. But one that I think turned out really good is “Ballad Of An Old Man”. I wrote all the music to that one and also the first outtake of the lyrics, then both David and Fred arranged the lyrics so they we fitting to the song more rhythmical. It’s nice to have a ballad on the album to show our softer side too, and that’s something that we were not afraid to do. The atmosphere of the song is really nice and my parts of the lyrics that I wrote is about the loneliness and melancholy that you can feel when you are on the road sometimes. I’m looking forward to play Ballad of an old man live.
Which bands did you listen lately? Are there any young Swedish bands that you liked recently?
T: I’m really bad with catching up on new bands lately so I’m sorry but I don’t have any cool bands to recommend really. I know that there is a lot of young bands out there but I’m just not to good with getting into that. The stuff I have been listening to lately is the same as always; Riot, old live recordings with Deep Purple and also Whitesnake, Scorpions and so on. Sometimes I have periods when I listen more to one band but right now there is nothing special.
Do you think that it’s hard to innovate heavy metal music in some point? Finding new way of making metal? (I don’t talk about extreme or –core metal) Because in a few years, nowadays pioneers will retire and there is no real BIG main acts in the new generation, what do you think?
T: Musically I feel like everything is already done. You can of course try to come up with new ideas and tricks but within heavy metal I think all is done already. What you can do and what we try to do is to keep the legacy of those old bands alive and maybe write songs in that style or tradition. I have also been thinking about what should come next when bands like Maiden, Metallica, Kiss, or AC/DC throw in the towel and I don’t think there will be any bands in that level of success anymore, I think there will be more bands that are famous but they will not get that super big. And within the heavy metal genre I don’t know any young band that can take on that kind of super stardom and play stadium shows anytime soon. I think we will see more of these package deals that we already have seen for a few years now, where some semi big bands get together for a tour or some gigs.
Judas Priest will release a new album this summer, looking forward to it?
T: I have just heard one track so far and it sounded way better then I expected actually. It was very much “Painkiller” of course but I prefer that compared that “Nostradamus” album they did. I have heard some people complaining that they copy themselves now, but they are in this situation that I think people will complain whatever they would do. So I rather have this stuff that sounds like “Painkiller” then another “Nostradamus” album. But that’s just my personal point of view.
So, what are your next plans? Will you tour?
T: We want to play live as much as we can and we have already received some touring offers. We want to wait until we find something good for us and then we have to go out and prove ourselves as a live act. I know that we will kick ass, but not all the people have yet seen that so we have a bit to prove there. I’m really excited to bring The Dagger up on stage.
Finally, we are RockUrLife, so what rocks your life?
T: The world of heavy metal is still rocking my life. I still love to listen and read about the music I love and that is something that I can lose myself in. I still love to go to gigs and see bands I like, or read an interview or listen to albums. I definitely still consider myself as a rocker and that’s something that I don’t want to change.