* Hello guys and thanks for having a quick chat with me!
– Hi, the pleasure is ours!
* For most Stargazed Magazine readers Enemy Within is a new acquaintance but you´ve actually been around for quite some time. Tell us a little about your history, members and your influences.
– Ok, we can start from the beginning, says Andreas. It started back in the summer 2007 when myself and the Svedberg brothers Simon and Robin wanted to start a band. We started from zero and I picked up the drums, Simon the guitar and Robin the bass. In the beginning we just played covers in my father’s garage.
– The fall of 2007, Daniel Jonsson joined us as our second guitarist, Simon says. We were the core of the band with different singers joining us to and forth until 2010 when Daniel Lindgren joined the band. That’s when the sound started to venture away from the Thrash metal sound we played in the beginning and more towards Power metal.
– During that period we released two EP:s, Andreas continues. The first one more thrash metal “Our Dark History” (2011) and the second “Angel Of Fear” (2012) was more towards power metal.
– Funnily enough, Hannes was involved in those in some way or another before he joined the band, says Andreas.
– Hannes joined us in 2012 as a keyboard player, but is now our singer because Daniel wanted to play more keyboard, Simon continues. By then our sound started becoming more heavy due to us using more growl in the songs. This line-up also released the EP “Into the Dark”, which we released digitally in 2015.
– This line-up stayed together until 2016, when Daniel Jonsson chose to quit due to musical differences, says Andreas. In order to avoid auditioning for a new guitar player, Hannes picked up the guitar while also singing. Since then we have worked our way towards “Fallen”, which is where we are today!
* Besides being a memorable year for all the worst reasons, 2020 also comes with positives and that includes the release of your excellent debut album “Fallen” that comes out on June 19th. Give us your thoughts about the inception and production of this fine disc. How did Teddy Möller (ex- Mayadome, Loch Vostock) become involved as producer?
– It started with us deciding that, after all these years, we should release an album, Robin says. We have played with each other for a long time and we were proud of the material we had, so we saw no reason not to make a record!
– The reason Teddy (Möller) got involved was that we had reached out to him about mixing our first EP back in 2011, says Andreas. So we already had a good relationship with him, and we know he is familiar with the metal scene and how it’s supposed to sound.
– So we reached out to him and he wanted to do it! We think he did a really amazing job, Simon adds.
– The recording process took about a year, Simon continues. We chose to record as much as we could at our homes instead of booking a studio to record in. Mainly to keep the costs down and to record everything in our own pace.
– The only time we went to a studio was to record the drums, Hannes adds.
* “Fallen” is not a concept album per se but follows a theme. Can you tell us a bit about that?
– “Fallen” actually started out as a concept album, heavily influenced by Seventh Wonder’s “Mercy Falls”, but inverted, says Daniel. Instead of a father being in a coma after a car accident, our main character lost his family in one. The story was supposed to be about him trying to cope with the loss and guilt.
Somewhere in the process we stepped away from the story, focusing more on the theme of an “inner enemy”. On “Fallen”, that enemy is the human mind. Touching subjects such as addiction, anger, delusions and regret, we explore how our brains cope with the loss of those we love.
* Labels in the metal genre as a whole is somewhat of a rabbit hole since there is dozens upon dozens of them. You guys seems somewhat reluctant to label your music however. How come?
– It’s just that we haven’t really labeled our music, Daniel says. The last time we put a label on us was when we played Thrash. Since then we haven’t really felt the need for it.
– We´ve been venturing a lot into power metal, Simon says. However, we aren’t exactly that genre because we use growl vocals as much as we do.
It is kind of hard to label yourself, Simon continues. You lock yourself in that certain frame of reference and you open up for other people to question the genre that you have given yourself.
– We play caramelized deathprog! Daniel says and laughs.
* One of my favorite tracks on the album is the sublime epic “The Storm of Ares” and that got me thinking, which of the songs are older one and which are new-ish?
– Glad you like that one, Daniel says. It was a an “experimental” track, meant to stick out a bit. It is also one of the newest songs, together with the opening track “Lamentations”.
“Into the Dark” and “Mirror of Illusions” are both from our EP from 2015, so they are a bit older. The oldest song is “Fire”, which was written back in 2012.
* You´ve worked your asses off when it comes to harmonies, both vocal- and instrumental and there are some really stellar arrangements on “Fallen”. Do you work to a set formula when writing or arranging or is the process different each time?
– It depends, says Daniel. Many things are already planned out in the foundation of the song when we start to work with it.
– Usually Daniel comes with a framework for a song, Andreas continues. Then we play around with it, reflect over the different parts and the arrangements and then change what we feel needs to be changed. Some parts are removed, some are added and certain songs sound completely different from when we started working with them.
– The vocal harmonies however almost always get planned out during recording, says Hannes. That’s when we really notice what’s missing vocally and what could fill out the space.
For example, the choir in the chorus of “The Storm of Ares” came to us during the recording of the album!
* Since touring and playing gigs this year seems to be off the board and highly unlikely to say the least, if you could pick a couple of bands to tour with, who would you most like to see on such a bill?
– I wouldn’t mind headlining “The big Four”, Daniel says and laughs.
– We haven’t really thought that far ahead, says Andreas. We haven’t really toured in that sense, but touring with Evergrey and Loch Vostok wouldn’t be half bad!
– I believe Amorphis or Soilwork would’ve worked really good with our music, Says Robin.
– I think a tour with “The Haunted” or “Meshuggah” would work great, says Simon.
* To round things off, what is in store for Enemy Within in the foreseeable future?
– Well… Since live shows are out of the picture we will try to push and market “Fallen” as much as we can until June 19th when it’s released! Simon says.
– Meanwhile we get together and work with our showmanship, the live experience as a whole and how we can improve it, says Andreas. When things have calmed down we hope that we can travel around and perform the album!
– We are also working on new material which, hopefully, won’t take ten years to record!
* Ok, thanks guys! It was a pleasure to talk to you and good luck with the sales and reception of “Fallen”!
– Thanks for the question and thank you for your time!
“Fallen” comes out on the 19th of June 2020 on CD and streaming platforms.
/Marty Methuselah Nygren
* Hello guys and thanks for having a quick chat with me!