In light of the recent release of Åskväder’s self-titled debut, I had a chat with the guys from this exciting trio, about what’s it like to publish a debut album, how to develop a signature sound, and more.
Hello, I’m Rick. With whom am I speaking? Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi there, this is Martin Gut, guitarist of Åskväder. We are a power trio hailing from the windy shores of Gothenburg, Sweden. We play rock ‘n roll with big choruses and catchy riffs. We have been around since late 2017 and the other guys playing are Jon Solheim on lead vocals and drums and Staffan Persson on bass.
Did any of you have previous experiences with publishing an album, other than your EP, or is this the first time for everybody?
This is the first time for Jon and I to publish an LP, Staffan already has with his other band Let Them Hang, both Jon and I have released albums but only on CD before with bands like Devilicious, Dödaren and Nevärlläjf. The LP format however is new for us and it really feels grand to do it!
The band’s style is classic, hard hitting, hard rock. How did you develop your own style and sound?
The music is influenced by the music that we all like to listen to – this means a lot of different styles and genres, from jazz to thrash and black. Mostly I am responsible for writing the songs and you could say that these influences combined with how I play make the songs what they are. Then of course a big part of the sound is colored by Staffan’s thundering bass lines and Jon’s hard-hitting drum style and soulful voice.
What is the driving force behind your music? Where does the energy, the inspiration comes from?
In my opinion good rock ‘n roll songs are full of energy themselves, so that kind of comes naturally when you create a nice riff or a cool chorus. The inspiration however comes from life itself, everyday stuff and situations we have to deal with. The power of the riff is of course a central part, and to be honest a riff can pop up in my thoughts while showering, going to the supermarket or driving! The main drive for us is that we really love this kind of music and that it is great fun to play!
So far, what is your favourite song that you’ve released? Mine is a toss-up between “Quick Fixes”, and “God’s Grace”.
Cool to hear, “Quick Fixes” is a favourite for many of our fans – a song we always play live. I would say I am really happy with how “God’s Grace” and “Nothing To Lose” turned out but [I] also really like “Bit My Lip”.
Overall, what was the easiest and the hardest thing to do while writing and recording?
The hardest part was of course to find time to do it, we are scattered a bit geographically and have full time jobs, which means there was a bit of planning needed to succeed. The writing process is constant, so I always have a bunch of new songs in the loop and this feels like the easiest part. As soon as we got in to the studio though, everything went smooth and we had a great time.
Sweden has always been known for its music, first with classic rock acts such as Europe and Yngwie Malmsteen, and later for its death metal bands such as Entombed, Amon Amarth and many others; recently, Ghost has become very popular too. How do you see the Swedish music scene nowadays? How do you fit into it?
I would say that the rock genre currently is blooming on a small scale here with a lot of great bands, interested fans and also more and more interest from the general public. We are of course a small player in this segment but are really happy about the level of support that we receive, both from our record label but also from our fan base. Rock ‘n roll is clearly dead as they say but the people listening to it are really devoted. For that we are thankful and we think that our style fits good in the current scene.
Last question: is Åskväder touring somewhere this summer?
We have some plans for this but unfortunately right now everything is a bit on hold due to the Corona-virus. As soon as we can we will confirm some dates and more info! Bands, fans and the industry needs to stick together and help each other out during these hard times.
Indeed, this epidemic has inflicted a hard blow on the music industry, so it’s more important than ever to support bands and artists. “Åskväder”, released on March 13th, is out now; you can find it on Bandcamp, and you can follow the band on Facebook and Instagram.