Dynazty is, udeniably, one of the upcoming bands on melodic hard rock/metal music... that comes from Sweden. They’re not a newcomer anymore, as they have already released their third work... gaining more recognition in their own country and in Europe as well. “Sultans Of Sin” is a brilliant melodic hard rock album... which shows that this band can and will offer us many more great things in the future. We interviewed the bassist of the band, Joel Fox Apelgren, so as to learn more things about the band and for their future plans...
Hey Joel… It seems that the third step is the more successful as yet… “Sultans Of Sin” is a wonderful album.
J: Thanks a lot! We are extremely proud of this album, and it really turned out like it was supposed to.
There are a lot of things going on with the band lately… so I’ll start from the fresh news. Tell us about Melodifestivalen 2012. How did you decide to take part and what happened? Was it worth going after all?
J: As you might know, we did the song “This is my Life” in last year’s Melodifestivalen, but we were not in the competition then. We got such great feedback from the producers and the artists, so we felt that it would be awesome to be in the competition for real. It was definitely worth it! One of the coolest things I’ve ever done!
Did you write the song “Land Of Broken Dreams” just for the contest or you had it ready among other songs and chose it for Melodifestivalen 2012?
J: “Land of Broken Dreams” was written by Thomas G-son & Thomas “Plec” Johansson for the combination Dynazty & Melodifestivalen.
What are the things you earned by participating in Melodifestivalen 2012? Do you wish you had made it to the final? Did you want to represent your country in Eurovision Song Contest?
J: Of course we wanted to win the whole thing. We are always very competitive, so we always aim to win, but we knew this would be a tough one. We are very satisfied with how it turned out. Just making it to the second chance from the qualifier in Malmö was huge. What we have earned? A lot of recognition. A lot of people (at least in Sweden) now know who we are!
Some say that the Eurovision Song Contest is a lame elegant party. If more rock or metal bands participated, would things probably be better?
J: As a metal fan I would definitely welcome more metal bands in ESC. Overall it would be great if hard rock & metal was more represented in the big media.
After the Finnish Lordi that took the first place at Eurovision Song Contest… and Wig Wam that represented Norway in 2005… no other rock group made it. Do you believe that people who are participating in this Contest… are far away from rock music?
J: Well, traditionally the competition has been far from rock, but times change, and so should the ESC!
Maybe we should organize a Eurovision Rock Contest… that would have been better for everyone… the nerds with the nerds… and the rockers with the rockers…
J: Eurovision Metal Fest? (i.n.: yeap why not?!!)
Anyhow… let’s talk about the new album. This is your third album… what are those things it has that make it better than the previous one… if you do believe so. Is it a step forward for Dynazty in the end?
J: It has a more modern edge to it, which is exactly what we are going for. The production is really killer thanks to Peter Tägtgren, and our songwriting has improved a lot. We have also cowritten one song with Chris Laney and one song with Nicke Borg (Backyard Babies). It’s definitely a step forward for us, and it feels like we’re finding our way more and more for every album!
Well the title is “Sultans Of Sin”… and I can’t help but ask…. if you were inspired by the Dire Straits song “Sultans Of Swing”. Who are the “Sultans Of Sin”?
J: It’s definitely a little word play with “Sultans of Swing”. We thought it was funny The sultans of sin would refer to us and anyone who can relate to our songs.
On the cover artwork… the band is gambling while the croupier is Charon… what does that imply?
J: If you live like a sultan of sin, death is always watching!
Please give us a hint about each one of the songs…
J: “Come Alive”: Fast-paced classic rocker with some modern elements.
“Raise Your Hands”: Total party anthem! Put it on at any pre-party and everyone will be singing along!
“Land of Broken Dreams”: Super melodic & epic!
“Falling”: A classic moody ballad with some amazing melodies.
“More Than a Man”: A slick but very heavy song. Extremely well played.
“Love Junkie”: A song that hits you like a fist in the face.
“The One to Blame”: Extremely groovy shuffle.
“Back Again”: Beautiful ballad that grows through the entire song.
“Bastards of Rock & Roll”: Another awesome party anthem!
“Sultans of Sin”: A heavy, modern rocker with a huge chorus.
This time you decided to work with the famous producer Peter Tägtgren. Why did you feel the need for a change? Did you achieve the sound that you had in mind finally?
J: Yeah, like I said, we wanted to get a more modern sound. Peter has definitely succeeded, and I hope we can work with him again.
Did the new guitarist Mike Laver bring new elements and some fresh air to the band? I think that he became a part of Dynazty from the very first moment.
J: Mike definitely brings some new elements to the band. We have always written songs for two guitars, so it feels great to have him on board full time. Mike has been a close friend of ours for a very long time, so it feels very natural to have him with us.
Are you totally happy with the final result? The album lasts about 37 minutes… did you make it short on purpose? Did you have any songs that didn’t make it in the album? Do you have any bonus tracks for the Japanese edition?
J: We are very happy! The album is not short on purpose, but we decided not to add songs for the sake of adding songs. We wanted every song on the album to be perfect, and with the time we had that resulted in 10 songs. There’s an extended solo version of “Bastards of Rock & Roll” and an awesome song called “Madness” on the Japanese edition.
Are you planning to release any video clips?
J: Yeah! We will release a video for “Sultans of Sin” very soon. (i.n.: the video has been already released – you can watch it below)
Have you already arranged any live shows for the next months? Are you gonna participate in any Summer Festival?
J: Yeah! We have some cool shows coming up. In May we’re going to London for a special show together with Amaranthe. Then we have the Sweden Rock Festival, which is really awesome. We will do quite a lot of shows this summer actually. In November/December we will do an extensive tour of Sweden together with our friends in Sabaton & Raubtier.
The reaction from the press & the fans has been very positive, so far. Had you been expecting it? Is this somehow rewarding for all the sacrifices that you’ve done for the band all these years?
J: It’s very rewarding. Like you say, we’ve done a lot of sacrifices for the band, and getting this amazing feedback gives us power to keep doing what we do!
I can distinct that you evolve and get better with each new album, not only as musicians but as songwriters as well. Is there freedom when you’re composing music? Does every member of the band help on this procedure?
J: “Sultans of Sin” was written by all members together, and I think that has helped the album a lot. Usually someone comes up with an idea for a song, and then we all work together to finish the song. The results are great!
What are those things that inspire you to write music and lyrics?
J: Every day life inspires us. Dynazty has always been about having fun, and that's reflected in the music we write. There are enough bands who deal with sadness. We like to party!
Do you believe that there’s more room for the band to become more successful and known all over the world? I bet your participation in Melodifestivalen 2012 introduced you to a wider audience.
J: Definitely! There’s no stoping us now. We didn’t start this band to go half the way
What are the differences among “Sultans Of Sin” and “Knock You Down” & “Bring the Thunder”?
J: “Bring the Thunder” was our first album, and though we did write some awesome songs for it, we we’re not totally clear on how the band should sound, what kind of songs we wanted etc.
“Knock You Down” was a great follow-up. Our songwriting had improved a lot, and we knew a little better what we wanted.
“Sultans Of Sin” for me is the first album when we really found our place & path. I can only imagine how good our next album will be!
You are rather influenced from the 80s hard rock/hair metal era. What was the thing that pushed you to play and write this kind of music? In any case, no one can argue that this music is very strong again nowadays … and there are many bands big or not… that keep the flame alive.
J: We are definitely inspired by that era, but we never wanted to copy that style completely. We have a more modern approach to it, but still aim to keep the spirit and power from that era!
We saw that in the mid-00s the 80s hard rock/hair metal was growing stronger… but eventually the last few years things have gone down a little. Why do you believe this happened?
J: The music scene is always changing, up and down. However, I think there’s always gonna be room for this kind of music. It has a very unique vibe to it that people will always like!
Obviously, we can’t resurrect that era… but what can bands like Dynazty offer in order to keep the fans of this music awake… and make the scene stronger than before?
Can the “old” bands give a “push” and help the scene become stronger? Do we need the “new blood” instead? What do you think?
J: The old bands do give a push, but honestly I don’t think it’s up to them to build the scene at this time. That’s more up to us and our likes.
Can Internet be “used” as a promotion tool for every band out there or it causes problems that cannot be fixed ultimately? Is it a curse or a blessing?
J: Both, of course. It’s great, because without it we wouldn’t have fans in Indonesia, Costa Rica, China etc. But then, piracy does make it a lot harder for us to earn money. In the long run, the only losers will be the fans. If we don’t make money, we can’t give you more music!
Regrettably, a whole generation learned to download and hear music via MP3’s (that have such a bad quality) and they actually believe that music is only in mp3 format… and nothing more. Will the CDs and LPs be left only for the romantics in the end? We are on a terminal point here. What shall happen so as to bypass this issue?
J: Tough question. We’re in the middle of a music revolution, and the way we consume music is changing. However, I think people are gonna want a physical thing forever. If it’s a CD, Vinyl, Book, or whatever, I don’t know. Looking at a computer screen is not enough, that’s for sure. (i.n.: yeap... the psysical thing is always better...)
And some weird Questions now!!! Why did you call the band Dynazty?
J: We wanted something short but very powerful, so Dynazty was perfect!
What are those bands that stigmatized the 80s hard rock/hair metal movement?
J: Hard to tell, not really relevant at this time.
If you could have written 3 songs from the 80s, which would they have been and from which bands?
J: Van Halen - “Jump”, Bon Jovi - “Living on a Prayer”, Mötley Crüe - “Dr. Feelgood”.
If you weren’t member of Dynazty… which band’s member you wish you were?
J: Hmm... Rammstein?! (i.n.: what?!!)
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
J: Van Halen’s first album. Extremely ground-breaking!
Do you consider yourself to be a Rock Star?
J: Of course! (i.n.: swell!!!)
Which is the most overrated band today?
J: Don’t know.
You are standing in front of two transparent doors. Door number 1 leads to a huge garden full of naked models running, playing and kissing around while Door number 2 takes you to the Isles of the Blessed where you can interact with some great ancient philosophers and learn the deepest secrets of life, death and universe. Which one would you cross and why?
J: I’d go for the girls. Having to learn all the secrets of life would stop me from playing music. I know what I need to know.
If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do?
J: I’d look awesome and hang around rock stars.
You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie-celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
J: Natalie Portman. Who can resist queen Amidala?
Is rock & roll music only about sex and drugs… or that motto has changed throughout the years?
J: It’s about the good things in life, and what that includes is up to you.
One night stands or long term relationships? Maybe it is better to have long term relationships with lots of one night stands… right?
J: Whatever works at the time
Which is your best book that also became a movie… and why?
J: Still waiting for the “Otherland” series to become movies.
What would you do if you were not afraid to fail?
J: Something stupid.
Imagine that your girlfriend is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react?
J: I’d take the ring myself.
Those were my questions Joel. Thanks for the music, please leave a note to Grande Rock readers… Take care!
J: Thanks for reading, now go buy “Sultans Of Sin” if you haven’t already! And yeah, like our page on facebook to get the latest news! www.facebook.com/dynaztyband... ROCK!