It’s our luck day (or night!), as the Swedes behind the evocative gem, which is September’s “Raft of the World” have decided to swoop down from their perch to grant Grande Rock an exclusive interview in regards to the band’s recent developments and plans for the future... behold – Oskar Andersson (vocals & guitars) and Sammy Ouirra (bass) sharing their thoughts with us. As luminous, blinking eyes are set upon us...
Night band pic
Hi Oskar & Sammy! I’m appreciative of you taking the time to answer a few questions in regards to the band as well as your latest release. Kudos for releasing one heck of evocative gem in September.
Oskar: Hi and thank you for letting us on!
From a conceptive perspective, what are the main themes behind “Raft of the World”? I’ve a suspicion it underscores the perilous state of mankind and the Globe in general... would you care to fill us in what inspired Night in the making of the album?
Oskar/Sammy: That is a good observation. A lot of the lyrics are about the forces of nature striking back on those who is trying to control it. But it also has a very philosophical point of view on everything, which can be transferred onto anything with a certain destructive mindset.
Was Night’s decision to opt for more of a classic 70s rock sound on “Raft of the World”, a conscientious one or did it simply come about (either way, the end result is fantastic! – I especially dig the solo section to “Surrender!”).
Oskar/Sammy: I would say it came naturally. We have two new band members that had made a great input into the sound, and we have all of course been looking into different kinds of music and taking inspiration from new bands and new sounds over the years, just like anyone with an interest in music would.
Would you care to elaborate a little on each track from the album?
S: “Fire Across the Sky”: Started out as a completely different song and went under the name “Disco Song” for a long time. We thought it was a good opening for this album, especially with the kind of welcoming one-note chug that starts the song.
S: Surrender”: First song written for the album two years ago already. A bit darker themed than what we had been doing before, especially with the intro melody that the guitar is playing, but that was kind of what we were aiming for and I guess set a tone for the rest of the songs to come.
O: “Under the Gallows”: This is a song that was worked on for a long time. Trying different parts in different orders. It starts pretty slow and builds up all the way to the outro. It flows smoothly right into the next song, Omberg.
S: “Omberg”: We had an interlude on the last album also, and it’s a very nice way to sort of get that acoustic melancholic feeling spread out across the album. Omberg is also a small mountain that lies in the west parts of our county. It is sort of a getaway place for all of us and it was a fitting name for this particular track we thought.
S: “Time”: Double vocals! Never done that before either, so we thought that it could be a fun way to lift the song a little bit and push ourselves to make something new. We’re really happy with it and it includes a lot of guitars which is very fun to play live!
S: “Strike of Lightning”: This is another one that also started out completely different, in an almost mariachi-styled version. When we rehearsed it together we sort of transformed it more into this intense but still melancholic song. The twin guitars are very dominating in this one and the lyrics are very much about how the end will reach us all when we least expect it.
S: Winds”: One of the faster tracks on the album; it was also the first single that we released for “Raft of the World”. We thought it was a good idea to release a song like that that would be kind of a punch in the face. Again a lot of guitars on this one!
S: “Coin in a Fountain”: An acoustic almost bluesy ballad that we decided to include on the album. It is the first track without Oskar singing lead that we have ever done and it helped to mix up the album again with that acoustic feel of it, and helped to make the whole album a bit more dynamic than before. Recorded live late at night during the witching hour!
S: “Where Silence Awaits”: This one closes the whole album and is almost sort of a goodbye song together with the lyrics. Starts out with a very signature riff that sets the mood for the first half of the song but later on, turns into a slow almost ballad-like outro with guitar solos and vocals singing in despair!
Which would you say is your and/or the band’s preferred “Raft” track(s) to play live, and why?
O: It's probably different depending on who you’re asking, but I think “Surrender” is a song we enjoy playing.
What are Night’s upcoming plans as far as touring goes?
O: In the last few weeks we have started to work with Swamp Booking, so that is exciting. If we could, we would like to tour all the time.
As far as metal festivals go (Wacken, Hellfest, Castle Donnington, etc.), which do you aspire most to participate in?
O: Muskelrock, Sweden, is without any doubt the best festival around, so that is an obvious answer for us!
Hence, which are your expectations from “Raft of the World” and which are your plane for the near future?
O: Well, first of all we want to reach out to as many people as possible and spread our music all around the world, but also to be planning for the future, write new songs and to be one with the rock.
I know it’s a bit early to ask coming on the heels on “Raft of the World”, but are there plans in the making for a (highly anticipated!) fourth release?
O: Of course we have some ideas in the back of our heads, but I think it’s a bit early to make promises we can’t keep.
Personally, I’ve a very strong affinity for Swedish traditional heavy metal bands (i.e. Ambush, Bullet, Enforcer, RAM, Night Viper, Steelwing, etc.) as there appears to be a massive talent pool in your neck of the woods… the scene as a certain je-ne-sais-quoi which has a mesmerizing effect… is it something they put in the water over there?! What would your take be on the matter?
O: Our water contains mostly hydrogen and oxygen, but who knows?! There is a big community of musicians here. Everybody’s in a band! It’s cold and dark most time of the year, so there is not much else to do than to practice that damn instrument…
Are there any particular local bands from your area you gravitate towards and/or see as possible touring partners?
O: Hällas!
OK, time for our “weird questions”!!! How did the band name “Night” come about?
O: We thought we had found the best band name in the world. Nobody was having that name, but every band was singing about it. Later on, we realized that it’s hard to find on the internet…
If you had the power to transform into any specie of owl at will (like a vampire to bat), which would it would be?
O: Probably some kind of tour bus owl. Would be cool to arrive at the show in one of those!
If you had the opportunity to invite any famous person, living or dead, over for supper whom would you choose and why?
O: I would probably invite a Swedish guy named Kalle Anka. He was an important person back in the day.
What is the latest book you read and/or duly recommend?
O: Probably some album sleeve if that counts. I recommend it!
What is the latest movie you’ve seen and/or duly recommend?
O: I don’t remember, but I’m gonna watch the Godfather movies soon again, and I can recommend those!
Which musician(s) and/or band(s) was/were your greatest influences growing up.
O: For me, born in the early 90s, it was Hammerfall. My world changed when Bullet released their debut “Heading for the Top”.
Name 3 quintessential heavy metal albums, classic or contemporary, which you recommend to any self-respecting rivet head?
O: Saxon’s first four!
Excuse me for being wifty (eccentrically silly), but If you were to wear any hat of your choosing, which would it be and from which time period?
O: A knight helmet!
If you could tour or visit any exotic, far-flung location in the World, where would that be? (Would you take a raft? Haha)…
O: Buthan. It’s in the Himalayas, so a raft would be a bad idea.
Thank you for “turning up the Night” – I wish all the best to you and the band! Say anything you feel like saying before we close… thx again for the music! Take care!
O: Thanks for this interview. Keep cool and be cruel to your school!