With their new album “Down Below” (for our own review go here) out two days before we got to visit Tribulation on tour, it was only fitting that we’d go ask Johannes Andersson some questions about the tour, the album and his preferences.
You’re just about halfway through the tour, how’s it been so far?
It’s been good, it’s been ups-and-downs as usual. Especially in the beginning of this tour we all got really sick. I haven’t puked in like 10 years or something. The first week, the four of us got some sort of virus so we puked for 24 hours and then it was over. But then you had to work back your appetite so it’s been a rough start but after that it has been running smoothly. Great crowds, big halls.
That’s kind of the usual nowadays for you guys.
(sighs) yea it’s diverse but especially going on for Arch Enemy of course. They seem to have really grown these last couple of years. Seems like a good choice to join this tour.
Your new album has officially been out for 2 days now, how’s the response been?
Very good, at least what I have seen on the viral media, feels like the promotion this time is really good so. Friends of my family have heard so yeah it feels like it’s been reaching out. And the response I mean, so far the reviews have been really good. It feels like everything I’ve seen is also good so that’s great.
With the new album being out what’s your favorite track of the album?
I haven’t heard the album since we recorded, it’s always like that. I can’t get tired of the songs before they even get released. But, uhm, if you take a break from it you appreciate it more when you finally listen to it I think. But I would say Nightbound actually, which we played tonight as well. Feels like that’s a very solid track and it has the right kind of ambience that we’re trying to grasp so yea Nightbound.
Everything kind of exploded after Children Of The Night, was there a lot of pressure on this album?
You might think so and of course there was some pressure but we try not to think of that. If you think of that too much you won’t end up with a record at all. And I think we have a good way of taking the pressure away from us but yea Children Of The Night was for sure a step up in our career. And it feels like this album, Down Below, is a continuation of that step and hopefully even a step up again. Because people know about us from the last album and now we’re really getting the fine sound I guess.
Do you specifically use your music as a medium to really tell a story?
Mhm, yea we do, it’s always been like that I think. It’s more about emotions and get the listener to make up their own visions and pictures in their own heads. So yea that’s what we always been doing, it’s like the red thread in our music. It’s maybe more of creating that vibe that recognizes us I guess.
Because of your unique personality as a band and the sound right now, there probably are a lot of bands trying to copy that sound, what do you think of that? Do you find this annoying?
No, I appreciate that. It means that we really got through I guess, to the crowd. And if we can inspire some other bands to try to go the same way we did, I’m only happy for them. Hopefully they won’t take over though (laughs).
Is there a question that a journalist has never asked you, that you’ve always wanted to answer?
Oh, well, there’s a broad variety of questions, I’m surprised. Usually when you release an album you do a million interviews and some are quite the same and some are more interesting. A question that I never got, it’s hard to figure out. It’s interesting actually, it makes you think. I don’t know. My fantasy seems very weak at this moment.
Or is there a question that people have asked you too much?
There should be, probably: “what’s with the new sound with the new album?” “what’s the difference between the albums?” Those are questions you usually get and it’s always hard to define what the difference is because it feels like we’re always doing new stuff of course. Is there a change in the sound or is there a new theme. Once again, it’s up to the listener to make up their own mind and we don’t tell them what we are, they have to figure that out by themselves. So I think it’s an unnecessary question. We always make a step somehow in some direction but maybe not as big of a step as last time. So yeah, listen to the album and clarify by yourself I guess.
Is there something else you want to tell about the album in particular or touring life or whatever comes to mind?
This time around, with this album it felt quite nice to make it fit on one vinyl. Usually we’ve been doing double vinyls and myself, when I listen to music back home, I never turn to the third side of the album. So that’s great this time around, you only have to flip the disk once, so that’s good (laughs).
So you still listen on the “old” formats?
What is old nowadays? Nowadays a CD is quite old. But I tend to buy more vinyl than CD actually. Always been more interesting with a big cover and the vinyl player makes the sound itself more pleasurable.
For vinyls, do you have a preference, for picture disks for example?
As I said, I’m not a fan of four-sided vinyls but I like it when it’s quite basic. When there’s no gatefold or anything. We’re quite the opposite, we have a lot of booklets and gatefolds (laughs). But me personally, I love it when you buy for example Appetite for destruction by Guns ‘n Roses and it’s just a cover, a backside, a slipcase and a vinyl. That’s my favourite format nowadays.
After the interview, we told Johannes to enjoy his beer and he replied that we have to visit Sweden to come and try their beers too. We also have a photo coverage and a review of their show at the 013 for you to enjoy one of the coming days, keep an eye out!