Once again, I have to give props to my friend Carine over at Metal Blade Records. She told me I should check Noctum out. Know what? She was right! Thus began my begging and pleading for a review copy that quite frankly, didn’t even exist yet. But the minute it was out, BAM! There it was in my inbox. And then my buddy Lior over at Metal Temple tells me I can interview founder and bassist Tobias Rosén via Skype. I was like a kid in a candy store!! Tobias, or Tobbe, was really cool, and we had a pretty lively conversation. Their second album, Final Sacrifice was poised to come out in one week, and they’re ready to get out and play. See for yourself:
Amps: Tobbe, thanks for giving me a few minutes, I greatly appreciate it, and I’m a big fan.
Tobbe: No problem, thanks for helping spread the word.
Amps: Are you guys all excited that the record is coming out and everyone gets to hear the fruits of your labors?
Tobbe: Yeah, that will be fucking great, to see the response and know where we should tour.
Amps: So, no tour plans as of yet. But you will hit the States, right?
Tobbe: Yeah we’re just waiting for opportunities to see what will be best.
Amps: Can you give me a little insight to the story of Final Sacrifice without giving anything away?
Tobbe: Well we actually decided not to give away any of the story at all. All I can say is it’s a fictional horror story that combines all the lyrics, music, and the artwork. And we really hope that people will come up with their own ideas and tell us them.
Amps: I know that people like to say you have somewhat of a retro sound, but what is it that drew you to a much darker vibe with this record?
Tobbe: Me and David (Indelöf – Guitar/vocals) started to talk about a new approach and which way we wanted to go. We’ve been loving the early 80’s a lot, and once it’s mixed it keeps that groove but still has this hard-hitting fucking face punch, you know? I guess Final Sacrifice is a result of that combination of the groove and the harder metal.
Amps: You’ve had a couple of line-up changes with guys leaving, but how’s the vibe in the band now?
Tobbe: Yeah everything is top notch. I can’t ask for a better line-up than right now.
Amps: What has changed about you in the four years since Noctum started to take off? Because it has happened rather quickly.
Tobbe: Whoa (laughs)! What a question. Well, as a lyric writer I think that the main thing is that I have another point of view of the music now overall. And the way I listen to music nowadays, write it, consume it, it’s just changed. It’s a real hard question, you know?
Amps: Hahahaa, because I don’t like to ask the easy boring questions, that’s why!
Tobbe: (laughs) yeah, of course.
Amps: Since you brought it up, when you’re not working or playing your parts in Noctum, what do you listen to in your spare time away from the group?
Tobbe: That changes from day-to-day, but right now I’m listening to a lot of The Smiths and Twisted Sister. Their first album is fucking brilliant!
Amps: TWISTED SISTER?? They’re from Long Island, like me! I love those guys! I grew up with them on my turntable!
Tobbe: Lucky you! I’ve only got Under the Blade so far on vinyl, but I gotta have Stay Hungry and Come Out and Play as well. I love all of them. And of course I’m listening to a lot of Motörhead. That’s one of my favorite bands of all-time.
Amps: Yeah, their new one comes out tomorrow. I have to check that out.
Tobbe: Me too, for sure.
Amps: How does the writing work in Noctum? What’s the dynamic?
Tobbe: Well it’s changed, actually. For this album David concentrated on the music while I concentrated on the story and designing artwork, and then David had his own input on lyrics. Because he’s the one that has to sing them.
Amps: As the creator and founder, what was that like for you, letting go of the reins a little bit?
Tobbe: David has a lot of things coming from him musically, and I wanted to focus on the story. I’ve been spending the last two years on it, so it’s kind of important for me to build a great story; that’s just as important as the actual music.
Amps: As far as live shows go, will you be playing Final Sacrifice start to finish, or change it up? Will you play anything off (debut album) Séance?
Tobbe: I think we’re going to play only new stuff for the time being. We’ll play it in whatever order strikes our fancy, I think.
Amps: What do YOU do when you’re not playing music to unwind and have some fun?
Tobbe: Oh right, uh, drinking beer (laughs)!
Amps: Right on, man!! Have you tried Iron Maiden’s “Trooper” beer yet?
Tobbe: No, not yet. But I tried the KISS one, “Destroyer”. It was fucking awful! One of the most fantastic bands in the world, and then they come out with this beer that’s 4.7% alcohol called “Destroyer” and it tastes awful as well.
Amps: How is 4.7 gonna destroy anything when here in America 5% is the minimum?? Uggh. I am gonna try the “Trooper” beer soon, though.
Tobbe: When you do, get back to me, please, and let me know.
Amps: Sure thing. Is there anything you’d like to say to the Noctum fans waiting for this record?
Tobbe: Just keep in touch with our Facebook page for upcoming tour dates, and keep rocking and having meaningless sex!
(Both of us laughing hysterically!)
Amps: Tobbe, thanks for giving me one hell of an interview first thing in the morning! We gotta get you down to Dallas so I can bring you guys some BBQ, cool?
Tobbe: Fucking awesome! Keep in touch, for sure!
Well, THAT interview certainly wasn’t dull, huh? Tobbe is one cool dude, and with Final Sacrifice, Noctum have one hell of an album to tour behind. If they come to your city, definitely check them out live. And be sure to heed Tobbe’s advice!!