I recently had a chance to speak with Peter Wildoer, drummer for Darkane. This one threw me for a loop. Why? Because unbeknownst to me, he had already been on our website, seen my review of their new album The Sinister Supremacy, and then proceeded to tell me how much he liked the site, the layout, everything. So, it took me a few minutes to get my bearings, but that was a cool little ice breaker, and we really had a good time talking music. See for yourself:
Amps: Wait…you already read it??
Peter: Yeah, man. I loved it. And I think you really nailed it, really captured the record. So, thank you.
Amps: Hey, don’t thank me! You guys put all the hard work and effort into a fantastic record!
Peter: Well, I’m very grateful.
Amps: Well, that was supposed to be one of my questions. I was gonna say, “Songs like ‘In the Absence of Pain’ and ‘Collapse of Illusions’ show a level of sophistication previously unseen, and are my two favorites after ‘Mechanically Divine. Do you know who said that?”, and I was gonna surprise you and say, “ME!” Dammit!!
Peter: (Laughing) I’m ahead of you, man!
Amps: Oh wow, I’m so caught off-guard! OK, I must focus! Let’s do this:
Ok, so Lawrence (Mackrory, vocals) is back. Everything old is new again! How’s the feeling in the band these days?
Peter: It’s amazing! The energy now is better than it’s been for years and years. Not to say it was bad before, and we’ve had a lot of fun over the years, but Rusted Angel was a classic album for us, and everybody’s always comparing stuff we were doing with that first record, so I think we’ve got a little bit of that magic back in the band, especially when Lawrence came back into the band in 2011. He didn’t have a lot going on and neither did we, but when we got together it was like this injection of newborn energy, and it’s great having him back. And I’m so happy with the record and the way he sounded on it. We’re all really happy. And again, that’s not taking anything away from Andreas or Jens. They’re great vocalists, and we’re still great friends, but this time it just feels spot on.
Amps: When are you hitting the road, the U.S. in particular?
Peter: The U.S. tour will probably be early next year, nothing’s confirmed yet. Details are still being worked out and negotiated.
Amps: No that’s fine; I’m ok with 2014 as long as I know you’re coming, just get here, PLEASE. Five years between albums is a long time. How did you keep yourself busy?
Peter: Well, we had a lot of things happen, like our studio flooding in 2008, and trying to find a new place to build a studio. That construction took two years, and we have jobs, so we had to spend evenings and weekends rebuilding. It just took a long time. We did it ourselves, and now we have a beautiful studio. We have a creative environment, and we can go there and write songs, record there, and it’s just awesome to be able to do everything ourselves.
Amps: Oh, so you guys built everything yourselves? You’re handy like that?
Peter: Yeah. Especially Jorgen (Lofberg), our bass player. Klas (Ideberg, guitar) and (Christofer (Malmstrom, guitar) too. Jorgen’s REALLY handy, I’m kind of handy, so it turned out quite well.
Amps: I’d be totally useless, except for bringing you guys beer and pizza!
Peter: Sounds great, you’re hired!
Amps: It seems like there is some SERIOUS attitude on this record, like you guys pushed yourselves to be, for lack of a better term, a better, more in-your-face band. Agree or disagree?
Peter: I think that’s really what we’re aiming for. Some songs were written quite early on. Some of the riffs were maybe four years old. Normally we work on a song, and we don’t change anything. We just put it to sleep, and then everyone goes in and records it. This time around we really worked on polishing songs, rewriting some parts, changing things here and there, and by refocusing we’d say, “Ok. This is a cool part, this is not. Let’s fix that.” And it really paid off in the end. The songs got more work than before, so that was different. And also this time around, Lawrence took care of all the vocal arrangements himself, so we knew exactly where to put vocals in the songs. It was a little different way of working, but it actually turned out to be very good for us.
Amps: “Humanity Defined”. Uhhh…The beginning sounds like you have 18 arms-
(Peter bursts out laughing)
Amps: I only bring it up because the drumming is all over the place on this record, and you already know my favorites here. Do you have a favorite song? Did any one stick out to you that you maybe enjoyed playing more than the others?
Peter: It’s funny. For the first time since Rusted Angel we are very happy with all the songs. For example, the previous record Demonic Art; some songs are not my favorites from Darkane. So when we were choosing songs to play live, it was kind of hard to pick what ones we were supposed to play. But this time around, we’re so happy with all of them it’s gonna be hard to narrow it down to just a couple. I have to say “In the Absence of Pain” is one of the most difficult songs to play coordination-wise, so that makes it really fun to do. I’m still working on some of those parts! There are some weird parts there. On “Ostracized” there’s a lot of drum fills, but it’s straightforward and really fun to play. For the first time since Rusted, we actually decided to rehearse and relearn all the songs from the new record. At this point we have eight songs down, and we’ve never really done that. And when we’re playing them, we’re like, “Wait a minute! These are hard”! (laughs)
Amps: Where are some of your favorite cities/venues to play?
Peter: Oh, man. There’s so much stuff going on for a show, maybe it’s a shitty place, crappy food, it was raining all day, but then you go on, and the show was amazing, and the crowd was fantastic. When we toured the U.S. we played the House of Blues and venues like that with Fear Factory. We loved those types of places, but some nights you end up in some place that doesn’t seem like a cool venue. We were playing up in Canada, St. Paul, and we came up to this 70’s roller derby kind of place, the P.A. was from a small rehearsal studio, just a nightmare. But, EVERYBODY from town shows up, because it’s a small town and not much happens there, and it was just a big party! People were thrashing like mad, onstage, having fun! That wound up being one of the best shows of the tour. You just never know what the night will bring, when you least expect it.
As far as cities or countries, it’s hard to pick. I love the U.S. I’ve been to Japan four times, and that is unreal. First off, it looks like you’re entering the future, and then people treat you like a rock star (laughs). Each country has its own charm.
Amps: What do you like to do away from the band and music to unwind? Are any of you guys family men?
Peter: Well three of us have kids. I’m married; I have a son, a wife, and three cats. I’m a teacher. I teach drums and math at a high school, but besides working and spending time with my lovely family, I don’t do much. Actually today, some friends and I went geo-caching, treasure hunting with our mobiles. That was really fun, I’d like to do that again.
Editor’s Note: (At this point we spent several minutes talking about our sons, comparing metalhead kid notes, swapping a few stories, and laughing a lot.)
Amps: What’s the future hold for Darkane at this point?
Peter: At this point now, we’re focused on scheduling the European and U.S. tours as soon as possible, then working on festivals in Europe for next summer, and we already jumped on two offers for the U.S. (My “WOO-HOOO!” almost shatters the man’s eardrum!), so we’re already a year ahead, we’re just working on the fall right now, probably starting in November. But we have told ourselves, it can’t be another five years between albums, so we’ve already started working on new tracks. And hopefully, in a year, we start recording the next one. It helps that we have our own studio to get started quickly.
Amps: Peter, I want to thank you so much for talking with me. I know it’s 10:30 at night there, and you’ve got a family, so thanks again.
Peter: It was my pleasure, Damian. You’re a great guy, man. And the site looks great. I’ve still got it up on my screen. I’m gonna check out some more stuff. And thanks again for that review!
Can you believe he actually took time to go on our site and read not only my review of The Sinister Supremacy, but other interviews/articles?? He also said hey to Mini-Amps, which is always cool. Just a really nice guy. Hard to believe this is the same MONSTER behind the kit for Darkane, pounding the skins like some 18-armed beast. No wonder this guy’s in high demand when he’s not busy with them. You guys should really check out The Sinister Supremacy from Darkane. I think you’ll love it!