Late in 2014 AXENSTAR released their sixth album Where Dreams Are Forgotten, and it’s one that has enjoyed quite a bit of airplay here at A&GS. So when the opportunity came up to interview vocalist/bassist Magnus Winterwild, of course we said yes! We talked about the album, the writing process, and more. He was reluctant to reveal exact tour plans just yet but hopefully it’s something big. Have a look:
Amps: Where Dreams Are Forgotten is your sixth studio album. What have you learned over the years in terms of songwriting?
Magnus: I think that every time you write a song you learn something and gain experience and hopefully you can use that the next time you start writing a song. I think it’s also important to get inspiration from other types of genres for example listen to a pop/rock song and analyze how that song is constructed and how they use harmonies to get a great chorus.
Amps: In AXENSTAR who does what as far as the writing goes? How do the songs take shape?
Magnus: On this album Jens have written the most of the music and he has come down to the rehearsal with an idea or almost a whole finished song and then all of the guys in the band helps in arranging the song then I write all the vocal melodies and lyrics. And that’s how we write songs 90% of the time.
Amps: What would you like people to take away from this album after hearing it?
Magnus: Great melodies, happiness and the feeling that they want to hear the album again!
Amps: What songs really stand out to you on this release?
Magnus: That’s a hard question; I really love all of the songs on the album. I think every song has something special to offer. If I have to pick two I think I would say “Fear” because I think that song combines both the old AXENSTAR sound as well as the new, and then I would say “Sweet Farewell” because that is the slowest and heaviest song we have ever recorded and it has a great atmosphere and it represents the more progressive side of the band.
Amps: What is it you think, that makes people sit up and take notice of AXENSTAR?
Magnus: I hope it is because of the consistency of the band, I think you can recognize an AXENSTAR song pretty easily and that is a positive thing I think. I would hope that people also take notice of us for the strong melodies and great songs we write.
Amps: What are some of your favorite bands to listen to?
Magnus: Some of the bands that have been important for me growing up and wanting to play music are IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA, HELLOWEEN and so on and in later years I have listened more to LOST HORIZON, NOCTURNAL RITES, and FALCONER. Nowadays I can listen to almost anything; for instance right now I’m listening to SEPULTURA and earlier today I was listening to WINGER so I listen to whatever I think is good.
Amps: How often are you writing? Is it individual ideas, or a group effort?
Magnus: I think that writing music is an never-ending process, I can come up with a melody or rhythm at work that later becomes a song so you need to catch the creative moments because I think it’s hard to try to force oneself and say that now we will sit down and write a great song. But then again how you write music is of course very individual and it differs a lot from person to person.
Amps: Now that this album is done and out there, are you taking time to soak in the reactions, or are you writing for the next one?
Magnus: We try to enjoy the positive reactions as much as possible, but we have also started writing new songs because it takes time to write 10-12 songs that we think are strong enough to be on the next AXENSTAR album.
Magnus: We will try to play as many shows as possible, but we have nothing that we can make public at this time.
Amps: What do you think you’d be doing job-wise if you weren’t playing music?
Magnus: In fact we all have regular jobs since we cannot live on the music at the moment. So I’m working in an office, Joakim (Jonsson, lead guitar) works at a music store, Jens (Klovegård, rhythm guitar) works with delivering goods and Adam (Lindberg, drums) works with delivering groceries.
Amps: What do you like to do away from the band? Do you have any outside-the-group hobbies?
Magnus: I love sports so I try to watch as much sports as possible on TV (laughs), we all have a very big interest in music so we don’t have time to do much more than listening to and playing music.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the AXENSTAR fans out there?
Where Dreams Are Forgotten is available now via Inner Wound Recordings. Grab your copy and rock your faces off!! And stay tuned for tour info as soon as we get it. And like Magnus said, support your local metal scene!!