Per Wiberg Discusses New Kamchatka Album "The Search Goes On"
Band Photo: Kamchatka (?)
Kamchatka - the Swedish hard rock trio featuring bassist Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth) - has now released a fifth studio album titled "The Search Goes On" via Despotz Records.
Metalunderground.com got in touch with Per to discuss how this album came together, the band's new label home, and his handling of both the production and artwork for "The Search Goes On." You can pick up your copy of the album right here, and read our full interview with the band below.
xFiruath: How did you guys end up with Despotz Records and how is that fit going so far?
Per: It was a suggestion from our management at the time and Despotz seemed to be genuinely interested in the band. They have quite a diverse catalogue and work with lots of different genres, which suits us as I'd like to think we have lots of different people coming to the shows, classic rock/blues fans to people into all kinds of metal & HC/punk.
xFiruath: When were the tracks for the new album written, and how does a typical Kamchatka writing session go?
Per: This time it was a little bit different as Roger (old bass player) left after the previous album, “Bury Your Roots,” and he used to write half of the stuff. Thomas wrote most of the music during the latter part of 2012 and early 2013. Then the three of us worked together on the arrangements and pitching ideas before the recordings started.
xFiruath: Where were the recording and production handled, and how was that process?
Per: All the previous albums have been recorded and mixed in the rehearsal room which is an "abandoned" recording studio, so it's very easy for us to press ‘record’ so to speak. Tobias (drummer) is a great engineer and he sets everything up and then we just rehearse and record at the same time until we're happy with what we got. I was asked to produce this album first but since they lost their bass player, I helped out with tracking the bass as well. The process was pretty effortless and it didn't feel like I was doing double duties. I'd say the overall vibe of the recording was very relaxed. The mix was done in a studio called Fascination Street by Johan Örnborg and the mastered by Jens Bogren in the very same studio.
xFiruath: What’s happening with the lyrics and themes for “The Search Goes On?”
Per: Having the blues and everyday matters as well as life on the road. There's usually a positive and optimistic view on things though I'd say, like when you've done bad so to speak there's always a way of coming back stronger and make things right again.
xFiruath: Who created the artwork and what’s going on in the scene?
Per: I did actually, I've done all their previous artwork as well. Already on the first Kamchatka album it felt like we came up with a theme that we've continued to work with. They're mostly done without thinking too much about the music as such. Somehow they seem to work well with the music and lyrics when finished anyway, at least that's what we think. I like to mix drawn stuff with photos as it gives the artwork a surreal vibe and hopefully the album covers can serve as some escapism while listening to the music.
xFiruath: Along with the announcement about the new album you released a video clip for “Tango Decadence.” Where was that shot and what was that process like?
Per: That was done in Thomas and Toby's home town, Varberg. A good friend of ours who also did the video for the track “Perfect” on the previous album “Bury Your Roots” did this one as well. It was shot during one day in a theater in Varberg. Then he edited it until he got an OK from us which was pretty quick since he knows what he's doing and we've talked beforehand about how we kind of wanted it.
xFiruath: Have you read any reviews so far, and are fans reacting to the music the way you’d hoped or expected?
Per: Yes, there's been lots of reviews coming in lately, and so far the majority has been very positive. Maybe better than we expected really. The album's being released this week and we're out on the first tour in support of the album right now. We play mostly new stuff on this run and it seems to go down really well with the crowd.
xFiruath: Will you be returning to North America to support this album?
Per: That's definitely something we want and have to do. As of now there are no confirmed dates but it's very high on our "to do" list for 2014!
xFiruath: What’s going on in your local music scene there in Sweden?
Per: Difficult to say, but we've always had lots of bands and artists from all different genres touring a lot. Considering there are only 9 million people living here, I'd say there's plenty of bands doing the rounds. Most of the Swedish bands you see playing live around the globe are not very popular in Sweden though. We don't have that many venues and live clubs here so it's kind of difficult to be a full-time rock/metal/punk/HC band playing only in Sweden, maybe that's why we need to get out there a lot.
xFiruath: On your personal playlist, what music are you digging lately and what’s coming up you are excited about?
Per: I listen to a wide variety of stuff that changes all the time. Here's some stuff I've been listening to a lot the last couple of weeks: Sunn O)) – “Terrestrials,” ZZ Top – “Tejas,” Raw Power – “After Your Brain,” Manowar – “Into Glory Ride,” CAN – “Soon Over Babaluma,” White Denim – “Corsicana Lemonade,” James Brown – “Revolution Of The Mind,” Doomriders – “Grand Blood,” and Kraftwerk – “The Man-Machine.”
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