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Wolf: To be a famous rock musician in Sweden is like being a dentist in a dentist’s office.

Wolf. Bilder skivsläpp. Bilder: Per Knutsson.

Swedish heavy metal legends Wolf have just announced the release of their new album Shadowland out April 1st via Century Media Records and we grabbed the opportunity to have a chat with the band.

Fun fact: It’s the same date as Metal Digest’s birthday. Woohoo!

Welcome to Metal Digest

You have a legacy of over 25 years. What would you like your band to be known for?

For the passion of playing Heavy Metal before it was OK again to do so

and for the consistency of still keeping up the very same passion thirty years later. And for great songs, of course! Writing the best music we can possibly write has always been our goal number one.

Has your practice changed over time? How is it different today?

It has changed a lot actually. We started out as three guys against the world, making music in an old bomb shelter from the cold war. According to good taste in those times, we were seen as a bit retarded playing classic heavy metal in the midst of the nineties. We wrote most of our music together playing so loud the paint fell off the walls in that basement and our passion for metal music was far greater than our technical capabilities on the instruments.

These days we live spread out over Sweden and use new technic and the internet to our advantage when we write music, sending ideas back and forth. Each member has his own studio and we can record and produce ourselves these days. We are way more skilled musicians nowadays, but that’s not the most important thing for Wolf. What’s most important is that we still have the same passion for our music as when we started in the old bomb shelter.

It’s not unusual to hear about bands breaking up after a couple of years due to lack of commitment and personal differences. What keeps you guys united?

The love for music and our craft is what unites us.

During our career, we have seen lots of bands call it quits and re-united and quit again. I can totally see why and I’m not judging at all. It’s not easy being in a band as you go through the different phases in life. We’ve had our ups and downs and sometimes we have taken six months off to reload the batteries, but we’ve never quit doing what we do. We need the music.

What is it like to be a musician today in Sweden?

To be a famous rock musician in Sweden is like being a dentist in a dentist’s office.

It’s not like you’re standing out much from the crowd. I get appreciating nods here and there if I go out. At shows, one-third of the crowd will be musicians themselves and half of that third will be from successful bands. I see this as a good thing. I don’t need to be treated as a rock star. If you feel the need for rock star treatment, what you really need is to go see a good psychiatrist. The real stars are the people getting up to work every day and raising their families. 

One of the themes of Shadowland is humans as an insignificant parenthesis in the history of a universe. I find that rather comforting in a way. Is this the way you see it too?

Yes, it makes our worldly problems seem so small in the greater perspective. But I also find it quite sad that one day the sun will die and the earth will be no more and no one will know that we were ever here. It almost makes me want to believe in one of the many gods there is. Or maybe all of them.

But seriously… we are here on earth for such a short while, so let’s make the best out of it. That’s what I am trying to do with my music.

The other theme is the darker side of humankind that we all have to a varying degree. The shadow self if you will. Do you feel that we have to face that darkness and embrace it rather than fight it and go against our nature?

I think we have to face our darkness and accept it, humbly and honestly, to have a chance to become better human beings. Nowadays, virtue signaling on the internet seems very popular, calling out evil in others. Not very constructive, if you ask me. I think it would be better to turn the scrutiny inwards and see our own shortcomings instead of projecting them onto other people. But maybe these self-proclaimed saints are afraid of what they would find, if they cared to look.

You have toured with Saxon, Evile, Tankard, Trivium, among others. Any interesting stories from the road?

I remember when we came to France with Saxon. We had just arrived from Germany and our drummer didn’t like Germany much and he didn’t understand much of the German language or mentality. After load-in we sat down at the venue and had a coffee and our drummer went:

“Aaaah, feels good to be in Paris!”

Paul Quinn from Saxon, who happens to be a bit short of hearing gave him a strange look.

“IT FEELS GOOD TO BE IN PARIS!” the drummer repeated loudly and made sure Paul could read his lips.

“Ah! I thought you said it feels good to be Steve Harris.”

Ha ha, it is true that we were huge Maiden fans but maybe not that obsessed.

What does the future hold for Wolf? Any plans to get us excited over?

Due to the previous covid situation, every tour we had have been canceled some time ago. Now we’re working on getting Wolf on the road again. Nothing is official yet, but be sure we will get back on the road as soon as possible even if it means smaller club gigs at first. We’re eager to play the Shadowland songs live and meet the audience, and we haven’t forgot about the old classics either, ha ha. Speed on, thank you and good night!

Thank you for the wonderful interview.

Until we meet again,

Chelf on behalf of Metal Digest.

WOLF is Niklas Stalvind (vocals, guitar), Simon Johansson (guitar), Pontus Egberg (bass) and Johan Koleberg (drums).

Shadowland is available to pre-order, HERE

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Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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