Allan Tvedebrink

Withering Surface

We reviewed their new album Walking On Phantom Ice a while ago. It is time to hear from Withering Surface themselves, don't you think? We were able to make a cut into Allan Tvedebrink's heavy schedule in order to answer some of our questions.
By Fotis
November 12, 2001
Allan Tvedebrink (Withering Surface) interview
You have made a great course till now, with the Unique demo being chosen as the best metal demo of 95 on National Danish Radio and the nomination for a Danish Hard Rock Grammy. What do you expect from the future?

World Domination of course! No, we discussed what we wanted for the band in the future a lot, when we were looking for a new label. We all agreed that we wanted to sell a lot of records and make ourselves known in the metal scene. Not to earn a lot of money, but to gain the respect and recognition that we feel our music deserves. So hopefully Walking On Phantom Ice and a lot of touring will do that for us.

How did you guys team up?

Well, it's a long story, but basically Michael (vocals) wanted to form a band that would make a difference in the Danish metal scene, so he contacted some people he knew from other bands who he trusted had the same intentions and ability to do that. Since then we have been through various line-up changes and are now a more or less settled unit. The most important thing for us is that we all fit together both musically and socially in order to have a great time in what we are doing.

You seem to have a close relationship with In Flames. Do you think they influenced your music? If not which bands do you consider as your major influences?

I don't know how close a relationship we have with the guys in In Flames. We met then when we recorded Scarlett Silhouettes in Gothenburg, Sweden where they live. They are very down to earth and cool guys, so we hung out and some of us stayed with them during the recordings and of course Jesper contributed on Scarlett...Music wise they had a great influential role in the early days along with other Swedish band that we have always admired (Dark Tranquility, At the Gates a.o.), which we have always suffered under since everyone were comparing us to them. Nowadays I think we have developed our own unique sound. Of course other bands still inspire us, but no one in a major or particular way.

How did you come up with the artwork of your latest album? It is quite impressive!

Thanks a lot. In some way we came about a guy from Poland called Jacek Wisniewski. We saw some samples of his, and Michael felt that his work suited our music and the lyrical content very well. We bought the frontcover artwork a long time ago when we had already decided the title for the album. The rest of the booklet is done by Nikolaj (drums) and me since we both study graphic design.

You have signed to a rising new record company based in England. How came and you did not opted for a more renowned one?

We recorded a promo CD (also in Berno Studios where we recorded WOPI) in September 2000. We sent it to a lot of different labels and got very positive feed back from both small and big labels. I lead us to think about what we wanted for the band. We wanted a company who was willing to put the time, money and effort into the cooperation. Copro seemed the best because the offered us the amount we needed for the recording and because they were very enthusiastic about WS. Also we didn't want to end up as one out of a million bands on a big label and since Copro hadn't got that many bands and we were the only ones on their release schedule for 2001 it suited us perfectly. And so far our relationship with them have been great.

Your appearance in Roskilde Festival was a milestone for your carrier? How do you plan to exceed this appearance? Or have you already done that?

No, I'll say that this has been the biggest event for us playing live. We are hopefully going to tour Europe some time in 2002 including the festivals around, and of course that will exceed what we have done so far since we have always dreamt about touring on longer terms. Also a big wish for us is to play Wacken Open Air in Germany or Dynamo in The Netherlands. But hopefully we will play Roskilde in 2002 and follow up on the success we had in 99.

Could you describe in a few words your new album, Walking On Phantom Ice? Where did you draw the titles and subject from?

Well, the titles and subject is not really my department, but Michael who writes the lyrics has got a lot of different inspiration in order to come up with another dimension of what he has done earlier where his lyrics was mostly based on eroticism, love and relations. This time it's more based on his thoughts on subjects from every day life such as the media manipulation (Feed The Wolves), overpopulation (Breed What You Kill) and about ones situation in life which is not always as certain as you think (Walking On Phantom Ice).

What are your plans concerning tours, gigs etc?

As mentioned earlier we are hopefully going to tour Europe with a bigger band. We have an agreement with Copro on tour support (which was also of big importance when we signed with them), but we don't know with whom and when yet. We are kind of waiting for the right offer. In the mean time we are touring Denmark with co-headliners Iniquity during the fall/winter, so that should keep us busy until then..

You have released your albums in Japan too. What was the response to your releases?

I actually don't know! We haven't got any feedback at all. As far as I know the albums could have sold 50 or a million copies over there, but Marquee (who licensed them) must have been satisfied with the sales of Scarlet Silhouettes since they wanted to license The Nude Ballet as well. We actually had some kind of agreement on percentages of the sales from the last one, but we haven't seen any sales figures. But all in all it is just great to have the opportunity to get your music out to as many people as possible. For WOPI I know Copro are negotiating with labels from Latin America and the US a long with Japan to license it.

A few words for your fans out there.

Hell yeah!!! Enjoy Walking On Phantom Ice and keep the metal scene going. I hope to see you on the road next year... In the meanwhile please visit our website for updates and say hello or just for the fun of it. Cheers!

Thank you a lot for this Interview with Metal-Temple Magazine. We wish all the best for you and the rest of the band!

Thanks a lot. And thank you for the interview. Hope to see you if we get a chance to play your country even though Greece is a bit far from the cold north...

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