Peter Stalfors

Dream Evil

Interview with Peter Stalfors of Dream Evil, a Swedish heavy metal band which I believe it's gone to be big. Take a minute and read what Peter told us about their debut album DragonSlayer and Dream Evil in general.
By Makis Kirkos
September 24, 2002
Peter Stalfors (Dream Evil) interview
Hi Peter, first of all congrats for your debut album , it's dynamite! Ok, let's start... I' ve read your history in your press release but could you please tell our readers who are the members now ? And something about your biography ? Introduce the band to the fans...

Hi Makis, well to start with me I'm 32 years old and I live in Hindεs (a small village 35 km outside of Gothenburg). I've played the bass since I was 12. Six years before Dream Evil was formed me and Niklas joined a cover band called The Jerico Brothers. So Niklas and I have known eachother for quite a while.So when Fredrik asked Niklas to join Dream Evil it was quite natural for Niklas to mention me as the bass player. To move over to Niklas, he is 36 years, has been singing since 1977 or something.. A really great vocalist and a good friend of mine.Fredrik is a funny guy who also lives a bit from Gothenburg, in the forrest where he finds peace for composing and relaxing. He played with a cover band called Snake Skin Cowboys for a couple of years before he put all his time in producing in his studio (Studio Fredman).Gus G is a really great guitarist, his just 22 years old and he lives just for music.. He lives in Thessaloniki in Greece but he also shares an appartment in Gothenburg with some friends.And for last we have the totally crazy Snowy Shaw on drums. He's a really funny guy, lives in Gothenburg and he's 34 years old. He played with King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Notre Dame etc. etc... I was really glad when he joined the band, he's very skilled on his instrument..So to sum it up, it's a great bunch of guys and we have a lot of fun together while doing what we love to do.

How would you describe your music to someone that hasn't listened to Dream Evil yet ? I mean the term melodic / power metal images your compositions ? Do you agree ?

Well, people like to put us in this genre. I think I would call our music Hardrock with modern sound.. All our influences comes from the 80's hardrock bands. I really don't want to put us in any special genre, but people want to do this so, what can you do about it?

I know this sounds trite but which are your basic influences ?

It's a lot of different, I mean we all have different influences and I think the mixture of them all gives us the sound we have. Hardrock from the 80's...

Let's speak about your debut album DragonSlayer. Are you satisfied with the sales until now ? What are your promotion plans (videos e.t.c.) ?

We haven't seen any sales statistics yet, we will get the first statistics for april-june now in september, so we have no clue at all.

We're going to Japan on a small promotional tour in october (Tokyo and Osaka) that's whats happening next, after that I think we'll start working on material for the next album.

I' ve noticed that you all together write the songs and the lyrics. Do you believe this works better ? I mean all the band participate to the compositions on purpose ? Or it's just something that happens ?

We usually made some riffs by ourselves and got together to arrange the song and write the lyrics together. As it is a concept album it was quite good to write the lyrics together to form the story, we had a great time together while writing the lyrics. So it was quite intentional.

Can you tell us few words about each one of the songs ?

Chasing the Dragon - Fredriks and Gus's composition, a really catchy and great song which I loved from the start.

In flames you burn - Me and Niklas composed this song together and it turned out to be one of my favourite songs of the album.

Save us - Check out Snowys drumming on this, it's awesome..

Kingdom of the damned - This summer we've opened the shows with this song, which I think is a great live song.

The Prophecy - Gus plays really great guitars on this song. The fastest song of the album.

The Chosen ones - This song turned out really good, I had second thoughts about it before it was properly arranged, but now it's one of the high lights I think.

Losing you - The ballad of the album, Fredrik knows how to handle a piano as well as a guitar.

The 7th day - Fast and powerful, a song which is a lot of fun to play.

Heavy Metal In The Night - This is the high light of the live songs I think. It works really well live and is really heavy.

H.M.J. - This is a side step in slyle from the other songs, the lyrics is kind of funny too. I will bless you with my flying V.

Hail to the King - The most melodic piece on this album I guess.

Outro - Fredrik recorded the orchestra while they were tuning, it sounds kind of nice when a orchestra tunes their violins don't you think?

Yes, although I didn't realise by the first hearing. What about the cover of your album. Whose idea was it ? Could you please tell us a bit more about Axel Hermann ?

Axel Hermann is a really good artist who turned out to be a Dream Evil fan.. I met him at Wacken and he told me that every morning when he wakes up he has to play Heavy Metal In The Night. So who other fits better than Axel to do the artwork. The cover shows the Dragon Slayer in battle with the dragon and it's a picture which fits perfect with the concept story of the album.

I think you performed in Augustifestivalen in Bollebygd a couple of days ago. What's the reaction of the world ? How would you describe a live performance of Dream Evil ?

We've had some great live shows.. I mean when the audience light their lighters in the beginning of The chosen ones and claps their hands to the vers.. and sing along with the whole lyrics, it's an incredible feeling. Or when the audience sings along with Heavy Metal In The's just awesome.

You had a big advantage regarding the production. I mean one of the band's members is Fredrik Nordstrom the owner of Fredman Studios. How did this help you with the production ? Did you have any kind of problems while you were in the studio ?

Well Fredrik says that producing himself was one of the hardest things he has done, so I think for him it wasn't so easy. As he is a great producer this helped us a lot with the sound and the feeling of the album of course. Maybe I don't think so much about it but I guess everything would probably have been much harder without his skills.

I am sure Fredrik is a very good and adept producer, if I judge from the effect, but I would like to know if you are satisfied with the production. Which were your best and your worst times during the recordings ?

From my point of view I couldn't been more satisfied with the result, I think the production is as good as it gets.

My best time during the recordings were of course when I heard the result, what all hours in the studio finally became. I was really happy to hear how nice it turned out. The worst time was probably the stressed feeling I had after the day I completed recording the bass. I couldn't relax I was so wound up that I actually felt sick..

What inspired you to make this album ? It was Fredrik's idea and dream to release his own melodic compositions within a proper band ?

Yes, it was Fredriks dream from the start to form a melodic hardrock band. But when we all got together and wrote songs together it became our evil dream..

Ok I have to ask this... I really like Niklas voice, did he took any special lessons ? And where did you find your amazing young Greek guitarist, Gus ?

Niklas did actually never take lessons in singing, he's totally self taught, I guess he's got the talent for it. As it comes to Gus, Fredrik met Gus in Greece when he was there on a vacation in 1999 visiting a Greek band which he had recorded. As Gus was going to Sweden later that year anyway, Fredrik told him to look him up in Studio Fredman and see if they could try to make some songs together. And he did, and they did...

You sound a structured band with a lot of melodic lines and with an enormous appetite for work, how difficult is it for to find a record label ? Or cause of Fredrik's connections you didn't had any problem ?

We had a couple of labels which were interested in signing us, but Century Media felt as the best choice for us without a doubt. And I think that cause of Fredriks well known skills as a producer helped a lot here as well.

Do you have any plans for live shows ?

The next live shows we're doing is in Japan in october. It's one show in Tokyo (Club Quattro) and one show in Osaka (Banana Hall). After this we will play at the 1001 Watts Festival in Norway in November.

Let me ask you some general questions now. Other than being a musician, what other occupations do you guys have ?

To start with me, I work at a IT company in Gothenburg as a controller. Niklas is a salesman for heating cable. Gus has no other job than the music. Snowy has a part time job playing the guitar for handicaped children and Fredrik has of course Studio Fredman as a full time job.

Apart from music, are you into any other kind of art ?

Snowy is a really great artist and is very good at drawing and composing images in the computer and so on. I guess the rest of us just have the music as our art.

Who inspired you initially to become a musician ?

My dad. He bought a violin for me when I was 6, but it sounded so bad that when I was 9 he bought me an acoustic guitar instead. My dad playes the contra bass, so of course this inspired me to become a bass player too.

Which is your biggest ambition ?

I want to work with music full time. It's a hard world of competition out there, but that's what I want to do. I guess that's what I always have wanted to do.

What's your relation with the Internet ? And the whole mp3 idea.

I think it's a good way of spreading music, as long as it's leagal. In some cases it can probably help bands getting more known if their music is spread as mp3's. What you don't get with a downloaded mp3 is the booklet and the original cd cover. So if your a real metal head you have to buy the album anyway.

Ok, let's return to your debut album DragonSlayer. I think it's a mix of melodic power metal with some heavier elements from the so called true metal scene + you have the freshness of the newcomer along with the maturity of the experienced musicians. How did this came up ?

It's because it is exactly that way.. ha ha... I mean I've been playing the bass for 20 years, Niklas has been a singer for even longer time but we have never recorded an album before. This is fredriks debut as a performer as well. So we are newcomers on the metal scene, but with many years of experience from it.

The songs have some variety, although they follow the typical path of 70% fast songs and 30% slow songs, but at least they are well arranged and perfectly played. This happend cause of Fredrik's experience ?

I don't think so, I mean we all wrote the music for this album, so it's not just Fredrik who made the arrangements, we all did. Fredrik has a majority in the song writing but I'd say the album turned out as it did because we are who we are as a group.

I think the overall quality of the album is high above the average and cause of this the fans has to buy it. What would you say to someone in order to pick up your album among so many others ?

Buy it, I'm on it... ha ha ha... I guess I'd say that the production is a killer.. And that they will not regret buying it, it will go warm in their cd players for a long time.

As my final question, is there any message that you would like to send to our readers ?

I hope we'll soon come to Greece, Gus home land, for some gigs. I visited Greece this summer and I really enjoyed the beaches and the hospitality we met. So until we see you there, Heavy Metal In The Night !!!

Thank you very much for your time. I wish you guys the best and hope to see you soon.
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