Interview With ‘Shadows Past’


ShadowsPast_logoShadows Past is a Swedisch melodic metal band, formed in 2005,  by singer Ola Halén and guitarist Jonatan Berg. Earlier this year the band inked a deal with Doolittle Group AB [Christian Liljegren]. The band’s debut album “Perfect Chapter” will be released this week on March 29.  Let’s have a chat with the band:

TMR: Hello guys this is´The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Stockholm ?

Hi mates! Things are just great, we are of course exited with the upcoming release of our album.

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the line-up please [name and instrument]

Ola Halen – Vocals
Jonatan Berg-  guitars
Staffan Lindroth – Keybaords
Olle Lindroth – Drums
Patrik Berg – Bass

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Shadows Past’.

The band started out in 2005 when Ola joined a band that Jonatan had with some school mates. the band played together on and off for a few years with different lineups but in 2009 the current lineup was formed and the journey more or less started for real.

TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band  ?

We all have day jobs with Ola being the one working with music, as a vocals teacher. Although recently, besides the fact that we all go to work in the morning, Shadows Past takes up most of our free time! Success demands hard work!

shadowspast3TMR: What is your musical background ? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – I started playing the guitar at age 14, studied some music theory some years later and began playing bass in my mid 20ies.
Jonatan – I started paying guitar intensively at 16 and got accepted at a music gymnasium and after that I have studied at the Royal college of Music in Stockholm for 1 year. I’ve always been active with bands and projects of my own, but since 2005 Shadows Past have been my main priority.
Staffan: Started out playing guitar at around 9 years of age. Got my first electric at 12 I think. Listened to bands like Judas Priest, Yngwie and Helloween. Later Testament, Morbid Angel and stuff like that. Then, in ’94 or ’95 I heard Dream Theater for the first time and caught them live on the Awake tour which was cool, and also found bands like Symphony X. Switched to mainly playing keyboards during high school after realizing how much cooler and more metal that instrument is!
Olle: At the age of 10 I was sent to the local piano lady who thaught me classic piano music and theory. When I was 15 I bought my first drumset and drumming became my main instrument. I’ve always listened to bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Angra and Meshuggah but also Planet X, Derek Sherinian classical stuff and latin jazz.
Ola: music gymnasium, Guitar at Kulturama. University Diploma in vocals.

TMR: Why the name ‘Shadows Past’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

Ola used the name for his early solo home recordings and it was a cool name so it was not hard to choose.

TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Shadows Past’ ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

Up til now, Ola, Staffan and Jonatan has been the main writers both of music and lyrics. Throughout the history of Shadows Past we’ve been more and more inspired by darker & rawer themes both in music and lyrics. We all get inspiration from different bands and situations but we have in common that it’s a tougher direction musically nowadays.

TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Shadows Past’ the best ?

Yepp, the best;) . We would describe it as a hard, aggressive, melodic metal with a progressive touch.

TMR: How does ‘Shadows Past’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?

Even though most things can be seen from a political view this is not our focus. We see ourself as a non political band in the traditional sense and focus our lyrics more on life in general and personal experiences. Life and relations if you like.

TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Shadows Past’ ?

I think the highlight up till now is now actually, and looking forward to it being topped by a new highlights in the future!

TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]

A lousy club in Stockholm that never payed us the money they owned us.

TMR: The last album you bought? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – Norm Stockton, Tea in the Typhoon..
Jonatan – Steve Morse & Sarah Spencer, Angelfire. I always bet back in to him in periods!
Staffan: Bought Stratovarius, Nemesis on iTunes just the other day
Ola – Wintersuns 1st
Olle: I also bought the Wintersun album =)!

TMR: What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – the unexpected.
Jonatan – the expected
Ola – farts
Staffan – Funny sounds on the keyboard and Olas farts.
Olle – Happy and chubby dogs.

TMR: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?

We see each other in the rehearsal studio every tuesday, jamming for awhile before getting down to business with working on new songs and keeping the old ones fresh.

TMR: Where have you performed recently? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

Played the rock clubs of stockholm with a real favorite yet to be found.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

We are working hard via social media and our official web page, our publishing company doolittle group works with promotion as well. You can see our news updates on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and more and in gig time’s you’ll find posters all over the town!

TMR: How do you prepare for a show?

We make sure we’re well prepared so that we can relax on a gig day before we get on stage. The hour before we enter stage we usually sit in a tiny backstage place with our instruments and warm up individually.

TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

We are giving it all showing the audience what we like doing the most, playing our songs for them! Energetic and aggressive. The songs tend to run a little faster live than in the studio and we play live with the audience as much as we play for them.
Come to our shows and have a blast!

TMR: Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?

With one album recorded we have those songs and also some old that is not recorded and some new ones. We like to mix them from time to time to keep it interesting.

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?

Symphony X and other bands that we all have looked up to growing up and that has influenced our style would be fun playing with.

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – “How long hair do you have?”

TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – I like hajk.
Jonatan – No
Ola – Fastest one wins.
Staffan – Do it now, tomorrow is too late.
Olle – Full fart forward

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]

Patrik – Prog rock, metal, prog metal, and most other genres as well, as long as the music is quality. Not latino music and arabic music though, i don’t get that.
Jonatan – Wish I had time for more gigs as audience. I listen to most genres, but some favorite acts would be Symphony X, Children of Bodom and Marty Friedman.
Staffan – I try to get out and listen to stuff. I visit the occasional festival, and get a fair dosage of metal covers at the local bars. Sometimes I even catch a jazz or classical concert. I thought Wintersuns latest was the best of 2012. Other than them: Symphony X, Stratovarius and those sorts of bands along with heavier stuff like Soilwork, Meshuggah and Scar Symmetry.
Olle – I usually visit the local rock bar once a week to check out the live band for the evening, and sometimes I manage to visit bigger concerts of various genres. Lately I’ve been listening to Wintersun, Equilibrium, Dragonland and the score from Skyrim, great compliment to my gym sessions
Ola – way to little live shows. I listen to Folk metal and power metal. There will never be a better band than the German act Equilibrium.

TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?

I think there is many people hungering for metal here but there is sure a big lack of great metal clubs/venues in stockholm

TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

I think the record industry is reshaping itself into something yet unknown. Mostly because of an industry that have been quite bad at keeping up with the new ways of spreading media across the internet.

This is something that has been hard on a lot of, not so very big bands and artists but also opened up new ways of distributing and recording music yourself without the control of a record company. The biggest obstacle is to find a way to get the wheels going ’round financially. I think there is a search for new ways of making the wheels turn for every musician in the world among a lot of disillusioned old fashioned record companies.

perfectchapterTMR: What can you tell us about your upcoming album “Perfect Chapter” [such as the recording process, the songs, who did the artwork, album title, label?]

The songs are all from different times in the shadows past history. We simply took our 10 best ones (with some of them being new) and started recording them ourselves. First laying drums then guitars and bass, then keyboards and finally the vocals.

Erik Mårtenson at blowout productions then mixed and mastered the record. Staffan, the keyboard player, as the skilled artist that he is, stood for the design of the artwork in line with the rest of the groups desires and it is finally being the released on doolitle group.

TMR: The album will be released in the end of this month by ‘Doolittle Group’ how did you get signed by them ?

Ola called up Christian Liljegren at doolittle group and told him about the recorded shadows past album. Christian was interested and got a copy of a few tracks of the album. He liked what he heard and immediately signed us.

TMR: Do you have any upcoming shows?

Yep, but official dates are still to be announced.

TMR: What are your plans for this year/near future?

First of all, gigging and promoting the album. Then starting working on songs for our followup album.

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Hard work and not taking anything for granted.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Shadows Past’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]

Thanks for the interview, and we hope to play around Europe and the Netherlands one day! C ya!

Upcoming Shows:
April 12, Nalen Klubb, Stockholm, Sweden [Release Party]

Band members:
Ola Halén – Vocals
Jonatan Berg – Guitar
Patrik Berg – Bass
Staffan Lindroth – Keyboard
Olle Lindroth – Drums

Blown Away, demo [2006]
Perfect Chapter, demo [2009]
Perfect Chapter [2013]

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Video below: Wherever I Go

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