Our latest interview is from Sweden’s fresh and alternative post-hardcore/metal band A Hole Inside. To accompany their new EP The Face of Ignorance, they’ve given us an interview. Read on to find out all about them, and what makes them much more interesting than the average post-hardcore wannabes…
Who are you, and where are you from? Who are your band members?
We are a metal/hardcore/pop band from the deepest forest in Sweden. But we look more like some type of pop-rockers, haha. We listen to alot of pop actually, but we try to play some old school hardcore with a modern touch. We like that raw emotion in hardcore, and those catchy pop choruses. The love for the contrast of those two things was what got us all together.
We all live in a small town, Kinna, Sweden. We started because we just wanted to make music that we love to listen to. Our band right now consists of Me (Marcus Carlzon) on vocals and rhythm guitar, Simon Hassellund on lead guitar, Joachim Ragnarsson on bass and Aron Bergstrom on drums. We are planning on adding another member so I can just do vocals.
What genre(s) do you play? Which bands most inspire you?
I don’t know what to say really, I think we would fit in the post-hardcore/metal category. Our sound is pretty old school hardcore with a new touch. We don’t want to sound like any other band out there, we want to sound like us. We listen to alot of different genres and bands but I would say the bands that inspire us the most are the ones that write really great songs. If would had to pick some bands from the HUGE list of bands we like I would say bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, Raised Fist, From Autumn To Ashes, Yellowcard, Story Of The Year and A Day To Remember… oh yeah, I can’t forget Slipknot, In Flames and Metallica.
Tell us a bit about how you formed. What attracted you to each other musically?
I (Marcus) always wanted to play music and start a band since I was a kid, but didn’t get into it until I was maybe 18 (I am 22 now). I started to take singing lessons and one of my friends hooked me up with this cool dude that played guitar. We met at his place and wrote our first song ever, “Failed”, which is on our first EP “Steps We Have To Follow”.
We were so stoked we could write a song that we loved that we started to search for other band members, and found some not-so-good dudes to play with. We tried to play covers at first but it was so boring we started to write more songs. There were two songs that we played for four hours every day for like three months before we decided that the other members had to go. So me and Simon started to write songs in his bedroom, which turned out to be the six songs that are on our first EP. We had all the songs shittily recorded in my basement, and asked various people if they could play bass since we thought we needed that.
And that was how we found our drummer Aron: we asked him if he could play bass but he said “No, I can play guitar but I’d rather play drums because I’ve been playing for 12 years!” So we sent him the songs and he was super-stoked! We drove to his place in the middle of the night to talk to him, and then started to rehearse the songs immediately. Eventually we forced a friend, Joachim, to start to play bass (he had played guitar before) to complete our lineup.
So there we were in the middle of the summer 2008 with 6 songs written, and we were super-stoked about it so we recorded them only one month after, with my friend Andreas Sjödin. He really helped us out since we didn’t know shit about recording because we’d never done it before.
As to how we were attracted to each other musically, we all had the same musical taste and what agreed on what we wanted to sound like. We wanted to be some kind of old school hardcore band with new influences: we all liked From Autumn To Ashes, Raised Fist and other similar bands. But we also liked also alot of pop/punk rock bands such as Yellowcard, Sum 41 and Saosin. We just loved what was coming out of us and wanted to do more. So we just kept writing and writing and having a good time.
Were any of you in any bands previously? Any stories about them?
Simon was in a band: they had actually really good songs and they were only fifteen at the time. The drummer in that band formed another band which is going really well (they won the Emergenza Music Festival, have had tours in Europe, etc). I was supposed to sing for them but I was too late, haha. Aron had been playing in school for like 10 years and I don’t really know if he had a “band”, but I know he played with some deathmetal band, but other than that I actually don’t know, haha. Joachim had never played an instrument except a little guitar, so this was pretty fresh for all of us. We just evolved with each other, even Aron who was actually great from the start. I would say that he is ten times better on his instrument than all of us, haha. He is fucking crazy. I think this is very important for us, since we’re so rhythm-oriented. So there aren’t many stories, this is pretty much our first real band.
What’s happening for you in the next year? Any plans to tour, or release records?
We’re planning on doing shows around Scandinavia, and are gonna look for opportunities for a European tour in 2011, but we know it’ll be hard. We have to save up alot of money for that so we can do it. We are also gonna add a band member, so I can concentrate on vocals. Joachim is gonna take my place as rhythm guitar player since he writes alot of songs on guitar. I think our sound will get so much better when I can just concentrate on singing and not playing riffs and all that stuff. It will just sound better and we will have a better show! So we are gonna find a bassplayer that can both sing and scream since I want to use more harmonies and multi vocals stuff. I love that stuff like Mayday Parade, Taking Back Sunday… so cool to have multiple vocal melodies and all that stuff.
We just released our new EP “The Face Of Ignorance”, which is really well produced. We worked our asses off on those songs! We sold everything we had to be able to record them in a real professional studio with really good sounds. We are gonna try to get some label attention maybe, see if there is any interest in our sound. We are also on Panic & Actions compilation “Burn All The Small Towns II” with bands such as Adept, Chemical Vocation, Herbrightskies. I hope that is going to give us some exposure.
What are your ambitions as a band? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Our main goal is to be a professional touring band, making a living on the road. We know we have to sacrifice alot and work hard but we are willing to do so because we feel that this is what we want to do. In five years I really do hope that we can achieve that, but I know this stuff takes alot of time and investment, and you never know what happens but thats our main goal. Maybe we won’t reach it but then we can at least look back and be proud of what we have achieved for the rest of our lives. I would hate to have to do a job that I hate… I want to do what I love to do.
Why should people come see you live, or listen to your records? What makes you stand out from all of the other bands out there?
We don’t try to imitate anyone else. We move on stage as we want to, we don’t have any stage moves, we just rock our hearts out I would say. We look as we want to, we are not the typical emo-postrock band, we are just normal dudes that like to play music. We aren’t aiming for some type of image: even though we know that that’s important, we don’t want to conform to some bullshit stereotype. We want to be US, no-one else.
As I said earlier, we don’t want to sound like any other band. And I can honestly say that we don’t: I am very proud that we have achieved that, even though I know our music is not THAT original, but then what music is? Everything has been done 100000 times before in different ways. I mean, how easy is it to write an original metal riff in 2010? I hope you get my point. We are always trying to find influences in other music such as classical, reggae or even just brain-dead radio-pop.
I think that people would want to listen to us because we have very raw, emotional songs. We don’t overproduce our vocals, for example: I like it clean, with a raw feeling, no autotuner, no distortion pedals on screams, nothing. I want it to sound like it’s live, I don’t want to make stuff up in the studio that we can’t do live. I would say we are a much better live band than a studio band. I can’t get the same feeling in the studio on my vocals as I do live, because I don’t get that kick that you need. But, well, we sound good on record too, haha!
All the best bands have enemies. Who are your enemies? Could you beat them in a fight? We need to hear about the beef.
We don’t have any enemies, we are our own enemies. When you doubt yourself you’re the worst enemy you can have.
Anything else you’re burning to say?
I would just like to say that if you have a dream of learning something: dancing, painting, whatever… follow that dream. I dreamed of playing guitar and singing my whole life, but I didn’t start till I was 18. I have never regretted that, and even though I maybe won’t reach my goals of being a professional musician, at least I’ve learned something that I never thought I could. Four years ago I couldn’t play a chord on a guitar, I couldn’t sing in tune. Now I’ve recorded 2 EPs and one album with my other band, have lots of good reviews, have toured Scandinavia and have recorded a music video. I never thought I would do that, honestly.
I just want to engourage people to follow their dreams, I don’t like people that just talk and talk. That’s what the song “I Don’t Have My Life As a Job” on our new CD is about. I’m tired of people complaining about their situations without doing anything about it. I know there are alot of people who are burning to learn to play guitar and such but don’t because they think they can’t. All I’ll say is that I couldn’t before either; I was the worst singer and guitarist four years ago, but alot of practice and as I said PATIENCE can do so much for you. Never give up. I know I’m not a rockstar, but at least I can say that I overcame my fear of not learning what I always wanted to learn. This is not me bragging about myself, this is me saying that you’re the only thing that’s in the way of you doing what you want to do. It’s all in your head.
I will finish with a nice quote from Joan Of Arc: “All battles are first won or lost in your own mind”.
We hope after reading this you see like us that there’s more to A Hole Inside than most of the other new bands out there. To follow what they’re doing, and to listen to some of their music, make sure you visit them at their own website, or on MySpace or Facebook:
What are you waiting for? These guys should become part of your regular playlist!
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