Heart of Steel: Interviews


Fatal Smile Interview with Y and H.B.

Interviewed By Rick


Y - guitars


H.B. - vocals

First off lets get some information on the band. Fatal Smile is from Stockholm Sweden. Could you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

H.B. 
The band started by Y in a small town in Sweden called Katrineholm in 1994. In 1996, Y moved to Stockholm and hooked up with Karlshamn bass player Marcus Johansson.

Since recording it's first two-track demo ("Hip M.F."/"Sad & Gone") in 1999, the band has undergone a lineup change at vocals and, more recently, drums. In 2000, the band welcomed vocalist H.B. Anderson (ex-Scudiero & Token). In 2002, rock 'n' roll madman/drummer Robin Lagerqvist (ex-Six Pack Solution) was recruited to join Johansson in the rhythm section.

In the early summer of 2001, Fatal Smile headed into a Stockholm studio with producer Jonas Östman (Yngwie Malmsteen, Mental Hippie Blood) where they spent six weeks recording and mixing its 10-track debut album "Beyond Reality". The band has now signed a deal with the Swedish label Stars On The Rise / GMR Music Group who helped release "Beyond Reality" in early 2002.

For the last seven years, Fatal Smile has rocked its home of Stockholm, Sweden, and beyond. Now, they've reached the shores of the United States having kicked off 2003 playing the New Jersey Metal Meltdown and there is more to come…

 

 

You play what I would call a modernized version of 80s metal. Do you agree with this statement? How would you describe the sound of the band?

H.B.
Yeah, I agree. To be correct our music is a mixture between 70's, 80's and 90's music with a modern day production. We deliver real simple and heavy shit with a lot of attitude. We call it Heavy Fatal!!!!!

Y
We'll, you're right about that...I mean all of us like music from the 80's so we just mix it with the rest of the music that we like...And there you got the Fatal Smile sound: coherent and polished...yet brimming with riffs and attitude. I think that we manage to keep things fresh and interesting, due to a tight rhythm section, a mindful singer and some tasty, soulful lead guitar work. The album won't disappoint true hard rock fans, with influences from legendary bands like Whitesnake, Metallica, Black Sabbath/Ozzy...

 

 

Where did the name Fatal Smile come from?

Y
I think I got the name from a movie or a song, something like that. I just thought it would be a great name for the band, it sounded good and had some cool output...As simple as that!

 

 

You latest CD is called BEYOND REALITY. One of my favorite songs on the CD is "The Saviour." Could you give us a little rundown of some of your favorite songs on the CD and why they standout above the others?

H.B.
The Saviour is the second song we wrote together, the first one we wrote together was Beyond Reality and it has become our favorite because of that. But I like Bad Kharma because of the attitude and the heaviness in it. Circle Of Fire is another favorite because it has the right ingredients, it begins quite softly to become real heavy and raw, I'm pretty satisfied with the lyrics as well, it's a true story about an always current and serious subject, child molestation.

Y
I really like the whole album. If I should mention some of my favorite's it would be tracks like the groovy Bad Kharma, melodic stuff like The Saviour and the soft and heavy Circle Of Fire...It's really hard to pick out a certain tracks....I think that we have 10 killer tracks on the album. So, I'll say that all the tracks on the album are my favourites.

 

 

The production of the CD is top-notch sounding - strong, clear and powerful. How did you get in contact with producer H.P. Camper? Did he bring anything to the recording sessions that helped make Fatal Smile a better band and BEYOND REALITY a better CD?

Y
I totally agree about the production, it's a really killer production. H.P Camper aka Jonas Ostman (Yngwie Malmsteen) was just great to work with. He made a awesome job with the production!!! We wanted a clear sound but still heavy & with an edge in it...and I think that we made a hell of a job together with him. Fatal Smile was like this good even before the recording. So, what he did was that he helped us get the sound that we wanted. And we just did what we do best: played our fucking music!!!

H.B.
He's very calm and professional; he knows what he wants and how to get there. There's a lot of respect involved between us and we worked great together.

 

 

You guys did a video for "Bad Kharma". Tell us a little bit about the making of the video and why that particular song as chosen?

H.B.
We selected Bad Kharma by first of all asking ourselves which song we wanted to see as a video. Then we asked some friends and fans what they thought, finally the production company who made the video had the last call. They came up with this weird idea and we were up for it. It took about a day to shoot the video and we filmed it at a venue called GK in Stockholm. The dancing girl is a professional as all the characters are of course ;o)

Y
Yeah, making this video was a real blast. The director, Poppe Linge, is a really sick man....he had some really crazy ideas. But we had a great time making the video. A lot of nude girls, booze and some more nude girls and some rock 'n roll! What more can you ask for??? I think this video is a real cool one, not exactly pretty. But who said that rock'n roll should be "pretty"??? It's all about Bad Kharma coming your way. You can download the video from: www.gmrmusic.se Check it out!!!

 

 

Has the video gotten any airplay and has it given you any opportunities that you might not have had if you had not made the video?

Y
Yeah, the video got pretty much airplay here in Sweden on Z-TV...But, it's a kind of "x-rated" video it have mainly been broadcasted after midnight. It's really hard to get your video air-played today, but people seem to like our video. I think that people are pretty tired of seeing all the shit videos that's on MTV and so they want the real thing!!! And hell yeah, the video gave us some major credit & respect from all the fuckers that didn't believe in us. And we got even more girls after this video...and that's not bad for a bunch of ugly motherfuckers like us!!!

 

 

Have you gotten any complaints about the nudity and general debauchery of the video?

Y
We have got just some awesome feedback about the nudity. People really seem to enjoy the song AND the video. But there was also some complaints about the nudity. But who gives a fuck??? I mean if some stupid fuck's don't like to see some tits and ass, then they shouldn't even look in the mirror cause they might see some scary things. I think they should go back to their caves & stay there...forever!

 

 

In the liner notes to the CD I have read that the bands influences stretch from Frank Sinatra to John Sykes and Zakk Wylde. Can you tell us a little about the bands influences and how they come together to make the "Fatal Smile" sound?

H.B.
I am responsible for the Sinatra influence. I grew up in a jazz family and I think that Frankie Boy (R.I.P.) is the best entertainer ever. But, I'm also a huge fan of Metallica, I've seen them live 7 times…

My "icons" (house-gods) are Glenn Hughes, James Hetfield, OZZY, Frank Sinatra, & Tommy Körberg ;o) 

The rest of the band have their influences like: Grand Funk Railroad, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Alice In Chains, The Nomads, Ramones etc. And that's why we got that "Fatal Smile" we "take" the best of everything and make our own Greatest Best with our Heavy Fatal music.

 

 

You played Metal Meltdown 5 in New Jersey in March. Was this your first show in North America and how was it playing in front of North American fans?

H.B.
Yes, it was our first appearance in USA. It was awesome; we did a 30min show that kicked ass and the crowd loved it. And therefore we've been able to come back in July - August for a 3 week long tour across America (see www.fatalsmile.nu for dates and locations).

Y
Yeah, it was fucking awesome!!! The people in the US seem to understand what it's all about: Some Great Kick Ass Hard rock!!! As simple as that!!! We had a great time performing & a great crowd...And we just felt that we had to go back to the US for some more. We'll be kicking off the tour on Milwaukee Metal Fest on July the 25th. And we're really looking forward to this tour...

 

 

I am sure that you had the opportunity to check out many of the bands who shred the bill with you at Meltdown. Were there any in particular that caught your attention?

H.B.
Yeah, we had our Swedish brothers Darkane there and they did a great show, also a 80's cover band called Fozzy was cool. And there was a lot of bands I can't remember the name of, but it was a cool fest…

Y
Hell yeah, it was a really cool fest with a lot of great bands on the bill. We checked out Sinner and some more band's. But as H.B said we don't really remember all the bands cause we had a major party at the bar...with some heavy drinking going on that fest. It was a real blast!!! The way it should be...

 

 

You guys are also going to be a part of the Milwaukee Metalfest in July. Is that gig a result of your participation in Meltdown?

H.B.
Yes, as I said earlier our appearance in New Jersey did make some wind beneath our wings…

Y
Yeah, they wanted us back...and they got us back!!! The Meltdown gig was just a teaser for "the real thing", and that's exactly what we're gonna show on this tour this time. So don't you dare to miss a Fatal Smile show coming to a town near you!!! We're gonna kick some ass, that's for sure!

 

 

Will there be a proper US tour to go along with the Metalfest gig?

Y
Yeah, we'll be doing a tour with 14 shows. For all the dates & locations, check out our website: www.fatalsmile.nu And I said before, we're really looking forward to see you on the tour...

 


Marcus and Robin of Fatal Smile

 

Fatal Smile had the opportunity to open for Thin Lizzy on May 10th. How did you get the gig and was it a thrill to open for such an influential band?

H.B.
We played at the same festival the week before and the arrangers for that festival had some connections with the Thin Lizzy manager. It was a blast, they have been all our idols since we've been young and thou' Mr. Lynott's not with us anymore his music certainly lives on through his band mates John Sykes and Scott Gorham.

Y
It was really cool to share the same stage together with the man that was the reason why I started to play guitar: John Sykes!!! That man sure knows how to play guitar & he's a cool person as well. It was an awesome show & we had a great time.

 

 

What markets seem to give the best response for you in terms of live shows?

H.B.
Festivals no doubt, where there are much people with different kinds of taste in music, we unite them with our music. And of course a small gig in a small rock n' roll club can be the biggest gig ever, so any market is a challenge for us, we just love to do live shows.

Y
I agree! Just give us a stage to play on and we'll make people go crazy...It doesn't really matter where we're playing, we always give the crowd what they came for: A Kick Ass Hard rock Show!!! We we're born to play live, the record's is just our "ticket" to get out and play...

 

 

This is a 2 part question. 1) If you had the opportunity to tour with any band currently on the scene who would it be and why? 2) If could jump in your time machine and could go to any period in the history of music, what band would you choose to tour with and why?

H.B.
I would say Metallica on both. Cause they've been a part of me since I first begin to play music in my teens. But, of course to do a duet with the best entertainer ever Mr. Sinatra would be end of my days, after that I could go and lay beside him in his grave.

Y
I would say Whitesnake on both questions!!! With the following line up: John Sykes, Neil Murray, Cozy Powell (R.I.P.), John Lord David Coverdale...Cause this band with this line up have always been & will always be my favorite!!!

 

 

What do you think of the Swedish Hard Rock/Heavy Metal scene nowadays compared to the ´80s era in Swedish metal when bands like Europe, Heavy Load, Treat, Overload, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc. really started to make an impact in Sweden and outside its border?

H.B.
As we grew up in that era we think of course that the old times always is the best times ;o)

But, I think that the scene begins to change a bit, again. It has been awhile when Death, Speed, Goth, Dark Metal has ruled the scene, but the melodic rock is beginning to gasp for new fresh air.

Y
Yeah, the "old" good stuff is coming back more and more and I think that it's just what we need. Some good bands with cool song's and great live  performances and not just some angry stupid fuck's trying to tell the world how angry the are!

I mean, sure you can be angry, but it's not that fun listening to that shit for a long time and when you go to a show you expect the band to give the audience a good show, and not just stand there and look at their new shoes. Rock 'n roll is all about entertaining, both in vision and in sound! That's my opinion!!!

 

 

Is the scene in your local area (Stockholm and Sweden in general) divided so that you never play gigs with bands who are not similar in style to Fatal Smile AND have you ever opened for some of the big Swedish metal bands?

H.B.
No, we have played with other artists. We've done gigs with the king of schlager Christer Björkman and the queen of pop Sussi Päivirintaa, probably you don't recognize them but they are far from our genre ;o)

Y
Yeah, we have played gigs with different kind of artist/bands like Brolle Jr, Martin, Dromhus etc...And they are NOT even fucking close to our style. But it's pretty fun to do gigs like this. The artist's/bands walk up to us after seeing our show just to tell us how good it was and that they like hard rock music & that they are rockers. But they have to sell their asses by playing some really shitty music...just to make money. I think that it suck's, big time!!!

We have played some festivals together with some big Swedish metal bands. And we went in to replace Entombed at last years "Rock At Sea", since they we're forced to cancel the show.

 

 

Many bands view the internet as an invaluable promotional tool and way to get their music out to the fans. Fatal Smile has a website at www.Fatalsmile.nu. How do you view the internet as a promotional tool for new and up and coming bands and has the net helped Fatal Smile get your music out there?

H.B.
Yeah, absolutely! The internet is a fantastic thing. Probably in a 10-20 year period (or less) there will be no schools, all kids sits at home with a web cam and learn via internet. My son (1 ½ year old) will probably do that…

Through the internet you can find artists that you never thought existed and thanks to that many people know about Fatal Smile, plus you save a lot of stamps...

Y
It's a VERY important thing for a band that wants some promotion world wide!!! I mean it's so easy to reach all those people that like the same kind of music in so many different country's! The world is just one "click" away...And yeah, it sure has helped us to reach out to the rockers all over the world. And you'll get so much great feedback from people all over...

 

 

Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?

H.B.
I hope you liked this interview and if you haven't heard us check us out at www.fatalsmile.nu and for you lucky ones whom heard about us check out the tour dates on our website cause we're dying to meet you all. Heavy Fatal rules!!!

Y
Keep kickin' some ass & thanks for supporting true hard rock music & we hope to see you on tour. Until then, check out our album and: STAY FUCKING HEAVY!!!

Peace, Y.

Thanks!


Website: www.fatalsmile.nu

CD REVIEW
Fatal Smile -
Beyond Reality