Interview with Bassist Nils Eriksson
Interview by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Cindy @ Century Media
for the help and promo pictures of the band
Here we have an interview with Nils Eriksson, bass player of the
power metal band Nocturnal Rites from Umeċ Sweden. We spoke about their
new/sixth album NEW WORLD MESSIAH that will be released soon, about the
tour through out Europe with Edguy, and about their plans for 2004.
Does everyone in the band still live in Umeċ Sweden?
Yes. Well, Jonny lives about 15 minutes outside the city, but I guess he
qualifies as a citizen of Umeċ anyway.
Would you like to explain where Umeċ is located?
It's about 8 hours north of Stockholm, meaning we're in the north of
Sweden. It's cold, evil and dirty up here - and that's what's making us
sound so mean on albums. Up here only real men live. No one but native
Umeċins could last more than week in this grim climate ;) And we talk
like real men too. No sissy accents like they have in the south, we
sound mean and brutal, haha!
What has happened with Mattias your keyboard player? Has he left the
Yes, he wanted to focus on other things and try something different.
We're still friends and meet all the time, so no hard feelings were involved.
Who is it that plays keyboard on this album?
A really talented guy called Richard Frohm plays on two tracks. It
was really cool to record him, since he did it all live in the studio. I
think it turned out really well. On some of the other tracks friends are
helping out and the producer is playing some stuff too. Keyboards are so
much fun to fool around with in the studio. Keyboards and vocals are the
most interesting and sound changing elements - I love them!!!
You have been around for a while as a band, how have you developed
music-wise through the years do you think?
I think, and hope, we've all become better at what we do, both as
musicians, songwriters, and as a band. As you said, we've been around for
quite some time, so it would be strange if we hadn't got any better. We
all work hard, practice, write songs all the time and really devote all
our time to the band. If you go through our back catalogue it will be
very obvious that we've always strived towards change and to develop and
never remake albums. That's what makes being a musician interesting and fulfilling.
Have you done a lot of touring through the years?
We've toured Europe about five times, toured Sweden, Japan and played
lots of festivals. So, yes I guess we've done our share. But there's
more to come, believe me. Touring is what it's all about.
You were out on tour in Europe with the metal legends of Saxon last
year, how was that?
It was truly great. I grew up listening to Saxon and for me it was an
honour to tour with them. The tour was real fun and intense.
Why didn't the tour come to Scandinavia?
Well, we had nothing to do with how the routing of the tour was planned
or booked. We would of course have loved playing in Scandinavia. The
reaction from the fans was awesome. Pretty much every night was sold out
and the whole package had some real success on this tour.
You were also in Japan with HammerFall last year, how was that?
Awesome, of course. It was our first time in Japan, so it was really new
and exciting to see a different culture and country on the other side of
the world. Going with HammerFall was of course also lots of fun, since
they're really nice guys and we had a blast.
Have you grown and developed as a live act through the years?
like to think so. We're able to just have a good time and enjoy every
second of it. Playing live is the biggest reason why we do this, why we
spend all that time writing songs and recording them. Touring is the
biggest pay off. There's no feeling in the world that beats being on
How do you look upon you previous album
It's a great album that has a really rough edge for being our genre of
music. I think it sounds awesome and really in your face. I still like
the songs and do believe the album has a unique feel to it, like the
rest of our records.
What was the response from the press/fans on SHADOWLAND?
It was really cool. Both fans and press seemed to really enjoy what we
did on that record.
How many copies do you think you're selling per album?
I don't have the faintest idea. I know for every album we get bigger and
bigger pretty much in every country. But I'm sorry, I have so sales
You recorded SHADOWLAND in Uppsala, Sweden why have you
switched to record this album in Umeċ?
Recording away from home in both good and bad. The good thing is that
there are really no distractions and you can't focus on anything but the
record. But then again, recording at home gives you distance and a more relaxed
vibe. Rounding up Shadowland was quite stressful so we thought
it would be nice to at least record this new record at home and go away
for the mixing process. We had a great time both recording and mixing
Who has produced the album?
SHEP produced the record. TT Oksala mixed it and Mierva Pappi mastered
Who writes the music/lyrics in the band? And how does it work when
you're writing new material?
Fredrik, Nils N and me write the songs. It's pretty much been like that
for the last four records. Usually Fredrik or Nils N come up with a riff
or an idea and then the three of us sit down together and jam around
that in our studio. Sometime Fredrik writes alone and Nils too. However,
when we have the major parts of the song done, we make a rough demo that
we take back home and work with vocal ideas on. Then Jonny comes in and
we work out how vocals should be together. After that I take a tape back
home again and start working on lyrics.
Are you satisfied with the new album?
Very much. I honestly believe this is our best record. It's diverse, has
a unique spirit and really sounds fresh and new. It think our love for
the band and our music shines through and the album is really special to
me. I love it and I'm proud of it.
Is there something that you're less pleased with? Something that you
could of done better?
As a musician and a songwriter there are always things you can do
better, or else why go on trying? Once we write an album where NOTHING
could be done one more time, be it a keyboard line, a note on the bass
or whatever, then we'll stop. However, that's not the point of recording
records. It's about having fun and playing the music you love.
You have always such a nice looking cover on your albums and that
reflects your music well, who decides what kind of cover you should
We do, together with a friend of ours that sketches out the ideas.
Thanks and I agree - especially the last two covers look
absolutely amazing and brilliant.
What do you think of the Swedish power metal scene?
Do you have any favorite bands?
The scene is constantly growing and more and better bands come out all
the time. I always enjoy HammerFall because they do their own thing
really well and also In Flames are very good.
Are you going out on tour as a headliner act during this year?
Probably late this year. We'll try to tour as much as we possibly can on
this record and the fans definitely deserve a full set from us after so
I think that you play power metal, how would you describe what music
I have no idea. I think describing and analyzing is up to the people
buying records. We never analyze how we sound - we try to just write
songs we feel confident about and that we like and that's basically all
we can do. Power Metal, Heavy Metal or simply Metal. It doesn't matter
really, as long as it's metal we're happy.
Why don't you tour more in Scandinavia?
We have five Scandinavian shows coming up on the Edguy tour and we've
really built a strong fan base up here, so in the future there will be
more touring in Scandinavia for sure.
Why have you chosen to call the new album "New World
Messiah", does it mean anything special to you?
We always like to have a song title represent our albums. We thought New
World Messiah sounded mostly like an album title and was easiest to
illustrate on a cover. The cover has two manings in it, that's why we
like. Interpret it whatever way you choose - it's either an illustration
of pending doom or the coming of something bright and new.
I think that you new album has a more lighter and warm sound picture
than the previous albums, how come?
I guess everything is a result of how the songs sound, the feeling you
have in the studio while recording and so on. We had a really friendly
easy going feeling while doing this record, so that might be part of the
explanation. Also, the mix was very relaxed and I guess all this
combined got the record sounding warmer and maybe, as you said, lighter.
I love the sound and the production, it's really what we were looking
The song "Egyptica" falls a bit out of frame of Nocturnal
Rites I think, why have you chosen to put that song on the album?
We thought it was important to have at least one song that stood out
from the rest, one song that kind of broke the pattern a bit to make the
album more diverse. I personally think it adds another dimension to the
record and that the song in itself is truly amazing and different
sounding than the rest of the record.
Are the lyrics about anything special on "New World
All songs are different and their own "stories". I've always
been weak when it comes to nightmare scenarios and people going nuts.
So, of course, there are a few songs about those kinds of things. Also,
it was inevitable to shy away from the fact that a lot of things have
happened in the world between our two latest albums. Wars, terrorist
attacks and so on. The world has grown colder and darker and I think
that is reflected in some of the songs too.
What are the plans for Nocturnal Rites during '04, except for touring
Have a great time, tour as much as we can and simply do what we love. No
exact plans are made yet, but we're working on a few things.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of
Play it loud and know that the Messiah is coming.
Official Nocturnal Rites Site: www.nocturnalrites.com
Rites Reviews in Metal-Rules.com
Past Interviews with NR in MR:
interview with Nils Eriksson
- 1999 interview with Nils Norberg