Oskar from Helltrain
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Pictures provided by Sound Pollution
Thanks to Niklas “Hobbe” Andersson at Sound Pollution for help with the interview.
This is an interview with Oskar, drummer and guitarist from Helltrain. This band is pretty new and have currently released their debut album “Route 666” on the German label Nuclear Blast. I asked them questions about the band, about their music, and about themselves.
Would you please like to tell us a bit about Helltrain, how did it all began?
The band Helltrain was formed by Pierre in 2002. Pierre phoned me up (Oskar) and said that he had some ideas for a new project and that he wanted to record a couple of songs. At that time Pierre had only 2 finished songs and he asked me to write one song so we could record a demo. So we went in to the studio and recorded the 3 songs. After we had recorded the demo Pierre sent a copy to Nuclear Blast and they offered us a record deal right away, so we were really lucky.. he he
Why the name Helltrain? Does it mean anything special to you guys?
Haha no, the name Helltrain was Pierre?s idea and at first I was really not into that name at all, but after a while I begun to like the me and I really think it fits to the music we play.
All of you guys have a past in the Swedish death/black metal scene, which bands have you all played in before you started Helltrain?
He he that list is long….former bands are: Scheitan, The Everdawn, Gates of Ishtar, The Mouning, Defleshed, Battlelust etc. I nowadays, besides Helltrain, play in Raised Fist and The duskfall.
Where in Sweden do you live?
We live in the north of Sweden in a town called Lule?, really nice town and i and the other guys like it here very much. I mean sometimes -40 degrees winter time, haha what?s not to like?
Before the debut you released an EP, how was the response from media and fans on that?
The response was really good on the EP, media and fans liked what they heard and that?s how we got our record deal with N.B. It was not planned to release it on a EP from the start but a old friend of ours called Pierre up and wanted to release the demo songs on an EP and we thought that was a really cool idea.
How long did it take to write “Route 666”?
The writing process was really slow, but i mean we didn?t have any hurry either. We started to write the music in early 2003 and was finished in 2004 just before we entered the studio to record “Route 666” in Jan. 2004.
What are the lyrics about? Have you written about any special subject or matter?
He he that?s Pierre?s question because he writes all the lyrics. But as far as i know the lyrics contains a lot of irony and just funny party lyrics
Why did you choose to record the album in Dug-Out studio in Uppsala, Sweden?
We didn?t record the album in Dug Out we just mixed the album there, the information on the backcover is wrong. We recorded the album in a studio in our hometown and then i took the songs down to Dug Out and me and Daniel Bergstrand mixed the whole album there. The reason why we wanted to do that is that Daniel is really good to work with and you get, to 100%, a good sound. On the next album we are (hopefully) gonna record the whole album in Dug Out.
How was it to work with the famous producer Daniel Bergstrand?
As I said, Daniel is a really good producer and a easy and nice guy to work with. I worked with him a couple of times before this and is always a pleasure to work with him and to see him in action, he really is a magic wizard sometimes.
Why have you called the album “Route 666”? Is there any special reason behind that?
haha no idea really, Pierre?s idea once again!
Have you read any reviews of the album yet? What have the media to say about it?
The response of the album has been really good. Most of the media likes the album but then you always have some of the media who is complaining about certain things, lack of guitar solos and stuff etc. But most of the reviews I have read has been really really good.
Why did you chose to sign on for Nuclear Blast? How does your co-operation go do you think?
It was the first label that we sent the demo to and we got a offer from them so….. it was pretty easy to choose Nuclear Blast. So far Nuclear Blast has been outstanding, a really good and professional label to work with. I can recommend this label to any band who is thinking of signing to them!
Have you done any live gigs so far? If so when and where?
No we have not played live yet, but hopefully we are gonna change that in a near future.
I think you sound quite to the style that Entombed plays today, death?n?roll, but your music is more focused on the ?n?roll, how would you describe your music?
hmmm that?s a hard one….Helltrain plays Rot?n Roll exclusively!
Who has made the cover and what do you think of it?
The cover is made of John, a guy in our home town. I think the cover turned out good, maybe a little cliche warning but what the hell….
Have you any favorite songs on the album?
Hmmm has to be “Afterglow”, that song has a very “punky edge” to it and I really dig the chorus in that song.
Are you satisfied with the album or do you feel you should have done anything different with it when you look back on it now?
Yeah I mean there are 100 things you wanna change now when you look back at the album, but its always like this. I have not recorded one album that I am 100% satisfied with when i look back at it, I am a to much perfectionist for that..haha
Are there any plans on going out on tour at the moment?
No not at the moment, but we are gonna sit down soon and talk about tours and stuff and hopefully do some festivals next summer as well
Are there going to be any videos made for any of the songs?
Yeah I hope so, “Route 666” is gonna be released by Universal records in the U.S. and there are some rumors that a certain Bam Margera really likes our album and wants to do a video with us, but we?ll see if that happens at all…that would be really cool if that happens anyway!
In the info provided to me with the CD it says “So ride on with the Helltrain coven – Satan?s party crew” what is your comment on that?
Ha,ha….that I think speaks for itself, no honest it?s just one line of Pierre?s catchy lyrics nothing else, no other comment about that.
2004 is soon coming to an end, what are the plans for Helltrain during 2005?
Do some live shows and starting to write new material for our next album which is going to be recorded in Aug-Sep. next year.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
Thanx for this interview and for all of you readers who don?t have heard about Helltrain until now, check out our debut album “Route 666”, up with the horns and come and join us in the Helltrain coven. We promise you Punk ass Rot?n?roll, and of course great party music!
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks to you Anders.
More info on the the band: