Scar Symmetry Interview
with Per Nilsson (guitars and keyboards)
and Henrik Ohlsson (drums and lyrics)
9th May 2012
at O2 Islington Academy, London, UK
Interview by Wolf Shankland
Photography by Jo Blackened
First formed in 2004 by drummer and lyricist Henrik Ohlsson, and guitarist Per Nilsson and Jonas Kjellgren during the band “Altered Aeon” recording session at Jonas’s Black Lounge Studios. Later that month Christian Alvestam and bassist Kenneth Seil joined the line up, which the allowed them to record “Seeds of Rebellion” a demo that got them signed to Cold records (an affiliate to Metal Blade records)
After releasing Symmetric Design, Pitch black Progress and Holographic universes. As well as releasing face melting songs such as The Illusionist and Morphogenesis “Scar Symmetry” sadly announced that in September 2008 they parted ways with Christian due to conflict of interests and touring problems. But from one comes two as Roberth Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist take the helm of the SS symmetry, Roberth tackling the screams and growls whilst Lars takes on melodies.
With their releases of Dark matter Dimensions and The Unseen Empire the band have stormed their way back and tonight they’d prove that. But before we got the gig underway we got the chance to talk to the founding members of “Scar Symmetry” Per Nilsson and Henrik Ohlsson… Lets begin…
First of guys, how was your trip to the UK?
Per: very sleepy, fell asleep on the plane.
So just want know what its been like since you guys started back in 2004?
Per: well when we started off we didn’t really know each other. Me and Henrik we knew each other before Scar, we came from different cities and came together, but we didn’t know each other very well but we had a very vague idea of what we wanted to do, we had a very broad idea.
Henrik: we wanted to do some kind of melodic death metal but we had no clue what it would sound like so we kind of experimented with different sounds.
So it was the two of you that started off Scar Symmetry
Henrik: well it was us two and Jonas, the other guitar player who sadly isn’t here tonight. But he came up with the idea and asked me if I wanted to join. I recommended Per for another guitarist and he recruited Ken on bass. Then Christian came in.
Per: he heard about the project and he said you need to have me! I must be in the band.
How was your transfer from “Cold Records” to “Nuclear Blast”?
Henrik: yeah it was really different but definitely a step up for us cause it meant more tours and big festivals.
How did they approach you?
Per: when we released the first album we received tons of great reviews for it so I think it was more they’d heard about us and shown a great interest in us through our reviews.
What was you most challenging album to record?
Per: I would say the last one we did with Christian and the last one we did with Rob and Lars. Because of the turmoil inside the band with Christians departure and the turmoil outside the band for Dark matter dimensions then there was shaping up the new vocalist which all in all put a lot of pressure on the band.
Lets talk about Roberth and Lars, was that a good transition?
Henrik: that was the whole idea, cause touring with one vocals it was hard for the 1 to do the job of 2 so when we got the chance we got the too instead. It helped us more on the live performance cause it helps the them concentrate on different things like breathing and running around on stage so it was definitely a good move.
Lets talk about Unseen empire and its message:
Henrik: yeah its based around the different conspiracy theories. I wrote the lyrics for Unseen Empire but it was actually Jonas who decided to base it around conspiracy theories.
Per: he was like lets make an album about the illuminati
A lot of people say you have a very power metal sound behind you. Yay or Nay?
Henrik: I don’t really agree that we sound power metal I feel we’ve stuck with the whole melodic death metal scene, though I guess it’s just a matter of opinion.
Per: I guess a lot of people think power metal because of Lars. He does have a little power in his vocals but I wouldn’t think that would class us as a power metal band.
So you guys have unofficially announced a follow up from Unseen Empire what can you tell us about it?
Per: well I think we’re gonna record it this year. When we find the time. Anything can happen.
Henrik: with the lyrics I’m thinking of different directions on where to take it. I have a lot of ideas just lying around.
Its been a while since you guys last played this way, when was that?
Henrik: back in 2007 at Bloodstock Open Air.
Lets talk about the support, who had a hand choosing them?
Per: our booking agent chose Xerath and Betraeus but we really like them and thought they fitted the bill really well. But it was “Deals Death” who we personally chose to open for us as they’re good friends of ours. So it was a joint effort.
So what do you have planned for the rest of 2012?
Henrik: well we have some festivals coming up for this summer then we’re going to the US in September for a tour.
Per: we’re doing Sophia festival, Euro blast in Germany. So yeah we’re going to be busy for the rest of the year.
Well guys thanks for your time, hope you have an amazing time tonight!!
Henrik and Per: Thank you!