1) Hi guys. How are you? Tell me you history, line-up…
NICK: Hello!! We’re fine. Backdraft was formed back in 1997 by Rob (guitars) and Rev. Sorethroat (vocals) at a shitty rock bar in Stockholm. They decided that there was no good music coming out nowadays, so they started a band, Morningwood… Snejken (guitars) joined with Trisse (drums, now in Grand Magus), and Anders Sevebo (bass, from Blue Matter). They fired Trisse in 1998, and I joined the band in 1999. Shortly after, Anders decided to quit the band, and Peter Tuthill (bass, now singing in Constructdead, and formerly with Dog Faced Gods) joined. In the spring of 2000, Peter decided also to leave the band, and Mats joined. We felt that the line-up was complete and that we had something really good going on. So when we recorded the Goddamn Man EP and the Here To Save You All album, the line up was:
Reverend Sorethroat (vocals)
Rob the slob (guitar)
And me, Nick (drums)
2) You came from a country with well known Black Metal, Death Metal bands.. Why do you play Southern Rock?
NICK: Why we play southern rock……… I don’t think we play southern rock, I just think we play hard, cool rock’n’roll. But one of our main influences is – together with hard rock, metal and pop – southern rock.
MATS: We say this all the time, but… it was more that other people thought of us as a southern rock band, than ourselves presenting us as such. That’s of course because there is not a whole lot of music in that genre nowadays, or stuff that sounds like we do, so maybe people were waiting for something in this style to come along. But I like being put in a category, why not? It makes it easier for people to find music they like, and if they think we’re a bunch of heavy metal kids and that we’re not true to the spirit of “real southern rock”, then that’s fine too. We couldn’t be bothered about living up to other people’s expectations, we do this for ourselves.
3) Your first name was Morningwood. Why this change of name?
MATS: That was long before I was in the band, but the name was considered to be too juvenile. You don’t really take some guys calling themselves Morningwood very seriously, although ZZ Top managed to write a song about morning wood, but that’s another story…
4) I’ve read that your life approach is something like “live-your-life-to-the-fullest” and “have-a-beer-or-twelve”. Why this approach?
NICK: Because it’s fun to have twelve beers…… No, seriously, we’re not into politics, we’re not into anything more than rock and roll, and I personally think, that to NOT have a political or religious message is kind of nice. We just want to drink beer and play rock’n’roll, nothing more. That’s what life, or at least our life, is about.
MATS: I’m into politics, but I agree that there’s no place in Backdraft’s music for that. You should sing about what’s around you and what you do. When the levee breaks, then you make a song about it. Or when the boll weevil, or the high sheriff comes, or if you drank a can of shoe polish… Blues existentialism is what it’s all about. And have-a-beer-or-twelve… You often regret what you did the day after you did it, but what you didn’t do, you might end up regretting for the rest of your life! See… it’s existentialism at its’ finest! Our songs have a deep, profound meaning after all…
5) I love songs like “Wicked Man” or “Goddamn Man”. What is their story, what do you try to tell us in them..?
MATS: It’s just like what I was saying. Songs about drinking and partying, with a LOT of self-irony and humor. It’s situations that most people can relate to – you think you’re the king of the world, but you sort-of know you’re not… well, you’re the king of YOUR world at least.
6) And now tell me about your self released Goddamn Man EP. It was very well received by the public.
NICK: When Mats joined the band, we wanted to do a demo and so we did. We sent out a couple of demos to magazines, record labels, booking agencies, and important people across the world. It was in some big magazines, and we got some radio airplay with it. Then of course, Stuart (Lunasound Recording boss!) liked it and wanted to do a record with us.
MATS: It was done in the rehearsal space and at home, just plugging into a computer with a Pod. Not very southern rock-y but it came out alright. And it got the job done of getting us a little recognition and a record deal. We still have some actually, that I found the other day tidying up my apartment, that are for sale through our home page, at http://www.backdraft.web.com (all the songs are on the album as well, but in new versions).
7) For this new album “Here to save you all”, you’ve changed the drummer. Why? How did him fit in?
NICK: I joined the band back in 1999. So the drummer was changed before that… And I kick ass, and have done from the very beginning…
MATS: Sweet, hot & stikky Nikky is-a da best-a drummer-a inna the a-world!
8) Tell me now about the album “Here to save you all”. From where the title, what do you try to tell us?
NICK: We wanted to save u from the shitty music scene that has been pissing us off forever!
MATS: I really wanted an album title that said something, like Appetite For Destruction, or Screaming For Vengeance – like, blam!! No one really knows this, but I tell you I actually stole the title from a great hip-hop record with the same title, by Chino XL, it was released on American Recordings in 1996 or something. Backdraft’s down with bad-ass hiphop thugs, word, biatch!
9) How do you get along with Lunasound Recording?
NICK: Stuart is a good friend of ours, he’s very good, he’s put in a lot of work and effort into this. So the answer is: We get along with him very well.
MATS: He’s done an absolutely great job for us, with very, very limited resources in terms of money. At the moment, we don’t have a record deal but we’re talking to Lunasound and a few different other labels and hope to record a new album very soon!
10) You’ll record a new album with Greg Strzempka, from the boogie legends Raging Slab.Tell me some inside info about the textual approach, music line etc.
NICK: Yes, Greg is now in the band, Jonas is now out of the band… I think that you’ll find the new stuff very interesting and good, I can’t tell u anything about the lyrics, but it’s (of course) more American than before. The music is getting a little bit harder and more AC/DC-ish. More straight forward rock and roll.
MATS: Both guys are fantastic people and singers and there should be no comparisons. Greg has a great sense of humour, and has always written very funny, smart lyrics, that you have to think about a couple of times. Fusing that with our music has so far been totally natural. The songs we’ve worked on has come together rather quickly, as the kind of music we’re doing is pretty close to what he’s been doing for twenty years. I also agree that some of the stuff is harder, and more straight-ahead. A little less of the southern rock and boogie influences, and more hard cock arena rock!
11) Thanks for your time. If you have any word of wisdom to share with us…
NICK: Drink beer, eat meat and so on…
MATS: Sometimes life is a very ugly shit sandwich that you’ll have to eat, you’d rather not, but when you’re done you have to go on with your life. Backdraft will be back with a new album and on tour in early 2004 if all goes according to plan, and if anyone wants us to come to Romania, please get in touch!
Editor’s note: For more information on Backdraft, please visit their Myspace profile.