It always feels special when you get to sit down and have a chat with Bjorn Strid. The man is true metal royalty but will always take the time to sit down and chat to you at length – and whether he is chatting to you about the legendary Soilwork or his other project Night Flight Orchestra he is always amazing to chat to.
Today Strid sits down to chat to HEAVY Mag about Soilwork’s brand new album Verkligheten which is out in January and is easy to see that he is excited about what the band has been able to create this time around.
“We wanted to explore the nature of reality,” explains Strid when we start to talk about what the motivations were for the album. “I think with age we all see reality differently and we all need to find new ways to escape it. That is what the general theme is because some of the lyrics are very realistic and some are socially realistic and I think that creates a very interesting contrast. That it was the title is all about but we didn’t want to just call the album Reality because that word is over-used in the metal genre so we decided to use the Swedish word for it… which is actually a concept that we thought of years ago but it didn’t seem fitting at the time. But with this album and all the melodies and the sound it felt like the right time.”
“Absolutely… one hundred per cent,” agrees Strid when I ask whether the word reality now has a different meaning to the younger generation because of reality television. “They have their own reality but we all have our own reality, but yes the meaning of the word has changed a lot. But I think, without sounding like an old man, that with age you learn more about what reality is because it is going to hit you sooner or later. There are times when you have trouble dealing with everyday life and you sometimes have to protect yourself from watching too much TV or social media, with the news there are some terrible things that can really bring you down and it’s not about ignoring it is about protecting yourself. It’s not always easy to stay positive in the world but every now and then there is a story that recaptures your faith in humanity. But there are also times when you just don’t want to deal with reality and you want to drift away and that’s okay. You have have to be healthy and there are a lot of us that use music as that tool to escape reality, that has worked for me all these years… you always have the music.”
Verkligheten is out on 11th January through Nuclear Blast then the band will tour Australia in March.
You can listen to our full Soilwork interview on Spotify.