Last week, as part of what became an unofficial Soilwork week around these parts, the Swedish sextet’s drummer Dirk Verbeuren gave us a glimpse into his diverse listening habits. As promised, we now present five more tracks from frontman and founder Björn “Speed” Strid, each of which helped meld his musical tastes during his more formative years. Be sure to catch the vocalist and his bandmates as they continue on their massive North American tour (dates below). You can listen along to Björn’s playlist here.
Dissection’s “Night’s Blood” (from 1995’s Storm Of The Light’s Bane)
This is my essential when I need to reach a comfortable level of melancholy and darkness. It hasn’t left me since it came out in 1995—it was my soundtrack going to school, my soundtrack in the dressing room before hockey practice and still my soundtrack to just about anything. It has a bone chilling atmosphere and production to it. It really is the presence in Jon’s voice that makes it so real though, backed up with the melodies and thrashy riffs. I had a chance to see Dissection in 1996 but didn’t have any money—I’m sure there would have been a way to have borrowed that money from somebody though. I definitely regret that I didn’t push for it more.
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon” (from 1975’s Fleetwood Mac)
I discovered Fleetwood Mac when I was a teenager through Tango in the Night. Later, I discovered their ’70s stuff, starting with “Rhiannon” and I just fell in love with the band’s different voices and harmonies. “Rhiannon” is an impossible song to cover, it holds such great atmosphere and the melody is amazing. Ever since then, Stevie Nicks has been one of my favorite singers. She’s just so damn classic. Nobody can sound so out of place and so dead on at the same time. Her voice has an amazing character and her persona is very intriguing. I even have her face tattooed on my calf. “Rhiannon” is a song that I never will get fed up with. The harmonies in the chorus are amazing and somehow very comforting to me.
The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” (from 1971’s Who’s Next)
I was 14 years old and found Who’s Next in an old drawer in my parents basement. It was packed together with a bunch of other vinyls, including Leon Russell, Slade and Ofra Haza. All of the records were moldy, except The Who one. First I got pissed off because my parents hadn’t let me know their old vinyls were in the basement, but very quickly I was intrigued by the cover of Who’s Next. I ran upstairs to put on the vinyl and as soon as the intro for “Baba” started, I was hooked! It was the coolest and most powerful intro I’d heard since “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project. I used to judge music in how well it would work as an intro coming out on the ice whenever I played hockey games. I was the dude who picked the music for our home games to make a grandiose entrance too. I still get hooked on powerful intros pretty easily.
Entombed’s “Evilyn” (from 1991’s Clandestine)
This song was strangely the song that made me like death metal. Is it because the opening riff almost has a “disco-death metal” feel to it? I dunno, it has such an evil groove though. I remember that I wanted to like death metal so much but I didn’t really liked how it sounded so down-tuned and I was more of a straight forward Kreator/Slayer/Sodom kinda guy. I remember that me and my friends were planning to camp in a tent over the weekend in the summer of 1992 and I brought my walkman with a freshly new recorded copy of Clandestine by Entombed. The first night when everybody had passed out in the tents from eating too many M&M’s, I decided to blast the album in my new kick ass headphones. As soon as “Evilyn” kicked in and I was looking up through the tents ceiling and saw the summer full moon, I was sold. A new era had begun!
New Model Army’s “Purity” (from 1990’s Impurity)
In the little town where I was growing up, the first wave of Swedish Death Metal hit pretty damn hard. And New Model Army. It was almost a staple—if you listened to death metal, you also listened to New Model Army. As simple as that. I think I received a compilation tape with random death metal acts and at the end of the tape there was a New Model Army song, and I instantly loved it. That track was not “Purity” and I sadly don’t remember which track it was. A couple of days later, my friend bought a copy of Impurity with New Model Army and we listened to it on our lunch break in school. When “Purity” started, it almost brought me to tears, it had such a beautiful melody and had such a strong working-class minded lyric that it reminded me of my grandfather who worked the wharf all his life and had recently passed away. I also fell for Justin Sullivan’s voice, which was really speaking to me. Here I am today and Justin is singing on our latest album with Soilwork. Magic.
*Photo by Hannah Verbeuren
**Order a copy of The Living Infinite here.
***Soilwork tour dates (with Jeff Loomis, Blackguard, The Browning and Wretched):
04/04/13 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
04/05/13 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
04/06/13 WHISKY A GO GO – Hollywood, CA
04/07/13 Rocky Point Cantina – Tempe, AZ
04/08/13 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
04/09/13 Las Vegas Country Saloon – Las Vegas, NV
04/11/13 In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
04/12/13 Gothic Theater – Englewood, CO
04/13/13 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
04/14/13 The Firebird – St. Louis, MO
04/15/13 Trees – Dallas, TX
04/16/13 Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX
04/17/13 Jake’s – Lubbock, TX
04/18/13 Lucky Mule – Abilene, TX
04/19/13 Dos Amigos – Odessa, TX
04/20/13 Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX
04/22/13 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
04/23/13 Geo’s – McAllen, TX
04/24/13 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
04/26/13 State Theater – St. Petersburg, FL
04/27/13 Freebird Live – Jacksonville, FL
04/28/13 The Casbah – Charlotte, NC
04/29/13 Kingdom – Richmond, VA
04/30/13 Soundstage – Baltimore, MD
05/01/13 Mexicali Live – Teaneck, NJ
05/02/13 The Chance Theater – Poughkeepsie, NY
05/03/13 Broadway Joes – Buffalo, NY
05/04/13 Al Rosa Villa – Columbus, OH
05/05/13 Music Hall – London, ON – CANADA
05/06/13 Station 58 – Syracuse, NY
05/07/13 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
****We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)