Niklas Stålvind (Wolf) interviewed

Wolf = heavy metal. Leather, beer, whiskey, spikes, chainsaws, and greasy, long hair. Since the beginning of time Wolf has laid waste to posers (and poseurs) and pretenders, bands and forum-junkies too easy to extol the virtues of some C-level band no one has ever cared about except some A&R guy at CBS who is now flipping breakfast burritos at McDowell’s on Main Street. The Swedes have a new album out called, Devil Seed. Make what you want out of that title. We did if you read below. But get it, ’cause it’s the perfect top-down, titties out anthem to our ever-dying summer. And it’s fucking heavy metal! The real kind.
What does “Real metal for true bastards” mean?
Niklas Stålvind: That we only care about the metal and don’t give a shit about the rest. We just want to play heavy metal and call it heavy metal. We don’t have any need to put a pre-fix to our metal because it’s just metal and that’s good enough for us. I mean “female fronted epic power metal” and such label… We are just heavy metal. Meat and potatoes. Real metal for true bastards.

Heavy metal has had a bit of a revival. What is heavy metal to you and Wolf?
Niklas Stålvind: When we grew up in the 80s we discovered classic bands like Saxon, Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate – that’s heavy metal to me. Nothing wrong with all the different kinds of metal that have developed since then. If a band is good and if a song is good I really don’t care if it is Death Metal, Black Metal, Progressive Metal or what it is. But my favorite kind of metal IS the classical heavy metal I grew up with.

Legions of Bastards was received well. What are you expectations for Devil Seed?
Niklas Stålvind: We just want to plant our Devil Seed in the world and watch it grow into a beast. Who knows what will happen? We just want to reach as many people and play as much live as we possibly can.

Tell fans what they can expect from Devil Seed.
Niklas Stålvind: As always, we put all of our heart and soul into the writing and recording of the music. We give everything we got and this time I personally thing we have a really strong record. I am so pleased with how the songs turned out and the production is nothing but world class to my ears. This is an album with songs from our metal hearts that don’t have an expire date in a couple of years. It’s not the flavor of the day. This record will kick ass if you put it on tomorrow or after ten years. It’s really good songs, nothing more nothing less.

The lineup has gelled. The new guys are now vets. How inspired are you guys at this point to make kick-ass heavy metal?
Niklas Stålvind: More inspired than ever! We have always been very inspired, otherwise we would have quit this business long ago. But with the current line-up everything is way easier and we sound better than ever. Listen to the record and see us live and you be the judge of that, but that’s really how I feel about it.

What is the Devil Seed? The evil inside all of us or maybe just something vulgar like Satan’s ejaculate?
Niklas Stålvind: We’ll let your dirty minds decide that! Personally, I think we all got a bit of a dark side inside us all. We let ours come out in songs instead of doing something stupid. Our dark sides becomes your entertainment and bring joy to the world (if you are a metal head) [Laughs]!

How was your time at Fascination Street Studio?
Niklas Stålvind: Nicest studio we have recorded in so far, and producer Jens Bogren and his team are fantastic to work with. And I have worked with some great producers (Fredrik Nordström, Roy Z, Peter Tägtgren), so I know what I’m talking about.

Why Bogren? He doesn’t seem like the guy for a rippin’ heavy metal record. Or does he?
Niklas Stålvind: I think he is. He can do everything from progressive stuff to brutal death metal and he always manage to maintain a huge, detailed and crisp sound. I like his work very much. It doesn’t sound neither ”old school” or ”the sound that’s popular this month”—it just sounds very honest and good.

What is Wolf Absinthe? And Wolf’s Blood Hot Sauce?
Niklas Stålvind: On Legions of Bastards I wrote a song called Absinthe and we just thought it would be very cool to have our very own brand of the abandoned spirit. It just happen that one of the greatest absinthe distilleries in the world was not so far from where we lived so we contacted them. They have won a world championship award for their absinthe. It’s the real deal. Other bands do wines or beer to get some money. We do the Wolf Absinthe because it’s so us.

The Wolf’s Blood Hot Sauce, named after the song Wolf’s Blood from the Evil Star album is another thing we thought would be very cool. We met a guy in Austria that hooked us up with a company that makes extremely hot sauces and he said they were looking for a band to work with. We said ”we are that band!” This sauce is so hot you can’t believe it. You have to experience it. We have witnessed grown men cry their eyes out after tasting a drop of it, and they have beforehand claimed that they can handle the spiciest stuff. It never fails. Personally I have always loved extremely spicy food and I’m on my third bottle now. By it’s own it’s pure napalm, but actually really good in cooking. Easy to over dose though.

What’s the best song for air guitar? “Mr. Scary”?
Niklas Stålvind: “Breaking the Law”.

Wolf is almost 20-years old this year. How’s the future look for Wolf?
Niklas Stålvind: As long as we can do what we do and people want to hear it we will just carry on till we drop dead. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It’s in our DNA.

** Wolf’s Devil Seed is out now on Century Media Records. Lots of sick, old-school sets are available for order HERE. Even an 8-track boxset without a digital download! Amazing! Wait, we’re kidding.