«Pär Sundström from Sabaton recommended us to Nuclear Blast, and that played its role«
Interview made by Pol Metalhead.
Interview with Follow The Cipher (Kalle drummer and Ken guitar), a great Power Metal band from Sweden, which is a sensation and highly recommended, their self-titled album has great hymns that will make any lover of good metal enjoy, I leave you with an interview that sure you will enjoy
First of all, thank you for accept doing this interview.
Kalle – No problem! Thank you for showing the interest in the band:)
You have signed for Nuclear Blast, possibly the biggest record of Heavy Metal that nowadays exists, and to be a band with a debut album today is a great joy. How did you make a record company like Nuclear Blast look at you?
Kalle – There’s a few factors involved when it comes to this. When we played Sabaton Open Air last year was Markus Wosgien there from NB and he liked what he saw. Jonas; our bass player did also meet Markus a few years earlier and they talked, had a few beers and had good time so Markus was familiar with the band from before. Pär Sundström from Sabaton has also recommended us to to NB, so that also played its role.
Let’s start with the cover, when you look at it, it makes you enter in another dimension, something that attracts you from the moment you see it at firsts. Who was the creator of this cover and which is its meaning? Can you tell us something about it?
Kalle – The cover was made by Chris Rörland (guitarist in Sabaton). We asked him if he wanted to do the artwork to our debut album and he said yes. Ken did the job with directing his and the band’s vision to Chris through many hours of phone calls. I would say that Chris did an awesome job interpreting those thoughts and ideas, because we’re more than pleased with the result of the artwork and booklet.
As you write do it really attract at first sight, and I guess that has to do with the Black n red – color theme that we’re working within.. The color red is really powerful I guess :-). The cover do also follow a futuristic and post apocalyptic theme that we think work perfect with our music and lyrics. Everything feels like a well fitted package.
How did Follow The Cipher come about? Can you tell me a little about the story?
Ken – This was meant to be a solo project from the beginning. I had some auditioning with a bunch of singers since I needed someone to do the vocals for me. Tha last one auditioning was Linda, and she struck an arrow through my heart with her voice.
She got the part and wanted in, but we really fast agreed to make a band out of this instead and invite more people the project. And this I´m really happy for.
Why the name Follow the Cipher? What is its meaning?
Ken – Follow the Cipher was actually the name of a song I wrote back in 2003.
It was a name that just popped up randomly when naming a song I was writing. The song itself had a lot of similar aspects to the music we do today, so it seemed like nostalgic thing to choose this as a name. Also I think it delivers a sense of mystery as well
You are from Falun (Sweden), hometown of bands like Sabaton, Twilight Force, Civil War … Great Power Metal bands What does this city have that doesn’t have other cities in your country to get so many good Power Metal bands?
Kalle – When it comes to these bands are we all more or less friends. Instead of acting as rivals do we support and help one another. When it comes to Sabaton, the biggest band of these you mentioned do they support the local bands a lot by bringing them on tour and also letting them play at their own festival. They are putting Falun on the world map and also taking the bands from Falun out in the world:)!
And speaking about Sweden … Currently in your country there are great bands of all styles within what is Rock or Metal, possibly the best of today What has Sweden unlike other countries in this regard?
Kalle – When it comes to Sweden in general do bands get good economical support from the government so that’s helping a lot for band to really go for it. It also seems that bands from here has become really good at using social medias for marketing, and I guess that’s really helpful these days..
Your singer Linda, has some impressive records, sometimes reminds me of Annette Olson (The Dark Element, ex Nightwish) and others Doro Pesch Where did you find this girl?
Ken – I was working with a management back in 2014, and they set up the auditioning for the vocals for me, and also found a bunch of people willing to try out, and one of them was Linda.
The album has huge songs, some of the most I liked are «Titan’s Call», «Valkyria» or «Enter The Cipher» With which song would you like the one you liked the most?
Kalle – At the moment is my favorite “Play With Fire”. I really like the triplet-feeling and it’s a really “in your face”- kind of a song!
By the way,it was a great success to put «Valkyria» as the first single and video of the new album, how did you choose this song as the first single?
Ken – The Rising had been out for quite some time before this, and Valkyria felt like a sister song for The Rising. Also this is one of the songs that Viko and I have written together, and also Viko and Linda are both singing on this one, och it represented our album very well.
How the critics of this are your debut album being, are you happy with them?
Kalle – The reviews so far have been beyond my expectations and the response on things release on youtube have been satisfying… We haven’t seen any numbers on sales yet though, so that’s the next thing we’re waiting for.
12. When will we have Follow the Cipher touring Europe? Will Spain be included in your Tour?
Kalle – We’re at this moment looking for a possible tour to support our album but we don’t have anything completely arranged yet. I hope we could play spain then, but I can’t promise anything.
I have read that your guitarist Ken Kängström is very close to the singer of Sabaton and with him he wrote songs like «Calorus Rex» Is this the reason for having included this song on the album or is because you all liked it? Will these songs be in the live shows of Follow The Cipher? I say that because having only one album is normal that you include some covers from other bands and what better than songs written by Ken?
Ken – Yes, we include this song live, and we feel that we have a great response with is as well.
We wanted to look for a cool cover to make, but it was actually Markus Wosgien from Nuclear Blast that came up with the idea to try this song with our sound, and we did.
A curiosity, your guitarist always comes out with a mask on his face. Is there any special reason?
Ken – Yes, I have been sitting all my life in a basement writing songs, not playing live that much.
So when we got the gig at Masters of Rock, I was not sure if I would handle the live pressure, so that mask became a protection in some way. But after playing live the first time, I can say that I really don´t need the mask in that sense anymore.
Until here the interview, I hope you liked it and I hope I will be able to see you live, I really liked your debut album and it would be a pleasure to be able to tell you in person. Would you like to add something?
Kalle – Thank you for showing the interest in the band, and nice that you liked the album:) … I just wanna thank everybody that have supported the band, it means everything for us. And if you see any of us at a gig, just come and say HI!