Hello, today we have the immense pleasure of being able to interview The Lightbringer of Sweden, the Swedish band that has shaken the foundations of heavy metal, taking us back to the golden ages of the genre, but with a fresh and current sound. Lars Eng, the founder and the band’s mastermind, is largely responsible for this, and this year 2023 they are going to give a lot to talk about with their second album The new world order.
Rockmania: Hi. thank you very much for your attention, ¿How are you? ¿Everything ok in cold Sweden now?
TLOS: Hello! I’m pretty good, some busy days now, working fulltime at my daytime work as a Quality Technician/Controller at a factory in the next village, and shipping CD’s and Merch like never before. So, it’s good, but kind of hectic days. So, there is not much time being out in the snow with the kids right now.
Rockmania: This year 2023 you are releasing your second album, the new world order, ¿How is it being received and what do you expect from this second work?
TLOS: Every one seems to love the new album, and that’s a big relief for me, I was kind a nervus for how the album was going to be treated, it is not as intense and fast as the first album was, it a bit cooler and a bit heavier than I thought it will come out. But I love the end result, from my point of view it’s more well written and the songs a much better. And I think the whole band has taken a big step forward in the process, we have become a real band and not just a project.
Rockmania: The band as such was forged in 2019, according to what I have read, but Lars has been with the project since 2017. ¿Why so much insistence in creating this project, having many bands to fight with in this style?
TLOS: The project didn’t start as a music project until 2019, the writing of the story that did I start write back in 2017, but it wasn’t until 2019 I start to write the music for what later would become Rise of the beast.
Rockmania: I recognize that the first work, Rise of the beast, for me, among so many releases in 2020, went unnoticed, although I had references of good work. ¿How was it received?
TLOS: I think it was a very good welcome of the first album, it was the first album I ever wrote and released, as an independent. So we come very far during the circumstances I think.
Rockmania: The covers, I find them both spectacular, both Rise and The new world. I have found that the artist is Isabel Sarstedt, a 3D design artist but not linked to metal works. ¿Am I right? ¿And if so, how did you choose this artist?
TLOS: It was by an friend of mine, she was amazingly talent and delivered some sic quality right from the start, so the choice was easy.
Rockmania: The representation on the covers of that kind of devil, like a skeleton skull, is Lightbringer? ¿Is it your «mascot», like Eddie from Iron Maiden, or vic ratllehead from Megadeth?
TLOS: On Rise of the beast you can se Skeletor rising from the grave as the first album is alla bout, the beginning of Lucifer (Lightbringers) return to earth. And as for The new world order cover art you see Lightbringer him self just enter the world
Rockmania: From what I have found out, the two albums are inter-connected works, the struggle of Lightbringer (devil) and Skeleton against the angels. ¿Is it going to be a multi-disc conceptual work or is it going to be finalized in this one?
TLOS: I have been thinking of that, and also release the story as well. But there is a lot of work and I have just made in into a possible future thing.
Rockmania: One thing that intrigues me is the choice of singer. Herbie seems to me a perfect choice, for the charisma and the particularity of his voice timbre. Researching for the review we published a little while ago, I found out that your main choice was Wolf’s singer, Nicklas. I have been able to compare the voices and, to me, particularly, it seems to me that Herbie’s voice fits better, but ¿How did the idea of one singer and the other come up, and how did you choose one and not the other?
TLOS: Yes it was Niklas Ståldvind that was going to sing on the first single Skeletor, and the plan was to have several singers for a forthcoming album, but the plan for then was just the single Skeletor, and the album was way in the future. But the recordings of Wolf album Feeding the machine (A fuck** masterpiece) was taking longer than planned. And one day I saw Herbie post that he was looking for some fun project to guest sing to, so I sent him a message through Facebook, and he replies to me that he was willing to do this. And the match was a full homerun, everything fell into place and I know I have found the missing part and the inspiration I needed, so then I decide to speed up the writing process and the album was made in a few months.
Rockmania: Although it is obvious that you drink from the NWOBHM, classic heavy and power metal, ¿What influences or which bands in particular,inspire you at the time of composing?
TLOS: There is some different ways to look at this, as a songwriter I always looked up to musically magicians like Tobias Sammet and Kai Hansen, they have a something special and I just love everything they put out. So, in the songwriting of course they are my biggest inspirations.
But for the guitar parts, I look up to guitarist as Wolf Hoffman (Accept), Leo Leoni (Gotthard), Gary Moore and Kai Hansen (Helloween/Gamma Ray/Unisonic). If you listen to my playing on the records, you can for sure hear some of their DNA there.
Rockmania: I have seen that, from the initial line-up until now, there have been several changes. is the current line-up the definitive one?
TLOS: Yes, this is the definitive line-up, The first album was more as a project and along with the single Farewell I had some amazing guests on the songs.
But for the new world order I wanted it to be a solid unit right through the album, so there is just Carsten that is the new one, he came in as an recommendation from Herbie and I felt that our playing style matches from the first note, and as a person he is just perfect. Always positive, full of energy and one of the best guitarist on the planet today.
Rockmania: ¿How did you get the sound you have, is it your idea or the producers? Because I think it’s a spectacular sound, organic and at the perfect volume, sounding current but with the characteristics of past decades.
TLOS: : I think it’s a mix of my playing style and way of recording who sets the foundation of the sound. But Fredrik Nordström from StudioFredman who has made the mix and master is the key to everything, he is just amazing and have found the sound that you hear.
Rockmania: We all know how difficult the pandemic has been for everyone, especially for the cultural world. ¿Did you get to play live concerts?
TLOS: No, I have not been playing any concerts for years, and with The Lightbringer we have just meet up once all of us to record a music video last year
For me as a person it has not been hard years, I have my daytime work and have been focus ono that and writing. And I think that has been a good thing for me, too been able to focus on the music.
But I really feel with all the people in the music industry, everyone whose income depends on live concerts, all from musicians, booking agents, technicians, drivers, rental and many more.
Rockmania: As has happened to many bands, who have taken advantage of the time to compose and record, ¿Do you have more material ready for a future release?
TLOS: Yes I have, as I just told you this has been a good thing for me as a song writer, I have been able to be at home and have the time to focus and write.
I have some stuff going on for a third album, but not so much so I can say we are ready to hit the studio.
Rockmania: Another thing that has intrigued me a lot is that the access to your physical work is «complicated». You can only buy the material directly from you. do you think that this is a handicap when it comes to selling or on the contrary do you think that it adds value, the fact that the one who wants your physical work buys it directly from you?
TLOS: I think it’s a bit tricky not having a record labe in the back, but it comes with a lot of freedom as well, but a partner would be great.
I’m currently looking for a distribution deal and a deal for the third album.
Rockmania: What plans do you have in the short term,¿some tour, some appearances in European festivals?
TLOS: Not this year I think, we are planning for a trip to USA in the fall, one festival gig is booked there, and we are planning for some more in this moment, but the time is tight.
Rockmania: Well, it has been a pleasure to share this time with the band, I hope to be able to do it soon on some stage….. ¿What message do you want to send to the fans in Spain, like me, who are waiting for you here?
TLOS: I want to say thank you to every one who has been purses our albums in Spain, Spain is Top 5 f countries buying our products so, thank you!
And when/if we are going for a Europe tour, Spain will be booked, can’t wait to see you and have a beer together in the sun.
Well, until the chat with Lighrbringer of Sweden, one of the revelations of this 2023 for me and I hope you like it, both the interview and their albums, which are great.
Photographs courtesy of The Lightbringer of Sweden.