Interview with Robin from Sonic Syndicate, 09.03.2009, Köln, Underground .[ face2face ]

„Love And Other Disasters“ is their current and third album and with this record Sonic Syndicate from Sweden are on tour in these days. They are joined by their colleagues from Deathstars and both bands do share the headliner-role. Before the show of both dark-bands on the 9th of March 2009 in Cologne Lea Sommerhäuser had the chance to talk to Robin, guitarist of Sonic Syndicate.


Lea: Yesterday you´ve been in Bochum, today you`ll enter the stage here in Cologne and tomorrow you will rock in Frankfurt. Do you always know where you are when you leave the tourbus?
Robin: Not always, but as soon as you see the schedule on the toilet door you know exactly where you are. But I knew that we were going to Cologne. Our tourmanager Anthony is responsible for that. Yeah, I did know that we were going to Cologne today, because I really like Cologne. We`ve been playing here a lot like in the Live Music Hall, Palladium and Underground before, too. This was actually the first show we ever did in Germany. That was in Underground. So it`s a little flashback to that and it feels good to be back.

Lea: Do you also walk a little bit around doing sightseeing?
Robin: Yeah, usually we do, but I have been here for so many times that I have already seen everything. And today I feel a little bit sick, so I try to sleep as much as I can.

Lea: How do you get along with the Deathstars-guys?
Robin: They are really good guys. They are also from Sweden and Swedish bands always have more fun together than other bands. I really like the Deathstars. Actually I´ve been a fan of Deathstars for quite many years since the first album they released. It`s cool that we`re now touring with a band that I´ve been listening to for so long. Also the shows are great. The fans of Deathstars are more gothic and our fans are more mainstream or whatever you call it. So it`s a good mix on the shows. Their fans start to listen to Sonic Syndicate and our fans start to listen to Deathstars. It`s a great feeling on this tour.

Lea: “Love And Other Disasters” is your third and current album. How would you describe it in one sentence?
Robin: It´s a way more diverse than we have ever done an album before. On our last album “Only Inhuman” there were pretty much the same songs. Like every song reminds of the other songs. The first song sounded exactly like the last song and stuff like that. And we heard that a lot, so we wanted to do an album that was a way more diverse than everything before. On “Love And Other Disasters” there`re like Death-Metal-songs, there`re MTV-pop-songs, there`s everything. Everybody who listens to the record can find a favourite song on it. And that`s what we wanted. Sonic Syndicate isn`t just in one genre. Sonic Syndicate is very diverse. We have death metal fans, but also we have skateboarding fans and that`s how we wanted to be. We wanted to make an album that we can stand for and that`s what we did. We are really, really happy about “Love And Other Disasters”.


Lea: How does the new album differ lyrical wise from the previous albums?
Robin: I think, it`s more down to earth this time. Richard, who is the singer and lyrics writer, he`s always been writing about his personal life and experiences. But I think, it`s even more personal this time. And also he takes up a lot of things like the world is going under soon, you know, like global warming and stuff like that. So he`s been really deep in these lyrics this time and it feels good and a cool thing. Well, I don´t get it all, because it`s a lot of personal things, but those things I get are really cool.

Lea: Love is one disaster. What are the others for you and the band?
Robin: (laughs) Well, we chose “Love And Other Disasters” as an album title, because the whole album was about disasters and love is for some time in everyone`s life a disaster. That`s why we`ve chosen to have that title as every song is about a disaster. When we came up with the name “Love And Other Disasters”, we felt that it fit great. Richard really loved it because of all the lyrics and stuff, so we`re happy about that, too.

Lea: How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?
Robin: …great. (laughs) I don`t know, music is a lifestyle. It`s not only music. Especially we live in the music. That is a hard question. I don`t know how to answer it so that it sounds good. (grins) Music is life. That`s what I have to say.

Lea: Karin is the only girl within the band Sonic Syndicate. How does she get along with all the guys?
Robin: She`s just one of us. We don`t think that we have a girl in the band and that all guys have to take it easy like “Don´t talk dirty stuff, because we have a girl here”. We don`t care about that. She`s just one of us. And she smells exactly as bad as we do after a show and we just get along with each other perfectly. It`s great to have her in the band.

Lea: And how is it to have two brothers in the band? Are there often arguments?
Robin: No. We`re actually three from the same family and we used to fight when we were smaller, but not nowadays. We know how to handle it. So there`s no fights, no big fights at all. We`re just having fun all the time.

Lea: Also no competitions?
Robin: There are definitely no competitions. Okay, when we`re playing live, everybody wants to be in the middle and in the front, so that everybody can see you the most. (laughs)

Lea: So you`re changing places on stage all the time?
Robin: Yeah, we are running around as much as we can being in the light. I always want to be in the middle, so that everybody can see me and then Karin comes and she wants to be in the middle. So that`s the only competition we have in the band.

Lea: Which significance does the guitar player of a band have?
Robin: The guitar player of a band is very important. Especially I´m very important. (laughs) No, but I think the guitar is really very important especially for Sonic Syndicate. We have so much melody and so much things going on with the guitar.

Lea: You have already published a couple of videos. Do you have any favourite one?
Robin: I really like “Jack Of Diamonds”, because it has all the elements that I love like motorcross and girls which are very, very important. (grins) I really like the video, because when you watch it and push “mute”, it could be like a hip-hop-video since it has these Lamborghini-cars and stripping persons and everything. It`s just so typical not metal, that`s why I love the video so much. It`s a big step for us. Of course a lot of people hate it, just because we did it in our own way, but we totally love it.

Lea: Recently you have published a new video for “Powershift”. In how far does a musician has to be an actor doing a music video?
Robin: In that video especially Roland, the second singer, he had to be an actor a little bit. I don`t know if he was an Oscar-grade-actor (laughs), but he did his best and that was good enough. Otherwise we don`t have any special story-videos, accept for one video that we`ve recently recorded and will release later on. I can´t say anything more about it as it is a secret. But in that new video there`s a little bit more actor-thing going on. But until now no-one of us has really acted.

Lea: But would you be interested in taking part in a movie?
Robin: Definitely. I would like to take part in a Zombie-movie. And I would like to be the first Zombie who dies. That`s like a dream for me becoming true or in a horror movie I´d like to be the first guy who dies.

Lea: You like horror-stuff?
Robin: Yeah, definitely. I´m a big horror-movie-fan. I´ve been pretty much watching old horror movies.

Lea: What`s your favourite?
Robin: “Nightmare On Elm Street – Freddy Krüger” is definitely my favourite movie. I would really like to be in a horror movie, but only if I´m the first guy who dies in it. Otherwise not. (laughter)

Lea: Checking out your website you can watch Sonic TV there. Who had the idea for that?
Robin: I think, we just wanted to release something from the first tour we did. We wanted to release a video to show everybody, especially everybody at home, how it is on tour. And we named it Sonic TV just for fun. We were supposed to release just one part. But then we got so many comments and everybody watched it, so we did more. I think, that every video just gets more and more stupid. First it was pretty cool. Then we were just showing drunk clips and then we were going party. It`s only getting worse.

Lea: I remember some stones in your tourbus bunk…
Robin: (grins) Yeah, I think that was in the second part of Sonic TV. They put a lot of stones into my bed. We`ll definitely release some more episodes. We just have some problems now since Windows Vista came along, because the programme doesn`t work so well with that. But everybody will soon see more stupid things about Sonic Syndicate.

Lea: Do you often play tricks on each other?
Robin: All the time. The last time was just a couple of days ago when we changed, I think, it was Richard`s water bottles into vodka bottles. He was drinking and almost puked. That was pretty fun. But nearly every day we`re joking with each others.

Lea: What`s the craziest job you have ever done?
Robin: To be honest, I never worked before. Well, I was in school and then we started with touring and I dropped off school. So the band became my job. Actually I was a paperboy when I was a young kid, but that wasn`t that interesting. I did it once and then stopped it.

Lea: This summer you will play on a couple of festivals. Is there any highlight you´re especially looking forward to?
Robin: Definitely. There is one certain festival that we´ve been talking about every day. That`s the Nova-Rock-Festival in Austria. Our drummer John is so happy, because we gonna play on the same stage as Metallica. And he is the biggest Metallica-freak from Sweden. And also we`re really looking forward to this festival as there will also be Slipknot and lots of other great bands. We played there last year and it was really, really good, so hopefully it will be even better this year.

Lea: You`ve won the Swedish Metal Award as the “Best Live Act 2009”. So we can expect a lot from the show this evening?
Robin: Definitely. You´ll see a way more energy than you have ever seen before.

Lea: What´s your motto for tonight?
Robin: We built the city of rock`n`roll. (grins) That`s like our every day motto. We always want to play a show as it would be the last show we ever do. We wanna give all our energy. And especially tonight there is an almost sold out show and we wanna give to everybody who paid for it to come in a really memorised show for the rest of life. That is what Sonic Syndicate is about.


Lea: Do you always prepare for the foreign audiences like trying to learn something in their languages?
Robin: Yeah, definitely. But we already know too much German like all these clichè things like “Prost”. We know from every country how to say “cheers”.

Lea: What about after the shows? Are you party animals?
Robin: We are definitely party animals and especially now. This is the last week of the tour, so we will party every day from now on. We have a lot of friends here in Cologne that will come tonight. They will definitely have a party with us. I feel a little bit sick, so I hope to get better soon, because I need to have a couple of beers.

Lea: Karin said, you`re easily getting drunk and already after two beers you`re lying under the table. Is that right?
Robin: Me? Yeah, definitely. If I drink two beers before a show, I can`t even play the show. That´s why I never drink alcohol before a show. I´m always drinking after the shows. I don´t know why I´m so easily getting drunk. But it`s a good thing, cos when we have a party at home back in Sweden, I only need four beers and that is enough for me for the whole evening. So I should be happy as it is quite cheap for me. (laughs)

Interview from Lea Sommerhäuser .[ face2face ]
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