Written in the Stars: An interview with Starblind
Interview by Tim Duran
The human dynamo, Tim Duran sat down recently and chatted to the members of Swedish heavy metal band Starblind. During the chat we got to know of the member's love of beer, the bands they look up to and hope to tour with one day and of their worship of the great old ones. With all that knowledge about them, one would think these boys have been around for aeons, and I for one am very curious to know more, so read on.
HMS: Let's start by introducing yourselves and your instrument.
Mike Stark (Vocals): 35 Year old mad Poet and prophet of the stars, have lately been heard rambling to the masses on the impending doom. Björn Rosenblad (Lead Guitars): 37 Year old guitar demon of fire. Melter of strings of steel and really likes his coffee. Johan Jonasson (Lead Guitars): 36 Year old ice demon of ice. Plays so fast he freezes time. Daniel Tillberg (Bass Guitar): 36 Years old – Origin, unknown. Zakarias Wikner (Drums): 22 Year old man who happily has found the fountain of youth. He is actually 47 years old. Has occasionally been seen playing the drums.
HMS: How long have you guys been known as "Starblind" and how did you come up with the name?
Mike Stark: We have been known as Starblind since early spring 2013, rumor has it that the name came in a lucid dream to Starblind guitar demon Johan and later interpretations by dream readers are saying that the great old ones are the ones behind all of this.
HMS: I hear a lot of different sounds in my headphones when I listen to the record. Who are your main influences?
Johan Jonasson: It's basically a mixture of all the great ones and not so great ones of the golden era of metal. The 1980's, lots of guitar harmonies, galloping riffs, high pitch vocals and jazzy drums.
HMS: Looking at the record cover, I get a little freaked out. Give us a little background on the cover art.
Björn: We wanted an unnerving and original cover art and the Jaws poster came to mind. We pitched that idea to our record label who suggested an artist named, Yannick Bouchard, whose portfolio we immediately fell for. He was given a lot of artistic freedom and we fell in love after the first draft.
HMS: To the ax–grinders; what is your main guitar/bass and what amp do you use? Also how about the thunder? Who makes the kit and the brass?
Johan: I use an LTD Explorer into a Randall stack.
Björn: ESP eclipse with a floyd rose tremolo – plugged into Marshall JCM 2000 stack.
Daniel: A Fender Precision bass with rotosound strings. Amp, Hatke.
Zak: I play on a nine piece Pearl World Series kit from 1988. Cymbals are mostly a mixture of Istanbul and Stagg.
HMS: The songs are really good on this record. When I reviewed it, I had to listen to each track two or three times. What was the writing process like? Was there some sticky situations or did things come together rather quickly?
Johan: The writing process goes really smooth in our band. A song idea is presented to the other band members and honed together into a final product. We are all striving into the same direction so there's very few complications on how to arrange songs.
HMS: Who's the mastermind behind the lyrics?
Mike: All lyrics and vocal melodies are composed by me, I have always been interested in telling stories which have been my goal with these lyrics, most of the songs are horror stories but there are a few on there as well that are about different mythologies. I am already writing new lyrics for the next album planned for release in 2015 and just finished one based on "The Fall of the house of Usher" written by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.
HMS: What is a day in the life like of Starblind while on the road? Sightseeing, pub hopping?
Mike: Since we formed the band only a year ago we haven't done any tours before the one we will do starting next week but we have been doing some gigs in Sweden, but since I bear the gift of second sight I can already answer this question. We will all be sleeping late except Björn who will be up before 5 in the morning, and then we will leave the tour bus to go see and learn about each city we are in as we are all very interested in history. So I guess we will be more like normal tourists wandering around taking pictures, enjoying local cuisine and local beer.
"The writing process goes really smooth in our band."
HMS: Is there any chance that Starblind will invade the U.S. and blow us away with your style of heavy metal?
Mike: Touring the U.S would be awesome as I personally love America with all the diversity that exists between each and every state. It's so different from the South to the North and East to West that you will experience so many different things, but staying in the same country. I also love the Denver Broncos and Football, so it would be awesome to see a game (or three). If we are successful with this album, the upcoming tour and maybe the sophomore album as well maybe a promoter will take us to the U.S, this is something we would not turn down.
HMS: What would be the ideal tour for you and who would be on that bill?
Mike: Supporting Tim Ripper Owens of course, he is one of the best metal vocalists that have ever lived. Supporting Manowar / Maiden or Judas Priest would also be a dream come true but I believe that chance to be very slim.
HMS: Favorite beer?
Mike: I love APA's and also Mexican beer.
Björn: IPA and Belgian Trapiste.
Daniel: Innis & Gunn Rum cask.
Johan: A local Swedish beer called Smålands.
Zakarias: I don't know... The next one?
HMS: I see on your web site that Horror Metal Sounds was the only one to give your record a perfect score. What do ya think of that? (I personally don't think the other guys listened to every song.)
Mike: We actually had another full score from Spanish "Metal Hispania" and then we received "album of the month award in May from Schweres Metall in Germany and we also had some other 90% or close, but the Horror Metal Sounds review is the one we are by far the most proud of as it has a great following and the readers are into "Horror" as are we.
HMS: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. I'm sure you would rather watch paint dry or stick needles in your eyes than talk to a first time interviewer.
Mike: That is just not true, watching paint dry is extremely boring and would require lots of beer or equivalent drinks to make it even bearable, but seriously we are actually thrilled doing this interview as we believe that your readers are just the right type of metal heads to dig our sound.
HMS: We here at HMS wish you all the best with peace and safety out on tour. Rock their sox off!
Mike: That's just what we will do, we are greatly looking forward to this tour supporting Tim Ripper Owens for 3 weeks in Europe and see this as a huge opportunity to get our name out and get more people to listen to our music and that is what it's all about for us.
Check out Starblind's official website and Facebook page.
Tim Duran, HMS