APRIL 10th, 2014
Welcome to MetalTitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment worldwide. We got an exclusive opportunity to do a written interview with Per Wiberg, bassist of Kamchatka (ex-Opeth). Thank you for taking the time to do this for us, it is much appreciated.
1. Tell us how you came up with the name KAMCHATKA, and does it have any special meaning for you ?
I think the guys just threw ideas at each other, as you do when trying to find a name for the band. Someone asked the question, what would the music we play look like? There's a lot of dynamics involved so I guess Kamchatka was a good fit in that respect, since the nature shifts from volcanic areas with hot springs/geysers to the vast tundra with very sparse vegetation.
2. As a child growing up, is this something you always wanted to do, be in a band ?
For me, personally, it's never been a question about doing anything else really. I think my interest in music came very early, much due to my parents being music fans, particularly jazz. I've always been surrounded by music and I discovered fairly quickly that even though my friends also liked bands and were fiddling around with musical instruments I had more of an "obsessive" interest in the whole thing…
3. Did you take any courses in school that prepared you for the band life ?
As with every occupation, it's very hard to prepare yourself in school for the "outside" world and what troubles may come your way. I was lucky when I was young to be able to start playing clubs and doing smaller tours around Sweden with older guys showing me the ropes. That's the best school I guess, to just get out there and play for real so to speak.
4. You have 3 members in your band, tell us how they each came to be in KAMCHATKA -
We’ve been friends for 20 years and me and Thomas played together a lot back in the 90's. Later on I’ve helped them out with graphics and I’ve also played some keys on a couple of their albums. They asked me if I wanted to produce their new album and just before the recording started they lost the bass player, so one thing lead to another...
Thomas Juneor Andersson -
Thomas started the band with Tobias and original bass player/vocalist Roger Öjersson. They're all from the same town in Sweden and grew up together but never really played in a band together, so I guess that's how the initial thought came about. It started as a Hendrix cover band more or less but later turned into something else since they discovered they had good chemistry and all of them had a desire to write and play original material instead of covers.
Tobias Strandvik -
See above for Tobias.
5. What was the inspiration, or reason behind putting together Rock, Blues, Alternative as your style of music ?
I think it was more about the people involved, 3 friends that wanted to write and play music together. It wasn't a case of forming a band that was supposed to play a certain kind of music. It's more about the sum of all 3 members different influences. When they started to play, this was the kind of music that came out so to speak.
6. You did some shows with Clutch in 2007, do you think that this might have brought you more popularity, get you noticed more ?
Absolutely, it definitely helped a lot to spread the word about the band. Many thanks to the Clutch guys for bringing Kamchatka out on the road with them!
7. You have a new album now called “The Search Goes On”, tell me how you came up with the name for the album ?
The title was chosen after all the songs were recorded and we didn't have a name for the album. This particular song, TSGO sort of fit the whole concept, both musically and with the line-up changes in the band. It's a fresh start for the band with me as a new member and it could refer to lots of things in life, being curious about things and not being content with where you're at. It's about always trying to feed the creative flow.
8. Who wrote the lyrics for “The Search Goes On” ?
9. What kind of inspiration helped you to create the lyrics ?
It could be anything in life, being on the road or love/no love, doubts about things, having the blues. Most of it is turned into a positive thing though, like coming back stronger or doing right after doing wrong. The sea is an important source of inspiration as well since Thomas and Toby were raised in a small fishing village.
10. Was it an easy process to decide which songs to put on your album ?
Yes, pretty much but it's more difficult with the sequencing I'd say. I know it may not be that important to most people considering how you listen to music nowadays, but to me it is. If you spend a lot of time working on and recording the music, it's a waste I'd say to not give it that extra thought on how everything works together and to give it a natural flow. Kind of how you'd put together a setlist for a gig.
11. Do you have a favourite song on this album ? Why that one if you do.
We actually played all the songs from the new album live on the recent Euro tour and favorite songs changes all the time. One that's been very fun to play every night though is a track called “Cross The Distance”. On the album it ends with a guitar solo and that part is extended live and have turned into a really cool jam.
12. The cover artwork was created by Per Wiberg, did you give him ideas for the work, or did he come up with the ideas himself ?
I've done all the previous artwork as well. It felt like we kind of silently agreed on a theme already on the first Kamchatka album and then we've continued to work within that field. There are certain things that needs to be there, like 3 persons or creatures or items. Also mixing drawn stuff with photos has so far been the case on every album, mostly because it gives a surreal quality to the images compared to just using one of the formats. They're mostly done without thinking too much about the music but so far we'd like to think they've fit with the music and lyrics.
13. Will you tour in support of “The Search Goes On” ?
Absolutely, that's why you play in a rock band in my opinion. Traveling and playing your music to new people, discover new things etc. We've done a European tour now and then we got some more dates through Europe this spring and festivals in the summer. We're very anxious to get back to North America and hopefully we'll have some good news regarding this in a not too distant future.
14. Do you have a town, country that would be the dream place to play ?
That would be Kamchatka then :-)
15. What would be a surprise for people to find out about the band, something they would not expect ?
Thomas used to be a fisherman, Toby was a decent tennis player, I'm fascinated by hippos and we all like weißbier!
16. Where do you hope to be in say, 5 years from now ?
Doing the same as we're doing now, writing and playing music. Hopefully playing to more people and in as many different corners of the world we could possibly go. We're just gonna continue to work hard and see where it takes us.
17. To you, what’s the best moment of being in KAMCHATKA ? Or is that still to come?
Playing live is my favorite environment I'd say, and as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter that much where that would be, geographically speaking. As long as people are enjoying themselves and give us that extra energy it's a blast and that's where it happens. What I also really enjoy with this band is the many faces of Kamchatka. I think we can be "many" different bands in one, a straight forward heavy riff rock band, a freak out psychedelic jam band or lean towards more rootsy/classic blues stuff. On a perfect night I'd say you'd get a little bit of everything :-)
Thank you (Tack) for doing this interview with us here at Metaltitans, we wish you much success with “The Search Goes On”, and we hope to catch you on North American soil one day.
You're welcome and sure hope to come over to North America this year, see you!