Greg Pratt of Canada's Exclaim! recently conducted an interview with guitarist Peter Wichers of the Swedish metal band SOILWORK. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Exclaim!: So why did you return to the band?
Peter: Me and [vocalist] Björn ["Speed" Strid] have kept in touch ever since I left SOILWORK and wanted to work together at some point, which we did on the Nuclear Blast record I did ["Nuclear Blast Allstars", a Nuclear Blast 20th-anniversary all-star CD Wichers put together]. After that we were talking about maybe doing something a little bit different than SOILWORK, something that was metal mixed with Southern rock and almost a little bluegrass twist to it, with Björn singing a little more melodic. Then SOILWORK had a lineup change; he approached me and asked me and we started toying with the thought of me coming back to SOILWORK. My wife kicked me in the ass and told me that's what I should do and since I had been cooped up in the studio for two or three years here, I accepted it and the rest is history.
Exclaim!: That's a nice twist: not to stereotype, but the wife generally wants the guy to not be in the touring rock band.
Peter: Yeah, obviously it's a tough life to be married and be on the road, it's not a lot of fun, but I have a very supportive wife. Most people in SOILWORK are married now too. They're hard to come by but you definitely want to hold on to those that can deal with us doing something like this.
Exclaim!: What did you think of the one SOILWORK album you weren't on?
Peter: That seems to be a popular question [laughs].
Exclaim!: I'm just curious; you're in the band, then you sit back and listen to a CD you're not on — it must have been kind of weird.
Peter: Yeah, yeah. It still to me sounds like SOILWORK. I'm not saying this because I'm not part of it, but I think that record is a little bit safe. I think they have some great moments on it, but I think for the future we're going to take a different direction for SOILWORK. Dirk [Verbeuren, drums] is going to get a bit more space to play more drums, there are going to be more guitar solos, we'll maybe be a little bit more technical and getting back to how SOILWORK used to be, say, maybe back in the "Natural Born Chaos" and "Predator's Portrait" days.
Exclaim!: Do you think the band is re-energized now?
Peter: I can totally tell, everybody gets along perfectly. I don't think it's ever been as good as it is now. We all have a very open communication as opposed to before. It's always hard to live so close to each other on a tour bus, but I think now problems gets brought to the surface and you solve it, instead of going around and waiting until the tour's over so you don't have to spend time again with those people on the tour bus. It's easier if you confront the problem than going around like it maybe was before and just not doing it. It's the same scenario if you're at the workplace, or wherever you are, it's always the same thing. We're too fucking old, we don't want to deal with that shit anymore, we just want to have a good time; so if there is a problem, we'll just deal with it.
Read the entire interview from Exclaim!
"20 More Miles", the latest video from SOILWORK, can be viewed below. The clip was shot during the band's European tour, including at the Electric Weekend festival in Madrid, where SOILWORK performed with METALLICA. It contains footage provided by the band as well as material that was filmed by Olle Carlsson.