Swedish progressive metal band Vulkan create music that is an eruption of technicality, heaviness and ambition. The band’s vocalist, Jimmy Lindblad spoke with Pana Markides about Vulkan’s latest album, Technatura and what makes their music ‘vulkanic’.
By The Hard Baroquer
Swedish five-piece Vulkan are one of the European progressive metal scene’s most exciting band’s right now with their third LP, Technatura, being a well-crafted display of prog metal that appeals to fans of heavyweights like Opeth, Tool, Haken and Mastodon. The reviews so far have been overwhelmingly positive, and that’s a great reason for us to show Vulkan some love with this interview.
The band have gone through several line-up changes since their last album, 2016’s Observants, and have welcomed guitarist, Christian Fredriksson; bassist, Oscar Pettersson; and keyboardist, Olle Edberg to the group. The result is Technatura: Vulkan’s heaviest album yet and seeks to explore how technological advancement and nature are at odds.
To give more insight to the album and how it was conceived, vocalist Jimmy Lindblad spoke with THB to discuss the themes in Technatura, how it came to fruition and how the band is looking forward to play the new songs live in the future.
Give our readers a brief history of Vulkan – how you guys met, how the line-up has changed.
Vulkan as it is today started just after the release of our previous album Observants. Both our guitarist, bass player and keyboardist decided to quit the band due to different circumstances and we found ourselves with just me (Jimmy) and Johan still in the band. But just a couple of months later we had a new family in Christian (guitar) and Oscar (bass) and a while after that Olle (keyboard) came along as well. They all added an extra level to Vulkan and we believe this to be the perfect line-up for what’s to come.
Christian … Oscar and … Olle … all added an extra level to Vulkan and we believe this to be the perfect line-up for what’s to come.Jimmy Lindblad, vocalist, Vulkan
Define the Vulkan sound for our readers – what makes a song Vulkanic?
For a song to be Vulkanic it takes patience, mood shifts, eruptions and explosive outbursts. We aim to make all our songs into a journey for the listener.
For a song to be Vulkanic it takes patience, mood shifts, eruptions and explosive outbursts.Jimmy Lindblad, vocalist, Vulkan
Who are your main musical influences?
We are all very broad when it comes to music. Many reviewers compare us to bands like Tool, Opeth, Haken, Leprous, Mars Volta but also Radiohead and other more suggestive and mellow bands. All of which are bands we love.
Where do you get inspiration from for your lyrics?
Mostly from our own reflections of the many indifferences in the world. Abuse of power, racism and the total ignorance of our climate for example.
Technatura deals with the relationship between technology and nature… can you talk more about this idea? Is this a concept that’s personal to you?
Basically, it’s our thoughts about the rapid growth of humans never ending will to make life as easy as possible with the help of technology. When will nature strike back so hard that we can’t make it undone and what happens then?
This seems to me like the heaviest Vulkan sound to date with a little bit of screaming coming to the fold – is this the direction you see Vulkan taking going forward?
It’s by far our heaviest one yet and I can say from the new songs we are working on that the heaviness will continue. But as always with the Vulkanic touch of soft and rhythmic parts as well. We feel very satisfied with the way we keep experimenting and evolving.
How does a Vulkan album come to life? Was the process different for Technatura compared to Observants and Mask of Air? Was there anything you learnt from your previous two albums that helped to make Technatura a stronger album?
We write new songs on a regular basis and when we come to the point where we have enough solid pieces, then we start to glue it all together. We record the foundation of drums, bass and guitar live then we add the rest as we go. What we learned from previous albums is to not rush into the studio but to prepare and enter when it all fits to perfection.
What we learned from previous albums is to not rush into the studio but to prepare and enter when it all fits to perfection.Jimmy Lindblad, vocalist, Vulkan
Four tracks feature vocals in your native Swedish. How important is your Swedish culture to you as a band and to the music you create?
We are products of our society like all the rest so in a way it means a lot. But rather than celebrating what’s good in our country we enlighten the things we feel are wrong. The lyrics for ‘Rekviem’ was written for a different project but somewhere along the way it found its way into Vulkan and we all felt like it was a thing we really wanted to do.
What advice can you pass on to for those keen on creating progressive metal music?
Forget about the concept of right or wrong and just create what feels true to you. Never settle down and always keep exploring and experimenting.
Never settle down and always keep exploring and experimenting.Jimmy Lindblad, vocalist, Vulkan
What can an audience expect from Vulkan’s live shows?
We aim to make our live shows an experience both musically and visually. Since we haven’t been able to play Technatura live yet, we still have time to plan for a live show worthy of Technatura.
Technatura is out now – get your copy or stream the album through the links below.
Watch the music video for This Visual Hex below:
Jimmy Lindblad – vocals
Johan Norbäck – drums
Christian Fredriksson – guitar
Oscar Pettersson – bass
Olle Edberg – keyboard