|GG: On behalf of Maximum Metal thanks for the interview opportunity. You guys really outdid yourselves on the new album - Legions of Bastards. How did the songwriting process come about on this one?|
Niklas: The songwriting process was much the same on this one as the previous two albums. I gather ideas from the whole band, riffs and stuff, and then start putting together ruff sketches of songs. I send it out to the rest of the band for feedback and if they like it I just go on working on the ideas. At the end of this writing process I had a lot of loose ends and Anders came to my studio and we worked on it together to wrap it up. We had a quick rehearsal on each song before entering the studio.
We never wanted to go back to the 80s in a time machine and try and create that sound.
GG: Wolf has always been able to stay true to the "80's" metal sound, yet with each album, you're able to blend in the up-to-date metal sound flawlessly. What is your secret to this writing success?
Niklas: We write the music we would like to listen to ourselves. We never wanted to go back to the 80s in a time machine and try and create that sound. When we record an album, we just want it to sound good, that's all.
GG: There are many new bands (such as Cauldron and Enforcer - to name a few) that also have that 80's metal vibe and an ever-growing fan bases. What do you think is contributing to the success of this type of metal now (in the year 2011)?
Niklas: I have no idea, other than it's timeless music, if it's good. "Hallowed be thy Name" or "Don't Break the Oath" will always be good songs, no matter what trends are popular for the moment.
GG: This album is chock full of tremendous guitar solos - something rare in a lot of metal albums these days. How important do you think it is to go all out on guitar solos?
Niklas: I can recall all the classic solos in the Maiden and Priest songs in my head, because they didn't just want to show people how fast they could do their practice routine, rather the solos was full of melody and enhanced the song. That's how we think also. Either you have a good solo that says something or you don't have any solo.
GG: With the digital age in full swing and (physical) record sales constantly decreasing, how important is social media (i.e. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter) in reaching and maintaining your fan base?
Niklas: I would say it's very important. We always try and keep contact with our fans the best we can through facebook, myspace etc.
GG: In say, 5 or 10 more years, do you think there will even be a market for actual CD's or will digital downloads take over? Do you prefer one method over the other?
Niklas: Many fans of music are collectors, so there will always be a market for Vinyl, CD or other physical formats. However, most people are not collectors and don't care much about the sound quality, so I think we will see more of the digital formats than the physical in the future.
GG: Back to the album! Songs such as Skull Crusher, Absinthe, and Road To Hell, have incredible melodies to them. What bands are you inspired by in order to create these killer tracks?
Niklas: Accept, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.
GG: The vocals sound killer on Legions of Bastards - probably the best ever on a Wolf album. How is it performing these songs (as well as other classic Wolf tracks) live? Are you able to maintain that vocal intensity for a whole tour, or does it get harder and harder as the years go by?
Niklas: If I have my health intact, and don't have any colds or so, it's doable with a long warm up and a great audience. But it's not easy, because I also play the guitar.
GG: Speaking of touring, do you have any plans for a world tour in support of the new album? Do you have any festivals lined up for this Summer?
Niklas: Summer Breeze, Bloodstock, Muskelrock are some festival gigs we got lined up. In September we will tour Europe with Firewind. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and www.wolf.nu to get the latest tour news.
GG: If Wolf could tour with any band(s), who would they be?
Niklas: Iron Maiden and Mercyful Fate. Saxon and Accept we already toured with.
GG: Thanks again for the interview opportunity, and congratulations on another awesome album - Legions of Bastards. Do you have anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Niklas: Be sure to check the new album out, because it's a killer. And go to www.facebook.com/officialwolf and press "Like" if you want to hear some samples. Metal in the night!