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Sonic Syndicate: Living like a robot

And it was summer, and for the first time... thus could have been the quite euphoric way those six young people from Sweden experienced the late summer of 2005 when they won a newcomer competition, and the award exceeded their wildest dreams: A record deal with the successful label Nuclear Blast!

STALKER met the young band from Scandinavia who will stir up the scene with their Melodic Death Metal and appeared with a lot of self-confidence live in Germany... In a relaxed way they spoke about their musical career, robot existence and secretive lyrics, but just read on...

Competing with 1.500 other bands, the sextet – the three Sjunesson brothers Richard (voc), Robin (git, voc) and Roger (git) plus bass player Karin Axelsson, keyboard player Andreas Martensson and drummer Johann Bengtsson – made it. For most newcomer bands this is a dream that seems to be out of reach, and also Robin can hardly believe his luck: “It is just unbelievable! From the moment we founded the band we have been set a big goal – to achieve a deal with Nuclear Blast, no matter how and when.”

Despite those plans the Scandinavians remained with their feet on the ground, became experienced in other bands, founded 2002 the “Fallen Angels, recorded demos and were signed by the US mini label Pivotal Records, finally recorded in early 2005 as Sonic Syndicate their debut “Eden Fire”. “With that we felt capable to face the competition. We got real good reviews and played many live shows in Sweden and Denmark”, the only 18-year old tells us. The best preparation to face the Blast contest? “Exactly. What did we have to lose? So we sent some songs to the label, after a while our manager called, telling us that we won the competition. We could not believe it. I almost wet my pants but now it feels so cool”, the smart guitar player says and laughs. With his Industrial-Emo look he might get some girlies quite hysterical.

In quite professional manner the Swedes did not lean back for a rest but began to work on their second output “Only Inhuman”: Melodic Death Metal combined with Hardcore elements, energetic and propelling in the style of “In Flames”, “Killswitch Engage” and “Soilwork” - but with a fresh individual new aspect – that has Metalcore hearts beat louder. All those bands mentioned are among Mr. Sjnesson´s favourites and have inspired the band for their second CD: “There are no direct influences, but many hear In Flames in our music, others rather My Chemical Romance – and we are pleased to hear that. Both bands don´t have much in common, and this is what I like! People who cannot dig Metal listen to us, as well as total freaks. Our music is something for everybody.”

Brother Roger writes the songs for Sonic Syndicate, also the title is his invention, as Robin admits: “He had a bad time, he felt totally numb. Getting up in the morning, going to work, coming back home and going to bed again – and this every day. You live like a robot, like a plant, somehow inhuman. It is important for us to sing about things that concern us personally, only in this way you can be authentic.”

Even if there is a message behind this album, the guys from Southern Swedish Falkenberg don´t want to go into detail: “We don´t want to give instructions. You have to start asking questions yourself. We only initiate doing it, but probably we mean something totally different than what you thought. Lyrics have to remain a secret for the readers, so that they can have their own thoughts about them.”

Thoughts about music Robin had already with the age of four. Alice Cooper was the musical virus that infected the kid back then, he remembers laughing: “When I could buy his album Trash, I was really into it. That album is still my favourite, and since then the heavy sounds have stuck with me.” Also Nikki Sixx and Zakk Wylde had much impact on Sjunesson and influenced his musical careeer: “Zakk Wylde is the reason why I play guitar today. I saw live clips of him and Ozzy, how he tortured his instrument, as if being in a trance – that was the key.”

Despite his young age the 18-year old appears mature and finds it quite positive that the band is very young: “I know that many people think we are a Modern Metal band, but we have so much more to offer. We mix different genres like US Hardcore and Swedish Metal sound and we are open for other influences. We have two lead singers, and this is quite unusual. Yes OK we are damn young, but hey, we also look damn good”, Robin smiles with a wink.

Author: Jasmin Froghy, transl. K. Weber, photos: Sonic Syndicate
Date: 2007-07-27

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