I recently reached 5 000 followers on my Instagram, and I figured it was time for another Instagram Q&A session. Time has really gone fast since the last one that I did back when I passed 3 000 followers. Lots of good questions this time, so I’ll likely do this again soon!
About Stefan Nordström
- Stefan Nordström
- Musician, songwriter, content creator, digital freelancer
- Stockholm, Sweden
- Bands: Desolator, Soliloquium, Ending Quest, Ashes of Life, Trees of Daymare, The Ashen Tree
- Social: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
Instagram Q&A Questions and answers
Instagram Q&A questions – from doom metal to traveling, freelancing and much more!
Any thoughts on computer-generated metal?
Not particularly. I haven’t listened to much of it, but as an emotion-over-technique/technology musician I don’t think it can replace the human part of music.
As an avid traveler, how do you use each experience as influence to write music?
Life experiences are definitely a big inspiration for Soliloquium, and traveling means more interesting experiences. Some songs are inspired by places, people and other things that happened when I traveled, for sure. There are a lot of moments in song that I can remember exactly where and when I wrote.
For me, it’s “Covenant”. I’m not fully into the groove direction on “Domination”, so I don’t like it as much as most other death metal fans. My favorite Morbid Angel album is “Altars of Madness”, though.
Favorite Dead Can Dance?
My two favorite Dead Can Dance albums are “Within the Realm of a Dying Sun” and “Anastasis”, but I have to admit I don’t listen to them nearly enough. I will do my best to get into Dead Can Dance more – such an obvious influence on many of my favorite bands!
Favorite Katatonia album?
“Night is the New Day”, but “Last Fair Deal Gone Down” and “Brave Murder Day” are close. I love all eras of the band, but I do think the newer albums have aged better than the classic ones (might also be my less and less metal music taste, haha).
Festivals 2022? (hope for a better summer)
Yeah, they better happen this year, not just postponed ones! If there are festivals, I will attend Brutal Assault in Czech Republic and Summer Breeze in Germany for sure. Maybe some small ones in Scandinavia as well.
Has COVID and desolation/loneliness inspired any material?
Not so much on the new album, as most of it was written before Covid hit, when I was living quite a hopeful life. But who knows about the stuff I’ll be writing next year?
Have you felt you challenged yourself vocally, tough to place clean lines, or using heavy vocals differently?
For sure! My big challenge is to make my voice more varied, especially when it comes to making the clean vocals more powerful. I’ve had a lot of help from a talented friend on the new album, which I hope will show!
How long have you been playing?
I started playing guitar on my 16th birthday, so it’s actually 19 years, which is insane to think about. I think I started doing vocals a few years later, so maybe 15-20 years there.
How did you get into metal music?
I think it was a combo of the classic old school factors: what was on music TV channels and people at school. Loved Linkin Park when I was around 13 or so thanks to the music videos, which quickly turned into Metallica and Iron Maiden, and the next step was In Flames – “Whoracle” and Children of Bodom – “Hatebreeder”. I got hooked, and after getting into bands like Death, Dismember, Testament, Kreator and Slayer there was no turning back.
Soliloquium in Fuerteventura island maybe?
Would love that! Maybe I can play solo inside a volcano, like Chino Moreno from Deftones did in Iceland?
What do you think will happen if you visit Portugal a third time?
Probably some catastrophe that makes me leave again. But I’ll be back for another try.
What has been the best audience you’ve played for and why?
I can’t really pinpoint a particular gig. It was amazing to play for foreign audiences in Spain and Poland with Desolator, but I think the craziest gigs with the most interaction has been some of the club gigs in Sweden. Coming from old school extreme metal, I do love when things go a bit out of control on and off stage.
What made you go on a hike and how far will all the new impressions influence you creatively in your songwriting, when you are back again? And what ambitions do you have for the coming year?
I just love traveling and seeing different places in the world, it’s always refreshing and interesting. My plan for the coming year musically is mainly to release the new Soliloquium album and promote it as much as possible. I’m also starting to feel very inspired when it comes to new music, so I hope to start writing some new songs for several projects.
What is your activity freelancing, other than making music stuff?
I’m doing digital marketing, things like copywriting, search engine optimization and other content things for the web, social media, newsletters and other stuff like that. It’s actually been quite useful to promote my music.
What’s your next travel aim?
The next big trip will likely be to Central/Eastern Europe around the festivals in 2022 (if they happen). I’m thinking of heading over to Finland before that for a quick visit if they have any cool doom metal festivals going on (I need to see Kaunis Kuolematon!). Also, I have some loose plans to visit Northern Sweden in June.
When are you going to visit Grand Rapids for an exclusive Soliloquium concert?
I really want to go to the U.S. again, so the first part might happen. Not so sure about the Soliloquium concert though!
When did this album writing start, and was there specific inspiration, or the music just came to you, or you had a mission in mind for direction?
There wasn’t a particular moment, I was jamming and saving some riffs here and there, and at some point I just realized things were coming together. However, there’s definitely a unified direction to the music, even though it isn’t a concept album or anything like that. The time I realized I had an entire album of new music was probably mid-2020 or so.
Would love to know about your songwriting process actually
And so you shall! Early Soliloquium was based on writing riffs and melodies first, similar to my death metal songwriting. Over time I switched more to thinking about the songs conceptually. They need to express something unique and fit into the bigger picture of the album.
Also, everything is way less focused on guitars. I’m trying to figure out vocal hooks, drum parts and bass parts way earlier in the process. I’ve had a bit of a musical existential crisis over the last year or two, where I want to write more like a composer, if that makes sense. I think it’s something that will show on the new Soliloquium album.
Practically, I capture a lot of song titles and lyric ideas on my computer and phone. The instrumental part of the songwriting is done in Guitar Pro, combined with my own home studio demos. On the new album I also had way more input from other people than before, especially when it comes to the clean vocals. It turned out super-well, so I think I will try to collaborate more in the future.
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