latest release in a long catalog of music comes off like a new lease on
life, it's almost more exciting than a debut album. This is the case
with SONIC SYNDICATE and their forthcoming album CONFESSIONS due out
October 14, 2016 on DESPOTZ RECORDS. the band is back after a long
period of silence. The successful band from Falkenberg, Sweden was
unexpected;y dropped by the label NUCLEAR BLAST and was forced to
reconsider their situation. The crisis forced the band to change it's
course significantly and they took the chance to record their most
daring album yet. This time the band members took a deeper look into
themselves which has led to some changes in their sound. Ont he new
album SONIC SYNDICATE lets the listener take par tint heir
vulnerability through total uncompromising honesty in their songwriting
and sound. Aware that the band's "new start" may cause listeners to
raise their eyebrows the band does not fear the changes nor the future.
ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with NATHAN J. BIGGS
regarding the band's new release. Here is how the interview went.
Things are really
exciting for you guys at the moment. You've got the new album coming
out in October but it's being preceded by this single START A WAR.
The album - based off of what I've listened to - sounds fantastic,
How are you feeling about the work that you are about to release?
Well to begin with thank
you so much! I'm glad you enjoy it. I feel really really good about
it. While we were in the studio we all talked and we were saying that
we never actually enjoyed the whole writing and recording process as
much as we have this time. We were practically waiting for the whole
thing to turn stressful in a way but the material just flowed out of
us. Everything just went so smoothly with us and the studio and the
producer and the songs. There was just this ever-present positive
vibe which goes well with the themes of the album. It's a very
uplifting piece of work.
And just in what I've been been
reading about you guys and the album it sounds as if this new release
from you guys is kind of a new lease on life. You've all got a new
label and even a new outlook on things it seems like.
SONIC SYNDICATE has been
around since 2005. I joined the band in '09 and ever since then me
and ROBIN - the guitar player - have had this really great bond and
this friendship that has only grown more and more over the years.
With this album we realized that we wanted to see what we can do as
songwriters. Two and half years ago we were writing this new album of
twelve or fifteen songs which were finished. We did all of the
pre-production ourselves in our own studio. It was just two weeks
before we were to head into a proper studio to record with a big
Swedish metal producer and then we just stopped and asked ourselves
is this the best that we can do. Are we happy with this album
representing us for the next however many years? The answer was no.
We felt we had more to give and we felt that we were playing
safe and that we weren't taking any risks. We wanted to do what we
really enjoyed doing and we really tried to discover what that was.
So we scrapped the whole record that we wrote and canceled the studio
and canceled the producer and we started all over again. It took us
almost another year on top of that to get where we were with this
album. It's the best decision that we've ever made.
How hard of a decision
was that to make?
It was really hard! It
took us right tot he limit. In that time as well we had also changed
record labels. It really took us right tot he brink of quitting as a
band. We literally had these internal conversations debating whether
or not we had the energy to keep doing this. Would we be able to do
this? The more we talked about it together me ROBIN and MICH started
having such a great time together that we felt that we couldn't not
do it. Especially when we started writing what we wanted to write as
opposed to trying to be this metal band. The more that we started
straying on the path that we were on before the more fun we started
to have. It just felt amazing to create something fresh. From
then on we have felt that this is exactly what we should be doing. It
feels good not be following any sort of path that was set before.
Who all helped you behind the recording console for this
This is the cool thing
about it. We started to put these songs together and he kind of got
an idea on how the sound should be in our pre-production studio. When
we finished the pre-production we started looking around for
producers. We were looking at a guy in Los Angeles and another guy in
Germany and a couple of other producers in Sweden and they
all kind of expecting us to sound how we used and we could tell just
by looking at them that we would be walking into this and they
wouldn't be on the same page as we were. SO we came across this
producer that is a friend of bass player MICH. His name is
CHRISTOPHER FALLION and he has his own studio called PURPLE SKULL
MUSIC. We sat down with him and listened tot he newest stuff that he
produced and listened to the way that he talked about the things that
he wanted to do with the music and how he thought that he could help
us. It just fit perfectly. He's such a cool guy and we knew that it
wold be great. We took a risk with him because we weren't using an
established producer. He had done some good stuff but the
decision to work with him was based on what we had heard and the vibe
that we got form him and we decided to go with it. Everything seemed
to fall into place and work perfectly. I'm so glad we worked with
What was your musical experience before SONIC
When I was a kid of about
nine or ten I started rummaging through my mom's cassette boxes and I
started listening to things like EDDIE GRANT and BOB MARLEY and UB40.
I kind of got into my reggae when I was very young. After that I got
into rap. I was really into the West Coast rap that was happening at
the time form people like TUPAC, DR. DRE and SNOOP DOG. As I got
older I had a friend whose older brother was always listening tot his
crazy music and I could always hear it from his bedroom upstairs and
I started hanging out with him more and we'd be listening to things
like PANTERA and WHITE ZOMBIE and TOOL. That was how I had
become obsessed with metal and form there I got into nu-metal and
people like MANSON. COLDCHAMBER and SLIPKNOT and the music just got
heavier and heavier form there. As I've gotten older the music has
sort balanced out and has shaped into a lot of other stuff that I
like such as DEPECHE MODE and U2 and a lot of pop music. I love how
stuff comes full circle and you find yourself listening to all
different types of music.
What led you to joining SONIC
SYNDICATE in 2009?
I had a band in the UK.
We were kind of metal core but we ha some prog-y elements as well.
The members of the band were pretty heavily into DREAM THEATER and
PAIN IS SALVATION and things like that. We were pestering the label
NUCLEAR BLAST o sign us. They wold always come back to us and say
that they liked our band but that they were not signing any new bands
at the moment. A few months later I got an email form NUCLEAR
BLAST saying that they didn't want to sign my band but if I wanted to
audition for this band that we've already got then we could arrange
that. SO I said "Fuck it!" I got on a plane to Sweden and
the audition was amazing and a couple months after that I was the new
lead singer for SONIC SYNDICATE.
And talk about ROBIN
and MICHEL. Describe what it is that you think each of them brings to
the table the makes this this work.
ROBIN is just so
talented. Everything he does for the band is great from the all of
the legwork that he is doing the with the electronic stuff with
sample pads and synth instruments and beats and effects. He is such a
wiz at that kind of the stuff and he is just amazing on guitar. He's
also an amazing songwriter. When we come up with ideas
it's like we know what each other is thinking. He and I are such best
friends that I couldn't imagine making music without him or not
having him as a friend in my life. Over the years with the lineup
changes in the band and obstacles that we've faced along the way it
can be very tiring and we've just been there for each other. It can
break you down over the years. We replaced out bass player and MICHEL
came into the band in 2014. He started off as our touring bas
and then later we brought him in as a full time member. When cam
aboard he kind of rejuvenated the band. It felt like back in the days
when you were in a garage band with your friends after
The band kind of had that vibe to it again. We were just three guys
hanging out and having fun. MICHEL has great energy live and he's a
great bass player. We always joke about being the three stupid amigos
when we go on tour.
Talk about the
songwriting process within this band. How do you guys go about it?
It can be anything. We
all live in Stockholm together and we rehearse all the time. We
barbecue and we we're big horror movie fans so we watch movies and
hang out so songwriting can really happen at anytime. ROBIN will come
up with some riffs and I'll come up with a melody to something he's
got or I'll have a melody in my head and he'll just slap some guitar
to it. It's a very easy organic process given that we live so close
to each other and we have our own studio. We just come up with
whatever we're feeling and that was how we came up with this album.
We just keep working on something until it becomes a song.
START A WAR is a great
first single for this album What was the inspiration behind it?
With this album we are
taking a big risk. We're saying that nothing else matters and we're
going out on our own and saying this is us. Take it or leave it. It's
battle cry for defying preconceptions of us as a band that are out
there. That is what the lyrics are all about. It's all about putting
your fist in the air and saying "This is me and I'm not
going to hide from anybody!" That was why we chose it as a first
single. It sets the tone for the rest of the album and for what we're
With the release of
the album coming up what's next for SONIC SYNDICATE musically?
It's all about the album
now. We've just got so much coming out right now. We've done these
mini-documentary episodes. We have two already out happening
the next couple of weeks we'll have three new ones. They're going to
be on our FACEBOOK and all of our social media. We've got a lyric
video that we've just put out today for START A WAR. We've
shot a music video for another track off of the album. It's the title
track for the album. The album is coming out on October 14th
and we've got shows in Helsinki, Finland and Norway and we've got a
whole tour on the way which will take us through Europe and then we
come over to the States next year. It's non stop and musically in
regard to after this album, we've been in a very good place and are
still feeling very creative. We've just pressed this new album and we
feel that we've still got stuff to offer. There's no doubt that we'll
be writing bit sand pieces while we're out on tour.