INTERVIEW: Sebastian Svalland – Letters From The Colony

Swedish quintet LETTERS FROM THE COLONY could well be the best band you’ve never heard of and 2018 is set to be a big year for the band. Appearing from out of the darkness after two independently released EPs to sign to Nuclear Blast Records in anticipation of their debut full length effort Vignette. Ahead of this release we caught up with founding member and guitarist Sebastian Svalland to lift the lid on the band’s rise to prominence and their impending album.

LETTERS FROM THE COLONY formed in 2010, recently signing to Nuclear Blast Records in 2017. That must have been a big landmark for the band?

Sebastian: Of course, this is what we wanted and it feels really good. I get to release an album on the biggest metal label in the world and I am probably going to win the best looking man 2018 contest. I am just waiting for Ferrari to call me and offer me a million dollar sponsorship.

Your debut album Vignette is due out February 16th from which you have released Terminus and Erasing Contrast thus far, how has the response been?

Sebastian: Superb, lots of people have been reaching out to us. It is a great time for the band!

Considering the barbaric nature of your material the album cover looks very vivid and relaxing, where did the concept come from?

Sebastian: We wanted to have an album cover that stands out from the rest. I sampled a deer in the track Vignette so that is where the idea come from. I found out about the artist Chris Panatier from my friends in the band Totem Skin. Chris created the artwork for their album Weltschmerz and it looked so beautiful that I wanted him to create the cover for Vignette.

How did you approach the writing/recording process? I can imagine it must be quite taxing constructing songs such as the title track which spans over 12 minutes?

Sebastian: I like to start with the details, then I work around that. Maybe that’s not considered to be the best method, but I find it hard to have rules when it comes to songwriting. This approach probably takes more time, but I’m not too bothered about that.

How did you find working with Jens Bogren, a producer synonymous with producing countless incredible albums over the years?

Sebastian: Jens mastered the album and did a great job. He is one of my favourite producers and I am happy that we chose him for the mastering. Alexander did the mixing and we wanted to have a outsider‘s perspective so that‘s why Jens mastered it.

Sweden has extreme metal interwoven into it’s DNA, has this inspired your writing or creative output?

Sebastian: Yes, there are definitely some bands that put Sweden on the map and many of these inspired me to write music.

With the abundance of music at everyone’s fingertips via various streaming platforms do you feel this adds pressure to bands to remain constantly active in order to avoid becoming an afterthought?

Sebastian: It is easier today for a smaller band to reach out to a bigger audience, but it is harder to keep that audience satisfied, I think.

You have experienced various lineup changes during the life span of LETTERS FROM THE COLONY, do you feel that this is the strongest lineup to date?

Sebastian: Yes, we have a balance now that we didn’t have before. Everyone does their part musically and we each have different skills.

What else does 2018 have in store for LETTERS FROM THE COLONY?

Sebastian: Well, a single and music video on the 9th of February. The release of the album on 16th of February. We are currently planning shows and tours, so this year will be super.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

Sebastian: I want to have six Ferrari’s in my garage and topless men covered in oil, that pour dollar bills on me.

Vignette is set for release on February 16th via Nuclear Blast Records.