TUNGSTEN drummer Anders Johansson talks about his sons Nick and Karl “I realized right away that they had talent, even at age of 4”
Anders Johansson is known to many people from his early work with Yngwie J. Malmsteen and HammerFall. Nowadays he plays drums in Manowar and Tungsten, in which his sons Nick and Karl also play. Nordic Metal had the priviledge to interview Anders Johansson.
Tungsten will release their debut album “We Will Rise” on september 20th and so far you have released 2 singles “The Fairies Dance” and “We Will Rise”. What are your expectations upon the album release?
Anders: We’ve gotten a good response so far so we are hoping that people will like the rest of the album. The other songs are different but still similar.
Your sons Karl and Nick also play in Tungsten and if I understood correctly they are the ones who composed the songs and also Nick produced and mixed the album. From father’s perspective I am sure you are super proud of your sons but how does it feel to play in the same band with them?
Anders: We have played together before and it worked out well. When they were young I thought I would be proud in case they did good things but soon realized that they were very different from me. They now happen to play music I like which is cool but I take no credit in what they accomplish. I did support them and tried to give advice though as well as helped out with equipment.
At what age your sons started showing interest towards music and at what age did they start playing? And did they automatically chose the instruments they still play today?
Anders: They were 4 years old. They played all instruments. They are pretty good with drums too. I realized right away that they had talent, ever at 4. They had more groove than most old real musicians.
In your own words how would categorize Tungsten? People always want to label bands to this or that genre and if no suitable genre is found one is invented.
Anders: Melodic metal. When we started the band we wanted to be slightly different than other bands since everything has been done 1000 times already and it has been done good. So we mixed in elements of Swedish folk Music and industrial metal in the music.
After the album release there are few concerts in Sweden but are there any plans for more extensive tour for Tungsten to support their debut album?
Anders: We are trying to get a support spot for a bigger band. Everything gets more clear after the album is released.
If you would need to describe your music to a deaf person, how would you do it? What kind of words or images would you show that would capture the essence of your music?
Anders: It would of course be hard. Maybe I would let him or her put their hands on the speakers to feel it. But with words: a straight forward pulse with frequencies sometime distrorted and words put out of someones throat in clear frequencies.
You have been in the music industry very very long and probably have seen just about everything there is to see. And I heard that you had “retired” from drumming already but what made you grab those drumsticks again? Not just for Tungsten but also for Manowar.
Anders: I never retired but was out of the major bands for a while. i played in a Swedish dance band for a few years. I felt like retiring many times though. But I think the day you retire you are doomed for the grim reaper. I did a session for Manowar once and when they needed a drummer in the middle of a tour without rehearsing they called me. It was of course a great thing and a nice experience. I have been there since.
Your sons are young and they will both have a wonderful future ahead of them as musicians. But what are your thoughts regarding the music industry these days? Digital platforms are taking over and physical album sales keep dropping. Is there a chance for smaller bands to make a living with just music anymore?
Anders: I think it is hard for smaller bands. You have to get over a certain level and fill at least 1000-seaters. You have to play live and sell t-shirts. Or if you are really lucky you might get a hit anyways but there is more of a chance to win the lottery.
How closely do you follow the music scene in Sweden? There are lots of new and upcoming bands coming constantly. Would you as someone who has been around the block few times have any advice or two to give these young and new bands who are trying to make it in the industry?
Anders: The only advice is to not give up. But also to get an education outside the music business.
Thank you very much for the interview Anders Johansson!
As said, Tungsten will release their debut album “We Will Rise” on september 20th 2019 and you can order it at https://Tungsten.lnk.to/WeWillRise
Tracklist for We Will Rise:
01. We Will Rise
03. The Fairie’s Dance
04. Coming Home
05. It Ain’t Over
06. As I’m falling
07. Sweet Vendetta
10. To The Bottom
12. Wish Upon A Star