STATE ELECTRIC (Sweden)::::......
at: 16th, March 2017
Daniel: Hi Nicke! Letīs
start at the beginning: When and how did it all start with
Imperial State Electric?
I think it started like about 5 days after we played the
last show with The Hellacopters in 2008. And it took about 5
days before I realized that I want to play. I didnīt stop
to take a break. Already before that I thought about working
on some songs because I got a studio and started to learn
how that works. I had started that. I got like a cover band
together which was supposed to be with Thomas. We had a club
night once a month for a fan club where we played our
favorite songs from the 70īs, like Alice Cooper, Sex
Pistols, Cheap Trick and stuff like that which then
eventually this is the same powers that worked on the first
Imperial State Electric album. They played on one song, I
think, on that album. We evolved to write a song together
and they got released. These were the first guys I asked to
play those songs.
Whatīs the meaning of the band name? Is there a certain
meaning behind it? Or should it just sound cool?
Oh, I think it sounds pretty cool! But itīs just a band
name, you know? I thought it sounded epic and funny and I
like the word electric. I play electric guitars. So itīs
like an empire of electric guitars where I rule the world. I
decide how to play the electric guitar. You cannot have
seven strings on an electric guitar! You can only have six!
Please give us a short overview of your album releases!
What do you mean? Oh fuck! I donīt have that in my head.
The first one came out in 2010. It was called Imperial
State Electric because it was the first album. I did that
mostly myself and I had a few songs and some others thought
that they were boring. So I recorded them myself. But I wonīt
do that again. There is no one to tell you it sucks or itīs
good, you know? So the next album, Pop War, came out
one year after or two. I donīt know. You must Wikipedia
that, haha! Itīs your question, not mine! We did that more
as a band. The difference between that album and the first
one is that we put this one out as the first proper band
effort. Then we put out Reptile Brain Music which was
the third one, I guess, you know? I donīt know what to say.
The main difference there is that there were different songs
on it than on the one before with the same band. There has
always been a difference between all the records. The fourth
album was Honk machine. Maybe the biggest difference
there was that I didnīt mix it. We had an outside person
mixing called Stefan Boerman who also had worked with The
Hellacopters before. We mixed a Bullet album together too.
So he mixed that. And I really like having someone else to
mix the album sound. The latest album, All Through The
Night, we had another guy to mix it called Frans Hägglund.
That would be the main difference there, I think, apart from
the songs. There are totally different songs on it.
Which bands are your main influences?
Thereīs very many bands. Everything I listen to is an
influence. I would say even crap is an influence because I
can say I can do better than that if thereīs something I
donīt like! So anything! I mean, I grew up with Kiss and
then after Kiss it was Sex Pistols and The Ramones, punk
rock. I got into faster punk rock, like GBH, The Exploited
and Discharge which led me to hardcore, thrash metal and
death metal. And also gone back. Thatīs like a short
version of my life.
Iīve got a question too: I wrote a review of your last
album for CROSSFIRE and put it into my top 10 of 2016. And
when I heard the album I also thought of Smokey because of
some slow and harmonic parts. Is that right?
Well, I think the best way to answer this is that what
people hear is more a reflection on their record collection
than maybe mine. One time I had someone, a Hellacopters fan,
who said that one song sounded like Red Hot Chili Peppers. I
almost killed that person because I hate them, haha! For me
they are the worst band ever placed on Earth! But that means
it was supposed to his record collection, not mine! But then
again: I like Smokey way more than Red Hot Chili Peppers! I
actually have two Smokey albums! My friends listen to
Smokey! They have some good songs, but I wouldnīt say that
were a hugh influence. But itīs true!
What are your lyrics about? Is there a certain message you
want to spread to the listeners? Or is it just about cliché?
That depends on what you think is a cliché! Sex, drugs and
rock & roll? I havenīt written one single song about
sex! Yeah, one, but it was more ironic, a fun thing. I canīt
do that like other people! I havenīt written a song about
drinking; maybe on the first Hellacopters album I might have
mentioned īhaving a drink or twoī in my lyrics. Cliché
depends on how you look at it. Well, a lot of people drink,
a lot of people have sex, a lot of people take drugs. Does
that mean that itīs a cliché? I guess it depends on how
you write about it. Well, I sing īOh, baby!ī a lot of
times. Thatīs a kind of cliché, I guess, because itīs
been used. But thatīs something I like. But I would rather
call it classic, not a cliché. But thatīs not really up to
me. I spend a lot of time on my lyrics. I think if the
lyrics are okay, it makes the song even better. And I canīt
say that I write about the same thing all the time. Itīs
more about personal experiences. A lot of times I can write
about someone else, but then I realize that they are also
about me because I think people are different, but not that
different. And I think thatīs interesting!
I read somewhere that you write all songs alone. So are
Imperial State Electric just a solo project of yours or a
real band in your opinion?
Someone needs to write the songs. And Dolph and Tobias write
songs too. The difference is when they wrote only one song I
have written twenty. I just write more frequently. Also
quite a few times Dolph has written lyrics for my songs Iīve
done musically. I do most of the songwriting, but the other
guys help up. So weīre definitely a real band!
In Imperial State Electric (and earlier in The Hellacopters)
you took over guitars and vocals. But you are also the
drummer of Entombed. So do you see yourself as a singer,
guitarist or drummer actually?
If I had to choose one of these, it would probably be drums
actually because I think thatīs what Iīm better at. Iīm
pretty good at faking playing rock and roll guitar, haha!
I only knew you as Entombed drummer. So when did you learn
to play guitar at all?
You mean when I learned to fake guitar? Haha!
Was it much later?
Yes! I was always interested in making songs. You canīt
really make songs on the drums! Thereīs no melody. That was
more to have something to play too. So that came later, yes!
Letīs come to your past now a little bit: Why did The
Hellacopters split up in 2008. What were the reasons? What
I canīt really say that anything went wrong. We were
together for 14 years. I would see it the other way: How was
it so good for so many years? I mean, how many bands are
together for 14 years? You start at a certain age, you grow
older, you drift apart, you have different opinions about
things, why you do it etc. There was no specific reason. But
I think it was time to quit. And I still donīt regret that.
But I think itīs great now! Now we play reunion shows. We
get paid with lots of money, haha!
In 2014, Entombed split up in two parts. Now there are
Entombed and Entombed A.D. Do you know about the reasons?
Yes, but itīs really boring. I donīt want to talk about
Really? Also for Entombed fans?
What do you want to know? Well, I mean thereīs a thing
between Alex Hellid and the A.D. guys, of course. Thatīs
how it started. And I got involved because I didnīt think
it was fair that L.-G., the singer, who never wrote one word
for lyrics or music and never even bought a microphone,
should have the name Entombed. Simple. So I got together
with Ulf and Alex and we did a reunion of what we think is
Entombed. We did that. And it was really fucking awesome! I
enjoyed that a lot! So we will probably do something more.
Have you heard the two Entombed A.D. albums Back To The
Front (2014) and Dead Dawn (2016) yet? And what do
you think of them?
Yes, I heard it. I sounds pretty good! It doesnīt really
sound like Entombed to me because for me it needs Ulf on
guitar. But thatīs just my opinion. And also you have to
remember that I started Nihilist and Entombed.
The last Entombed album, Serpent Saints - The Ten
Amendments, was released in 2007; long ago! I heard you
will continue with Entombed now. Is that true?
We will probably do more stuff. We havenīt really.
Are there already plans for a new album?
And what would it sound like after the split from all the
If there is a new album, of course, itīs gonna be amazing!
Otherwise we wouldnīt put it put!
What would it sound like? More like the first two albums or
more like the later stuff? Do you have an idea?
Nobody knows yet. But it will be good if there is one!
Today there are many bands that copy the old style of
Nihilist/Entombed, like Lifeless and Revel In Flesh from
Germany, Entrapment from The Netherlands or Profanal from
Really? I donīt know. I havenīt heard it.
Is that something that makes you proud? Or do you think itīs
ridiculous when young bands only dig in the past?
Iīm an old guy playing old stuff. No, people can do what
they want to do. And I guess itīs flattering! For me, thatīs
a compliment if people like your band! So I canīt say
You also play in another death metal band called Death
Breath. Where exactly are
the main differences between Entombed and Death Breath in your opinion,
both musically and lyrically?
Well, not very often, but yes. Yeah, there are some
similarities, but there are also differences, of course.
Or is the only difference that you just play another
instrument there, like bass guitar?
No, I play drums. But I play guitar and bass there too,
haha! I think the point with Death Breath is that itīs
maybe simpler, more īold schoolī if thatīs the word; more
like the very early formation of the genre death metal. Itīs
more about Repulsion and Master etc.
Is it true that you also play in a soul band called The
Solution? Do you also like soul music or is it just an
experiment for you to improve as a musician?
Yes, we did two albums! I couldnīt play anything I donīt
listen to! I listen to soul music a lot!
Is it important for you that all your bands sound different?
Or did that happen accidently?
I donīt think about it that much. I also think sometimes
you need to keep things separate. I donīt think it sounds
good to put an Entombed part and a soul part together. In
Imperial State Electric maybe itīs a little wider. The
frame work is a little bigger than in the other bands which
I like too. But I think the whole point is when it feels
good, it is good! And if thereīs one more person than
yourself to like it, then itīs good!
When you look back: Is there an album you like most or
least? And why?
I donīt know. I donīt think about it too much. I think my
favorite Hellacopters album is By The Grace Of God.
And with Entombed, I donīt know. Thereīs always something
about your first album because itīs the first one. But I
canīt really say.
Is it like with children? No matter what, you must love them
Haha! Not at all! Although I heard people say that! Theyīre
not like children; not at all! I have a child, so I should
know! No, itīs always a snapshot of the band at that time.
I canīt say thatīs bad. Itīs just like how it is.
Sometimes I think it could have sounded different maybe.
Like for example: If the second album, Clandestine,
had the same sound of the fourth album, To Ride, Shoot
Straight And Speak The Truth, but with the same songs, I
think that would have been a much better album. But you canīt
change that anyway. Thatīs the point.
What are your future plans with Imperial State Electric!
Well, the finishing of that tour will be in Berlin tomorrow
and Copenhagen on Saturday. And then we will write some more
songs. Well, I always write songs. We already have a few.
Then we go to Greece and play some festivals, hopefully put
out a live album; something like that. And I will do some
Hellacopters shows this summer too. Itīs a reunion thing.
We did two shows last year and that was fun! So weīll do
some more. But Imperial State Electric is my main thing at
the moment. But who knows? I have a lot of ideas.
Okay, Nicke! Thanx for your time! Do you have some final
words for your German fans?
Never give up to rock and roll because rock and roll will
never let you down, haha!