Enforcer hail from Sweden and play a style of metal that is heavily influenced by both NWOBHM and early thrash. I recently got to interview vocalist Olof Wikstrand to find out more.
Hello, please introduce the members of your band and tell what instrument everyone plays.
Olof Wikstrand - Vocals
Tobias Lindqvist - Bass
Jonas Wikstrand - Drums
Joseph Tholl - Guitars
Adam Zaars - Guitars
Tell us a little about the history of your band.
Enforcer has been the band it is known as today since the fall of 2006. But it started about a year earlier. As you might know ENFORCER started as a one man band. I recorded some songs I’ve had in mind for a couple of years and put it out on the internet. The interest seemed huge and soon I was offered to make a 7” single and I was also offered to make a few gigs. I called on my good friend, Adam, and my brother Jonas, to help me perform live. We continued as a full band since that time and after a few line-up changes we are the band we are today. Sometime in 2007 we were offered to make a full length album and we spent the entire following winter to record it. The album is called “INTO THE NIGHT” and it is scheduled for a worldwide release November 18th.
Who are your musical influences?
We’re mostly influenced by 70s and 80s heavy metal bands like VENOM, IRON MAIDEN, DIAMOND HEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, ANGEL WITCH and such bands. We’re doing the same thing, just slightly faster.
You guys look and sound like it’s about 1984. How did you come to get into a style that peaked twenty some years ago?
Well, I guess we started out our metal carrier like any other kid, you know, listening to the big bands like IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA and such bands. But apart from most other kids who stop there, I grew a genuine interest for the music and started to explore what was beyond those bands. I searched for contemporary bands and bands that influenced these bands. I cannot understand why all these big bands can sell hundreds of thousands of tickets while for e.g. Angel Witch never would be able to pull a crowd of more than 500. It kind of scares me that people seem to stop by the big ones and their hits and not explore heavy metal any deeper.
How did you manage to get signed by Heavy Artillery?
We contributed on their compilation CD/LP ”Speed Kills.. Again” and then we just continued our cooperation.
How has your relationship with them gone so far?
It’s been great. They have really helped us a lot and we will release at least one more album together with them.
Tell us a little about your album “Into the night”.
It is basically songs in the same style as the earlier releases. We have re-recorded songs like BLACK ANGEL, EVIL ATTACKER and MISTRESS FROM HELL because we want people who don’t collect tapes and vinyls should get a chance to hear those songs too. Except from that you can expect a broader album. We have songs leaning both towards straight NWOBHM and other towards speed metal. But the concentration is still the mixture.
Wasn’t the album or the recording delayed at some point? If so then why?
It wasn’t really delayed; we were at some point just too optimistic with the recording sessions. We’ve put down almost 6 months on the recording of this one and we didn’t really expect that from the beginning!
In what areas do you think that your band needs to improve?
Of course we don’t need to improve anything musically or our stylewise. But sure, lately we’ve been more aware of improve what we say to media and the way we move on stage. We’ve worked with layouts and prints a lot too.
What are some of the best clubs that you played at so far? What’s so good about them?
That’s really hard to say. We’ve had great times both on small illegal clubs with friends and serious clubs. Even though it’s more comfortable on bigger clubs and venues, the crowd almost always lacks in that kind of places. It just doesn’t come as many people to those places as the smaller and the crowd don’t get crazy enough.
Who have you opened for so far?
We haven’t played as opening act to any big band or so yet. Most often we play with other bands in the same size as us.
Who would you love to open for?
What would be your response be to someone who said that “the young thrash bands of today are not doing anything that wasn’t already accomplished by bands in the 1980’s”?
I’d agree with him.
We are rapidly getting towards the end of 2008 so what do you are some of the best albums that you have heard this year
I listen to good albums everyday, but if you mean albums of 2008 I’d say the CAST IRON EP and PORTRAIT’s debut. If late 2007 counts, I’ll add NIFELHEIM – ENVOY OF LUCIFER.
Pick the band from each of the following pairs that you prefer and tell why you picked them.
Saxon or Tank
SAXON anytime. Haven’t listened too much on TANK while SAXON is one of my favourite bands ever.
Raven or Venom
VENOM easily. RAVEN have their good moment, but I don’t like their style and outfit. Stuff like that doesn’t really belong in heavy metal. It just makes the whole band feel unserious together with their too rockish type of heavy metal. VENOM on the other hand have everything. Evil, music, attitude and over the top songs.
Exciter or Metallica
EXCITER. I can’t really deny the impact the first METALLICA record has on me, but after that they messed it up totally. KILL ‘EM ALL is among the best albums ever, but so is VIOLENCE AND FORCE. But the difference is that EXCITER released albums that is just as good as VIOLENCE AND FORCE both after and before it.
Iron Maiden or Judas Priest
Is there anything else that you would like to say about your music or your band?
Heavy metal is alive. Spread the word.
***I'll be reviewing Enforcer's "Into the night" album on Halloween.