Saffire: From Gothenberg and Ready To Hard Rock Your World
Fans of classic acts such as Whitesnake and Rainbow will be absolutely enraptured when encountering the hard rocking tapestries Saffire has to offer. Based out of Gothenberg, Sweden – otherwise known as the heavy metal capital of the world – Saffire has recently unleashed Where The Monsters Dwell, their latest magnum opus now available via Perris Records! Jam packed with raging anthems that will set the imagination in flight, Where The Monsters Dwell is sure captivate all music fanatics looking for an exhilarating adventure in sound. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with guitarist Victor Olsson of the almighty Saffire to find out a whole lot more about this world class hard rock extravaganza. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Saffire and how long the band has been together.
My name is Victor Olsson and I am the guitarist and songwriter for Saffire. The current line-up has been playing now since 2010, that was when Tobbe, our vocalist, joined. That’s when things started to take off and we started to dream big and set some goals for the band.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the metal capitol of the world, according to many people. So there are loads and loads of good quality rock and metal bands in town, all spurring and inspiring each other to perform better. We actually recorded our first album at Studio Fredman, the legendary studio where In Flames, At The Gates and many more recorded classic metal albums.
How did you wind up signing with Perris Records?
We like to try new labels to try and gain new fans and break some new ground with each album. We went with Perris ’cause we got straight, honest answers, we were curious of the North American market and we got an overall good vibe. Plus, a friend of ours who had worked with Perris before, had only good things to say.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the CD title Where The Monsters Dwell?
Not as a story or anything but the I guess there is a sort of common theme among the lyrics. The monsters, demons that we are surrounded by, both in ourselves, in our own heads and among the people that we sometimes allow into our lives. It’s all about how to get rid of those monsters/demons and make a better life for yourself. Sometimes by fighting back, and sometimes by accepting they are there.
Select two songs from Where The Monsters Dwell and what inspired the lyrics.
“Dark Horizon” was a song I wrote when one of the guys in the band was going through a really tough patch. I started thinking and realized I also had some issues of my own and the song was a way to concrete my thoughts on both our situations which was a bit therapeutic in a way.
“The Rainmaker” is basically a story about a girl I dated a year ago. Let’s just say I haven’t been lucky in the relationship department for some time and this girl really took the cake. She was like one big schizophrenic mystery, and of course it all ended with her putting my heart in a blender, run it at full speed and then throwing it in the sink. All in all, I’m almost glad it happened though ’cause it ended up being one of my favourite songs on the album!
Who did the cover art for Where The Monsters Dwell and how much input did you have in it?
The cover art was created by the super talented Lenore Ani (Ani Artworks) from Belarus. We loved her big epic, dark style and soft colors so we felt she would fit us perfectly. Both me and Tobbe had some separate ideas for the artwork concept so we actually put them together and came up with the concept that became the final artwork.
What could one expect from a live Saffire show?
For one, we’re always very prepared and well rehearsed, so a tight, good performing band is what we always offer. Also, we consider ourselves a rock ‘n roll band so we try to engage the audience as much as we can. We try to have fun on stage and we hope it shows!
If Saffire could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Well, my favourite band, and most obvious choice in this matter, is Rainbow, the Dio-era. They were just phenomenal in all kinds of ways, and I would love to see up close what kind of antics Mr Blackmore were up to in his heyday… Apart from that, opening for a band like Iron Maiden would of course be super awesome, with their huge, fanatic crowd.
How did the tour with Spiritual Beggars go and what were some of the highlights?
It was a bit of a dream come true. It was a short tour but the first time we did something of a kind. And Spiritual Beggars is a band I listened to A LOT when I was in my teens, so to see them perform and socialize with them was something special, that’s for sure. We developed a friendship with the vocalist, Apollo, and I have since then joined Apollo’s own band, doing his own material.
Has Saffire ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
We never have, but as any band from Europe can tell you, playing in the states is one of our main goals and big dreams!
Are you involved with any other bands outside of Saffire?
I’m involved with Apollo’s solo stuff and I’m also the songwriter and guitarist of the AOR-project Gathering Of Kings.
We’ll be releasing a full length-album in a few months.
What’s up next for Saffire?
We’re doing some festival shows here in Sweden this summer, and we got a mini tour coming up this fall. We’re always keen to expand and one goal is to get more shows abroad and to spread our music to more people.
Any final words of wisdom?
Keep rockin! And support your favourite upcoming bands, every little share, buy, or stream means a lot in this day and age!
Victor Olsson – guitars
Tobias Jansson – Vocals
Dino Zuzic – Hammond & Keys
Magnus Carlsson – Bass
Anton Roos – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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