Soilwork – Living, Breathing, Infinite

Wednesday, 20th March 2013

Hailed as the first true double-album in melodic death metal history, Soilwork’s The Living Infinite is the first bold move of 2013. The style has seen its share of dangerous moves before, like when Dark Tranquillity tried to pass clean vocals off on Projector, or In Flames’ much-maligned shift to Americanized sounds, but Soilwork appear to know what they’re doing here. A little part-and-parcel with 2010’s quality The Panic Broadcast, yet forward-thinking in spots, The Living Infinite captures the Swedes in a rare moment of trying to stabilize their career, while pushing the envelope. 

Phoning in to discuss the album is singer Bjorn “Speed” Strid, who remains the sole original member of the band. Having just endured the second (and final) departure of fellow founder/guitarist Peter Wichers, Strid seemed more confident than ever about the band’s prospects, something that could have a lot to do with the addition of Night Flight Orchestra guitarist David Anderson. Nevertheless, we settled in with the lanky Swede (who coincidentally, was the very first phone interview this scribe did roughly ten years ago), and here’s what transpired…

Deafened: Before we get to the new album, let’s talk about Peter’s departure. There wasn’t quite the same buzz as the first time he left, so was it a matter of both parties agreeing to part?

Bjorn Speed Strid: It was pretty interesting because we noticed in the studio, everything was fine recording The Panic Broadcast; he was really excited to that. But as soon as we started to do the tour for the album, we could sense that “Oh, here we go again. Here’s starting to feel stressed.” [It] was economically as well. He has to provide for his family and it impacted the band in a pretty negative way. We felt it coming; we weren’t’ surprised whatsoever. At least now we know. It doesn’t work out like that…that it’s not going to work touring again, the same reason, right? Therefore, it was pretty weird it all came out, out in the open. His statement was saying that it was because of “creative differences,” which wasn’t true whatsoever. We really don’t know why he decided to put that…maybe he felt bad. Maybe he didn’t want to put he didn’t like being away from his family, which was the reason the first time. He felt bad toward the fans to put that statement out, but it’s a very valid reason, it’s very understandable. That’s why we got a little disappointed. He put it out without asking the band; it came out of nowhere. We knew it was coming, but it was weird how it came out.

Deafened: I remember talking to him in 2009 right after he rejoined and even then, you could sense that he wasn’t totally onboard with the grind of touring.

Strid: Yeah. That’s what we thought as well. We didn’t really talk things through; it was like one day, “Let’s try this thing out again.” We were really stoked about that, but it didn’t work out and maybe he shouldn’t have come back. But like I said – now know, and maybe he’s in a better place. He’s working for GUITARS in Arizona, and now we have David Anderson, who’s really passionate about everything.