Lars Eng might be unknown for most of us, but that won’t probably last long. His new band, The Lightbringer Of Sweden, featuring Herbie Langhans on vocals, have, with three singles released, already gained a lot of attention and soon the debut album is released.
As I have understood The Lighbringer Of Sweden came to life in 2017. Can you take me back to that time and tell me how and why it all started?
Eng: At that time I had a break from music and focused my time and energy om my family and job. But, something inside of me, as all musicians will understand, made me fell strongly about playing and writing music again. The only thing was that I didn’t want to write stuff that was too personal and that was based on “what I feel”. So, I started to write a story about the devil and his right hand – The Lightbringer and Skeletor. The story was a great way for me to start thinking outside the box in terms of writing lyrics, and I think that fantasy and made-up stories released some pressure when writing lyrics.
And before 2017? I mean, for those who don’t know you, what have you been involved with before The Lightbringer Of Sweden?
Eng: That’s a difficult question to answer. I haven’t done so much “in the spotlight” until now, but I have always been playing music and have been involved in different bands from time to time. I have also been writing music all my life, and I have been building guitars, mainly YMP guitars. I have built some guitars for Hans Ziller (Bonfire), Pontus Norgren (HammerFall), Dirk Sauer (Edguy) and Niklas Stålvind (Wolf).
Did you start this band as a solo project, or did you have a plan all along that this would be a band with permanent members in the end?
Eng: At the beginning it was a studio project, and it still is, but as things have started to evolve I have no clue where it will go. There has been a lot of attention in many ways!
Just now, I’m in shock, as the first single “Skeletor” has been streamed 33.000 times on Spotify in only 12 weeks. That is amazing, and I didn’t dream of numbers like that when releasing the single. It truly feels like a blessing!
Now the band consist of Tobbe Jonsson on drums, Johan Berquist on bass and Jonas Andersson on guitars. How was the search for musicians and how would you describe the lineup?
Eng: I was meticulous when searching for musicians. I wanted guys that were easy to work with and who were humble, so that we as a group work and sounds like a band – not as a bunch of soloists. And I must say; we are a great team that complete each other and that have a great chemistry between us.
Without these four fantastic musicians, joining me on this project, the result wouldn’t have been as good as it turned out. Tobbe has a phenomenal force and stability in his drumming, Johan is a really steady bass player and he contributes with a raw and beefy bass. Jonas is one of the most talented guitar players I know, full speed ahead without losing the feel or the passion.
And on vocals we have no other than Herbie Langhans. I know that you got in touch through Facebook. How did that all work out?
Eng: Yes, Herbie is a beast and I’m so glad to have him onboard. His voice blends perfectly with the music and it feels like he senses what I want with the songs.
The story of how we got in touch is actually pretty funny. I didn’t expect a guy like him on the project at all, but he wrote on Facebook that he wanted to try new stuff, or something like that. I don’t remember exactly what he wrote. Anyway, I sent him a message asking if he would consider contributing on my project and the first single. He then replayed asking me to send over the songs and the lyrics and he would look at it later. As it turned out he really liked the song and we then decided to have him sing on the whole album. With him by the microphone the unit of The Lightbringer Of Sweden was solid.
I also know that you were intentionally thinking about contacting Niklas Stålvind (Wolf), but I must say that Langhans isn’t a bad replacement at all, and I agree that he fits the music perfectly. Did you have other vocalist in mind, and where you thinking about vocalists when writing the music?
Eng: Yes, Niklas was supposed to sing on “Skeletor” from the beginning, but the recording of the new Wolf album Feeding The Machine took longer than expected. It would have been a blast working with Niklas, who is a good friend and an awesome singer, but I think Herbie was a better choice for the Lightbringer Of Sweden.
But I think me and Niklas will get a new chance working together in the future, I have a small project in mind, but not at this moment.
As you mentioned the plan was for Langhans to sing on the first single only, but now he sings on all the songs on the upcoming album. What was the reason for that, and where you hoping to have one vocalist for the whole album or did you have a plan on involving several vocalists, like a metal opera sort of thing?
Eng: Yes, the plan was to have him sing the single “Skeletor” and that was it. But as he loved the song we started to talk about doing the whole album and the rest is history, as they say. Haha!
And yes, the plan was initially to make a concept album with many different singers, but when Herbie decided to join the project it was a game changer.
What can you tell me about the debut album? Will the three singles be included, and would you say that they are representing what we can expect from the album as a whole?
Eng: The album will be called Rise Of The Beast and the three singles will be included. My intention was to release one fast song, one ballad and a mid-tempo song, just to show the versatility of the band.
The album will be an epic and powerful journey together with Skeletor and The Lightbringer and their fight for the devil’s resurrection!
Sounds interesting! What about the music? We have now been served three singles, but how would you describe the music?
Eng: With this project I wanted to go back to where it all began, with bands like Gamma Ray, Helloween, Accept, Edguy, Saxon and Judas Priest. I wanted the music to come naturally and from the hearth; not forcing the songs in certain directions. I have also focused on not adding to much layers on the music, like synths; this is Metal Uncomplicated – raw and true!
I love the sound of that! When can we expect to hear the full album?
Eng: The release date is not set yet, but I’m hoping for a release during July/August, depending on the recording progress.
I can also add that there will be ten tracks on the album, and that there will be more fast songs, in the style of “Skeletor”, present on the album.
There will also be some guest musicians involved, but no names yet….haha!
I have used the terms band and project during this interview, what are you calling it? Is it a band, and are all the members full time members?
Eng: It’s a band for sure! All the members are full time members, and no one will be replaced. Actually, it has grown more and more into a band as the project evolved. I’ve had a hard time telling myself that, but it certainly feels more and more like a band and I’m very proud of what I have achieved.
I’m curious about the band name, what is the story here?
Eng: The name comes from a story I wrote where the devil was called “The Lightbringer” because he always has a lantern with him to collect the souls.
What are your thoughts about the future, will there be a tour and are you already thinking about a second album?
Eng: We don’t have any tour or gigs planned at this moment, but for sure; we are definitely hoping to hit the road at some point.
And there will be a second album, but for now I’m focusing on making this album epic!