The Swedish power metal band Vandor has been around since 2015, but even before that under a different name. In 2019 their debut album will be released. PowerMetal.no had a talk with the band to find out more about the band – and the upcoming album.
I have scrolled down your entire Facebook page, and the first sign of life appears to be in May 2015. Is that when the band was founded?
Vandor: Yes, that is kind of true! Vandor was founded in May of 2015, but the band did exist before that under a different name and different line-up. Originally the band was founded by the brothers Bjerde [Vide and Alve].
Our current line-up is Vide Bjerde on vocals and guitar, Alve Bjerde on bass, Jack L. Stroem on lead guitar, and Uno Rosengren on keyboards.
And to continue my Facebook research: it seems like the band took a break from July 2015 to October 2016 – and then it was silent until May 2017. What was going on in that period?
Vandor: The band essentially broke up in 2015, leaving only Vide, Alve and our former drummer Fritiof. We didn’t do any shows or rehearse very much during that period. But that didn’t stop Vide from writing songs! Jack later joined the band around April 2016 and we started writing a bunch of new songs! We kind of re-build the band, and in 2017 we had our first gig in two years.
In February 2018 you entered the studio. Have you been working on the album continuously since then?
Vandor: Yes, we have. We’ve been working day and night with this record, and we are really excited to release it!
When did you start the songwriting for your debut album?
Vandor: Tricky questions! There’s definitely a big age-span between the songs, ranging from 2014 up to last year. Some parts of songs are even older than that. But most of the songs have been refined and changed during the years.
All the way through you have been playing live, it seems. How important is that for a band like Vandor?
Vandor: We think it’s very important to play live! A band can record a million records, but in the end it’s the live shows that keep the band alive. With today’s endless flow of free music (through Spotify and such), people generally don’t buy albums anymore. Therefore, we think it’s crucial to do live shows, if you want to make a living out of your music.
What can you tell me about the lyrics on the debut album?
Vandor: We didn’t want to make our debut album into a concept album, but in a few songs there could be a story or piece of lore from our fantasy land Vandor. But it’s really up for interpretation; anyone is free to interpret our songs as they seem fit!
But we try to push ourselves at making good and fun lyrics, and for the darker songs we usually aim for a more serious tone.
And what about the album in general?
Vandor: It’s called The Land Of Vandor and it’s a full lenght album of 10 songs; close to an hour!
As we do not currently have a permanent drummer, Robin Risander from Mark Zero and August Svärdström from TrendEight are playing drums on the album. We got our friend Anja Hedenskog on some guest vocals as well, but mainly it’s us playing.
Also, the album got no fucking auto tune on it!
For those who haven’t heard Vandor yet; how would you describe Your music?
Vandor: We’d like to describe our sound as «retromodern» power metal. Our «core-sound» is based on the classic power metal from the late 90’s to early 2000’s. While applying some modern elements to our music, we also got a lot of elements from older music, like the old 70’s rock and the 80’s heavy metal.
To us, we are a power metal band, but some of the songs might even sound (to some) as heavy metal or even hard rock. Since we got different musikal backgrounds, we combine our different musical preferences and make it our sound.
A few months ago you traveled to USA to finish the album: why USA and how was that?
Vandor: We actually just got back from America. The reason we went to USA was cause our guitar player Jack went there to mix his solo record that was released in 2017, and we loved the result!
Our album was mixed at Wavelenght Studios in Salem, Oregon by Jason Carter. He was perfect for us and a really fun guy to hang around!
When will the album be released?
Vandor: The album will be released on CD and all the usual streaming services. Release date isn’t decided yet, but you can expect an early 2019 release. As soon as we know for sure we will let the world know!
What are the plans after the album is released?
Vandor: We’re extremely excited to see where this album will take us! We will definitely do more shows when the album is out, mainly in Sweden and around Scandinavia. A tour is not out of the question!