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Q & A with: Bullet

Swedish band BULLET was formed back in 2001. They released their debut album in 2006, and have since then earned themselves a reputation as a hard working and hard touring band in the hard rock and metal scene. The band is set to release their 6th album “Dust to Gold” later this spring, and due to that I was given the chance to ask their guitarist Hampus Klang some questions.

You are about to release your new album – Dust to Gold. Anything you’d like to say about this album?
Its a great piece of Heavy Metal. We were very satisfied with the “Storm of Blades” album that was released some years ago so it felt natural to record the new album once again in Pama Studios in Sweden.
This time the studio has moved to an old school building, we had our own kitchen and a big TV so it was luxury for us.

How would you describe your music for those that so far haven’t come across Bullet?
Real timeless Heavy Metal with powerful vocals drenched in leather and sweat.

Are all the songs made specifically for this album, or did you have any old ideas that was used in part or in full?
We usually do much more songs than what ends up on the album. Sometimes we go back and rearrange a riff from the session before. Cant remember that we took any old riffs or ideas this time.
There’s will be two bonus cover songs on the Japan edition of the album too. Swords and Tequila by Riot and Dr. Phibes by Angel Witch.

Recording equipment, mix and production is a sometime hot topic among music aficionados. Any thoughts about issues related to that, such as for instance using vintage equipment versus digital, and the relatively modern phenomenon of the loudness war?
I always bring lots of vintage amps and guitars to see what fits and has the best sound.
This time we tried about 6 different Marshall heads but ended up using a Peavey Classic combo plugged in into my Marshall 4-12 cabinet. Never happened before.
The speakers in the studio is so honest so you can hear absolutely everything that you wont here in a normal stereo. That makes it much harder but also fun to hear it thru really professional speakers.
I have really crappy speakers at home.
We always use a analog tape recorder to get that warm sound too.

Can you tell us anything about how you typically create new songs?
We tried to jam in the rehearsal room but its hard to come up with song ideas in the moment, so usually we sit at home and make riffs and then meet up in the rehearsal room. Then we record demo versions until were happy with everything.
Sometimes we do 10 different versions until everybody is happy.

This is your sixth studio album. Is it still exciting to launch a new album?
Yes it is! Writing songs can sometimes be a nightmare when you don’t feel that you come up with something good. But its fun in the end when all is recorded.
You are never 100% satisfied and that motivates you to do a new album that is a little bit better.

What drives and motivates you to record and release new music?
To go on tour basically, that’s the main thing for me to make albums. And also to have something good to do in life and to keep the rockstar dream alive.

You have a reputation for being a hard touring band. Is it still fun going on tour, or does it become more of a routine as the years pass?
Absolutely. Its most of the time endless fun. We did about 120 shows a year for some years but nowadays the tempo has been a bit lower, but were aiming for lots of tours in 2018.
Cant wait for the wheels to roll.

Backstage food. What goes, and what, if anything, is banned?
I have been playing brutal music when I was younger and compared to that we always get good food with Bullet. We try to not get so much candy cause Hell Hofer eats it all.
Food is not so important but the beer and booze are…
Simple things like water can sometimes be hard to find. When we toured in UK with Hardcore Superstar the only thing in our dressing room was a opened bottle of whiskey.
I found some bottles of water after our show behind the drums. I drank heavily but it tasted awful and I was about to puke. Later I found out that it was Adde the HC drummer that couldn’t find a toilet so he pissed in the bottles.
I don’t like touring in UK so much.

Do you have any weird, fun or touching live experiences to share?
More weird than that?! Hahaha.
I have a bad memory…I remember when we played at Sonisphere festival in Spain, it was so unreal. The sun was shining and we played on the same stage as Iron Maiden. Backstage the bar was free, hard for people from Sweden to handle that. I ordered 7 Gin & tonic and the bartender just gave me them without asking, you could walk with them to the stage and watch bands, would be impossible in Sweden. Backstage there was lots of familiar faces like Slash and the guys from Twisted Sister.

For many bands, selling merch is among their most important revenue sources these days. What variety of merchandise will you have for sale at your concerts and from your homepage?
Some years ago we made Bullet clogs, they sold pretty well. Me and Hell Hofer has also have done some paintings that is for sell in the webshop, but no one wants to buy em. They are probably too ugly. Guess we have to die first.
We have all the classic stuff too of course.

Do you buy merch from bands yourselves?
We get a lot of stuff for free but sometimes if its a cool design or a really good band I buy a shirt.
I have a huge collection of old vintage Heavy Metal shirts.

For many artists, being an artist is something they do because they have a need to do it, for others it is a case of chasing the dream. For a few, it is a combination of these or other factors that are at play.
Where would you place yourself in such a context?
Chasing the dream!! but sometimes you accept a crappy gig if they pay good.

How important is it for you to have full creative control of the material you release?
I would say very important. It can sometimes be hard to have control of everything when the machine gets bigger.

Many artists choose to release their music themselves these days, some form their own labels to do that. What are the advantages of being signed to an established label, from your perspective?
To have a serious recording budget and someone that can sell the records. Its possible to do it yourself but you cant do everything yourself if you don’t wanna get a heart attack and collapse.

Are there any artists that you are fans of yourself?
Lots of bands. For example: Judas Priest, Rose tattoo, Accept, Hellacopters, Graveyard, AC/DC, Airbourne, Turbonegro, Twisted Sister, Motorhead, W.A.S.P and Iron Maiden.

If you could pick any two existing bands to go on a tour with, who would you choose, and why?
AC/DC (if they still exist) and Judas Priest.
Because both bands has delivered so many good albums over so many years. Its not so many bands that has done more than 5 good albums.
Touring with Rolling Stones would also be something. The bigger the better!!!
Iron Maiden would also work well.

If you could choose any two musicians to feature as guests on a live or show or as guests on your albums, who would you choose, and why?
Rob Halford cause he got the magic metal voice. I tried to contact him 10 years ago about doin some vocals but got no answer. Maybe I should try again.
Angry Andersson cause he’s a cool guy and should be much more famous than what he is.

Modern technology have made it more difficult to earn a substantial amount of money from recorded music. Do you think this will change in the forseeable future?
Yes its hard times. Hopefully in the future but I guess that will take many years from now.

You are at the start of promoting your coming album now. What are your future plans beyond this album and tour cycle?
We will have a huge release party in our hometown and then we will go on a European tour. 25 shows in 25 days in 10 different countries. After that we will do festivals and after the summer I wish we could play outside of Europe. Then hopefully join a big band as support and maybe a second leg of the european tour. Lets see! Things are looking good at the moment.

Anything else you’d like to say that hasn’t been covered so far?
Long hair and leather forever!!!

“Dust to Gold” is set to be released on April 20th 2018 through SPV/Steamhammer

Band members:
Hell Hofer – Vocals
Hampus Klang – Lead Guitar
Alex Lyrbo – Lead Guitar
Gustav Hector -Bass
Gustav Hjortsjö – Drums

Discography:
Dust to Gold (2018)
Storm of Blades (2014)
Full Pull (2012)
Highway Pirates (2011)
Bite the Bullet (2008)
Heading for the Top (2006)

As most modern artists, I presume you are visible online. Where can fans and those curious about you find out more?
When we started Bullet our first bass player Lenny Blade told me that we shouldn’t have a homepage. I asked him why and he said we are too old school to have a homepage, Metallica and Slayer never had a homepage. Well they have now, there was no internet in the 80s. Finally he gave in and you can visit us at:
http://www.bulletrock.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bulletband/
https://www.instagram.com/bullet_official/

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