Jonas Wikstrand, known as the drummer of the swedish heavy metal band ENFORCER, also ex-member of BLACK TRIP, will release the 1st studio album of his solo AOR side-project called FOREVER on April 19th, 2019 via Evil Confrontation Records for Europe. Classic rock guitars, large choruses, orchestral and electronic elements incorporated on a rock album. Read on to discover more details about Jonas, more than a drummer.
Hello Jonas, your are known for being the drummer of Swedish sensation Enforcer. So, how did you get the idea or motivation to enter a new project?
As an artist and creator of art, new motivation always seem to come my way. I think that if a time comes and I don’t feel motivated to create new music it’s time to stop. I can often hear in music that I listened to if the music feels was created without any inspiration. Nothing is more boring than that. The Forever album was created with all joy and inspiration without any sort of expectations and demands. I could just take the time and do whatever I wanted. Creating a peaceful mindset. Making this album as almost been like therapy for me.
Agreat approach to create, indeed. When did you start preparing the songs?
I started writing these songs back in 2010. But there was at the time just ideas in my head. I started recording some of the songs in 2011 that just got on my soundcloud. When it was time to wrap up the Forever album, I reused some old songs and some brand new.
I think you are responsible for the composition of most of the songs, any help from other people or it’s all your effort?
Yeah, I’ve been working with the songwriting, production and mix alone. And that’s why everything has been taking so long time. I’ve had so much on my table and it’s just been really hard to finishing everything up. I have 10 new songs I’ll be recording throughout the summer. I’m really excited to see where that is going, too.
Good news! You have counted with several guests in the album, how was the recruitment process?
I got some help from a few friends playing guitar solos, and some vocal backup tracks. I couldn’t put synth solos on all songs, haha. I’ve used people that’s been around me during the time I worked on the songs. My brother came in for a few solos when I was working in my parents basement. The other tracks was people working in other studios at the college I was studying at.
Who has surprised you more with his support to the project?
Well, I was surprised for any support at all. It took me a long time before I even showed it to anyone because I was creating this only for myself. After I put some songs online people started to reach out to me, wanting to buy records. That’s when I wanted to take this to a commercial release. I want to give back to the people that’s been supporting me.
Any reason to have chosen Forever as the name for the band, any second meaning behind it?
It’s called Forever because it took Forever to release. Haha No, I wanted to have a band name that could reflect and fit the bands music. And I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of bands that inspired me. 🙂
You have signed with Evil Confrontation Records, if I’m not wrong a small label from Chile, how did it happen?
We worked with Matias with Enforcer for the Latin American shows we played there. Knowing he had a label I reached out to him when I decided that I wanted to do a release with Forever. I’ve seen the ambition in him and I was curious to see his approach to a release like this.
However, “Forever” was recorded at Hvergelmer Studios, Arvika, Sweden and produced by yourself?
That is correct. Hvergelmer studios is the studio that me and my brother, Olof started back in 2001. It’s been in a few places but we tie the studio name to almost all of our own productions.
The songs in Forever are a nice mix between Aor and classic rock, a different approach to what you do in Enforcer
I think the songwriting process is very similar. I used different tools in the production-stage to add some identity to the songs. And also that the songs were never rehearsed in a rehearsal space. I’ve been adding layer and layer of myself to create the sounds and that’s is way different on how we been making our albums with Enforcer.
The songs have a great feeling and also a good work in the arrangements that surprised me positively, drums of course are a good proof of that
Yeah, all of these songs is based of a mindset I had at the moment of writing. It could be euphoria, sadness, energetic och mindfulness. Most of time I’m really jolly and outgoing so that’s probably why the songs have a really positive feel to it. I played the songs to Claude Schnell, Dio’s keyboard player. And he was like, “Who are You? Are you really this happy?” haha
Any favorite in the album?
I really like Runaway Through Time, Rosebud and Train. Those are the songs I keep listening to.
Any intention to take these songs to the stage?
Yeah, I’ve been wanting to take it to the stage for a long time. It looks like we’re gonna be really busy with Enforcer for some time. So we’ll see after that how I feel about hitting the stages with Forever.
Hopefully so. This album means that you are more the rock guy than the heavy drummer in Enforcer?
I have been working on so many different genres throughout the years that I’m seeing myself as an all around musicians rather than identifying myself with a style or genre. I work every day as a composer for visual media. I write music for films, TV, and branded content and to do be able to do that you have to have a pretty open mind of when it comes to musical styles.
What do your mates in Enforcer think about your new adventure with Forever?
They’ve been surprisingly supportive. In fact, they have even been pushing me to release it!
Good mates. Do you have the same role in Enforcer when it comes to the composition of new tracks?
On certain songs. We all are a part of the creative process with Enforcer so it’s way more collaborative then solo-writing most of the times. But some songs on the new album have had a similar process to the creation of the Forever album.
And by the way, new Enforcer album is around the corner, “Zenith” will hit the streets in April, what can you tell us about it?
I’m super excited and super proud of the new Enforcer album, and I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy it!
Thank you very much Jonas, if you wish to add something?
Thank you so much for showing interest in Forever, and I really hope you’re gonna like the release! And if you do, please follow us on social media for further updates and news.