The Night Flight Orchestra Fly High

Well for those of you who don’t know – for some reason – THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is the other project of SOILWORK Frontman Bjorn ‘’Speed’’ Strid and David Andersson (guitar) and a bunch of killer musicians. It is a hark back to the killer sounds of the AOR 70’s and 80’s like TOTO, WHITESNAKE, KISS, SURVIVOR and UFO! The album is about to drop and Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Bjorn Strid about Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough.

Congratulations on the album, were you surprised with how quickly you were able to follow up  Amber Galactic?
Well not really as we never left the studio, that’s the thing, we never stopped writing because we have two producers in the band with their own studios. We kept on writing and there was never a time where we would sit down and say OK we need to book in the studio and write a new album. It is a constant thing for us and we like to do recording sessions and get together to cook, drink and record some songs, that is what we usually do. I’m not that surprised and we got really inspired by the success of Amber Galactic and got really excited of course. The European tour inspired us as well but writing songs is a labour of love, it is a constant thing.

Did you revisit any songs left over from the Amber Galactic sessions?
We built up quite a vault of songs through the years and we always revisit some of the songs and go through to see if there was anything we missed or could do better. That has been the case for each and every album. There’s two songs on the new album that were written before Amber Galactic and even further back in time. At the time they didn’t really fit in. It was interesting when we sit down together and go through songs. For example Paralyzed didn’t fit in at the time but then we picked it up again and it’s a really good song. I thought we needed some re-arrangements and other details in it so we picked it up again and it fell in to place. That’s how it works, we don’t consider that as leftovers because it is such a constant thing for us when it comes to song writing, producing and everything.

Is it hard when you’re going through that vault to work out that twelve or thirteen you’ll eventually go with? Is that a tough call?
Absolutely, that’s tough! I remember last summer we had forty songs, forty new songs and then we have the vault! It is a matter of pick and choose and it is crucial to us that we release albums with a certain flow to them rather than we have enough songs and they are all catchy, let’s throw them out there. It doesn’t work like that, it needs to be taking you on a journey and has to have a certain to it. That’s what we felt we had and with the new songs and some old songs connected and it worked, here we are and it’s only one year later. It seems that a lot of people are surprised which I can understand obviously. We felt very confident and we would not have released a new album if we didn’t feel confident about it and had a nice flow.

What is the secret to keeping that creative process fresh?
I’m sure there’s a lot of confidence and constant flow of inspiration and there’s so much escapism running through our lyrics and musically. That’s something we’re feeding up as well and that is a constant thing for a lot of people especially the way the world is looking right now or for quite sometime. It is a way to escape and save yourself but at the same time you need to face reality which we all do. It is hard to be a dreamer today, I know it sounds very pretentious but I think a lot of people can relate because this music takes you somewhere else and it is very therapeutic in that sense as well.

You spoke about cooking before when you’re recording. Was it a great experience?
It was such a fun time and we don’t like to be away from each other for to long and everyone is excited about marking their calendar for the next recording session. Everyone is bringing food to the studio, David and I like to make what is called a Smorgascake which sounds kind of weird but basically it is a layered sandwich cake with a mix of shell fish and salmon in layers. There’s way to much mayo in it so we had this smorgascake battle in the studio in between the takes. It’s just something that goes along with it. It is such a fun time, quality time.

You must be the envy of a lot of other bands to have such a close bond?
So far so good, you never know what will happen down the road but this is based on friendship and this mutual love of this era we are hijacking and making it in to our own. It is a constant and a true love both musically and on a personal level.

Did you try and change up the Night Flight Orchestra sound on this album?
I think it is slightly more eighties orientated and I don’t think that was a conscious decision and wasn’t discussed that much. As far as keyboards go we decided to cut out all the Hammonds and meletrons because I feel that we had a different expression and that’s something that sticks out. The thing that we worked a lot with is percussion, you don’t hear that a lot with a lot of rock bands. The way we do it is with a guitarist and a percussionist in one who is Sebastian (our producer). We have been working a lot with that and it took us some time to find our sound. If you listen to the first two albums it is all over the place. It takes time to channel all your influences from so many people in the band. I think it all fell in to place on Amber Galactic and the new one.

Given the success of Night Flight Orchestra and the fun that you are having does it make it harder going back to your other bands?
Schedule wise it can be tough especially when it comes to touring but when it’s about writing songs it is an easy switch for me. I think David feels the same also and we finished up the Night Flight album earlier in the year and we switched over to write the next Soilwork album. I was shocked about easy that was and it must be a yin-yang situation, like fifty-fifty, I feel very balanced and that I have the best of both worlds and feel very inspired because of it.

Any plans to tour Australia?
There will definitely be more touring for this album but it will be a matter of budget as we are eight people plus the back up singers. We aim to bring our back up singers everywhere because they bring a whole new dimension, makes it so much better and much more fun. They are an integral part of the band as well but there are definitely plans for touring. I spoke to David a couple of days ago that he only has five new songs for the next album. It really is a constant thing…

Interview by Rob Lyon 

The Night Flight Orchestra’s Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough is out on July 20 through Nuclear Blast.

Night Flight Orchestra - Sometimes The World Isn't Enough

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