Get ready to rock and roll at LAGERFEST 2023, the ultimate fusion of heavy metal and Oktoberfest revelry! Presented by Kegstand Productions, Music Management Inc., and Wall of Sound, this extraordinary music festival is set to take Australia by storm. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing experience as we bring you world-class bands, delicious beers, and an electrifying community atmosphere like never before.
The lineup is nothing short of legendary, featuring THE HALO EFFECT, a powerhouse composed of past members of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. This will be their first-ever performance in Australia and New Zealand, making it an absolute must-see event! Their raw yet melodic performance will leave you breathless and craving for more. Mikael Stanne (vocals) talks to Hi Fi Way about their first ever Australian tour.
The Halo Effect’s upcoming tour this month is going to be epic, are you getting excited now?
Yeah, it’s going to be the first time for The Halo Effect to tour Australia and it’s been seven years since I was in Australia last, so it’s definitely about time.
Do you get a bit nervous or is it more excitement when you go to a country or a region for the first time?
More excitement, I’m nervous about everything else, traveling and getting there and making sure everything works. I’m just super excited. It’s one of the best things playing new cities, new countries, that’s something that over the years I really treasure because there’s a certain expectation that people haven’t seen you at all before. They have this demand and wish to actually see it. There’s some anticipation in the air when you walk on stage. I really, really love that.
So have you heard much about Australian music fans and what to expect here?
Oh yeah. I’ve toured with Dark Tranquillity three times in Australia, but it’s been seven years more and it’s always been great. There’s such passion and madness in the crowd that we see. We’ve had an absolute blast and it only goes to show that metal is strong no matter where you are and even though we’re on the other side of the planet, that connection and that passion is pretty much the same but different. I’m super excited just to come back and also see a lot of friends that haven’t seen in forever, so it’s going to be a fantastic time.
Does it continue to amaze you how far and wide the music of The Halo Effect has gone right around the world?
It’s insane! It’s crazy and in such a short time too, the album has only been out for a year and it’s already given us so many opportunities and so many cool ways to reach people through our music.
Have you been blown away by the feedback on your debut album Days of the Lost?
Absolutely, this was something that we wrote, recorded and conceived during the pandemic. It was something that we did just because we’re been friends forever, but we never really worked together. Obviously Daniel and Peter have been together In Flames, Niclas and Jesper as well. For me, this was new and these are some of my best friends. Now we figured out a way to work together and do something. It was super exciting, but we had all the time in the world to finish it, we spent seven months recording an album and then we had more than a year to prepare the release of it, you know, how we communicate that we are a new band and promote things.
It was really exciting to hold onto this secret of ours that we kept during the pandemic, and then, unleash it at one coordinated moment and then see how fast it travels. We started playing shows even before the album was out, which was insane and then we did some of the biggest metal festivals here in Europe as the album came out. We played Wacken Open Air Festival on the main stage dead last on the day of release of the album. So, nobody knew the songs, they would have only heard four songs. It started out very, very strong, and it’s been amazing ever since. It’s cool to see how this has been embraced. Obviously, Gothenburg death metal and this kind of melodic death metal thing has a strong following and people know us from our other bands. It was an easy sell, so to speak, but we never expected it to be this amazing actually. We couldn’t be happier.
Do you start to feel the pressure in terms of a follow up album?
The album is already recorded. We started writing a year ago or stuff like that already. Niclas is incredibly productive and so is Jesper, so after the album was done, they started writing immediately. So that’s done and it’s coming out next year. So, for sure, we felt the pressure, but I think it was more excitement because of how well the first album was received. We figured, oh, let’s just keep going as this is still fun, this is still challenging and interesting, and I think we can do even better next time. I think we have, the second album is usually easy. It’s the notoriously difficult third that’s going to be the challenge, but I don’t really see that happening right now. We’re on a roll. I think Niclas is writing some of the absolute best songs that he has ever written, and everybody’s playing is on fire, and it feels great actually. I’m not worried, but of course, you’re always slightly nervous or excited when you have something new, right now I just want to want everyone to hear what we’ve been cooking up, but it’s near completion and we’re working on it right now, but the songs are super, super strong.
Do you think there’s much of a departure in sound from what we already know with the next album?
In some ways, maybe not. I think it’s just way more confident. We tried to figure out what to do basically on the first album, um, figure out our sound and a mood and how we felt as a band. When Niclas approached me and he asked me like, Hey, should we do something together? I was like, okay, what do you want to do? Like, yeah, let’s see. We just tried out stuff. He wrote a couple songs and I did some vocals for it, and it was all very, very different stuff. Eventually we found our path with some of the songs on the album, we’re like, okay, yeah, this feels good. When we started this new one, it was easier, we already had a basic idea of what to sound like and what the mood should be and it did help. I think that confidence shows, so it’s stronger and more to the point.
Does anything in particular influence that?
I think like Niclas is very picky about the stuff that he likes, but it has to feel good. So, we go for instinct and feel more than anything. It’s fascinating to see, when we’re in the studio, Niclas will do something and there’s a part missing or something like that. Jesper just goes like, I think I have a feeling here and then he writes a melody that it’s looking fantastic and it turns into the best part of the song. It’s very instinctual and I think that comes from experience of course and the way that we grew up, because when we were fourteen, fifteen, we listened to the same music, and that was the thing that held us together.
That’s how we became friends, because we love the same bands, we went to the same shows and we bought the same records at the only record store here in town. We have this very similar background when it comes to music, and I think that that always comes through in the way that we communicate about music, the way we talk about a song or a riff or a melody or a lyric or whatever. It’s like, yeah, it reminds me of this, or it should be more like that. We have the same kind of vocabulary and that really helps. It’s not anything specific, it’s our upbringing with melodic heavy metal and American Death metal, German thrash and all these things that came together when we started writing music in the early nineties. Now that is still very present, but hopefully we have learned a thing or two during our thirty plus year career.
Do you think you’ll get to preview any of these songs in Australia?
I don’t think we can hold back. We have some songs that we are already rehearsing and we’ve played a few times in front of a crowd and it feels great. So yeah, I think we’re going to play some new songs. We’re going to try some out and just see how it feels.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch The Halo Effect at Lagerfest, tickets HERE…
And Froth & Fury Festival, tickets HERE…