by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art Conspiracy
Takida are one of Sweden’s most popular rock bands going and having just recently finished their ‘A Perfect World’ UK and Europe tour in support of their latest album I caught up with guitarist Tomas Wallin to discuss this, their origins and what lies ahead in the future for the band and much more…
Can you tell us about your formation back in 1999?
Robert gave me (Tomas) a phone call and asked me if I wanted to join his band. We were a three-piece back then. We wrote our own songs from day one and we worked really hard to get our demos out. There have been a few members in the band but me and Rob are the only original ones left.
What made you decide on the name Takida and is true that this is taken from a character in a Japanese anime series called Nagareboshi Gin (It’s called Silver fang in Sweden)?
Yes, that’s true. Robert was, and still is, a very devoted Silver Fang fan. When we had to have a name for the band to put on the cover of our first demo (old), he suggested Gohei Takida. We shortened it down to Takida and that was it.
How happy were you with the response to your latest album 2016’s ‘A Perfect World’?
We were very pleased with how the album turned out. We always try to come up with a new fresh Takida on every album and this time it was a bigger step for us. It meant a lot to us that our fans liked it so much. The critics love us too, they just don’t have the balls to admit it… ha ha ha.
What was it like recording ‘A Perfect World’?
It was good clean fun. For the first time, we choose to work with an ”outsider”. Ryan Star (Singer, songwriter, producer from NY) was introduced to us and we became good friends. He had really good inputs lyric- and musicwise. Everyone in the band participated in the songwriting and we were very happy with the result.
We’ve made a bunch of demos in the early days and a couple of compilations. On our Best of (A lesson learned), you could find a bunch of our songs re-recorded in acoustic versions.
Between the years of 1999 and 2004 we released 5 demos and participated on a couple of compilations with unreleased tracks.
As a band that have been going for nearly two decades, how hard is it to find new inspiration for new material?
Writing songs has never been a problem for us. Inspiration can be found in a lot of things around you. For me personally, it can come to me while I’m driving my car or when I’m in the shower. It’s often a melody that gets stuck in my head and I can start building a song around it. We all work on ideas at home and then we all get together and present our riffs and melodies to each other. Robert writes all lyrics and he gets inspiration from situations around him. It’s mostly personal experiences but also some fiction. Something that I’ve thought of thru the years of songwriting is that It often comes more naturally when I’m a bit low. It’s like the band Therapy? sings… ”Happy people have no stories”.
Are you currently working on any new songs and if so what can we expect from them in comparison to the rest of your back catalogue?
We haven’t really started putting our riffs together yet. we’re still in the ”writing-riffs-state” so to speak. However, I’m positive that Takida fans will recognize the vibe of the songs when they’re done.
Your debut album ‘…Make You Breathe’ was released over ten years ago back in 2006, how much do you think you have evolved as a band since the beginning and how much has the industry changed since then?
We’ve changed a lot as individuals and as a band. We tend to think differently now on how to write music. For example, in the beginning of songwriting for me, I always wrote lyrics and music at the same time. The songs was more ”easy” to play and listen to. We still write easy music but with a lot more melody incorporated in the verses and choruses. Our songs will never be Meshugga-complicated and I don’t think there is a reason to either. There are a lot of different styles and if you’re not a fan of let’s say Nickelback… well, it’s pretty easy… don’t listen to it!
The music industry have changed radically. Big online services like Spotify and Youtube etc has a huge part of the industry now.
Record companies lost ground in the Napster days and have just recently started to catch in. I love that it is easier today for anyone to get their music out on the web.
You recently just finished your ‘A Perfect World’ tour in support of your latest record in Europe/UK, how was it for you and what were some of your main highlights?
Yes, we did a small tour with gigs in Sweden, UK, Germany and Holland. We haven’t really toured that much outside of Sweden and I hope this will change that. We got a growing number of fans there so we want to continue coming back. The venue in London (the Shacklewell Arms) was crazy small but the crowd was enthusiastic and it was good. The Mystiek Theatre in Enschede (Holland) was cool and the people working there was so nice. Venues like Café Central in Weinheim (Germany) and Time Out in Gemert (Holland) was really cool and hopefully, we can come back there someday. We had a complete fucking dickhead as bus driver almost all through the tour and he took a lot of energy from us but we managed to use that as fuel for the gigs later.
What can fans expect from your live sets?
Energy. We always try to find the balance in the set so the crowd can get a taste of every corner in the world of Takida. Everything from juicy ballads to those ear smacking rock tunes.
What are some of your favourite songs to play from ‘A Perfect World’ and why?
I can only answer for myself. My favourites from APW would be: Skid row – It’s one of those jaw crushers with a cool guitar-riff.
Don’t wait up – A party song with a ”feel-good” vibe to it.
All your Life – A heavy tune and a typical takidatune.
We are nearly at the end of 2017, so looking back over the year what have been some of your best moments?
We did a co-headline tour in Sweden together with the singer’s other band (Stiftelsen) and that was the best tour we’ve done so far if you ask me. We had a lot of fun and got to play big venues in front of big crowds. That represents 2017 for me.
What do you have planned for 2018 and ahead?
Write new songs. Record. Release. Tour. Hopefully, we’ll be back in UK, Germany and the Netherlands also. See you in a town near you soon!