Soilwork fans got the news they’ve been waiting for last week, as the Swedish metal giants revealed that they would be releasing “The Ride Majestic” on August 28th via Nuclear Blast. While we haven’t heard any of the new material yet, Björn “Speed” Strid said “it’s going to be massive,” so that’s enough to get me excited. Soilwork has been releasing quality metal albums since the 1990’s, and have really stepped it up in the past few years, so I expect the new material to keep that trend going, and their fan base growing!
Last week I got the chance to speak with Dirk Verbeuren about what to expect from the upcoming Soilwork album, his career with the band so far, and much more! Enjoy the interview below!
Metal Mark: Dirk, thanks so much for taking out the time today to speak with me. How is everything on your end?
Dirk Verbeuren: Very well Mark. Thanks for the continued support man, we really appreciate it.
MM: Of course man. We’ll get to the new music in a bit, but first I’d like to reflect on “The Living Infinite” for a moment. Being a double album, it was a lot for the band to take on, but the response was overwhelmingly positive from fans all over. How gratifying was that for you guys, after all of the hard work you put into it?
DV: We are all still blown away by the response to the album. As you said, it was a huge undertaking for us as a band, but we knew if we did it right, people would love it. At least we hoped so (laughs). We didn’t really know how people would react, because it was such a huge project, but we all really loved it, and it’s really exciting to see the fans love it as well. We’ve even had a lot of people say it’s their favorite Soilwork album to date, so that’s really awesome. It’s a strong record for sure. It has a lot of peaks and valleys, and really flows well, which is hard to do on a double album, so I’m glad we accomplished that. It really opened our eyes a lot to our writing, which may be the most beneficial thing for us moving forward. We really learned to write what we feel ya know.
MM: It’s kind of mind blowing that after that huge of an album, that only two years later you have a new record on it’s way. Did the response and growth in the band have a major part into getting back to writing so soon?
DV: Yea definitely. We are all songwriters these days it seems, so the new ideas are always coming, and we are really clicking right now, so we decided to run with it. We don’t want to sit still. We have to keep moving forward. The chemistry between the members is as good as I can remember, so we are having a ton of fun together, which is extremely important. Plus, it keeps the set lists more interesting as well, with all of the new material ya know. We play the hits fans expect, but we have a lot of new songs to keep it fresh, and keep people guessing. We are talking about switching up the set lists even more in the future, with old rare tracks, so it’s an exciting time for sure.
MM: It seems like Soilwork is stronger than ever right now. It’s good to hear that you guys are clicking so well right now.
DV: Yea, like I said, we are all having a ton of fun writing and playing these songs together right now. It’s effortless, and for myself, that’s very important. I don’t want to say anything bad about the past members, because we are still great friends with them, but I would definitely say that we are all on the same wavelength right now, enjoying every moment, and it’s very positive. We listen to each other, we vibe off each other, so yea, the band is definitely strong as hell right now.
MM: Very cool. Well we haven’t heard much about the new record yet, but Björn “Speed” Strid did mention that it was a “massive” record. Is that a fair statement in your mind?
DV: Yea, I think that sums it up really well. The songs just sound huge and epic, and there is a lot of variety, which was a huge part of the last record. It also has a massive vibe to it as well. Not that it doesn’t sound like Soilwork, because it does, but the stuff happening around us during the writing really affected our writing. A lot of us had personal tragedies happen in our lives during the writing process, and it definitely had an influence on the atmosphere of the album. We really embraced the dark situations around us, and put it into the music, so it’s a powerful record to listen to, especially for us.
MM: Björn also mentioned some “twists and turns” in the album, which can scare some fans these days, what did he mean by that?
DV: I know right? People don’t like that sometimes, but it’s our tenth album, and we have to keep things fresh and interesting for the listener ya know. The truth of the matter is that we are all open minded music fans, whether it’s metal or not metal, so that really has an input in our writing as well. We’ve had times before in the studio, where we were just writing the same stuff over and over, and fans may appreciate that comfort zone, but as a musician it can get tiring ya know. We enjoy branching out, seeing what else we can throw into the mix, yet still keep the Soilwork sound people know and love. The new stuff is a real roller coaster ride, and that’s what an album is supposed to be in my opinion. I know a lot of fans listen to one or two tracks, and then move on, but that’s not how I listen to a record. I listen from start to finish, and always have. I guess that’s “old school” nowadays, but I firmly believe that’s how an album should be approached by the listener.
MM: I think you really did that well on “The Living Infinite.” Even though it was a double album, with a ton of music, you could really listen to it from start to finish, and it really takes you on a journey. So we can expect the same with the new record?
DV: That’s what we set out to do every time, so hopefully fans agree. It’s really important to hear the songs flow together, enjoy the atmosphere they create, and go on that “journey” that you mentioned. That’s the biggest compliment for me as an artist, when someone understands that, and fully appreciates that, it’s very satisfying. So we definitely want that to happen in all of our future material. I think the new record will definitely have that vibe to it, and hopefully the fans feel the same way. Just keep it off shuffle (laughs). There’s more than two songs to every album.
MM: I totally agree with you on that. Now we haven’t heard any of the new material yet, and you mentioned some finishing touches having to be done, but are the certain tracks that fans should really look out for that are really special to you?
DV: Of course I’m going to say the song I wrote, but that’s an easy answer (laughs). Honestly, there are a few tracks where we all wrote them together, which is really special, so those are some I really enjoy. Like I said, we still have some work to do, to fully complete it, so it’s a little early to pick just one ya know. They all have their own power, their own strengths, and they really show the growth of each member in this band as songwriters. Maybe after I’ve locked myself in a room, and listened to it over and over I can pick my favorite, but right now we are enjoying every one, and that’s as good as it gets for us.
MM: That’s awesome Dirk. 2015 marks your tenth year with Soilwork, and as you said, you guys are clicking more than ever. Throughout the years, you’ve stuck through the ups and downs, so as of now, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your years with the band?
DV: That’s a great question. There are probably a ton of things I’ve learned, but recently we’ve really learned how to communicate very well, and be completely honest with each other. That’s incredibly important, and I don’t know if we’ve had that openness like we have now. It has really broadened our sound, and has brought us closer as friends, so that’s the biggest lesson that I’d say we’ve learned as a whole. Just like in real life, communication is everything, but it’s even more important in a band. You have so many influences, so many feelings from each member, so to collect them in an organized way and respectfully has really made us a better band. It’s been an honor to play with these guys for a decade, and here’s hoping to another one!
MM: Hell yes! Dirk, thanks again for taking out the time today. Do you have anything else you’d live to say to the fans before we end this?
DV: First and foremost, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for you support throughout the years. We are nothing without you, and we truly mean that. Mark, thank for you the interview, and always supporting us throughout the years as well. We know there are a million bands out there, so for you and everyone else to keep supporting us means everything. “The Ride Majestic” is out August 28th, so everyone get ready! As Björn said, it’s going to be massive! Cheers!