I first got wind of SIPHON FUEL at Göteborg Rockfest in May this year. It took me a while to decide to interview them but here it is finally. Martin answers my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
You have one of these names that tells me that some thought has been involved in the choice. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-We had thought about a name for a while when Ferdi (vocals) came with the suggestion of “Siphon”.
The rest of the band asked him what it meant and he explained that it was something you could “drain off”. The brain of Martin (bass), which always thinks up nasty thoughts, got it instantly and after som discussing and some more thought the rest of the band added the word “Fuel”.
That way it leaves it open for interpretation and we got a cool sounding name that we thought suited the band. Later on it turned out that Ferdi got the idea from playing a computer game where you can “Siphon Life” from other players. But that he kept a secret from us other a great while.
Could you give us a short introduction to the latest album?
-The album #Buckle Up” is a very tempo filled album, hence the name. We mix classic Rock’n’Roll with old school heavy metal. You’ll find everything that a really good heavy metal album should have. Dark and pounding songs. Fast songs. Aggressive songs. Party Rock’n’Roll. Sexy blues rock. All types of rockers will find their fave track, like a mixed candy bag. But there is a red thread and a thought to the track order so a from start to end listen through is recommended.
What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
-That our two guitar players have different styles. One plays heavy metal influenced by bands like Accept and Judas Priest. He’s very disciplined. The other plays Rock’n’Roll with influences from Status Quo and AC/DC. His style is much more improvised. You could compare it to having an organized German and a tricky Brazilian in your football team. Anything’s possible.
What is the scene like in your area? Do you feel that you are a part of a scene?
-Here in Sweden it is pretty good. If we limit it to Gothenburg as it is our home town there is nothing to complain about. We are a gang of bands that hold the banner high and keep delivering good music. New bands keep popping up and we all go to each other’s gigs to party together. And once a year the Göteborg Rockfest is being organized and then the whole Rock-Gothenburg gets together, including bands from the rest of Sweden too. Loads of bands that all know each other play together and those that don’t play are there to check out the other and party. One of the high lights of the year that does a ton for our scene.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Absolutely. But not just because you are in a band. As a rocker you too are a part of the movement. You are a fan of the music and that is felt especially at festivals. Artists, road crews, audicence, technicians, stage personell, arrangers. All are a part of the movement and that is what makes it so cool.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-it is important that the album cover reflects the music so that you as buyer can get the right kind of impression for the product. If all genres had had the same kind of covers it would be a very big mess. And then we are the kind of people that still buy CDs and especially LPs and then you appreciate a well thought through album cover. It is after all pieces of art we are talking about. Unfortunately there aren’t those type of money to be spent on painted covers because many people don’t buy records and just settle for listening through the computer. Then the album cover doesn’t fill its function and not a great priority with th tiny budget you get. That in turn means that the interest in buying new music cools off.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
-That is a very tough question. You can chose to view from the consumer’s point of view or from the musicians point of view. As a musician it results in not getting a single dime for you hard work but at the same time it is easier to reach out to the people. You get larger fan base but at the same time you don’t get paid. So the only way to get money for Pasta and Ketchup is to play live. So in that way it is nice to have your mujsic reaching out to as many as possible so that they come to the shows. It is nice for the fans that want to see their fave bands live Concerts is the most fun thing there is no matter of you are in the audience or up on stage.
If you look at from a consumer’s point of view you’ll find so much more music this way than having to browse in a record shop. And how nimble is it not to be able to listen to it on your mobile phone instead of having to carry around with a plastic bag with your CD-player and a bunch of CDs?
That you miss out on the feeling of sitting there with a beautiful cover, the lyrics and a beer in one hand is a totally different story. It is all not black and white. There are pros and cons to everything
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
-There are clubs here and there. Sweden is a pretty sparsely populated country so it is hard to book any longer tours. It is not like you play in Mjölby on a Tuesday. It is mostly weekend gigs. If you are lucky to go abroad you might be able to book a longer club gig tour. But we feel that every gig is super fun to play. Even if it is just in front of 20 people you can bet that all 20 have a blast of a time
Det finns lite klubbar här och där. Sverige är ju ett ganska glesbefolkat land så det är svårt att få till några längre turnéer. Man spelar liksom inte i Mjölby en tisdag. Det blir mest Fre-Lör gig. Har man däremot turen att komma utomlands så kan man ju få till en lite längre klubbturné. Sen tycker åtminstone vi att precis varenda gig är svinkul! Om det så bara står 20 pers i publiken så kan man ge sig på att i stort sett alla 20 är hur kul som helst att spela, festa och umgås med!
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-To play live is the greatest thing there is. It makes it a great event and therefore a party.
What would you like to see the future bring?
That GAIS wins SM-gold. That we can make a decent living on the music would be nice too. Think about not having to feel depressed over you shitty day time job and instead spend all your time on writing the best music you can. Many bandä’s creativity suffers from the band members having to carry jobs on the side. Where some work day, some nights, some weekends. Not much gets done that way.