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      Articles Home » Music Talk » Per Wiberg Discusses 'Head Without Eyes' By Nina McCarthy
      Per Wiberg Discusses 'Head Without Eyes' By Nina McCarthy

      Per Wiberg Discusses Head Without Eyes

      By Nina McCarthy, Sr. Music Journalist

      Boston Rock Radio

       

      Swedish musician Per Wiberg has made a living out of playing most things heavy the last 30+ years. A multi-instrumentalist who has played keys, bass, and guitars with a number of bands and artists like Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Candlemass, as well as Clutch/Bakerton Group, Switchblade, and Kamchatka to name a few.

      In May of 2019, Per released his first solo album called Head Without Eyes (Despotz Records), in which he handles all the instruments and vocals except for the drums, which are played by Karl Daniel Liden. Per discusses the challenges and differences past projects were compared to his solo release.

       

       

      BRR: Hi Per. Where are you this evening? Are you in Sweden?

      PW: Yes, I am Sweden. 

      BRR: Well, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. For those not familiar with who you are, can you just give me a brief introduction and tell me about the instruments you play?

      PW: I think most people would know me from playing keys in the metal band Opeth and I played bass with Candlemass for many years. I have played in other bands as well, both on keyboards and bass actually.

      BRR: You’ve stated that you've always been a 'band guy.' So what made you decide to do a solo album?

      PW: It was not that calculated, to be honest with you. I would write music and I had a couple of songs sort of that didn't fit anything I was playing with at the time. So I just started working on those songs and I just thought that this would be something a little bit different. The songs sounded connected and then I realized that it was going to be an album worth of material that I came up with. So I decided after a while that I would do that on my own.

      BRR: I hear that from a lot of musicians, that they kind of have their own stuff in their mind that they've always wanted to get out. So that makes sense. What challenges did you face writing Head Without Eyes?

      PW: I’m used to being in bands and when you make decisions, you make decisions together with everyone else in the band, so it was a little bit different to do everything on this album, especially like, recording. I'm so used to having someone else to discuss ways to come up with different ideas.  You have to be a little bit disciplined to do stuff on your own because you have to be able to stop yourself at certain times because otherwise you could write and record an album for the rest of your life.

      BRR: I would imagine it's hard to tell yourself what's really good or not when it's your own?

      PW: I guess it comes down to trusting your gut feeling a lot. The other thing that was different was doing vocals in the style that's more rock vocals. I mean, this is a little different type of vocals than I particularly use, so that was a little bit of a challenge, but a fun one. I'm really happy with how it came out actually.

      BRR: Right, you were saying how it's more traditional rock with “Get Your Boots On,” which was the first single released. Now that's the one I read was the only song that had lyrics before the music. Can you tell me about that?

      PW: Usually when I write music, the music comes first, and the vocals and melodies come afterwards. For that one, I had the lyrics I had written at one point before so I could piece them together with other music I had been working on. It never worked out. But it worked out when I came up to this song, so I'm happy with that. Lyrics are usually the hardest part in making music. It’s fun when they’re done, but it usually takes a while. And also, I've chosen to sing in English, and English is not my first language, so it takes a little bit of extra time to double check the lyrics so it makes sense, etc., etc. But yeah, I'm happy how that song came out because those lyrics had been hanging around for a while.

      BRR: That's great that you finally got them into a song. Now, as you said, you've been in a number of bands. How does the general music compare on your solo album to these other projects? I know you said you weren’t used to going a little more rock, but how, in other waya did they compare to what you're used to?

      PW: It's from a different angle. Normally all the music I write professionally is based on guitar riffs and this one is from a little bit of a different perspective. It's music with many different moods and it’s the type of music that I've been listening to a lot my whole life, but I've never played it in the other bands I’ve been in.

      BRR: What song are you most proud of on this album and why?

      PW: I’m just proud that I did it!

      BRR: So you’re proud of the whole thing!

      PW: You never know when you do something new how it's going to pan out. I mean, it's a new thing to me, because I’ve never done a solo album before, so this was my first sort of dipping my toes into the water or whatever. But I'm really proud that I got it done and now I feel a little bit more confident working like this, so there is definitely going to be another one in the future.

      BRR: Is there one song in particular that you were the most proud of though?

      PW: I would say the second song on the album called “Anywhere The Blood Flows,” is probably my favorite. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that the song, both the mix and the performance and everything came out much like my intentions were for it, which is kind of unusual. A lot of musicians and bands would confirm this. A lot of times, even if they like what they've done, it maybe didn't come out as they expected it when they first started working on the song. But this one did, surprisingly enough, so I’m very happy with it.

      BRR: So you said now that you're more comfortable and doing this, you plan on doing another solo album in the future?

      PW: Absolutely. The ambition is to make another album so that it can be put out sometime next year. I don't know when but as long as it is released sometime in 2020, I'm happy.

      BRR: Right? Do you plan any tours to support the solo album?

      PW: When I first recorded this, I didn't know what to make of it really, as far as playing it live. I didn’t know if any of my friends would be up for playing these songs live, because I obviously can’t do it on my own. I am starting to put a band together and there has been some talk about gigs in the Fall. So yes, I’m guessing, I’ll start playing a couple shows here in Sweden to see how it feels and after that, I would be super happy to play anywhere that people ask me to come. I’m up for anything.

      BRR: So this could be a start to a whole new path for you. You never know, right?

      PW: Yeah, as I said before, it was definitely not that calculated at the beginning. It's more like as things pop up, you sort of make up your mind about what to do. But life is good and I'm really happy to play some shows. That will be really nice.

      BRR: Are there any videos planned?

      PW: There will be a video but I don’t think that will be released until after Summer.

      BRR: OK, cool.I enjoyed the album, especially “Get Your Boots On,” because it really did have a little bit of everything in it. It's different than the music I normally hear, but that always draws my attention, so I really appreciate hearing it and getting to hear more about it from you. If you ever make it over to the US, I’ll try to catch you live.

      PW: Yeah, I'll be happy to come if someone would pay for it. (laughs)

      BRR: Right, exactly. Well, maybe you can connect with another band that's coming over. I certainly appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing what you do in the future. 

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