mpomusic: Soapbox is around for several years now. First, can you give an
introduction to the band by mentioning some of the highlights?
Simon: We have been around since late '97 and we have released one EP on
the Dutch label Sally Forth Records and one full length as a split release between Sally
Forth and a Swedish label named Structure. The full length A Divided Man was also released
in May this year by the American label Solid State Records! And I guess we can call all of
those releases highlights for us as a band since we started out as a couple of friends
wanting to try and make music that we all liked. Other highlights, such as live
performances... In the summer of 2000 we did the European festival tour with Disciple
Punks in Norway, PeaceDog in the Netherlands, Freakstock in Germany and finally Park in
Sweden, and it was totally awesome. We met so many nice people and travelled a lot
together with the semi-international band Glorybox and had lots of fun together!! Last May
we did a couple of gigs in Netherlands and Belgium and had the opportunity to play with
the legendary band Shelter and that was a blast for all of us!!
Daffie K: Maybe this is a question that you've
heard a lot of times, but why the name Soapbox? Is it just for fun or does it have a
Simon: From the very beginning when we started to play together, we
played a cover of the song Soapbox (written by Blenderhead). We kinda liked the name and
decided to keep it, looked up the meaning of it and liked that too... We want to get up on
our "soapbox" and give voice to our opinions...
ZaoExInferis: What does it take to get a record
label? For you guys did you have connections at all or what was the deal with you guys?
Simon: Send out your recordings to labels that you think might be
interested. Play live, gain experience. We were fortunate enough to know some people in
the business that were interested in putting us out. They gave us a lot of feedback from
the very beginning and helped us out in many ways.
Andy: Hey do any of you guys have any favorite
Simon: I cannot answer for all of us, but I can give you some names of
writers that I enjoy reading. In no particular order...
The Narnia books are awesome, and can be read at any age. If you have not read them, make
sure you do. Also try to get hold of his other books, the Pereleandra series is quite
enjoyable but also his more "religious" books... Awesome writer.
Author of three books as far as I know, but I don't have the English
titles, but if it is translated directly from the Swedish title it is The Perfume...
Writes Fantasy books and has released about fifteen books on Forgotten
Realms, but has also released more books outside Forgotten Realms that are all good.
Christian author that writes some fantasy books, but has also written
five (or six, I'm not sure) books about the Arthurian Mythology, knights of the round
table, king Arthur, all that stuff... Very good books. Get hold of the Songs Of Albion
books and be ready to be swept away.
Right now I am reading Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and all I can
say is that Disney is nowhere near as good as the original...Krister also reads a lot. His
favorite writers are: Dostojevskij,
Tolstoj, Gogol, Doglas Coupland, John Pilger.
mpomusic: You seem to like fantasy. What do you
think of Tolkien's books?
Simon: I'm a bit ashamed that I forgot to mention Tolkien in my original
answer... I love Tolkien and can't wait to see the movie... Fantasy is great, I love it a
mpomusic: From what I've heard the band's working
on new recordings. What is it going to be, a full length or a 7"? And what kind of
musical direction can we expect?
Simon: Yes, we have recorded six new songs that will be released on the
Swedish label Structure on a 7"!!
BlueCollarKnight: Are you thinking about trying a
different vocal style 'cause when I bought the Solid State release a few months ago the
vocal style was horrible. Are you also thinking of easing up on the hollow guitar
distortion? I think you guys have the potential to be a great sounding band if you
Simon: The material on the full length had the sound that we wanted to
put on it at that time (it's all a matter of taste I guess). When we started to work on
new material we soon realized that we had the need of a second guitar player to make our
songs more varied. So we contacted a friend of ours (Olof Johansson) and asked him if he
wanted to join the band, so since mid-September, we count him as a full time member of
Soapbox. Olof did not do any guitar on the new recordings, but he did some vocal parts
well worth mentioning. On the recordings we have also taken some steps towards a more
melodic singing, but we still have some hard-screaming parts.
mpomusic: What sort of musical background has
Olof? Has he been playing in other bands and stuff?
Olof Johansson: My musical background is wide. I've always had a thing
for the hard edge music but I've played in choirs, a little jazz, blues, rock etc. The
latest project I was in was supposed to be kind of a hybrid between Living Sacrifice,
Extol and Meshuggah (or more correct, these bands were big sources of inspiration) I
haven't been playing in any band that has been around a lot. I've actually never been into
punk rock, but I'm learning that from the other guys. I've known Simon, Pär and Andreas
for some years and Krister since I joined Soapbox.
As a guitar player I think I will bring my way to play a harder edge to
Soapbox. I really like the way Soapbox is taking their style and music right know. I have
a Gibson Les Paul Studio (Actually, Pär's and my guitar look the same, but we don't use
them exactly the same) and a Peavy 5150 amp. I Hope I soon have the possibility to come
out and play live with Soapbox.
Dftg7: How about the Swedish scene? Is it stable?
Are more bands added to the scene or do many fall away?
Simon: Well... there are not many Christian punk and hardcore bands: Us,
Blindside and Selfmindead (yes, they do live in Norway, but are Swedes...) are around.
There might be some new bands coming that we haven't heard of so we better leave the
rebirth of the scene left unsaid... A band I would suggest you check out is Marygold,
while not in the punk/hardcore scene they are good Emorock. The secular scene has had a
down period but some of the old bands hang in there, and some new bands have seen the
light...So I guess the scene is still alive, but maybe not as hard kicking as it used to
Dftg7: Well, then tell me about the movements in
the scene of your genre...When was the scene at its top, and when/why did it fall back?
I'm trying to form some idea of this, because it's very strange that this happens... so
many die-hard fans giving up "their" music for a lot more softer pop/rock sound.
Simon: I guess I could say that the peak of the hard music scene here in
Umeå took place from the early to mid nineties... It got a lot of spin off effects with a
lot of bands starting to play and the scene was building, it was a very nice understanding
between the different hard music scenes, such as hardcore, deathmetal, thrash etc. When
and why people "gave" up is hard to say, but the scene is still alive and Umeå
still has an interested audience...
XriveroflifeX: Do you have any plans concerning
touring the U.S.A. in the next years?
Soapbox: Seriously... We really want to tour America, and we'll see
whenever our plans come to life...