sábado, 5 de maio de 2018

Linnéa Vikström's QFT: Therion's Singer in a Surprising Solo Album!

The music was never strange territory for Linnéa Vikström, daughter of Thomas Vikström (Therion, Talk to the Town, Candlemass, Stormwind, etc), great swedish vocalist, being that her paternal grandfather was a renowned opera singer of that country. From an early age, she began her musical studies and devoted herself to some projects, then entering at the age of 18 at Therion in 2011, sharing the stage with her father.  (Versão em português)

Always looking to grow as an artist, Linnéa today is already a reality, being a powerful frontwoman and with a remarkable vocal personality. It was time to take the next step with the maturity achieved, and the idea of a solo work came true with QFT (Quantum Field Theory), band where the singer shows more of her personality, uniting some of her passions, such as music, science fiction, physics and mysteries of the universe! Check out the exclusive interview and learn more about the newly released QfT debut!

RtM: To begin this interview, you could tell us how the idea of ​​you launching a solo project was maturing, in this case the QFT. I remember you commenting on the possibility of recording an EP a while back.
Linnéa: My initial idea of doing an EP was mainly because I didn’t have a label to back me up. It’s difficult to finance a live in the studio record without a decent budget. But when Despotz Records approached me and wanted to sign me for a solo deal, I of course wanted to do a full album instead. I’ve been wanting to do some kind of solo thing for a really long time, but I’m happy that I waited and became more grown up before I went for it.

RtM: How are you feeling in front of your own band, being the main element?
Linnéa: We did our first live gig yesterday (May 2nd, 2018) and it was an absolutely magical experience. The guys in my band are extraordinary musicians and it really feels like it’s meant to be. Of course I’m more used to the constellation of being with 2 or 3 other singers on stage which I actually think is good. It always makes me alert on who the spotlight is supposed to be on and giving space on stage when it’s needed, but also of course claiming your space when it’s supposed to be claimed. To sum it up - with Therion I feel like a princess and with QFT I feel like the queen!

"I wanted it to sound organic and build from beginning to end"
RtM: I see that with QFT you have put together things that you like so much, besides the music, I remember you have commented in an interview to Road to Metal in 2015 that you are a big fan of science, space and physics. I would like you to comment on the union of these elements as inspiration for this album and also where you went to get the sources to develop the lyric part.
Linnéa: I always try to go as deep as I can in the rabbit hole of sources. I start up by watching a bunch of youtube clips, trying to sum up what they’ve been saying and then try to find the true source, and that is a very difficult task. I’ve been both online and in the library searching for information and inspiration to get a deeper understanding, but in the end these lyrics are more or less just a manifestation as to how I’ve come to understand the subjects. For me it’s much easier to write music if I have the title and the concept done before I start writing the music. I have no lyrics, but I have the title and the conditions, so it does work as an inspiration for the music aswell.

RtM: On these album themes, did you, besides looking for something new and different, try to provoke people's curiosity about these themes?
Linnéa: Sure! It was never my main intent, but if someone listens to the album and get interested in the subject I would see it as a win!

RtM: Listening to the album, I have felt a lot of influences from Classic Rock, Hard Rock and Traditional Metal, plus progressive, even more traditional elements, and people who are more accustomed to seeing you at Therion will know more about your personality and personal brands. Could you comment more about these influences and soundness of QFT?
Linnéa: I’ve always listened much more to hard rock than metal and grew up with that music as well, so it’s deeply embedded in my brain, ha ha. I listen to every style of music as long as it’s good! I’m influenced by everything from 2000s bubblegum pop to americana and Debussy. But hard rock and metal is always my genre of choice.

 "I’m influenced by everything from 2000s bubblegum pop to americana and Debussy. But hard rock and metal is always my genre of choice."
RtM: Another very cool thing about the album was the way it was done, because you recorded practically everything live, in a very vintage style, thus obtaining a more organic and true sound! I would also like you to comment about the recordings and the work with the renowned Lennart Östlund.
Linnéa: It’s such a pleasure working with an absolute pro such as Lennart. We all felt like a million bucks going into the studio working with him. He’s always really calm and chill which is perfect when you’re working with someone like me, ha ha. All over the place, stressed out and excited at the same time. I can’t really remember now, but I think we had 5 days in the studio and it all went by really quickly! It was a lot of fun though and it really felt like recording live is the best decision I ever made.

RtM: Your vocals are amazing on the records, and from what you've posted, you also recorded everything in a few takes. There are more melodious and technical parts, and others with higher vocals and loaded with fury! Tell us a little more about the vocal recordings, the inspirations you've been seeking to shape your own style, and if you've been able to achieve the result you expected in the recordings.
Linnéa: Everything was indeed recorded in a few takes, and I think there are 2 autotuned notes on the whole album! If we would have done it a more conventional way it would have been 4 days in the studio only for vocals, but I wanted it to sound organic and build from beginning to end. Inspirations vocally is of course the usual guys, Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale, Rob Halford etc. etc. but when I really found the right technique was when I started listening to singers like Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin. Combining vocal runs and high pitched screams. It’s walking a thin line between being really agile and at the same time being really powerful. It’s like having a weight lifting champion dancing ballet, a difficult thread to walk on, but once you get it right it feels amazing.

RtM: QFT, as well as Therion, pratically worked in a "family" system, as well as your fiancé George (Dynazty), other members or former members of Dynazty are also part of the band, and certainly this helped a lot in the recordings. It will probably also be reflected in live performances!
Linnéa: I think so too. We have a really great vibe going in the band, and with the addition of keyboard player Wilhelm Lindqvist live, it feels like we’re really complete.

"The question “why” is something I believe we must strive to find ourselves, find purpose in this short life that we get to live."
RtM: Speaking a little about the songs, I would like you to comment on the "QFT" (Quantum Field Theory), which is a Power Ballad, so to speak, with beautiful melodies, and it would be also the first song composed for the album, inspiring also the name of the band?
Linnéa: The lyrics for QFT, the song, were completed last of all the songs, so it was quite the other way around. It was the name of the band inspiring the song. The solo on that song is done by Therion's very own Christian Vidal by the way!

RtM: The opening with "End of Universe" is a beginning of great weight. A mid-tempo and bringing furious vocals at various times. A opening of great impact, i think!
Linnéa: Well, I don’t know about “mid-tempo” since it begins in 50 bpm, ha ha! But in the end of the song we have the double bass going on which gives it a more mid-tempo feel I guess. I agree, it’s a cocky entrance to the album, like a punch in the stomach! Ha ha ha

RtM: You're right, it's more slow tempo. Well, one of my favorites, "Big Bang", with pardon the pun, is an explosive track, and has a very remarkable chorus! And taking advantage of the topic, what is your opinion about the Big Bang theory and the origin of the universe? Even physicists raise doubts about the universe being created by chance, for example the renowned physicist Michio Kaku believes that we live in an universe governed by rules shaped by a superior intelligence. This mystery that is the universe is what fascinates! Will we ever know the truth?
Linnéa: The thing about this is that I don’t know, and Michio Kaku doesn’t know either, even if he is a renowned physicist (love him, by the way). I think if the human race gets to be around for a long, long time we will definitely get more questions answered as we go along and keep an open mind. As you said, the mystery for me is the great journey! The question to how we are here and how the universe was created I think we will see in the future. The question “why” is something I believe we must strive to find ourselves, find purpose in this short life that we get to live.

RtM: Going back to the songs, I felt an album based on the more traditional elements, but it brings these new ideas, never sounding dated, and this mix of Classic Rock, Metal and Progressive merge very well into songs like "Black Hole" stretches more direct and heavy, with more progressive ones, like "Quasar", that has a more progressive beginning and gains in weight in the riffs later. I'd like you to comment on them too.
Linnéa: "Quasar" was the first song I wrote to the project. It’s a weird song with no real chorus and it just keeps going until it just… ends? Ha ha. "Black Hole" is more straightforward with a quite classic hard rock/metal chorus. I’m extremely happy with how both of those tracks ended up!

RtM: "Aliens", the first track that was presented, has great melodies, and reminded me a lot of the Hard/Heavy of the 80s, Dio was a name that came to my mind, perhaps for the melody that reminded something of the song "Last in Line" .
Linnéa: "Last in Line" is one of my favourite songs, and you’re right, the riff has a similar harmonic and rhythmisation to it.

Linnéa live at "Live in Space" release party (may 2th)
RtM: Well, we could talk about all the tracks, because I liked everything on the album, and in every audition there is more to discover. To finish, I would like you to talk about the beautiful "Live in Space" and  "Jóga", a very nice version of a Björk’s song, a good surprise.
Linnéa: "Live in Space" is a song not based at all in any scientific theory or such, it’s just a reflection on how life is and I think that one and the song “Time” are the most melancholic songs on the album. It was very powerful to perform Live in Space live, I think it can become a fan favourite. The decision to cover Jóga was made because I think it is one of greatest songs ever composed, and for me it’s represents earth on the album. I love singing it and it’s an honor to sing Björks fantastic composition.

RtM: Linnéa, thank you for your attention once again, congratulations to the debut album of QFT. A pity that the band cannot come as a guest and open some Therion shows here in Brazil and America! It would be really cool but probably quite tiring for you! Ha ha!
Linnéa: It would be quite a heavy load to bear yes, ha ha! I really wish to come to Brazil with QFT someday in the future! Thanks Carlos!

Interview by: Carlos Garcia

"Live in Space" review by Carlos Garcia
For anyone who knows Linnéa as one of Therion's vocalists and expects work on the symphonic metal line, will be positively surprised by QFT's debut "Live in Space", a creative and modern work, and yet drinking from the traditional sources of styles like Hard and Heavy and Progressive. This diversity opens up many possibilities to please diverse audiences, moving through heavy songs like "End of the Universe", explosive and with sticky chorus, as in "Big Bang"; by melodious and melancholic ways we have the beautiful "Time" and the title track, and also by less orthodox nuances with the inventive "Quasar", and the first single, the captivating "Aliens" and their hard/heavy melodies and a "q" of space rock! 

Under the production of the legendary Lennart Östlund, the group opted to record practically live in studio, with few parts placed after the recordings, leaving the sound organic and true! Linnéa also shows her maturity, with vocal diversity, showing technique and also high pitch vocals, as well as fury when necessary. Embark on this musical journey through the mysteries of the universe, space, singularity, and also reflections about life.

QfT are:
Linnéa Vikström: Vocals
Geoger Egg: Drums
Jonathan Olsson: Bass
Mano Lewys: Guitars


Debut album "Live in Space"

End of the Universe
Big Bang
Black Hole
Light Speed
Live in Space

Media: cmm Music Consulting



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