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A Dirty Dozen with NICLAS ENGELIN of WE SELL THE DEAD – January 2020

| 26 January 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “We Sell The Dead’s sophomore album Black Sleep arrives on February 21, 2020 via earMUSIC, bringing a riveting mix of dark and raw heavy metal with catchy songs about death as an integral part of life and living. We Sell The Dead began in 2016 with Niclas Engelin (In Flames/Engel) and Jonas Slättung (Drömriket). They were quickly joined by their old friend Apollo Papathanasio —the frontman for Firewind and Spiritual Beggars — on vocals. Gas Lipstick, the drummer for the first album and a former member of HIM, has been replaced by Engel drummer Oscar Nilsson due to logistical circumstances. In addition, Petter Olsson joins the band as a full-time member on keys and thereby perfectly rounds out the quintet.”  We get Niclas to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

That we have hidden messages in the bagpipes solo in between two songs that you can only hear if you concentrate on just bagpipes… hahaha, a joke! That it´s a very heavy album and it feels like we have a low tuning which we don´t. What we have is a box called Prometheus which we added to spice things up. It´s a very melancholic and beautiful album which will show during  3 or 4 spins when everything starts to fall into place and you get what we have created this time with Black Sleep.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I had the privilege of being some kind of mascot for the older kids at my hood and they started very early on playing in bands and I got the chance of tag along to their rehearsal space and they showed how to play the guitar and of course Judas Priest, Van Halen, and such. That´s when my dad figured out that I might be into music and Metal in general and bought my first album, Judas Priest – Defenders Of The Faith!! The feeling of holding the album in my hand and seeing the inner sleeve for the first time with KK. Downing, Rob Halford and Green Tipton in all leather with Flying V in a striking pose made me want to do the same thing no matter what!! That and seeing the video for “Bark At The Moon” with the mighty Ozzy…  watching Jake E Lee in full on riffage was mind-blowing, sooo cool!!

3.Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

My first concert ever was Dio on the The Last In Line tour with Queensrÿche as an opener and they had just released The Warning album… that was like – If I blink I maybe miss something here, so beyond awesome and life changing. In retrospect it meant the world to me and my vibe for music and being a musician myself. It took some years to get there but the feeling when I stood on the same stage and in the same arena as I once saw Dio for the first time was like, whatever happens next I can die happy!

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Dio live on the The Last In Line tour, Judas Priest – Defenders Of The Faith, Motörhead – No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith, and Mercyful Fate – Don´t Break The Oath

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Aww… a hard one but what comes to mind is to have an evening with my master Mr. Tony Iommi just to see and absorb every little thing he play and how he play his mighty riffage or just to hang out with him cuz he seems to such an awesome gentlemen!!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Very heavy classic Rock sounding with tons of spice of Doom & AOR! I disagree that we would be labeled as a pure Doom band which we aren’t in my humble opinion if you want to label us something then call it Kansas Doom!!

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

That I got the freedom to do whatever I want to do but it comes with a responsibility to deliver music on time and to be 100 % dedicated the art which I love!

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I think I´m the chef and Apollo & Jonas will be bringing the acoustics out for Kiss songs in total vocal harmonies Oscar & Petter would then supply the drinks for sure!

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Meeting up with my hero & musical inspiration, Lemmy for the first time at Rock Am Ring 2 years before he passed away and that is a moment I hold very dear!!

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Wow… hard one again. I was working as a construction painter before and would do it again for sure but it´s not my dream job I think I got my job and are destined to do this. I think everything goes hand I hand with your family life in general if that´s bad then it doesn’t matter if you got a dream job, family first always!!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

YES!! I would love to re-record the last Gardenian – Sindustries album again. To make that album justice in the way the songs are structured, they are to looooong and without destination but that’s just me, I know that there are fans out there who loves that album so I would not touch it in respect for the supporters who have fond memories listening to that album.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Wow!! I would love to go back in time to the first meetings/sessions and the whole process of recording Heaven & Hell album with Black Sabbath… just pure magic!!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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