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INTERVIEW: DAVE SUNDBERG & STRANDH of Sister Sin – July 2015

| 16 July 2015 | Reply

The biggest metal festival of 2015 is the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and we were lucky enough to grab some time from some of the bands during the tours recent stop in Detroit at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.  After having a previous tour date opening for Doro in Detroit cancelled, Sister Sin finally makes their way back to Detroit.  After seeing this killer band on the Victory stage, I was able to speak with drummer Dave Sundberg and bassist Strandh to discuss King Diamond, chewing tobacco, and so much more…

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Toddstar: Welcome to Detroit.

Dave: Thanks, man.

Strandh: Thanks.

Toddstar: Mayhem Festival. How big is this for you guys?

Dave: For us, as a European band, it’s a great opportunity of course. We’ve done several tours in the U. S. before but nothing of this magnitude.

Toddstar: What’s it like being four albums in and you’re still trying to build that U. S. momentum behind Sister Sin.

Dave: That’s part of the process, I guess.  American bands tour about, like, very, very frequently. So if we’re over in Europe, it’s always a huge product just getting over here financially and everything else. We try to, like, cherry pick the best tours in the U. S. and if there are no tours, we don’t tour. So, I guess, that’s a lot of impact on the album sales what not.

Toddstar: But you guys have your latest album, Black Lotus. It’s been out since 2014. How do you find that it’s still being received by the fans out here, day in and day out?

Dave: Do you want to fill in Strandh?

Strandh: I can’t think of the words too well. It’s been by far the best reaction we had. Fan wise, review wise, sale wise, so, it’s awesome. That’s to say we put out our new single in April, I think, and it’s, yeah.

Toddstar: You’re not given much time but you’re definitely making most of your time on stage. The crowd seems to be feeding well off the energy of the band. What’s it like for you guys to be standing on stage and playing and to watch people singing your songs back to you?

Dave: Yeah. It’s awesome. That’s why we do what we do, you know. Albums are just a way of transport to get there to that moment. So, yeah, it’s an awesome feeling.

Strandh: Best fucking feeling in the world.

Toddstar: Okay. Having never been on that side, I wouldn’t know, so it’s good insight.

Dave: Yeah, it makes the hard work pay off, you know? Basically we’re on stage for 25 minutes but every day we travel, like, 6 hours and the rest of the time we sit here and wait for those 25 minutes, you know. I think that says a lot.

Toddstar: What’s the one song in the Sister Sin catalog that you wish you had time to play every day?

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Dave: I guess it would be “Desert Queen.”

Strandh: Yeah, “Desert Queen.”

Dave: Our recent single. But unfortunately it’s our longest track we’ve ever written. It’s almost 6 minutes. We’re playing that song and we take off for 2 regular songs.

Strandh: And also “End of the Line.” It’s on the new record.

Toddstar: That would be great – it’s a killer song. I love the whole catalog.

Dave: Oh, thanks.

Toddstar: When it comes to doing this day in and day out, what’s the hardest part about being away from home?

Dave: I guess, for all of us, its girlfriends, I guess.

Strandh: Yeah and kids.

Dave: Yeah. I’m the only one, but I have a daughter, she’s just 5 months. I’m not very experienced at this before. How hard it could be. It’s always hard, but it took it down another level for us.

Toddstar: What’s the best part about not being at home?

Dave: Doing what you love. You know. This is what we do. We love to play live and meet our fans. It’s an amazing thing. And that’s probably the best part for me.

Toddstar: When it comes to touring and you found out you were coming to America, you were going to do this tour, what were the couple things that you looked around your home and you thought I have to make sure I pack that or I take that with me. (Dave shows me a small container and opens it) Is it chew?

Dave: Yeah, sort of. It’s not really like your American version, but almost.

Strandh: Let him smell.

Toddstar: It smells almost like candy, it’s…

Dave: You think so?

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Toddstar: Maybe it’s my gum, I don’t know. Licorice?

Dave: No, but you can, actually, buy it in licorice flavor. That is the natural tobacco. The nicotine level is, like, 10 cigarettes. Yeah, so it’s twice as strong.

Toddstar: That’s how you can beat the shit out of a drum set.

Dave: Yeah and then sleep and concentrate and eat and…

Toddstar: How about you Strandh, what are you packing before you hit the road?

Strandh: Let’s see.

Toddstar: Same thing, just a different brand.

Dave: I think this goes for all Swedish people. All men anyway.

Strandh: All REAL men.

Dave: Yeah. You can’t basically find it outside In Finland, like, it’s our neighbor country, and it’s illegal.

Toddstar: Really?

Dave: It doesn’t have the same taste in Norway and Norway’s expensive. One box goes for like $100.

Toddstar: Wow. When it comes to this tour, what was the band that you were most excited to see or to know that you were going to see on a daily basis?

Strandh: First of all, King Diamond and Slayer. And HELLYEAH pretty much and The Devil Wears Prada. Great bands.

Toddstar: Dave, who were you excited about?

Dave: Basically the same. Of course Slayer and King Diamond.

Toddstar: Of the Victory bands that you’re sharing this stage with, what band did you not know much about but once you heard them you were, like, hey that’s not bad?

Dave: Shattered Sun actually.  They just released their first album. They’re awesome. And then Jungle Rot, like the old school death metal.

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Strandh: Best band on that stage, in my opinion.

Toddstar: Other than Sister Sin.

Strandh: No, Jungle Rot.

Toddstar: Really? If it wasn’t doing this, you know, if you couldn’t play music, what would you be doing back home?

Dave: Probably working in a warehouse, driving a forklift or something.

Strandh: Something like that.

Dave: That’s what I did before we started touring and I still do it sometimes between tours.

Toddstar: So what’s next for you guys? You’ve got this tour, the album is a year old, and you’ve got this tour. I mean, what comes next after this?

Dave: You mean after this album cycle? Well we will continue touring on this album in Europe again but after that we’ll just do what we do, I guess. In January we start writing a new album and having it done by fall, I guess, of next year.

Toddstar: Of all the cities you’ve been to so far on this tour, what’s been your favorite?

Strandh: I think I would say King Diamond because his performance is fucking… (Dave and I start laughing at Strandh) What?

At this point, Dave and Strandh have an exchange in Swedish…

Strandh: Milwaukee!!!

Dave: That was the question, right? What is the city?

Toddstar: Yeah.

Dave: Mountainview. Outside San Francisco, California. It was nice climate, food, scenic views, you know, mountains.

Toddstar: If there is one band you could … If you had to leave Sister Sin and you could join any band playing today, not necessarily at Mayhem, but just in the world what would it be? Strandh’s going to say King Diamond… that’s his favorite.

Dave: For me it would be probably Motorhead. It would probably be a short gig because of Lemmy’s health, but they’re one of my favorite all-time bands. That would be unreal.

Strandh: I can’t say that because I play bass and I would have to sing. You know some bands that play, like, slow music.  Probably some jazz bands.

Toddstar: Okay. Well, thanks so much for taking time out. Enjoy the rest of your day in Detroit and enjoy the rest of the tour and good luck guys.

Dave: Yeah, thanks.

Strandh: Thank you. Thank you.

 

Complete set of SISTER SIN photos HERE.

 

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

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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