RETRIBUTION is the new album from Nightingale, the intended one-off project that refuses to die. Established by musical multi-talent Dan Swanö almost 20 years ago, the band is proof that good music can take on a life of its own, often when the artist least expects it.
Known for his work both as a producer/engineer and with metal acts Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath, Pan-Thy-Monium and most recently Witherscape, Swanö began his unplanned Nightingale journey in 1995 with “The Breathing Shadow”. It was a one-off goth-flavoured solo album heavily reminiscent of The Sisters Of Mercy, meant to satisfy his interest in the genre and then be put quietly to bed as Swanö moved on to other projects. The album was successful enough to warrant a follow-up according to his label at the time (Black Mark), but Swanö was, as he puts it "so over the goth thing."
Guitarz Forever.com Interview w/ Dan Swanö of the band Nightingale
Scott > Hi Dan, thank you for agreeing to do an interview w/ my website Guitarz Forever.com.
Dan > You're welcome Scott!
Scott > Give our readers a short but descriptive label for your style of music.
Dan > Classic Hard Rock with an A.O.R./Pomp/Prog flavour!
Scott > What's going on in your musical world these days?
Dan > Just released the "Retribution" album in America and Canada..and then I am writing for the next album from Witherscape.
Scott > Where do you live, play live, and record ?
Dan >We play live where-ever we can! In the last 15 years we have been to the US, Romania, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Cyprus (!!) Sweden (of course) Russia..I think that's all! We have recorded ourselves most of the time. The locations are always a bit different, but with gear owned by me and the rest of the band. "Invisible" was done in Studio Underground.
Scott > Are there a lot of places to play your style of music in and around your area? If so, could you name some venues?
Dan > Not really. 3/4 guys live in Sweden and around the area they live, it's pretty dead. Where I live, in Germany, there's plenty of potential venues, but still a bit hard to get in the loop when you've been away from the scene as long as we have. But we're trying to get back in!
Scott > So please tell us of any new musical projects that you are currently working on?
Dan > Witherscapes 2nd album, and a yet untitled Death metal project where I will most likely play and sing everything myself!
Scott > What is the name of your latest musical endeavor and tell us how that came about?
Dan > It's an album called "Retribution" and it was "in the works" for quite a long time, but after securing the deal with Century Media/InsideOut. I made sure that all the loose ends were tied up and that the album came together nicely, now that we finally had an awesome label for our style, to release it!
Scott > Who are the band members to include yourself? Who plays what instrument and who is the vocalist?
Dan > Dan Swanö-Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Dag Swanö-Guitar, Keys, Backing Vocals
Erik Oskarsson-Bass, Backing vocals
Scott > How do you come up with your songs? Is it one song writer or more of a collaborated effort with other musicians?
Dan > Usually it's either me or my brother Dag that write the music and Tom or Erik writing the lyrics.
Scott > How often when you start an idea for song, does it actually get finished?
Dan > These days, I would say that most musical ideas of mine gets finished one way or another. I feel pretty early on if an idea is worth working on and then I see it through. But it was take years and years...
Scott > I was wondering if you ever hear music in your dreams and turn them into songs?
Dan > Yeah, that has happened. I often work out arrangements issue in this state somewhere between awake and asleep.
Scott > Are you a schooled musician or a self-taught?
Dan > Self-tough. The hard school of life...plus playing upside-down haven't helped one bit ;)
Scott > So, what type of guitars do you play and why? (if applicable)
Dan > I have a custom guitar with a strat left handed body from Warmoth and a Right handed True temperament neck. I normally play normal, right handed guitars, but upside down, with the thick E string at the bottom an the light E string up.. totally reversed...and a few years ago I decided to have my dream guitar built from scratch. With an original Floyd Rose and a Full Shred/Hot rail pick ups and stuff.. My friend Ülgnor put it together. All rhythm guitars and my solos on Retribution was recorded with that one.
Scott > What type of amps do you use? Do you use different amps for the studio vs live shows... If so, why?
Dan > Live we use whatever the the back line allows. I like most of the good valve amps out there. We usually have a digital preamp and connect that straight to the FX or Power Amp input. I have owned a lot of amps in the 15 years of Nightingale as a rehearsing band including a Peavey 5150 Mk1, Mesa Rectifier Mini, Mesa Cabinet 30, Hughes & Kettner TUBE100. Preamps have been anything from small Zoom's, Digitech GNX2 to Boss GT5 and Yamaha DG stomp. I did a few gigs with a Roland VG99 and hex-pickup as well. The next gig will be done using a small Digitech preamp again.
Scott > What type of Mics work best for you?
Dan > I like the Lundgren M6 and Seymour Duncan Full Shred. But also EMG81 for the right type of music and also EMG SingleCoils are great for very clean sounds!
Scott > Do you play any other instrument besides guitar?
Dan > Drums, Keyboard, Bass..And throat ;)
Scott > Do you have any endorsement with instrument and gear companies?
Dan > We are a part of the Steinberg artist programme..but for gear, not really.
Scott > How did you first get into the music business?
Dan > The world of labels and stuff was opened up for me with my first record contract when I was 17 back in 1990.
Scott > Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
Dan > Musicians that have inspired my playing on various instruments are all members of Marillion past and present and Rush + Simon Phillips and Dann Huff.
Scott > How has your guitar playing evolved over the years?
Dan > Well, it has evolved from pretty much nothing to being pretty alright. All thanks to Nightingale taking form as a real band, orcing me to actually learn how to play standing up ;)
Scott > What are you listening to these days?
Dan > Mostly the 1200+ song on my iPod that I have selected out of 1.000+ on shuffle...and also the latest albums from Work of Art. Excellent stuff!
Scott > Do you have a dream car?
Dan > Audi A5 - 3 door. But we recently bought an almost new Audi A4 avant. that one is also pretty bad ass!
Scott > I also don't want to forget this... Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart?
Dan > Mixing and mastering :) I know it is also related to music..but apart from enjoying family life and watching a good movie and reading musical biographies, my life evolves around music.
Scott > I would like to thank you for your time and candor with our loyal readers and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some awesome music.
Dan > Thanks!! D.