Since the first whispers heard in 2014, the name of Gothenburg's NIGHT VIPER has only gotten louder and louder. Thanks to a blistering debut album on Svart Records and a reputation as one of the most energetic, exciting and downright headbangable live bands around, NIGHT VIPER is now a must-see band for all metalheads. Their combination of intense early Metallica-style riffing, organic sound, and extremely catchy melodies has resulted in supremely memorable songs that set them far apart from your average metal band.
As a first question, for all the people who don’t know you yet; could you please introduce Night Viper, how did you all meet and decide to start this project?
Sofie Lee: It's weird because no one of us really knew each other that well when we first started out, and now we're such tight friends. It all started with me and Tom meeting in Gothenburg when he was new in town. Me and a friend were playing together, nothing serious, when Tom came along. We didn't really have a plan with what type of music we wanted to play, I had something doomy d-beat-ish in mind which is pretty far from where we ended up I guess..! The other guy wasn't that motivated at the time, so Tom kind of took over the reins. He played me his old demo of 'Faces in the mirror' and that was when we realized, yes!, this is what we should be doing! We heard from friends in common Jonna looked for a new band. Then I picked up Emil, our old guitar player, from a good friend of ours. Ruben and Emil are best friends from before and we managed to lure him into the band although he already had three going at the time!
I guess everyone have had different thoughts on how far we could take the band, but me having my first band and also being good friends with people from the successful Gothenburg hardrock scene, I've always seen this as the only option. You make a demo, play shows, work hard, get signed, release an album, work even harder etc.
Why did you decide to play classic Heavy Metal?
Sofie Lee: I think this is what came most natural to us. We all have different musical backgrounds, but this is kind of where our circles meet.
Tom: Yeah, it's something that I'm proud of, really. We never really decided to play this way. It just kinda happened. I thought maybe Sofie Lee and Martin, the guy we were playing with in the beginning, wanted a kind of pop metal sound, so I tried to write that way. My natural riffing tendencies took over, though, and it came out sounding the way it does. I learned to play guitar by learning Metallica, Sepultura and Black Sabbath songs, so that always comes through.
Your second LP will be out October 20th, can you tell us what your followers will find there. Which evolution did you felt recording this second work comparing with the first one?
Sofie Lee: Well, speaking of the classic Heavy Metal, it ain't that classic any more I guess..! It has a lot more thrasier elements and is overall darker and faster. 'Summon The Dead' was the first song we wrote after the first album, and we all felt "yes! This is fun!" so it kind of lead us onto this path. The classic feeling is still there though, it's just a wider spread.
Tom: Yep, for sure. I don't think we are classic in that Iron Maiden type sound. We're much more riff-centric. And the new album is much more in that direction. More thrash tempos and some darker songs, but still with Sofie Lee's sense of melody at the centre. And we were a bit more focussed in what we wanted sound-wise.
Can you tell us more about the making of the album, regarding the producer, the recordings, who write the lyrics and who of you are the main composers?
Sofie Lee: We met Ola Ersfjord, who recorded and produced the album, some time ago when he was doing sound for us and Dead Lord our first show together. We came along really well and since then talked about him recording our second album. By the time we started planning for the recording, Ola had moved to Madrid and opened a studio, where we finally went to record the album. We looked into options of recording in Sweden and renting a studio, but for all of us this was the best option in the end. It was really great to be in another city to stay focused and also to enjoy Madrid which by far is a better place than Sweden in April..! Tom and Ruben wrote the songs for this album, and I wrote all lyrics except one.
Tom: Ahhhhh, we had an amazing time recording this album. Ola is a terrific producer and wonderful person, Madrid is an incredibly colourful and energetic city, and it was a pleasure to be at Cuervo with the Cuervo gang. And we are super happy with the album. I think we weren't clear what we wanted on the first album, but on this one we had a clear picture in our head. We were talking about certain Entombed albums, 'cos we wanted something pretty dirty and noisy, but still with some clarity. When Ola suggested 'Seasons In The Abyss' as a blueprint for the sound of the album, we all went, 'yeeeeeeeees'! Ola really knows his stuff and also creates a really fun and relaxed feeling in the studio. And I have to thank the guy who lent me an amazing-sounding JCM800 for the recording. I don't remember your name, but I'll never forget the favour!
Only 3 years active and you have been playing in few big festivals and sharing line-up with big names. How does this feel like for a band who just started?
Sofie Lee: This might sound a bit douchy, but by being from Gothenburg where pretty much every band you know turns out to be huge, it doesn't feel unexpected, it's just normal you know. And at the same time, you feel like a kid who lost it's mom in a big mall when you turn up at big organized festivals, haha! We're really happy that things are going so well after only this short amount of time, but at the same time it doesn't feel exceptionell somehow, it seems pretty normal compared to the "Gothenburg standard", haha!
Tom: I've been in a couple of established bands now, so like Sofie Lee said, it feels kinda normal. And when I listen to us, I love what I hear, so in that way, feel like we should expect for these opportunities to come our way. Haha! Sorry to be so immodest!
Which are your goals with this album and with the band?
Sofie Lee: We're really hoping to get out touring a lot with this album. Musically, it will be very interesting to see where we're going in the future. We have no plans regarding this, we just write music that we like and enjoy playing. I guess a long term goal is to be able to make a little living of the band, some of us are living on the line of poverty - please by our album!
Tom: I feel like the new album captures us much better than the first, so I would love for people to see us live, have a killer time, and then be able to have a similar feeling once they get the album home. The first album is really good, but maybe not as energetic as we are live. The new one just feels super pumped. Like we've all had way too much coffee. And long-term, I hope that we can give people the experience of the kind of high-intensity music with well-written, memorable songs that made bands like Metallica and Slayer so special.
Any tour coming? Europe or maybe visit the States?
Sofie Lee: We have a couple of shows coming up in Sweden, and then a 11 dates tour in Europe in December. We would love to go the states, but it's nothing more than daydreams at the time being unfortunately.
Tom: I can't wait to get out and play all the new songs. I toured The US when I was in Church Of Misery and had a really fun time. The conditions can be tougher than here in Europe, but it's a beautiful country. I hope Night Viper can get there sooner rather than later.
Which are some bands you would like to tour with and some festivals you would like to play next summer?
Sofie Lee: I just saw Natur for the first time this weekend on a festival in Norway - bloody hell what a great band. Would love to team up with them at some point. We also have the biggest band crush on Christian Mistress and really hope to play some shows with them in the future. I would love to play Hellfest and Party San, Muskelrock (every year please), Sweden Rock... We haven't played that many summer festivals actually but hope to that all next summer!
Tom: I want to do shows with Antichrist. Just so I can watch them every night. They are just the best. And Black Breath is one band we all agree on. I'd love to tour with them. Rock Hard festival would be fun. And if anyone can get us a support slot with Judas Priest, let us know! They have a new album coming out. It shouldn't be too hard!
How do you see the music scene in Sweden?
Sofie Lee: I love this country for it's music! The musical quality of Swedish bands is really high, especially seeing how few we are actually living here. Focusing on the rock and metal scene, it's very big for both more mainstream music as well as underground. I'm not into nationalism at all, but there is a reason why you see so many Swedish flags on the German patched vests!
For all those bands who are trying to get a spot in this difficult world what would be your advice to be successful?
Sofie Lee: Always enjoy what you're doing and have fun, and let that be the biggest motor in the band. Take care of each other within the band. Play music that's true to yourself and forget about what others do.
Tom: I like what Sofie Lee said about taking care of each other. You really are a family in a band, and if you take care of each other, you'll make the experience a great one. And I would say, let your personality out. Don't pick a genre and just stick to it. If you have a weird idea or two, let it happen. Take Reverend Bizarre for example. They were as doom metal as possible, but they had so much personality, you could never confuse them with anyone else.
Any interesting story while you were touring to share with the readers?
Sofie Lee: I love touring because it feels like you're in a parallel universe or something. Every day is so different from the other. One day you can play at a huge venue full of screaming people and feel like the King of the World. The next, you come to some sad town in the middle of nowhere and there are like 15 people in the audience. I'd say for me, touring is getting changed in the weirdest places to sum it up.
Tom: I have crapped in a plastic bag twice on tour. Now, I am known as Tom 'shit bags' Sutton. And I have been on tour with Pentagram 4 times, so there are stories, yes. On the last show of the last tour I was on, Bobby pissed on the bar just before going on stage, and the venue almost cancelled the show.
Anything else you would like to add?
Tom: Thanks for checking us out! Come see us play, and you will leave with a big smile on your face, I promise. Night Viper in the night!