This e-mail interview with Stefan Weinerhall from the Swedish power metal band Falconer was done by Aljaz Senicar in November 2003.

When the Swedish black folk / viking metal band Mithotyn was laid to rest in 1999, band leader Stefan Weinerhall decided that it was time for changes. The result was a new band called Falconer where the focus was on clean melodic vocals and traditional hard rock / metal riffs but still with the folky vibe from Mithotyn. A record deal with Metal Blade was signed and earlier this year they released their third album called "Sceptre Of Deception". Stefan spent some time answering our questions about the new album and other things. [The Editor]

Good day, how are you doing?
Just great thank you. 4 days left to work and the I can do music all day long until the hounds from the employment agency starts biting for my ass again.

Could you please give us a quick briefing on what's been happening with Falconer Since the release of your previous album, "Chapters of a Vale Forlorn"?
We started to do our first live gigs last summer like Wacken, Bang you head, Rockmachina. When we realised we wanted to more of that we also realised that we had to get another singer, one who could do that. So in Nov, a year ago we found Kristoffer Göbel singing in a cover band and thought he had a great voice and was a great guy to. Luckily he loved Falconers music so after a while we had a new singer. During the spring and summer of '03 we recorded our new album and did some more festivals and did our us debut.

So Mathias Blad, your previous singer, went off to pursue his career in the theatre business, that's the reason for his departure from the band. How is he getting along? Is he satisfied with the choice made?
I think he is. We all are satisfied with the decision we took. Mathias has been acting in “West Side Story” in Vaasa in Finland since July this year and will continue for yet some months. It appears he has a bit too much things going on now and he feels a bit stressed. Imagine how stressed he would have been if he would have been in Falconer still to rehearse, record and performed.

You've drafted a new singer Kristoffer Göbel. How did the audience respond to him permanently joining the band? Did the audience span widen of did you lose a lot of fans? In other words, is the album selling well?
I don't know how the album is selling yet. According to our label the pre-orders were very good. Of course we have lost some fans but also gained some since Kristoffer do not sound like Mathias did. I didn't want to get anyone who did, I wanted something new to work with. Like getting a fresh wind into the band. Some few fans are quite narrowminded and it sems like their world is going under because of this step we took. We can only laugh at that kind of strong emotions. Everything is just working better and smoother now and the band chemistry is better than ever before.

Did Kristoffer Göbel bring anything new to the band? Falconer still have their original sound, the song strucures seem more complex and sophisticated, though.
Kristoffer haven't done anything to the melodies or structures he just sings them but he might get more freedom in the future. I guessed it wasn't right to change to much at the same time. This is a concept album so this time I tried to adapt the music to the lyrics instead of the other way around. That have some times made the song structures a bit more complex or varied. The vocals on this album is not the same all the time, something I like with Kristoffer, he can change his voice depending on what kind of feel it is in the specific song or riff.

Mathias Blad can still be heard singing in a few songs of the new album. Seems as if you're still keeping touch and that you haven't ceased working together?
We said that when we parted ways. Since it's a concept album it's easy to bring in guests on the album and of course it was some kind of way of ease the cuts on some fans. Mathias does the calm sensitive parts he does on the album great. That's the kind of things he does best. He wouldn't have done a song like “pledge for freedom” as good as Kristoffer made is with a more bluesy and harsh voice. I wouldn't bet anything on that we will bring in Mathias on every album, that's just silly to cling on to the past.

Could you tell us what the storyline behind "Sceptre of Deception" is?
It’s like a Swedish kind of Macbeth but it’s a true story. It’s about 3 brothers in early 14:Th century. One of them becomes king, leaving the 2 brothers not too satisfied with the situation. It’s a lot of intrigues, deceits, murders and wars to obtain the crown. All three of them play a dirty game but as the title says, they strive to get the sceptre of deception....

How come you decided to write a story-based album?
I am very interested in history so I knew this story well from before but it was when I read Macbeth that I came to think of doing this concept. I had the idea before to make some kind of saga, like 3 or 4 songs. This was something bigger though. Very fun to have made it but it will not happen again since the lyrics took too much time and concentration when I really want to concentrate on the music. That's the reason why I play, so in the future I might give more responsibility to Kristoffer.

There's a black metal intermezzo in the 4th song. Is that a tribute to the old days?
I came up with that riff and got the idea to have blast beats there just to surprise people and maybe also like a little glance in the back mirror. Fun.

So what's your plan now, after successfuly launching the album world-wide? Will you be taking time off or are your time-tables already filled?
We have a tour planned for January throughout some parts of Europe then we might have one more thing planned abroad but that's too early to say anything about. It seems like the coming year will be the busiest year yet for us and that's cool.

What do you guys do? Do you have regular jobs, when and if you have the time, or have you fully dedicated yourself to the band?
We have to work fulltime since the band is non-profitable. For example if we're in the studio for a month, well then there will be no income during that month. So we can't really do anything or for any amount of time cause then we got to get payed for it. Hopefully this hobby will bring in enough money so we don't have to lose money on doing it. That of course requires people to BUY albums. I know we have many fans in Brazil for example who wants us to come there. Since few of them buy the album the label sees it as totally useless on sending us there for big money to play infront of 200 recordbuyers…….(2000 fans). They get what they pay for.

Who and what bands have been the biggest influence on you?
Jethro Tull, Rainbow, Dio, Iron Maiden, Mike Oldfield, Scorpions, Death etc etc.

And lastly, is there a message you would like to send out to whole of the metal world?
Thanks to all our fans I hope we can play for you soon. I hope you like the new album as much as we do. Cheers!!!

Links of interest:

Metal Blade Records