LAST TEMPTATION

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This interview with the drummer Micael "Micki" Pihl of Last Temptation was done through IRC by Vincent Eldefors on September 9th, 2003.

Last Temptation is a hard rock / heavy metal band from the city of Norrköping which is located in the south of Sweden. It was originally conceived as a solo project by guitarist / vocalist Kennet Jansson around 1999 but it wasn't until January 2002 that Last Temptation was born as a real band. I stole some time from the band's current drummer Micael "Micki" Pihl to talk a little about the release of their debut album and other things. The self-titled album was released late this summer through Kennet's own label Regal Media Records. In January 2004 Last Temptation will appear on a compilation album called Voices of Death vol. 6.66.

Hi there, how and what are you doing?
Hi! Well, right now I'm just sitting at the computer doing nothing...

Sounds great :-) First of all, congratulations on the release of your debut album, are you happy with the result or were there things that could have been better?
Thanks... Well, considering I'm not playing on the album I can't be too critical to it, but I think it's generally a good album, otherwise I wouldn't have joined the banfd in the first place. hehe.. There are of course always things on an album which one could do better, but I can't see any major flaws with it...

What has the response to the album been like so far? Have you read any reviews?
We have heard mostly good things about the album, the only thing people don't like are the vocals, it seems....that seems to be a common thing, but aside from that I haven't heard anything bad about it...

Sounds good. I would say that your music is pretty much inspired by 80s hard rock / heavy metal but with a slight modern gothic touch, do you agree with me?
Well yeah, that sounds pretty accurate...we all have our own influences in the band, but we have the 80's in common...

What is so good about the 80s then?
Well, as far as I'm concerned, most of the really good heavy metal was born in early 80's/late 70's, but it growed and matured during the 80's, and well, I think all good music of today has it's root in the 80's, even the younger bands....

Last Temptation is still a very young band, what goals do you have for the band in the future?
hehe That's both a hard and tough question.. Obviously we would like the band to become a hit, and I don't see that this is impossible, I think we have the potential... So the goal is the top, naturally...of course we don't think that this is likely to happen without much hard work, but you got to have the ambition, right? =)

Right! Could you please give us a summary of the musical background of each member of the band?
Well, I'm really not sure of the whole background of the others, but I can tell you a little about myself at least...

I began to play drums at the age of six, and since then I have played in a lot of bands, playing a lot of different styles of music...currently I only play in Last Temptation, but I like to have something on the side as well...As for the others I think Roger has played for like fifteen years or so, he and Classe plays in another band called Random, it's a cover band. Classe has played for a very long time, I'm not sure how long, and Kennet too...

Is Last Temptation the top priority for all members?
Yes, absolutely...like I said, I like to have something on the side, but if I start something else Last Temptation is still my main band. I know that Roger and Classe feels the same way, Random is more of a hobby project, and Kennet doesn't have another band, nor do I imagine that he is likely to get one, he is Last Temptation and Last Temptation is him, he is so into this band that he doesn't need another...

I know that you used to play with one or two members from Thy Primordial in a band called Midnatt, could you tell us a little about this band?
Sure.. Midnatt, or Navarac, as the band was originally called, had one of the guitarplayers from thy Primordial as bassplayer, he was only a member a very short time though, since thy Primordial took to much of his attention, so he doesn't appear on any of the demos. Morth from thy Primordial is singing on one recording as well... The band quit a couple of years ago, when I moved freom Mjölby to Stockholm, and the two other members at the time are still playing together, but I don't remember what the band is called....

When did the band exist and what demos did you record?
The band existed from 94 to 98, and we recorded five demos, I think...I only have one left though, the last demo that we made in 97. I don't think there's anything left of the earlier demos, sadly....

Who were the other members except for you and the guy from Thy Primordial?
The original guitarplayer, who turned to playing bass later, goes by the name of Johnny Ivansson, it was with him I formed the band. Tommy Fransson played guitar. Of course we had ultra-cool blackmetal aliases at the time, but let's leave that to history. haha

Ok :-), have you written any new Last Temptation material since the songs presented on your debut album?
Yes, we have new songs.. we included two of them in our live set last friday, the songs "My Sorrow" and "Immemorial". We have also recorded those two songs and two more, but no release is planned for them.

What are they like compared to the older material?
Well, generally I like to think that I have added some extra energy in the band, and I think that goes especially in the new material, since it is written for my playing style rather than Manges [Editor's note: the former drummer]. There is a lot more bassdrumming going on in some of the new songs..hehe Not Powermetal much though, it is still Last Temptation....

How are the songs normally made up from start to finish?
Well, up to now Kennet is writing all the songs, and he presents them as ideas for the rest of us, and we kind of build the complete song together, but all the building material is Kennets doing.

You joined the band in January this year, do you feel like you have found your place within the band? What is it like being in Last Temptation compared to your former bands?
I have definitely found my place in the band, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, I feel that I have found the right band for me, I feel that I interact very well with the others, especially with Classe, we think very alike when it comes to playing. This is something I have missed in my former bands, although I have always been fortunate enough to play with very good musicians. It has often been like we were talking different languages, and every member of a band wanted different things for the band. This is not the case with Last Temptation, we all know where we want the band to go, and we work together to get there...

You have only done one live show with Last Temptation so far, what was that like? Is Last Temptation mainly a studio band or do you also want to play live as much as possible?
The show went very well, although there were some technical problems. The sound was not very good, and the drumkit I was playing fell apart piece by piece, but aside from that I was very pleased with the gig, and I can't wait to get to play live again. Right now we are trying to get as many gigs as possible, so we can promote ourselves, and also to get around and sell the record. We handle all distribution ourselves, so live performances are very important to get the record out.

Being a drummer yourself, what do you think are the most important qualities that make a great drummer? Which are your favorite drummers?
My favourite drummer is Uli Kusch, he is the greatest! (Masterplan, formerly Helloween and Gamma Ray) the most important qualite for a drummer is naturally a steadfast, tight beat, but you have to have more than that, or you can be replaced by a digital drummer. A good drummer has to be innovative and creative, and also flexible and able to listen to the rest of the band, since the drumkit isn't much of a lead instrument....

What do you think about drum solos?
I enjoy listening to a well performed drum solo immensely, but you can't play a drum solo at any gig, it's better suited for larger gigs, and it has to be almost perfectly performed, at least as well prepared as an ordinary song, or it spoils itself...

...I don't think you can just go up and play a good drum solo, it has to be well prepared and you have to play it through many times....

What do you think about the Swedish metal scene at the moment, are there any bands that you like in particular? What do you think about the local scene here in Östergötland?
Well, my preferences lies more in the German metal scene, but we do have a couple of very good acts from sweden, like for example Lost Horizon, Evergrey and Dream Evil, to name a few from my favourite genre. Then we have Arch Enemy, though they are not a whole swedish band, but still very good. Then we have of course some bad acts as well....

And what about the local scene here in Östergötland?
I'm not very familiar with it, I'm afraid...

What do all the members do when you are not rehearsing?
Well, Roger works at Skärblacka Pappersbruk, Classe works at Whirlpool and Kennet is an engineer at studio Ljudparken. Personally I'm "between engagements" right now, so to speak. haha And then Classe and Roger has their other band as well...

What are your favorite movies?
I like the Star Wars movies VERY much, all of them.. But I like any good movie, I look forward to the third part of the Lord of the Rings saga, I liked the first two movies very much, I have seen them like twenty times each...

Where will we see Last Temptation in five years?
Hopefully anywhere around the world on a world tour, of course..:)

Any final words for our readers?
Buy the record, love your metal, and be true to yourselves...

...that's about as cryptic and deep as I get, see ya!

Thanks a lot for this interview and good luck with the band and everything else in the future!


Links of interest:

Last Temptation