This interview with Peter Wichers from Soilwork was done through e-mail in January 2001.

Could you please give us a short historical background on the band?
Ok, basicly, Me and Bjorn started our musiccreation in -96 under another name called Inferior Breed, At this time, we were very young and, we felt the urge to play very technical music without any melodies. Then after some time we made a major lineup change which, also made us think if we were`nt suppossed to go with a more melodic sound, and so we did. SOILWORK then recorded their first and "only demotape" named IN DREAMS WE FALL INTO THE ETERNAL LAKE. This demo later led us to getting a label deal with the French label Listenable Records. We signed a two deal contract and everything was paradise, our teenage dream had been fullfilled! We then in -98 recorded our debut album entiteled "Steel Bath Suicide", we got some pretty good reveiws in mags over Europe aswell as in JAPAN. After Steel Bath Suicide we had some difficulties in the band so we had another lineup change. We got a new guitarist named OLA FRENNING, and a kick ass drummer named Henry Ranta. They were perfectly skilled and they were able to play things that we have`nt been able to do before. We went towards a more progressive and speedier material. We actually recorded the second album "The Chainheart Machine" exactly one year after the first one, and we became very pleased with the result. This album, has been the most successful so far, and we toured both Europe and JAPAN with this little piece. After this album we had fulfilled our contract with Listenable Records. We had a very open dialog with The label and we said to him that we had two other big labes that were interested in us at the time (NUCLEAR BLAST and CENTURY MEDIA!). There was no hard feelings when we signed to NB after a long time of negotiating between the three labels. The reason why signed with NB was because we felt that they had the biggest powerful distribution and most power to bring us up from were we stand now. After we signed, to NB we emediately recorded the new masterpiece, soon to be entitled "A Predator`s Portrait". This album is the strongest one so far, in SOILWORKs opinion! This is basically where we stand today, who knows where in the future he he???

You changed your name early from Inferior Breed to Soilwork after recording one demo tape. Was there a reason for this? What was the name of the demo and did it do well?
See first answer!

How would you describe your music to someone who hasnīt heard it yet?
I would easiest describe it as a the perfect mixture between the old hardrock elements and newer more fresher metal! A quote from ROB HALFORD actually!

It is very unusual for a death metal band to have a keyboardist. How come you chose to incorporate this element in your music?
We felt the need to add something more into our music. And after we started to write music, we heard that so much melodies could so easily be added to our sound with the keyboerd elements. WE are very pleased with the waythat the keyboard is added into the athmosphere of the SOILWORK sound.

Your third album "A Predatorīs Portrait" will be released on Nuclear Blast on the 19th of February. Could you tell us a little about it? Is it any different from your previous two albums? This is the first time you are using some clean vocals, why havenīt you done so before?
I`m telling ya, this album will certainly break some peoples barriers when it comes to judging swedish metal. This album has it all. Great song, Heavy Riffs, AMAZING VOCALS and many cozy guitarsolos. The reason why we did`nt do the SOILWORK style before with melodic vocals, was mainly because the material that we did then was not suited with meolic vocals. After The Chainheart Machine, we had a long disscussion of what direction that we wanted to take. Some still wanted to do a new CHAINHEART, but we agreed on that it was important for us to break some barries, and try out something new. We tharefor decided to go a lottle bit slower, but still be very very heavy. And the vocal concept fitted perfectly into the music, so we are extremely proud of this album.

Your first two albums were released on the French label Listenable Records. Could you tell us a little about your time with them and why you decided to leave for Nuclear Blast?
The time with Listenable was very good, and I would actually like to take this opportunity to thank Laurent for a good cooperation. The reason with Listenable was not to get famous and make lots of money, NO! We sogend to Listenable Records to get our name out in the musicbuissiness, and I think that they have done a very good job with this matter!

In 1998 the guitarist Ludvig Svartz and drummer Jimmy Persson left the band. What was the reason for this? Do you know what they have been up to since then?
This is kind of personal, but lets just say that we felt the urge to give SOILWORK even more than before, and they did`nt. I know that Ludvig is still playing Guitar in a band, but this is not metal its more Depeche Mode mixed with some popelements. Jimmy on the other hand has decided not to continue with his drumplaying, I think that he is more focused to his work and his social life, which I personally respect a lot!

Your history is very similar to that of Gardenian: you are both Swedish melodic death metal bands, you have been signed to Nuclear Blast after some time on Listenable and now you are both using some clean vocals. How do you feel being compared to them?
Youre the first one to make this comparisment, but I guess that you have some truth in it. We are freinds with the crazy gothenburgers, they are extremly nice guys and we hope t be able to play with them some time. I don`t know if we have any simularaties when it comes to the vocal aproach, but I guess that we both listen to more music than metal!

Are any of the band members involved in other bands or projects? Have you been in any other bands before Soilwork?
I have played in various GARAGEBANDS, but without no luck! my big breakthrough came with soilwork. But as far as sideprojecs are concerned, I know that HENRY and BJORN are involved in the Terror 2000 project. Henry is a very talented drummer so he has also started to play in a band named DEFACED, whose gonna enter the studio in February. This music, is more american with some melodies and a mixture with Meshuggah.

You have already been touring in both Europe and Japan. How do you like touring? Do you have any special memories from these tours?
Jezze!!! This is actuallay also one of the reasons why we decide to sign with NB, there are a 50% majority of bandmemebers that have drivers license, and this is not a good thing when it comes to touring. Fuck man can you imagine driving after a gig without being able to drink one beer???, and then listen to the others yelling "TURN UP THE STEREO I CANT HERE IT FROM BACK HERE"!!! But to answer the question concerning touring, we do love to play live and meet people that appreciates our music. I must say that JAPAN has been the best thing sofar.

Could you tell us a little about your lyrics?
The lyrical concept for this album, is actually a view into bjorns opinions about ordinary things in our lives. The Predator`s Portrait is a journey into a psychosis of the peoples mind. This might seem cheesy, but think about it, When a child is born, it is free of prejudice! Its people that teach them all about that, and this album describes the portraits of different peoples minds and how you can turn out in life depending on you upbringing and the people that you hang out with! For example, Bastard Chain is an anti nazi song that describes the mind of a nazi, and how fucking wrong they are!

What do you think about the metal scene in Sweden today?
I don`t follow it as i did before, but i think that sweden still represents the best metal around, and we are quite prowd to be a part of it!

What will Soilwork be doing in the nearest future? Do you have any plans or goals?
Our goals for the future is actually to tour, and do some festivals this summer. We also hope that prople appreciate the new album that we worked our as of for!!

Any final words you would like to tell?
Take Care, and beware of the SOILASSULT coming at you the 19th of February!

Links of interest:

Soilwork Official Site
Nuclear Blast
Listenable Records