Even though Sweden is the home of ABBA, don’t let that connection bother you in your search for new and exciting rock music. There are several bands who hail from this neck of the Scandinavian woods like the sleazy rock n’ roll of Crashdiet and Backyard Babies, the powerhouse intensity that is Entombed and many others in between. Take this consistent heritage of producing good solid rock music with the fact that new bands are constantly springing up, and you’re finding yourself in an interesting destination. Welcome to a fine example who represent the new and current breed of Swedish flavored energetic hard rock, called Overworld.
Overworld were formed in 2011 and found themselves coming together from various bands on the local circuit. “We have all been in previous bands where we were the most ambitious ones I would say in each project, and we are like the people who survived,” shares drummer and main lyrical writer Andie. Joining Andie on the drums, Overworld are made up of Endigo on vocals, Kaz attacking the guitar, Nikke abusing the other guitar and Lynx plucking away on her bass strings. They all reside in Stockholm which is flourishing with its own diverse collection of musical scenes. For some internet sources, Stockholm is home to a raw death metal music scene. Andie points out that Gothenburg is known these days for having a healthy rock and metal scene. With a chuckle, he reflected on the Swedish music scene in general “It kinda feels like there are more bands than there are fans!” With this in mind, why should we stick around and spend our time listening to Overworld? “If you are a hot day on the beach, Overworld is the ice-cold drink that you crave the most.”
Their debut EP called Perfect Anomaly, was recorded and mixed back in May. As Andie explains, “It took about a week, and then a few days of mixing. It was all a very quick and efficient process.” He continues, “Then the songs themselves were written probably at the beginning of the year, but we had like this huge stack of songs to choose from and we picked out the five ones which we felt were the strongest.” The songs are not leftovers or ideas that were part of their previous bands, “All the songs are fresh from the start so to speak.” He elaborates by sharing his thoughts on how Overworld’s sound is a culmination of each individual band member’s influences and style, all coming together to create what people hear on their debut EP. “Usually we do the songs first and then the singer Endigo, he has these melody lines which we record and write down. Since I write most of the lyrics, I listen to the melody and the song, and the words kinda come to me by themselves.” With some thought Andie explained further, “After a while they form their own theme for each individual song. But I would say relationships and feelings are very central to the way I write lyrics.”
With the idea that this newly fledged band have already accumulated a huge batch of songs, it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to ponder over why they released only a five track EP, and not an entire full length studio album? According to Andie the reasons behind their decision to record just five tracks at this stage, were down to financial circumstances and the fact they wanted to have a product that would get things rolling for them. Feeling that a one or two-track release may get overlooked and not create sufficient interest in what they had to offer, Overworld decided to take the middle ground and so Perfect Anomaly became what it is today. Containing the fist-punching opener Until We’re Dead, followed by the adrenaline charge of Stellar with its demanding statement of “Dance for me now, dance until you die, dance for me, dance for me!”, plus the groove of Spider which has elements of funk deeply mixed into its aggressive underbelly. The final two tracks consist of Paper Heart (with a hint of Buffy The Vampire Slayer in its opening salvo) and Perfect Anomaly with its stabbing musical bursts interlocking with various time changes and alternating sections.
With regards to his lyrics, Andie clarifies his approach. “I don’t want them to be too blunt. If it’s a love song for example, I wouldn’t say we have written any love songs yet, but if we did one, it won’t be like ‘I love you baby,’ that kind of lyric. It would be more like, in a metaphorical language.” One example of his lyrical approach is contained within the title track of their EP, Perfect Anomaly which contains biblical references but as Andie pointed out, this track isn’t religious. While searching around amongst his belongings merely a few days previous to our conversation, Andie shared with me how he’d discovered an old piece of paper with a lyrical idea written on it when he was aged eight. It became clear that music has been in his blood for a long time.
Already within their early days of existence, Overworld have a signature song on Perfect Anomaly in the shape of Until We’re Dead which drives forward with real intent. Containing a rapid drum beat and some mean riffing, chopping and changing, the song according to Andie is a war cry from the band to their fans. “The lyrics for that one were actually written by our singer, Endigo, and the song is very straight forward in that it states that we’re gonna go on doing this until we’re dead.”
Once you have been exposed to the whirlwind that is Perfect Anomaly, it’s interesting to know what each individual member of Overworld brought to it. “The main riff in Until We’re Dead is more rock than metal I would say if I had to like, put it in a type of music. And I mean Nikke, one of the guitarists, he’s the one who kinda always comes up with those kind of riffs. While the riff in Stellar, bit more straight forward style, stuff like that, more menacing, a bit more metal I would say, that riff is a typical riff of the other guitarist Kaz.” Another element which may be more noticeable and relevant once the band are ready to record more material, involves the use of strings and the presence of keyboards which Andie says are brought in by the vocalist Endigo. This electronic approach is subtle and evident on the song Perfect Anomaly which might not have been included if it wasn’t for the singer’s input. Andie also acknowledged this extra dimension being brought into their evolving sound by the bassist Lynx. Judging from what Andie was saying, it might well become more apparent that these melodic ideas and electronic additions may be featured more prominently on forthcoming releases.
All musicians have their own idols and carry influences from other musicians who have inspired them. For Andie this is no exception. A friend brought back a DVD from Japan and shared the live footage with Andie. Midway through the show on display via this DVD by a band called X Japan, he was blown away by the performance of Yoshiki Hayashi and this is when he was inspired to play the drums. Talking of live shows, in this environment you would witness Overworld power through their own material, they don’t currently play any cover versions. The largest set list thus far included eleven songs which consist of the five tracks from their EP and six new ones. If Overworld were to be offered a support slot on any up and coming tours, which bands do they think would prove to be the most suitable? Fans of Overworld often comment on their similarity in sound to such established rock bands Asking Alexandria and Black Veil Brides among others. This is where Andie hopes the band will reach someday. Despite the band not listening to much of that style of rock music, they also believe their sound is in the same area and showcases elements that aren’t a million miles away from Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine.
Apparently the band gets asked quite a lot where their name came from. Andie laughed whilst recalling the various reasons the band claim their name came from. But for him, the name came from a slightly drunken conversation with Kaz. The tone of their conversation fueled by alcohol and adrenaline went along the lines of how they hoped they would take over the world. Andie then seized that moment saying Over The World. Then shortened it to just Overworld. It would therefore be appropriate to leave the final words about the band’s name and intention to Andie. “It has its roots in our ambition to conquer the world.”