DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 4
by Martin Popoff

"For example, Nick Cave, who is one of my favourite vocalists, he's not a good singer per se, but there is so much emotion and honesty in the voice. As well, Mikael is really a good front man. He really shines in a live setting and really controls the audience. And he also manages being completely happy all the time, singing our agonizing songs, with happy emotions (laughs). It's almost hard to sing the praises of a fellow musician, but he has kind of a unique character and is a unique vocalist and lyricist in many ways."

The first single and video off of Fiction is a track called 'Focus Shift' (check it out on the band's myspace site). Sundin is refreshingly candid about the track... "It's always so hard picking a song for a video or a single. We always consult the label and management. They probably have a good perspective on what works and what doesn't work. And I think we all kind of agreed that 'Focus Shift' isn't the best song on the album at all. It's kind of generic for being... I mean, it's a typical Dark Tranquillity song. It's very similar to 'Lost To Apathy', which was the first video for Character. It's kind of a safe choice, but it's a good song and it worked really well live, when we previewed it. And it's also good video material. It's quite short and you could see that it could translate quite well to a video. So I think that was the main reason. Everyone had their own opinion regarding favourite songs and everything, but it seemed like a good choice for the first video. It's safe and predictable, but it kind of works (laughs)."

Those interested in Niklas' alter-ego, as a top album cover designer, can check out his work at www.cabinfevermedia.com. Much of what he does is in Adobe InDesign, but like many a great artist, he's grounded in the traditional. With one of metal's top bands and a thriving design business though, he doesn't have much time for old school methods.

"Not big time, unfortunately. The backside of, well, turning your hobby into your job, is that you kind of get too busy with regular commissions. I really have a hard time finding enough time to get the old oil paints out and just create artwork and paintings for my own benefit. Unfortunately I'm usually too busy, either with the band or with album cover commissions. But yes, I've been painting and drawing a lot in my days. I still love it; it's just so hard to find the time window and timeframe where you can create something and be in the right mindset. I've seen your paintings at your site so I'm sure you know what I'm talking about."

DARK TRANQUILLITY - A Fine And Shining Neo-Grind Page 5