DATE OF INTERVIEW:
14th August 2010
METAL DISCOVERY: You played bass on Andromeda’s second album…
FABIAN GUSTAVSSON: No, the third and the fourth, not the second. That is actually Johan Reinholdz, the guitar player. That is actually my favourite.
(Fabian Gustavsson on developing his bass technique)
"I like to play a lot of different styles. A lot of jazz, I think, because jazz develops me in metal and in every kind."
Fabian Gustavsson in the VIP bar at Bloodstock Open Air, Derbyshire, 14th August 2010
Photograph copyright © 2010 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview & Photography by Mark Holmes
Andromeda Official Website:
Andromeda Official MySpace:
Extension of the Wish (2001)
Final Extension (2004)
The Immunity Zone (2008)
Thanks to Lars Larsen at Intromental for arranging the interview.
MD: Ah, on the Andromeda website you’re credited with playing bass on the second album.
FG: No, I don’t think so. Maybe it is. I will check it out and change it!
[At the time of the interview, Fabian is actually credited on Andromeda’s website with bass on the band’s second album!]
FG: The first album was Gert. On the second album they had another bass player, Jakob, but he wasn’t on any record…and I will not talk about him because he’s…bahhh. But then I started playing on the third, and Johan played all the bass on the second album which is the best in my opinion.
MD: Do you follow the bass lines he wrote or do play them with your own style when you do those songs live?
FG: Yeah, now, I developed them. I listened to him play and learned exactly as Johan played it and then, on some parts, “oh, is this open?”; “yeah, do whatever you like”, and then I do what I do. But, on most of them, it’s quite written music.
MD: I’ve read you’re recording a new album at the moment?
FG: Yeah, we are.
MD: Where are you in that process at the moment?
FG: The drums are quite finished. The bass, I have played for two or three songs. The guitar, I don’t know really because we do it at home.
MD: Ah right, you have a home studio?
FG: Yeah. We have rehearsed for some. The drummer, Thomas, is playing the drums and then I have to listen and – “ahhh, what do we do there?”, so it’s a little bit of a carbon copy in one way but, in the meantime…we’re gonna play like this but I still have the freedom to do another thing and then the other guys go – “ohhh, don’t do that!”
MD: So are there any arguments in the band over…?
FG: Yeahhh, sometimes.
MD: Bad arguments?
FG: Nooo. For the most, we have a common opinion but sometimes we have – “ohhh, okay, raise your arms…three against two”.
MD: In March, you signed with Intromental Management and they seem to be pretty dedicated to the progressive scene. How have they helped the band so far?
FG: So far, we are coming here.
MD: Oh, they got you Bloodstock?
FG: I think so. I’m not a hundred per cent sure but I think it was Intromental. In the music industry it’s always a lot of talk and a little of business, so now it’s more talk than it was before. We still have to see how much it will work but, so far, so good. And Lars had this band, Manticora, and we did a tour with them, so we know him and it feels like something is happening in Europe.
MD: Intromental have Leprous on their books as well who I’m particularly liking at the moment.
FG: I’m not sure of them but I think they are, yes. Perhaps we can do a tour together.
MD: That’d be cool, yeah.
FG: We don’t do so many gigs though.
MD: I did look at your gig history and it didn’t seem very long…a special occasion when you do play though!
FG: Yeah, like Turkey. Many bands in Sweden can only dream about Turkey but we went there on vacation for four days and played for two hours.
MD: Is there a big progressive scene in Turkey?
FG: I think it is but we don’t have anyone who will fight for us. Nobody in the band is like – “Oh, now we’re gonna do this and now we’re gonna do that”. We need a manager and that’s perhaps the weakness in the band.
MD: It’s a laid-back approach but at least you’re enjoying it for the music and not the business side.
FG: Yeah, that’s the main part, we like music, but if we can play at good events like here then people are like – “Wooooo”!
MD: Always good to see…at half past ten in the morning!
FG: Yeah, that’s why we play. Maybe we play other gigs just for the income.
MD: What would you say has been your proudest achievement as a musician in your career to date?
FG: My proudest? Actually, I think that was my first gig in Andromeda with my four string bass…in metal music! Because when I started in the band I just met David at a party and he said – “Do you want to play in a rock band?”, and I was twenty years old so like – “Yeah, of course”. And then, when I heard the first song, I was like – “Holy crap! I will not manage this!”
MD: On a four string.
FG: On a four string, yeah, but the first gig was two weeks later! That was ProgPower in Holland.
MD: Seriously?! That’s quite a big first gig to do!
FG: Yeah, but I didn’t realise that.
MD: Was that in 2001?
FG: 2004 maybe.
MD: Actually, I was at ProgPower 2004 and Andromeda weren’t there.
FG: Then maybe 2003. I think I started at the music academy in Sweden in 2002 and I think it was the second year, so 2003 I think.
MD: Finally, apart from the forthcoming new album, what aims and plans do you have for the future, for the band and yourself as a musician?
FG: As the band, I really can’t speak because we just like to do music and hopefully be a little bigger than we are. In one way, it doesn’t matter because we do the music we like and people like it. We can go everywhere and some people like it, and some people will like it later on.
MD: Do you have any aspirations yourself as a musician?
FG: Yeah. For me, I have a lot of…but not so many in the metal scene because I haven’t been there so long. I’m a grunge player so I like bands like Alice In Chains and Nirvana. But for myself, Andromeda would go big in one way or another.
MD: Yeah, maybe you’ll be back at Bloodstock in five years’ time headlining! As big as Opeth!
FG: That’s a dream! Or, in two years, half past twelve! As long as the audience like it, it doesn’t matter how many there are.
MD: Exactly, so you’re just as happy playing in front of 200 or 2,000 people.
FG: If there are 20 people then I like it. It doesn’t matter.
MD: That’s a very nice attitude.
FG: For myself, I like to play a lot of different styles. A lot of jazz, I think, because jazz develops me in metal and in every kind.
MD: Do you like Jaco Pastorius as a jazz player?
FG: Yeah, as a bass player but not as a person. Then I like Esperanza – a jazz player, double bass, a girl who sings and plays contrabass. I like every kind of music…almost!
MD: What music don’t you like? If you could name one style of music that you’d never want to listen to…
FG: Then I should say techno. When I’m at the dance floor in the middle of the night at half past two after a lot of beers, then I like it as well!
MD: Music in a context is good.
FG: Yeah, exactly.
MD: Techno here, right now, would be pretty crap but…
FG: It fits for its purpose.
MD: Absolutely! Good final words. Music that fits its purpose. Well, thank you so much for your time.
FG: Thank you, Mark.