Devil’s Interview: Anders Johansson of Diablo Swing Orchestra

After my review of Pandora’s Piñata, DSO’s latest musical offering, I had the opportunity to interview Anders Johansson, their bass player.  Having seen DSO in Germany a few years ago, I was happy that it was Anders for the interview, as he was the most energetic member of the band and really put on a good performance (the photos are mine from that concert).  I thought his answers were thoughtful, funny, extensive, and rather interesting.

With that, here’s the interview.  Enjoy.

Pandora’s Piñata is an excellent album and a great example of what DSO is all about. I found it to be an improvement over the last album, but I’m not sure anything will ever touch The Butcher’s Ballroom. This one is definitely an outstanding effort. That said, thanks for your time.

Where do you find inspiration for the music that is DSO?

 

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Harley’s Top Albums For The First Half of 2012

Thus far, I would say that 2012 has been a good year for Metal, but not particularly spectacular as yet.  Certainly there have been some solid releases, as well as some disappointments.  Since it is already halfway, I am pretty sure that a few of the albums here will make the year end list.  Does my list look like I would have predicted?  Nope – not even close.  I definitely expected Manowar to be here, probably another Power Metal album or two (Firewind perhaps), maybe long-time favorite Prong, as well as possibly Eluveitie’s Helvetios.  As I have it, though, with 5 albums, there is Power, Progressive, Thrash, Folk and Death-ish.

Honorable Mention: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Pinata.  A great improvement over their previous work, Pandora’s Pinata brings back some of the freshness of the band’s debut.

5. Overkill – The Electric Age.  I am a looooong time fan of Blitz, DD and the Wrecking Crew.  The Electric Age is simply a great thrash album.

4. Lanfear – This Harmonic Consonance.  This is a fresh (yet familiar) take on Progressive Metal.  The band has been around a while, but are new to me.  I am still finding this one rewarding and can’t wait to see them at ProgPower in a couple of months.

3. Moonspell – Alpha NoirAlthough I appreciated Moonspell’s previous album, Night Eternal, when Rob asked me if I wanted to review this one, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be one of my favorites.  Their Dark Metal suits me.

2. Pharaoh – Bury the Light.  I was absolutely looking forward to this album, and it did not disappoint.  Complex, powerful, well-written and executed, it almost could swap places with #1 depending on my mood.  I continue to hope for a Pharaoh tour.

1. Vintersorg – Orkan.  This is the biggest surprise on my list.  I definitely did not see it coming and offered to do a review on a whim.  Turns out to be my top album of this half.  Vintersorg have impressed.

So what does the 2nd half of 2012 have in store?  A few albums I am looking forward to are Testament’s Dark Roots of  Earth, Ensiferum’s Unsung Heroes, Wintersun’s Time I, Devin Townsend’s Epicloud, Grave Digger’s Clash of the Gods, Korpiklaani’s Manala, and Threshold’s March of Progress.  I am sure there will be others, and I hope at least one of them becomes that “spectacular” album of the year.

I hear the sound in a METAL way.

-Harley

Devil’s Review: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora’s Piñata

Diablo Swing Orchestra came to my attention back in 2006 with their debut release The Butcher’s Ballroom.  My wife discovered them online somewhere and insisted we order the CD despite my reservations.  It didn’t take long for me to become a fan, though. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are an avant-garde group, classified by band leader Daniel Håkansson as “riot opera”, a fitting term in my opinion.  The Butcher’s Ballroom captured my interest with such standout songs as Balrog Boogie and my DSO all-time favorite Infralove.  The album was fresh, different, challenging and unique.  In 2008 I was fortunate enough to catch them live in Germany and they impressed even more.  With 2009’s Sing-Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious they lost me a bit.  It didn’t seem to have the magic the first album had and the songwriting was weaker.  Now DSO are back with Pandora’s Piñata with a slightly revised and expanded lineup.

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Devil's Review: Diablo Swing Orchestra – Pandora's Piñata

Diablo Swing Orchestra came to my attention back in 2006 with their debut release The Butcher’s Ballroom.  My wife discovered them online somewhere and insisted we order the CD despite my reservations.  It didn’t take long for me to become a fan, though. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are an avant-garde group, classified by band leader Daniel Håkansson as “riot opera”, a fitting term in my opinion.  The Butcher’s Ballroom captured my interest with such standout songs as Balrog Boogie and my DSO all-time favorite Infralove.  The album was fresh, different, challenging and unique.  In 2008 I was fortunate enough to catch them live in Germany and they impressed even more.  With 2009’s Sing-Along Songs for the Damned and Delirious they lost me a bit.  It didn’t seem to have the magic the first album had and the songwriting was weaker.  Now DSO are back with Pandora’s Piñata with a slightly revised and expanded lineup.

Continue reading