Let the World Know Tour (Moscow)
(Single off the new album ‘Let the World Know’ called ‘As a Butterfly’)
In 2007 Pontus Hjelm and Jimmie Strimmell decided to collaborate together on a new project called Dead By April. They had various material that they had recorded but never released officially. However, with the way the internet is used now new music always has a habit of finding its way out to other people. There were demos released prior to the release of the self titled album ‘Dead by April’ in 2009 with popular songs such as ‘Losing You’ ‘Promise Me’ and ‘Angels of Clarity’ included in the song list. Before their second album was due for release Pontus Hjelm decided that it was time for him to step aside and concentrate more on the song writing side of things and so Zandro Santiago was brought in as the new ‘clean’ vocalist. It wasn’t long before Zandro showed his quality in the recording studio as ‘Incomparable’ was a big success for the band as they continued to show development as musicians. ‘Incomparable’ was released in 2011 and delighted fans across the world as it had become a darker and heavier album in comparison to the self titled debut release. Having said that, there was more of a balance between the scream vocals of Jimmie and the clean vocals of Zandro. Sadly for some fans Jimmie Strimmell was no longer part of the band for their third album ‘Let The World Know’. There was an announcement made by the band a long time before talk of the new album had surfaced that it was a regrettable decision but one that was best for all involved. Jimmie’s reported problems outside of the recording studio one of the main contributing factors of course.
(Zandro on stage.)
So what was next for Dead by April? Like all good bands the evolve and develop by bringing in new people to replace those that leave. Dead by April were no different in this case. Fellow Swede Christoffer “Stoffe” Andersson took Jimmie’s place and has slotted in perfectly with the band. At first a lot of fans were unsure about the change but all we had to do, as fans, was be patient and let Stoffe do his thing. It has proven to be an excellent choice by the band and you only have to listen to the new album and see Dead by April live to realise that. I am sure Marcus Wesslen would agree with me there as Stoffe and Marcus have a a bit of a thing going on, something that they like to call “The Mongos”. Something that all of the fans enjoy seeing via Facebook or Instagram. Pontus Hjelm returned to the band for the ‘Let The World Know’ album that was released in February 2014. It was an album that took longer than usual for the band to get right but that is testament to their dedication and attention to detail so they could release what is arguably their best album yet. Zandro and Stoffe’s voices compliment each other well throughout the album with heavy rifts and great bass lines. Lyrically the band continues to improve and is something that I have always been impressed with. Writing great songs, not just songs, is difficult enough to do but when English isn’t your native language it can be quite taxing. As musicians and as a band I don’t think anybody could fault the guys at all. Before the European Tour began on the 6th of March Alexander Svenningson left the band to concentrate on other things and Ends With a Bullet drummer Marcus Rosell joined the band.
(The Mongos together, Stoffe and Marcus.)
Moscow was alive and kicking on Friday 18th April at the P!pl club. It was the first time I was seeing these guys live because not a lot of Scandanavian bands visit Belfast in Northern Ireland. After sinking a few pints at the bar I moved up to the VIP area to watch from afar. I definitely felt my age that night as I don’t think I could have coped with the mini mosh pit and the crowd going side to side at times. The atmosphere really was incredible. Stoffe came out and was full of energy and enthusiasm and Zandro looked like he was loving life as he always does on stage. Their interaction with the crowd was fantastic throughout as they recorded some things for their tour diary, shook hands with fans and spraying water all over everyone at the front of the crowd. It was a great spectacle for all to see. Towards the end of the show we even had people getting up on stage and crowd surfing which was hilarious. Some of the guys trying to crowd surf were just too big for those below them to handle. Stoffe and Marcus Wesslen showed their commitment to “The Mongos” movement by showing us their tattoos and Zandro got in on the action too as he showed off the Matryoshka that he had tattooed on his lower leg. There was a good crowd there and I ended up meeting both Zandro and Stoffe. It was a bit of an embarrassing situation that was caused by a guy I had not meet before but the guys from the band were really cool about it and it was nice to meet them.
(Everyone being awesome on stage.)
I have read a lot of reviews and music articles that try to label the band with particular genres. To be honest I don’t care much for genres because they label a band. Bands evolve and their music evolves and putting a label on the type of music they produce and for me, Dead by April will also be Dead by April and nothing else. They are a great bunch of guys and they are absolutely fantastic live. Zandro in particular has come on leaps and bounds with his live performances and Stoffe just gets the whole place pumping. Marcus, Marcus and Pontus all bring their own style and flair on stage and it all comes together for a great experience.
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(Video copyright belongs to Dead by April.)
(Copyright belongs to The Raging Potato.)