In a dream in a place
(‘Brothers’ from their debut album ‘In a Dream in a Place’)
What Tomorrow Brings is a band from Falkenberg in Sweden. They formed in 2008 and released a number of EPs that include ‘Forever Starts Tomorrow’ (2008), ‘This You Owe Me’ (2009), ‘Nothing Nothing Nothing’ (2010) and ‘What Tomorrow Brings’ (2012) before eventually releasing their debut album In a ‘Dream in a Place’ (2013). The band has encountered a number of problems during the past five years. Stoffe struggled for a long time with alcoholism which he has now conquered and remains sober and stronger than ever. Despite his struggle with alcoholism Stoffe received magnificent support in a rehab clinic and the band’s fans continue to support him and his sobriety. Bäckis’ battle with cancer was also another low point for the band but thankfully he was able to fight the cancer,beat it and return with his amazing voice very quickly. It was a difficult time for all involved. Not only do you see a talented group of musicians and song writers, but you see a group who are very passionate about what they do. Holding down full time jobs, focusing on the production of their music, writing songs, performing shows, designing album covers and communicating with your fans can at times feel like a thankless task. Despite all of the difficulties they have faced, each and every one of them has come out the other side and prevailed. Their debut album is a credit to them and their fans affection is a credit to how the band treats them.
The Raging Potato was lucky to be given the opportunity to interview Fredrik, Stoffe and Bäckis. We hope that you enjoy this just as much as we did.
1) You’ve recently released your debut album “In a Dream in a Place” How exciting has it been for you all to move away from small EP’s and finally release it?
Fredrik: Well, we felt it was about time to do a full length album and of course it’s something one has always dreamt of doing. But since we are a DIY-band without any real budget and full time jobs it’s a huge project with the whole process of writing, rehearsing, recording and producing so many songs, which has sometimes felt a bit overwhelming. But now that it’s done it feels amazing and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved!
2) The band formed originally in 2008, how did that all come about? Was it really a case of right place, right time?
Stoffe: Yeah, I think that is the only way to put it, haha! After some years of screaming in different bands (Dødz, By Night) I felt like doing something different, and to focus on the guitar. I teamed up with my childhood buddies Per, our former bassist, and Krizz, and started jamming.
When we started looking for a singer a friend told us that Bäckis was a great singer. We’d known him for years, but never gotten close and didn’t really know he had such a great voice. He’d left Sonic Syndicate, where he used to be the drummer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc4cYEZxFUc ), and had nothing better to do, so we had a go and it was a smash! We started to feel good about the sound and felt we needed a lead guitarist. So the same friend that hooked us up with Bäckis told us bout this brilliant bedroom-shredder, Fredrik, haha!
Fredrik: Looking back, it was really a rad bunch of people put together, at first sight quite different from one another. But it immediately sounded great, and we found that there was something strange binding us together, which we still can’t pinpoint… It’s a kinda magic. We became brothers.
Bäckis: Yeah, definitely! And a couple of years later, when Per decided to leave, it really hurt us quite bad, and we were thinking about ending the band right there. Lucky we didn’t, because a while later Fredrik’s friend Mikael turned up at a rehearsal and fitted perfectly among us wierdos!
3) How did you guys come up with the name “What Tomorrow Brings”? Who came up with the idea?
Stoffe: Haha, that’s kind of a hard question. We actually didn’t have any real-band name in the beginning, except for some real bad “we take this until we find any better” names, which I don’t even wanna tell you about. But I think it was when we had our first song done, “As you”, that I got the feeling for the music and the lyrics, and in the back of my head I had these three words from a movie “-”…what tomorrow brings” I think it is from either “Troy” or “Alexander the great”, don’t quite remember which one though, but these words stuck in my head. So I remember that I brought the idea to Bäckis and the other guys, and they really liked it and the meaning of the word-line as well… so that was it! Nowadays when I think of the band name it really feels like the best band name ever. You can relate the band name to all of our songs, the lyrics, the sound, everything!
4) So how do you guys write songs? Do lyrics just pop into your head at random times and random places or do you actively think right, let’s sit down and write? Do all band members contribute to the songs or is it mainly one or two of you?
Fredrik: The philosophy has always been that everyone shall have a say in the process, and feel involved, but the creative heart of it would be me, Stoffe and Bäckis.
Most songs are written in the rehearsal room, and I would say that the standard procedure is that Stoffe comes up with a basic guitar figure which Bäckis, myself and Stoffe then build around, adding melodies, new parts, structure and so on. Most often Bäckis is actually sitting behind the drums, trying tempos, beats and rhythm figures. Then we add details along the way as we rehearse them, and maybe Mikael and Krizz add some more ideas. Then, a few of the songs, has merely been written by me, but I try to avoid that since I turn into such a bitch when somebody wants to make changes in it, haha! Bäckis stands for 99 % of the lyrics.
Bäckis: Yeah, the lyrics are all about state of mind. In the beginning the lyrics where pre-made and then added to the music but that has changed. When the music is put together the lyrics can be made when the mood and mindset is right.
5) What inspires your music? Who were your big influences when you were all growing up?
Fredrik: That’s a tough question since all you hear, see and do affects you in some way…
I’ve got favourite bands in most genres, and I really don’t know what I got from where. For “In a dream, In a place” I feel that I added some influences from maybe some unexpected bands such as Khoma, Rinoa and Sigur Ros… but I don’t expect anyone else to hear that, haha!
For the moment I’m totally into the album Shadows Collide With People, by John Frusciante.
Stoffe: That;s true, but I believe that me and Fredrik have had a similar musical background throughout our teens. Starting out with the classic bands such as Metallica and Maiden, heading on through power metal and into thrash, black and death metal. The Gothenburg death metal scene, with At The Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Sacrilege, was really important.
Our local heroes, Ablaze My Sorrow, also meant a lot, showing the way and inspiring us. And then later on I got into bands such as 30 seconds to Mars, Bullet for my Valentine and Breaking Benjamin, which probably reflects in What Tomorrow Brings music. But, like Fredrik said, one listens to so much that it would be impossible to list it all.
Bäckis: On my behalf, the thing that inspires me to do this music, is the band itself…
And it feels darn good to be able to make the music oneself love!
6) How does it work with Stoffe being part of Dead by April too? Does it present its own difficulties or do Pontus and the band support What Tomorrow Brings as much as possible in return?
Fredrik: It really doesn’t bother us at all. We’re just glad and proud of him, and of course he should take this opportunity to live his dream! Since we’ve never really been a very touring band, and first of all care about our intern friendship, the rest will turn out as it will. Pontus helped us out with the mastering of the album and he’s an awesome and humble guy. Then, of course, DBA is more business, and therefore has to come in first hand.
7) I remember reading about Bäckis battling cancer when I first discovered the band. How difficult was that for everyone? Does it still affect him now or is he 100% fit again?
Stoffe: It was really hard. It felt so unreal. You’d never expect someone so young and full of life to suffer from it. Someone so close. It caused many tears and lots of frustration.
Fredrik: Yeah, I can only agree on what Stoffe said. Just unreal. And I’m still ashamed, since it feels like I kinda turned away… But that was only because of my own weakness. I didn’t dare too face the truth.
Bäckis: It is never easy to be close to someone who has got the most common scary disease, hard to know how to act towards him or her, and what to say. We all dealt with it in our own way but we tried to stay strong for each other. As for now I still suffer from some surgery side effects, but it feels like I am improving everyday, and mentally I have moved on to not linger in a negative past!
8) It has been mentioned that the band has had several difficulties along the way, can you clarify what kind of problems the band has faced? Is musical and personal differences one of those problems?
Fredrik: Well, some problems are really personal and I won’t go into that.
But first of all, when I joined, Stoffe was still an alcoholic, showing up drunk at both rehearsals and gigs, couldn’t remember the songs etc. Everything was pretty chaotic. Then, when he finally went to rehab, he was gone for six months, which also was kind of a blocker. Secondly our drummer Krizz had some problems with his shoulders, making it really hard for him to play for quite some time, which slowed us down. Then our bassist quit, and we wouldn’t take on just anyone. The chemistry had to be there. Then cancer… But also all these never-ending private parts; break-ups, people moving, life-crisis’s, other long-term diseases, financial problems, and of course we’ve had big fights over both personal and musical differences along the way. But dealing with all of this is what have gotten us so close.
9) Any tours planned for 2014? What countries in particular would you look at first?
Bäckis: I’m afraid not, at the moment. We don’t have either record label, management or a booking agent so it’s loads of work to put up a tour all by yourself, and honestly we don’t really know how to do that. Also, it comes to difficulties with time schedules, with four people working full time jobs, different shifts and so on, and Stoffe being booked up with Dead By April. But, of course, we would love to get out there and meet our fans and have a good time together! We would probably hit the north and east of Europe first.
10) What advice would you give to song writers (such as myself) or up and coming artists?
Fredrik: We’ve never been very good at marketing…. We would need someone for that job, haha! But, yeah; Be yourselves, be grateful, have fun… and don’t give up.It’s so strange when people from the other side of the globe sends you a message telling you that they’ve just discovered, and love, a song that you wrote in the rehearsal room in the forests of Sweden 2008. So; Believe in yourself. Keep it up.
Bäckis: Make sure that you make the music YOU like and make it for yourself. If others like your music, then that is just a big plus! When you make your own thing, you get a bigger sense of accomplishment!
Kristoffer “Bäckis” Bäcklund – singer
Christoffer “Stoffe” Andersson – guitarist and growler
Fredrik Strandquist – guitarist
You can show your support to What Tomorrow Brings on their Facebook page;
Alternatively, you can check out their website here;
(Copyright belongs to The Raging Potato. Any pictures and additional information are used with What Tomorrow Brings’ permission.)