Swedish singer Linnéa Vikström made her name as a member of symphonic metal band Therion. She has just completed an extensive tour with the band following the release of their latest album “Beloved Antichrist”. In addition, Linnéa fronts her own band called QFT whose debut album “Live In Space” is released on 4th May. I spoke to Linnéa via Skype to talk about her band and the new album. That interview, along with three tracks from the album can be heard on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 4th May - now available on our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-linn%C3%A9a-vikstr%C3%B6m-from-qft-therion-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-4th-may-2018/


 

 

 

 

In the band with Linnéa are Georg Härnsten Egg on drums, Jonathan Olsson on bass and Mano Lewys on guitar. Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/QFT.band/ .


The interview has been transcribed and posted below.

 

Playlist for the Show –

GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Heart & Soul

STRYPER – The Valley

GUS G – Mr Manson

MAVERICK – Magellan Rise

DYNAZTY – The Human Paradox

Interview with LINNÉA VIKSTRÖM Part 1 (4.5 min)

QFT – Aliens

Interview with LINNÉA VIKSTRÖM Part 2 (5.5 min)

QFT – Big Bang

Interview with LINNÉA VIKSTRÖM Part 3 (5.5 min)

QFT – End of the Universe

SANHEDRIN – Riding on the Dawn

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – Velvet Roses

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS – The Chain

RYAN ROXIE – Over and Done

SHINEDOWN – Promo for ‘Attention Attention’ Part 1

SHINEDOWN – Devil

SHINEDOWN - Promo for ‘Attention Attention’ Part 2

SHINEDOWN – The Human Radio

MICHAEL SCHINKEL’S ETERNAL FLAME – Queen of the Hill

REFUGE – From The Ashes

STORMZONE – Cushy Glen

SEETHER – Let You Down

NICKELBACK – Coin for the Ferryman


 

NI ROCKS – Hi Linnéa, thanks for taking the time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Your album “Live In Space” is released on 4th May through Despotz Records. In your own words, can you explain the concsept of the album?

LINNÉA – Well the concept is universe, space, science and some sci-fi thrown in there. It’s sort of a manifestation of how I have come to understand certain scientific principles, because the stuff that I sing about is totally impossible to understand. But I did the best that I can with some research and this is what happened.


NI ROCKS – Where was the album recorded and who did you work with for production etc?

LINNÉA – It was recorded at Mungo Studios and it was recorded together with Lennart Östlund. He was the one that was in charge of the old Polar Studios where Abba, Led Zeppelin and other legends have recorded. So it was an honour to record this with him. For mixing we used a guy called Staffan Österlind who I’ve worked with before; he’s a guitar player, a great guitar player and also a great mixing guy. For mastering we had Thomas Plec Johansson who has worked with multiple people, big artists. So, it’s been great.


NI ROCKS – And who is performing on the album with you?

LINNÉA – On drums we have Georg Härnsten Egg, drummer of Dynazty, on bass we have Jonathan Olsson also from Dynazty and on guitars we have Mano Lewys. He used to be in Dynazty but not any more; he’s in a band called Violet Janine as well. We have some solo guitar players and keyboard players as well.


NI ROCKS – You’d done some vocals for Dynazty back in 2016 – is that where that connection was made with Georg and Jonathan?

LINNÉA – I got to know Georg back in 2014 and we actually became a couple in 2015. From there, we started working together.


NI ROCKS – The decision was made to record the album live in the studio. What influenced that decision?

LINNÉA – I don’t know!! (Laughs) For me it was important to do that because I wanted it to have a human feel and hear that it was humans playing instruments and not the computer playing the instruments. Doing it live brings out  the feeling and groove of the songs in a way that wouldn’t have been there if it was recorded and mixed in the computer afterwards.


NI ROCKS – When did you start writing the tracks for this album and how long did it take to get all the tracks together?

LINNÉA – Some of the tracks were written even before there was a record deal and some were done after it was decided that it would be a full length album. I think I had maybe three or four songs ready before we decided to do a full length album. Some songs took a long time and some songs I did in a day.


NI ROCKS – The first track released was “Aliens” which we’ll play now. Can you tell us something about that track?

LINNÉA – Yes I can. It was actually the first track that we recorded in the studio. If you’re a sound geek you can probably hear that it has a slightly different sound; which is kinda funny if you like that kind of stuff. The lyrics are quite different from the rest of the tracks on the album, because it definitely hasn’t any scientific value to it; it’s just a sci-fi story about us going out into space and finding other worlds and stuff. So it’s a bit different from the rest of the songs lyrically and thematically.


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NI ROCKS – You started singing with Therion when you were in your late teens, joining your father Thomas in the band. Presumably that was a path that you’d always wanted to follow. Had you been involved in local bands growing up?

LINNÉA – Actually, I always wanted to do that, but now we get into this whole thing of being a girl. I always wanted to be in a band and I always looked for that when I was in high school, but I never really found anyone who wanted to do the same thing that I wanted to do. I was sort of alone in my hard rock and metal interests. Also, I never took on the look of a rock girl, so if you were to see me walking...; now it’s different, now I would approach the style of rock n roll a little more than I did in my teens. In my teens you would have looked at me and said that is just a regular girl, but I was still listening to Slayer (laughs). So when I got the opportunity of touring with Therion there was no question in my mind that I wanted to do it. That’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do – go on tour and play with a band. That’s been my dream.


NI ROCKS – You come from a musical family, but what were your musical influences when you started performing?

LINNÉA – I actually remember the first song that I ever learnt to play on the piano – it’s that song from Alice Cooper, “Steven” by Alice Cooper (from “Welcome To My Nightmare”) was the first song that I learnt to play on piano. Alice Cooper has always been a big influence. I have so many different influences, but the one who really taught me how to sing metal as a girl was Chaka Khan, which sounds kinda weird but the way she belts and the way she uses her voice is the same as Rob Halford or whoever singing metal do it.


NI ROCKS – Talking about influences, can you remember the first concert that you went to and first album you bought?

LINNÉA – I can remember the first concert that I went to, and again it was Alice Cooper – it was Alice Cooper, Dio and Ratt together (2001); oh, you know what that’s not even my first concert! My first concert was Kiss – I think I was six. It was the “Psycho Circus” tour (1999), six or seven I must have been and I was on my father’s shoulders the whole time. Luckily for my father, because he is such a huge Kiss fan, they had two dates, so he went with me one day and then the other day he could go by himself.


NI ROCKS – And just out of interest, can you remember the last gig you went to see and last album you bought?

LINNÉA – When you’re doing concerts all the time yourself it’s rare that you get to go. I would say the last real one that I went to and bought a ticket, or actually my friend bought the ticket, was Guns n’ Roses.


NI ROCKS – Touring with Therion must be quite an experience. You’ve just finished a 3 month long tour. What were some of the highlights of that?

LINNÉA – It’s always fun to play Russia; it’s a really cool audience over there. But for me, it was also really cool to visit Israel. I’d never been there before so it was really cool to see that. And of course the shows. It was great to meet the audiences. We had some funny stories about buses on fire and stuff like that (laughs). Stories that turn funny, maybe, in a year; right now it’s still kind of scary looking back at it.


NI ROCKS – Was the release of “Live In Space” deliberately held until the end of the Therion tour or was that just good timing?

LINNÉA – It was just timing. I don’t know if you know, but it was supposed to be released much earlier; but due to some stuff it had to be delayed. But now it’s finally, finally coming out – on May 4th of course, international Star Wars Day.


NI ROCKS – Will QFT be doing their own touring to support the release of the album?

LINNÉA – I really hope so. We’re planning some stuff and we’ll wait to see what happens. I can’t really reveal anything right now. The plan is of course to conquer the world.

NI ROCKS – Some UK dates maybe?

LINNÉA – Absolutely, I really hope so.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play another track from the album now. The track Big Bang has just been released. Tell us something about that song.

LINNÉA – That was one of those tracks that was written before the record deal was signed. It has come in many shapes and forms before we decided to go with this version. It was really difficult to find the right sort of tempo and the right production for this song, but when we finally nailed it, it turned out really really good. So I’m happy that we spent so much time, or I spent so much time working on it, to become the song that it became.


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NI ROCKS – The name of your band is QFT for Quantum Field Theory. What was the inspiration behind that decision?

LINNÉA – I watch these YouTube channels with science and maths and stuff, and I stumbled across a video called QFT where they were talking about Quantum Field Theory. I heard the abbreviation QFT and I thought that sound so cool, I want to use that (laughs). So, I used it mainly because it sounded cool, but also because the concept behind it was so cool. That theory is really cool; I think everybody should look into the Quantum Field Theory and see what it really means. It’s extremely difficult to understand what it means and I don’t really understand what it means, but it still sounds cool.


NI ROCKS – Is space and science something that you have always had an interest in or is that a recent thing?

LINNÉA – That’s a recent thing. Of course, space I think everyone has an interest in and think it is interesting. But science and maths, when I was a kid I absolutely despised it. I think many people did. But then with the advancement of technology and so many great educators on the internet, I really found out why it was interesting. I had someone who could explain it to me in a manner that I could understand. And I could also understand why it would be useful to have those things.


NI ROCKS – You’ve been involved in a few Therion albums and video albums now. How would you compare the process behind recording an album like “Beloved Antichrist” compared to the QFT album?

LINNÉA – Well, it is of course a very different style of recording. The thing in common is Lennart Östlund who worked both on “Beloved Antichrist” and QFT’s “Live In Space”. The recording of “Beloved Antichrist” was such a big production, with so many singers and so many songs and music. The big difference was that I had to write sheet music for the singers for “Beloved Antichrist” and stuff like that. It was more like a regular recording where the singer would go in and sing it and we’d do a few takes. With QFT you just go in and do the one take and it’s done. The QFT one was much, much faster and I think it took about a year to record “Beloved Antichrist”.


NI ROCKS – You’ve also performed with Kamelot on stage in the past. Is that something that you might be involved in again at some point?

LINNÉA – I don’t know. Right now I don’t have any plans to go on tour with them.


NI ROCKS – Presumably you’d like to maintain as many musical outlets as possible – Therion, QFT and whatever other opportunities that arise?

LINNÉA – If an opportunity arises that I see fits me and that I like musically I will probably go for it. If Queen call me tomorrow and say ‘we want you as our new singer’ I’d say ‘yes’, you know (laughs). Of course, if there is something that I’d like to do I would definitely go ahead and do it; but I’m quite picky with my projects.


NI ROCKS – Do you have a wish-list of people who’d like to work with musically?

LINNÉA – Probably, but nothing that I’ve written down. Like I said, if I got the job with Queen that would be like the dream come true! (laughs). Other than that..Richie Blackmore.


NI ROCKS – We’re about a third of the way through 2018 now. What have you planned for the rest of the year and what would you hope to have achieved by the end of it?

LINNÉA – The rest of the year is going to be some touring with Therion. We’re going to be away again for a Latin American tour for a month. Then we’re doing Hell Fest this summer. My dream would of course be to go out and do as many gigs with QFT as I possibly can. By the end of the year I would hope that we’d have gained a lot of new fans of our music.


NI ROCKS – That’s all the questions that I have for you, but we’ll finish with another track from the new album. Do you want to pick one and tell us a little about it?

LINNÉA – Sure, lets pick the opening one “End of the Universe”. This one has a special place in my heart. It’s the doomiest track, which sorta follows the theme of the song – the end of the universe is doomy! When I did research for the lyrics I found that there were multiple theories as to how the universe is going to end, and the one that I went with in the lyrics is the one that isn’t the most likely, but the one that I would like to happen. Which is that the universe will implode and become a singularity and start a new big bang. Which is why “Big Bang” is number two on the album.


NI ROCKS – Thanks again for taking the time to chat to us.

LINNÉA – Thank you, it was great talking to you.

 

Last Updated (Friday, 27 July 2018 19:21)