During these unprecedented times, lockdown has meant that we are spending most of our time inside with only ourselves, or our very closest, for company. As it looks like the world won’t be returning to normality for the foreseeable future, we thought we would find out how our favourite bands are handling things, what they’re getting up to, and tips and advice they could share.
Metal quintet Orbit Culture hail from small town Eksjö in Sweden, but the sound of their brand new record ‘Nija’ is anything but minuscule with the band citing Gojira and Metallica as heavy influences but their experimental creativity in the textures creates something fresh alongside the familiar.
We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Niklas Karlsson to talk about his experiences during lockdown in Sweden.
DP!: How have you been managing during lockdown?
Niklas: We’ve been actually doing pretty great. We really took advantage of the time to finish our new album ‘Nija’ the way we wanted and stuff like that. Of course, the whole situation going on in the world is nothing but horrible, but we are positive in the world moving forward as long as we all treat each other with respect.
DP!: Have you been on your own, or are you with friends or family?
Niklas: The strategy when it comes to how Sweden approached Corona has been quite different from the rest of the world. So, we, at least I, haven’t really noticed much other than restaurants and certain clubs closing at earlier hours and so forth. So, we’ve been going back and forth to our families much like it was before, however we have been very cautious when it comes to visiting older people and people in risk groups.
DP!: How do you personally feel the government is handling it so far?
Niklas: To be honest, I don’t believe I have an opinion when comes to that due to the numbers in almost all countries, including Sweden, changing so drastically and so fast, both up and down. I’m just hoping that people are able to enjoy life as much as they can under the circumstances and restrictions they are facing, without putting any other person to risk.
DP!: What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?
Niklas: I’ve been writing a lot of music along with hanging out my girlfriend, family and some of my closest friends watching TV-series and movies. We’ve definitely been going at it when it comes to drinking and eating, so I’ve definitely gained some weight to be worked on now when the fall and winter comes, haha. No worries.
DP!: Have you been using the time to write and/or record any new music?
Niklas: Absolutely, I’ve written a lot. I think I’ve gathered a total 40 song ideas or something right now. I guess 90% of it sucks though haha. But there’s definitely material to work on and record once it’s time.
DP!: Has the extra free time in lockdown (if any) allowed you to pursue other hobbies and interests? If so, what?
Niklas: I believe it has! I’ve really started to get into skateboarding. My head has surrounded itself with music for several years now and it’s hard to turn off sometimes, even on a vacation when you’re supposed to relax. However, when me and friend skate, it’s like you are so focused on skating that you forget about everything else and that’s a really good feeling.
DP!: Have you been working in the meantime to help you through financially?
Niklas: We’ve been quite blessed in our band due to the fact that we still have our day jobs to rely on, compared to many other artists and bands in the business that only has music as their main income. Fortunately, we haven’t been that affected by unemployment and stuff like that too, so everything has gone rather smoothly.
DP!: Any tips or suggestions for others to keep themselves entertained?
Niklas: If you’re allowed, go out and do some activities like biking, skateboarding and similar stuff. We live in a cyber-based society with both good and bad news coming your way every second, it’s very nice to just leave the phone at home, or at least turn it on flight mode and just stroll around in the woods and have a nice Swedish fika.
DP!: Any advice for people who may be struggling mentally?
Niklas: Just keep hanging in there and surround yourself with good people as much as you can. If you don’t have anyone around you, always know that there are thousands of people gathered up in different chat-groups and stuff like that all over the internet, going through exactly the same things you are going through. It’s always important to meet people in real life but with the situation going on, don’t be afraid to talk with people in these Facebook groups. People that are struggling mentally are usually the kindest and most down to earth people I know.
DP!: Final words?
Niklas: Thanks a lot for having me Dead Press. To the readers, make sure to check out our newly released album ‘Nija’ on your favourite streaming platform and of course, stay safe and take care of each other!
See you on the road when this shit dies out!
The band’s new album, ‘Nija’, is out now, via Seek & Strike.