Click Interview with Vanguard: ‘We Have Always Wanted To Evolve And Find New Ways In Our Music’
Jonas Olofsson and Patrik Hansson (still involved with Uncreated) last year released the fifth official Vanguard-album. “Spectrum” released by Infacted Recordings became a new accomplished, successful work in the band’s history. Vanguard is much more than simply Electro-Pop but a band band with an own, powerful, sound. “Spectrum” is the perfect illustration of the constant progression in writing and production. This work became one of the best Electro-Pop releases of 2022. I asked a few questions about it to Patrik.
(Picture credits by Peter Engman / Interview courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: The new album “Spectrum” has been released exactly ten years after your debut full length “Sanctuary”. How do you perceive the evolution of Vanguard from the very first album till “Spectrum”?
Patrik: Since the day we started to work together we have always wanted to evolve and find new ways in our music. We have found our own sound and it has been a challenge not to be too comfortable and just walk the same path. Rob Dust has also influenced us and put his sound into our music the last three albums.
Q: I already experienced your previous album “Manifest” as your most mature work to date but “Spectrum” even moves a step further; what an accomplishment! Is it just a growing experience or also the will to experience with new techniques and put more efforts in sound production? Do you think by the way the last album is always the best one and how do you look back at it a few months after the release?
Patrik: I guess it is us getting better writing and producing music as we gain more experience. Then we always fine tune every part of the production together with Rob. Sometimes it feels like we are not moving forward during the process, but in the end all those small steps matters. When it comes to me, I did not have the feeling that “Spectrum” was the best album so far when we released it. It had to do with some personal issues I have been battling. But ever since the release it has been growing and now I can be proud and say that I really like what we accomplished!
Q: What have been the main sources of inspiration when writing “Spectrum” and what do you try to express by its “lyrical content?
Patrik: Our inspiration has always been life and feelings and how it affects us all in different ways. It is a challenge to put it into words and music in new ways but with new experiences and events in life it seems to come out different each time.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the writing of this album? What have been the main stages and difficulties you’d to go through to accomplish this opus?
Patrik: When we started to pick out songs that would actually be on the album we focused all on those tracks. Most of the time the songs are not ready at all at that stage. The difficult part of the songwriting/production starts and turning good and cool ideas into a complete track is one of the big challenges. On an album you want them to be connected to each other in one way or another, which is also something that makes it a bit hard. We have had tracks that are done, but then we feel like it is not suitable for the album and we cut it out.
Q: When listening to Vanguard I often think to Mesh. What I like with both bands is a very own approach and sound DNA which sounds like an antithesis to all Electro-Pop bands driven by Depeche Mode. What makes this sound DNA and how do you perceive the Electro-Pop scene?
Patrik: I have heard before that we have some ‘common things’ with Mesh and I don´t mind that but I leave that up to the listener to decide. Me and Jonas have different backgrounds when it comes to music, although our taste in music cross ways and we have both listened to bands like Depeche Mode, Erasure etc in the 80s and 90s. Since me and Jonas met I have been listening more and more to the ‘harder’ part of the Electronic genre. It shows in the way we have evolved in writing music. Though we are still making melodic Electronic music the foundation of the tracks are a bit darker and harder. I always try to find new acts that inspire me to make new music. That is a good way of not getting stuck in old habits making the same four beats over and over again.
Q: How does it feel to play back live again and how do you transpose “Spectrum” to the stage? What are the further plans for 2023?
Patrik: We have had the privilege and opportunity to play live at good stages and with good bands. We have Markus Schmidt at Epicentre Booking to thank for that. We are really greatful to be able to play live in front of people, let it be they already know about us and our music or just found out about us coming to the gig. We are looking forward to continue the tour with Solitary Experiments and Mental Exile during this spring. “Spectrum” was well received during the autumn leg of the tour and we hope that people that join us for the spring leg will like it too.
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