is a heavy metal band from Örebro, Sweden and was formed in 1995 and to
this day, the band has had only one goal: to make kick-ass, honest,
grab-you-in-the-nuts heavy metal! After releasing their debut album,
“Wolf” back in 2000, the band toured relentlessly and destroyed the
major festivals, gaining them more and more followers and success. In
2002, the album “Black Wings” saw the light of day and songs like
“Venom” and “Genocide” quickly became live favourites, and still are to
this day. After touring with the likes of Saxon, Nocturnal Rites, Edguy
and many more, WOLF set out to write and record the album that
would set them apart from others in their genre by developing their own
sound even further towards metallic excellence. The album “Evil Star”,
was released in 2004 and with the title track, along with the video for
“Wolf’s Blood,” the band grabbed the attention of metal media and
die-hard heavy metal fans around the world.
WOLF’s success gained the interest of Century Media Records who
released the 2006 album “The Black Flame”. In support of this new
effort, WOLF hit the road with the likes of The Haunted, Trivium
and Municipal Waste among others, as well as conquering some festivals.
Line-up changes caused a slight set back for the band late 2007, but
after recruiting Anders “Tornado” Modd on bass and Richard “Raptor”
Holmgren on drums alongside members Johannes “Axe” Axeman on guitar and
backing vocals and Niklas “Viper” Stålvind on guitar and lead vocals,
the band’s desire for pure metal exploded with refueled energy and they
started writing new songs and playing live shows again.
is ready to make metal history once again by recording the new album
“Ravenous” with highly acclaimed producer Roy Z. Roy is known for his
work with Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Helloween, Halford, Malmsteen
and many more. The band immediately knew that he was the man for the
job. Having Hank Shermann (Force of Evil, Mercyful Fate) and Marc Boals
(ex-Malmsteen) make guest appearances on the album really adds to the
flavour of what is a delicious buffet filled with true heavy metal
So it seems
there is much to talk about and guitarist Johannes "Axe" Axeman
was available to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to
say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com
Congratulations on your new album ‘Ravenous’ which will
be released in a couple of weeks!
First of all, I’m not familiar with your band so could
you tell me something about
Could you start this interview off with a short introduction of
the (new) members and the origin of the name of the band for our
We were originally called Wolverine, but changed to Wolf back in -95
since that looks more metal of course. We've released 5 albums and we've
toured with bands like: Saxon, Edguy, The Haunted, Trivium, Pain,
Municipal Waste, Nocturnal rites and more. After ‘The Black Flame’ was
released, we toured for the album and did alotta festivals around the
world. After all that was done, Mikael (bass) & Tobias(drums) got tired
of everything and left the band. New guys; Anders "Tornado" Modd stepped
in on Bass and Richard "Raptor" Holmgren stepped in on drums. They are
both Steelwinged Savage Reapers so they fit perfectly!
How did you launch into writing material for ‘Ravenous’
and how much time did you spend on the songs?
writing process always takes place. We record all our ideas in our
studio (located at Niklas's place) and when the time is set to record
the album we just jumpstart from there:-)
Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them
down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
To be honest, Heavy
Metal comes pretty easy to us. Not trying to blow our own horn here, but
that’s how it is. We've been into metal since we where kids you know.
This is who we are. We immediately feel if the idea/song would fit Wolf
and we save what’s good and chuck away what’s bad.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ‘Ravenous’, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the
We just wanted to show
our fans and the people in the metal community that we're stronger than
ever on this one. We wanted songs that would make you wanna hear them
again and again and again. I mean, it's been 2,5 years since ‘The Black
Flame’ and we felt it was time to blow that away!
What is the utmost important ingredient for a song
according to you? Is there any typical way that a Wolf song comes into
It all has its own life.
You can write a riff and then it goes into a song, then you get the
melody on top and then the lyrics. It's an amazing thing to see a song
grow. All ingredients are equally important for a wolf song.
Who was responsible for writing the songs and the lyrics
on this album and where do you get your inspiration from?
Niklas is the main
writer and after that it's me. I've done more on this album than ever
before. Niklas is also the main lyric writer. In the end we all
contribute to the song in our own way so we all get creds for it.
Inspiration comes from sheer WILL to write good heavy metal songs. We
love what we're doing and wouldn't wanna do it any other way.
What would you say are the main themes in your lyrics?
The dark side of the
human mind and the things that are locked behind closed doors....
What comes first, lyrics or melodies? Is it like you sit
down and write a new song because you need more material now or do you
wait until you get an idea?
Melodies come first. As
I said, we write constantly but the closer you get to a recording, the
more it makes you kinda sit down and listen to your work again to
determine what’s good enough and what’s not.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
what does it stand for and is there a special meaning
stands for the hunger we feel. We're predators that need to feed and the
only way to do that is to get out there and blast heavy metal songs on a
stage in front of our audience.
important is it to you that people pay attention to the lyrics apart
from listening to the music?
It's up to them really. We're a heavy metal band. We're NOT the band
that tells you what’s right or wrong, black or white, good or bad. We
just wanna share the intesity of our songs with you. But we DO give our
lyrics a lot of attention.
Can you tell me more about the guest appearances of Hank
Shermann and Marc Boals on the album?
They kick ASS! Hank laid
down a lead solo for the title track and Mark sang background vocals for
the song “Love At First Bite”. We thought that the song was good but
after those two brilliant musicians gave their part, they just took on a
life of their own. You can imagine me being nervous since I had to put
down MY lead on the title track right after Mr Shermann...Being a fan
just makes you a bit more nervous:-)
Do you have any favorites on ‘Ravenous’, songs that you
think are somehow above the others?
They all kick major ass.
It's really too early to think too much about what song does what to
you. We need to feel them while playing live.
Did you guys spend a fair amount of time working on the
record before heading over to record the album? How much time did you
spend in the studio for ‘Ravenous’?
We spent one week
pre-rehearsing With Roy Z and then about 3-4 weeks recording it.
album was produced by Roy Z, what made
him the perfect man for Wolf?
Because he wanted to. He sent us an e-mail asking to get involved and we
made it happen. He came over and spent 5 weeks with us and really made
us do our be(a)st. We couldn't be more satisfied!!!
things/songs on the new album can one clearly hear his vision and ideas?
All of them I guess. You see, Roy is the kind of producer that captures
"the band" and put THAT on tape. No production of his sounds alike. He
really "melted" in with us and as he's been a fan of Wolf since years
back, he knew what we were going for. And he managed to capture that
with brilliance. We hope to be able to work with him again.
What do you think are the main differences between your
previous album ‘The Black Flame’ and ‘Ravenous’?
Too early to say at this
stage. We have to "taste" Ravenous for a while.
Have you received any feedback on the album
Yes, we are overwhelmed
by it. When you do your 5th album, people seem to be more "comfortable"
with the music and that means that usually you don't get as much
feedback but we're very surprised about all the great words so far.
Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your
music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that
Of course they are important. I'm a fan myself that goes
to shows, buys albums, t-shirts and such so I know.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or
would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective?
We are VERY happy with
them and we wouldn't wanna change anything. That's what’s so good about
Wolf. We do it right from the start!
What do you think is the difference between Wolf and
other bands in the heavy / power metal scene?
We are honest and true
to our music. We don’t do this for "show", this is who we are. We are
crazy about heavy metal and will always be. Wolf is not here to "change
or revolutionize" metal. We're here to celebrate and honor the feeling
of heavy metal music.
your opinion on the heavy / power metal
scene these days, what do you think about the overload of bands at the
moment and is there anything missing in the ‘metal’ scene?
Well, the more the merrier right? The more bands - the more gigs.
were the highlights and low points throughout your career?
Highlights are all the great gigs we've done and all the great people we
get a chance to meet and drink with. The lows are always when certain
people take you for granted and expect something from you without giving
anything back. We hate that.
Which album has been your biggest musical influence, one
that made you think “this is what I want to do!”?
of the Night’ by Kiss, Judas Priest ‘Defenders of the Faith’ and King
we expect from Wolf in the near future,
any touring plans?
Yes, right now
everything is in the planning stage though so we can't say anything yet.
But we are gonna try and reach as many places as we can on the next
you see the band going within the next couple of years, and where do you
see the band’s musical direction going for the next album?
We're just gonna keep going really. We're gonna keep releasing good
metal albums and make our mark in history.
Any last statement?
The Wolf is loose and
was last seen heading your way.
Thanks for your time!
Stålvind - vocals, guitar (1995-)
Losbäck - guitar, backing vocals (2005-)
Modd - bass guitar (2007-)
Holmgren - drums (2008-)
Johansson - guitar (1999-2000)
- guitar (2000-2002)
Bergkvist - drums (1995-2005)
Goding - bass guitar (1995-2007)
Kellgren - drums (2005-2008)
Black Flame (September 2006)