One Man Army & The Undead Quartet

author EW date 19/08/08

I was recently given the chance of interviewing Johan Lindstrand of Swedish Death/Thrashers One Man Army & The Undead Quartet and of course it was one I jumped at. Now, One Man Army... are highly recommended to anyone into their Death/Thrash styled Metal, somewhat along the lines of God Dethroned or Unleashed, but given that Johan was the frontman of The Crown, a huge favourite of mine who split a few years ago I couldn't wait to ask him some questions about this blinding and disturbingly under-known band. Check out some samples from One Man Army... whose new album "Grim Tales" is out in October on Massacre Records, at their Myspace page and whilst you're at it, do yourself a favour and posthumously sample The Crown too. Enjoy! Good day there One Man Army & The Undead Quartet! I get the feeling many readers may still be unacquainted with the band, could you please introduce yourselves.
JL: Hi there! Well, the band was formed back in 2004 by myself. I wanted to do something on my own after The Crown had split up and intended to go solo. But as time went on and I wrote the music for the debut demo "When hatred comes to life" I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to create a new real band with everything that comes with that. Straight after pickin' all the members we soon got a deal with Nuclear Blast and not long after also a huge tour with Children of Bodom in support of our debut album 21st century killing machine. Now 4 years after the formation we have now released 2 full length albums and 2 singles and now as we speak album No 3 is being prepared for the release on October 24, which will be released on Massacre records in Europe. The new album is entitled "Grim Tales". ‘One Man Army & The Undead Quartet’ is quite an unusual, and long name for a band. Where did this name come from?
JL: I kinda like long names since I'm into regular rock as well. You know old bands that has one name for the front man and a different name for the rhythm section. I thought it would be cool to bring that into death metal instead of us using the regular one word band name that everyone else has. Either you love it or hate it, hehe. The name itself is a combination of Rambo and Night of the living dead You have moved quickly since the formation of the band, releasing albums in 2006, 2007 and 2008. What has been the cause of all this productivity?!
JL: Well, if you think of it it's not that extreme. I mean, just look at early Metallica. Their 3 first albums were also recorded this fast. All you have to do is work hard and be very determined. But it also depends on if you have good material or not. Its no point in releasing a shitty album just for the sake of releasing you know. So the next album might take longer to write, in case of extended touring and lack of inspiration. Who knows? Everything matters when you're in a band, so time will tell. Could you explain me the direction the band have taken and what they are hoping to achieve with 3rd album "Grim Tales", released this October?
JL: The biggest differences between this new one and the previous one "Error in evolution", is that this one might be a bit more aggressive. Just a straight forward death/thrash metal experience. Very catchy and melodic at the same time the hard stuff is the hardest ever. I'm extremely proud of it.

The things I hope the most is that our new European label Massacre records can promote us in the best possible way and that people will open their eyes and the reviews will be good. Other than that we’re still the same band trying to kick ass. Metal is a very crowded place these days with more bands than ever competing for not only listeners' hard-earned money but also their available music listening time. What reason(s) could you give that would make it worthwhile someone buying one of your albums or coming to see you live?
JL: Well, you have to have extreme luck if you're gonna make it. It's not only about releasing killer albums. You have to be able to support the album and the band in the best possible way. Constant touring, good reviews and while doing live shows you need to give people 110% cause 100 doesn’t do it.

All you can hope for is that people think you are a bit more interesting and different than some other bands. I mean, we have done our best with "Grim Tales". We can't do more than that. Now it's up to the buyers but if you ask me, I think we have a lot to offer with this new release. You have quite an extensive European tour lined up for later this year in support of fellow Swedes Unleashed and Brazilian bruisers Krisiun. What are your expectations of this tour, both on- and off-stage? And do you have any other tours in the pipeline in support of "Grim Tales"?
JL: Yeah, this tour will kick ass. I have never played with Unleashed before but we all know their music and I bet they are great guys as well. Krisiun I know from a US tour with The Crown back in 2000. They were really great guys and so fuckin’ brutal on stage. So I bet this will be an awesome tour. A great mixture of bands. It's always fun to go on tour with your band. The stage time is of course the best thing of the day but of course there's also other things that makes it great. The traveling to new exciting places for example. It all becomes like a great vacation with your closest friends. Now we’ll also play Poland for the very first time and that will be killer. I would like to ask you Johan about your time with The Crown. I was most saddened when the band, from a fans' point of view at least, came to a very sudden end in 2004. Could you give your opinion on what caused this split when you had just released another excellent album in "Possessed 13".
JL: The reason for the split up was that the main song writers didn't wanna continue anymore. Bad touring experience combined with just being tired of it all. I don't really know the real reason but I was kinda pissed when the decision was made. I mean, to quit is a very big decision to make instead of maybe just take a break. Well, I respect what they did, cause without that and all my frustration The Army would never exist. Which of The Crown (or Crown Of Thorns) albums do you look back on most fondly now and why? Did you ever get an idea of the popularity of The Crown, at least in the Metal underground? Certainly since the bands' demise many have come out saying how unique the band was and claiming albums like "Deathrace King" and "Crowned In Terror" to be minor classics…
JL: I think that Hell is here and Deathrace king are the best ones. But other albums are also very good. They feel very honest and very aggressive. I think my vocals on Deathrace might be the best I've done combined with great music. We felt that we were starting to get attention but since we made awful decisions in working with fucked up booking agencys we kinda lost a lot of energy there as well as motivation towards the future. But I think it's cool that this many people still like The Crown cause it was a great band. You have obviously kept yourself busy since 2004 with One Man Army and I read the other guys have recently formed a new band, Doberman, with a different vocalist. Are you still in contact with any of the Crown guys and could you see yourself one day working with them again?
JL: I doubt I will work with them again but not because I have anything against them, but mainly because I belong to The Army. That's my baby. I formed it and I will not let any other stuff come in between.

About Dobermann. They actually contacted me about it but I said no. I respect that they asked me and they respect me for saying no thanks. Working with them gave me The Army so I will forever be grateful for it but for me that band belongs to the past and all I want to do now is look forward. And finally then, what are your grand ambitions for your time in One Man Army? Where would you like to see the band in a few years time?
JL: I hope that we will gain new fans and new territory within the next coming years. My ambitions are huge with this band. Maybe I want too much, hehe, but we'll continue to work hard and to write new kick ass music and we'll see where it takes us. Thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions and good luck with upcoming album release and tour schedule!
JL: Well, thank you very much. C-ya!! Cheers, Johan.

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