Dark Tranquillity was formed in December 1989. The original line-up for the band was: Anders Friden (vocals), Mikael Stanne (guitar), Niklas Sundin (guitar), Martin Henriksson (bass), Anders Jivarp (drums). Due to some differences involving musical direction and the position of the band they replaced vocalist Anders Friden with guitarist Mikael Stanne. Fredrik Johansson took over Makael's position as guitarist. Dark Tranquillity has provided listeners with a lengthy release history over the years. With their first demo debuting back in 1991 (Trail of Life Decayed); they also released a 7" EP by the same name in 1992. Later that year they released yet another 7" entitled 'A Moonclad Reflection.' Following this EP, they released a cassette in 1993 (Tranquility). After signing with Spine Farm Records, Dark Tranquillity released two albums: Skydancer (1993), Of Chaos and Eternal Night (1995). Their next three releases and a video were under a new label--Osmose Productions: The Gallery (1995), Enter Suicidal Angels (1996), The Mind's I (1997), Zodijackyl Light (1997).

When did the band form and who founded it? The band was formed back in December '89, collectively initiated by all the members.

What is the current line-up of band members? Niklas (guitars), Fredrik (guitars), Mikael (vocals), Anders (drums), and Martin (bass).

Is there a special meaning behind the name "Dark Tranquillity"? Well, we sought for a name that would fit the atmosphere of our lyrics, and D.T. was our best bet. I still like the name even if the nature of our lyrics nowadays are pretty far from the style of our first releases.

What are your future plans for Dark Tranquillity? We recently put out a new MCD entitled "Enter Suicidal Angels", and the third full length CD, "The Mind's I" will be released in April. We just received the finished cover photos, so we'll complete the layout in no time an then send it all the way to Osmose for pressing.

Some say that our scene is dying...do you feel this way too? Nah, not really. The norms, what's popular in the scene at any given moment, always change every now or then. Thrash Metal died out, as did Death Metal some years ago, and due to over saturation the same thing well soon happen to the Black Metal scene. However, there will always be room for extreme music as long as the quality is there.

Do you find it hard to stay original with your music with so many different bands? I don't know...We do our best. Originality mustn't be a purpose in itself; having good material is what matters most.

Do you have any personal favorites of the music today? What about the bands of the past? Do you have any favorites that have influenced you? Fave bands change every now and then. In metal and related genres, I'm into new Cradle of Filth, Rammstein, Tool, Helloween, Necromantia and countless other bands. Underground acts that have impressed me recently are Ebony Tears, Msvartner, Paragon of Beauty, Thornium, etc. I still enjoy large portions of my collection of '80s Speed/Heavy/Thrash metal as well as rare treasures from my tape-trading years. Sabbat (UK) were a big influence in our formative years; nowadays they're almost forgotten.

What sort of topics do your lyrics deal with? Who writes them? Mikael writes most of the lyrics these days, as he's now the lead vocalist, but I contribute whenever I feel the creativity goes my way. On "Skydancer" and to some extent "...Chaos...", we drew a lot of influence from romantic-era writers such as Shelley, Byron, etc. and the result was a kind of pastoral, semi-mystical writing style that in some way resembles what a good number of the bands on the more pretentious end of the Black Metal spectrum try to achieve today. The recent lyrics are more basic and far less overblown and bombastic, and they circulate around the same themes as any artist concerned with the negative side of things penetrates; despair, desperation, self-loathing, and downright depression.

It seems that many bands are starting to explore new avenues of music, straying from their original sound...do you foresee this happening with Dark Tranquillity? I'm pretty sure that the next album will be a step away from what we've done in the past, but it's way too early to tell as we haven't began writing any songs yet. Whether the music will be harder or softer remains to be seen. There wouldn't be any point in changing direction completely and still keep the D.T. name, so it's likely that we'll try to expand the music while retaining our present trademarks. "The Mind's I" is considerably more intense than anything we've done in the past, so maybe we'll take the sound further into those areas in the future...who knows?

There seems to be a lot of negative, collective feelings in the world today. What is your view on the world? Do you see any hope for it to get better? It'll get worse.

What are your thoughts on religion? Do you or any other band members practice any? Religion is interesting from a psychological, sociological, and historical viewpoint, but no one in the band bothers with it. I know that our earlier lyrics reek of references to the unseen, so to say, but they were written years ago.

What are your personal thoughts of death? What do you feel awaits you after your physical demise? My outlook on life is 100% atheistic. Consciousness is an epiphenomenon of higher cognitive studies in the brain and will decline after the death of the psychical body.

Where can our readers attain your music from? Do you have an address they could write to get in touch with the band? Well, Osmose Productions has a quite good distribution network, so hopefully "The Gallery" and the releases after that (I guess that "The Mind's I" will be out when this interview is printed) are available in most relevant places. However, a quick letter to Osmose Productions, B.P. 57, 62990 Beaurainville, France will do the trick. As for "Skydancer", it has been re-issued with the "...Chaos..." tracks as a bonus and is available from Spine Farm Records, Box 212, 00181 Helsinki, Finland.

Alas, thanks for your time and thoughts, Niklas! Any last comments to add? Well, thanks for the interview. I enjoyed it! Good luck with the 'Zine!

Niklas Sundin
Lantvarnsgatan 1B
S-414 51 Gothenburg, Sweden.


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