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Counter Culture: An Exclusive Interview With NIKLAS KARLSSON Of ORBIT CULTURE

By Krystiee Lee, Editor
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 @ 8:29 AM

"If you’re into modern death metal mixed with singalong choruses with a feel of thrash-inspired energy and intensity, you’ve come to the right place."

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One exciting thing that the year of 2020 brought me was the discovering of the vicious metal band, all the way from a small town of Sweden, ORBIT CULTURE. The four-piece crew of talented musicians are honestly, in my opinion, the next best entity in metal music. Known for their sludgy riffs and Hetfield-like growls, there’s not much more that you can ask for in a metal band in 2021. With their hit latest release of Nija Orbit culture is here and ready to rip your face off. I was able to chat with the Niklas Karlsson who is also the vocalist/guitarist, about ORBIT CULTURE's influences, past success, and what’s in store for the future.

KNAC.COM: How did ORBIT CULTURE develop as a band? Can you tell us about who you are?

KARLSSON: We are ORBIT CULTURE, a four piece metal band from the small town of Eksjö, located in between the larger cities of Gothenburg and Stockholm here in Sweden. I’m Niklas Karlsson, I write and produce most of the stuff we do. Richard Hansson is our lead guitarist, Fredrik Lennartsson on bass guitar and of course Christopher Wallerstedt on drums. We are just four regular shy Swedish dudes who love to play metal music.

KNAC.COM: Who would you say, is your main influence?

KARLSSON: It changes all the time, for sure. However, the backbone of “sound” must come from the sound of metal titans such as METALLICA, GOJIRA, MESHUGGAH, etc. There’s of course some melodic death metal in there, but we are Swedes, right?

KNAC.COM: With the pandemic going on, what has been your biggest challenge so far with releasing your album Nija?

KARLSSON: The biggest challenge has been to actually show the new album in a live setting. Sure, we’ve done some live performance videos and also recently the "Knotfest: Pulset Of The Maggots" Live Streaming event, but to make the songs justice and really get people's attention, you’d need to feel that kick drum in your chest and the guitars screaming at you from a loud PA. So, when the pandemic is over, we’ll be ready to head out for sure.

KNAC.COM: I actually watched your set with the "Knotfest; Pulse of The Maggots" livestream show. You guys obviously stood out the most in my opinion. What was it like being a part of it, especially with it being a livestream?

KARLSSON: Thanks a lot for your kind words. It was great! Since all of us have been huge fans of SLIPKNOT since an early age, it was pretty surreal seeing our name on the poster that the SLIPKNOT page shared. For all the bands, it was pre-recorded, so of course there was much you could do with the sound and editing. However, we didn’t want that to touch any of that, so I didn’t use anything other than EQ, compressors and proper mastering on the tracks. So what you saw and heard was us playing straight for 20 minutes trying to avoid mistakes as much as possible. In the end of day, it’s live, so it does not have to be perfect.

KNAC.COM: Back on the topic of ORBIT CULTURE's newest release, what inspired the album Nija?

KARLSSON: The theme of the lyrics on the album is more or less based around mental issues, often spoken through a lot of metaphors of course. Instrumental-wise, we wanted to continue on the Redfog trail mixing simple riffs with dark growls and 80s thrash cleans for the vocals, but at the same time, try to keep it as big and cinematic as possible.

KNAC.COM: How long did it take to finish?

KARLSSON: From writing to the final export of the album, it took around 12-13 months. So it went pretty fast compared to our usual standard of delivery. Right after we signed our first record deal with Seek & Strike, we really wanted to show them that we are here to work and hopefully bring ORBIT CULTURE to the next level.

KNAC.COM: If you could choose one dream band to go on tour with, who would it be?

KARLSSON: If we are allowed to dream big, it would of course be opening for METALLICA. That would be a dream come true.

KNAC.COM: For those who have not yet heard of ORBIT CULTURE, what would you say they have to look forward to?

KARLSSON: If you’re into modern death metal mixed with singalong choruses with a feel of thrash-inspired energy and intensity, you’ve come to the right place.

KNAC.COM: Any plans for new music coming next year?

KARLSSON: Yes! I can’t reveal anything yet, though. What I can say is that Nija is only the beginning.

KNAC.COM: What bands have you been jamming out to lately?

KARLSSON: Right now it has to be HUMANITY'S LAST BREATH and their three new singles. They are absolutely mind blowing, especially for a music production nerd like me.

KNAC.COM: Any tour news yet?

KARLSSON: We’ve just announced a huge EU/UK tour supporting THY ART IS MURDER, MALEVOLENCE, KING 810 and ALPHA WOLF. It will start in November 2021 and continue all across Europe for a month. Of course, this will only be possible if the situation around the pandemic changes. So, let’s hope it does for everyone in the world.

Make sure to check out ORBIT CULTURE's newest album Nija and watch the video for the track "The Shadowing" on KNAC.COM HERE.


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