Heavy Metal Resource: Thanks for doing the interview. We'll get started off by talking about the album. Dogpound has a decent following due to the quality of your music. What do you feel makes this album standout from the other two?
Micke Dahlqvist: It's totally my pleasure! Well, the big difference is that it's just so much better that the previous two! :) Seriously, first of all "III" has more of a traditional metal feel to it which was a deliberate move right from the start. We all said that we wanted to go a bit heavier than we were on "A Night In The Gutter" so from the day I wrote the first tune to the last day of mixing the album the attitude was to make a slightly heavier record. That's the main reason for us turning to Peter Tägtgren, asking him to produce/mix it too, If you want a heavy sound, then you go to him! He's absolutely one of the best guys in Sweden behind the mixing console. And there's also the fact that the band has matured over the years, having a much more relaxed attitude in the studio and so on...it's the natural evolution of the band I guess. Once you don't progress anymore, it's time to throw in the towel! And hopefully it's not time for that yet!
H.M.R: Well, I hope it's not either. The album does have that very heavy edge to it. As the band has evolved, we have seen this part of the band evolve with it. How much heavier will the band go, or is this where you feel comfortable?
M. Dahlqvist: This is where we are at the moment...God knows where we'll end up on the next record. I don't think we have reached the point where we say "nope, no heavier than this!" We all listen to a lot of heavy music, often a lot heavier than Dogpound, and of course it has to rub off on us (me in particular as the main songwriter) in one way or the other. Obviously we'll never change so much that you won't recognize us, we have reached a point where we feel that we've taken quite a few steps closer to the sound we've been after since we started back in '99, but I'm no stranger to bringing the heaviness up a notch. But we'll just have to wait and see...I can't predict how the next Dogpound album will sound but I can say that none of us will try to stop the progression of the band, whatever kind of roads we have in front of us. Be patient... :)
H.M.R: I saw a comment about how you went into this album with around 25 songs with 14 making the cut. Was there alot of diversity between the 14 and the rest that were unused or was it just that you felt better about the 14 chosen?
M. Dahlqvist: Nah, a Dogpound song is a Dogpound song and the base of the sound is there if it's a throwaway or a keeper. The thing that separates these two categories for us is if it feels right. It's all gut reaction. If it feels good right away it's a keeper, if not it's the trash can for that song and back to the drawing board and come up with some new stuff. We had one song that was really close to get on the album but didn't make it in the end, a fast tune with double bass drums and some shredding guitar playing that I wrote just for fun, but the rest of the guys thought it was cool so we rehearsed it a couple of times and had a blast, but it didn't fit the album. It was too far from the template. so to speak! Maybe on the next album or on a compilation album or something...or maybe even as a free download at some time!
H.M.R: There seems to be a bit more serious nature type stuff here. Talk about the subjects you chose to write about this time around.
M. Dahlqvist: I don't agree with you there. The first album "The Hellbum" is packed with serious lyrics, "End Of Our Days" ain't exactly a exactly happy tune, neither are "Bleed" or "You Remain", there's more serious lyrics on that cd than humorus ones. I can understand that if you compare "III" to "A Night In The Gutter" that "III" appear to be on the more serious side though... :) It's kinda hard to take songs like "Cpt Hook & Jesus" and "Not By Choice" as dead serious stuff... :) But even "A.N.I.T.G." has it's serious parts...The subjects this time is as I see it the same as it always have been. Life, and how life treats you and my special take on that matter armed with a cup of coffee and a rhyming dictionary! I really don't like to explain what I write about because I find lyrics to be interpreted so differently from one person to the other. It's all in the eye of the beholder! Cliche, cliche... :) But my state of mind was a bit different this time around...a few years older than the last time you know...and maybe just a wee bit wiser! But to give you an answer to your question I'll take a couple of songs a examples and give you a short description of the lyrics...I don't like it, but all for you, Dave!
1.Glass Jar: About being trapped. In a relationship, a job or something like that and not like it but not being able to get out of it until you fall off the shelve you're on...
2. Human Hologram: About my fascination of the fact that so many people blindly live their lives by the word and rules made up by someone else...
3. In A Life: You got it all....but are you alive? Too many people lie on their deathbed full of regrets when they realize that they haven't lived their life to the fullest. Not even millions of dollars can buy your life back...not to this day, anyway!
4. You And Me: About the relationship from hell...But, you can't live without it. So you hang in there...
5. Dead And Gone: You figure it out... :)
Finally on this subject I have to point out that I have never and will never write about my own life and experiences. It's all my imagination or someone else that without knowing it has inspired me in one way or the other...
H.M.R: Thanks for giving us those descriptions.Those that are aware of Dogpound and their style know of some of the humor that you inject. Will you be going back to more of that or trying to expand your sound more as you did with 'III'?
M. Dahlqvist: I really don't know. The humor will always be there in one way or the other, but it has to be done with some finesse. I wouldn't like the band to be known as "Bozopound, the happy-go-lucky funny bastards" or something like that. Humor is an important part of life, and I'd rather have a good laugh than walk around being a sourpuss! And if we at some point can offer you an amusing time at the same time you listen to some good music, well I guess that it's a good thing...it's really up to the fans to decide. Maybe we're already known as "Bozopound"... :)
H.M.R: 'Bozopound' eh? Somehow I doubt it. (laughs). I saw the video for 'Glass Jar' on your website. Looks great! Is this your first video or have you done others?
M. Dahlqvist: Thanks! It's our first. We thought we'd have a go and see what it would be like. And now it's done...and the lesson we learned from that was that we can do it better the next time! It's Hea's brother Daniel that has shot it, and the two brothers edited it together and did a great job I have to say. It's by the way Daniel that has done the covers for all our albums...an amazing talent...even though the entire world seemed to hate the covers we had for the first two albums. And it was all done to get a reaction...and we did, you can say the least! Never in my life could I believe that it would be such a fuzz about that "Helbum" cover... :)
H.M.R: Will you be doing any more videos for the album? (*cough* 'Other Way Around' *cough* love that song, but you know that!)
M. Dahlqvist: Actually, we spoke the other day about what song to do a vid for the next time, and we talked about two songs. The first was "Human Hologram", the other was....well, you just might be a happy guy in January! We had such a great time recording the "Glass Jar" vid so we will definitely do at least one more from the album, most likely a couple more will surface in a not too far away time.
H.M.R: Can't wait until January then to see what you do! Let's look to live performance. Any live stuff happening? The fans will definitely wanna see you.
M. Dahlqvist: At the moment we don't have anything planned, but it's not that we don't want to! If the right offer shows up we'll gladly get out there and do some gigs. We've made some friends out there in the world and it would be so great to get on the road and meet them. We've had some offers doing some support act tours and small headlining tours but they've been no good. We're too old to go on the road on a slave contract, paying for everything ourselves and drinking beer for breakfast just because it's liquid bread, according to Mr. H. Simpson! That stuff would have worked if we we're eighteen years old and lived with our moms, but we all have families and we can't risk making them homeless just because we want to go on a Dogpound tour! The bills at home has to be payed...I'm sounding greedy, but it's not at all that way. It's the bitter truth...Unfortunatly.
H.M.R: That's understandable though. What do you listen to when you have time to check other music out?
M. Dahlqvist: Just about everything. Bands that I've loved all my life and still do are, just to name a few, Sabbath, Maiden, Zappa & Jethro Tull...Recently got Thresholds cd "Dead Reckoning" and it's just awesome! And against my will I really like the new Nightwish...! A really great band that Danne (Hea's bro) got me into is Throwdown. As an old Pantera fan they were a breath of fresh air. Another band that recently mad an impact on me is Machinemade God...awesome new album. And about a million more bands! I ALWAYS listen to music, it's never silent at my home. Even though I have to adjust what I listen to if my wife and kids are at home... :)
H.M.R: What would you consider to be your strongest market and what market would you like to conquer most?
M. Dahlqvist: Right now, in sales, Japan is our strongest market. But the rest of the world I don't know anything about, sales wise, at the moment. Of course USA would be nice to "conquer", we've got great response from there so far, but the most positive country so far is England, which really is a surprise to me. I'm under the impression that bands like ours get the crap kicked out of them there and all the magz write loads about media hyped bands...but I just got the word that we received 9/10 in one of the biggest metal magz there so I'll guess have to reconsider! :) More or less, wherever you are, if you're into the band, we love you for it! Our biggest fan is guy from Spain...if you read this K, cheers!
H.M.R: Anything else we may have missed, mention that here.
M. Dahlqvist: I just have to take the opportunity to thank you so much for you review of "III", Dave. You have no idea how awesome it feels to read such kind words! You're in a very vulnerable position when you release a new album, because you have done the best work you could possibly do at the time, and if you get hacked to pieces in the media...it could get ugly! We've been blessed so far, on all our albums, (sometimes I've even thought that we didn't deserve the great reviews written on the previous albums but as I said earlier, it's all in the eye (ear!) of the beholder!) but we've received the best criticism by far this time around...and what you wrote is right up there in the top!
And to you who reads this, if you haven't heard the band, check us out at www.myspace.com/dogpoundsweden And if you know us already, check it out for the latest news on what's going on in the pound!
Thanks a million for taking your time to do this interview, Dave. It's been an honour!
H.M.R: Thanks Micke and good luck with the album!