LUGNET – Tales From The Great Beyond Interview

Sweden’s LUGNET have recorded 3 albums; including their brand new album – Tales From The Great Beyond, which will be released on August 26. Over the past few years the band went through a few changes, and their new album will appeal to classic hard rock and metal fans, with heavy influences of Rainbow, Sabbath, and a few ’80s metal acts. (*Check out my review in a previous post) . In this new interview bandmembers – (Johan Fahlberg, Lennart “Z” Zethzon, Matti Norlin, Fredrik Jansson-Punkka, and Micke Linder)  answer my questions pertaining to the band’s previous work, influences, and most importantly about their excellent new disc Tales From The Great Beyond.

*Check out more on the band at the links below….

How was reaction to the band’s previous 2 albums, and what did you want to do [perhaps] differently on the new album?

Lennart Zethzon: Overall the reaction has been very good for the first two albums. What we might have lacked a bit is in the production part.
For the third album we decided to focus more on the recording and mixing. We also wanted to record with the whole band at the same time to get a live feeling. For the first two albums we only recorded Drums and Bass at the same time.

Where did the band’s name come from – what is the meaning behind it?

Jansson Punkka: There is a small area close to where we had our first rehearsal space called Lugnet. Our old guitarist Bonden suggested it and it stuck. It means calm in Swedish. Oh the irony…

Can you guys tell me about the band’s last few years since 2019’s Nightwalker album — what’s changed in the band? And was the new album conceived and written during the pandemic?

Jansson Punkka: When the pandemic hit we were lucky enough not to have that much booked so we spent a year writing and arranging songs instead. We also got a new guitar player called Micke Linder that joined us in 2019.

The title Tales From The Great Beyond might suggest some sort of concept of stories [storyline]. Why the album title? and is there any themes or concept to this new album?

Jansson Punkka: No not really, the title just came to me one day, thought it sounded nice and majestic and fitting for the music. Could be the title of an old novel.

There is definitely a ’70s hard rock feel / sound to this album.  Was there any sorta deliberate approach to make it sound a bit old school?

Jansson Punkka: We have always sounded like this so it wasn’t like we planned it. In fact I would say that we might be leaning a bit towards the early 80’s on some of the songs.
Lennart Zethzon: In the mixing and mastering we decided to not press it to hard and let it be more dynamic.

Can you give me a bit of story behind a few of the songs, like Pale Design, Black Sails, Another World, ..? [and any others]

Johan Fahlberg: I guess all of them are about the search for a better place, a better you. Trying to find the inner peace in your self. A life long struggle. I know, it’s a little bit dark but there’s sunshine too, hahaha… Pale Design is about a nightmare, but also a dream of a better world and a better life. 
Black Sails is a feeling of being not normal, being an outsider. A feeling of people looking at you with disgust. Only thing you want is to live your life and be who you are without judgment.  
 Another World is a story of how hard you try to stand your ground and believing in the truth. The struggle to navigate through what’s real and what’s fake, and everyone that believes they have all the right answers.

There is lots of great heavy guitar playing on this album [riffs, solos, etc…]  Can you guys talk a bit about guitar influences and sounds you wanted and how the guitar parts were worked out in the studio?  

For me sound-wise for this band it’s very simple; just my early 70’s sounding Fender Strat’ into a 1971 Marshall Superlead on about 8; that combined with Matti’s a bit more saturated guitar tone I think creates a well balanced, quite heavy humbucker/single coil rhythm guitar sound on this album, with good clarity for the clean parts.
Guitar players that I look up to and have listened to a lot over the years and probably been a bit influenced by: Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse, Billy Gibbons…

I wanted the guitar to sound like a mix of AC/DC and early Black Sabbath. Loud. We worked out the parts in our rehearsal studio.

Carl Westholm plays the keyboards on some of the album tracks [?] Was he just recording with the band as a ‘guest’  or might he be performing with the band live?

Lennart Zethzon: Carl was just recording as a guest but who knows, maybe he will guest with us live sometime as well.

Can someone explain the meaning of the final track “Tåsjö Kyrkmarsch”?  It’s quite a piece, and a nice ending to the album. Where did the musical idea and idea to use it at the end come from?

 Matti Norlin: Tåsjö is a village close to where I grew up, and the place where the church is located in that area. I came up with the tune around year 2000, and wrote it down for church organ in 2016 to be played at my father’s funeral in that church (where I also made the recording for our album).

What have been some of the bandmembers biggest and favorite shows in recent years? [certain festivals or opening slots for anyone in particular?] And what major shows have you got coming up that you guys are looking forward to?

It must be Sweden Rock Festival 2018. We played at the same time as Ozzy entered the main stage. One could think that it would give us a reduced audience, but we managed to get around 4000 people choosing Lugnet instead of Ozzy. We got a great review in Sweden Rock Magazine, 8/10 and Ozzy got a 7/10 :))

Can you tell me a bit about the album’s artwork – who created it and how much input and who’s  went in to it?

Jansson Punkka: Vance Kelly did the artwork, he did our first album as well. Such an amazing artist. We sent him the songs and let him do his thing and it turned out great. It’s one of those covers that you could look at forever and still find new things. Make sure to buy the vinyl version if you want to see the whole artwork.

Hard Rock and metal seems to be alive and well in Sweden. Can you comment on the scene there and some of your favorite [or recommended] fellow Swedish acts ?

Jansson Punkka: There is a band called Stew that we had the pleasure of doing a couple of gigs this year. Really nice guys and a great band as well.

Can each of you guys give me a short list of a few favorite players, singers, etc… as well as a Top 10 of favorite albums from your youth?

Jansson Punkka: Favorite drummer of all times would be Bill Ward, if we’re talking about new drummers Eloy Casagrande is something out of this world.
Favorite albums: The first 8 Sabbath-Albums, Born Again and “En ny tid är här with November.

Matti Norlin: In this style of music I list as follows:
Guitarists: Angus Young, Ace Frehley
Albums: Master of reality, Rising, Powerage, Who Do We think we are, Kiss Alive, Iron Maiden, Restless And Wild, Are You Experienced, Sweet FA and Melissa.

Johan Fahlberg
Singers: Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Ian Gillan, Ray Gillen
Albums: Destroyer, Van Halen, A Dangerous Meeting, Let There Be Rock, Defenders Of The Faith, Restless And Wild, Masters Of Reality, Heaven And Hell, Desolation Boulevard, Never Mind The Bollocks.

Lennart Zethzon: In this style of music:
Bass players: Jack Bruce, Geezer Butler, Roger Glover and Neil Murray
Albums: Destroyer, Kiss Alive II, The Jimi Hendrix Concerts, Mob Rules, Mahogany Rush IV, Made in Japan, Rising, Live In the Heart of the City, Strung Up, Foghat Live.

A few of my favorite rock oriented electric guitar players of all time would be Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Gilbert, Eric Clapton, Mark Knophler, Eddie Van Halen…there’s so many…
Favorite albums: Machine Head, In Rock, Burn, Voulez Vous, Dark Side Of The Moon, Led Zeppelin IV, Down To Earth, Tyr, Paper Money, Eliminator



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