While Linde Lindstrom is known as the dreadlocked guitarist for dark rockers HIM, he also has a side project for his other musical predilections called Daniel Lioneye. While the first album King Of Rock’n Roll was a hedonistic stoner rock release, the new Vol. II is a belligerent black metal beast that will throw many HIM devotees and Daniel Lioneye fans for a loop. From its demonic cover, including the requisite, nearly illegible black/death metal logo, to the aggressive aural landscape of the release itself, Vol. II shows Linde to be in a pretty pissed off mood. While the first album featured support from HIM bassist Migé and singer Ville Valo on drums, this latest release finds Linde — on vocals, guitars and bass — being supported by HIM keyboardist Burton and Enochian Crescent drummer Bolton. Migé offered assistance in the lyrical department. Vol. II is old school black metal with Goth influences and melodic enhancements. It’s ultimately the same artistic vehicle for Linde, but the players and style have changed.
During the recent Daniel Lioneye listening party in New York, I chatted with Linde about the project, its inspiration and his life. You can read ADD’s chat with Migé here, and details on our Daniel Lioneye CD giveaway are here.
While the first Daniel Lioneye album was a stoner rock record, this album is bombastic black metal. What happened over the last decade that made you so angry?
I don’t know. Life in general, I suppose. Everybody has their troubles in life, and I had a difficult five years or so. I’ve been listening to black metal since I was a kid, so it’s been in the background. It’s been a dream of mine to make a really, really heavy album.
HIM drummer Gas Lipstick has his own death metal band, To Separate The Flesh From The Bones. Have you guys ever jammed together on stuff like this?
No, we haven’t jammed together like that, but maybe one day.
Was the new Daniel Lioneye a more physically demanding album to play?
Yeah, it’s a lot harder band, especially singing at the same time. It’s going to be a challenge for me when we play some live shows at some point. I’m going to have another guitar player to back me up. I can’t do it all myself.
“Everybody has their troubles in life, and I had a difficult five years or so.”
What was the springboard for this album? What bands did you listen to for inspiration?
It’s been in the back of my head for ages. I’ve been listening to bands like Impaled Nazarene, Immortal, Strapping Young Lad, stuff like that.
What was in your head when you were writing the lyrics this time around?
A lot of stuff, mainly anger. The whole album is a release of anger. And Migé, the bass player from HIM, helped me write the lyrics, so you should ask him, too.
What was it like to have the title track from your first album used as the theme song for the show Viva La Bam?
That was cool. I think it fit the show perfectly. When Bam asked, I was like, “Of course.”
I’m sure a lot of people weren’t aware that it was your music.
I know. It’s a kind of a weird concept. People don’t know Daniel Lioneye. They might know the one song from the TV show and that’s it, but we’re working on it.
Is there a lot of pressure on you because of all your success with HIM?
No. I’m not going to think like that, you know. HIM has become such a big band, and there are so many expectations, so the pressure is there. With Daniel Lioneye, it is what it is. If you don’t like it, fuck off.
So you split the lyric writing with Mige this time out. What is the most personal song on this record for you?
They’re all pretty personal. Maybe “Neolithic Way”. That’s my favorite song. But I don’t want to explain my lyrics too much because they mean different things to me every time I hear them, and I like to keep it that way. When I hear songs and listen to lyrics, they mean something special to me, and it might be something different to somebody else. I’d rather leave it open.
So if you met one of your idols, you wouldn’t ask them the meaning of a certain song?
Are we going to see a Daniel Lioneye tour?
Yes, I hope so. We haven’t scheduled anything yet, but we’re all very anxious to see how this will go live.
Do you think Daniel Lioneye fans will be surprised by Vol. II?
Some of them are probably going to be very surprised. The feedback so far has been really divided, but mostly positive.
But as far as your fans, what would they be surprised to learn about you?
That’s a difficult question. I don’t know. Let’s skip that one. [laughs]
Are many of the members of HIM vegetarian?
I’m not. Ville, Mige and Burton are. They’re almost vegan. I don’t eat meat so much, I eat fish. Mige especially is like a Nazi when it comes to that. He thinks meat is murder, and that’s it.
“I don’t want to explain my lyrics too much because they mean different things to me every time I hear them.”
When did you decide to stop eating meat?
Ages ago. I’ve been on and off.
Do Finnish people fit the Scandinavian stereotype of being heavy drinkers and rather somber?
Yes, they do. It’s a stereotype, but it’s true. Finnish people keep to themselves, and when they get drunk that’s when they let it all out.
But since you’re more successful, are you a happier Finn then?
I guess so. We’ve been put down for ages by the Swedes and the Russians,
so we’re kind of reserved.
Are there any Finnish bands you like that the world should know about?
There is a black metal band called Enochian Crescent, which the drummer from Daniel Lioneye plays in. That’s a very cool band. You should check it out.