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Festivalkanalen Hultsfred 2009




Johan Olsson


Festivalkanalen Hultsfred


2009, July 10


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Johan Olsson was interviewed on July 10, 2009 by Festivalkanalen Hultsfred. The interview took place during the same day as the bands performance at the Hultsfredfestivalen. 

Topics discussed were Dead by Aprils rise from a demo band into superstars, the bands music and  the April Army.


The interview was done in Swedish and is therefore translated into English.

Q: How does it feel to be here?

Johan Olsson: It's a blast.

Q: You're going right back to Hultsfred next week right?

Johan Olsson: Yes, we're back next week.

Q: And how does that feel?

Johan Olsson: That'll be great to actually, but during that day we actually have two shows so we're here first and then we're going to Trollhättan in the evening.

Q: Ok, but you're the only Swedish band at Sonisphere right? 

Johan Olsson: Not in Sweden, but on the English Sonisphere we are. 

Q: Isn't that pretty cool?

Johan Olsson: Well, it's really cool actually.

Q: How does it feel to have become a huge act in such a short time?

Johan Olsson: It's fun. It feels a bit awkward and uncomfortable sometimes, you don't have the time to get used to it but at the same time it's something we have been fighting for during a long time so you have to embrace it.

Q: Anything special you would like to comment?

Johan Olsson: No, I don't think so, I don't think you will anything anything on trying to be someone you're not, you will lose in th end. Try to have fun and enjoy the opportunities you get and the people you get to meet.

Q: Do you have any particular "idol"?

Johan Olsson: My father is a good role model, Frank Zappa, and Dalai Lama is a great role model for me too.

Q: Do you have a common one within the band?

Johan Olsson: No I can not say. We are different people. We all like Dalai Lama. He is a nice man.

Q: You don't have anyone particular when you write songs? You just run from your head?

Johan Olsson: Yes, from the heart.

Q: Do you write a lot about emotions?

Johan Olsson: Absolutely, Pontus is the main writer. It's very personal and very much feelings for him.

Q: It's great when the music becomes meaningful.

Johan Olsson: Yes, and then it means something for him, then hopefully he take those feelings and put them in the music. I guess that's part of what people like.

Q: How does it feel to have "Losing You" on Robinson?

Johan Olsson: It was fun. It's a great way to promote your music if you're a new band. I think it was a really cool trailer, so that was something that was actually fun to do.

Q: You had success on Myspace prior that right?

Johan Olsson: We played live the pretty much last year. We were at the Hultsfred among other things. There's a lot of people who believe that we have just been lucky because of the Robinson thing. We played a lot last year and was quite big in underground circles, although it was not the big masses.

Q: Weren't you very successful right from the start?

Johan Olsson: Well, it went pretty fast in the beginning. We were taking things slow because we really wanted to find the right company. We didn't want to make the mistake of surrounding ourselves with people who didn't respect us. We wanted to be seen as something more than just a product.

Q: Maybe that's the reason to your success, that you found yourselves.

Johan Olsson: Well, hopefully that combined with good music and something that people can relate to.

Q: How does it feel that it has exploded with new fans?

Johan Olsson: It's always fun when many people likes what you're doing. For me, the number of people who likes it is not always necessarily a proof that something is good. The important thing is that the people whose there think it's good, that it means something to them. If it's 10 or 10, 000 people as it has been in some cases; it's obviously more powerful with 10,000 but on the other hand, can you give someone a very personal experience, it's worth a lot too.

Q: Though if there are 10, 000 people, there are many who think you're good.

Johan Olsson: Hopefully. At festivals it's always a few who joins the show who had not thought to check it out in the first place. But hopefully we can get people to think it's good.

Q: Actually there's quite a lot of fans who are not hard rockers. How is that so?

Johan Olsson: No, it's very mixed. The music has a lot of contrasts and very strong melodies. Then it's also the case that very many people want more than one feeling. You might want more than just the aggressiveness, or just beauty or loving feelings or whatever it may be. The concept of Dead by April is to take all these feelings and bake them together into one thing. Perhaps in the same song you can get a sense of energy or an aggressive feeling and at the same time a loving chorus or something that gives a different feel.

Q: What's your favorite song within the band?

Johan Olsson: It differs. There is a difference between playing them and listening to them. My favorite song has always been Promise Me actually. It sticks very much.

Q: Any specific reason?

Johan Olsson: I know it's a personal song for Pontus, it means extremely much for him. It is a beautiful and a little sad story behind it and it gives a personal connection to the song. And then it's a very good song.

Q: What's the best song you've ever heard?

Johan Olsson: It's hard to say a song or a band. It's so depending on how you feel, or what to feel at the moment. If I'm happy I often play something pretty heavy. It becomes something quite aggressively usually if I'm happy. It's very different. I listen to everything. I listen to a lot of country music so it becomes quite a lot of that to.

Q: For how long have you been a band?

Johan Olsson: Since 2007.

Q: That's not long at all. 

Johan Olsson: No, approximately two years. 

Q: How did you form the band?

Johan Olsson: It all started with Pontus and Jimmie writing songs in early 2007, and then they released a few songs on Myspace and got very good response and they thought that they maybe should do something with this. Then they looked for band members and it was really quite unpretentious. Then I came into the picture a little later, then came Marcus in last and it became a unit.

Q: I've heard some rumours regarding April Army. What is that?

' 'Johan Olsson:It's really just those fans who feel that they want to be involved and help out and support the band.

Q: With what?

Johan Olsson: The idea is that they'll get to meet the band among others and get help promote the band via internet, hand out flyers. All it can do to help us.

Q: How many have joined?

Johan Olsson: I have no idea actually. It's kind of small so far but the most important thing is that the people who have joined is enjoying it. It's very new so far. We're gonna try to catch up with those who are here. They wear this kind of bracelet. 

Q: So it's access all areas with this?

Johan Olsson: No, the idea is that we'll have some activities in the future, only for memebers. They'll get a little sperate camp and some gifts, as a thank you.

Q: How did you come up with this?

Johan Olsson: It is a common phenomenon to have a fan club. But here the members actually have a chance to do something. They gets to be involved.

Q: Then it will be good cohesion.

Johan Olsson: Hopefully. That's a big part of what makes it fun, to meet so much people. 

Q: How did you come up with your name?

Johan Olsson: Like most bands we had a lot of ideas but we wanted to highlight the contrasts in the music. The rough parts meets the soft. 

Q: So April is the more light side of it?

Johan Olsson: April is in many cultures the month of life. When the greenery arrives and life sprouts. It's a bit ironic to be dead by april. To die when life arrives so to say. And then it sounded cool to. It's always cool to have dead or death in the bandname.

Q: What's the idea behind Dead by April? Do you write heavy music when you're happy?

Johan Olsson: I don't know actually. Sometimes you might want to listen to something that is purely aggressive and sometimes you want to listen to something that is purely soft. We try to do something so we're not put in neither of the trays. One can express all the feelings you have. If one puts on the Dead by April album you should have gotten all the emotional one needs. You've got energy, aggression, love, happiness, all in one package.

Q: So you don't have a genre?

Johan Olsson: It's some form of heavy rock music, I don't know. We've been called emo, synth, screamo or whatever it's called. i don't know, I don't even know what that is. 

Q: If you had to describe you, what word would you use?

Johan Olsson: Great music I would call it. 

Q: So there's no funny name for it?

Johan Olsson: No I'm so tired of all that "I'ts kind of screamo-emo-synth-metal.

Q: But a fuzzy word.

Johan Olsson: Well, a band full of emotions.Very emotional music with melody I would say.