Last Tribe: 3rd album = 3rd must have metal release.

Guitarist and songwriter Magnus Karlsson talks about Sweden's Last Tribe - a very intelligent progressive melodic metal band.

Congratulations on the success so far of the band. You are up to your third album already! When was the band formed and where are you all from?
Thanks! It started as a solo project 2001. I had actually plans on doing an instrumental guitar album. It didn't turn out that way and I was busy to write songs for Midnight Sun. But then I heard a demo with Rickard and I just thought that he had an awesome voice that would suit perfectly to the music I wanted to create. We all live in South Sweden but in different towns so it's not the easiest thing when we want to rehearse.

How long have you known some of the guys from the band?
I have known Jaime a long time, we played together in Midnight Sun but the other guys I've only known since 2001.

For those that may be discovering you for the first time - how would you describe the band and your style?
I think that “melodic metal with progressive elements” are a fair description. I've noticed that people from both the progressive and die hard metal and aor genres can appreciate our music.

What challenges did you face from the time you got started to getting the first album released?
I didn't have a clue what I should expect and it was a strange but great feeling when so many showed interest in Last tribe. I knew that I couldn't blame anything on someone else. Last Tribe was my responsibility from the beginning to the end.

Are you pleased with the reviews the first two albums received?
I am more than pleased. It's still hard for me to understand that people from all over the world are writing so nice thing about my music.

When did you start writing material for this album and how long did the recording process take you?
I've started somewhere in the summer 2002 so it took about a year to write the songs. I like to have many breaks during the song writing so I can keep a distance to the songs and listen with better ears. The recording process took about two months at Roasting House studio here in my hometown Malmö.

The band has always had a unique sound - from the very first album to this one, it is a powerful sound. What are the band's musical influences?
I have always loved the NWOBHM era and still listen a lot to bands like Judas, Maiden and Dio. They are the reason that I've started to play guitar at all. I also listen to jazz, fusion and folk music there is actually no limits as long as it's good music.

And following on from that - what did you guys have in mind when forming Last Tribe? What sound did you want to deliver to fans and do you think you have achieved that?
It was the songs that where in focus and the sound was formed after them. I wanted people that grew up listening to Iron Maiden and that stuff to be familiar with the sound but at the same time hear something new and fresh in the sound. When I read reviews and mails I believe that we have achieved a little bit of that goal.

I love the guitar shred featured in the songs and the intense rhythm section, but I admire the band's ability to add a catchy chorus with most of the songs. Was that an important thing for you to do?
I have always believed that a good melody is the key to make good music. It doesn't matter what kind of music. It's a fine spice to add some shred but if I would shred a whole album I think that no one would like to listen to it (including me). Sometimes I think that some melodies are almost too “nice” and that's why I turn up the intensity in the rhythm section so I won't lose the metal feeling.

You co-produced the album, so you must take come credit for the great sound. How is working with Anders Theander, he has a great reputation?
After three albums Anders understands exactly what I want Last Tribe to sound like and he's a real pro so it feels really great to work with him.

Do any of the songs from the current album really hold a special meaning for you?
I worked very hard with the arrangement on “The Chosen One” so every time I listen to that one it's hard to relax. I think that “Sacrifice” is the best song I ever written so that one is really special to me.

Where does your/the band's inspiration for writing songs come from?
Everything from listen to good music or watch a good movie to have a really bad day and the only way to change it to a great day is to sit down with my guitar.

Do you get the chance to play live much and are their any plans for the near future/in promotion of this album?
We haven't played so much live but now were gone change that.
We have a new booking agency. So we can't wait to play more
live. I really hope were gone do a lot of festivals this summer. All the dates will come up on our site

What are your favourite 5 classic metal albums of all time?
Queensryche ­ Operation Mindcrime
Dio ­ Holy Diver
Iron Maiden ­ Piece of Mind
Helloween - Keeper of the Seventh Keys part 1 and 2
Judas Priest ­ British Steel

Any plans for any musical project outside the boundaries of Last Tribe?
Were gonna record an album with the Irish folk music band “Green House” and Frontiers have talked to me about another project but nothing is finished yet.

What direction will Last Tribe head in for their next album? Anything different?
It's hard to say but right now it feels like it will be even more progressive. I have already started to write songs for the next one and it feels really good.

Anything you would like to add Magnus?
I want to give a big thank you to all the people who are mailing me with encouraging and kind words about Last Tribe. You are really warming my heart. Thank you!!

Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview!
Thank you very much!