Linde Lindström’s passion for music allowed him to rise to incredible heights. Best known as the lead guitarist in H.I.M., his insatiable for musical growth for music has allowed him to rise to incredible heights and while establishing him as one of the most impressive players in the game. However, it is important to note that his axe-work isn’t limited to the love metal genre he helped forge. In fact, his side project, Daniel Lioneye, features some of his most impressive work to date.
When formed in 2001, Daniel Lioneye originally consisted of Ville Valo (HIM) on drums, Mige (HIM) on bass and Linde (HIM) on guitar and vocals. That year, they released The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Finland and Germany, a ‘tongue in cheek’ psychedelic stoner rock album. Performing festival shows in Finland under the name ‘Daniel Lioneye And The Joint Rollers,’ their music soon reached international audiences when the title track of the album was selected as the theme song for Bam Margera’s MTV show, Viva La Bam. In 2006, “The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was the most played Finnish song in the world (right after Sibelius, of course).
In 2008, Linde wanted to do a Daniel Lioneye album completely different than the last. The follow-up album, simply titled VOL II (The End Records), was an extreme rock n’ roll album much heavier than their first, quite noticeably influenced by black metal. The album represented everyday life- divorce, dealing with difficult situations and people, cannabis psychosis, extreme nightmares, self-realization, sex, moving on, standing up for yourself, anger management and the universe.
Now, Daniel Lioneye has teamed up yet again with The End Records (US) to release VOL III, which is slated for an August 19th release. The album is, in many ways, a combination of their previous two efforts. Basking in magnetic glow of the northern lights, this album deals with an existential crisis- depression, disappointment, being lost, meaninglessness. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Linde Lindström to discuss his life in music, the making of Daniel Lioneye’s ‘Vol. III’ and what the future my hold for him.
Going all the way back to the beginning, what are you first memories of music in your life?
My mom singing me a lullaby slightly out of key.
How did you first start getting involved with the arts and playing the guitar?
I have been fascinated by the guitar for as long as I can remember. I always knew I wanted to be a musician. I was begging my parents to buy me a guitar and I finally got a mini acoustic as a Christmas present when I was 10. I started taking lessons right away. I was very motivated. I soon started to play in all sorts of bands.
What can you tell us about the process of finding your creative voice as a player?
It’s an ongoing process. The older you get, the more confident you become. At least in my case. For me the biggest thing has been to accept myself as I am and not listen to people telling me how to play or what to do with my life. I’m a blues player by heart.
Who were some of the performers and people behind the scenes who helped to shape the artist we see today?
Life in general. All the people and animals in my life. All the music I have ever heard. Iggy Pop, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Kingston Wall, Nachtmystium, Elvis Presley just to name a few.
You are clearly very driven when it comes to your career. What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist and fueled your creative fire?
Music is a natural way for me to deal with all the emotions and difficulties in my life. Everyday life is my inspiration. Normally when I take a break from everything, stuff starts to come..
You are about to release Daniel Lioneye “Vol. III” It has been 8 years since your last release. What made now the time for a new record?
I’ve been working on the album for years whenever I had the time or when I felt like it. I almost wanted it to never get finished. It has been an amazing process. So basically, the time is now because its ready, simple as that.
What were your aspirations or goals for this album as you started the process? Was there anything you wanted to try that you hadn’t been able to in the past?
I didn’t really have any goals. I don’t feel like I ever write anything, it just comes from somewhere. I always end up doing things differently anyway. No use repeating old stuff. I wanted this album to be “better” than the previous ones and I wanted to try if I can produce a vocal sound that I could listen to. I almost made it.
For fans already familiar with your past work, how does this album compare and contrast?
In a way its a combination between “The King Of Rock ‘n Roll” and “Vol II”. More singing less growling. More fuzzy riffs, more melody. Lyrically the theme of the album is existential crisis-depression.
You have been working alongside the other members of the band for years. What do they bring out of you creatively?
I feel comfortable with them, amazing musicians and great people. We operate on the same frequency. Mige wrote most of the lyrics on this album and they still feel right and personal to me. That tells a lot.
What can you tell us about the songwriting process for your music? What has changed and what has remained the same through the years?
Like I said earlier, I never feel like I write anything, it just comes from somewhere. A melody, a riff, a rhythm, whatever. Then I program drums on Pro Tools and play the other instruments and send the demos to the guys. A very different process compared to the King of Rock ‘n Roll album. At that time we went to the studio for five days without any material, got shitfaced and the rest is history, haha. The only similar thing with all three albums is that the basic tracks, drums, bass and guitars were recorded in five days.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in bringing the album to life?
I’m lazy but playful. I always seemed to find something more relevant to do than record my vocals. I don’t like the human voice, especially my own. I recorded all the vocals at my home studio alone. Other than that, everything went very smoothly.
You have lived with these songs for awhile now. Which of the songs on “Vol. III” resonate with you the most?
I have a love/hate relationship to music. And everything actually. Every other day the songs are the greatest masterpieces ever written and every other day complete worthless shit. ‘Blood on the Floor’, ‘Ravensong’ and ‘Aetherside’ are my favorites at the moment.
How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist since you first started professionally?
I have learned not to give a shit what people think of me. That has given me a lot of freedom both as an artist and as a person.
As an artist, so many things can be said about the current state of music. What excites you about being a working artist?
Music excites me. You just have to concentrate on the things you can actually do something about and forget about everything else. Otherwise you would be upset all the time.
Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future — both short and long term?
I have no clue whatsoever. I don’t think that way. I guess I will still be transcribing the musical things that come to me from nowhere. That’s all I can say.
What is the best way for fans to help support you at this stage in your career?
If you like the album, buy it, don’t just download it for free. Also, come and see us live!
Are there any plans in the works for a U.S. tour of this album?
No plans about the US yet. We are playing five shows in Finland in the beginning of September and some European shows are on the works as well. More about that later.
Many young artists can look to you for inspiration. What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey as an artist?
Like I said before, for me it has been to learn not to care too much about what other people think of me and just letting go. Getting over myself basically. I recommend that to everybody.
Follow the continuing adventures of Daniel Lioneye on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. Pre-order Daniel Lioneye’s “Vol. III” today – Click Here!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.