DAGGER -- Mainline Riders  7"
DAGGER -- Mainline Riders  7"
DAGGER -- Mainline Riders  7"
DAGGER -- Mainline Riders  7"
DAGGER -- Mainline Riders 7"

HRR 318, ltd 1000, 300 x gold vinyl + 700 x black vinyl

Jani Kataja – Vocals
David Blomqvist – Guitars
Tobias Cristiansson – Bass
Fred Estby – Drums

-Mainline Riders
-Dark Cloud

gold vinyl SOLD OUT!
black vinyl LAST COPIES!

It’s the line-up that betrays Swedish heavy rockers Dagger as an all-star-project that skims its members from very different corners of its homeland’s rock and metal scene. We have Sideburn’s Jani Kataja doing vocals, while the rest of the pack’s names ring a very different bell: Apart form Jani, Dagger consist of David Blomqvist (guitars), Tobias Cristiansson (bass) and Fred Estby (drums). Names you should be familiar with if you need Dismember, Carnage, Grave and Necronaut for your daily fix of metal. Drummer Fred explains how this dangerous meeting came to happen: “Well Dagger was formed by me, David and Tobias in early 2009. I had some material that I thought didn’t really fit for Necronaut but was still too good to chuck away. When I talked to David about this he told me he also had material that wouldn’t work for Dismember which made us think about writing songs together in a different way than before. At the same time, Tobias was also writing more hardrock oriented songs and was immediately into playing them with us. So I think the three of us really wanted to do something we hadn’t done before.” Even though all three of them were into doing something new and different, no one was rushing things: “We have been rehearsing and writing songs not wanting to force anything. It also took a long time to find the perfect singer for the band. It was really worth the wait though. Jani suits this band perfectly both musically and personally.” Given the “confession” Fred makes about the band member’s personal taste in music, Dagger suddenly seem less of a surprise than before: “The last couple of years on tour with Dismember we almost only listened to the classic hardrock albums we love. We also talked about how many bands tried to sound like that but never really succeeded, in our opinion.”
Now with the line-up complete, Dagger are here to play “hardrock the way we think it should be played.” The 7’’ which will be out this summer is meant to serve as an appetizer for what is still to come. Dagger are more than happy that this first bite will be released by High Roller: “We started recording our debut album in May this year aiming for a release in autumn. While recording, we and our manager Leif from Clandestine Music thought it would be cool to release a 7" before the album just to bring out our name and sound. HRR is a cool label, and we knew from experience that it would be fast and smooth to work with them.”
If one hasn’t noticed on the spot: The a-side of Dagger’s debut single, “Mainline Riders”, is a cover. The original version was the first track of the self-titled debut by British NWOBHM-pioneers Quartz, which was produced by Mr Iommi himself. Quartz were quite important for the early movement, yet today their relevance is mostly overlooked by those who are not too well versed in the history of the NWOBHM. Why did Dagger choose this one for their very first release? Fred explains: “Ever since we started playing together we have talked about doing some covers just to expand our catalogue. I stumbled upon Quartz when looking for good old hardrock that I hadn’t heard before. The first song I came across was “Mainline Riders”, and I immediately showed it to the other guys. We all thought it sounded like something we could have written ourselves.” Now compared to “Mainline Riders”, the b-side “Dark Cloud” is more straightforward and energetic. Which of the two is more typical for Dagger, especially with regard to a new album? “I guess both songs are representative for Dagger. The debut album has a really cool mix of up-tempo, mid-tempo and heavier tracks. No matter what tempo, we try to write songs with strong melodies, which both songs from the 7" also have.” As touched upon above, Dave, Tobias and Fred are all equally involved in the song writing, while there are literally no traces of Dismember, Grave or Necronaut in Dagger. How does writing songs this way work for the band, and how much does Jani contribute, who should feel quite at home with this kind of music? “It has a lot of benefits. We write different kind of songs but within the same framwork. This fact allows us to help each other out when one of us doesn’t have a whole song from scratch. Jani joined the band when the album was already written so he will be much more involved in the songwriting for the next one.” Before Dagger had found their current line-up, there was someone else playing a part in the band’s making: Tyrant from Nifelheim! Fred explains his connections with Dagger, and also why he isn’t part of it any longer: “Tyrant was in the band from 2010 up until early this year. He is also a great songwriter, and it all worked fine until we just couldn’t get our schedules to match anymore. He is not living in Stockholm now, which also made it harder to rehearse and so on. He was involved in writing the music for ‘Dark Cloud’. I am sure he will use the songs he once wrote for Dagger in another constellation. It will be awesome to hear whenever it gets out. Tyrant is a very productive songwriter with really cool ideas. Tyrant also did the original Dagger logo. For the 7" Nicke Andersson just improved the logo a bit.”
One thing remains to be asked: What is in the Swedish water? Not only is there such a huge number of awesome bands, but so many who play great heavy metal/hard rock. Please explain! “Man! I get that question a lot and I don’t really know what to say about that. It’s strange that such a small country produces so many bands and artists. Or maybe that’s the explanation? The downside though is that it’s impossible to find people to play with that aren’t in a band already.” Lucky Dagger. Lucky us! For the future, what can we expect from Dagger? Is it more of a side project for everyone involved? Fred denies that emphatically: “Dagger is not a side project! We are determined to make this band as great as possible.” Does that mean there are already plans for a tour or some festival gigs? “Absolutely! When both the 7" and the album will have been released, you will be able to see us perform. See you out there on the heavy road!”

Ulrike Schmitz