Courtesy of Limb Music Products
Criticaltom: Do you live above the Arctic Circle? Did you choose your name because of it?
Jacob: Actually, no. But we do occasionally go up there for concerts.
Criticaltom: Is that what inspired the band’s name?
Jacob: Actually it is not. Midnight Sun is sort of a concept that Jonas has had for a long time, a concept he wanted to do. And also we are into nature . . .
Criticaltom: This isn’t your first album is it?
Jacob: It is the first with me on vocals, but it is actually the fourth. The earlier ones were much more AOR oriented than this one.
Criticaltom: When I first saw the album I was thinking “Hammerfall” and “cheesy”. I was expecting something a little less interesting than what I heard. But I must say that this album is really something special. It is very exciting to listen to. I think it is one of the best new releases on LMP.
Jacob: Thanks. We’re really satisfied with the album.
Criticaltom: Did you work on any of the songs here?
Jacob: A few of them. I did the lyrics on “Temple of the Graal” and some of the lyrics on “Keeper of the Gate”.
Criticaltom: Are you getting a lot of good press on this?
Yeah, especially from some of the press who liked the old Midnight Sun. They are saying this is the best album.
Criticaltom: Do you play guitar too, or is there just one guitarist?
Jacob: I do play guitar, but not in the band. When we perform I like to concentrate on the audience and my singing. But I do have a solo project I’ve been working on.
Criticaltom: Are you (as in “ya’ll”) big fans of Accept and similar bands?
Jacob: Yeah, they are influences, as well as Judas Priest. But the cool thing about the album is that we can play some classic metal sounds with more modern production.
Criticaltom: I really like the hidden track, “Days of Heaven.” Who wrote that one?
Jacob: Me and my old bass player from my former band, Jeckyl and Hyde. I wrote it for my first daughter. We recorded it on one of the Jeckyl and Hyde albums, but it wasn’t quite right. So Jonas and I reworked it for this album.
Criticaltom: What is “Your Blood Burns in Hell” about?
Jacob: That song is like, you meet a lot of people when you’re working and sometimes you get some twisted reactions. For me it’s like an answer you get from all the bad reactions. Everyone should know it is a tough business.
Criticaltom: Sort of like an up-to-date version of “Metal up your ass”?
Jacob: Yeah (laughter), that’s true. I’m not complaining at all, but sometimes when you’re out there some people behave in less than honest ways towards you.
Criticaltom: You mean that they smile to your face but stab you in the back?
Criticaltom: Tell me about “Keeper of the Gate.”
Jacob: Most of it was written when I came. But the chorus needed some work, so we added some parts. But that song is really a classic.
Criticaltom: “Distorted Eyes”.
Jacob: I think it is one of the first songs written for this album. I think it is a great song. I really enjoyed doing the vocals on it. But it is a little unfocused because it is more of a neoclassical song, so it is a little out of place. But I think it gives some variety to the music.
Criticaltom: Do you have a favorite song?
Jacob: I really dig the lyrics on most of the album. I am a lyric fanatic. I really get into writing the lyrics. For me, I really like “Fight”.
Criticaltom: What kind of preview can you give me towards the next album?
Jacob: It’s going to be so good. We’re going to have around twelve songs. We’re going to take it even a step further. We’re going to bring a lot more moods into it. There’s going to be a theme around it.
Criticaltom: What kind of time frame is there? Will it be another year before we get to hear it?
Jacob: No, it shouldn’t. We’re going to the studio in May to record. We don’t know if the label will release it later in the year or save it for early next year, but we should be ready to rock n’ roll around September/October.
Criticaltom: Does your bass player do most of the writing?
Jacob: Yeah. Jonas is really the mastermind. He is an exceptionally talented musician.
Criticaltom: What is a question you’ve always wanted to be asked but have never been asked?
Jacob: I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to sleep on that one . . .
Criticaltom: How about something like, how did you come to join the band?
Jacob: Jonas and I have been distant friends for many years. He had some sessions with my brother and I met him, but he was so drunk those times that we didn’t really communicate. Then at my brothers wedding we played together in a party band. I think we did “Whole Lotta Love” and he said we would have to get together. But some time when by and we didn’t, until one day he called and said, “my singer quit. Come sing for us.”
March 8, 2002.