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Niklas Sundin officially leaves Dark Tranquillity

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Aeonai, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Aeonai

    Aeonai New Metal Member

    Feb 24, 2009
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    From their facebook page:
    Founding DARK TRANQUILLITY guitarist, Niklas Sundin, quits.


    As some of you know, I’ve had a break from playing with D.T. since 2016 in order to focus on family life. With the “Atoma” touring cycle now completed and a new album recording about to commence, the time is right to officially announce my departure from the band.

    I’m very grateful for the experiences that the past 30 years have brought. We founded D.T. as teenagers without any musical knowledge, and somehow our songs took us all across the world, helped establish a new subgenre of metal, brought us several Grammy nominations and - more importantly - had a positive and life-altering impact on people all over the globe. This is extremely humbling, and more than what most artists ever could ask for.

    However, it's no secret that I always enjoyed the creative process more than the performance aspects of being in a band, and the required extensive touring held less and less appeal with every album. The band and the fans deserve members that want to be on the road as much as possible in order to keep the (forward) momentum going, and for this reason I prefer to step aside and direct my musical creativity towards other areas. I’ll still be involved in the visual side of D.T. and am working on the cover illustration for the next album as we speak.

    I send my warmest regards to the guys in the band, the incredible crew and of course to everyone that supported us over the past three decades. As for future musical endeavours, my electronic project Mitochondrial Sun released its debut album last month, and there are several other projects and collaborations (both metal and non-metal) in the pipeline. Onwards!

    While I'm sad about that in the same weird way in which one can like or love an entitity which is not a person (like a Band for example), the fact that he stated he'd stay in touch with the band and work on covers somehow makes it ok for me.
    To be honest, I think we saw it coming after Niklas' Hiatus from touring for the last 4 years. To be honest I can't blame him, if I wouldn't feel for doing something anymore, I couldn't blame myself as well. It'd only be consequent to stop and do something different. In that sense I wish Niklas Sundin everything going well with this new projects and endeavors.

    I'm very curious what this will mean for DT musically. Johan and Chris Amott are both in Gothenburg right now, recording the new DT Album. It is not clear to me at this point wether the guitar-work has already been written, and if so, how mutch they did contribute to it?
    That aside, it's not like nobody else in the Band could play guitar. I don't know exactly which of the members can play what kind of instrument, so in principle nothing prevents the other guys from writing guitar-parts as well.
    In anyway Niklas' Departure will change the way the guitars will sound in Dark Tranquillity in future records. And I'm kind of looking forward to it. I might not like the result, yes, but I'm kind of confident.
    If I take Soilwork for example, they completely changed their guitar-crew 8ish years ago, and they sound amazing. The music they make now still has the soilwork-spirit, yet it's something fresh and new and complex. It can happen :).
  2. ThePhobiac

    ThePhobiac be at ease

    May 20, 2011
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    Sad times. While a band is larger than any one member, I've always considered Niklas one of my biggest creative inspirations. His contributions to the band ran the creative gamut, and while I'm sad that he'll no longer be a part of the sonic side of Dark Tranquillity, I'm excited to see what the future brings in terms of his artwork and other musical adventures. And of course, Mitochondrial Sun's debut is superb.

    I've no doubt that whatever new guitarists join the band will be more than up for the challenge.

    Looking forward to seeing what the future brings. Thanks for everything (so far), Niklas!
    #2 ThePhobiac, Mar 29, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
  3. anita_job

    anita_job Member

    Feb 28, 2007
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    I figured it was likely Sundin would leave after the hiatus but it's still a bit jarring; the end of an era really. I liked the way the music evolved after Martin Henriksson's departure (and I preferred the band's sound when Henriksson was still a bassist). He will be missed.

    I'm re-upping this 1998 interview I conducted with Sundin via email from my death and black metal album review site (forgive some of the awful questions but I was 15 at the time):

    I conducted this interview with Sundin via email, that's why it's so short.

    1. I noticed a huge change in DT's sound between "Skydancer" and "Of Chaos and Eternal Night." Were there any additional reasons besides the line up change that contributed to this?

    I think the major reason was the line-up change, which gave us a new guitarist and vocalist, but the change of studio probably contributed a lot as well. Also, "..CHAOS.." was recorded one and a half year after the debut album, and we developed quite a bit as musicians during that period.

    2. How do you do the songs with female vocals live?

    Mikael performs the clear vocals himself, so that's usually no problem.

    3. Do you do "Insanity's Crescendo" and "Mine is the Grandeur..." since Henriksson plays the acoustic guitar on those songs?

    Hmm...I don't think we've ever played "Mine is the grandeur..." live, but "Insanity's.." is as regular feature in our setlist. The reason why martin played the acoustic parts on those tracks is that he had written them in the first place.

    4. How come you haven't toured in the U.S.?

    We still haven't received any decent proposals. Getting a tour properly arranged is a true nightmare, and since we prefer to spend our time rehearsing and making songs rather than involving ourselves more than nessecary in the business side of things, it's taking time. OSMOSE have been working on a US tour for a couple of years now.

    5. Do you know how many copies "the Mind's I" has sold in Europe? And in the U.S.?

    Let's see...I think it has reached something like 30-35 000 copies in Europe now. As for the US, I don't know.

    6. Does it bother you that you are a relatively obscure band while the Spice Girls and Korn get all kinds of (unwarranted) recognition?

    Not at all. It's perfectly understandable since their music are commercially viable. We've never aimed for mass recognition or getting to be a "famous" band whatsoever...Naturally, we'd like to sell enough albums to keep the band alive, but the value of a band isn't related to sales figures. Even in metal music, most of the biggest bands are wankers.

    7. Can you describe a live show for the unlucky fans (like me) who will probably never get to see you perform live?

    We're not different to any other band, I guess. We try to put a lot ofenergy and intensity in our live performances, and often it works out really well. There's a video available now, with live footage from our last tour. I don't know the prize, but feel free to write to OSMOSE USA ) and ask for more information.

    8. Did Henriksson originally play guitar and then switch to bass? If so, why?

    He's a bass player since day one, but he's a very skilled guitarist as well. His playing style has often been compared to having a third guitar in the band, so I can see the reason for this question.

    9. I loved the part of "Tongues" where Mikael goes 'On account of their brightness, I made friends with the word and the moon...' Do you think you'll do that kind of passionate singing on the new record?

    I hope so; that's one of my fave vocal parts as well, and I can imagine such a singing style fitting on several songs for the new album. We'll see what happens.

    10. Do you have any idea what the new record will sound like?

    It'll be pretty different from what we've done before, that's all I can say.

    11. Do you have any say in where the Osmose World Domination Package will tour?

    Not at all. People often ask why we don't play a certain city or country, but we have no influence on the touring schedule whatsoever. The tour promoter decides which gigs to play, and then come up with a proposal to the label. On a package tour like this (six bands in total), it wouldn't work for each band to have individual suggestions. Also, there are always some last-minute changes to the original plans which obviously make people upset. Last year, we got a couple of angry mails from some fans in Holland that had been waiting outside a club for a billed D.T.-show. We hadn't heard a word about this supposed gig.

    12. Are there any touring plans to support the new album?

    It's way too early to say. Probably, the album will be out by the end of the year, and perhaps there will be some touring shortly afterwards.

    13. What's the name of the new album?

    We don't have a single song title finished yet, so I have no clue.


    1. I know that you are very fluent in English (better than most Americans) but haven't you ever wanted to write lyrics in Swedish?

    Not really. English is the international rock/metal language, so to say, and so far I haven't seen a single band in this genre singing in their native language while retaining at least some degree of diginity. Some of the attempts, mainly from feeble black metal bands, have been so pathetic that the lyricists should be severly beaten and get a spik-clad dictionary thrust through their asses!

    2. Does Mikael Stanne still play guitar? Does he contribute to the melodies and songwriting as opposed to lyric writting?

    He play some acoustic guitar at home, but he don't write any riffs that we use as such. He didn't come up with much material even in his guitarplaying-days; I think one or two of the riffs on "SKYDANCER" are his. However, he'll be contributing with an entire song that he wrote himself on the next album, and people will probably be surprised about that one...

    3. Have you ever taken guitar lessons? How long have you guys (Johansson and Henriksson included) been playing guitar/bass?

    As far as I know, none of us have taken any lessons. We're all self taught. We have about 10 years of experience on our instruments, but we're not virtously minded at all (some people seem to think we are) and almost never practice.

    4. How much do you guys get per cd? (You deserve every cent and more!)

    I don't see any point of getting into business details in an interview like this, but generally speaking, bands get paid much less money than what people think. We're satisfied with our deal, though.

    5. How does Dark Tranquillity usually write a song? Do lyrics come before music and do you usually write riffs and then apply them to the lyrics?

    The music always comes first, but Mikael usually have a few lines and verses lying around that he then arranges to fit the riffs and the structure of the song.

    6. How the hell does Mikael get that great distorted sound out of his voice box?!? Does he have some sort of special technique?

    Ha ha, no it's only iron lungs and a large dose of alcohol in his system that's responsible for his voice. Apart from the usual reverb, there are no effects on the vocals.

    7. Have you ever played shows with At the Gates, In Flames, Ablaze My Sorrow or any other well known Gothenberg based bands? If so, who and how were the shows?

    Ablaze my sorrow lives in the north of Sweden, about 1000 kilometres form here if I'm not mistaken, but we've played several times with A.T.G., IN FLAMES, and the bands the members previously played in. Gigs were more common around '91-'92, where we played with most of the leading UG acts in Sweden. Nowadays, we play live perhaps once a year, excluding tours.

    8. What do you think of Opeth?

    I've only heard two minutes of their music (the opening track on their last album), but it was pretty impressive.

    9. What do you think of Metallica's latest album "Reload" (a.k.a. Recyled)?

    It's nothing that interests me at all, but that album is pretty solid in its own right. Very harmless and predictable, but nevertheless pretty entertaining at times.

    10. Any additional comments or little interesting facts about Dark Tranquillity?

    Well, we're currently in the studio recording our fourth full length album, which we hope to have out by the end of the year. Feel free to check it out. Cheers!
    MadTinus and DE4life like this.

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