The Band: Ambush
The Man: Oskar Jacobsson (vocals)
Interview by Vpower
In August 2013, Oskar Jacobsson (vocals), Olof Engkvist (guitars), Adam Hagelin (guitars), Ludwig Sjöholm (bass) and Linus Fritzson (drums) issued their first demo tape. AMBUSH’s first 7" single “Natural Born Killers” was released on High Roller in 2014, followed by the critically acclaimed debut album “Firestorm”. Not enough happy with that, this year they will kick asses again and make us enjoy as crazy metalheads with their second album ”Desecrator”, to be released at the end of next month. I’m proud to bring a conversation with great vocalist Oskar Jacobsson. Let’s Go!!
Hi Oskar! Thank you very much fot the chance to talk with a band that is on fire and kicking
Hi Alberto! Thanks for having us.
This year you will release your sencond album, specifically in October 30th, under the name of “Desecrator”. What can you tell us about it?
To me, Desecrator is a strong album pumped with nine relevant Heavy Metal songs under the banner of a beautiful artwork. I hope the maniacs out there will love it as much as we do!
Your debut was amazing, a fresh blow for the metal fans. Comparing “Firestorm” to the new album “Desecrator”, what are the main changes?
Thanks a lot man!
I’d say Desecrator follows the Firestorm legacy in terms of combining speed & heavy. We wanted to release a record that had the same straight forward attitude and punch as Firestorm but at the same time taking the songwriting a step further in terms of lyrics, melodies and riffing.
The aim was not complexity in any way, but for new approaches and influences to create good Heavy Metal that felt relevant to us and our closest friends…
Also, to me the Desecrator production also has more depth and muscle to it, while still maintaining the classic analogue vibe as the Firestorm record.
Well, I think you have fully accomplished all that. What are the lyrcis about in this second album?
What unites the lyrical content on this album is the battle against anything that is trying to control or break you down. We wanted every song to have a story to tell, and the stories are about everything in between logic, evil, mental illness, war and chess games with the devil.
Rose of the Dawn is a hymn dedicated our native county, Småland, where some peasants in 1542 enforced a separatist state & fought guerilla warfare against the king of Sweden… Southstreet Brotherhood is dedicated to our beloved supportive friendship circle in Växjö.
Personally, I also felt the need to write about a few things on this twisted planet that really pisses me off the most. The Chain Reaction is basically a history lesson for the political leaders of today, and Faster is portraying a military intervention in the terrorist controlled parts of Iraq & Syria.
A variety of contents that can touch almost everyone's life experience, sure. After listening to Desecrator, I have the feeling that Ambush is still on fire, there is an evolution but you keep the vibe and the emotions flowing
Yeah, the fire in our unholy Ambush camp is always burning!
We are proud of what we are doing, and we respect each other both as musicians and as best friends. We all head towards the same goal, and aim forward with no second thoughts…
I think that has been a good formula for the creativity and development of Ambush.
Talking more specifically about your style, in my opinion, one of your strong points is that you have a very defined sound and your make strong songs from relatively easy musical structures, catchy songs but with no sugar overdose. In other words, you make easy what is difficult...
Yeah, I totally agree… A common problem is that good musicians that want to impress people with crazy solos or licks often disturb the vibe of the song composition as a whole.
One thing that makes me proud of Ambush is that we try to unite every single instrument and vocal melody to create a powerful fucking army instead of lone fighters that can’t get along.
Yeah, a winner team. It’s clear that Judas Priest has been an influence in your sound. Have you ever tought to invite the Metal God to make some vocal lines in a song? I believe he is kind of a very accessible guy...
Yeah, the Priest is with us every day. Haha, no we’ve never thought of that, but that would be something to tell your grandchildren! If Mr. Halford likes our music we’ll see what happens.
We pray to the Metal God. One of Ambush's marks is Oskar Jacobsson’s amazing vocals. When you reach the high-pitched I close my eyes and I can see Rob Halford twenty years younger. How did you get it?
Well, thanks a lot brother. Firstly, I’ve never taken any vocal lessons; because I don’t depend on any vocal coach to know my specific voice better than myself. Instead I prefer to develop my technique through listening and analyzing a number of great vocalists such as Mr. Halford, Grimmett, Kiske, Matijevic, Shortino, Bruce, Gillan etc.
I found the secret to a powerful high pitch is about finding a specific voice mode that 99.9% of people, and ironically a lot of professional vocal coaches, falsely think is falsetto. It is actually called “Head voice” which is completely different, and Kiske and Grimmett master it to perfection!
"Head voice", interesting, although unfortunately I haven't found mine yet... The guitars in this “Desecrator” sound crystal clear, with great solos and burning riffs. How is the composition of an album for Ambush?
Two years, two great albums, there will be a third in 2016?
2016 will be an interesting year for us. Our complete focus is on the upcoming Desecrator tour this spring, so writing a new album 2016 is not top priority for us, but we’ll see what happens… We are already working and jamming on a couple of cool riffs.
I know this is a question that can arise your egos, but for one time… is there a leader in Ambush or it is more like a commune?
Ambush is our common child, and we cooperate, present opinions and make decisions in a democratic manner. As persons, we are not very picky on details, so we really don’t have a lot to argue about. If we don’t get along we grab a couple of beers, and we tend to instantly solve the problem!
Sounds easy... One of the things I would underline from your sound, in both albums, is the excellent production work. For this sencond album you have counted with the same staff?
We came across a talented guy called Mankan at PAMA studios, who recorded the brilliant Bullet album “Storm of blades”, so we decided to let him record the drums, mix and master the album.
The guitars and bass were recorded at our friend Linus Olsson’s (ex. Scams) studio deep into the woods of southern Sweden. The recording sessions were a fantastic blend of constant drinking and recording, which of course caused a few unexpected delays and resounding laughs. The vocals were recorded by myself in my studio.
Fun is important, even working, and it seems you have a lot of it. For those that haven’t had the chance to see you in a live show, how is an Ambush show?
We’ve heard people think that we eat children and burn Stryper records on our shows, but that’s just bullcrap. We like children!
Hahaha, I feel better now. Do you have already some tour dates scheduled? Will you come to Spain?
Yea we have some tour dates yet to be announced…
Of course we’ll come to Spain! You guys have a great scene, and the Pounding Metal Union deserves the Nobel war prize for sure. Hope to see you on the roads of Ibérico!
Great! Pounding people we salute you, as Angus would say. That’s the spirit, no more words needed. Thank you very much, Oskar, it was a pleasure to chat a little with you.
Thanks a lot Alberto, It was my pleasure.
We want to salute the Killers of Spain!
¡Hasta luego compañeros!