Editor’s Note: It was great to talk to legendary Swedish musician Per Wiberg with Madness To Creation as we discussed his single “Get Your Boots On”, his recent album release entitled “Head Without Eyes” via Despotz Records, his memories with Opeth and Candlemass. We also addressed the ever important topic of mental health awareness. Fans can find Per Wiberg at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Hello Per, you have been making music for over 30 years, what advice would you give to Per Weiberg from 30 years ago?
Per: Hi there, probably to stay curious and try as many different things as possible. It’s never been a problem of mine but if you’d lose your curiosity as musician then it’s time to hang it up. If I learn a lot as a musician I can be a better person as well as it’s usually about broadening your perspective on things in general.
Madness To Creation: Most memorable moment playing music with Opeth, Candlemass, and Spiritual Beggars.
Per: With Spiritual Beggars we supported Iron Maiden in 2000, and many of the shows we did together with our good friends Entombed. It was when Bruce came back to Maiden so it was a good vibe all around with cool gigs and great hangs. Playing Royal Albert Hall with Opeth was definitely a highlight, particularly as bands with somewhat of a connection to extreme metal never had been booked there before. Psycho Las Vegas in ’16 with Candlemass was a great gig. I went there on my own to hang out and indulge in all the music going on. The show we played the last day of the festival almost felt like a bonus, good times!
Madness To Creation: You have released “Head Without Eyes” on May 10th, how has the response to the album been so far?
Per: It’s been very positive I’d say. Maybe more so than I expected, considering the music’s a little bit different compared to what people usually might associate me with.
Madness To Creation: Take us into the single “Get Your Boots On”, what was the most challenging aspect about writing that song?
Per: That’s the only song on the album where the lyrics were written before the music, usually I do it the other way around. The original intention for the music was quite different than the finished result. It was way more laid back and quirky but the lyrics made me look at it from another angle and funnily enough it turned to be the most ”normal” rock song on the album.
Madness To Creation: What are the plans for Per Weiberg throughout this summer?
Per: I’m putting a band together for the Head Without Eyes material and the ambition is to start doing shows this fall. There will be a few recordings, lots of writing and finishing several projects I’m involved in as well. This is actually the first summer in 30 years I don’t have any gigs scheduled with anything so I’ll just try to chill and keep working on music.
Madness To Creation: Biggest difference between playing Europe and playing the States?
Per: Coming from my part of the world it’s the ”boring” stuff like logistics and costs. I’ve been very fortunate to tour all around the world and once you start to play a show there’s not much of a difference to me. Maybe some parts of the world sing along a little more or some would rock out harder but when you talk to people before or after the show the conversations are usually about the same topics regardless of where I’d be geographically.
Madness To Creation: This site is evolving towards mental health awareness, what advice do you have for someone who is struggling with their mental health?
Per: I know it’s easy to say and not as easy in reality but if possible, reach out to family and/or loved ones so at least someone or a few people are aware of your state of mind. When times are tough it’s really important to not be alone, that could be really dangerous if it’s bad. It might be easier to seek professional help with the support of close ones as well.
Madness To Creation: A song or an album that has gotten you through difficult times in your life.
Per: I don’t have a particular album like that. It’s more like music in general helps I’d say. Even if times are difficult no days are the same and therefore the music I’d listen to in those situations changes as well.
Madness To Creation: What is something that you do for your mental health and well being?
Per: Running/work out always works for me. Preferably outdoors and I’m lucky enough to live not so far away from water so I can take a quick swim after a jog if I like. Usually I feel relaxed and optimistic as well as seeing things a bit clearer after a session like that.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add?
Per: I’d love to play the US someday with my ”own” material. Having spent quite a lot of time in North America with other bands in the past it would be super fun to come over as I do enjoy touring North America a lot.
And there you have it! Check out his other single entitled “Pile of Nothing” while you’re at it!