Thanks a lot for chatting to us! “First of all thanks for reaching out! For the record, I, Jesper Lindbergh (drums, rhythm guitar, loops and soundscapes) will gladly answer your questions”.
Tell us a little of how Throne of Gold came together. Were you hampered at all by the pandemic in terms of writing and rehearsing before recording? “It was a weird two years for sure. I started working from home in March 2020, so music saved me from going crazy from isolation. The idea of the concept of the story of Saraya was actually born inside my mind over twenty eight years ago, but was refined and finalised in late 2020. I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Ever since Operation: Mindcrime was released back in the day, something has always fascinated me about stories and concept. The trick here was to make it so the songs could stand on their own two feet without melodies and hooks being lost within the concept, and I think we did a homerun on that one”.
You certainly did! We’ll talk about the songs in more depth later – tell us a bit more about how the album came together. “Most of the embryos and ideas for these songs were written and recorded back in 1994, but for various reasons, we never got to finish them, and they didn’t see the light of day until May 27 2022. All of them are resurrected and remade to fit the concept. I recorded my drum tracks in Studio Rovljud in Örebro, Sweden and the rest is recorded in my own studio in Örebro and produced by me and bassist Daniel Lykkeklev “.
The pandemic – without trying to sound trite, do you see that in the final washup it might be seen to have been a good thing for the music industry in terms of changing working practices and expectations? “Hard to say, since the whole music climate had gone through a few steps already towards the digital world, and how we record things nowadays I think started way before the pandemic, but it sure ( for me at least ) brought me way closer to my feelings and it was a long time ago since I became so inspired to do music. I think I wrote over thirty ideas for songs while recording this album last year”.
Back to Sarayasign more specifically now – Europe seems to be opening up again in terms of gig availability – will you be able to do much touring for the record in the foreseeable future? Or do you see the band more as a studio beast? “Sarayasign will be a live act for sure. the plan is to record and release album two, and then do some shows with a few more tracks in the bank next summer (2023). We’ve already recorded early demos for nine songs already, and a studio for the drum recording is already booked. I start recording drums on the 14th of October”.
That’s great to hear, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves – could you give us a brief insight into each of the tracks on the album?
Let’s start with The Book of Wisdom: “In short, it’s about a secret book that holds the key to the Survival of Saraya. Everything and all depends on the finding of all the lost pages of the book. The runes must be found and lit. From all corners of Saraya, the search has begun and nothing matters most than the restoration of the book, for within lies everything that can save this world from eternal shadow, and give hope for tomorrow”.
When Worlds Collide: “In short, When Worlds Collide, tells a tale of bravery. In the distant land of Saraya , something is stirring in the west. Shadows of a nameless fear are spreading and one brave soul seeking the truth, is now closer to the source that anyone before has ever been, and he’s bringing along his childhood friend, so that he too can see it with his own eyes. These two fictitious characters from our world are on the borders to the dark continents in the west, seeing their beloved mountains engulfed in flames, huge parts of their world and their homeland destroyed. Fire and darkness is spreading, and they shouldn’t even be there. They wanted to see the chaos for themselves, so that maybe, they could bring back something to their people that could help them understand what is coming, and maybe find a way how to counter it. It´s also a story about never giving up. No more tears left to cry, when worlds collide, in other words, when push comes to shove, you either man up or surrender, and our characters from our story made the choice to not give up their dreams for a better future. Maybe their world can still be saved?”
Distant Memories: “A song about a great love that turns into the darkest of nightmares. A terrible accident separates the two and their fate now hangs in the balance. He got stuck between the land of the living and the afterlife. She is struggling to cope with the grim reality of losing all she ever loved. What would be their greatest loss, could become their biggest achievement yet. Reconnected by a paranormal link, created in the fires and flames of the accident, over time, that link is now starting to fade. Will the link hold, or is their love lost forever? Is their journey ending, or has it just begun?
Next up is If Only For A Moment – one of our tracks of the year so far here in the Sentinel Daily office… “A song about a great love that turns into the darkest of nightmares and directly connected to “Distant Memories” and the continuation of that story…
Sandman: “The story is about lost love and to what length you will go to save it, no matter the cost. It’s about our lead female character of Act 2. In this third installment of her and her husbands story, she is now in a coma after her attempted suicide, and while her mind is dreaming, she is praying to The Sandman to come and end her suffering. The Sandman is a mythical character in European folklore who puts people to sleep and encourages and inspires beautiful dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto their eyes. Our take on the Sandman is more sinister. He’s the gatekeeper of dreams and under the influence of The Dark. He did answer her prayers, but will he be reuniting her with her love, or is his plan of a more dark and sinister nature?”
Run: “It’s a song about a young man who is leaving his home and everything he knows behind to help in the search for The Book Of Wisdom. The gates to his city closes behind him and he has to face whatever’s out there and the night all alone. He has been given the blessing from his king and all of his kin, so he better not let them down. He immediately starts running, and he won’t stop until whatever fate lies before him is fulfilled and the book is safe”.
Stranger In Ice: “About a boys journey through The Big Ice, the desolate and cold realm in the far east. He is lost, but the winds and stars remain his true allies. They will guide him, and who knows, he may be closer to finding his true purpose as a follower of light and the founder of the lost. May the light guide him”.
Throne Of Gold: “The fourth installment of Act II. After her attempted suicide, in her coma, she now wonders alone in her imagined underworld trying to locate some glimmer of hope. Things that shouldn’t be wants her soul. She knows too much, but she still hear his voice, but can he guide her back, and reach through the surface of her suffering, or is she, and the only one he ever loved, lost forever?”
Phew – that’s a lot to take in but thanks for taking the time to explain the concepts. This album was a long time in the making – You’ve already mentioned your plans for new Saraya music – so presumably we can expect the next one a bit quicker? “We’ve started writing all new material for the upcoming three albums and the next one will drop in the third quarter of next year”.
Anything else you think the readers of Sentinel Daily should know about the record? “I really urge you to read about the concept on our website. It´s got a fascinating story and it all will be told over the course of four albums. But since I’m writing so much, I’m not so sure that album four is the last one within this world that I have created. There is still much more to tell. Thanks for having me and thanks for giving our album a listen!”