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Cristian Sjöstrand, oftewel Spice, zijn muzikale uitspattingen schipperen tussen seventies geïnspireerde rock en thrash. De voorbije jaren hebben we van hem vooral dat laatste tussen de kiezen gekregen, in dit gekke jaar is er weer wat tijd voor zijn eerste liefde. Band Of Spice, zijn eigen powertrio, is terug met een nieuwe plaat en wij mochten een paar vraagjes zijn kant uit mailen.

Written by Pow


The last album, "Shadows remain", for Band Of Spice dates back to 2017, what happened in the meantime until this whole pandemic stopped all cultural activities?

I recorded Deranged Patterns and Peek Through The Pines with my other solo band MY REGIME.


Did this whole pandemic give you extra time and inspiration to write and record a new album or did it slow things down for you?

I was preparing for a new MY REGIME record when the company asked for a BAND OF SPICE album. So we rehearsed around 12-13 of the Band of Spice songs I chose for the record. It took us about 3 weeks to prepare before we hit the studio were we recorded the drums. We managed to record the guitars (exept lead) and bass before Covid came and put everything on a hold. It was not until August that we managed to finish the recordings.


Compared to its predecessor "Shadow Remains" the new album sounds less dark, it has a more positive vibe to it. Which is quite original as well, compared to album releases these days... A reason for that?

The lyrics on "Shadows" are for me much darker than they are on this album. Much of the lyrics on that album describe a certain time and place in my life. I guess that spilled over to the music as well.  I wanted this album to be more focused as a whole than it is on Shadows Remains. One other reason might be that I decided to record the album in standard tunning. That I think gave the songs a more resilient and fresh sound. 


The album title asks for an explanation as well. Should we interpret as something positive (which is also heard in the music) or not at all?

I was thinking about a sweet memory from Pelekas (Greece) around 1992, 1993, when I spent a night on the beach, waiting for the rise of the sun surrounded by stray dogs. But the lyrics is mostly about that we hide and pay in this wheel of constant pretence. And with this Covid situation I thought that it would be a good title for the record.


You stated that you took your influences for this record from albums like "Heaven and Hell" and "Blizzard of Ozz". I would have thought your inspirations would have been at least a few years 'older' than those early 80ties albums?

I don't know what you mean by that? I'm not hooked up on a certain time in the history of music. I get my inspiration from all kinds of times and places. But back to this album. It was more the sounds of those records I was after. Or you can call it the reference we had when we started the recording. 


You have a few other bands as well. Is there a certain formula or a necessary mood to write songs specific for Band Of Spice?

Not with Band of Spice. That stuff comes naturally. With My Regime I must set myself in that Thrash zone.


In your career up till now you played guitars, bass and sang or combined things in different, great bands and line ups. Was that a choice that came up with that particular line up because of what was needed at that moment or was/is it a conscious choice?

Both I guess. With Kayser I wanted to focus on just the vocals. But I got tired of it at the end. 


I know Kayser disbanded, but what's going on with My Regime? Anything we can expect in the near future?

At the moment the focus is on Band of Spice. 


I saw you perform with Spiritual Beggars end of the nineties on a Graspop stage once and with Kayser in 2008 as support for Volbeat?Of course, I could have missed other dates/gigs, but have you toured Belgium already with Band Of Spice? Besides that, are you a frequently touring band?

I have never played in Belgium with Band of Spice. I have done many gigs in Belgium with Spiritual Beggars, The Mushroom River Band and with Kayser. We have not made a proper tour with Band of Spice, yet. When this pandemic is over I hope we can take the band on some sort of European tour.


You remain often referred to as "Spice, previously from Spiritual Beggars" or "ex-Spiritual Beggars". Does that bother you? Do you consider that as something logical because of the reputation of that band or would you rather have that reference excluded?

It doesn't bother me. I understand it.


To return to the reason for this list of questions: do you have specific expectations for this new, fourth album or does it kind of end for you when it's released and already start working on a next album, on a new project?

I'm already in the prosess of chosing songs for the next record. Cheers and thx for the interest and support!




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