Being fellow townsmen and musicians, it was just a matter of time before Stefan Weinerhall and Mathias Blad crossed tracks. But it was Mathias’s sister, Heléne, who happened to be the link that led those two together, when she was hired to do some vocals for Stefan’s former band Mithotyn. So, when Stefan, in 1999, wanted to record a demo of some new tracks for a yet unnamed project, he didn’t have to search a long time.

At first I was a bit sceptical, since I had no experience with hard rock, Mathias remembers. But after listening to some of the songs, I just felt I had to sing them!

Do you remember which songs?

Mathias: It was «Mindtraveller» and an early version of «Substitutional World» [both songs would later end up on the debut album].

How was the first impression of the music, and how was it to sing the songs the first time?

Mathias: «Mindtraveller» was the very first song I heard. It is so long ago that it was recorded on a cassette tape, haha! I remember being completely taken by the unbelievable quality of the melodies. And it sounded so good with my voice. It was a fun song to sing technically also.

How much of the album was already written when you were contacted?

Mathias: When Stefan first contacted me there were three or four songs written and recorded, as I can recall. «Substitutional World» was completely different though, compared to the album version. Parts of the original melody was used later and ended up as a completely different song. I can’t remember which song, unfortunately.

As rumors have it, and as Stefan told me, you were no big fan of hard rock and heavy metal when you joined Falconer. What was your musical upbringing like?

Mathias: Yes, that’s true. I have never really listened to metal, even though I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. At home we listened to jazz, big band and classical chamber music – if we were to listen. Later on I listened a lot to musicals. In retrospective it’s really strange that I never jumped on the hard rock train, so to speak. I think there are a lot of similarities between musicals and power metal, when speaking about how the music is presented. So, Falconer was my first encounter with hard rock and metal as a vocalist!

And how do you feel about the genre now?

Mathias: I would be lying if I were to tell you that I listen a lot to metal, because I really don’t. But, I have a completely different picture of metal now, than I had 25 years ago. And the metal fans is probably the best fans in the world!

After two albums you quit the band. Why?

Mathias: The other members in the band wanted to take the band on the road, to try touring. At least to see what it would bring. I didn’t have the opportunity because of my job as an actor. Therefore, we decided that I should step aside, so that the band could seize the opportunity when it first arrived. There was no drama behind that decision at all. 

You returned to the band a few years and two albums later. Did Stefan had to persuade you, or what was the reason?

Mathias: Actually, it’s just the Grime vs. Grandeur album [2005] that I haven’t worked with. On The Sceptre Of Deception [2003] I contributed with backing and additional vocals. After Grime vs. Grandeur Stefan again started to write songs, and having my vocals in mind when doing so. I don’t think he did it intentionally; it just happened. So, when he presented the songs, that later would become the Northwind record, I really felt that this was something I really wanted to sing. And suddenly I was back! But it is important to remember that the Falconer songs is Stefan’s songs. The other members in the band are just messengers.

Falconer released its latest album in 2014 (Black Moon Rising). Since then I have had the feeling that the band have spilt ut. Is that correct?

Mathias: No, that’s not correct. We have some new stuff going on! It’s just that we are getting older and having other commitments, with the result of everything taking much longer time. And it did take three years between our three latest albums also, so we are not that far behind, haha!

Thinking back on the years with Falconer; what memories sticks with you?

Mathias: Having the chance to meet all the amazing fans! And when I sang on the first demo, in an old school in Mjölby. At that time the demos didn’t had to be technically perfect to result in a record deal!

What have you been up to since the Black Moon Rising album?

Mathias: I have continued to work at Lerbäcks theatre. We also did a small, and final, tour with Falconer in 2015, where we played at Wacken, Sabaton Open Air and ProgPower in Atlanta.

What plans do you have for the near future?

Mathias: More theatre and some freelance projects, one with the Swedish chamber orchestra, among other things.

Have the years with Falconer changed you as a vocalist?

Mathias: Yes, definitely! Singing in Falconer allows me to use the lower parts of my range, something that I rarely do otherwise.

What album and song do you think is Falconer’s best – and why?

Mathias: That is a tough question! I do like Northwind [2006] a lot, but I’m also very proud of the fact that we did the Armod record [2011] in Swedish. My favorite song I guess would be «Catch The Shadows» [Northwind album]. And «Wings Of Serenity»!

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