MELODY LANE had a great interview with DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM, singer of the vintage hard blues rock band BLACK INK RIVER. The Swedish 'retro rockers' released a fantastic album, titled 'Through the Unknown' on January 2021, via GMR Music Group, an album that's highly recommended to fans of bands like MOUNTAIN, THE BLACK CROWES, CREAM, RIVAL SONS, THE DEAD DAISIES, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION.



MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name BLACK INK RIVER come from?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: We have a river that runs through our home town called Svartån which translates to Black River in english. We thought it would be a cool touch to add something local and played around with it for a while and came up with Black Ink River.  

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed, is it the same from the beginning of the band…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us anything about the roots of BLACK INK RIVER? Where the band was born? Have the actual members played... or do they play in other bands?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: The band started out as a three piece recording project 2016 in our home town Västerås but progressed to a full band when we recruited Anders Modd who at the time played bass in the heavy metal band Wolf. We have been the same line up since the first album Headstrong (GMR Music 2018), Bosse Karlsson - Guitar, Daniel Wahlström - Vocals/Percussion, Anders Modd - Bass and Roger Johannessen - Drums. Everyone in the band except me (Daniel) have other bands and projects on the side, I don't have the time for another band and I like to focus my creativity on Black Ink.

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 5 songs, from  BLACK INK RIVER ‘s discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 5 songs that can help our readers to know BLACK INK RIVER at the best.
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: Here are five songs that showcase our range of sound and style:

The Witch And The Wolf

In The End


Sulphur Sky

When I'm Gone

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: Usually Anders or Bosse have an idea or a riff that we all try out together in the rehersal room/studio, jamming and trying out different things. Just letting the music lead the way and see where it takes us. The final result is a team effort.

MELODY LANE:  Can you tell us something about contents and messages of your last album ? …Can you tell us anything about the whole concept of ‘Through The Unknown’? And plese tell us where does this title come from? 
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: Through The Unknown got excellent reviews and I think we gained a wider fan base with that album because of the diversity of the songs and the production being a step up from Headstrong. This album is kind of a concept album about existential philosophy.
The meaning behind the album title is that life is like a journey through the unknown and that no one really knows what the future will hold. For example, When I'm Gone is a song about being both afraid and curious about getting old and eventually dying and Sulphur Sky is like a post apocalypse story. 

MELODY LANE:  …After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your previous album ‘Headstrong’? If you could… would you change anything? What did you focus on to make the sound better and perfectly consistent with the musical ideas you had in mind?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: Well, Headstrong has kind of a trial and error period where we formed the band in the middle of the writing process of the album. Don't get me wrong, it's a good album and people seem to like it but all of the songs on it are not representative of how we sound today.We would not change a thing about Headstrong because it was the perfect project for finding out what Black Ink River was all about. Through The Unknown is a more solid album with a better production but it all comes down to personal preferences, some people think  Headstrong is a better album and some don't. 

MELODY LANE:  So apart from the covid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see  BLACK INK RIVER playing live here in Italy/Europe in the next months/year? 
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: We have some shows booked in Sweden this spring before we enter the studio at SolnaSound Productions to record an EP. Due to the pandemic all festivals and tours have been postponed for two years so now everyone booked for 2020 will play this year. The plan is to release the EP this fall if everything goes as planned and do shows after that. We will for sure look at Italy and Europe for live shows. 

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like BLACK INK RIVER to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for BLACK INK RIVER to play with. And why these bands?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: I would love to tour with Rival Sons cause I absolutely love their music and they seem to be cool dudes. I think we would be a good match. Another band that would fit the bill is a Swedish band called Lugnet that we have played together with in the past.
 If you have not heard them you know what to do.  

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define  BLACK INK RIVER sound? Are you a VINTAGE ROCK band…an HARD BLUES ROCK band… A  70’S HARD ROCK band…Or…?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: We have been called everything of the above and it's really a preference thing. I would say we are a rock band with both some bluesy vibes and some hard rock influences. 

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays?...And Why?
We have such a variety of influences in this band because we all have different musical backgrounds but to name a few:Jimi Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Mountain and Cry Of Love. I actually listen to a lot of Death Metal but also lots of 60s and 70s Rock and Pop. Roger is a huge AC/DC fan, Anders loves Uriah Heap and Bosse a Jimi Hendrix fan so we have a wide range of styles that we like to listen to. 

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future? 
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: We all come from backgrounds with touring bands and there are loads of stories but we can save that for another interview. For Black Ink River it would be releasing Headstrong and hitting the road with festival/club shows, for being a new band we got a lot of good attention in the media and pretty fast built a small but lovely fan base.

MELODY LANE: Until today...What was the most important concert for  BLACK INK RIVER career? And why?
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: We're a pretty new band and the pandemic got in the way of touring and doing shows but before covid we got to play a festival called Skogsröjet which is an open air hard rock festival in Sweden. Awesome festival. 

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
DANIEL WAHLSTRÖM: "Keep on rockin 'in the free world!"