An Exclusive Interview With Swedish Heavy Metal Warriors RAM!

RAM is a heavy metal band formed in 1999 by guitarist Harry Granroth, who created a band destined to reassert the true power of heavy metal and bring it, kicking and screaming, to the music-loving masses. The band’s latest album, ‘Rod’, takes no different approach than its predecessors, by being true to the roots of the 1980’s heavy metal aura. ‘Rod’ is the first RAM album to feature a concept story consisting of 6 songs that account for the entire B side of the LP.  Leather-clad and gloriously passionate about all things metal RAM are a band that any red-blooded metal fan should be rushing to check out. Today we’d like to bring to your attention this interview with these heavy metal warriors! The following interview is taken exclusively for Rock Arena. Enjoy it!


Hello, Guys and welcome to Rock Arena! Almost 2 decades (20 years) into the band’s career… What has been your biggest challenge as a band? What’s changed for RAM?

♦RAM: We have always put a lot of effort into always keeping RAM on the maximum level from a creative point of view, to never be satisfied with something that is not top notch regarding the expression of the Heavy Metal spirit. This has taken its toll over the years since we are and have been an underground band and have not ever had the best conditions to perform at the level that we actually have. Playing in RAM is like balancing on the edge of a razor and as soon as we miss a step on that thin line, then its all over. Then we quit this endeavor, there is no as there has never been any compromise.

– You are often labeled as Traditional Heavy Metal, who are the major influences to RAM’s music? How important is it to RAM to keep the Metal real?

♦RAM: This comes very natural to us, when we write music we don’t have to commit to a certain style, we grew up with KISS, Accept, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden and those are still our favorite bands so we are kind of stuck in that and can write that kind of music with honesty and from the heart without having to tweak and adapt to the style.

 – Your new album, “Rod” is out now; tell us about the title of the album…Who’s the producer and what inspired the lyrical content of this album?

♦RAM: The title is the name of our “mascot”, the ram-horned skeleton, the incarnation of steel and fire, the RAM ROD. We produced this album ourselves and recorded it in our own studio, Black Path Studios. Our lyrics mainly deal with the concept of the individual vs the collective and the dangers of following the flock under two-faced leaders. What the world needs are more individuals who live life in accordance to their own rules and standards.

– What are your favorite tracks from the new album? What is your analysis of the reasons and was all that a natural process in your personal musical and spiritual ways?

♦Oscar Carlquist: My favorite tracks from the new album are “Incinerating Storms” and “The Cease To Be”. I like Incinerating because of its unrelenting aggression, it is, without doubt, the most aggressive song we have ever written. The cease to be is almost the opposite, it is almost a ballad, and here I got to showcase a part of my vocal performance that is not that usual in a RAM setting.

 – RAM entering official German album charts with the new album, ‘Rod’ on position 64… Tell us more about it, what does it mean to you?

♦RAM: Well its cool to see that a lot of people are into what we are doing, that is a massive compliment, but lists and prices anything made up by the music industry does not really impress us.

We see the industry as a necessary evil, something that we have to work in, in order to make sure that anybody hears are music and comes to our shows. Winning Grammys our other awards is not something that motivates us in any way. We are RAM and we judge everything that happens from our point of view and react according to our standards.

– Oscar, your unique vocal style is one of the things that makes your band stand apart from others. Which singers were your role models and who influenced you most in your vocal style?

♦Oscar Carlquist: First singer I ever heard that I really resonated with was John Fogerty, his course, pure rock n roll voice is really aggressive for being sixties rock. Then I felt the same thing when I heard Ronnie James Dio for the first time, but he also has a very theatrical way of singing, he lives out the lyrics in a very cool way, I took this to heart as well. But the master of metal lyrics is Rob Halford, not just because of his register but also in his absolute immersion into what he is singing, nobody can take you on a ride through the song like Rob.

– You were previously with AFM Records, how did you get involved with Metal Blade? What’s the story there?

♦RAM: We got in touch with Metal Blade after we the death album was ready for release so they had the whole album to listen to when taking into consideration to signing us. They were super positive about a collaboration, so we with several other offers on the table decided to sign with them.

– How do you think the current metal scene compares with previous generations? What inspires you to do what you do, and what advice would you give to fellow bands?

♦RAM: Our music comes from channeling the currents of inspiration available to us as purely as possible. Any band that tries consciously to create a new style of music will be doing to much thinking and to little feeling. Music is not about the mind it is about the soul. A good musician understands that what inspires him is far bigger and greater than himself, therefore he should be very sure not to get in the way of that process by actively trying to create something fresh or new.

– Why ‘RAM’? What does the name mean? Is there any special meaning behind the name? 

♦RAM: It has several meanings, but first and foremost it is in reference to the verb, “to RAM”. But also as a tribute to the stubbornness and individuality of the male sheep.

– Which was the first rock/metal (CD, Cassette, Vinyl) album you bought? Do you remember your first band show? And your first real Metal concert as a fan?

Oscar Carlquist: The first Metal album I bought was “Creatures of the night” by KISS. I have listened to that album several thousand times. The first show I attended was AC/DC on the Fly On The Wall tour in Gothenburg. It was a mindblowing experience for me as a 9-year-old.

– What more could we expect from the band, do you have any upcoming shows? When can we hear RAM live in the UK?

♦RAM: We are currently on the “Road Kill” European tour together with Portrait and Trial. That is from the 9’th – the 24’th of Feb. We are hoping to return the U.K this fall.

– Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview! Your message to all the Rock & Metalheads around the globe…?


RAM album “Rod” available now. Buy – HERE!

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Interviewed by Toni Rock