Carry The Torch – Interview

Interview with Philip Nilsson (Lead Guitar with Carry The Torch) and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?

PN: We are a metal band that focus on melody, energy, catchy and rememberable songs. We want our music to be well written and performed. As a band we are very down to earth, four normal guys (men?) that like metal and music. We have a lot of humor and believe that music Is suppose to be fun, and that is what we strive towards. Make good music and have fun while doing so.


PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.

PN: We are from a small city called Kalmar in the southeastern parts of Sweden. All of us have played in different constellations and groups prior to Carry the Torch, and it just came to be. Me (Philip, guitar) and Dennis (Vocals) wrote and recorded the first record (Obsession) before an actual band existed. When that record was about 80% finished we realized that we needed and wanted to perform live. Thats when we found our other two permanent members (Victor and Björn).

Hoe we came to make music? Well, for me (Philip) it started very early. I think I was around 17, and that is a long time ago. I had a headset microphone a 4/12 cab and a recording software. I knew nothing, but got along. I recorded ideas to a band I played in and got an interest in writing and recording in general. Today it is necessary to know the basics of recording, or at least someone in the band needs to. I am that person for our band. Call me the nerd is you like.


PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

PN: The lyrics for our songs are often about present day problems. Metal is a very angry type of music, and you do not need to look far to find things that inspire. We tend to stay away from politics, but find inspiration in many other things.

The music, well. Sometimes it writes itself, sometimes it does not. Inspiration can come from many different places. If I head a song that I like, an arrangement I like, that can inspire. The most important thing is to never stop. Do not stop because it is not good straight away. Bands that have inspired us are planty, to name a few: At the Gates, The Haunted, Exodus, Slayer, Metallica


PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?

PN: Make music, play live and have fun!

If I were allowed to dream, I would like to make a living out of music.


PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?

PN: Last year we played at Gefle Metal festival in Sweden. It was very crowded and the audience liked us, that was one of the best days in my life (second to the birth of my daughter).

The day after we attended the festival, other visitors pointed and whispered ”hey, they played yesterday right?” – That kind of makes you think you are special (which we of course are not).


PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

PN: Well, I do not know really. We have the luxury of working with two different PR-agencies. I think they are better suited to answer the question. In general I think that the present day landscape of music are saturated to the breaking point. You need to do something that is unique, wich is far from easy. Personally I like the album-format, but understand that it is dead. Music is not about good albums any longer, and the metal world will soon have to realize and accept that. You have to be on point, all the time. You have to have new music all the time to be present and to keep people talking about you. Ola Englund has been saying the same thing for years, and I believe he is right. If you want an example, take a look at Ghost.


PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?

PN: Normaly we book our performances by our selves. We are looking into the possibilities of working with a booking agency, we just lack the last 995,000 streams to do so, if you catch my drift. =)

We do have some performances coming up. The first of July we will play in our hometown Kalmar. That will be our first show for the year, and the first show after the release of our second album!


PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?

PN: Well, this old question. =)

I thought Spotify and similar services killed all the downloading?

The idea about Spotify is brilliant! Not only in a music fan perspective, but in the perspective of a business owner. I mean, to earn money on someone else’s work and become a billionaire?

That takes some serious skills and understanding of the market. I wish I were payed more from spotify, but I like the service. I have been a continuous user of the service since it’s release and have no plans of cancelling my subscription (Daniel Ek, please endorse me/us?).


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

PN: Hmm, tricky one. I wish I’d written ”’Death In Fire” by Amon Amarth. That song is simply a masterpiece. Maybe I am being nostalgic, but I have to many memories tied to that song.

Hell, I wish I wrote slaughter of the soul (At The Gates) because it is one of the best records ever if you ask me.


PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?

PN: Well, there is limitations to what I can say. There is a lot I would like to change. Lets take the first and most obvious thing. Why is artists earning more money from merchandise rather than the music? …No? Well, because people in general do not want to pay for music. They want it for free and for all to enjoy (and I can not blame them).

However, If that is the state of mentality we strive towards, I’d like to see a touring musician in 20 years. It will either be a fossil that has already been around the past 40 years, or an entrepreneur that has done everything by herself/himself, owns all the rights, all the tech, all the everything. All the other ones in the between will never get any further than your Spotify-playlist and smaller club-gigs, wich they play for free or a tray of beer. And we can’t have that, can we?

If I could change something? Less greed, more honesty. Give the new bands a shot. In the end, they are the ones that will headline your shows and festivals in the future (unless the fossil or the entrepreneur does so…).


PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?

PN: I am trying to come up with a concept for our next album as well as starting a band-related business. Got to make things serious!


PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?

PN: You can learn more about us on our social media accounts!

You can listen to our music on spotify, tidal and apple music.

You can buy our music on the following sites:

Carry The Torch links:
Band/Artist location – Sweden
Facebook – You Tube – Bandcamp – 
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
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