Interview: The Download Tapes – Orbit Culture

Melodic death metallers Orbit Culture put on a blistering show on the Sunday evening at Download. Mark Bestford chatted to Christopher Wallerstedt and Niklas Karlsson from the band prior to their set about what they would do if they were God for the day and their love of horror movies, and their new album.


With everything being digital and run predominantly through social media what is your view on the importance of regional and printed press?

Niklas “It’s a pretty tough one because we are on a lot on the social media side. Because that has helped us tremendously. Yeah, of course, like magazines like Revolver and stuff has really put our band on the map, especially in the US. So I think we’re more experienced in using social media to our advantages rather than, you know, print magazines and stuff. But it’s, it’s still working. So yeah.”

The hardest step for most bands now is actually going fulltime, a lot of band members have second jobs, is that something you’ve managed to do or working towards?

Christopher “We work together.”

NK “All of us in the band have daily jobs still. And of course, we can’t depend on like, Spotify streams and stuff. But it’s getting better for sure, as the band grows and stuff, but it’s still a long way to go to drop our daily jobs.

So something you’re hoping to do in the next few years?

NK “We hope so. I hope so.”

If you could play God for a day, who would you make an angel and who would you send to Hell? And why?

NK “If I could be God for a day?

Yes, you can make someone an angel and send someone to Hell.

NK “I guess we can agree on putting Vladimir Putin in Hell. Yeah. And I don’t know. Bring an angel like back to life?”

To make an angel.

NK “To make an angel. It’s on you.”

CW “But that means I want to… it feels like it means that I have to kill somebody to send him to heaven.”

It can be somebody already dead.

CW “Okay, I have to say. I have to say my dad. My father. Yeah.”

I guess he meant a lot to you then?

CW “Yeah, he means a lot to me. And I it’s always been there, my mom as well. But, you know, then some, you know? Yeah.”

If the band got offered an amazing major label deal, changing either the music or how you look? Would you do it?

NK “No. Make no. sense. When we signed with our label that was like the only thing that we had, like, the label is not allowed to touch anything creatively, or like, can’t even touch the visuals of the whole thing. So and then they were like, alright, just do your thing and we will support you 100%.”

CW “So it works really, really well.”

Why change something that’s working.

NK “Yeah.”

If you’re able to select your support band on tour, who would you actually want supporting you?

NK “I don’t know. I love another Swedish band called Humanity’s Last Breath. I don’t know if they are bigger or a bit. I don’t know. I think we’re somewhat on the same level. But you know, just going out on a tour with them would be awesome because we have some friends in that band too. So yeah, absolutely. Humanity’s Last Breath from Sweden.”

Who has the worst tour habits?

CW “We have only done one tour. I need to think.”.

NK “I think we all have our bad sides and both good sides. I like to keep the party going for a lot longer than the other guys maybe. But…”

CW “He’s the one that stays up the longest, and I’m the one who goes to bed first.”

So it’s you then.

NK “I suppose so.”

When writing new music does the band work collaboratively or is there a main person in the band?

NK “It’s usually I who write and record all the stuff at home. Of course we go through, like drum pedals. I’m not a drummer and I write drums, always eight arms involved in mind.”

CW “Yeah. Sometimes I bring some ideas, drumming ideas, but not so often.”

NK “It’s mainly fills and stuff.”

CW “It’s mainly you who is the driving force.”

NK “We actually have a new album in the works. We don’t know any release date or anything, but it’s like 80, 90% done. Yeah, but we will after… we have Download then some other shows coming up these upcoming weekends here and then we’re gonna finish it. Yeah. In July.”

Is there a band joker?

NK “Band joker?”

Practical jokes on tour

CW “Yeah. Frederick.”

NK “The bass player. Yeah. All the time. Dad jokes.”

CW “Dad jokes. Really boring stuff.”

NK “Bad dad jokes, yeah.”

I suppose the main band goal this year is probably going to be getting the album out.

NK “The main goal is, this will be our busiest year since we started

CW “This is an important year for us. To show the people…”

NK “…We are like truly. Like, it’s an honour to even be invited to a festival like Download. I don’t know if we really have to show what we go for.”

I suppose it’s been hard to get yourself out there. We’ve not been able to tour anything.

NK “Exactly. Yeah, we back in 2020, when the COVID shit happened, we actually released album called Nija, which gained a bit of success in the metal underground scene. And then we got on board with our booking agency, UTA, and then they have been amazing. They sent us a lot of festival and we were like yes, yes, yes, yes. But now the real work begins. Yeah, everything has been so that’s the main goal just to get through the year, and have a great time”

If you could create your own super band, who would you put in it and why?

CW “And why? Oh, I definitely would put Dave Grohl behind the drum kit because that’s why I’m here. He has a major influence on me. Then I would just love…”

NK “Along with Dave Grohl. I would put Hetfield of course in the front. Maybe throw Frederik Thordendal from Meshuggah. Maybe Deven Townsend too. And, of course, like Cliff Burton or something.”

A fairly eclectic band. You never know, it might work. To finish you can pick any subject to talk about.

CW “Food.”

NK “We are huge, I think it’s displayed in our music to, that we’re huge fans of movies. Yeah, we have a very like cinematic theme going on in almost every song. So yeah, that’s why I think it’s an obvious influence but for those who don’t know we like, Paul Simma’s our god

There’s a very, almost underground Swedish arthouse style for films as well. We get films out here like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Midsommar.

NK “Yeah, I love Midsommar.”

CW “I haven’t seen that.”

NK “You haven’t seen that? We’re big fans of horror movies and stuff so that’s why I think we try to incorporate that into the music with weird horror noises and stuff.”

Interview and photos by Mark Bestford