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Interview with Firstborn

I had the opportunity to carry out an interview with Marcus Carlzon from Firstborn.





How and when did the band get together?

The band Firstborn formed early January 2012, but we had all been in another band called A Hole Inside. Where we played some type of Post-hardcore, but we grew tierd of that sound and it felt really good to start on ground zero with a new sound and a new name.

Basically we felt that the new material we had written over the last year didn’t fit with the old AHI material, it kind of got schizophrenic at live shows when we played new songs with old songs.

And also we let a member go who didn’t want to dedicate as much of his attention to music as us, that’s when we knew that A Hole Inside was dead, and we needed to start a new  fresh band. And as I said, it felt really really good!


Who is in the band, what do they play / sing and is there anything that makes you gel as a unit?

We are: Aron Bergstrom on Drums & backup vocals, Max Pontén & Bass & Backup Vocals, Joachim Ragnarsson on Lead Guitar and me, Marcus Carlzon on Rhythm Guitar and Lead vocals.

What makes us a unit is that we are all on the same page when it comes to how our shows should be, how we should sound and how we approach things and our goal setting. We all have very different music tastes and backgrounds and we get that to blend very well together. Everything we do is very thought-through, we don’t write any random stuff, except when it comes to jump out in the audience moshing every once in a while. We don’t have any choreography or anything, we just think things through how we want them to be.

Where is the band from?

We are from the Gothenburg-suburb area, Sweden.

Sweden is very friendly to writing music since the weather is shit all the time and all you do is stay inside with your guitar and play. Or you can go and get shitfaced at a bar, but I don’t do that anymore, it’s more fun to just write music. Gothenburg is also a very cultural place to be, it has a great music scene and a lot of venues to play at, so it’s all good.  


How did the band name come about, is it of any significance?

It’s because Joachim in the band is the Firstborn in his family, he came up with the name. That’s why, it seems kinda random since us other three are the “lastborn’s”


How would you describe the output of the band?

A very dedicated, hardworking and ambitious band that is willing to sacrifice what’s needed to get where we want, and right now that is just play as much live we can as possible and expand our fanbase.

Energetic, honest and real music played by human beings, not some edited drum-triggered modern metal/hard rock stuff you hear all the time nowdays. Fun and energetic live shows with a lot of sing-a-longs (if people know the songs)


Have there been any major changes since the band started?

No actually not, except that everyone is more or less singing a lot more when we’re performing live. It creates a lot of layers which always sounds pleasing to the ear. Also we’ve bought a lot of better gear, haha.


How are the songs composed?

There is a 1000 ways a song can be composed but, usually the process is that someone comes in with a skeleton of a song. It could be vocals & chords, or it could be some riffs / chord progressions that are arranged in a good way. And then we just jamm on that and go on instinct about how the song should progress. It could also be someone has written a whole song with guitars, synthesisers  & Vocals and we just let Aron add the drums to it in the rehearsal.

Usually if a song is instrumental (no vocals written yet that is) we just rehearse it until it flows well and then we record it. Then we improvise vocal melodies over it in our studio until we think it’s good.

We also record a lot of demos and we have realized it’s when we put the songs on tape we can hear if the song / or some parts of the song are good or not. I think that is very important to know, you can’t really rehearse something and then go to a real studio and record it and it will be a good song just because it felt good when you played it with your band. There are many many occasions with songs we felt good about rehearsing but when we recorded demos on them we realized it wasn’t that good. Also we experiment a lot with different chords to the same melody. Melodies feeling can change a lot by changing the chords that is under it, that is something that I am very picky about, the chords have to feel right to the melody, if I know it’s a good melody but when sung to the chords it sounds lame, I know I have to change the chords. I personally decide if a song is good or not by feeling, if the song doesn’t give me shivers or drives me to literally tears, I don’t think it’s good. (yeah I am the emotional crybaby in the band)



Who or what are the main influences?

This is a hard question to answer but I can tell you some of our influences. Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, Parkway Drive, Soundgarden, Sigur Roos, Enter Shikari and many many more.

Also we are, or I am at least, very influenced by how the mind works, and how people in general think and react to certain events in their lives. It inspires me a lot to write for example lyrics about different topics.


Do you have a discography?

Yes our debut album – Define Our Generation (which is available on Define Our Generation - Firstborn*)


Any upcoming tours?

We have some in the workings for 2013, we’re also looking for opportunities to do a small mini tour in England in the London area this Autumn.

We’re probably going to do 10-20 shows all over Sweden from October – December 2012. So it will be a lot of hours driving for sure.


Any upcoming releases?

We just released our new music video for our second single from our debut album : Is This What You Wanted? :


This will be available on itunes shortly.


What drives the band to keep playing?

Our love for music and getting in front of people to entertain them. There’s nothing that gives us a greater kick than performing live or writing that song that gives us shivers.  Every person that comes up to us at a show or writes to us that they love to listen to our music always keeps us going.  Music is so universal; it sort of speaks to everybody, of course everyone doesn’t like all music but there is a fact that everyone needs music in their life. I, for one, could not imagine a life without recording and performing music and I know that all the guys in Firstborn are the same



What should I have asked that you want people to know?

I want people to know that this album is about doing what you want to do with your life – not what anyone else thinks you should do with it.

It’s about overcoming all your fears of failing and getting out of your comfort zone. It’s about being willing to take risks to get what you want from your life.  It’s about people settling for less than they deserve or want, and goes through life being unfulfilled with their situation.

Take a listen to the songs “Is This What You Wanted?” and “Take The World” and you will see what I mean.

Thanks for that Marcus and really appreciate your time.

*Purchases made through the Define Our Generation - Firstborn link will result in the indie bands blog earning a commission.

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