Soilwork Singer Comments on Sweden’s Lax Coronavirus Response


Soilwork / The Night Flight Orchestra singer Björn “Speed” Strid was our guest on the most recent episode of The MetalSucks Quarantinecast, in which we speak to metal musicians at home on lockdown about their experience so far with the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s altered their lives. You can view the whole series archive here.

Strid’s native Sweden has caught some flack from the international community for being one of the few countries to not order its citizens to stay home, instead offering looser guidelines it expects its citizens to follow like good boys and girls. We asked Speed what he thinks of that policy, and while on the whole he feels ambivalent, he’s appalled at some of the behavior he’s witnessed:

“Hard to say, things are a little bit confusing. We’re one of the few countries that still are sort of not in a lockdown and so we get a lot of shit from a lot of countries right now. I can understand why but I think there is a plan.

“I think people are very confused — like are there always symptoms? can I carry it without having any symptoms? — so there’s not really any clear answers and I think that makes people a little nervous, obviously… it’s pretty hard to deal with. We’ve been in quarantine for about three weeks [Editor’s note: interview was recorded last week.]. My girlfriend is Italian, she’s from the north of Italy, and her parents are locked down and they go on Skype every day and talk. The situation in Italy is more scary, that’s a complete lockdown. 

“Everybody’s asked to stay at home and not to do any unnecessary traveling, stuff like that. But I went to downtown Stockholm this weekend and all the patios are open and it was packed and I was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ I couldn’t believe it, it was unbelievable, I don’t get it. It made me very sad to see that, and very angry.”

Later in the chat, Björn told us that he’s keeping busy with guest vocal work, discussed his new ’80s film soundtrack cover band, At the Movies, and plugged a livestream concert by The Night Flight Orchestra from an empty club in Helsingborg, which took place this past weekend (watch here! it’s fantastic).

Björn also admitted the boredom has gotten the best of him at times, and he made some completely ridiculous Amazon purchases:

“There’s a lot of people making drunken purchases online right now. I’m guilty myself. I’ve ordered some really weird stuff. What do you call it, like a gyro grill? The Greek one that spins. A pair of white gloves to wear on stage with the The Night Flight Orchestra this Saturday. Some towels with a bear motif on them.

Stream the full episode below via either YouTube video or audio embed — it’s only 16 minutes long!

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