Nestor Rockfest 2023

“If you follow your dreams, eventually they will come true” – interview with Nestor

Author Benedetta Baldin - 18.6.2024

Nestor is a band from Sweden that has recently released their second album “Teenage Rebel”. Their music pays homage to the golden age of rock and heavy metal music, and they will soon be on tour across Europe. We had the opportunity to chat with lead singer Tobias Gustavsson about the record, food and TV shows as well.

Good evening Tobias. How are you doing? 

Tobias Gustavsson: I’m doing fine. I’m really great. I’ve just finished the day, we’re starting the summer tour and getting into kind of rehearsal mode. To get going with everything from staging to clothes to a setlist. So all good.

Awesome. And yeah, you have just released “Teenage Rebel”. I was wondering, are there any songs in the album that evolved completely from the initial idea to the final result? 

Tobias Gustavsson: I should say, to be honest, that all of them are. I guess it has to do with the fact that I’ve been writing songs and being a music producer all my life. I know that a lot of bands write a lot of songs and then in the end they pick out 10. For us, we start with something and if we feel that it’s not making it, we kind of quit quite early and the ones that we have some kind of vibe for, we keep on, you know, “massaging” them until it’s a finished product. So all of them, I should say, were maybe a couple of ideas that we quite early said like, “Yeah, let’s leave this for something else”, you know, but the main part is what we started with is what got finished, so to speak. 

Oh, that’s amazing to hear. After the release of the album is there any message that you hope that the fans will have when they listen to the record? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Well, yeah, I think it sounds a bit cliché, but, you know, we’re almost 50 years old now. We started this band when we were only teenagers, like, 13 years old or 15 years old. And I think even though it sounds again, cliché, if you follow your dreams, eventually they will come true. That is the topic of the album, even though dreams kind of change through time, but still that is what I hope that people can feel. He’s a police officer and this other guy is a principal at a school. And now they’re rocking out for 10,000 people playing their songs, you know? So hopefully that could be inspiring.

Who or what is your inspiration for your vocals? You’re an amazing and talented vocalist.

Tobias Gustavsson: Thank you very much. Well. I have so many favourite singers, but first of all, I think I should start from a broader perspective. I always loved vocals where they express something, you know, it doesn’t have to be the best singer, but still they tell a story and you get the story, you get their feelings and what they talk about. I have so many singers that inspired me, but if I should mention a few, of course, Ronnie James Dio is like one of the house gods of rock and roll, of course. Even Joey Tempest from Europe used to be a great inspiration for me as well as Paul Stanley, you know.

You’re playing with Europe in not so long. That’s going to be amazing. 

Tobias Gustavsson: No, it’s great. And nowadays, you know, I sit with him backstage and play a little bit. It’s kind of surreal in a way, but all of a sudden, just two guys playing some guitar and singing together. But there are tons of them. Then of course, like Michael Bolton, Tom Jones, to mention a few Celine Dion, Whitney, of course. Pink is a great singer. There are so many of them. Dua Lipa, she’s great as well. You know, when you listen to different vocals, what kind of always gets to me is when the singer has some kind of expression, you know, they have a story to tell. Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and Audioslave, he used to be my house guide as well, of course. He has the whole package. 

We were talking that you’re going soon on tour and do you prefer to play indoors or outdoors? And why is that? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Well, it’s hard. Let me put it this way: playing outdoors when it’s kind of cold and windy, you don’t like it that much. Going indoors, it’s always good, but on the other hand, we did a show a couple of years back at the Monsters of Rock Cruise in the Caribbean, the sun was coming down, and it was 30 degrees warm, you know, nothing beats that outside. I love both, I can’t say that I prefer one better than the other, but of course, you’re always kind of safe when you’re indoors. It happened to us when we played some festival in Finland, it was so windy that they were afraid of the speakers and the PA system that they would fall down. So they have to do extra security checks before, and that kind of kills the vibe a little bit when you can’t be too close to the speaker, so yeah, but I like both.

Continuing of live shows, you’re going to play in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and some festivals as well. And I was wondering how about the rest of Europe. I’m in Italy and I would love to see you in concert. Are there any plans perhaps, maybe, to come here as well? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Yeah it is, we would love to go everywhere, but it’s, it’s just a matter of getting the schedule right. We should be able to go to Italy over the day, play a gig and go back. But when it comes to further away, for example, we were in Brazil the other weekend and we went there for like two shows and it kind of takes a lot of time and we said that you know, if we go into Brazil next time or somewhere overseas, we should really do a lot of shows in one go and then go back. I think we will definitely come to Italy and we’re looking forward to it, but I guess it has to do with the fact that we got to sort out the schedule first. But we will definitely be in Italy within the next six to eight months, I guess.

You, of course, are an artist, singer, composer and producer. Is the artistic life lonely sometimes? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Yeah, it is. That’s the answer. Yeah. Sometimes it is. It’s like where I am now. This is my studio and now it feels okay again, but when I was doing the album and producing it and writing most parts of it, cause it’s in the basement of our house, I got a bit angst. So much time here trying to figure out how it’s going to be and sing and play and all that. It’s kind of lonely then. Then on the other hand, for this album, “Teenage Rebel” it was much better because the guys from the band came over and we did the recordings here. The part from where I kind of write the song and produce it till they come, it could be quite lonely. When the album is done, you kind of forget about those lonely nights sitting down here trying to figure out some chorus or some verse or some lyrics. That’s like, I can’t even remember because when I was done, I said to the guys that this is the last album. There won’t be another album. So I don’t have any songs. I don’t have anything. We’re done. But now it feels like it wasn’t that hard, right? 

Do you want to share with us an unpopular opinion you have? For example, I don’t like Game of Thrones.

Tobias Gustavsson: Wow. Do I have any unpopular? I don’t like Game of Thrones either. I gave it a shot two times, the three or four first episodes. But I like fantasy, I love it. But Game of Thrones didn’t do it for me. So that might be my unpopular thing as well now, but there are some stuff that never really got to me. Like, for example, I can admire Coldplay, but I have friends that say Coldplay is so great. And I was like, well, I can’t really see it. I try. I know, I can hear that they are great, but it doesn’t get to me if you know what I mean? Normally, I think everything is kind of cool. I go for the Game of Thrones as well, because I really tried; the hype is crazy, but I was like, winter is coming. Yeah, it sounds cool. But what is going on basically? 

I’m so happy now. I know that someone else in the world doesn’t like it.

Tobias Gustavsson: It’s two of us. At least there are two of us. 

Awesome. And I get to brag because I can say, you know, but Tobias Gustavsson also doesn’t like Game of Thrones, so it’s okay. 

Tobias Gustavsson: That you can tell. I will definitely back you up and tell it. That’s the truth. I have to say it. That’s the truth.

I wanted to play a little game with you if that’s all right. Not related to Game of Thrones, absolutely. If all of the tracks from “Teenage Rebel” came to life as people, which one would you be your best friend? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Ooh, it’s a tricky one, but I guess, you know, there’s a song on the album called “Daughter“, which I wrote for my daughter. So that, of course. It’s hard to match that one. But if we put that song aside then, “Last To Know”, which is the third song on the album. It’s always been a really favourite of mine for some reason. It has that vibe that kind of from the start when that song was done, that felt like, you know, a cab down going towards the sun, kind of driving somewhere, that feeling.

I’m Italian, so I’m sorry, but this question is almost mandatory. What is your favourite pasta topping? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Pesto. I love pasta pesto. Yeah, even the red pesto arrabbiata with small sausages and stuff. I love it. Italian food in general is fantastical. 

Tobias thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview it was a pleasure meeting you. Is there anything else you want to add to the readers? 

Tobias Gustavsson: Well, first of all, I have to say thank you to everyone who listens to our music, supports us and comes to the show, this is the reason why we do it. And if you didn’t, there would be no Nestor. So thank you for the support and thank you for your time, Benedetta. And, yeah, hopefully, we’ll come to Italy quite soon. Looking forward to it. I can tell you that. And then we’re going to have a pasta arrabbiata.