“This keeps me sane, I have to do this”: Meet Orbit Culture, the band Matt Heafy is calling the future of metal

Trivium and Machine Head love them, and their UK tour has sold out – we hooked up with Orbit Culture to find out how it feels to be metal’s next great band…

“This keeps me sane, I have to do this”: Meet Orbit Culture, the band Matt Heafy is calling the future of metal
James Hingle

“I was speechless,” admits Orbit Culture frontman Niklas Karlsson as he and his bandmates saw Trivium’s Matt Heafy calling them the future of metal on Kerrang!’s Instagram. The brains behind the Swedish metallers joins us from their rehearsal space as they prepare for a sold-out run of UK shows, with a sense of eagerness exuding from his demeanour.

Orbit Culture’s blend of melodic death and crunching metalcore riffs has seen them touted by more than Matt as one of metal's hottest propositions – they were also hand-picked by Robb Flynn to support Machine Head in the States. Even with such weighty backing, all the praise is something they’re still completely surprised about.

“They say you should never meet your heroes, right? Everybody should meet them!” gleams Niklas, talking about his time on the road with Robb Flynn. “They are humble, and that's the gold for anybody.”

It’s a not surprise to say that Orbit Culture's popularity right now is at an all-time high. With their 2023 album Descent catapulting them into the limelight further thanks to its ferociously-charged pit bangers, it’s something this frontman has wanted to pursue forever.

“Ever since I was a young kid, I knew I wanted to be in a band,” he remembers. Talking to him today you can tell he just lives, breathes, and is consumed by music.

In the middle of Sweden lays the idyllic town of Eksjö – located between Gothenburg and Stockholm, both revered as cities to produce top-quality metal. It was here where Niklas set to work on creating a band of his own and where he still calls home.

“I moved here when I was 15 from a village, basically," he says. "There were some bands here, and I was just an outsider, trying to get into the circle of those people who played in bands. Eventually, I made friends with our old guitarist Max [Zinsmeister] and we decided to do a band.”

In 2013, Niklas went on to start Orbit Culture, and began this journey around the globe performing to people thousands of miles away from home.

“Even though it's taken 10 years to get where we are today, it was needed," he admits. "I think we needed a very matured process. But I never stopped it and it’s been tough sometimes. This has never been hard work because this keeps me sane – I just have to do this.”

Now, there seems to be no limit as to what Orbit Culture can do. Even with the added pressure of being tipped as ‘the next big thing’, it’s all something that frontman takes in his stride.

“The pressure is there, but I think we're more stoked when it comes to it,” he states. Whether they’re opening for Machine Head or headlining their own shows, they are remaining humble whilst becoming the word on the street.

Their UK headline tour starts this week, if you’re one of the lucky ones with tickets, we can’t see them occupying venues this intimate next time they come back…

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