Since joining Sonic Syndicate a few years back, Karin Axelsson’s image has probably become the most tacked up on the bedroom walls of metal heads everywhere. She was recently featured in KinKats Magazine Germany and also named to Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Metal III.”

In Revolver, Karin appeared along with In This Moment’s Maria Brink, Winds of Plague’s Kristen Randall, Light This City’s Laura Nichol, Lennon Murphy of Devil’s Gift, sisters Alexia and Anissa Rodriguez of Eyes Set to Kill and cover girls Marta Peterson of Bleeding Through and Kat Von D of the hit tattoo show “L.A. Ink.”


But aside from being a pretty face, Karin is the bass player for one of the coolest bands on Nuclear Blast Records that mixes death metal with melodic nu metal. Probably best described as Papa Roach on steroids, the sextet from Falkenberg, Sweden released their third album “Love & Other Disasters” in September and are currently doing heavy touring overseas.

So how does this beauty, the lone female of the group, fit into the high octane world of Sonic Syndicate and what does she make of the whole pinup hoopla? PolyStaffle.com decided to find out. We caught up with Karin and here are the results. Karin talks about being a sex symbol, being a role model and how she went from somebody that was interviewing a band for a magazine to a member of its extreme force to be reckoned with in this super sonic edition of Polly’s Pinups.


CCF: How are things in the world of Sonic Syndicate? The third album, which has been getting some good buzz, is out now, and it seems like more and more people are catching on. It must be exciting times for you and the band?

KA: The last year has been totally amazing. Since the release of “Only Inhuman” we’ve been on tour all the time and we got to tour with many great bands such as Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Nightwish and now In Flames.

CCF: You joined the band in 2004. From what I understand, you were interviewing them for a magazine, right? Tell me a bit about how that happened. (LOL) Were you basically a journalist at the time and did you just click with the guys in the band, how did that go down exactly?

KA: I was working as a youth journalist for our local newspaper here in Falkenberg and I usually wrote about music, concerts and bands. So one day I interviewed the guys, and I new our former drummer since before. At that time I wasn't in the band and I don't know if they were thinking about asking me either. But like a week after or so I met two of them, Richard and Roger at the pub one night and they said they needed a new bass player and that they knew I could play. So after that weekend I called and I'm still here!

CCF: And at the time, you had never played bass, right? What was your musically background?

KA: At that time I was playing guitar and I had been for a few years, I was also a singer and I took lessons in both guitar and singing. My mum is a bass player and my dad is a guitarist so we always had instruments at home and I was playing bass as well, just not that much and professional.

CCF: Not too long after you were in the band, Sonic Syndicate won label representation through a Nuclear Blast contest. So here you went from interviewer to playing bass for this band that now is on this huge international record label. What was that all like? It must have seemed to have happened so fast to you.

KA: I was the one booking our shows, calling promoters, getting in touch with a manager and we were working our asses off to get somewhere. So I don’t wanna say we were lucky, cause it’s so much more that that. And I want people to really understand, that if you just sit down on your ass and do nothing - nothing will happen. It’s not that easy.
Winning the competition and signing with Nuclear Blast however was really a dream come true for us. After that everything did happen very fast and it has been a great ride for us with a lot of good experiences.

CCF: Now, you’ve become this sort of metal sex symbol. How has the attention been?

KA: Well that just proves that women have power over men since it’s obviously that easy to get some attention! (LOL) To be a bit serious, I want people to respect me as a musician and like our music. I am in the band because I love to play and because I am a musician, nothing else. Unfortunately, since I am a girl in a metal band, I will get more attention than the guys.

CCF: Much gets made about pop singers and how they are role models and how they should not do this or not do that. To me, you and other women in metal are more of role models because you’re helping to tear down the stigma that “girls don’t belong.” There’s power to that. It shows strength. It says, “Hey, I can do whatever the hell I want to.” Do you see yourself at all as a role model in that sense?

KA: I hope I can be a role model to other girls out there who want to do what I do, and I have already got a lot of mail from girls that says they look up to me. That feels really good and makes me feel what I do matters.

CCF: Have you run into people that don’t take you seriously or try to knock you down because you’re a female in an otherwise male band?

KA: Of course! That happens all the time. The thing that usually happens is people seem to think that I am not playing live and that really gets me pissed. It never happens to the guys. So I have to play bad just so that people can hear it’s actually me playing.


KA: Usually it’s ok and I have no problem, but sometimes you really know you’re a girl in a man’s world.

CCF: What are the guys in the band like?

KA: The guys are my best friends and like brothers to me.

CCF: Are there ever times when you feel like you are surrounded by too much testosterone?

KA: We have a lot of fun together and I never feel like I’m the only girl. Maybe when we got to strip clubs there can be too much testosterone, but otherwise, no. (LOL)

CCF: Sonic Syndicate had a little U.S./Canada tour this past summer. Will the band be making their way back through some time soon?

KA: Of course we will come back to the U.S. and Canada. The last tour we had over there was totally amazing. I think we will be back next year, but I am not sure when.

CCF: Lastly, do you have any advice for the female readers out there that have an interest in music?

KA: They should always believe in themselves, never doubt that they aren't good enough. Women can do this just as well as men can. Just keep on fighting for what you want!

CCF: Thanks a lot Karin. Get back to rocking your ass off.

- CCF, October 2008

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Polly’s Pinups

Karin Axelsson
Velvet d'Amour
Christi BauerLee
Candace Campbell
Mary Carey
Jeanne Carmen
Victoria Chalaya
Danielle Donahue
Rebecca Edwards
Nancy Feliciano
Rachel Grubb
Amanda Haymond
Fiona Horsey
Leigh Jacobs
Inga Kaboom
Mary Kraft
Lucy La Loca* (2008)
Kai Lanette
Janine Lindemulder
Felony Melanie
LaRue McCay
Patrícia Mota

Emily Nishimoto

Bettie Page

Morgan Lei Tanner
Rhonda Anthony Tanner
Scout Taylor-Compton
Sunset Thomas
CJ Sleez* (2007)
April Wade
Jaime Winters


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