*New AOR act from Sweden beyond 30 years*
In 1982 Mikael Carlsson and Mikael Erlandsson (LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM) played together in the band called RAIN, and they’re now together again for LOVER UNDER COVER.
This time S-ROCK proudly presents this e-mail interview with Mikael Carlsson who is the founder of the band and bass player.
Mikael Carlsson (B)
(Taken from the official website)
S-ROCK: First of all would you introduce yourself as this is the 1st time for us to have an interview with you.
Mikael: Greetings JAPAN !!!!!! It’s so great to do this interview. My name is Mikael Carlsson (Mr C) and I’m the founder of LOVER UNDER COVER. I started my first band when I was 13 and been playing in a lot of different bands since then. Bass is my main instrument but I also play guitar, keyboard and a little harmonica too. I’m also a great chef 😉
S-ROCK: You started LOVER UNDER COVER in 1989 with another singer, any track from the team is on this brilliant album SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE? And any difference in music style or songwriting between now and 80’s?
Mikael: There is actually 2 songs on the album from that time “Crazy For You” and “Through The Storm” I wrote those songs together with Daniel Boscovic who was the lead singer at that point. I wrote the music and he did the lyrics. Back then we had more keyboard in the sound and sounded more “pop” music. The new version of LUC is much harder and perhaps a little darker too. The songwriting is of course more mature You get a lot of more life experience in 25 years. I could never write a song like for example “Hero” back then.
Mikael Erlandsson (Vo)
(Taken from the official web site)
S-ROCK: And you and Mikael Erlandsson have known each other for 30 years. How do you describe him as a musician and as a person? How about other guys in the band?
Mikael: First of all he is a amazing vocalist. We had our first band together back in 1982. It was called “RAIN”and we were about 17-18 years old then. Mikael played drums back in those days and he had not discovered his singing talent yet. He can sing everything from smooth pop ballads to barbwire metal. I have always thought that his voice is more suitable for harder rock music and that’s why he was my first choice when I started to put the new LUC together. He is also a really nice guy and the total opposite of a rock diva. A really humble guy. Great with the keyboards too. Martin is humble guy No.2. He is one of the top producers in the business and he made the album sounds absolutely phenomenal. A great guitarist too, so we are so blessed that he wanted to join us in LUC. He has worked with some of the biggest rock stars in his studio. Brian Robertson, David Reece, Joe Lynn Turner, Rob Morati, Paul Young, Steve Overland, and that list goes on forever. Impressive guy. Perra is our amazing drummer and the key to the groove in the band. Just listen to his work in the song “Too Good To Be True” That beat so cool. And of course…He’s a humble guy too… Damn… We’re such nice guys, ha ha. We also got some great special guests on the album. Tor Erik Myhre from JORN. Michael Larsson from COLDSPELL and Ged Rylands from TEN. And a special appearance by Katarina Hager on the song “Hero”. Can you believe that ? That is a freakin awesome lineup.
S-ROCK: Would you introduce each track of the album, and let us know which track(s) is your favorite. What do you want people to pay attention carefully when they listen to the album?
Mikael: First of all I would like to talk about the album cover cos it got its own story. When me and Mikael Erlandsson have done our first demos I put them up on our MySpace page. My graphic skills is very limited and that page looked like shit. One day I received a mail from a guy in Chile that also thought that our page looked like shit but that the music was great, and he asked me if he could remake it. And I thought that…what the hell…it can’t get any worse I supposed so I gave him the login to the page…What have I done …but…It turned out to be AWESOME !!! This guy was a AMAZING graphic designer. His name is Andres Orena and now he is to us what Derek Riggs is to IRON MAIDEN. He have actually made one artwork for each and every song for the whole album. And every artwork is made with so much love and feeling to catch the essence of the song. If you remember the booklet that comes with the first “PHENOMENA” album in the mid 80’s you get the idea. So I must say that even if you think that our music SUCKS it’s still worth buying just for the amazing artwork in the booklet.
“My Best Friend” opens the album and is a melodic fist in your face. It is about the gun control program in the US. It seems like there are a lot of people that think that weapons is the solution to all their problems but I have to disagree on that point. I really like the lyrics on this one.
“Angels Will Cry” is a heavy one. The intro with the piano is so beautiful and then it just explodes!! I guess that all of us has their own experiences of love and when relations have turned bad and you just want to scream out your agony.
“Too Good To Be True” I think the title says it all. Everyone wants something from you, so you better beware, cos a lot of things out there is to good to be true strong lyrics on this one too.
“Hero” is one of my favorites. Both the music and the lyrics grab you right away. The song is sung from a father’s point of view when his lovely teen daughter turns into a rebel teen and he’s not strong enough to stop the downhill race to disaster. Here we go two special guests. On guitar we got Tor Erik Myhre from JORN and a superb performance from Katarina Hager as the rebel teen daughter.
“Flash In The Night” is a cover from a Swedish pop band called SECRET SERVICE. They had a big hit with this song back in the early 80’s. I always loved that song and thought that it would be so fun to make it more powerful. Love the piano in this one and when the lead guitar “answears” in the chorus.
“Set The Night On Fire” is the title track. Heavy, suggestive, seductive, Just like a good rock song is all about. It sounded a little different on the demo stage. When we recorded it I had to leave the studio for a few hours and when I got back Martin and Mikael E had changed the bridge and the chorus to something totally different. First I was very surprised but the new version was so cool that we decided to keep it.
“Who Needs Love” is also a cover, but not just a cover. This is the song that started the whole thing with the new LUC. I made a demo recording of this song that Mikael Erlandsson wrote for LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM album “DREAMCATCHER”. But I recorded it in a much heavier version. And when I played it for Mikael he was completely blown away and wanted to record more songs. So that was the start. You have to listen to the original and compare it with this version.
“Crazy For You” is one of the oldies from the 80’s. It is a love song about when you fall madly in love and your friends just don’t understand. They simply don’t have a clue … Cuz I’m crazy for you!!!
“Standing In Line” is all about desire. Desire for the love that you just can’t reach…yet, and you’re hoping that you one day will get the chance to fill the emptiness inside with the answer of your hopes and dreams.
“Through The Storm” is about never giving up. This story takes place in Ireland back in the old days but it could really be anywhere in the world. I think that a lot of people will recognize them in the lyrics.
“A Nice Day” is the only ballad on the album. A feel good song for everyone. A typical “Erlandsson” at his best.
“Rain Of Tears” is the bonus track for Japan, Also a kind of love song but a sad one. About the feelings in a situation of unrequited love. This one includes Michael Larsson from COLDSPELL on guitar as a special guest.
Martin Kronlund (G)
(Taken from the official website)
S-ROCK: How do you have an idea to compose and to write lyrics? Music first or lyrics first?
Mikael: Oh…Ha ha…That is so different from time to time. For example is the intro piano on “Hero” I made it on my iPhone when I was indowntown. That melody popped up in my head and I had to record it at once so I did ot forget it, So the music went pretty fast. The lyrics took much longer. I worked on that one for about 2 months but I’m very pleased with the final result. But it can be a guitar riff, a bass line, a drum groove, or just a phrase or a word. You never knows when inspiration hits you.
S-ROCK: What do you think of music business in Sweden these days?
Mikael: It is extremely strong. There is a fantastic range of bands from all genres in Sweden. From pop acts to extreme metal. Sweden is a great place to be if you’re in a band. And with social medias you can spread your music all over the globe with just a click on your computer. But it’s difficult to live on your music. If you release an album it will be all over the net the same day it’s released or even before that so most of the musicians have to have another job on the side.
S-ROCK: What do you image from a word “Japan”?
Mikael: Akira Takasaki!! Haha I love the LOUDNESS album “DISSOLUTION”, But I have never been to Japan. I only know what you see on films and TV. And some books of course. But I must say that it would be so cool to go there. And maybe, just maybe there might be a chance to go if the people of Japan loves the album as much as we do.
Perra Johansson (Ds)
(Taken from the official website)
S-ROCK: What is your goal as a musician? How about as yourself?
Mikael: Before we released the album it was to…release an album. The other guys in the band have released a impressive collection of albums through the years but for me it’s my first one. So I guess I have to push the borders further this time. I would love to do some festival gigs and of course … why not go to Japan.
S-ROCK: Let us know your taste of music, your favorite musicians/bands.
Mikael: All guys in the band love THIN LIZZY. I’m also a big fan of WHITESNAKE, Glenn Hughes, I love the first PHENOMENA album and QUEENRYCHE’S OPERATION: MINDCRIME. The Norwegian band JORN is another favourite. You might check out a new Swiss band called CHAOS. Great guys and a fantastic band. And of course our friends COLDSPELL and the Chilean band TIMELESS.
S-ROCK: A message to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK site, please.
Mikael: Thank you so much for all support that we got. Please help us to spread the word around about LOVER UNDER COVER, because we need all help that we can get. Write to your web stations and web sites and tell them about us and hopefully we will see you guys on a stage in Japan in a not to far away future.
Visit us online at: www.loverundercovertheband.com
SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE (RUBICON MUSIC/ESCAPE MUSIC, 2012)