KING COMPANY – E-mail Interview (English)

Special Thanks to: Rue for KING COMPANY JP on FACEBOOK / Twitter

Thanks: Japanese fans of KING COMPANY who sent questions for this interview.

 

S-ROCK: The 2nd album “QUEEN OF HEARTS” was from KING RECORDS out in Japan on the 25th of July and out from FRONTIERS RECORDS on the 10th of August in Europe. Are you guys satisfied with what the album sounds?

KING COMPANY (KC) : Yes we are very satisfied. Janne Wirman (CHILDREN OF BODOM) mixed an album (he mixed “ONE FOR THE ROAD” too) and he easily found our own sound again. I can say it’s not a basic metal sound what you can hear in many heavy rock records. We always try to find some natural sound elements what you can hear on the records back in the days. But of course we have to make it on these days terms that your sound is not too thin and you are comparable with other bands.

S-ROCK: This album means the 1st album for new singer Leonard to sing for KING COMPANY. You guys asked him to join the band after Mirka watched him singing on YouTube. He lives in Italy far from Finland. Did you guys try to find a singer in your country? And what was the biggest reason why you guys got Leonard?

KC: Yes, first we checked what kind of style singers we have available in Finland, but didn’t find anybody who was suitable. And yes I found Leonard from YouTube. Keyword “ WHITESNAKE tribute band” got a match 🙂 …hahaaha. Truth is that first we needed only re-fill singer for Spanish-tour, so it doesn’t matter he is from Italy or whereever. We thought that he’s just gonna do only this tour and then we continue again with Pasi. But after the tour Pasi told that he can’t continue with us cause he still have problems with his throat. Even it was a hard decision and really sad, it was still quite easy to call Leonard and ask him if he wanna take a job. And he wanted.

The biggest reason why we chose him was that he is a very kindly person, he is really energetic on a stage, and we had already one tour behind with him so he knows many of our songs already.

S-ROCK: At first You guys started recording the tracks which Pasi would sing for, but he left the band and Leonard joined officially then you guys finished the album. All the tracks are what you guys wrote before Leonard joined? Is there any new track just for Leonard to sing?

KC: On this album are two songs what we did after Pasi’s leaving. “Berlin”, what Time wrote by himself, and what he sang on album. Also Antti wrote “Living The Dream” in the end of the recordings. I wrote lyrics then for it, and what is funny you can hear Pasi singing there in middle of the song. This idea came to my mind when Pasi was doing vocal producing in a studio and we were recording Leonard’s vocals for this song. I read the lyrics and noticed that there is good line what Pasi maybe could sing. It’s kind of a instructions from an older guy to younger how to survive in this band..hahahah!

S-ROCK: Would you guys talk about each track of the album?

Queen Of Hearts

I think Queen Of Hearts is the heaviest track of KING COMPANY. I really like the uptempo feeling in the song. -Antti-

Antti Wirman (G)

 

One Day Of Your Life

First song I wrote it to the album. The groovy riff of a song is one of my favourite moments on the album. -Antti-

Stars

Lyrics and melody were mostly made in Greece (Cyprus) listening to 80’s and 90’s pop rock hits at the beach/bar.
Over sweet anti-metal verse made of major chords was intentional to make a drama for chorus in parallel minor. I hope the metal-heads forgive me this. -Jari-

Jari Pailamo (Key)

 

Living In A Hurricane

Living In A Hurricane is the second single and video song of the album uptempo song as well. When I wrote the song I wanted to write another heavy track for the album. I love the chorus! -Antti-

Under The Spell

Somebody said that is our DOKKEN-style song, and I can say he/she is right. Mystical feeling and groovy song with a catchy chorus. -Mirka-

Mirka Rantanen (Ds)

 

Never Say Goodbye

Pasi’s older song which I wrote melody line. I think it’s pretty catchy chorus…. Isn’t it? 🙂 -Mirka-

Learn To Fly

This is our power metalish song on a record. First we thought it doesn’t fit to the album style but finally we took it and it was good choice. People likes it! -Mirka-

Berlin

Check Time’s answer later.

King For Tonight

Positive and rocking power song with some epic elements which I always endorse. Ignited from the synth riff I played at rehearsal. Mirka catched it and suggested to make a complete song out of it. The rest came inspired from 90’s kind of piano layers that I used a lot on the album. Added Hammond to the chorus, it’s a solid rocker tune. -Jari-

Living The Dream

Nice ballad with warm feelings. Last song we wrote for the album which is so far one of best lyrics I have ever written. -Mirka-

Arrival

An epic ending song of the record. Great powerful guitar riff! -Mirka-

Never Say Goodbye (acoustic version, a bonus track for Japanese release)

We think it was best choice and it was easy transformed for an acoustic version!

Good Thing (Digital only for European release)

Also Pasi’s older song. It’s very AOR-oriented, there’s a good vibe all the time but for some reason it was chosen for a bonus track.

S-ROCK: How do you guys compose tracks for KING COMPANY? Any new tracks for next album?

KC: We have some new material ready for the next album, but not so much yet. Normally all of us works first at home with songs and when we have something ready we go to rehearsal place jamming together and try to find right parts for the song. But like an example Jari normally writes a whole song ready alone at his home and then he just introduces it for us. Then we just include some spices for his songs if it’s necessary.

S-ROCK: Was there anything difficult during the recording? We heard Leonard sang for recording in Finland then did some in Italy as well.

KC: Yes he did most of the vocal parts first here in Finland, but after he left we noticed that there is something what he should sing again or just add some more harmonies. Then he sang rest of the parts in Italy. 

S-ROCK: We think there are some tracks which Leonard voices could take steps forward, there are some fans who would like to listen to his voices louder.

KC: Yes that’s true. His voice could be louder in some of the songs. I don’t know what happened in a last mixing but for some reason some of the vocal parts are a little bit under the instruments. Better luck next time 🙂

S-ROCK: Is there any hidden story about the artwork of the album? We’d guess the Queen let the King dring something and he died and became bones?

KC: When I wrote lyrics for the song “Queen Of hearts” I thought it would be a good title of the album as well. Then this idea from the artwork came to my mind, and then I explained it to Jan Yrlund from Darkgrove Design and he illustrated it. In my opinion it’s a great picture, I like it a lot. Jan Yrlund is a great artist!

But in some of the lyrics on this album, and on first album as well, you can find some true stories about the girl who’s trying to survive through of her life, sometimes she’s falling down and sometimes she rises again, but she never surrenders. That’s why we have this girl on both album covers.

S-ROCK: You guys changed the band name to KING COMPANY before you guys got a deal with FRONTIERS RECORDS. What do you guys mean for the name “KING COMPANY”?

KC: It’s like straight translation from Finnish words what we use when we talk about when you have good friends together and this is the meaning of “KC”. (S-ROCK: Those Finnish words are “kuningas porukka”. Kiitos, Mirka!)

S-ROCK: You guys had the 2nd anniversary of the band though, the number of the gigs you played is not so many. Do you guys want to play more gigs? Any plan(s) to play in other countries including Japan outside Finland?

KC: Of course we want to play more gigs and actually we already made a tour in Spain last autumn. We have some small tours coming on next year in Germany and in Spain. Also we have confirmed some festival shows next year in other countries. But Japan would be also great, it’s a dream come true kind of a thing, and I’m pretty sure it will happen someday.

S-ROCK: (To Leonard) How did you feel when Mirka got in touch with you unexpectedly? Did you know KING COMPANY at that time?

Leonard: Ahaha.. Nothing speciaI .. I just opened my facebook page and I read: “Hey man! I’m Mirka Rantanen from KING COMPANY… We need a singer in September for a Spanish tour… are you interested?” And I said yes… Ok! Ahahah… Not really! I was really surprised. And In that moment I didn’t realize who Mirka Rantanen was… And I had no idea what did he mean when he said “Spanish Tour”.. I’ve never been on tour! Anyway the thing that really surprised me was when I listened to “ONE FOR THE ROAD” album for the first time.. Just in that moment I understood that I was so lucky.. And from that moment I started to work a lot for KC…

No, I didn’t… but I knew Mirka as the drummer of “Timo Kotipelto”… And Pasi for “THUNDERSTONE” and I never thought to replace a singer like Pasi, it was an amazing thing!

Leonard F. Guillan (Vo)

 

S-ROCK: (To Antti) Do you remember anything impressive when you came to Japan to play for CHILDREN OF BODOM 3 years ago? We heard you visited a workshop where your guitars were made.

Antti: Yes I do. Japanese hospitality is incredible. People are so nice, food is very good, beer is cold and Sake is warm! LOUD PARK is the best organized festival that I have ever visited, crowd was huge and loud! Actually I visited the ESP Guitar shop accidentally. I was wondering around the streets with my friend and we saw the shop and stopped by. There were some amazing guitars there and of course very friendly staffs.

S-ROCK: (To Jari) You played only 1 keyboard at the gig in Spain in July, are you going to do the same or use other keyboards at upcoming gigs? And your Japanese fans are talking about you were knitting in the promotion video of “Living In A Hurricane”. It’s impressed that you did very well, are you good at knitting?

Jari: When we started the band I had four keyboards and a rack live – it was great setup but I knew from the beginning that I would eventually run into logistics trouble with that much gear. Flying to gigs is a lot easier with less items and for our first tour in Spain I cut down to two keys and eventually I developed the ultimate minimum ‘one synth setup’ that is ready also for Japan gigs whenever that happen 😉  I like this simple one keyboard approach a lot and I will keep it that way for now.
Thanks, very nice to hear! I really should start knitting KING COMPANY “Living In A Hurricane” white wool socks for our merchandise since so many have asked about them.
To tell you the truth I really don’t know how to knit and only was shown once before the video shoot how it should be done. I’m proud I was convincing – in reality it felt really difficult and awkward. Knitters, I salute you! 😀

S-ROCK: (To Time) Would you tell us about “Berlin” you composed and sang on the album. Are you playing that track on stage?

Time: The main riff of Berlin came to my mind in early morning of October 2017. I took my guitar and sat down. It took couple days to finish it and then I left it down for a few weeks. In meanwhile, I started to write lyrics. It became a song about spirits and ghosts of war which are still remaining in Berlin.

If you’re familiar with expression “I can feel it in the air” and you’ve visited in Berlin , you might know what this song is about…! Especially if you’re walking in the certain part of old east Berlin….spooky I would say!

And yes we are playing the song on our live set now!

Time Schleifer (B)

 

S-ROCK: (To Mirka) You write lyrics of many tracks for KING COMPANY, When and how do you write them?

Mirka: I write lyrics all the time, maybe just a couple of words or lines to memory book whatever comes into my mind.. just that I don’t forget them. And then I can use them later when I write the final lyrics. I’m not a so good lyricist because of my limited English, but still want to learn more everytime, and how to come better. I have lots of good stories and ideas in my mind all the time… just try to think how to get them all to paper..hahahaa!

S-ROCK: (To all the guy) We’re curious about your eye color(s) as Japanese have black/brown eyes only. If you don’t mind, would you let us know?

KC: Mirka: BROWN,  Time: BLUE,  Jari: GREY WITH BLUE, Antti: RED 🙂 , Leonard: GREEN

S-ROCK: Would you give your messages to Japanese fans of KING COMPANY who visit S-ROCK site? Kiitos!

KC: KONNICHIWA all Japanese fans! We really appreciate that you have bought our new album and we have got very good reviews from you! Also we really hope we can play someday there and meet you alive!

Before this happen we hope you keep on rocking with KING COMPANY!

-Mirka, Antti, Jari, Time, Leonard-

Satin – E-mail Interview (English)

The latest shot of Satin 2018

 

S-ROCK: Last time we asked you our questionnaire with basic questions, and now we’d like to ask you more about your albums, career, thoughts and so on. 

First of all your 1st solo album SATIN was out in Japan last month with bonus tracks after CD-R version was sold out through ANDERSTEIN MUSIC, how do you feel about it?

Satin: How that feels can’t be described with words. But, I’ll try and it is sort of like this: 

You write your little songs, you record your little songs, you mix and master your little songs, you release your little songs and suddenly, BAM; They aren’t little songs anymore. They’re now big songs; being listened to by thousands of people, being played on radio stations across the globe, talked about on podcast, shared on Social Media, getting reviewed by magazines and websites, people now sing along to these songs, party to these songs, they cry to these songs, make love to these songs and people are having personal opinions about those songs. Knowing that there is someone who resides in a country with a 7 hours time difference who believe there is a marked there for these songs as a product, it makes you, not only very happy, but very proud!

 

 

S-ROCK: I heard ANDERSTEIN MUSIC suggested you to change the artwork of Japanese release of SATIN album, but you didn’t like the idea. You just wanted to stay your photo to show you’re an solo artist?

Satin: No, that’s not true. I have not been approached by Anderstein Music regarding altering the album cover at any time. There was a question by Masao Fujiki in the liner notes of the ‘Japanese Edition’ of my debut album regarding the album cover being a black and white photo of me, and my answer was this: 

The album doesn’t have a title. It is just the name of the artist; “Satin”. So I went with a picture of the artist.”

S-ROCK: Would you let us know each track of IT’S ABOUT TIME as we can read your comments on each track of SATIN album in the booklet of Japanese CD and we’d like to know 🙂

Satin: Look Up In The Sky

The verses and pre-ref was written last year and the chorus and the bridge(after the solo) was written when I was 14 years old. 

The lyrics in the chorus sounds like a kids rhyme. The story is that I was nervous about an upcoming gig. As I sat out on my porch one night, I looked up at the sky and gazed at the stars. I saw a star that had a multicolor twinkle and I locked my eyes to only that star. Every night I “talked” to the star and was, in a weird way, asking it to “help” me through the gig. The gig went amazingly well and topped everything prior. I knew that this star didn’t do anything to that situation, but I liked the idea of it and wrote a song around it. 

Every winter when this star comes around up here in Norway, I smile when I see it.

I’ll Never Let You Down

This song could easily have been on the first album. It was the first song completed for this album. It has a little Desmond Child modulation vibe going on in the verses, but he is also one of my all time favorite songwriters so, to me, that can’t be a bad thing.

I also like the background “canon-vocals” in the chorus. It gives it a surprise twist to it.

Waiting For Someone

This song is near and dear. It has gone through countless revisions and I’m really happy how turned out. Lyrically, it’s about the age old “Doing What You Think Others Would Like You To Do” and, of course, you get burned. The one you’re actually waiting for, is yourself.

Use It Or Lose It

This one will bring you right back to the early 80’s. I wrote this song when I was fourteen, but the lyrics have been rewritten. It’s based on that one riff that plays as the intro, the verse and the chorus.

The Damage Got Done

Again a reworked song from my early years. It’s about jealousy. When you first realize, after the fact, that what you had was right and she has moved on. 

I’d probably call this a “modern 80’s rocker”.

This Time

Oh wow! I love this one. The first draft of this song was done in 1998. I gave it a new chorus and rewrote some of the lyrics.

Heading For A Fall

I performed an acoustic version of this song with my brother back in 1998 at ‘The National Championship Of Rock’ in Norway. With just two acoustic guitars, we competed against everything from ‘7 piece bands’ and artists with dancers etc. We placed 2nd. One of the judges told us that “they couldn’t give us first place, because the winner had to go on a little tour and two guys with acoustic guitars wasn’t enough, they need a band. But we should consider ourselves the winners“. 

The song was then left in a drawer for 18 years until I took it out and worked a little on it for this album.

 

 

Who You Are

This song was written a long time ago. The bridge was actually the chorus at first. It’s a very catchy and upbeat song, and in true Satin-style.

True Love

It’s a little heavier than the rest of the songs on the album. Again, a song I wrote in my teens that has had some lyrical work. It is driven by two main riffs, which I think sound a bit ‘Old School’, but I’m a huge KISS fan, so that’s probably the reason…hehe… 

Lying Eyes

This song was intended for my debut album. When it didn’t make that album, I was determined to use it on the next one. I love the energy of it and I was really in doubt of my decision-making when I took it out of the tracklisting. 

It’s Unbelievable

A song written in 2001. Great uptempo song with a catchy chorus. There’s no hocus-pocus with this one and it runs from start to end effortlessly. Lyrically, it touches on the subject of low self-esteem. When you feel like you blend in with those people that doesn’t try to make their mark. They all probably do, but it’s difficult for them.

Set My Own Heart Free

Intro-riff dates back to 2004, but the verse, chorus and bridge is new. As with “It’s Unbelievable“, this is only available on the Japan-release of this album.

S-ROCK: When you make music, music comes first or lyrics come first? And what gives your inspiration and ideas for your music?

Satin: Nine out of ten times, the music comes first. When I get a melody in my head, I NEVER change the melody to get a lyric “to fit”. I’d rather use months to find a line that works with the original melody. When I come up with a melody, I believe there’s a reason that I came up with THAT exact melody. I won’t alter it at any cost!

Inspirations and ideas can come from anything and everything. A baby crying on the train can trigger a melody, dropping a fork on the floor can set the beat of a song and overhearing a conversation at McDonald’s can trigger lyric ideas. The “antennas” are out even though they don’t show. 

S-ROCK: You play all instruments for your solo work, you have any plan to do gigs in the future? When you do, you’ll hire musicians to play for your gigs or you’ll sing with backing tracks?

Satin: People want me to play and I have also gotten many inquiries from other musicians to be in a band with me. We’ll see what happens, but as of now, there’s no plan for gigging this project.

I would definitely hire musicians to help me out live, if it came to that. I’m pretty much against backing tracks. Why try to sound like the CD while on stage? I like it when there is a “live” version and a “studio” version of a song. 

I don’t see the need for a “karaoke” version; that’s for the fans/public to enjoy themselves with. If you’re a troubadour, sure, use backing tracks. If you’re a duo, sure, use backing tracks. If you’re a trio, sure use some backing tracks. BUT, if you’re a band and have the instruments that represent and makes up the music; then PLAY 😉

If you see people enjoying themselves and singing along to a song, play the chorus again, make them sing it. If the guitar player is jamming and ripping on the solo, prolong the solo and let him continue to excel. You read the crowd and you sense the room. You and the audience feed of each others energy. If you have a computer in charge of the music, you’re done when the computer says you’re done. Of course you can program computers to fit your set, but I don’t see the need for it.

S-ROCK: On the back cover of booklet of IT’S ABOUT TIME there’s your message: Thank You For Getting Your Hands “Dirty” By Holding This Album. What did you want your fans to find from the message?

Satin: In Europe, especially in Scandinavia, people don’t buy CDs anymore. They mainly use Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music. It’s just some of the older generation that still buys physical products. But, their kids and grandkids are teaching them the digital world, so there is less and less of them too. And it is definitely spreading. So I truly, madly, deeply thank the ones that are actually holding that album physically in their hands. They have supported me and my music proper.

 

The track “Anyway” is on this album.

 

S-ROCK: Would you tell us about the band PEGASUS, you play with your brother Ronny. You guys won Spellemannprisen in 2012 and participated in MELODI GRAND PRIX with the song “Anyway” in 2016.

Satin: We started Pegasus, a light country rock band, back in 2006 and have, to this day, released 11 studio albums. At this time, we are working on some new music.. Yes, we won a ‘Spellemannpris(Norwegian Grammy) for ‘Album Of The Year’ in our respective category. ‘Melodi Grand Prix’(MGP) was really cool to to be a part of. Wig Wam has participated twice here in Norway, and the likes of H.E.A.T and Eclipse have participated in the Swedish version of that show. Almost 1/3 of Norway was watching it that evening.

 

 

S-ROCK: On the album “GODS OF THUNDER: A NORWEGIAN TRIBUTE TO KISS”  you play “The Magic Kiss Medley”. You didn’t play 1 track, you couldn’t choose one? Or you just prefer a medley?

Satin: Back in 2004, after not sleeping for a couple of days, I sat with my guitar in my lap just strumming. I started noodling and mumbling a KISS song. I suddenly realized that I was playing one song on the guitar and singing another, and they fit perfectly. 

Hmm…that’s interesting; and now I’m wide awake thinking: 

Are there other KISS songs I can “mashup?” Hell, yeah- there were. 

So I ended up with an amalgamation of KISS songs. In some parts, there is the music of one song, lyrics from another song and the vocal melody of a third song. I crammed 30 KISS songs into 5 minutes. There’s up to three songs going at the same time, but it sounds like one song.. I was persuaded by a fellow KISS Army member to post it on the ‘Norwegian Kiss Army’ Forum. Other forum members reacted and the third message was from the then ‘Kiss Army Norway’ General asking me to remove the song from the forum. He had started the production of this project and wanted my Kiss-Mix on it. He changed the title to “The Magic Kiss Medley” because he meant what I had accomplished was, in his words, “magic”. At the release-party for that album, there was a quiz for the audience handed to them at the entrance: “How many KISS songs can your hear in this medley?” They played my track !! Nobody managed to guess all thirty songs that night 😉

S-ROCK: You always write “Stay Gold, S*” in the end of your messages, what does “Stay Gold” mean for you?

Satin: As the saying goes: “Everybody is worth their weight in gold!” I like that. 

Gold represents the best, it’s number 1, the winner !!! 

So when I say/write “Stay Gold” at the end of sentences to people, I mean: 

“You’re the best, you’re a good person and you’re worth your weight in Gold! Try to stay that way, don’t change”.

S-ROCK: Would you let us know about your artist logo combined S and a star. S is probably from Satin, and a star means “a star” as a famous person? And why did you choose “Satin” as your solo artist name?

Satin: To me, a star is like an indicator light that shines when you have followed or fulfilled a dream. Like I sing in the chorus of ‘Look Up In The Sky’ from the “It’s About Time” album:

‘Look up in the sky at night

You will see a star shine bright

Try to make your dreams come true

The star you looked at will always shine for you’.

It’s like a little kid’s rhyme. But, as mentioned, I was fourteen years old when I wrote it.

So the S symbolizes me (Satin) and the star symbolizes “Made my dream come true”.

Satin was a band name that I came up with when I was 17 or 18. I never got the chance to use it until this solo project came along. 

S-ROCK: Your all-the-time favorite bands are KISS and BON JOVI (right?), how do those AOR/HR bands inspire you? Which track(s) of each band is/are your favorite(s)?

Satin: I became a fan of both KISS and BON JOVI at the age of 6. And from that moment on, they have given and done so much for me over time that they have become a part of my DNA, so to speak.

It’s very hard for me to even pick a favorite decade, for that matter, so to pick out songs? Completely impossible!

S-ROCK: What do you think about music scene in Norway these days? Japan is 1 of few countries where people prefer CDs to streaming/music files. And for even popular artists who used to sell millions in 80’s/90’s it’s really hard to sell more than even100000 copies. In Japan gold album should have sales of 100000 copies (for both domestic/international artists bands since 2003).

Satin: Not answered! I elaborated this in an earlier question on “getting my hands dirty” 🙂

S-ROCK: Is there any future plan which is confirmed so far? Already started writing new materials for your solo work?

Satin: Yes, I do have a couple of songs in the works and they really sound amazing. I’m looking forward to begin shaping them production wise. 

S-ROCK: Would you give a message to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK site? Tusen takk!

Satin: Hey guys and girls! 

Thank you for stopping by and reading through this interview, really appreciate it!

And remember; STAY GOLD,

S*

 

 

(Discography)

SATIN (2014, VERUM MUSIC / 2018, ANDERSTEIN MUSIC)

IT’S ABOUT TIME (2017,  VERUM MUSIC / 2018,  ANDERSTEIN MUSIC)

ONE STEP CLOSER – PEGASUS (2016, TYLDEN & CO.)

Other PEGASUS albums, see their label TYLDEN site: http://tylden.no/search/?q=pegasus&term=artistnavn
Tusen takk Satin for his suggestion for the link 🙂

GODS OF THUNDER: A NORWEGIAN TRIBUTE TO KISS (2006, VOICES OF WONDER)

Satin (2018) (English)

 

 

from Satin Official Facebook

 

 

1. What are you doing these days, for new album, for concerts or having holidays?
2. Let us know your latest album / demo tape. What do you want people to pay attention on it? Let us know your favorite songs from it.
3. What do you image from a word “Japan”?
4. What is your goal as a musician? How about as yourself?
5. Let us know your music career and what kind of music you used to play.
6. Let us know your taste of music, your favorite musicians and bands.
7. A message to your Japanese fans for S-ROCK. And your autograph, please.

 

 

Satin Official Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/officialsatin/

Roger Ljunggren – PAL E-mail interview (English)

 

You guys have each long career and have known each other for a long time. How did
you start PAL after those years?

Roger Ljunggren: Peter and I (Roger) met in a grocery store in Skara , just as Peter had return from some time in Spain – We said we had to meet and catch up and so we did – I had recently recorded the album Peo “Welcome to the Party” and Peter was then working with the Mean Streak album “Blind faith” with Max Norman – We discussed doing something together for the first time in many years so I began recording some song ideas for this and Peo Pettersson was the singer we had in mind, as we both have worked with him earlier for many years and his voice would be perfect – the first song we did a demo of was “Leaving this town” – we were very satisfied with how it turned out and the band PAL was then a fact.

Now you guys have Mauritz Petersson for drums. Would you let us know his career,
and the story when he joined PAL?

Roger: Both Peo and Peter was aware of this young session drummer’s skills and had known him for some years – So he was asked to do the drum work for the album – and he did a great job and was just the guy we were looking for.

And the name of PAL is from you guys’ family names, is there any other sense of it? For example PAL as friend, the video system in Europe, Africa, ACEAN countries etc.

Roger: PAL has just as you are saying a couple of different meanings – Foremost it is the Family names but also the meaning as friend is equally important – we are old friends making music together.

 

 

Would you introduce each track from your debut album PRIME? Which is/are your
favorite(s)? So far every track is written by Roger and Peter, in the future some
tracks from other combination? And what is the inspiration for you guys when you
compose/write lyrics these days?

Roger: To be totally honest the favourite tracks is different from time to time – It is hard to choose just a couple. One very interesting thing is that we have seen the lists from European Rock radio stations – Every song of the album has been played! Never happened to us before – so I think we have made an album with music suiting very many tastes and with quite strong melodic quality at the whole.
The song writing will also for our next album be by Peter and Roger.The inspiration music wise is from all the music we grew up with, but also from more modern stuff we like these days – for example the Post punk genre has a lot of energy that we all like.
The lyrics are from Life itself – both from the past and from the life we are living today.

 

Heads Or Tails

The song is about the fact that so much in our lives happens by accident or chance. We are all very occupied with making plans and try to shape our fate but really there are so many things we can never be in charge of. 

Carry On

Life is a journey. In this lyric I use different places in the US to tell the story. The story is really about life and to always try to hang in there and make the best of it.

Hiding Away From Love

This song deals with the fact that relationship is tricky business. When one has been hurted too many times it might be easier to just stay away from love and traditional life.

Double Nature

This song is about the fact that as a touring musician with kids waiting at home it´s almost like living in two different worlds. One day stuck in airport somewhere waiting to board and the next trying to comfort a sick kid at home.

Wildfire

Wildfire represents a feeling that we are trying to find in our music. a feeling something rising and getting larger than life. The intention is to pass on a happy good vibe.

What We Could Have Been

Looking back in a photo-album can raise memories, good and bad ones. Lost loved ones and relationship that is over. The question is inevitable – What would have happened if we would have fought it through ? What could we have become?

 

(L to R) Peo Pettersson (Vo & Hammond), Mauritz Pettersson (Ds), Peter Andersson (B) & Roger Ljunggren (G).

 

Nowhere Left To Go

Love that is fading out, the moment when we realize that there is really no way back.

River Runs Dry

This song is about betray. From lover or maybe a friend. When someone you really trust and believe in turns out to be false. It takes some energy to come back from there.

Older And Wiser

About growing older and a little bit smarter. About picking your fights and not use energy or power on people that do not deserve it. Or to sometimes realize that it´s time to retreat and draw new plans.

Leaving This Town

Leaving this town is about seeking new paths in life and the way we are living. The first song written for PAL.

One Step Away

This is a declaration of unconditional love. A celebration of the feeling when everything feels right.

Time After Time (Japan bonus)

One would think that we should be smart enough to learn from past mistakes, sadly it seems we are not. We keep on repeating them over and over again ending up wondering why. Why is it so ? I have no idea !

 

What is the biggest difference between other bands you guys ever played for and PAL?

Roger: I think this time we are not so very locked in to do the Old School AOR and Melodic Rock as we have been earlier and in other bands – We take inspiration from more recent Rock music, sometimes even Pop music and blend it in with more traditional Rock arrangements – I think what we are trying to do is a Feel Good kind of Rock music with a lot of energy and positivity as the most important ingredients.

 

 

This time you guys have got a deal with ANDERSTEIN MUSIC in Japan. Their company is in Nagasaki prefecture in kyushu, the big island of south Japan, far away from Tokyo. How did you start having a contact with them?

Roger: The contact with ANDERSTEIN MUSIC was a deal made by Georg Siegl of AOR HEAVEN.
Peo have had connection with the company earlier , but Peter and I have only worked with Marquee Avalon up to this date, but we are sure this will be great – Many good bands are on this label so it is a great honor to release PAL “Prime” with ANDERSTEIN Music in Japan.

Your message to Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK site.

Roger: It is a great honor for us to release The PAL Prime album in Japan – It is a real Feel Good album filled with many strong songs that we hope you will take to your hearts.
A little bit of a modern twist to the traditional Melodic Rock fitting all occasions –
So – Put the record on and Let’s Rock!

 

(Discography)

PRIME (2018, AOR HEAVEN / ANDERSTEIN MUSIC)

Åge Sten Nilsen – AMMUNITION E-mail interview (English)

 

When we had an e-mail interview last time, WIG WAM toured in whole Norway just after the band won at MELODI GRAND PRIX in 2005. Time flies, WIG WAM released 3 full albums after that and came to Japan 3 times (twice in 2007, and in 2010), and the band broke up. Also you released your solo albums, came to Japan for solo gigs in 2009. You work for a lot of musicals like THE SHOW MUST GO ON for example as well, also NORDIC BEAST and AMMUNITION. What do you feel when you recall after those years?

Åge: Yes, it’s been quite a journey and I have experienced a lot. Good, bad, beautiful and ugly. Still when I look back I appreciate the bad things equally as the good things, because the way I see it the bad things that happen to a person really is a gift from above. My song “Smooth Seas (Don’t Make Good Sailors)” is very much written about that perspective of mine. The bad things make you appreciate the good things even more, and makes you develop as a human and become a better person. And it really makes you more prepared for the future and the next life…

In retrospect I see clearly now how much effort I put into WIG WAM and how deep I went into the character “Glam”. But even though he was a fiction character he was a also a boosted image of who I really am too. A volcano within my very self so to speak…haha

We had a lot of fun in our first years with WIG WAM, and I really thought we were growing to become blood brothers. But after our success it became clearer and clearer the differences of personalities within the band. And at times I felt betrayed and disrespected, which demotivated me big time. WIG WAM really was the perfect band I had been dreaming about being a part of, but as time went by it became very clear that the four of us had very different perspectives on life , brotherhood and music. On “Wall Street” it even became easy to see through the music we released. When everything fell apart and we had our bitter break up I still was extremely busy with both my solo career and my Queen show. And suddenly I found my self in a band(Nordic Beast) with John Norum and Mic Michaelli of EUROPE, Mikkey Dee from MÖTORHEAD and Hal Patino from KING DIAMOND. AND I formed a band with Erik Mårtensson. Just leaving the past behind and moving forward you know.

These were exciting times for me, and even though Nordic Beast only did exclusive gigs inbetween the Europe and Motörhead tours, we sort played an important role to bringing Europe into the new style of which John and Mic really wanted to explore music wise, and for Mikkey it was a possible exit if Lemmy would call it a day. So we started to talk about writing original songs together to take it a bit further. Then Lemmy died, SCORPIONS called Mikkey, and Joey Tempest seemed to take on a more adventurous musical direction. Hal left KING DIAMOND and I had a brand new band called AMMUNITION. So it all kind of fell to place.

One of my favourite moments when I look back on these years that have past is our first visit to Japan. Masa Ito presenting the band live on stage, and the dedicated and loud fans in the audience will live in my memories forever.

 

(l to r) Jon Pettersen (G), Lasse Finbråten (key), Åge Sten Nilsen (Vo), Magnus Ulfstedt (Ds), Victor Cito (B) and Erik Mårtensson (G).

 

AMMUNITION just released the self-titled album AMMUNITION in Japan on the 17th of January from KING RECORDS, and in Europe on the 26th of January from FRONTIERS MUSIC. For the 1st album SHANGHAIED the band name is Åge Sten Nilsen’s AMMUNITION, now the band is called just AMMUNITION. Why did you guys change it? It shows the band have got united much more ever?

Åge: When Erik and I formed AMMUNITION WIG WAM had just recently broke up. Erik and I had been recording my demos for the fifth WIG WAM that we had planned to release in 2014. Suddenly these songs had no mission. And they were clearly not solo songs. They were pin pointed for a rock band. So Erik suggested we’d form a new band instead. He suggested we’d call the band “GLAMUNITION”, and I responded that the songs sounded more like “AMMUNITION” songs than “GLAMunition”…and WAM! we had a name. We decided to use my name too, to make it easier to promote and to get gigs. In many ways “Åge Sten Nilsen’s AMMUNITION” was treated like a solo project. Especially when it came to money. I paid for the recordings, the videos, the everything. I even paid the guys a fixed ive fee even though it would mean I would lose money on several occasions. And needless to say, I made the calls and the decisions. After a while the guys started to give me more input and initiative, and at one point we started to share the income like brothers and treat it like a REAL band. That’s when we decided to skip my name from the band name. The first gig in which we used the “AMMUNITION” backdrop was at Väsby Rock Festival in Stockholm. I remember people really paid attention to the change, in a positive way. So when we were recording our second album I suggested we’d simply call it ‘AMMUNITION’ since it’s really our first BAND album.

Åge Sten Nilsen (Vo)

Erik Mårtensson (G)

 

Let us know each track from AMMUNITION album and which songs are your favorites though we know you love them all 🙂

Åge: It’s always hard to pick ONE favorite among 11 babies. They were all born into this world with a lot of hard work, care and love. But I guess I can appreciate them all in different ways. The songs that I look forward to bring to the live shows the most are Gung Ho (I Told You So), Tear Your City Down, Virtual Reality Boy. I think they all will be killer live songs to keep the party going. They all have that big chorus to make the audience sing along, plus they have a real cool live vibe. Can’t wait to hear Victor doing that bass solo on Gung Ho.. for example. 

To me “Eye For An Eye” has the strongest message and probably the best change to be played on average radio. It’s a pretty obvious single and a possible cross-over. I really love this song. It’s about how mankind never learns from his mistakes, and keeps burning the bridges one by one, by revenge and greed…

Another favorite is of course Freedom Finder. We have been playing that song live for a while, and I love performing that song. It’s really about our guitarplayer Jon. He has been living in a Caravan for quite some years. Like a bohem. Living a pretty un-normal life. But hey…who are we to judge Everybody should be free to live their lives as they want. And one persons freedom is another ones grind.

 

Jon Pettersen (G)

 

The band replaced Hal Patino to Victor Cito (Borge) on bass, Robban Bäck to Magnus Ulfstedt on drums. What do they bring to the band and what is the biggest difference between SHANGHAIED and AMMUNITION albums?

Åge: That’s right. Hal was becoming a burden for the band not showing up for gigs and not answering our calls etc. So we brought in Victor, whom I had been trying to form a band with some years before AMMUNITION. Just when we formed AMMUNITION he was contracted to a long TNT tour and wasn’t available. Then during our first period of AMMUNITION he started to call me on a daily basis having a hard time dealing with the TNT camp. They weren’t excactly treating him too well, and I felt terribly sorry for him. As soon as it was no way back for Hal I gave him a call. And he instantly quit TNT and joined AMMUNITION. 2 days before his first gig in Switzerland. Boy did he change the sound of this band!!! He is a real BASSplayer!!! And he is one of the nicest guys I know as well. With Robban it was a different story. Since AMMUNITION was a very fresh band our fees weren’t exactly high… And neither was his other bands fees, ECLIPSE. He desperately needed more income to support his family, and I had been paying the bands fees out of my own pockets for quite a while before we turned into a BAND, not a “solo band”. Then he was offered a full time membership in the band MUSTASCH. Music wise I know he would have prefered to stay. But you gotta survive. This was just before we did our first tour of Spain. So you can say the timing wasn’t perfect….to say the least. So we brought in John Macaloso for the tour. But he didn’t deliver and showed up in a pretty bad state….We had to send him home and called in Magnus Ulfstedt. His first gig with us was in Barcelona 2015. And he was awesome. He’s a bit heavier than Robban, a hard hitting drummer that gives us the punch we need. And his humor is fantastic 😉

 

Victor Cito (B)

Magnus Ulfstedt (Ds)

 

Also the band left AOR HEAVEN and got a deal with FRONTIERS MUSIC in Italy this time, in Japan you guys left MARQUEE/Avalon and got a deal with KING RECORDS.

Åge: You’ve done your homework 😉 Yes we did!! It’s good to be back on FRONTIERS and KING. With “Shanghaied” we pretty much did license deals and my own label owned the master rights. I looked upon it as an investment. And now it looks as though it’s gonna pay off 😉 “Shanghaied” is really boosting now on account of the promotion for our new album. #25 in India, and charting in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium etc

 

Lasse Finbråten (Key)

 

You guys are touring in Norway and Europe, any plan to come to Japan for some gigs? You came to Japan with WIG WAM in 2010 last time. And What was the most impressive thing(s) when you ever came to Japan 4 times?

Åge: I REALLY REALLY hope so !!! We can’t put a gun to someones head to play in Japan though. So I guess we are just waiting for some requests. We would surely love to travel to Japan, no doubt about it. I’d love to re-connect with the Japanese Wig Wamaniacs!! It’s been TOO long !!! The most impressive memory from Japan was as mentioned earlier our first trip over. I would never dream that so many fans would show up at the airport to welcome us. And before getting on the plane we received news that the Tokyo gig was sold out. That was pretty unbelievable !! I also have great memories from our other trips to Japan too. 2010 was probably the best live experience. We had a great album out and a cool stage show.

 

 

About your solo works, you released new solo album SMOOTH SEAS (DON’T MAKE GOOD SAILORS) last year. And you sing for musicials like THE SHOW MUST GO ON for example, you have appearances on TV shows, you’ve been working hard. What makes you do so many things besides the reason you love to sing?

Åge: If life is a rainbow, why settle on just one color. There are so many melodies running through my head, and so much music to be made. So I need to bring it out. My solo work is of course much more personally. And the songwriting is more like self therapy. With AMMUNITION it’s much more social, and we just enjoy writing together and get that adrenaline rush. And yes, I like to make big stage productions too, like my Queen show. It’s has more or less been my daytime job for 10 years, and has given me the opportunity to keep myself self employed. The same with TV etc. I’d rather sing two hours worth of Queen classics for 100 people each night than working on some factory..he he

I heard you’ve quit smoking, it’s really good for your health. Any change after quitting?

Åge: I have quit smoking on a regular basis. it means that I still can enjoy a cigarette once in a while. Now it’s ME who has the control, not the cigarette. Well, I feel a lot better and my voice is much crisper. So it definitely has had an effect. Pretty funny though, I managed to have a cigarette on stage in Russia last week, and was caught by the secret police. Penalty; NOK 20.000,- :-0 Guess I won’t be smoking on stage again…EVER ha ha

 

I wonder what happens to NORDIC BEAST though we know you’ve been busy and also other members especially John Norum and Mic Michaelli have been busy for EUROPE. You guys will be together in the near future?

Åge: Nordic Beast is right now a sleeping beast. And I don’t know what will happen to the project. It was a great project where John and Mic could finally play some more heavy stuff, and for Mikkey Dee to do something else than Motörhead. When Lemmy died he soon was headhunted to Scorpions, and has been extremely busy ever since. And Europe has finally started to play the music Mic and John craved to do. And I’m in a happier place too. So you can say, the band aid that NORDIC BEAST was worked for us all. It got us moving forward in seperate ways. But Mikkey still calls me and asks if we can regroup again.

Who knows? I would love to. But then with original material of course… Let’s see what the future holds…

 

at MELODI GRAND PRIX 2017 in Norway for EUROVISION SONG CONTEST.

 

Your message to your loyal fans in Japan since WIG WAM days, they miss you a lot and hope you’ll be back for gigs in Japan.

Åge: I’m extremely flattered that you still remember me after all these years. I thought you had all forgotten about me and moved on, really. I will never ever forget the way you open your arms for me and WIG WAM, and I’m simply dying to come back to meet you all. I have already sent messages to CREATIVEMAN among others to try to return with AMMUNITION.

But I guess they will need to hear it from you too…. I think they believe that no one will show up for AMMUNITION concerts in Japan. Prove them wrong!!! Let’s get back together and get ready to be AMMUNITIONIZED!!!

 

 

(Discography)

AMMUNITION – AMMUNITION (2018, FRONTIERS MUSIC & KING RECORDS)

AMMUNITION – SHANGHAIED (2014, AOR HEAVEN & MARQUEE/Avalon)

Åge Sten Nilsen – SMOOTH SEAS (DON’T MAKE GOOD SAILORS) (2017, Grappa)

LINK (English)

<FOREIGN WEBSITES>

A.C.T (in English)
https://www.actworld.se/

AMMUNITION Facebook (in Norwegian & English)
https://www.facebook.com/ammunitionofficial/

AOR GURU (Music, movie, humor etc. in Norwegian)
http://www.aorguru.com/

AOR HEAVEN (A record label in Germany, in English)
http://www.aorheaven.com/

Bente Smaavik
http://www.bentesmaavik.com/

BRAZEN ABBOT (in English)
http://www.brazenabbot.nostramusic.com/

Carina Dahl (in English)
http://www.carinadahl.no/

CIRCUS MAXIMUS (in English)
http://www.circusmaximussite.com/

COVERED CALL (in English)
http://www.coveredcall.se/

CROSSFADE (in English)
http://www.crossfade.nu/

D:A:D (in English)
http://www.d-a-d.dk/

Dag Ingebrigtsen (ex-TNT, ex-TINDRUM, in Norwegian)
http://www.dagingebrigtsen.no/

ECLIPSE (in English)
https://www.eclipsemania.com/

FATAL SMILE (in English)
http://www.fatalsmile.com/

FROZEN RAIN (in English)
http://www.frozenrain.be/

GODISPASCEN (in English)
http://www.godispascen.se/

H.E.A.T (in English)
http://www.heatsweden.com/

Janne Stark (LOCOMOTIVE BREATH, in English)
http://www.starkmusic.net/

KING COMPANY (in English)
http://www.kingcompanyband.com/

KINGS & DREAM (in English)
http://kingsanddreams.net/

LION MUSIC (A Finnish record label, in English)
http://www.lionmusic.com/

LION’S SHARE (in English)
http://www.lionsshare.org/

LOVER UNDER COVER (in English)
http://www.loverundercovertheband.com/

MELODIC.NET (Interviews, reviews, etc. in English)
http://www.melodic.net/

MELODICROCK.COM (The latest info. etc. in English)
http://www.melodicrock.com/

METALPHOTOS.SE (Lots of photos on HM/HR artists)
http://www.metalphotos.se/

MONSTER MAGAZINE (a Norwegian HM/HR magazine, in Norwegian)
http://www.monstermagazine.no/

NIVA (in English)
http://www.niva.se/

PAL Facebook (in English)
https://www.facebook.com/PAL-1027966257306797/

RAIL (American melodic HR band, in English)
http://www.railonline.net/

ROASTINGHOUSE (Recording studio & productions, in English)
http://www.roastinghouse.com/

Satin Official Facebook (in English) *NEW*
https://www.facebook.com/officialsatin/

STORMWIND (in English)
http://www.saga.nu/stormwind/

STREET LEGAL (in English)
http://www.streetlegal.no/

STRUTTER’zine (AOR fanzine, in English)
http://www.strutter.co.nr/

THE SWEDISH WESTCOAST MUSIC SITE (in English)
http://www.westcoast-music.com/

THOMAS LARSSON (in English)
http://www.thomaslarsson.org/

TNT (in English)
http://www.tnttheband.com/

WILD FRONTIER (German melodic rock band, in German & English)
http://www.wildfrontier.de/

<JAPANESE WEBSITES>

ALL ABOUT GERMAN MELODIC ROCK (Interviews etc., mainly in Japanese)
http://www.geocities.co.jp/MusicStar-Guitar/7329/

BLACK-LISTED MANAGEMENT (Management office, in Japanese)
http://www.black-listed.jp/

EMPTYROOMS?! (Gary Moore fansite, in Japanese)
http://park3.wakwak.com/~rue/

EVERYTHING FALLS APART (Heavy/aggressive music, in Japanese)
http://www1.odn.ne.jp/fragile.nothing/

HR’S ROOM (CD & demo reviews etc., mainly in Japanese)
http://plaza.harmonix.ne.jp/~kouji-as/

KING COMPANY JP (Japanese Twitter)
https://twitter.com/kingcompanyjp

MELODIC RENAISSANCE ‘zine (fanzine, in Japanese)
http://www.geocities.jp/melodicrenaissance/

MELODIOUS ROCK-INVITATION (Melodic HR, in Japanese)
http://www.geocities.co.jp/MusicStar/6814/

MICHAEL THOMPSON (in Japanese & English)
http://michaelthompson.web.fc2.com/

ORACCHI’s DIARY (in Japanese)
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/oracchi/

REACH FOR THE MELODIC HARD ROCK (Melodic HR, basically in Japanese)
http://www.mhrock.com/

SNOW RECORDS (Online disc shop, in Japanese & English)
http://www.snowrecords.com/

still crazy for STILL CRAZY (on the movie “STILL CRAZY”, in Japanese & English)
http://www.s-rock.info/sc/stillcrazy2.html

WALK AWAY FROM… (Favorite albums etc., in Japanese)
http://www.geocities.jp/ishione1972/

HARD POP DAISUKI (Blog about AOR/melodic HR, in Japanese)
http://sky.ap.teacup.com/behamu/

ABOUT (English)

S-ROCK is a website for people who love Scandinavian melodic HM/HR and AOR, which started in February 1999 for S-ROCK, a fan club which broke up in March 2000.

Before the 20th anniversary of the site in 2019, S-ROCK site restarted thanks to WORDPRESS. It’s not completed yet though, we’ll get it improved and post previous and new materials.

Information and photos/image files of bands/artists are put on our website allowed by musicians themselves or their management offices, record companies. All the materials including them above on this website must not be used without permission.

 

 

Your materials may be sent by postal service (no DHL/FedEX) to:

S-ROCK
c/o Toushin-cho Post Office
Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0004
Japan

We pick up your letter/package once a week.