2023年07月31日にLIONS PRIDE MUSICからデビュー・アルバム”FEED THE FLAME”を発売するノルウェーの３人組MASAKIから、S-ROCKサイトへご訪問の皆様へのビデオ・メッセージが届きました。
A video message from MASAKI, Norway to S-ROCK website. They’ll release their debut album “FEED THE FLAME” from LIONS PRIDE MUSIC on the 31st of July, 2023.
John Masaki (Vo): ヘイ、日本のS-ROCKファンのみんなへご挨拶だ。ノルウェーのMASAKIだよ、俺達がこの名前を選んだのは何故かと言えば、俺の日本の祖母チズコが俺にこのミドルネームを付けてくれたからさ。彼女は60年代初めに日本の富山県からノルウェーのトロンハイムへ渡ったんだ（S-ROCK注：Johnはオスロのトロンハイムと言ってしまって、字幕で訂正されています）。アルバムが07月31日に発売されるよ、気に入ってくれるといいな、すぐに君達に逢いに日本へ行ってライヴが出来る事を祈っているよ。
Satin’s 3rd album “APPETITION” will be released on the 14th of October 2022 from ART OF MELODY (Italy) and SPIRITUAL BEAST (Japan). He talked about the album with full of very melodic and beautiful pieces as his fans expect.
S-ROCK: Since COVID-19 2020 the world has been changed and many things were restricted. Every artist couldn’t do gigs, for every band it was hard to have even a session at studio. You did some online gigs on YouTube by yourself and with your brother Ronny as PEGASUS. How were your days under restriction and did it give you any good/bad changes?
Satin: What it did, was to show that there certainly is life besides music. I’m so used to, almost addicted, to working with music and I get so caught up in “the job” that I totally forget about life itself. What I mean by life, is for example just sitting on the couch with your partner talking about other things than work, taking a walk outside without it being an exercise, just taking in your surroundings. I didn’t like the live-streaming situation at all and that’s why there were so few. It was like taping for a TV-show. There’s nobody to play to, except a camera. I’m so used to play off the vibe that people give during our performances and when you don’t see anybody, it gets weird.
But, luckily for me, most artists have a personal need for exposure. So when they couldn’t play shows due to COVID, they released music. So I was overbooked with studio-projects during that time and, thankfully, did financially very well.
S-ROCK: And Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the world has faced to another difficult things. Your country Norway has the border next to Russia, the same in Japan, they won’t come by tank as there is Japan Sea and Sea of Okhotsk between us and them though. What have Norwegian people thought and reacted about it?
Satin: It is of course a horrible and frightening situation for everyone because you never know what it may lead to. Norway has been taking in refugees and given the children a place in school to be around and interact with other kids. I don’t believe that there is a possibility that Russia will invade Norway at this moment. It’s already a huge setback for the world that they invaded Ukraine.
S-ROCK: Your new album “APPETITION” will be out on the 14th of October after 5 years from “IT’S ABOUT TIME”. It took 5 years because of COVID-19 issues or you just took time enough to release the best materials? Any difference of creating music before/after restriction?
To be completely honest, I wasn’t going to release anymore Satin music after IT’S ABOUT TIME. It was great knowing that my albums did very well and the Japanese label (ANDERSTEIN)’s stock sold out in only two days. But, Satin is strictly a studio-project. Except for a little snippet of “Don’t Know The Words” on the ROCK THE BOAT Cruise in 2019, I have never performed a Satin song Live. So I felt that since I can’t promote the music properly, it’s better to just leave it be.But there has been so much demand for more Satin music over the years that it became a bit overwhelming. So to put a little damper on the demand, I recorded and released the song “Going Your Way” back in November of 2021. No promotion, no video, just an announcement in a Facebook post. People loved the song and it started going around.
About two weeks after the release, I was contacted by the Italian Label BURNING MINDS MUSIC GROUP who was wondering about my plans for an album and the possibility for a collaboration. I had a couple of ideas for songs lying around and I also went back in time and picked some songs I wrote when I was a kid. Most of the songs on IT’S ABOUT TIME was written when I was between 13 and 17 years old. Those old songs are of course reworked with some new lyrics and parts. It gives the songs an authenticity by being written back in 1989 through 1993 when this type of rock music was in it’s prime. But, being fully booked with other projects in my studio, I had to record, mix and master this album on my spare time. Not an optimal setting, but I think the album turned out great.
S-ROCK: Brief comments on each track including the bonus track for Japan, long ones are welcome if you like 😉
Satin: 01. Going Your Way
This song is built around a song I wrote when I was 14 years old called “Love Is In The Way”. I swapped out the verses and wrote a new melody line for the chorus which is exactly like the intro riff. The original chorus is the “breakdown” part after the guitar solo. So instead of singing “Going Way Too Fast” it was “Love Is In The Way”.
02. Angels Come, Angels Go
I’ve had so many versions of this song. I really love everything about this song and it’s one of my favourite songs that I’ve written up to date. I think it’s really cool that when the chorus is suppose to explode with a bang, it completely breaks down to just a piano and vocal. Lyrically, it’s about people on the rebound and one night stands. Many people who have been dumped in a relationship are capable of really hurting themselves or spiraling down a bad path. These people that suddenly come along and have a short affair, a fling or a one night stand with them, gives them a little hope, comfort, self worth and a way to get back up on their feet and keep on wanting to live. I refer to them as the “angels”.
03. Waiting For Another Man
This was on the list of tracks to be on “SATIN 2014” and “IT’S ABOUT TIME”. Somehow I felt it didn’t fit in, so I put it aside. But, it was one of the the first ones to be picked for this album. This song is uptempo and catchy. Lyrically it’s about impatient and desperate people that needs someone there all the time, and therefore won’t find someone to settle down with. Desperation is a killer in any circumstance.
04. Everybody Needs To Be Loved
A feel-good and catchy song that was written for the PEGASUS album “VENDEPUNKT”. I have always loved this song and I really like the way it turned out. The title is self explanatory; No matter who you are, you need love.
05. A Dream Coming True
I was 13 or 14 when I wrote this song and it was then called “Be With You”. I reworked the lyrics in the verse and bridge, but kept some of the original lines. The chorus is original except the last line. That was changed from “So why can’t I be with you” to “It’s like a dream coming true”. Crazy to think that so many of the Satin songs finally see the light after 30-some-odd years.
06. Looking At You
This was written back in 1998 for a project that involved some R’n’B artists. When I was finished writing the song, I liked it so much that I kept it for myself. To me, this sounded like a cool rock track more than an R’n’B song. It works very well as R’n’B too, but I’m glad I made the decision to keep it. It always gave me that “Stop Loving You” by TOTO vibe.
07. Pearly Gates
Oh, my! Now where talking “oldie, but goodie”. This is so early on that I can’t remember when I wrote it, so It must have been when I was 12 or 13 years old. It was called “Running All The Way To The Pearly Gates”. The lyrics were rewritten about 20 years ago and was then titled “Levina’s Tent”. I changed the title back to “Pearly Gates” for this album.
08. Jenny (I’m Bringing You Down)
I used to play this song live with my band “MIRACLE” back when I was 16 years old. What’s cool about this song is that it starts out as a ballad, but completely stops right before the second verse. Then there’s a guitar riff and the song kicks in to an uptempo rocker. Lyrically, it’s about the frustration of someone leaving you because they think they are bringing you down.
09. Still Waiting
Written for the “SATIN 2014” album. I don’t know why it didn’t make that album, but I know it was too “soft” to be on “IT’S ABOUT TIME”. This is also a song that is one of my favourites.
10. Fight Again
Yet again, an old song that has been reworked lyrically, but everything musical is original. The song structure, intro riff, chords and melody is from a song I wrote when I was 14 years old called “Someone To Share My Life With”. It’s pretty much a straight forward rocker and lyrically about almost losing yourself. For a lot of people, life is hard and always will be!
11. Blame The Flame (bonus track for Japan)
This is such a cool song! I had twelve songs recorded for “APPETITION” and I wanted it to contain 10 songs to follow suit to the previous two. The Japan edition needed a bonus track, so I had to remove a song, and that ended up being a song called “Get Less Than Half Back”. When it came time to chose which song to be the bonus track, I went back and forth a thousand times. But, then I realized that it actually doesn’t matter which song I chose because everything ends up on for example YouTube, so everybody will hear it anyways. It’s always great when the bonus track is at the same quality level as the rest of the album.
S-ROCK: On the album cover of APPETITION we can find a face (of yours?) and US dollars, on the left side there’s something like a tire, and on the back of your logo there’s something oval. The artwork shows things related to appetition?
Satin: Yes, that’s correct. Very well detected. The circular object behind the logo is the earth. There are some things hidden in there that only I will know about. This album is lyrically about love, happiness, strength and well-being. These are things I believe people truly long for, and the way and means to get there are different for everybody. So the cover represents items that is widely affiliated with desire.
S-ROCK: Previous 2 albums of yours were out from your own label VERUM MUSIC. This time you’ve got a contract with ART OF MELODY MUSIC. Why? VERUM MUSIC is still working?
Satin: ART OF MELODY MUSIC contacted me after the initial release of “Going Your Way” in November 2021. I wasn’t planning on doing an album. But when they told me they wanted to work together, I said that I could record ten songs and send them over. If they liked what they heard, they could offer a proposal and if they didn’t like it, I’d release it through VERUM MUSIC. They said they loved it and wanted to release it, so here we are.
S-ROCK: Any gig plans with APPETITION album? How about coming to Japan 😉 ?
Satin: As mentioned earlier, Satin is strictly a studio-project and was never intended for playing live. There’s now talk about doing a show in Italy, but we’ll see what happens and what the future might bring. Hehe… Japan has always been a country I have associated with music and lovers of music. I have so many Japanese editions of various albums and every band that I loved growing up was playing shows in Japan. There are circumstances that makes it highly unlikely, but you’ll never know 😉
S-ROCK: What is your “appetition” besides for music?
Satin: What I strive for in life is what’s in my lyrics. I’ve already mentioned that this album is lyrically about love, happiness, strength and well being. These are also my desires!
S-ROCK: Your messages to your fans who visit S-ROCK website, tusen takk!
Satin: I would like to thank everybody for their support and for spending their precious time giving my music a chance to make an impact in any way possible! I really appreciate it.
S-ROCK: 貴方の新譜 “APPETITION”は”IT’S ABOUT TIME”から５年の時を経て10月14日に発売されますね。コロナ禍故か、それとも最高の曲を揃える為に時間がかかったという事でしょうか？制限下前と後では音楽制作に違いはありますか？
Satin: 完全に正直に言うと、IT’S ABOUT TIMEの後に更にSatinの音楽を発表するつもりはなかったんだ。俺のアルバムが売れて日本のレーベル（ANDERSTEIN）の在庫がたった２日で売り切れたのを知るのは本当に素晴らしい事だったよ。でも、Satinは厳密にスタジオ・プロジェクトなんだ。2019年のROCK THE BOATでの”Don’t Know The Words”のちょっとした演奏を除いてSatinの楽曲をライヴで演奏した事は一度もないんだよ。Satinの音楽を正しく宣伝出来ない以上そのままにしておく方がいいと思っていた。だけど何年もSatinの音楽に対する需要が多くて、少し圧倒的と言える位になっていたんだ。その需要過多をちょっと抑える為に2021年11月に”Going Your Way”をレコーディングして発表したのさ。プロモなし、ビデオなし、FACEBOOKでの告知のみだった。みんな気に入ってくれて、話題になっていった。
発表から２週間位して、イタリアのレーベルBURNING MINDS MUSIC GROUPから連絡があったんだ、俺がアルバムを作る予定はないのか、一緒に仕事が出来ないかってね。置いておいた２、３曲の曲のアイディアがあったのと、遡って子供の頃に書いた曲の幾つかを選んだのさ。IT’S ABOUT TIMEの曲の殆どは俺が13～17歳の頃に書かれたものだった。それらの古い曲は勿論幾らか新しい歌詞やパートに書き換えられているよ。この種類のロックが最盛期だった89～93年の間に書かれた事による信ぴょう性を与えているんだ。でも、自分のスタジオで他のプロジェクトの予定が一杯だったから、空いた時間でこのアルバムのレコーディング、ミキシングとマスタリングをしなくちゃならなかった。最適な環境ではなかったけれど、作品としてとても上手くいったと思っているよ。
Satin: 01. Going Your Way この曲は、俺が14歳の頃書いた”Love Is In The Way”を基に構築した曲なんだ。ヴァースを入れ替えて、まさにイントロリフのようなコーラスの為に新たなメロディー・ラインを書いた。オリジナルのコーラスはギターソロの後の「崩壊」パートなんだ。だから”Going Way Too Fast”と歌う代わりに”Love Is In The Way”だったよ。
02. Angels Come, Angels Go この曲はとても多いヴァージョンがあったんだ。この曲の全てが本当に好きで、最近書いたお気に入りの曲の１つだよ。コーラスがドカンと弾けそうな時が本当にかっこいいと思ってる、ピアノとヴォーカルに完全に散らばっていくんだ。歌詞は、傷心に付け込んで一夜限りの関係を持とうとする連中の事を歌っている。関係を投げ捨てる多くの人達は自分を傷付けたり、悪い道へぐるぐる落ちるのが得意だよね。急に現れて短い関係を持つ人達は、浮気や一晩の関係が、少しの希望や安らぎや尊敬に値する気持ちや自分で立ち上がる方法を彼等に与えて、生きたいと望み続けるんだ。俺は彼等の事を「天使達」と言うよ。
03. Waiting For Another Man これは14年のSATINアルバムとIT’S ABOUT TIMEアルバムの楽曲リストにあったものだ。どういう訳か合わないなと感じたから外したのさ。でも、このアルバムの為に選ばれた最初の曲の１つだったんだ。この曲はアップテンポでキャッチーさ。歌詞については、常に誰かが一緒に居るのが必要で我慢出来ず絶望的な人々で、それ故落ち着いた関係を築ける相手を見つけられない、という内容なんだ。絶望はどんな状況でも辛いよね。
04. Everybody Needs To Be Loved PEGASUSのアルバム”VENDEPUNKT”用に書かれたいい気分のキャッチーな曲。この曲がいつも好きで、その結果が好きなんだ。タイトルは一目瞭然さ、君が誰であっても愛が必要だ、って事。
05. A Dream Coming True この曲を書いた時俺は13か14歳で、曲名は”Be With You” だった。ヴァースとブリッジの歌詞を書き換えたんだ、でもオリジナルの文章の幾つかは残したよ。コーラスは最後の部分以外はオリジナルのままさ。”So why can’t I be with you”から”It’s like a dream coming true”に変更したんだ。30数年の後にとても多くのSatinの楽曲が日の目を見るなんて考えるだけでイカレてるよ。
06. Looking At You この曲はR&Bアーティスト達が関わるプロジェクトの為に98年に書いた曲だよ。この曲を書き上げた時、とても気に入ったから自分用に取っておいたんだ。俺には、この曲はR&Bというよりもかっこいいロックの曲みたいに聞こえたのさ。R&Bとしても上手くいってるけど、これを取っておく決断をして良かったよ。TOTOの”Stop Loving You”の雰囲気を常に与えてくれたんだ。
07. Pearly Gates なんてこった！「古い、でもいい曲」の話をしようか。この曲を書いたのがいつだか思い出せない位初期の作品だと思う、だから12、13歳位の時じゃないかな。”Running All The Way To The Pearly Gates”というタイトルだったよ。約20年前に歌詞を書き換えて、タイトルを”Levina’s Tent”に変えたのさ。このアルバム用に再度タイトルを”Pearly Gates”に変更したんだ。
08. Jenny (I’m Bringing You Down) 16歳の頃の俺のバンドMIRACLEでこの曲をライヴ演奏していたんだ。この曲の何がかっこいいかというとバラードとして始まるのに、２番目のヴァースの前で完全に終わるって事さ。そしてギターリフがあって、曲調がアップテンポのロックになるんだ。歌詞は、誰かが君を置いて去る事へのフラストレーションについてなんだ、彼等は君を陥れようと考えているからさ。
09. Still Waiting SATINアルバムの為に書いた曲なんだ。何故あのアルバムに収録しなかったのか分からないな、でもIT’S ABOUT TIMEに入れるにはソフト過ぎたのは分かってる。この曲も俺のお気に入りの１つなんだ。
10. Fight Again 更にもう一つ、歌詞を書き換えた古い曲で、でも音楽の部分はオリジナルのままだよ。この曲の構造、イントロ・リフ、コードとメロディーは14歳の時に書いた”Someone To Share My Life With”という曲から取ってるよ。とても真っすぐなロック曲で歌詞はほぼ自分を見失っている事を書いてあるんだ。多くの人々にとって人生は辛いもので、常にそうであろうものだよね！
11. Blame The Flame (bonus track for Japan) これはとてもかっこいい曲だ！APPETITIONアルバムの為に12曲レコーディングして、過去の２作品に追随する10曲にこの１曲を含めたかった。日本盤にボーナストラック１曲が必要だったから、１曲削らなければならなかったんだ、そして最終的に”Get Less Than Half Back”という曲になった。ボーナストラック用の曲をどれにするか選ぶ時が来た時、千回はあれでもないこれでもないと迷ったんだ。でも、どの曲を選ぶかなんて全く問題じゃないと気付いたのさ、だっていずれは例えばYouTubeにアップされちゃうだろ、そうなればみんな聴けてしまう様になる。アルバムの他の曲同様の質をボーナストラックが持っているのはいつても最高だね。
S-ROCK: 過去２作品は貴方自身のレーベルVERUM MUSICから発売されていました。今回はART OF MELODY MUSICと契約しました、何故でしょう？VERUM MUSICはまだ稼働していますか？
Satin: 21年11月に”Going Your Way”を最初に発表した後ART OF MELODY MUSICが連絡をくれたんだ。アルバムを制作するつもりはなかったんだよ。でも彼等が一緒に仕事がしたいと言ってくれた時、俺は10曲レコーディングして送る事が出来ると言ったのさ。彼等が聴いたものを気に入ったら、彼等は企画を提案出来て、気に入って貰えなければ自分でVERUM MUSICから発売していただろうね。彼等は気に入って発売したいと言ってくれたから、こうなったんだよ。
(Questions were sent to the band early January 2021)
S-ROCK: Welcome back, boys! Your fans in Japan probably still call you guys by stage names because it’s easier for us to pronounce 🙂
(S-ROCK: We call the band members by their real name in our questions, thinking about their favorite way to be called by real name or stage name and the way they call themselves now. Sporty wants fans to call him “Sporty”, and Flash says “I suppose it’s easier for the Japanese to relate to our stage names, so you should use Flash 🙂 ” )
S-ROCK: Just listened to NEVER SAY DIE album and the first impression of it is that this is a very excellent gig-friendly album, I can imagine how next gigs will be like with these new tracks and WIG WAM have ever done amazing gigs. Did you guys think about forthcoming gigs obviously when you worked for the album?
Øystein Greaker-Andersen/Sporty: I am always thinking of upcoming gigs! What I do love the most is playing live! Sitting behind my drums, looking at all those people having a good time digging our music, thinking, I do really love this 😉 And of course, Never Say Die will be an excellent live track! 🙂 When I do drum sessions in studio I often think of what will be cool live also 😉
Bernt Jansen/Flash: I’m glad you see the album that way. When you write and record songs I’m always imagining how the song will sound like on a massive stage set. You picture yourself how the crowd goes mad and how the light and pyros will be 😊 But we’re always aiming for the best result for the album. Often these things goes hand in hand in our music.
Åge Sten Nilsen/Glam: I think whenever we write music for a rock band, our mindset have some focus on performing it live, in front of our fans you know. That’s a major part of the motivation anyway.
Trond Holter/Teeny: Thank you. Yes it’s gig friendly because we are a live band from our roots! That’s where we get our energy, with the connection from the audience!
Bernt, “Silver Lining” is what you wrote, with quite a different taste from a heavy tune like “Call Of The Wild” you sing on the album. What brought you the idea of the track?
Bernt/Flash: “Silver Lining” is a song I have had in the drawer for more than 10 years. Sometimes you write music regardless of genre. When I occasionally listen back to my demos it’s easier to hear the difference between the crap from the gems. I’ve always thought it was a song that deserved to see the light of day. And when we have a singer like Åge(Glam) I thought this is the moment to make it happen. And I must say It came out in a way I couldn’t dream of. The singing and the guitar solo at the end is tremendous. And the drumming and bass of course 😊.
Trond, there are 2 instrumental tracks on this album, I guess you composed them (I’ve not seen the booklet of the album as it’s not out yet). The second departure of WIG WAM is like “The Second Crusade”? Or “Northbound”?
Trond/Teeny: The second crusade is written by Lasse Finbraaten from CIRCUS MAXIMUS because we wanted the atmosphere from his strings. This is WIG WAM’s second crusade and we are building a new chapter of history together. Wherever we are in the world, when a tour is over, we are always Northbound to get back home 🙂
S-ROCK: Åge talked about a plan of an streaming gig around the release date of NEVE R SAY DIE album, is that possible to watch it from Japan? And we can’t use Vipps here, if you guys have a PayPal account, maybe some Japanese fans will send you some money besides a ticket 🙂 The only problem is the time difference between Japan and Norway.
Bernt/Flash: I’m sure we will do what it takes to make our Japanese fans watch a streaming live gig. It looks like it will be a delay since the COVID-19 has made everything go in a lockdown right now. But as soon it’s over we’ll let you know 😊
Åge/Glam: There will be a live stream event during the release weekend. We are working on setting up our new stage, lights and all, to perform some songs and to do a live stream Q & A, free of charge and available to everyone across the globe. It will be a celebration of our comeback album and everyone is invited to join the party.
On the 22nd of January 2021.
Trond, Bernt and Øystein, Åge talked about what had happened to you guys before/after the band broke up from his point of view in the interviews of BURRN! magazine, many Japanese fans got so shocked and felt sad when they read. How about your each story from your point of view?
Øystein/Sporty: It’s a simple answer to this; We had done too much of everything, too many years in a row… We were tired and fed-up. Personally, I do not look back in time so much… I’m positive thinking and looking forward to what to come in 2021 also 🙂
Bernt/Flash: When you are in a band like we were, it’s inevitable that there will be some resentment from time to time. We were gigging more than we should in periods and some of us were really tired. When we finally decided we should have a break, Glam made his Queen show idea happen. It really became a success. And then Teeny began to work on his DRACULA project and he and I started BABY SNAKES and there was less time for WIG WAM. We somehow found it fulfilling to work with other musicians and new inputs. All these side projects we had drove the band further apart. And when Teeny and myself joined the JORN in 2012 WIG WAM became the side project. All our energy went into all these bands and we finally decided to call it quits in 2013.
Trond/Teeny: A band is like a marriage. When you stop to communicate with each other, you are in trouble. That’s what we did. We didn’t talk to each other about anything, just kinda walked around like zombies. We sought out of the band and were tired of it all. Now, we have a close relationship again like we did at the start and having a great time together these days.
Åge composed “Faith Bloody Faith” for Jørn Lande who will participate in Melodi Grand Prix 2021 (Lykke til!) , and Trond and Bernt worked together with him for JORN, any interesting story about him?
Bernt/Flash: Jørn is a great guy! He talks a lot and has a lot of views 😊He is among the top 3 best singers in his genre in my view. An Incredible voice. He always brings his favourite pajamas on the tour bus 😊 The rest you will have to read about in his autobiography ha ha…
Åge/Glam: JORN is a very interesting person to be around. He’s a motormouth and can talk for hours if you don’t stop him. I remember meeting him in a public toilet years ago, before I knew about this, and while we were urinating we started to talk. The conversation, his monologue, turned into views on the Viking story, and I was literally trapped inside the toilet for almost 30 minutes, because I couldn’t find a gap in his stories to end the conversation and get out of there ha ha But he’s cute. We’ve become very close these past months.
Trond and Bernt, any updates on BABY SNAKES?
Bernt/Flash: BABY SNAKES have recorded a brand new album and made a video. The release will be coordinated among whatever else happening, but sometime after the summer is the plan. We are really excited about that album. There will be some eyebrowse raised I’m sure 😊
Trond/Teeny: Yes, the album is ready and we are planing our next step for after the WIG WAM period.
Åge, NORDIC BEAST will be still a sleeping BEAST? *S* And when can we expect next AMMUNITION album, Erik Mårtensson is extremely busy as well though?
Åge/Glam: NORDIC BEAST is still a sleeping beast. When John Norum and Mikkey Dee started this unit back in 2015, I think it was a necessary move for Mikkey to have a touring unit when Lemmy started to slow down his MOTÖRHEAD touring. Lemmy wasn’t feeling too well, and Mikkey loves to live on the road. For John I think it felt good to have something outside the comfortable EUROPE zone too. We even started to work on some original materials but once Mikkey got the SCORPIONS gig he became more busy than ever. We haven’t officially broken up the band, so who knows. The collaboration between John and me has continued though, which led me to record some songs for his forthcoming solo album. We’re even talking about going out on tour together, focusing on his back catalog as a solo artist.
Øystein, I heard you had a health problem, are you alright now? After WIG WAM broke up what did you do? Any music activities?
Øystein/Sporty: Let’s make that clear, I’M FINE, do not have any health problems. At least not more than other “normal” people 😉 I’m healthy, doing workouts 4 days a week. Feeling really good actually 🙂
I have done a lot of music activities after WIG WAM (2012-2020) 🙂
I have done a lot of gigs with my old band in Stockholm, Sweden “SHA-BOOM”. This is more in the pop-genre-music-type 🙂 Check it out on Spotify 🙂 R.O.C.K. was a really big hit in Scandinavia in the eighties 😉 I have also used a lot of time producing music. I’m working with two artists mainly; MELIx, which is a Norwegian female pop singer. I have produced 5 tracks with her in 2019 and 2020. RED STEEL is a Norwegian rock band which I really like. I did produce their first single in 2020. Check out both MELIx “Det Er Sommer” and also RED STEEL “Unreal”. I do really think that you’ll like this track 😉 You are welcome to contact me concerning these two artists if you like to know more 😉 (S-ROCK: The guitar player of RED STEEL is Sporty’s yougest son)
Your messages to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK site. Tusen takk! Hope we’ll see your gigs in Japan later, hope not too late due to COVID-19!
Øystein/Sporty: Hope to see U in Japan on tour: Maybe in 2022 🙂 And I think U should keep on using our artist names:) At least mine 😉
Bernt/Flash: Hi! I will always treasure our trips to Japan, and I sure hope there will be a chance to come back once more. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Your hospitality and your enthusiasm really boosted the band in every way. I’m so happy that we finally are back together and that our new album NEVER SAY DIE will meet your expectation. My son has been to Japan several times and has learned the language. He will be studying in Japan as soon the Covid situation is resolved. I really hope we will do some gigs for you guys in the near future. Until then enjoy the music and see you soon!!
Åge/Glam: It really feels SO good to have put the past behind us and made the wounds heal. We have sorted out all our differences and are just looking forward to playing live again. We are definitely coming over to Japan again on a NEVER SAY DIE tour. Stay safe and get ready to be WIG WAM’ed the way you’ve never been WIG WAM’ed before.
Trond/Teeny: I really hope to get a chance to tour Japan again. I have missed you all and I’m so ready to meet you again! Rock on and stay safe!!!!
Bernt/Flash: ハイ！俺はいつも日本への旅を大事にするよ、そしてもう一度戻れる機会がある事を望んでる。絶対忘れる事がない経験だったんだ。君達のもてなしと熱狂は全ての意味でバンドを鼓舞したのさ。俺達が満を持して復活して、新譜NEVER SAY DIEが君達の期待に応える事が本当に嬉しいよ。俺の息子は何回か日本に行った事があって、日本語を勉強しているよ。コロナ禍が解消されたら彼は日本で勉強する予定なんだ。近い将来君達の為に何回かライヴを演れる事を心から望んでる。それ迄は新譜を楽しんでくれ、すぐ逢おう！
Åge/Glam: 過去の事を水に流して傷を癒して本当にいい気分なんだ。俺達は全ての俺達の相違点を整理したし、今はまたライヴを演る事だけを楽しみにしているのさ。NEVER SAY DIEツアーで絶対に日本へまた行くよ。無事で居て、そして以前は絶対体験出来なかったやり方でWIG WAMの虜になる準備をしておいてくれ。
STONEFLOWER’s latest album “FINALLY” out in May 2020.
S-ROCK: Tom and Svenn, you guys as STONEFLOWER have been “finally” back to the scene with the latest album “FINALLY” out in May 2020. Welcome back, and the album has been “back in stock” again and again at online CD stores in Japan. Any negotiation with Japanese labels to release in Japan?
Svenn: Hi there, yes it’s good to finally be back but you know there’s actually never been a longer off period it’s just that we like to spend our time in the studio.
Well, we have no separate negotiation with Japan cause we want to see how far AOR HEAVEN can push this album.
S-ROCK: For these years since you guys released the 1st album “CRACK A LITTLE SMILE” in 2003 many things have been changed, especially thanks to internet. What is the biggest difference on making an album between early 2000’s and now?
Svenn Huneide (B)
Svenn: The main difference is in the way we work in the studio with new methods due to digital aids. It should be a faster and easier way but we are really old school and like to do it the old way as much as possible.
We try to use copying and moving parts of a song to a minimum and we feel this really helps the songs to be more dynamic.
Tom: The difference in case of distribution of the music now from before, is that its much easier to hit just the right market (people). Our goal is to find the AOR people who are very open to new bands, and still quite hungry for this kind of music.
S-ROCK: “FINALLY” album has full of beautiful melodies with excellent chorus harmonies, and tracks are in genuine AOR style more than previousalbums. John from young generation has brought something fresh, it has given good influence to guys with a long career? Which track(s) is/are your favorite(s)?
Svenn: Yeah, John has really given us old guys a vitamin injection and it’s really funny to write new songs and throw at him. He always surprises us by making every song better sounding than we could imagine.
Tom by the way is the master Chorus guy. The man should really write a book about it. It’s hard to pick a favourite because they’re all so difference.
Tom: I very much agree with Svenn. John came in and really kicked our butts. We had to polish him just a tiny bit from the musical scene, but as you can hear, he’s all over the place. I loved his voice from the first time I heard him.
I can’t pick any favourite song either. Every song has its own place.
Tom Sennerud (G)
S-ROCK: How’s been the situation in Norway during this chaos due to COVID-19? Many people in Japan get used to wear a mask in winter (cold/flu) and spring (pollen) though, you guys there in Norway didn’t have that custom. What did you guys do and think during the restriction time?
Svenn: Well these are strange and dark times indeed. We are not used to wearing masks in Norway and even today most people find it a bit strange. We are fortunate to have a government that really took the situation seriously and because of that
Norway is one of the countries with fewest dead and sick in the whole world. We had planned to make a couple of concerts but instead we were stuck in our studios so we tried to make the best out of it and even made a video with live playing from our homes.
Tom: This still isn’t over. The plan for a release concert in February -21 seems difficult too, so we just have to wait.
S-ROCK: John, you ever participated in IDOL and musicals like LES MISERABLÉS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, MISS SAIGON. Have you ever sung in an AOR band besides STONEFLOWER? And your name “Masaki” reminds Japanese people of a Japanese male name, is it your real name or stage name?
John: I’ve always been a huge fan of AOR and ever since I was a teenager I’ve been singing cover songs with various bands but this is the first time I get to be part of something completely original. Doing musicals and theatre and cabaret shows are fun and challenging in their own ways, but it’s something completely different to be able to do your own music. I am so lucky to have met these incredibly talented people who happen to share my passion for AOR.
John Masaki (Vo)
My grandmother was actually from Japan and I was named after her brother Masaki. As a young sailor, my grandfather stayed in Toyama-ken for three months while repairing their ship engine. He told me he met my beautiful grandmother Chizuko Iwata one day at a hair saloon and managed to ask her out to dinner even though he couldn’t speak a word of Japanese. They fell in love and she moved to Norway with him. My full name is John-Magnus Masaki Nielsen, but John Masaki is a much more catchy stage name and I carry it with great pride.
S-ROCK: Geir, you work as a video journalist/photographer/drone pilot for TV2 news as well, from a journalist point of view what will happen to the world next after COVID-19 matters?
Geir: Oh well, that’s the big question everyone is asking themselves, isn’t it? I think the world will feel the aftermath of this for a very long time.
But let’s hope they can find a vaccine soon, and maybe after a some time, the virus will be just another annual influenza-virus. In Norway the kids are putting posters in the windows saying: «It Will All Be Fine» written inside a rainbow. And that’s what I think also.
Geir Johnny Huneide (Ds)
S-ROCK: Some bands and musicians in Norway have been doing online gigs on FACEBOOK, YouTube or other ways for free or receiving money as a ticket price or social tipping by Vipps for example. Any plan of an online gig of you guys? If you do, your fans in Japan will be interested as well even though there’s time difference. And when this chaos with restriction is over, you guys will do some gigs with your fans at clubs?
Svenn: Well we thought about it but the market was really flooded with concerts and it was too much hassle to get it done in a way we liked and now it’s almost over. People got tired of it I suppose 🙂 It would be great to treat our fans with a concert tho’ so let’s see what’s gonna happen.
Tom: We will love to do clubs in the future.
John: Yes! Live streams can be fun but it’s just not the same as a real concert with real people. I tried to download a beer the other day but it didn’t taste quite right.
S-ROCK: This is a question from your Japanese fan. Which are your favorite bands and bands which have influenced your music career?
Svenn: Wow, there are just so many. My personal favorites are FOREIGNER, TOTO, WHITESNAKE, YES, DGM and some of the new ones like W.E.T and WORK OF ART. I started listening to music at the age of 10-11 so every classic rock band from 1984 and forward has influenced me but especially TOTO, VAN HALEN, KISS, WHITESNAKE, DEF LEPPARD and GIANT have been huge favorites.
Tom: Again, I have to follow Svenn, TOTO, WORK OF ART, LIONVILLE, W.E.T but also Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, PAGES and MR. MISTER to name a few.
John: One of my favorite voices is Norwegian Jørn Lande (Jorn) but my biggest inspiration as a performer is probably Freddie Mercury. Other huge influences are IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER, WHITESNAKE, GUNS N’ ROSES, AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN, THIN LIZZY, BON JOVI etc. The list could go on forever!
S-ROCK: Would you give your messages to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK website? Tusen takk!
Svenn: Thank you so much for your interest and for listening to our new album. It would be a really treat if we were to play for our Japanese Fans in Japan sometime in the future and in the meantime I pray everyone stay safe and healthy.
Tom: Thank you so much for listening and supporting us. We are so grateful for all the feedback we got this time around.
John: Thank you for keeping rock and roll alive! Hope to come see you very soon!
(L to R) Janne “Gekko” Granfors (B), Krister Stenbom (Vo), Jori Tojander (Key), Risto Tuominen (G) and Tuomas Pelli (Ds).
Questions by Rue@kingcompanyjp on FACEBOOK and Twitter Translated by S-ROCK
***Questions were sent to the band before ANDERSTEIN MUSIC announced that they closed their business***
Rue: WAKE THE NATIONS have released the 2nd album “HEARTROCK” in Japan as the band’s debut in Japanese market. Congratulations. Would you let us know each member of the band? Japanese fans say “The band is absolutely a good one as some of them are from HUMAN TEMPLE.”
WAKE THE NATIONS (WTN): The members are:
Risto Tuominen (HUMAN TEMPLE) – guitars Jori “Jorge” Tojander (ex-HUMAN TEMPLE) – keys Janne “Gekko” Granfors (ex-HUMAN TEMPLE) – bass Krister “Papa Smurf” Stenbom – vocals Tuomas Pelli – drums
Greetings to HUMAN TEMPLE fans in Japan!
Rue: It took some years to release “HEARTROCK” after you guys released the 1st album “SIGN OF HEART”, what did you guys do then?
WTN: Actually, we started to write new songs quite soon after the release of “SIGN OF HEART”, but at the same time we were touring as well. We were contacted by the producer of RECKLESS LOVE and we started by recording three songs under his guidance. We found the perfect composition with regards to sound and harmonies and followed his advice also as we recorded all the other 8 songs. This time we wanted the album to sound classy and fresh, with lots of catchy melodies.
Rue: “HEARTROCK” has got a lot of good reviews and responses from fans of melodic HR and AOR in Japan, Did you hear about that?
WTN: Yes we did! And that is super awesome! Hopefully we’ll someday have a chance to perform in Japan. That would be our dream come true.
Rue: Would you let us know each track of “HEARTROCK”?
WTN: We don’t quite know what you want to know about the tracks, but if we sum it up all in one sentence, all the songs are telling some sort of story about High’s and low’s of different situations of life. Heart Rocks up and down when you’re happy or sad, etc.
01. No Mercy 02. Tattooed Girl 03. Midnight Lovers 04. All My Life 05. Fallen Angel 06. Now You’re Gone 07. New Day 08. Flames 09. Something In Your Eyes 10. Higher 11. This Is Over 12. Real-life Superhero
Rue: The previous album had another singers, and it made the album sound like a project band. This album has got tracks much improved compared to the previous one. Did you try anything new when you guys composed?
WTN: Firstly, we got help from top song writers like Sören Kronqvist and Thomas Vikström, to name a few. Risto experimented quite much with synth sounds and arrangements. That gave the songs another dimension. Of course the producer influenced a lot and the final touch was different this time since Erik Mårtensson mixed and mastered the whole album like nobody else.
Rue: How did you have tracks from Thomas Vikström for THERION, Ilkka Wirtanen for THE NIGHTS, Sören Kronqvist who ever wrote for ONE DESIRE, FIND ME? And how did you like to work with Erik Mårtensson for ECLIPSE / AMMUNITION for mixing and mastering?
WTN: We got Thomas and Sören onboard because Risto had been in contact with them before via social media. Ilkka contacted us and asked if we needed any help. Erik was asked if he would like to mix our album and we met him here in Finland when ECLIPSE was opening for SCORPIONS. We all love Erik’s songwriting skills and the sound of ECLIPSE.
Rue: On this album you guys had guest musicians again. You guys wanted to have something different from the previous album? Was there any musician who got you impressed?
WTN: We wanted the album to be diverse in many perspectives and thus we invited some friends to play and sing on the album. Every musician succeeded greatly in their roles and oh dear, we were impressed of them all!
Rue: On the promotional video of “Tattooed Girl” You guys were actors. What did you think when you joined the video shooting?
WTN: Basically the video shoot was all about having fun! But the story behind the video was inspired by life of the main actress, Sini. The song is about her and it was kind of natural to have her featuring the video. But as we needed more actors, we did not look any further…
Rue: For a bonus track in Japan “Real-Life Superhero” which was released as a solo material of Risto last year is on Japanese release, would you talk about it? His kids on the promotional video are very cute.
WTN: The song suited the other songs of the album well and it was one of the band’s favorites, so we decided to re-recorded it and get it on the Japanese version.
Rue: We heard you guys had a release party and did a gig in Helsinki in February 2019. Would you let us know how it was?
WTN: Yes, we did celebrate the release in Helsinki by playing new songs and couple of old ones. We had great time with our fans and friends. Timo Pelander was playing with us and it is always a pleasure to share the stage with so talented guitar player like him. Now we are eager to have more gigs!
Rue: Is there any plan to tour later on? Outside Finland you guys ever did gigs in Germany. We hope to see your gigs in Japan.
WTN: There are a couple of gigs booked, but all of them are in Finland. We plan to visit Germany again – we have toured there 4 times before. But as said, we are dreaming of performing in Japan. We are seeking for booking agents in Japan.
Rue: What do you think about the market of HM/HR in Finland? In Japan fans think there are many bands in Finland and your country is a dream place for metalheads and introduced like everything is there from traditional HR to death metal, black metal.
WTN: Even though there are a great amount of metal bands in Finland, the market is somewhat narrow. Finnish language and pop music are mainstream now but it seems like heavy metal is rising again, like BEAST IN BLACK and CHILDREN OF BODOM show. In other words, there are some hope left for heavier rock music!
Rue: Krister, we heard you have come to Japan for a private trip last year. Which cities did you visit? What do you think about Japan?
Krister: Yes, that is true. I have visited your beautiful country several times in the past and absolutely love everything about it. Last year I was in Tokyo but I have been to Osaka and Kobe as well. Like said, I love Japan, people are friendly, food is absolute magic and I have always felt like being in my second home!
Rue: Would you give your messages to your fans in Japan? Kiitos!
WTN: We heard that you are many! Let’s hope we can play for you sometime soon. Let’s spread the word and try to organize a gig! Thanks a lot for listening to our music and have a nice spring time, heartrockers!
Rue: WAKE THE NATIONSは2ndアルバムの”HEARTROCK”で日本デビューを果たしました。おめでとうございます。メンバー紹介をお願いします。日本のファンは「あのHUMAN TEMPLEのメンバーが居るなら間違いのないバンドだ」と言ってます。
WAKE THE NATIONS（以下WTN）: メンバーは、
Risto Tuominen (HUMAN TEMPLE, G) Jori “Jorge” Tojander (元HUMAN TEMPLE, Key) Janne “Gekko” Granfors (元HUMAN TEMPLE, B) Krister “Papa Smurf” Stenbom (Vo) Tuomas Pelli (Ds)
Rue: 1stアルバム”SIGN OF HEART”をリリースしてからブランクがありましたが、バンドはどのような活動をしていましたか？
WTN: 実際の所、”SIGN OF HEART”の発売直後から新曲を書き始めてたんだけど、同時にツアーもしてたんだ。RECKLESS LOVEのプロデューサーから連絡を貰って、彼の指示の元に３曲レコーディングし始めたよ。他の８曲をレコーディングした時には、サウンドとハーモニーに関して完璧な構成だと思ったし、彼の助言に従ったのさ。今回俺達はアルバムを洒落ててフレッシュなものにしたかったんだ、ふんだんにキャッチーなメロディーを盛り込んでね。
01. No Mercy 02. Tattooed Girl 03. Midnight Lovers 04. All My Life 05. Fallen Angel 06. Now You’re Gone 07. New Day 08. Flames 09. Something In Your Eyes 10. Higher 11. This Is Over 12. Real-life Superhero
KING COMPANY was formed in the early spring of 2014. Drummer Mirka “Leka” Rantanen (RASKASTA JOULUA, WARMEN, ex-THUNDERSTONE, ex-KOTIPELTO, etc.) had already been thinking about forming a new hard rock/melodic metal band for a long time. In this band he wanted to play with people with whom he had worked before and who he knew as both good musicians and friends. First, he contacted guitarist Antti Wirman (WARMEN) who immediately wanted to join the band. The singer Pasi Rantanen was in Mirka’s mind from the beginning, as they had played together in a couple of bands before (THUNDERSTONE, WARMEN). After keyboardist Jari Pailamo (KIUAS, PONIES TO KILL), and bassist Time Schleifer (ENFARCE) joined the band, this super-group was ready to start working. The band’s original name was “NO MAN’S LAND”. Bursting with enthusiasm the band started to work on their first songs and in the autumn of 2014 they entered the famous ASTIA STUDIO to record their first 3 song demo. Shortly after Antti Wirman got a temporary gig as the touring guitarist of CHILDRENS OF BODOM, which limited their rehearsal time, but still the band managed to write more and more songs. They started co-operation with Heta Hyttinen & GINGER WINE MANAGEMENT which eventually got them a recording contract with FRONTIERS RECORDS. This was the band’s dream come true, and the debut album recordings could begin. In the autumn of 2015 the band played two very succesful gigs in Helsinki and Jyvaskyla. The nearly sold out venue “ON THE ROCKS” witnessed the band’s first live performance as they played a set full of songs from the upcoming album. Immediately after these gigs began the debut album recordings and the album was mastered in January 2016. The album recording and mixing was done by Janne Wirman and Kal Kaercher and mastered by Mika Jussila. At this point FRONTIERS RECORDS suggested that the name of the band should be changed because there already were two other bands with the same name and there was a risk of confusion. The band changed its name to “KING COMPANY”. The album release date is in early autumn 2016, and after that the band performs at least in Finland and later in the rest of the world. The debut album is called “ONE FOR THE ROAD”.
(Taken from their official website)
(Discography) ONE FOR THE ROAD (FRONTIERS/KING RECORDS, 2016)