tisdag 30 december 2008

2008 summary

In the last quaking moments of 2008 I'm sitting here, contemplating what I have achieved this year, and where the hell it went!

So, what did happen? Released an album by Balls, a short but interesting journey which made me think about personal chemistry and how it can sometimes fool us. On the other hand I decided to give the accumulated Balls-energy to Overdrive and we soft of ended the year with a gig at Compagniet in Karlshamn which went really great, and made me gain hope in the band again. This time we did some quite unexpected covers: "Red Hot & Heavy" by Pretty Maids and "A Merry Jingle" by The Greedies. Yes, of course, 2008 started with a new Overdrive album, which have received raving reviews, which feels great!

It's also taken most of the year (in small portions) to demo and record the Constancia album. Now that's it's finally in the final stage I think it's been worth it as it's becoming a really great album!

I've started workin on a new book, got the Ebay-bug and started selling stuff to be able to buy stuff (writing encyclopedias is an expensive hobby). I've so far found around 2500 Swedish bands I need to include and write about. Fun, but a lot of work.

We decided to sell our house just before Christmas, so the ad is out and the ball has started rolling. It will be interesting to see where it takes us!

Two weeks in New York was a great experience as always, and seeing Dave, Amy and Jeb was great, not forgetting Robin Trower at BB King's and rehearsing old Sir Lord Baltimore songs with John Garner! Firefest in Nottingham, Arrow Rock in Nijmegen and of course Sweden Rock Festival and the Sweden Rock Kick-Off with Blackfoot, Hammerfall and Bullet. Some nice trips to Denmark to see Pretty Maids and Three Doors Down, the of course Ted Nugent, Kansas and ACT in Malmö.
So, my top 10 among this year's releases goes like this (it actually changed in the last minute):
1. Grand Magus – “Iron Will”
2. Volbeat – “Guitar Gangsters And Cadillac Blood”
3. Black Stone Cherry – “Folklore & Superstition”
4. Opeth – “Watershed”
5. Blindstone – “Freedom’s Calling”
6. 3 Doors Down – “3 Doors Down”
7. Truth – “Machine”
8. Big Jim Slade – “This Is Delicious”
9. H.E.A.T – “H.E.A.T”
10. Nickelback - "Dark Horse"
However my Top 10 - overall - right now, looks like this:
1. Diamond REO - "Dirty Diamonds"
2. Robin Trower - "Bridge Of Sighs"
3. Santers - "Shot Down In Flames"
4. Black Pearl - s/t
5. James Gang - "Bang"
6. Foghat - "Fool For The City"
7. Grand Magus - "Iron Will"
8. Budgie - "The BBC Sessions"

onsdag 17 december 2008

OVERDRIVE and Explorer!

Bought a Gibson Explorer 76 Re-issue of Micke "Nord" Andersson a few months ago. Lately I've only been using my two True Temperament neck guitars, the Gibson Les Paul and the Epiphone Strat. These I still use for the Constancia recordings, but man, that Explorer felt so 100 % right for the OVERDRIVE gig! It's so much wood, so much power and even though it's still got the original pick-ups, man they sound GREAT! Micke had put on s standard 0.11 set and I'm sticking to it! As phat as it gets (to quite Leslie "tone master" West).

I've also got my signal chain together pretty well now. For the OVERDRIVE shows I'm using the Boss Delay and a booster in the loop, only for the leads, and in the chain I've got the Sonic Research strobe tuner (AWESOME!!), Ibanez Tube Screamer, Cry Baby Wah and the Boss Super Octaver. Still using my Highes & Kettner Trilogy amp + 4x12 cab.

I've seriously started looking into the next MOUNTAIN OF POWER album, too now. I know some of the stuff I will do at least like Trapeze, Max Webster, Rory Gallagher, Pat Travers, Diamond REO, but there are sooo many more I'd love to get into! We'll see. I've also got some great offers from musicians that are into lending a helping hand, like Steve Williams (Budgie), Kim Mitchell (Max Webster), Mark Boals (Uli Roth, Royal Hunt), Ed Collins (Pod), Frank Zuri (Diamond REO). This will be fun!!

Listening to:
FOGHAT - Energized
STRAY DOG - Stray Dog
BLACK ROSE - Boys Will Be Boys
Mountain - Flowers Of Evil

måndag 8 december 2008

New Balls please!

So, it finally came to a halt. Last week the singer decided to leave Balls. Well, to be honest it was "an accident waiting to happen". The "offial" reason, according to him, was that we didn't want to play live or even rehearse. Well... I for one love to play live, so there's actually a bit more behind it than that.
Not to go into too many details, it actually started already during the recording when our singer suddenly put quite a big, and not previously discussed, price tag on his involvement in the recording. That's ok, IF you discuss these matters on beforehand and IF you evalutate other peoples contributions (such as artwork, arrangement etc) using the same price guide. Also IF you, after a weekend of arrangement and song-production decide "let's split things three ways", well... you don't suddenly just retract it and say "I've changed my mind" and then go into a hair-splitting contest where fractions of percent is discussed. That's actually BS.
THEN... to compensate for the economical issue (because the rest of us weren't interested in investing in the recording at the price rate decided by the singer), the rights to the album was owned by the singer and the CD subsequently issued on his label. This means the rest of us would receive no royalty until 1500 copies were sold. In all cases known to me, the members always receive at least 5 free copies. Not in this case though. We had to purchase every single copy ourselves, meaning we had to pay for the record we ourselves played on. When pointing this out, the singer had one of his tantrums and left the band... to return again (if I recall correctly this happened 3-4 times before his final bye-bye).

So, the next step was that he INSISTED that we would empty our calendars for two months to play all available gigs, from pubs to areans (well...) at any cost, to promote the album (from which only he had any income). Some of us has music or work for a living, meaning we would have to play for nothing to gain money for the singer... Does that seem fair? Not to me. So, so be it. We did a bloody good album, and the history may or may not end here. At least I and Micke "Nord" will continue working together. We have already written some great songs (in the same vein as the Balls album) and there's more to come.

Listening to:
Guy McCoy Tormé - "Evil Twin" - Great raw edged hard rock!
Sky High - "Download" - Killer Swedish Hendrixy riffster!
Diamond REO - "Dirty Diamonds" - A classic I can't seem to get out of my CD player!
Black Pearl - s/t - Forgotten gem from '94