onsdag 1 december 2010

Toehider - Toehider @ Progfest Brisbane - 14th Aug 2009

Toehider from Australia, featuring Swedish drummer Rickard Evensand. This band is absolutely brilliant!!! Check them out!!!

måndag 15 november 2010


Sometimes you just get soooooooooooooo tired of yourself. As if it wasn't enough with all the other crap, now I have to create some of my own... Damn...

I've been working on and off with the new book. I've been way too busy with other musical projects and endeavors to be able to fully concentrate on the book (Vol 3 of my encyclopaedia that is), but nevetheless, I've been struggling to keep up the work. I'm now working on finishing the letter E. I have a separate document for each letter. I write the stuff in Word and will then, when I'm finished, transfer the text to InDesign and do the layout. Anyway, since I did the last up-date on my Office for Mac it's been giving me nothing but problems. It freezes, suddenly shuts down Entourage etc. When Word freezes the only solution is to force it to shut down, and then re-start it, losing what I have just done.
However, what really made my heart sink was when I realized I had done a fatal (well...) error. The last time I was working on the letter E, and Word collapsed on me, I shut down and re-opened the program. It opened a re-created copy of the "E" document. I re-saved it, not notocing the program wanted to re-save it as... "A"... So when I open up my finished "A" document to add some new information... up comes "E"... I have overwritten my "A" document with my "E" information. No back-up, no extra copy anywhere, no NOTHING!!!!! FUUUUUUUUUCK!!! This means I have to re-write everything on "A" AGAIN!!!
As if I didn't have enough to do already!! Soooooo tired....
Crap... I'm going to bed...

On a good note however, Overdrive have just signed to Lion Music for the new album "Angelmaker", to be released in January.

Listening to:
STAR ONE - Victims Of The Modern Age - Arjen does it again!!!!
LÅNGFINGER - Skygrounds - Great Swedish retro!
DEGREED - Life Love Loss - Great melodic hard rock!
CURT ANDERSON - For Some Time Now - Chubtone rocks!

onsdag 29 september 2010

Looking for a deal...

Well, first of all sorry for being such a slacker (thanks, Dave ;-)).
The world is not fair. When people like Jason Bibier and Håkan Hellström can get a record deal, and we seem to be all out of luck. I'm talking about the new Overdrive album. We have 18 tracks recorded, mixed and ready. This feels, by far, like the best album we've ever made with the best production, the strongest tracks and our best musical and vocal performances. Still, it seems noone's interested... I mean, I've sent out around 25 promo packages. I've received two lousy deal proposals and three "thanks, but no thanks". Well, maybe it is actually better to take matters into our own hands, set up some good distribution and release it ourselves? We've already more or less decided to make a CD and a vinyl version, with different tracks (just to confuse people :-)). We've put up some medleys from the new album on our MySpace and Facebook and the response has been great. Seems at least we have some fans out there. Too bad the labels aren't among them... Well, since I'm also the only one in the band engaging in trying to get us a deal (and in most things for that matter...), my patience is starting to run low. Right now I feel more like, fuck it, I'm moving on! We'll see... a miracle may happen...

On the other hand the Guts train has now seriously started moving! We've got a shitload of great songs already written, and this feels really really exiting! The plan is now for me to get my butt up to Stockholm for a weekend of rehearsals and recording! Drummer/singer Peter Hermansson is one of the most prolific persons I've come across in years! And I thought I had a lot of extra hours on my day!

On the third hand, I will now also start arranging and recording guitars for the new Constancia album! The material I've received from Mikael sounds great!

Well, if one train has stopped moving, the best thing is to try and get on another one. Who knows, it may be an express!

Here's some new great stuff I've picked up lately:
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION - s/t - The album Chickenpox... sorry -foot, should've made!
RAZR13 - s/t - Dug Pinnick doin' the King's X dance with some other boys, sounding great!
PRETTY MAIDS - Pandemonium - Their best in years!
SHARKATTACK - s/t - New great CDBaby discovery! Cool rockers!
THE NAUGHTONES - s/t - see above!

fredag 17 september 2010

Rockin' in Finland

So, we've returned from a highly... interesting... trip to Finland. It started with a gig at Sigurdsgatan in Västerås, supported by Sour System (a really great band featuring a former Carnal Forge member). Very small audience, but a really cool gig! We continued to Stockholm, where we spent the night and entered the ferry to Finland. We met up with the boys in Watain, who was all up for some headbanging to the Blues Brothers covers band in the dance hall. Just for the hell of it. We also spent some time with the boys in RAM, who were also accompanied by Pelle from Nifelheim. A great guy, which a cool sense of humor. He turned us on to the extremely cheesy Turkish versions of Superman and Star Wars, which just HAVE to be seen. Just go to YouTube and type in "Turhish Star Wars". You won't regret it!!

The festival in Helsinki, Metal Warning, was a really cool festival at a great venue called Gloria. Went out together with Henri Juvonen to do some record hunting, too. Bought some stuff, too. Some stuff that happened during our journey on and off the ferry I'm just dying to tell, but I have to protect the innocent (and I'd be killed by the main person). Anyway, I still laugh my butt off just thinking about it!

The Overdrive album is all finished. Now we just have to find someone interested in releasing it! We'll see what happens.

Listening to:
TRILLION - New demo tracks! AWESOME pomp!!
ALTER BRIDGE - III - They are back with another killer!
GOV'T MULE - By A Thread - Blues rock played the way it should be!

tisdag 3 augusti 2010

Back from the dead... or something

Haven't written in a long time, but now life has returned to its old routine (or something like that).
I've spent the past four weeks working on the new Overdrive album. Editing drums, recording rough guide guitars and bass. Bouncing tracks for the other members to record to. Then recorded my own final rhythm and lead guitars. 19 tracks times 3-4 guitars per track. Also recorded some final bass in case our bassist couldn't make it. That's a lot of tracks... and a lot of time. As I feel the song material is really really strong this time around I want my performance to be as perfect as it can be. I must've re-recorded a couple of the solos at least 20 times before I got them the way I wanted to. Some, however, I did re-record several times, but picked the first take anyway. Sometimes it has a certain flow and spontaneity you just can't re-create. Then I waited for the other members to send their vocals, bass tracks, acoustic and lead guitars, so that I could add them to the ProTools project, check them and then consolidate all the files to make life easier for Pelle Saether, who was going to mix it. It's however a bit frustrating, to say the least, when you sometimes have different ambition standards.

Last week me and our drummer drove the 600 km's to Studio Underground in Västerås to start mixing with Pelle Saether. The first day we started checking and transferring the files to his system, we gave him our reference discs (we want this and that drum sound, bass sound, guitar sound etc) then we left him to it. He always wants to set the sound alone with no interference from the band (understandably so). Instead we went record hunting and did some great finds! In the afternoon we returned to the studio and listened to the basic sound, which was just plain killer! Brutal! Our drummer just drooled when he heard the drum sound and it all came together just great! It took us 6 days to mix the tracks, however seven of them still lack vocals (lack of time) so we just mixed the basic tracks. The vocals will be finished this week and the final songs finished mixing in two weeks. We got back Saturday evening, one day off and then back to work. Feels like I've had no vacation whatsoever...

So, now all we have to do is find ourselves a label that wants to release the new Overdrive album. It will without doubt be our best album ever, and it's definitely one that I've put a hell of a lot of work, effort and love into!

Some song titles: Angelmaker, Signs All Over, Thriller, Run Out, On With The Action, Brand New Sinner, Cold Blood Chaser, Wavebreaker, Short Moments Of Freedom, It's Not As Easy As It Seems, See The Light, I Know There's Somethimg Going On (cover)...

Listening to:
Overdrive - checking for flaws, things to fix...
Furyon - Gravitas - New UK unit, powerful and melodic!
Iain Ashley Hersey - Nomad - Reviewing it. Decent retro style.
Paul Gilbert - Fuzz Universe - Really dig Paul's playing!

måndag 3 maj 2010

Overdrive, Guts and gardening!

Long time, no lake. Well, here I am again. Starting at the beginning I've found myself very much and happily involved in a new band. This time it's a trio that gues under the name Guts. Drummer/singer Peter Hermansson (220 Volt/Norum etc) and Johan Niemann (Therion/The Murder Of My Sweet/Mind's Eye) are the othet two members. Stylewise this is what I've been aching to play for a long time, the stuff I grew up with - 70s influenced hard rock! This is fun! We've already written several songs together and this can definitely be something!

Overdrive is finally in the studio recording the new album. The past weekend Kjell and Kenta were supposed to lay down the drums for Kjelle's songs, but after the 4th song on the Sunday, Kjelle had to take his dog to the vet. A phone call later (I was in the garden covered in grass and moss at the time) I took over and we managed to lay down another four tracks. We're continuing tonight. I'm not exaggerating if I say this will most likely be the best Overdrive album ever! We've selected 20 songs to record and they all feel strong! Stronger than ever! This is pure classic metal once "invented" by the likes of Judas Priest and Accept. If it works, don't fix it! Mix is set for July and hopefully the CD and vinyl versions will see the light around September.

At the same time TrumPeter Svensson has laid down drum tracks for 10 new Constancia songs! Man, this is gonna be a busy, but fun, summer/fall!

Listening to:
RAZR13 - "Reflecions" - King's X but not. Dug with a new crew sounding awesome!
STONE AXE - "Stone Axe" - Holy crap! The 70s revisited. Killer CD!
RAWBURT - "Muskedunder" - Only a demo, but better than a lot of albums!
THE SWEET - "Live in Kopenhagen 1976" - Still love these guys!

onsdag 10 februari 2010

New blog!

Just a quickie to tell you I've started a new blog solely dedicated to reviews. As I already write for FUZZ Magazine (in Swedish), www.metalcentral.net (in Swedish) and www.metalcovenant.com (in English), I decided I'll publish my collected reviews here, all in English. I will most likely publish a couple new reviews every week. As I'm working on the new book, there will be a bit more concentration on the Swedish hard rock/metal releases.

If you feel like sending me stuff, feel free! Just mail me and I'll send you my address. E-mail: stark(at)starkmusic(dot)net.

You'll find the blog, named Stark Music Reviews, here: http://starkmusicreviews.blogspot.com/


måndag 8 februari 2010

New album out, new songs written!

Finally the new Mountain of Power CD has been released! I'm ever so happy with the result, I must say! Hope it sells a million copies so I become a millionaire!! No, wait, it's only covers... well, I hope the original artists get what they deserve :-)

I'm slowly but safely getting in to the mac and ProTools train! Just transferred a bunch of demos for the forthcoming Overdrive album, from Cubase SX3 to ProTools. Had to bounce down the files in Cubase, save the project to a new fold and exclude all files not used. Import the files in ProTools into a new project and re-program the drums. Fixed 7 tracks in two days, so it worked pretty smoothly.
This week we'll have a meeting about the upcoming Overdrive album, our 30th anniversary disc. Man, I'm not that old!! Well, you're only as old as you feel (or others tell you...). I however feel pretty confident with the new material. Luckily (well...) the Scorpions didn't choose any of my songs so now I can use them for Overdrive instead. This however does not mean the new Overdrive will sound like a Scorpions record.

Been getting into some Swedish stuff I haven't listened to in a while when working on the book. See my list below.

DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA - "The Butcher's Ballroom" - This is just too crazy to describe, but WHAT AN ALBUM!! Metal meets jazz meets, awing meets Mariachi music meets metal again!
DEGREED - s/t(MCD) - Great new Swedish melodic rock hope! Debut album on the way!
AIRBOURNE - No Guts. No Glory - Yepp, these Aussies sure can rock!
DIRTY DAVE OSTI - Voodoo Guitar - Awesome new heavy blues cat!

måndag 18 januari 2010

UPS can kiss my BWA!!!!

OK, today I'm actually slightly mad, angry and aggravated. Before Christmas I ordered three T-shirts from CafePress.com. Great company, I must say. Excellent service! I received the package before Christmas and the t-shirts (with pretty cool prints) made excellent gifts.
Last Friday I receive an invoice from UPS...
Disbursement compensation: 110 SEK (+ 25 % VAT)
Customs fee: 48 SEK
Pay within 10 days (from Dec 23) or interest and 50 SEK penalty fee will be added. (Standard in Sweden is 30 days)


This means I should pay UPS 130 SEK for paying my customs fee of 48 SEK!! Plus they send the invoice out so that I receive it AFTER it should be paid!!!

Naturally, I called them. Yes, I was right, they paid my customs fee (which I didn't ask for, plus I had no way of protesting to the customs service) and it was a fee for their "service". She said she would however change the pay date to 10 days from today. I told her - Nope, 30 days. She said that was only for companies. I said - Nope, according to Swedish consumer policies it's 30 days if I haven't accepted 10 days in an earlier agreement or a written consent, which I haven't. I could almost see her mouth looking like a chicken ass when she snapped "Well then, I'll let the economy department know".


On another note, the iMac is running smoothly, been working a lot on the book lately and the Mountain Of Power "Volume Two" will be released in a few weeks.

Listening to:
SOUL DOCTOR - "Eay Back To The Bone" - Yepp, they still rock
DIAMOND REO - "Dirty Diamonds" - Old classic!
OCEAN - "Ocean" (second album) - Another forgotten French gem!
IMPULSIA - "Expressions" - Great new Swedish AOR

torsdag 7 januari 2010

Mac and a prayer

Well, long time no write! Had a great Christmas, even though the flu (nope, not the piggy) struck twise. Got my Mac during the holidays. It made me realize even more how much I hate PC. It all came to the hilt when my PC AGAIN decided it should pack it in. Installed all the software on the Mac without problems, connected the separate hard drive and could just continue working with my PC documents without problems! Man, I'm impressed and it makes me realize, I do love Mac! My fiancée has been right all these years... and I'm not afraid to admit it! At least I'm at home now, computerwise that is. Need to get all my mails and crap organized, though.

I've installed ProTools, Addictive Drums etc and it works like a charm. I haven't dared to start recording yet because if I had... I wouldn't be able to stop. New sounds and new system is extremely inspirational... and I need to keep my focus on the book for a while.

In just a few days the new Mountain of Power is supposed to be printed and ready!! I'm soooo longing to see the result. A cool 6-panel digi with an awesome artwork by Sami and Joe!

Listening to:
The Answer - Everyday Demons
RA - Black Sheep
These Crooked Vultures - s/t
Avenged Sevenfold - City Of Evil (RIP James)