1) I think it will be very hard to express HFMC's music in a single phrase. So I imagine YOUR music contains some elements as follows: lyricism and sense of clearness as typified by many Swedish bands especially, TFK, beautiful melody lines, approachability of tunes-opening the door of your world of music to all the listeners and heaviness common to Queen's music especially played in their early period. So could you tell me what the best keyword to express your music is?
Melodies! First and foremost, always. Every single note you'll hear on this record was written on my acoustic guitar, just to make sure that the melody always comes first. Writing with an acousic guitar, means you can't "hide" behind a cool sound, in that way it's very "effective"
2) For the musicians, "success as a musician" means a lot of different things to different musicians; one of those musicians would say, "As for me, it means to be such a big band as the tickets of three-day concert at Wembley Stadium are sold out only two hours!" Or for another one, it would mean to continue his musical career as long as possible. What does "success as a musician" mean for you?.
To get the chance to play the music I love together with a good band (friends) and to reach out to people. The more the better of course. I mean I would love to play Wembley Stadium as you just said, but I'm old enough to know that it won't happen. Being realistic, I would say, after the release of "FuturePast", if people tend to like the album and we sell fair enough to hit the road for some club/theatre gigs, that would really be great.
3) Would you be interested in cover tunes? If you would, what tunes would you like to cover?
That depends, on a record I'm not sure it's a good idea. In a live situation, I don't mind as long as you do the song justice. I think you have to be very careful though, since the audience mostly have a relation to the song, you have to chose how to do it. Do you want it to sound as close to the original as possible, or do you want to make it different. You also want the cover song to blend in well with your own songs, that means, once again you have to know what you're doing, you have to be pretty precise, if you want it to have a positive effect in the set
4) How old were you when you got your first guitar ?
10 years old, but my Mom gave me a plastic toy guitar with the faces of Beatles on it when I was 3 or 4 years old and I played on it everyday, they've told me. My Mom also told me, that after Mom and Dad my first word was yeah! I went bezerk! as soon as they played "She loves you" on the radio and I screamed along in the chorus: "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
5) Do you remember your first time on stage ? What was it like?.
The absolutely first show I did was with HPP3 in our living room at the age of 12. The charge to get in was probably a couple of cents and all of our friends and neighbours were there. We had fixed an enormous light show, with lights that we painted ourselves by hand, as a P-a system we used our stereo. We had also saved our "monthly salary" (is that the word) and bought ourselves a stroboscope which we used til we physically saw "stars". The first "real" gig, was probably a year later at a school dance. From the age of 15 I guess I/we had about 2 gigs a months on "youth clubs, rock festivals and schools all around the area from Stockholm, Uppsala to Gävle. My dad and our drummer Isaks dad drove us to the gigs. The first show I really became extremely nervous before, was at the age of 18, when I played "classical" acoustic guitar in front of all the students and the parents at the last day of school, before the summer vacation. Let me tell you, I'll never do anything like that again. The other memories I have from those early gigs, are just that it was a whole lotta fun and that I wasn't that nervous
6) Is HFMC a side project or will it be a regular band ?
HFMC is a band. To me these project things seems a bit boring. It's like you don't have a vision. Very often you choose the musicians you think play the best and very often the result in my ears ends up a little "lame". I mean the project as a formula is what I believe, when you work for a certain period. If you're lucky everyone's on their toes during these weeks or months. If you're not that lucky, the chemistry isn't there and you've paid a lot of money for the recording, so you have to release it anyway. I can only speak for HFMC and from day one I told these guys, we're a band, we've got a sound together. There's lots of musicians out there who plays and sings better than us but that's not the point here. We got a couple of songs, that we're gonna try to do as good as we possibly can. One other thing I told the lads from the start. I won't allow anyone outside the band to play on the album as a guest. This is now, this is us. If we're lucky, you'll like it. If you don't that's not much we can do anyway.
7) What drives you in life?
I guess I'm a quite organized person and I guess I want things to work smoothly. For instance when I was the coach for my daughters soccer team, I was really absorbed with that for a while. I was constantly thinking of how to improve the trainings and what position on the field would suit her best and so on. For the last year, it's been pretty much HFMC that's been taking my time. To be honest with you, all these blogs are not a coincidence. I wanted to start to make promotion for the band, build up the interrest as soon as possible when HFMC was a fact. It was only one problem. I had nothing to write about (since we hadn't done anything). That's why all the blogs on TFK, that actually turned out a success. Aside from things like this I think, I'm probably like the rest of you out there. My family is of course the most important thing (that's actually one of the reasons I held a pretty low profile with TFK, except from when we were touring or recording). Even though I'm not as active as I should and I envy all the people who have the energy and moral, to stand up for justice! It could be about child abuse, women's rights or whatever. On the other side of the scale, I like sports a lot! But in the end it's just music, music, music!
8) Which part in the process of making a song do you like the most ?
Tough question to answer. I guess it's different from song to song. Sometimes it's wow! when you feel that you've got the "hook" you've been looking for. Another time, it might be when you're rehearsing the song and the dynamics between the sections, works out better than what you've hoped for. I believe most of the times, the most lustful thing about composing is, when the song is finally finished (if there is such a thing)
9) Where do you find your ideas to make your songs ? What inspires you ?
I haven't got a clue? Mostly the song is just there, the music that is. I always have a hard time to come up with the lyrics. For instance, I wrote the music for "Fallen Empire" in 2006, I even had the title but then I had nothing. One morning while I was eating breakfast, on the radio news I heard about the economy crash thanks to Lehmann Brothers and similar. 15 minutes later I had all the lyrics to the song. Normally, if I can't come up with some words in a couple of months, I mostly skip the song. It makes you wonder how many potential "hits" you've thrown in the garbage can?
10) Is there a cause that you stongly support ?.
I think I mentioned it before. Justice! For example if a man and a woman has excactly the same position at a company, whatever it is. They work excactly the same amount of time every month. They have the same degrees and experiences. How is it possible in 2010, that a man still gets more paid, 9 times out of 10!? I know it's been a man's world for thousands of years and those things don't solve themselves automatically, still it makes you wonder! Then it's all the shit that's going on around the world. In South Africa for example, where some men rape babies because they think it will cure them from HIV. Where's the justice in that? I mean I can go on and on but I think I'll stop here
11) What concerns you the most in our world ?
I'm not sure what you mean here, If you mean what means the most to me, it's still family and music. If you mean what I'm interrested in, or what worries me. It's probably the same. Of course there's also the "environment thing", that you can't hide from or close your eyes for. I try to do my best. We're sorting out the garbage, we use low energy lamps (even though the light looks dull), I don't use the car as long as I don't have to, we're warming up our house in he best possible way for the environment (I've been told). I try to contribute as good as I can. Even here I guess I can continue forever, so I guess I better stop now.
12) What were you doing in life before being a musician?
My father was an electrician and when I was 13 years old, the company he worked for changed location. I helped them to pack and remove the stuff, I painted the new rooms and packed everything up for a couple of weeks. When I was 14 I worked as a cleaning lady, during my summer vacation. When I was 15 I started to work in a big kitchen, where they cooked food for people in the "elder care". It was a pretty tough job, but I liked it. It was mostly elder women 50+ who worked there but they were funny, we laughed a lot and the days went by fast. I worked there during weekends and when the school was over for the summer. For the money, I bought guitars, drums, michrophones and stuff. When I finished school at 18, I actually worked there for about 18 months, before I joined the army (which was compulsory in Sweden back then). If you chose not to do it, you had to help out taking care of small children or something like that, the alternative was to do 2 months in jail. One other option was to do it like Hasse Bruniusson (percussion on the TFK albums) did. At the place where they try everyone out, you do it in the Swedish Army's underwear. He took some chocolate and pulled it all over the back of his underwear and it had excactly the effect he was looking for. He wasn't welcome! I guess I wasn't that smart! I ended up in the engineering troops for 10 months, with 10 weeks in a tent as the iceing of the cake (mostly winter time), where I learned to first blow up the bridges and then build them up again. For information, the most modern bridge we had back then was called "Däcksbro 2000", if the circumstances were perfect, we could build 77 meters in 15 minutes! That's not bad! After the Military Service, I started to work at Arlanda (the biggest airport in Sweden). The title is Flygplatsman = Airport man. You count the weight and the balance and you take care of all the stuff while the aircraft is on the ground, supply with electricity, loading, unloading, deicing etc... I also worked as a guitar teacher for 2 years. I don't think I would lie if I'd tell you that if I shouldn't have been in the army, I think Spellbound could have become much bigger (we released our first album, just as I was in the army for some more 9 months). Maybe I should make one thing clear. I've been deeply involved in the music scene, even though I had other jobs as well. In the early 90-ties I worked as a full time musician until my son William were born in 92. I decided to combine the music with Arlanda. First of all, it's nice to have a regular income, secondly I didn't wanna be away all the time when the kids were small.
13) Are you completely living off your music ?
I still have my job at Arlanda. Even though TFK is an established band and we've had at least some success, I can't live on that alone. I play at parties with cover bands and I still work at Arlanda. With 2 kids, a house and a couple of cars, you can't just sit on your arse, you have to pay the bills if you know what I mean. There's no secret either, that it's very hard to live on music these days, since it's so difficult to sell records.
14) What is the difference between working with the guys from HFMC and the guys from the Flower kings?
In TFK we're a couple of musicians who've learnt to live and like each other. we're very different in age, style and mentality, but we've found a way to make it work. In HFMC it feels more like we're just some buddies fooling around, we're more on the same wave-length, more the same age (except for Anton). The advantage compared to TFK is that everything works very smooth. On the other hand, being as different as we are in TFK. That maybe gives us an edge that is rare among bands, I don't know?
15) Would you like to do a duet with a female signer one day and who would you like her to be ?
Why not Pink or maybe Chryssie Hynde?
16) If you had the power to do/or change anything, what would you do ?
I would easily give the poor people, the poor countries a chance. I actually think we all could benefit from that. Maybe there would be less wars around the world. I'm not naive, I know there's almost to much left to do but what will happen if we don't?
17) What does future past talk about ?
Being a born optimist and a quite easy going lad, I think you'll be able to hear that in both the music and the lyrics. Okay, I maybe dealing with some not so positive topics but all in all, when it comes to the lyrics it's a positive "vibe" in most of the songs. I've even dare to write about love, which seems to be like a taboo in prog rock and I don't mean like cosmic love that most of us seems to write about (me included), I mean man to woman, or man to man, or woman to woman for that matter. For most of the time I guess FuturePast deals with the everyday life.