Interview by Miriam C.Italian label Frontiers Records is synonymous of good quality for the hard rockers/AOR fans and it’s not the first time that Frontiers commits in discover and promote new and exciting bands. A blatant example is Sweden’s Adrenaline Rush whose debut album was produced along with one of the best talent of this recent years, Erik Martensson from Eclipse and W.E.T. Without further ado, let’s the singer Tåve tell us more about AR‘s debut and her career… Hi Tåve, first of all welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you?
Hi. All good, thank you.Later this year, Frontiers Records launched AR with the release of your first video/single “Change” in late April and then you were invited to play at the Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan. But, let’s take a step back: could you introduce the band to us from the beginning? How Adrenaline Rush was born?
It actually started as a solo project. I had been playing in different bands for a long time but nothing ever took off in a serious way. It’s hard to find a group of people who share a vision and want things to go in the same direction. I mean, you always have a good time and lots of laughs but after a while just seeing the inside of a rehearsal studio and doing small club gigs gets old. I knew I was ready to take my music to a more professional level but wasn’t sure how to go about it.
And then just by chance I ran into Erik at a Quireboys concert. I had worked with him briefly laying down vocals on a song of his a couple of years back but I didn’t really know him at all. We got to talking and decided to meet up in his studio and see if we could do some serious work together.
And as it turned out he totally understood what I was looking for musically and everything just fell into place. Ideas kept coming and after a short while we had a bunch of tracks that were exactly the way I wanted – good melodies, great riffs and very energetic and live oriented songs with a modern production with one foot in the 80’s. When the album was ready I got in touch with some really talented guys I knew from school and other bands around town. They liked the songs and were also fans of Erik, so we decided to become Adrenaline Rush. I think the name really sums up how we sound and what we’re trying to do live. The guys are really great and I’m so happy to have them with me.“Adrenaline Rush” is your debut album and it’s already gaining ravishing reviews. Would you mind look back on with us how your selftitled album was composed? What do you remember about its sessions?
Yes, it’s really cool. People seem to be liking it which of course makes me happy and proud. I hoped some would of course, but I expected to be torn to shreds much more that what has actually happened. So I am really stoked! I am not much of a songwriter, at least not yet. So I depend on others to help make music out of my ideas. I usually know what I want a song to sound like and the feeling I want it to convey, and to get there I will discuss ideas and try different things with whomever I am working with on that particular track.
Sometimes I listen through demos to see if there is anything that catches my ear. It can be anything; a whole song, part of a song or even just a sound. And I will usually have input on vocal melodies and lyrical content. The lyrics are important and I want to be able to relate to what I am singing; I am not out to change the world so I like to keep things positive and light. There might be a few people involved in the songs but I am always responsible for the end result so it has to be just right! On this album I worked mainly with Erik, except for 2 tracks that were written by Nicklas Säwström and Christian Wahlström who I have been working with ever since the Peaches days. I think the whole thing was done in 4 or 5 months, we started in August of 2012 and were finished by Christmas. I especially remember being amazed at how well Erik understood what I was looking for in the songs and what sound I was after. And the positive vibe we had, everything was just fun and smiles. Plus the excellent Indian food that the restaurant across the street served. Chicken sizlar all the way!What I also really would like to emphasize is that “Adrenaline Rush” was produced under the auspices of Mr.Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T). How Erik helped you/the band during the recording sessions? Also did he gave you any valuable tips to use for the future?
Erik was extremely important to the album. He’s such an incredibly talented guy – he’s a songwriter, a musician and a producer. I don’t think there’s anything in music he can’t do well. Plus he’s a genuinely nice person. I like to call him Sweden’s answer to Desmond Child. And the producer is much more important to the outcome than people generally realize. It’s a profession and a craft of its own, just like being a musician, a song-writer, a studio technician or a sound engineer – all work together to bring you the finished product. So I am actually happy if people recognize Erik’s touch because that is what I wanted from the start; I liked his sound and productions and that’s why I wanted to work with him. I learned so much just by watching and listening; working with him was like being in school!On a personal side, what you can share about your musical education? What are your favourite bands/artist and why?
I grew up listening to rock n roll from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s thanks to my parents. But I’ve always listened to modern dance music too, since I’m also a dancer – I started taking dance classes when I was 2 years old. But rock has always been where my heart is. And giving the audience a good stage show has always been very important to me. I suppose that comes from the dancing. To me there’s more than the singing, there’s also the moves, the clothes, the charisma. So the great front men of rock probably inspire me the most; people like David Lee Roth, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant, Michael Monroe. At home I probably listen more to 60’s and 70’s rock than the melodic stuff we play. But I think my voice and visual vibe fits better with the classic 80’s party rock melodies that come close to pop sometimes.
My all-time favorite band is Hanoi Rocks. They are a perfect mix of Andy McCoy‘s gypsy vibe and Michael Monroe‘s punk/glam influence. I’ve seen them more than 20 times live and they always deliver. Maybe not always technically perfect, but always 100% heart and hard work. And they’re nice people, too. I was only 9 years old the first time I saw them and their drummer at the time spotted me in the crowd and invited me backstage to meet the band. And it’s been that way ever since – they always make time for their fans no matter how busy they are. And if you ask me, that’s what makes a band great. Other than that, I listen a lot to classic rock like Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Judas Priest, AC/DC, WASP and also modern stuff like Airbourne and Rival Sons.
There are many female-fronted bands that I love and probably am influenced by even though I wouldn’t say that I can sing as well as they do. For example Heart, Femme Fatale, Vixen, Lee Aaron, Saraya, Robin Beck, The Runaways (and Joan and Lita solo)… the list goes on. Stevie Nicks and Cher have amazing voices. And Janis Joplin of course. And Pat Benatar. All of them are great in their own way. I listen to and get inspired by many different kinds music, I don’t really care what genre it is. I just like to be moved, to feel that there’s real soul and honesty in the music. And I think that’s probably why I tend to prefer older rock and bands that show a lot of heart and love for what they do, and importantly that they can deliver live.
If Adrenaline Rush is a debutante band instead you, as an artist, can already count on several musical experiences as a member of the former pop duo Peaches and your solo career. For the curiosity’s sake, would like to refresh our memories who were in detail Peaches?
Peaches, that was such a great time! I was only 7 years old. I knew how to dance but I don’t think I’d ever even thought about singing. But my mom signed me up to audition for a kid’s pop group, I think she saw me as a dancer for the band. I got the gig and ended up singing as well. It was not planned and it just happened but as it turned out I really liked it!
We were 3 girls at the start but ended up as a duo and before I knew it we had put out 2 albums, a bunch of singles, videos, did live TV and toured all over Sweden and Norway. The one song (“Rosa Helikopter”) just took off and the album sold gold in Sweden and Norway and the single went platinum. I had a total blast, we had so much fun and it was a very positive experience for me. And even back then I really liked the live shows and the gypsy way of life on the road. It gave me an early start and lots of experience of the business and I knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life.Also, now that you have an ongoing career as a leading lady of Adrenaline Rush, do you still any plans to release any songs for your solo career? (By the way I really enjoyed your Vixen‘s cover of “Love is a Killer”)
Oh you checked those out? Cool, and thank you so much. That is such a great song, a real 80’s classic. I wanted to try and cover it to see if I could do it justice, so I’m stoked you like it. All of the stuff on my website is pretty much home-made and recorded in my dad’s “studio” which is more a closet than anything else. We just mess around and record whatever we feel like and see where it takes us. I don’t have any plans to do anything right now, but I’m sure that I’ll get the urge somewhere down the line.Sweden (and Scandinavia) during the years proved to be one of the leading countries in exporting hard rock/AOR bands (I can name countless bands but few that pop up in my head are H.E.A.T, Europe, Treat and Alien). I’ve always wondering what’s so special overthere, it’s maybe the air, the cold temps – the truth is I don’t know it but what really intrigues me is how the Swedish music business works. Does the Government helps the young bands with any funds?
Yes, there’s actually lots of financial aid available. I don’t think it’s necessarily connected to State though, it’s different organizations that may or may not have political ties. It’s not massive sums of cash, but you can usually get help to pay for rehearsal studios or instruments, and that is of course important especially when you’re young and don’t have too much money to spend. I think it is one reason lots of people who otherwise might not be able to have a go at music.
The school system is also great; there are schools you can attend from an early age that have different “focus” like sports or music. I had the chance to attend a school from 4th to 9th grade that focused on music, which meant that besides the normal subjects we studied musical theory, vocal exercises, singing in a choir and so on. And this continued through what we call “gymnasium” which is basically grade 10-12. But I think the main reason is that there is a tradition and a scene for melodic rock. The genre is well established and there are older bands you like and look up to and learn from. I think that’s really important because to learn something you usually start by imitating before you can make it your own.Would you like to tell our readers about your next tour plans? Where can we come to see you perform? Are there some places you’re looking forward to visit?
Absolutely. Playing live is the main reason I’m even in this business in the first place. It’s always been about the show and performance for me, the connection with the audience. I love bands like Hanoi Rocks and Van Halen – really tight bands that can give a crazy front man a solid foundation to stand on so they can focus on getting the party going and entertaining the crowd. I will always try to be the circus monkey and give the people their money’s worth. If you want to hear me focus on singing you have to get the album. I wish I could go on a tour that went on forever, I just want to play for people everywhere. Playing the Roxy in L.A. would be a dream of course, so many bands I love have played there.
We’re really stoked the album and video are finally out, and hopefully it will lead to gigs in the fall/winter. But in all honesty we are a new band and it is not easy to find gigs that pay enough to make ends meet. We’re still in the “pay to play” stage, but if things go as we hope we’ll be able to do a few gigs over winter and then go all out during next summer’s festival season. So just give us a shout if you want us to come play, I’m sure we can work something out! As soon as we book anything it is posted on our website and Facebook, so check back often. We are playing Norway on November 21 as opening act for Nordic Beast. That is going to be a killer evening!So we’re at the end Tåve, I hope you enjoyed my questions. Just greet your fans and our users @ Femme Metal Webzine. Thanks to you again!
Thank you so much for having me. And thanks to all of your readers out there who took the time to read this, I appreciate it. Hope to see you on the road. Take care, have fun and ENJOY THE RUSH!