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Coldspell

Met 'Out From The Cold' bracht het Zweedse ColdSpell recent haar zo belangrijke tweede album uit. Wederom een bonte verzameling van kwalitatief hoogstaande, melodieuze hardrock geschoeid op Whitesnake, Blue Murder, Europe en Dokken leest. Als de reacties van pers en fans minimaal gelijk zijn aan die van het debuut 'Infinite Stargaze' dan kan dat tweede album niet mank gaan. Wij legden gitarist en componist Michael Larsson wat vragen voor over het nieuwe album, de nieuwe ritmesectie en een aanstaande tour met Europe, toch Michael? Tevens maakten we alvast een afspraak om een biertje te drinken en kwamen we er achter dat Ian Haughland slechts één nummer op het album drumde.

Door: Arco | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

First of all, how are you doing?
Thanks Arco I am doing just fine even though it's still a bit hectic since the release.

ColdSpell was formed back in 2005 but can you tell our readers how it al came together?
Well you know these thoughts and plans to get this band going have been around for some years before 2005 but the timing was right and I did find the right people to work with. I used to live in Uppsala near Stockholm but moved up to the north of Sweden in the late nineties so I guess that's why it took some years before I got this band together.

ColdSpell's debut album 'Infinite Stargaze' was well received by the international press as the public as well. Was it a commercially success too?
Im still so pleased with the feedback we did get on that album , tons of great reviews and top album lists for 2009. I think that album did make a statement what ColdSpell is and with this second album out now I believe that the Infinite Stargaze album and all the good things about that release did make a good platform for this new born baby of ours. But I do know that it takes time to reach out and maybe with this album we will show the world that we are definitely here to stay.

For this second album 'Out From The Cold' the line-up changed, can you explain why?
Yes, due to the fact that the bass player and drummer did not have the time to do this when we started planning the recording of the new album. We also started to get more requests about shows and stuff like that so it was a decision they made but there are no hard feelings, still friends!
So when Tommi left the band in early 2010 I called my good 'old' friend Anders ”Kebbe” Lindmark (ex.Dalton, R.A.W) that I played with in RAW in the mid nineties. The new drummer Perra Johansson ( ex. Crawley, Lost Souls…) is also a good friend since the time I lived in Uppsala and with these two awesome talented guys in the band it truly feels that we now are one solid unit that is ready to rock this planet!

Is that why Ian Haughland (Europe) did the drum parts? He is a very good friend I understand, so it must have been easy to let him play the drums on 'Out From The Cold'?
Ian did the drums on the song 'Fate' and it did not have anything to do with the change in the line-up , it was more like l wanted to have him doing one song and I think that song is made for his kind of drumming! Ian is a good friend of both me Anders and Perra. Perra does the drums on the album except that specific track.

The mixing was done again by Tommy Hansen and especially the song 'Run For Your Life' has a TNT edge. Working with such a man must be very inspiring but did he have a big influence on the sound?
Yes it truly is. He is, like I use to say, “the master of knobs”! Yes of course he did have a major influence on that one. I knew what I wanted this new album to sound like and the chemistry was 100%, we shared some thoughts and he did this amazing mix and with some emailing and tweaks everything was done. I truly love the way he works and he sure knows how to get that big heavy sound, Mr Hansen!

Like you say, this album has a big, heavy sound so you are satisfied with his job. Are you satisfied with the rhythm section too?
Like I said, very pleased, haha! He did an amazing job and what I did miss on the first album he sure did on this new one , its heavier and bigger! And once again I have to say that with this rhythm section its not that surprising that it sounds like this, these new guys rock!

Some songs have that grandiose sound like 'One In A Million', 'Six Feet Under' or 'The King'. Your inspiration must have come again from bands like Whitesnake?
Yes I think Whitesnake meant a lot to me, or us, over the years but also bands like Dio, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queensrÿche, Badlands, Kings X and more modern metal bands. But I love bands like Dream Theatre and Symphony X too. I'm glad you like this heavy grandiose sound!

Also the guitar sound on this album is powerful and the vocals are great. One has to be very lucky with such a vocalist?
Oh thanks, yes I love that sound, we tried some different variations but did come up with this mean crunchy “in your face” sound. The vocals are fantastic and I am so privileged as a songwriter to have Niclas in the band, he is such a talented singer with an outstanding voice and I think the these songs and his voice do match perfectly.

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Was all the music for 'Out From The Cold' already written when the rhythm section was replaced or did they contribute for the songs?
Yes it was, back home the preproduction was done so we did some rehearsal and entered the studio in June 2010 but everyone did put there own touch to those songs. Enter the studio with a plan, then discuss and try different stuff and then “bang” its done, that's how I like to work. I guess the choice of songs had to do also with the fact that we had some new energies and skills in the band. For example the title track I decided to have on the new album when I knew that maestro Perra would do the drums. He is a drummer from hell I can assure you, haha!

This second album was planned to be released somewhere in summer 2010 but is now released in February 2011. What caused the delay, touring perhaps?
As you know we had some changes in the line-up and with that old line-up we did not share the same visions and stuff, so for me it was a not that very inspiring and creative time so I guess that's why, but as I said this ColdSpell 2011 is one hell of a band and many thanks to Anders and Perra for that!

How about touring? Can we see ColdSpell perform outside Sweden this year by any change? Europe will be touring..
Yes you can, we are about to book some shows this spring in hopefully Germany, Belgium and Netherlands and this coming fall we will as we can see now do some support in Europe with a interesting band that I unfortunately can not mention yet!

What are the expectations for 'Out From The Cold'?
Hopefully it will make the ColdSpell trademark recognized and people will know that ColdSpell means melodic quality hard rock for the people. We did not tour after the first album and I really hope that this new born baby will open up some interesting possibilities for some touring and festivals.

Your wife works at the “Ice Hotel” if I am well informed and you have two albums released now. That is not making you rich. So what do the ColdSpell members do besides making good music?
Yeah you got a point there – no I am not rich when it comes to money but when it comes to life/love/music I am very rich. I was about to say that girlfriends and wives supplies us but that's not true, haha! Besides music I work at a hospital , Anders work at an Airport, Perra works as a plumber, Niclas in a store and Matti as a sound engineer!

What are your favourite three albums, and why?
I try to not think to much otherwise this question will never be answered, haha! Spontaneously the 3 albums that pop up my head are Rainbow - “Rising”, King´s X - “Dogman”, Badlands - “Badlands”! But I don't think that's a faire question haha, when there are so much great bands and awesome albums to mention but maybe we can discuss that when we meet and have a beer one day! J

Haha! I keep you up on that. Do you have any favourite song on 'Out From The Cold' (and why?)
Its not easy to say when every song on the album has a special place in my heart but I am kind of week for songs like the title track “Out From The Cold”, a classic heavy rocker with metal influences and that big anthem feeling

Are you already playing the “bouzouki”?
Haha! Yeah that bouzouki, guess I am very fascinated by that lovely instrument. Sorry to say that I have no bouzouki “yet” but one day for sure I will and then I sell my guitars, move to Greece, learn to play bouzouki and have Mythos!

Just give me a call when it's time. Is there anything not asked what you want to tell our readers?
It feels truly great with all the amazing support and feedback from media and fans both on the “Infinite Stargaze” album and especially this new one. What we really want to do now is to get to meet all of you out there and get the opportunity to do those songs for you as they should be, Live!

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