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donderdag 02 juli 2015
SPEARFISH: Back on the Tracks!

Interview with vocalist Thomas Thulin of Spearfish by Geert late June 2015

Swedish trio Spearfish recorded three albums so far, but their last one is already ten years old. So, we were very glad to receive a brand new album that was first released digitally by Lion Music. The nucleus of the band is still guitar player Peter Lundin and bass player and singer Thomas Thulin who are joined by drummer Marcus Höher this time. ‘In The Meantime’ is a powerful and very enjoyable album with a dash of old Rush to enlighten our ears and souls. So it was time again to contact Thomas for an upgrade about the band and the new album.

It’s been a long time that we heard from the band. What have you been doing since ‘Area 605’?
‘I know. but it just happened, there was nothing that we planned. After the last album 'Area 605', we went out and played a lot. We were the opening act for Uriah Heep on their Scandinavian tour and did a lot of gigs around Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Thereafter, Peter and I formed a Rush cover band called 'Spirit of Rush'. We did a lot of work and I can tell you that it was a challenge to play bass, sing and handle the keyboards all the same time. Poor Geddy who must do it night after night –LOL! After that, Peter continued to work as a producer for Swedish National Radio and play with his other cover band, while I got an offer to play bass on an album with Thomas Vikström (Talk Of The Town, Therion) on vocals. It was an experience, but Thomas was great fun to work with. A really funny and very talented guy. It was around 2012, when I met Marcus Höher (Platitude) for the first time, we had plans to start the 'Spirit of Rush' again with Peter. But if I remember correctly, we started writing our own stuff already in the first rehearsal. Marcus had a lot of ideas, and bits and pieces for new songs. And that really gave Peter and me a kick in the ass to start writing again. We recorded a demo of two songs, and we thought it was so much fun that we just had to do a whole album. It took really a very long time to record; nearly three years I think. The reason was that when we just started the recording, we got a call from Johannes Lindstrom at the Sweden Rock Festival, who wondered if we wanted to play with the Australian singer/actor Jon English. Mr. English was an actor in the TV series 'Against The Wind', which was a great success in Sweden in the early 80’s. We only had two TV channels back then, so there were millions who watched .We met up and rehearsed a few days in Johannes’ basement and did a few warm-up gigs. On June 8, 2013, we played at Sweden Rock Festival. The concert was filmed and recorded by Swedish National Radio and was broadcast a couple times. And the entire concert is now available on Jon English’ Black Label ( DVD ). In June this summer, we did the same thing all over again. We played at Sweden Rock Festival together with Jon. Jon English is a very nice and fun to both work and socialize with. GREAT GUY!!! So this summer we played at Sweden Rock Festival June 3 and released our own album In 'The Meantime' June 19.

The nucleus of yourself and Peter Lundin seems to be a strong one, but as far as drummers go it’s a bit of Spinal Tap? What makes the bond between you and Peter so strong?
‘Peter never leaves me alone. He haunts me wherever I go. No, I'm just kidding. Peter is a dear old friend of mine. I just love the guy. We must have known each other for a hundred years by now – LOL! I think we have the same kind of humor and values in life. When we meet , it's not just the music we're talking about. I think we're talking more about politics, religion and the eternal question about the meaning of life – LOL! Like I said before, we've known each other a long time and I count him as one of my best friends. Funny you mention Spinal Tap , it is not the first time I hear it. I honestly do not know what it is with us and drummers, and why we wear them out so fast. I think when it comes to music Peter and I are real geeks. We can work in the studio for hours and hours until we are satisfied. And we find it difficult to be satisfied. That may be a reason why drummers can’t be bothered with us. They are usually the ones who leave, not vice versa. Or perhaps it is because Peter and I are completely mad – LOL! But I think Marcus (the new drummer – GR) is just as crazy and geeky as Peter and me.’

I’m really into the album, but it reminds me so much of the (early) high days of Rush. Is that your main inspiration?
‘I can’t deny that we are Rush geeks all three of us . But there's no great plan behind it, it's what comes out when just the three of us write and play music together. But we like a lot of other music as well. I think you can hear many other influences if you really listen carefully. Both Peter, Marcus and I love music from different decades, I know I can hear influences from the 60’s, 70’s , 80’s. But that 's probably because I know how the songs came about and how we talked about them when we made and recorded them. There was absolutely no one who said that we would try to sound like Rush.’

Have the new songs been written over the last ten years or were they written just before the recording of this album?
‘Marcus had many song ideas that he saved way back. I think the closer to the recording we got, the more we all contributed bits and pieces. We had no finished songs at first. We did them all together. I honestly do not remember what was written when and how . I only know that we sewed all the pieces together to get them into finished songs before we started recording them.’

The album was announced as being only available as a download. Will there be a commercial CD?
‘I'm really happy to say that the album 'SPEARFISH - In The Meantime', is now available on CD as well. And I do know that Record Heaven in Sweden have got it in stock . So it is available, and that at a very favorable price too – LOL!’

The sound of the album is very good. Who’s responsible?
‘Thank you very much, glad you like it. We are all responsible in one way or another. But I must say it is Peter who has the greatest responsibility . He has worked in the studio for many years now and has produced plenty of music for the Swedish National Radio. But as I said , we take all major decisions together.’

Are you going to play live again on the back of this album?
‘Yeah, it would be really great fun. Let's see what happens. After the last album 'Area 605', we were the opening act for Uriah Heep on their Scandinavian tour . We were in heaven. Imagine being able to hit the same stage as your old heroes night after night. It is so sad that Trevor is not among us anymore. He was really a nice guy and a great bass player. It's the same with Mick Box. He must be one of the nicest people in the whole music industry. What a great guy he is.’

How are the reactions so far to the album?
‘I have to say, so far so good. Seriously though, we have received incredible reviews all over the world so far anyway. I really hope it stays that way – LOL!’

We just learned about the passing of Chris Squire (Yes). What is your musical appreciation about him?
‘Again, so sad . Chris is a great hero for me. His way of playing bass is incredible. I know Geddy Lee (of Rush – GR) is a big fan of him. And don't forget all his vocal harmonies. He was a huge part of the sound of Yes. ‘Fragile’, ‘Close to the Edge’, ‘Going for the One’, etc., are all incredibly good albums they have made through the years. Albums I love to play when my wife is not around – LOL! What an inspiration they are! We played together with Yes at the same festival some years ago and had the opportunity to see the classic lineup with Wakeman/Squire/Anderson/Howe/White. They were all so damn good.’

Do you intent to go on with Spearfish after this album?
‘I really hope so. We have lots of new song ideas flying around. So this time, it should not take 10 years for the next album. It would also be fun to do more music together with Jon English. We will record some new music with him, so we'll see what happens.’

Tell us about the wonderful track 'Ursus Polaris'.
‘Thanks a lot. There's one thing I've wanted to do for a very long time. We had no instrumental tune before on an album, so now was the time. Usually when you write songs, you build them around the vocal melody . So without the vocal parts, you have to replace them with other instruments and let them do the work. That said, it was a big challenge to write and record it. But I am very happy with the finished result. There is also a blues song on the album, the first blues we've ever recorded.’

Anything else?
‘ I just want to take this opportunity to thank Peter's girlfriend Anette Andersson, who has helped us to complete the album cover . And Anders Lejtzén, an old childhood friend of mine who made the oil painting for the cover . And of course Stefan Lundin for all the help . Without Stefan no Spearfish, that is true. Thank you all , folks!’

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 02 juli 2015 - 17:19:56
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