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Hultsfredsfestival – third day with Bat For Lashes, Garbage and The XX.

03/07/2012 Leave a comment

text: Helena Torstensson
foto: Martina Törnemyr

Bat for Lashes aka Natasha Khan is an English singer-songwriter and musician. She sings and plays the piano, bass, guitar, harpsichord and the auto harp. Her debut album ‘Fur And Gold’ released in 2006. On the third day of Hultsfreds festival, the last day of an amazing weekend, it is the first performance of the day.

Also it is the first time that Bat For Lashes plays in Sweden and I feel privileged to stand in the crowd, seeing her dance around in her long dress. She looks so cute and starts beautifully with “What’s AGirl To Do” followed by the emotional “Sleep Alone”, both me and the crowd really likes this one and. Easily you get int into the music, even when you don’t know the songs.

In the middle of the set we got the nice surprise of Natasha Khan; saying that she is going to play three new songs today. Starting with “Kiss My Eyes (And Lay Me To Sleep)”, “Rest Your Head” and “Laura”.

These songs are wel performed and good to hear live. I liked “Laura” the best with clever lyrics and I sure am looking forward to the release of “The Haunted Man” in October 2012. The set ended in a good way with two of my favourite songs “Pears Dream” and “Daniel”.

Garbage is an alternative rock band formed in 1994, all the members are involved in songwriting and production.  Self titled debut album ‘Garbage‘ was released back in 1995. it became an unexpected smash with the singles “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains”. Latest album “Not your kind of people”is released in May 2012.

It feels pretty amazing to stand in front of the stage, waiting to see Garbage live for the first time! The set opens with the first song on the new album, it is called “Automatic Systematic Habit”. And in my ears it sounds  like Shirley Manson had to struggle keeping up with the music.

So I was a bit concerned, since it almost sounded like she had skipped warming up before the show. I was honestly very relieved to hear that her voice became stronger during the set and in “Blood For Poppies” she sounds much more certain, more clear.

Manson manages to gain strength during the concert and reach a stronger vocal level. “Queer” brings massive guitars, stronger vocals and a good vibe. I simply loved hearing the intense and cool “Shut Your Mouth” live.

The last song “Only Happy When It Rains” begins slow and special,  before it changes and becomes even better than on the album. Some people in front of the stage are jumping around to the catchy music.

It is funny to notice that a fine rain falls down when the song ends. A beautiful fairytale ending from this successful band. Garbage manages to perform a strong set and convince the audience today.

Setlist
Automatic Systematic Habit
Paranoid
Blood for Poppies
Why Do You Love Me
Queer
Shut Your Mouth
Stupid Girl
Crush
Control
Cherry Lips (Go Baby, Go!)
Push It
Only Happy When It Rains
 

The XX is an English indie-pop band, formed in London in 2005. Debut album ‘XX‘ is released in August 2009. It is ranked highly on many ‘best of 2009’ lists. They are currently working on their second album that will be released later in 2012. Band members: Oliver Sim (vocals & bass), Romy Madly-Croft (vocals & lead guitar) and Jamie Smith (music producer & remix artist).

At the end of Garbage a lot of people are walking over to the ‘Green’ stage where The XX are programmed to play. I did not think that they would begin before Garbage ended, but I kept  an eye on that stage (and my ears).

I was glad to notice that they were not starting over there, so I was able to watch the full set of Garbage. When The XX comes on stage,  they had drawn a large crowd in front. Opening  with the new single “Devotion” from the coming new album ‘Coexist‘, that is scheduled to be released in September.

The band quickly creates a special atmosphere on the stage. The crowd are silently standing there and simply listening to the music.  The second song “Islands” is catchy and this one quickly gets the crowd moving; I love the easy tone it brings.

When “Heart Skipped A Beat” follows,  I am very pleased and it is a great experience to hear it live. Oliver Sim tells the audience that it is a long time since the band played in daylight, and that he finds it nice, to actually see the faces in front of the stage.

When “VCR” comes,  the crowd recognizes it by the intro and cheers their pleasure. I was looking forward to hear “Crystalised” but the live version of this song did not work in my ears, so I was very disappointed. My total impression of this set is that it started great,  but then somehow,  it lost something vital and becomes too much of the same and too melancholic. That is possible; believe me.

A dark ending of a perfect festival weekend on Hultsfred. Women stood strong on this edition with ‘leading ladies’ to rock the stage. Also Slash and his band made an impression. Overall an impressive list of respectful artists. Already looking forward to next year. Thankword to the bands, fans and most of all the organisation.

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Hultsfredsfestival – second day with The Cardigans and The Cure

02/07/2012 Leave a comment

text: Helena Torstensson
foto: Martina Törnemyr

Second day of the Hultsfredsfestival on 15th June, opens with a national well known band. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives is a Swedish rock band formed 1995 in Gothenburg.

All lyrics are sung in English and the band’s style draws heavily on sixties and seventies punk and rock. Their debut album ‘Welcome To The Infant Freebase‘ isreleased in 1996.

They are quitting as a band and they started their farewell tour here in Hultsfred in blazing afternoon sun. The singer Ebbot Lundberg comes on stage entirely clad in black. And during the set he moves over the stage with energy and passion. There was a large crowd gathered in front of the stage, but also a lot of them are sitting down and enjoying the music.

Bear in Heaven is a rock band formed by Jon Philpot. The sound is influenced from psychedelic and electronic music. Debuted as a whole band with ‘Red Bloom Of The Boom‘ in 2007. This band had been scheduled at the unfortunate time when Sweden and England played the EM in football.

There were not that much people in front of the stage when the set started. Then the crowd quickly grew and becomes a mass in the morning. Bear in Heaven brought a very danceable and cool sound as well as songs.

As the set picked up, speeding up more, the crowd in front of the stage starts to dance and cheer. I enjoyed the relaxed and laid back feeling, but in the end I found the set to sound a little too much the same for my taste.

The Cardigans is a Swedish alternative rock band formed 1992 in Jönköping, Swede. Their debut album ‘Emmerdale‘ is released in 1994. The bandmembers are Nina Persson (vocals), Peter Svensson (guitar), Lasse Johansson (Keyboard), Magnus Sveningsson (bas) and Beng Lagerberg (drums).

While the football fans were watching the end of the Sweden-England match, the rest of us were waiting for the game to end because then The Cardigans start to play. Their set  should include the whole ‘Gran Turismo‘ album.

This album is the bands fourth; it was produced by Tore Johansson and became number one at the album chart in Sweden. When the game finally ended, the crowd quickly grew in front of the stage.

Singer Nina Persson told the audience that having a football game as a pre-act was a bad one, neither she nor me, was happy for the delay.

Also I am guessing we missed a couple of songs, because of this. However they started with “Paralyzed” and I enjoyed hearing Nina’s rougher, more bare sounding vocals that created a lot of feeling.

The audience quickly recognized the song “Erase/Rewind” and a lot of people are singing along in the chorus and waving their arms. During the set Nina introduced the band like the old gang,  but for tonight they have a guest.

Oskar Humlebo better known as ‘Motoboy’ joined them on stage. One of my favorite songs “You’re The Storm” is very impressive live, the audience sang along in the chorus and you could tell that they were into the music. The set ended with “Communication” and it is so amazing live, I love hearing Nina sing like this.

A very impressive performance of such a famous headliner and the crowd showed a lot of interaction. All together a very dynamic and ground shaking show on the second day. National proud for sure; still after all those years.

Setlist
Paralyzed
Erase/Rewind
Explode
Starter
Hanging Around
Higher
Marvel Hill
My Favorite Game
Do You Believe
Junk Of The Hearts

Encore
For What It´s Worth
You´re The Storm
Live And Learn
I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need To Be Nicer
Communication

The Cure is an English alternative rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes through the years. Front man, vocalist and principal songwriter Robert Smith is the only constant member.

Since the football delayed The Cardigans with like twenty minutes, I am impressed that The Cure started slightly later than scheduled.

A large crowd is waiting for them, patiently in the front. When Robert Smith, and the band, walk on stage the intro of “Open” sets in.

Then the vocals of Smith sound a little rough, but soon it becomes much better. Later on followed “Lovesong” a song I enjoyed hearing. Robert had stated that he would play a long set on the festival. And it ended up being a set of 31 songs.

What a treat for the true The Cure fans. But I must say that I would have preferred a happier ending of the festivals second day. A dark and melancholic atmosphere changes the impression of the day. Still a very good show and impressive headliner.


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Hultsfredsfestival – first day with Slash and The Conspirators.

01/07/2012 Leave a comment

text: Helena Torstensson
foto: Martina Törnemyr


The Hultsfredsfestival takes place in the Swedish small town Hultsfred and this year is it the 26th edition that is arranged here and the second year that FKP Scorpio arranges everything. This year’s festival became a success with around 17.000 sold tickets and the festival is coming closer to the goal of visitors as well as economical situation.

Thursday the 14th June is the first festival day and it started pretty calm, a lot of people seemed to be content walking around or sitting down enjoying the music. One thing that is different from last year, is that the security seems to be higher because we noticed that there were more policemen and security persons walking around the grounds.

Den Svenska Björnstammen (The Swedish Bear population in Swedish) is a Swedish band and art collaboration that consist of Dan Brännvall, Mattias Göransson, Kim Dahlberg, Ambjörn Göransson, Klas Isaksson, Peter Frisendahl and Åke Olofsson. This band sings in Swedish and their debut album ‘Classics‘ is released in 2010.

The band performed on the Blue stage, one of the two largest stages, they made a very energetic performance and got the crowd dancing around and clapping to the happy sounding music.

When they performed “Dansmusik” as the second song both band and crowd went wild.

The Gas Light Anthem is an American rock band; they released their first album ‘Sink Or Swim’ in May 2007. Band members: Brian Fallon as lead vocalist and guitar. Alex Rosamilia on guitar, backing vocals, Alex Levine on bass, guitar, backing vocals, Benny Horowith drums, percussion.

With the intro of “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys “Gas Light Anthem” came onto the Green stage and delivered a pretty cool set list. I think the singer Brian Fallon could have interacted more with the audience and sometimes during the set, because it all felt a little weak. A lot of people were standing in front of the stage, but there were also a lot of people sitting down with a more laid back mood.

Blood Red Shoes is an alternative rock duo from Brighton, England formed in 2004 by Laura-May Carter on vocals and guitar and Steven Ansell on vocals and drums. Their debut album ‘Box of Secrets’ was released in 2008.

When we arrived to the White Stage there were a lot of people already there enjoying themselves to the good music.

I think Blood Red Shoes made a very good and special performance. I got the impression of them being some shy and the good response from the crowd seemed to make them very happy.

The set included a mix of songs from their two older albums and some from the latest one, like the song “Lost Kids” that I really liked. The way Steven Ansell drummed as well as sang was impressive to see and hear. He told the audience that they played at the Hultsfredsfestival four years ago at the same stage and I remember them and the good set they performed back then. The set ended with the song “I wish I Was Someone Better”.

Slash feat Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators is one of the eye-catchers of this festival edtion.  Slash the famous guitarist from Guns ‘N Roses needs no further presentation. In 2010 he released his self titled debut album, it featured different vocalists like Ozzy and Myles Kennedy.

In 2011 he started the work on his second solo album; he collaborated with his touring band members Myles Kennedy (vocals & guitar), Todd Kerns (bass & vocals) and Brent Fitz (drums). ‘Apocalyptic Love‘ is released in May 2012.

The largest crowd so far today is gathered in front of the green stage, which is one of the two largest stages and waited for Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators to come. They began the set with “One Last Thrill” and it got the crowd moving.

Ghost” is one of the songs that really impressed me during this set . I really enjoyed the feelings it awoke in the audience.  After a cool “Back From Cali” Slash introduced that Todd Kerns would sing “Dr Alibi” and it is welcomed by shouts and applauds from the crowd.

This version of the song brought a lot of energy to both crowd and band. When the intro to “Sweet Child Of Mine” sets in people come running to the stage and it felt like the crowd multiplied instantly. I really enjoyed the way Myles sung and handled this song in his own way.

I was kind of looking forward to hear the brand new single “You’re A Lie” live and it is not disappointing when it came on towards the end of the set. Myles sang with a lot of feeling and the guitars created a powerful atmosphere. For the second time this evening people come rushing to the stage.

It is when “Paradise City” begins, you could tell that the audience loved this song and it all escalates in the chorus where the audience seems to impress the band. I would say that I like Myles version of this song much better than the original one.

During the set Slash got a lot of opportunity to show what a great guitarist he really is and during these solos Myles Kennedy and the rest of the band members stepped back a little.

Setlist
One Last Thrill
Nighttrain
Ghost
Standing out in the Sun
Back from Cali
Dr Alibi
Halo
Anastasia
Starlight
Sweet child of mine
You´re a lie
Slither
Paradise City

A beautiful ending of a very dynamic start of 2012 edition of this Swedish festival!

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Hultsfred festival – The line-up is almost complete with Slash,Garbage and The Cure

07/05/2012 Leave a comment

This year the Hultsfred festival in Sweden takes place from 14 till 16 June 2012. The line-up for this year’s festival is almost complete.

Some of the headlining bands are The Cure, The Stone Roses, Mumford & Sons, The XX, Justice, Slash, The Cardigans and Garbage.

A new sound is represented by artists like James Blake and The Kooks. A more alternative sound is created by Katzenjammer and Eagles of Death Metal. A wide spectrum of music styles are united.

Bands

The Cure, The Stone Roses, Mumford & Sons, The XX, Justice, Slash feat Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Noel Gallagher´s High Flying Birds, The Cardigans Play Gran Turismo, Kasabian, Gorillaz Sound Systen, The Gaslight Anthem, Marina and the Diamonds, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Anna Ternheim, Markus Krunegård, Garbage, Nationalteaterns Rockorkester, Den Svenska Björnstammen, James Blake, The Kooks, M83, Bombay Bicycle Club, Eagles of Death Metal, The Vaccines, Bat for Lashes, Jamie XX, Chase & Status, Big K.R.I.T, Feed Me, Noah and the Whale, Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, Miles Kane, Familjen, Far & Son, Näääk & Nimo, The Bronx, Katzenjammer, Blood Red Shoes, Bear in Heaven, Joker, Penguin Prison, Errors, Thesatisfaction, Future Islands, Spector, Fink, Fanfarlo, Mikal Cronin, Charli XCL, Nause, S.C.U.M, Porcelain Raft, Alunageorge, Breton, Stay+, Big Deal, Au Palais, Vintage Trouble, Simian Ghost, Azure Blue, French Films, Ewert & the Two Dragons, Willy Moon, Cosmo Jarvis, Bombus, Rising, Sleep Party People, Hyperdub Records Presents Kode 9, Ikonika, Scratcha, Cool G & Morgan Zarate, Jacques Renault, Medlar, Greymatter, Moullinex, Far Soldi, Studio Barnhus, Qulinex, Sandra Mosh.

The line-up for this year’s festival is almost done, the schedule for which day, which band are going to play are up on the following link (some changes might occur) www.hultsfredsfestivalen.se/artister/speldagar

DJs, artists and clubs to the dance floor Skaken

Aérea Negrot, Lucas Nord, Dirtywo, Yes! Soundsystem feat Baclk Moose + MC Toju + Donuts + Georgious, Magus Carlsson & Robert Plaszczyk DJ Set, Emma Bates, Harald Björk DJ Set, Loaded, Ikons DJ Set, Pjotr & Staffan Lindberg, Mandf, Richard Rossa, We Are The People, Popaganda-Ministeriet, Kärleksdöden & Love Lagerblad, Wild At Heart DJ Set, The Fucking Party, This Is Not A Love Song Vs So Tought! So Cute!.

Tickets

Festival pass 1495 SEK + service fee 65 SEK =1560 SEK
Festival pass + camping 1695 SEK + service fee 70 SEK = 1765 SEK
Festival pass +calm camping 1745 SEK + service fee 70 SEK = 1815 SEK
Festival pass + trailer camping 1895 SEK + service fee 70 SEK = 1970 SEk
1 day ticket Thursday 795 SEK + service fee 45 SEK = 840 SEK
1 day ticket Friday 795 SEK + service fee 45 SEK = 840 SEK
1 day ticked Saturday 795 SEK + service fee 45 SEK = 840 SEK.

Tickets are on sale through Eventim, online order on: www.eventim.se/hultsfred

News about Hultsfred festival, more information on: http://www.hultsfredsfestivalen.se

Hultsfred festival – The Cure, The Stone Roses, Garbage confirmed for 2012

20/02/2012 Leave a comment

This year the Hultsfred festival in Sweden, is one month earlier than last year. From 14 till 16 June 2012. So far some of the headliners are The Cure, The Stone Roses and Garbage.

The Cure was reunited with  former members 2010 and released “Bestial Live 2011” earlier this winter. The Stone Roses have been followed by speculations of reunion since they broke up in 1996 and now it finally happens. The gig on Hultsfred is one of the first festival gigs this summer.

An other surprising confirmation is Garbage, a band was very popular 1995 till 2005. But ‘the best of’ album, that was released in 2007, was followed by silence. This year the band is releasing their fifth album around April. A very dynamic come back on 2012 edition of Hultsfred.

Bands

The Cure, The Stone Roses, The XX, Justice, Mumford & Sons, The Cardigans play Gran Turismo, Kasabian, Marina and the Diamonds, Anna Ternheim, Garbage, James Blake, The Kooks, M83, Noah and the Whale, Frank Turner, The Bronx, Bear in Heaven, Joker, Errors, Future Islands, Azure Blue, AlunaGeorge, Stay+,Au Palais, French Films, Willy Moon, Sleep Party People, Rising. More bands will follow soon.

Tickets

Festivalpass : 1295 SEK + service fee 55 SEK
(Price are with reservations for changing).
Tickets are on sale through Eventim, online order on: www.eventim.se/hultsfred

News about Hultsfred festival, more information on:
http://www.hultsfredsfestivalen.se

Categories: News Tags: ,

Royal Republic – roots and new developments of Adam Grahn

30/10/2011 2 comments

text: Helena Torstensson
photo’s: Royal Republic,  Maria Nilhorn

Royal Republic is a Swedish rock band that was formed in 2007. Their debut album “We Are the Royal” (2010) and all three singles from the album “All Because Of You”, “Tommy-Gun” and “Underwear” has been very successful.

The band members are: Adam Grahn (vocals, guitar), Hannes Irengård (guitar), Jonas Almén (bass) and Per Andreasson (drums).

Your debut album “We Are the Royal” is very successful, you are currently touring and tonight you are playing at the Swedish Hultsfred festival, how does it feel?

Adam Grahn: “It feels very, very good! Sweden has been kind of a question mark for a while, because we spend so much time touring in the rest of Europe. We did not really know if our Swedish fans were still with us when we were coming back to do this two festival shows (Where the action is in Göteborg and Hultsfredsfestival in Hultsfred -red), but it has proven to be two very nice shows and we are keeping busy.

 Did you ever think that Royal Rebublic would become this successful?

Adam: “Yeah I did (laughs), but  I think we all did. I was probably the first one to grasp it, after the first or second rehearsal I was like ‘when we record our second album after we have been touring for five years, we need to think of this and do that’. The others were not that sure and were more like  ‘ let’s have our first show and then we can talk about that later’.

I think pretty soon after that, people really started to realize that it sounds pretty good. We all have been in bands before and worked as musicians on and off, but this felt like something else.

We just made up a plan and started following it step by step. We knew what it took and what we had to do, so we worked out asses off. We are still working our asses off and here we are!”

Roots

When it comes to influences, are there any bands or persons that have inspired your creative work as well as your style?

Adam: ” We all have different influences of course. I mean guitarist Hannes is a blues rock guy with the 60´s and 70´s Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin.

I am a -I don´t know what I am- I am a singer/songwriter guy with a passion for thrash and death metal. Jonas (bass)is also a metal guy and Per (drums) is actually a trained percussionist from a symphony orchestra. Everybody is kind of different but then with Royal Republic we started this and felt like…

I mean we love The Hives, Danko Jones and we love all these bands that have these awesome qualities. But no one really has everything and I am not saying necessarily that we have everything as we speak, but that is what we aim for. We have the energy of The Hives, the edge, the cool arrangements and sounds.

Then we like the stage presence of this ban, and then that is kind of how we started out. Through writing and touring we found who we are. On the next album we are going to sound even more like ourselves, because we did not tour a lot before we recorder this album. So the touring happened after.

New developments

Then you went out on tour with a brand new album and played the songs for the first time, people had not heard the songs before, how did that feel and how did the crowd react?

Adam Grahn: Oh it has been really great reactions from day one! Even from the first show we did and I think that is probably because we rehearsed like three or four times a week and for five hours straight every day. Going through small parts, like checking out harmonies like vocal harmonies and really making sure that everything is perfect.

I was a complete asshole with the other guys acting like “no you can´t go home, no you can´t have a break you need to do your part and get it right” and then everyone started to get it.

 We are still running into people that have not heard the album before, that never have heard us before and something about it seems to appeal to people. I think the songs are pretty easy, they are pretty easily accessible; you can pretty much learn them from hearing them once or twice.”

You got the crowd going, even though the pouring rain during your show. Not all bands can manage that in those circumstances.

Adam: “Well we really try to, because what makes our gigs and our show experience different, is the audience. We are pretty much doing the same thing every day and every night and I am not saying that it´s all a routine, but it has become kind of a tight routine because we did our 202 show today.”

Its a way of dealing with heavily touring I guess.

Adam Grahn (singer, guitarist): “Yeah, but what makes it different and what makes if fun ( or less fun for us) is the audience. So in order to get them with us we have to work. We have to show them that we are there for them and usually they give us something back!”

Where do you find your inspiration, and when do you write or  create music?

Adam: “Pretty much everything and anything really, a lot of our songs and lyrics especially are just made up by stupid stories. About made up stupid people, who made up stupid situations. Some of them are true but “Underwear” is not something anyone of us has ever experienced, we just kind of made it up.

“Tommy-gun” is, well I don’t know where that song is about.  I think for this album the lyrics were not really the important issue, it was the whole picture. We had these songs, melodies, vibes and feelings.

I just needed some words to put on my melodies: let´s just sing this and that and that is fine. It was never about reaching deep into our soul and finding the burdens and the feelings that are there, it was kind of just…it´s a party record, it´s a big party crammed down into a small CD.”

Perfect album

What drives you and makes you keep on working with music?

Adam: “It sounds like a cliché, but this is what I do and I don’t really know what it´s like to do anything else. I grew up in a family of musicians, my parents were both touring a lot when I was a kid and I went with them as soon as I learned to walk.  At the age of five I played my first show with them on the drums.

I always had guitars to run and I have always been in that kind of world with people and I can´t really imagine doing anything else. Some days it sucks, some days I am like everyone else, thinking that their job sucks or their life sucks. Thinking like  ‘I am so bored or, I don’t want to play music anymore, I wish I was a cab driver or whatever’.

In the end of the day, I always find that this is what I want to do. And of course I have some goals on the way. I want to write that ‘perfect’ record that some people and some bands have, like Metallica “The Black album” and when Green Day came up with “American Idiot.” That is maybe not the same, but it was there and an overwhelming success”.

But then you have the trouble if you make the perfect album then.

Adam Grahn (singer, guitarist): Then it´s done yeah!

Then you have to take things to another level and take it from there.

Adam: “You know it´s like never say never. I mean Metallica are probably not going to make a better album than “The black album”, they are really useless these days aren´t they. Well I am sorry, athough I am the biggest Metallica fan ever in the 90´s.”

Future plans

We have spoken a bit about your upcoming album; do you have anything more to share about it?

Adam: Hopefully we will start recording it in January, and released in spring 2012. The songs that we have so far sound like us, we have the energy and we have the basic sound. I don´t think we are going to  a dramatic change, but more likely expand the sound and add some new stuff. 

When we for instance did the song “Full Steam Space Machine” on “We Are The Royal” then all the other songs were pretty much done. This song was kind of a wild card, it was like the only slower song temper wise that we had and we were like ‘wow can we really use this’, is this too far from what we sound like? But then we just decided to play it live, see how it feels to do it and then just record it.

Now it´s one of our hits so you never know and that is what we are doing right now trying out some stuff and seeing if can we pull this off  yes we can, can we try this now…

I think that our next album is going to be a little bit more dynamic in a very good way, a bit more ups and downs. We are going to have faster songs, viciously fast songs and slower songs and we are really looking forward to it a lot, it´s going to be good to have a fresh album to tour around with next year.”

Videos

When it comes to music videos you have released three singles with videos from your album “We Are The Royal”, do you think your music videos have reflected your songs in a good way?

Adam: “Well I don´t know ‘Tommy-gun’ was kind of an accident, it was not even suppose to be a video. People seems to like it and that is kind of how that song grew.”

Did you like acting in it?

Adam: No! The thing is that I really, really hated it! Oh it was fun recording it, but then like when people said; oh it´s so funny lets use this as the official video and I was like fuck no! I wanted to do an awesome rockband video but then we just stayed with it and well now it´s the video and it´s cool I guess.

“Underwear” I don’t know, it´s cool, it´s like Bingo Rimér in action working his magic of course with a lot of cool chicks. Michelle did an awesome job there dancing at the pole. “Full Steam Space Machine” was actually my idea, I kind of wrote the script of that.

On the tour bus one day when I was like really bored and then it just ended up being the actual video, at first I was like this is a Hollywood multi-million dollar production, but then the wonderful people that we work with, found a middle way to do it.It looks good, but at the same time it looks kind of homemade so I am really, really happy with that video.  But as to sum up I don’t think the videos reflect the songs that well but I like the videos.

When you listen to music, what is the most important for you?
I mean do you listen and read the lyrics or just enjoy the music part or kind of take it all in at once?

Adam Grahn: I do pretty much everything, I can sit and just have something just in the background and I can have these sessions where I just sit down in my home or in the bus, or backstage, or a hotel. I really just close my eyes and listen to every millisecond that is going on and really are feeling it. I am a music fanatic, some days I get turned on by the bounce of that song. Or I can get turned on by the heart wrecking voice of this singer or whoever or like freak out like ‘wow this is a great production’ and  listen to all of these small details.”

Inspiration

What do you normally listen to; do you have any favorite band, besides Metallica?

Adam: “Oh well Metallica is an all time favorite that always comes back. Right now I find myself listening to a lot of singer-songwriter material like Crosby, Stills and Nash, also from Woodstock, and lot of Tom Petty right now. I think that I am actually compensating, because I have enough rock´n´roll in my life right now: it´s like that every night. So I think to level it out I listen to a lot of chill stuff during the day. I don’t know maybe it´s kind of an instinct or process”.

If you were hit by  a car and lie dying at the ground , but you got to sing once song that people would remember you for, a song that would sum up you which sound would that be?

Adam Grahn (singer, guitarist): Wow! “Who wants to live forever” by Queen (here Adam breaks out and sings the chorus) or maybe “This is how we party” by Soap it would be cool!”

It depends on the mode I guess

Adam : “Yeah (Oliver the tour leader sticks his head into the room and Adam asks him what song he would sing)  hey I don’t know “Who wants to live forever” is too serious…I say “Geil” with Bruce & Bongo.”

For further information about Royal Republic please visit www.wearetheroyal.com/

thankword: Adam Grahn and Royal Republic.


Hultsfred festival – dynamic second day with Hurts and White Lies

text: Helena Torstensson
photo’s: Martina Törnemyr, M.Nilhorn

The Tallest Man on Earth or Kristian Matson as the man behind the band is called. His concert is scheduled in the afternoon and a pretty big crowd has gathered in front of the stage before the show. The music is very relaxing and laid back. Half of the crowd was standing in front of the stage, while the other half choose to sit or lay down in the grass.

Everyone seems to enjoy the show and I am positively surprised by this act. Kristian stood there all alone on the largest stage of the festival and sang only accompanied by his guitar. I found it very charming and interesting.

The set opens with the song “I Won´t Be Found” and  it captures my interest from the start! Also the audience really liked this one, showing some feedback.

The show and performance is so simple and basic, yet breathtaking beautiful. It never got boring because Krisitan was so confident and relaxed. Nice to hear him talk about that the last time he played at the festival it was on the smallest stage called the “Rockie stage” and now he more or less found himself on the largest one.

Some of the songs in the setlist are  “I Won’t Be Found, “The Garner”,”Where Do My Bluebirds Fly” and “Troubles Will Be Gone.” A very good beginning of the second day of the Hultsfreds festival.

While standing and waiting in from of the biggest festival stage it begins to rain and it really feels like ‘cursing’ the clouds.  Luckily before Hurts begin a wind comes and the rainclouds are blown away.

Singer Theo Hutchraft and the synth player Adam Anderson enter the stage all dressed up in black and wearing sunglasses; a very nice entourage. Theo really brings the songs alive and sometimes I am almost worried for him being too much into the emotions of the songs. I think Hurts had chosen a very good set list, like the song “Happiness” got the crowd moving and it really got on my mind!

My favorite song “Devotion” is even better and it is such a pleasure listening to it in a live setting. The last song “Stay” got a good response from the audience, singing along on the chorus. They are rewarded by a smiling frontman on stage.

Setlist
1. Silver lining
2. Wonderful Life
3. Happiness
4. Blood, Tears & Gold
5. Evelyn
6. Sunday
7. Verona
8. Unspoken
9. Devotion
10. Confide In Me,
11. Illuminated
12. Better Than Love
13. Stay

The lead singer from the White Lies, Harry McVeigh enters the stage with his band members and begin with saying that it is good to be back in Sweden, followed by  “Farewell To The Fairground” the opener of the set.

The singer might have tried to interact with the crowd, but just looking at his eyes you could tell that it was some kind of struggle.

He looked like his thoughts were elsewhere and he just delivered song after song without his heart being in it. Maybe the touring of this British band is a bit too much. The crowd is moving and likes the show, so they did a great job.

Some of the songs of the performance are “Farewell To The Fairground”, “To Lose My Life” “Price of Love”and “Streetlights.” Their indie rock  is very well known after Europe and it is a well deserved headliner on this less rainy day. After all a very interesting second day of the festival.