Love Under Cover recently released their debut album ‘Set The Night On Fire’ on Escape Music. Although a new band the line-up includes Last Autumn’s Dream vocalist Mikael Erlandsson and Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose/Phenomena). Here we catch-up with bassist Mikael Carlsson…
What are you currently up to?
Right now we put a lot of energy in promoting the album and the band on internet. We do interviews and sending press releases to magazines, radio stations and we also keep the homepage, Facebook, smartphone app up to date with the latest info.
We have not started to plan any gigs yet but all guys have been busy with their families through the holidays so we will probably not get together until late Jan early Feb.
Could you take us through the excellent new album…
First of all I would like to talk about the album cover cuz it got a story for its own.
When myself and Mikael Erlandsson have done the first demos I put them up on our MySpace page. My graphic skills are very limited and that page looked like shit. One day I received a mail from a guy in Chile that also thought that our page looked like shit but that the music was great, and he asked me if he could remake it. And I thought that … what the hell … it can’t get any worse I supposed so I gave him the login to the page …. What have I done … but … It turned out to be AWESOME!!! This guy was an AMAZING graphic designer. His name is Andrés Orena and now he is to us what Derek Riggs is to Iron Maiden. He has actually made one artwork for each and every song for the whole album. And every artwork is made with so much love and feeling to catch the essence of the song. If you remember the booklet that comes with the first “Phenomena” album in the mid-80’s you get the idea. So I must say that even if you think that our music SUCKS it´s still worth buying just for the amazing artwork in the booklet.
“My best friend” opens the album and is a melodic fist in your face. It is about the gun control program in the US. It seems like there´s a lot of people that thinks that weapons are the solution to all their problems but I have to disagree on that point. I really like the lyrics on this one.
“Angels will cry” is a heavy one. The intro with the piano is so beautiful and then it just explodes!! I guess that all of us have their own experiences of love and when relations have turned bad and you just want to scream out your agony.
“Too good to be true” I think the title says it all. Everyone want´s something from you, so you better beware, cuz a lot of things out there is too good to be true
Strong lyrics on this one to.
“Hero” is one of my favorites. Both the music and the lyrics grabs you right away. The song is sung from a father’s point of view when his lovely teen daughter turns into a rebel teen and he´s not strong enough to stop the downhill race to disaster.
Here we go two special guests. On guitar we got Tor Erik Myhre from Jorn and a superb performance from Katarina Häger as the rebel teen daughter.
“Flash in the night” is a cover from a Swedish pop band called Secret Service. They had a big hit with this song back in the early 80’s. I always loved that song and thought that it would be so fun to make it more powerful. Love the piano in this one and when the lead guitar “answers” in the chorus.
“Set the night on fire” is the title track. Heavy, suggestive, seductive, Just like a good rock song is all about. It sounded a little different on the demo stage. When we recorded it I had to leave the studio for a few hours and when I got back Martin and Mikael E had changed the bridge and the chorus to something totally different. First I was very surprised but the new version was so cool that we decided to keep it.
“Who needs love” is also a cover, but not just any cover. This is the song that started the whole thing with the new LUC. I made a demo recording of this song that Mikael Erlandsson wrote for the Last Autumns Dream album “Dreamcatcher”. But I recorded it in a much heavier version. And when I played it for Mikael he was completely blown away and wanted to record more songs. So that was the start.
You have to listen to the original and compare it with this version.
“Crazy for you” Is one of the oldies from the 80’s. It is a love song about when you fall madly in love and your friends just don’t understand. They simply don’t have a clue … Cuz I’m crazy for you!!!
“Standing in line” is all about desire. Desire for the love that you just can´t
reach… yet, and you´re hoping that you one day will get the chance to fill the emptiness inside with the answer of your hopes and dreams.
“Through the storm” Is about never giving up. This story takes place in Ireland back in the old days but it could really be anywhere in the world. I think that a lot of people will recognize them in the lyrics.
“A nice day” is the only ballad on the album. A feel good song for everyone.
A typical “Erlandsson” at his best.
“Rain of tears” Is the bonus track for Japan, Also a kind of love song but a
sad one. About the feelings in a situation of unrequited love. This one includes Michael Larsson from Coldspell on guitar as a special guest.
How did Love Under Cover get together? With any tour dates will it be the band members that appear on the album that would play live?
Well .. the first version of LUC popped up to the surface around 1988 when I just left the band “Gallery”. But the lead singer Daniel Boscovic and I kept in touch after the breakup and started to write songs together around 89-90. We wrote about 30-40 songs together before we decided to go separate ways around 1995 or so. During a period of 8 years me and another friend did hundreds of cover gigs in the west of Sweden. That period drained me completely of energy to write new music. I mean, we were out and played almost every weekend for 8 years until one day all of our equipment were stolen. After that we realized that we didn´t have the strength to start that all over again. Ironically that gave me back the energy to start to write new music again. So for about 3 years ago I felt that it was time to start up LUC again, but I realized that I had to do things different this time in order to take it to a higher level, and the first step was to recruit a really god singer. I knew that Mikael Erlandsson was a very busy man so I knew that I have to do something really special to get his attention. I simply recorded a new version of a song that Mikael E had written for the album “Dreamcatcher” by Last Autumn´s Dream which is Mikaels main band. But I recorded it in a much heavier version. He was completely blown away by that version and wanted to record more songs. So that was the take off for the new version of LUC. After that we recorded 3 more demos in my home studio and when we were pleased with that Mikael presented them to the producer Martin Kronlund. They have worked together earlier with the two great “Salute” Albums. Martin listened to the demos and agreed to take on the role as producer for a album. Now we needed a tight, hard hitting drummer, so Martin contacted Coldspell drummer Perra Johansson. He loved the demos to and also wanted to join the band. From the beginning the plan was that I should do both bass and guitar on the album But when we heard Martin jamming to the demos I realized that he added a new dimension to the songs with his playing, We had so much fun during the recordings and when we asked him to join the band as a full member he said yes. There it was. The new lineup. But we also got 3 special guests on the album. Tor Erik Myhre from JORN. Michael Larsson from COLDSPELL and Ged Rylands from TEN. Can you believe that ? That is a awesome lineup.
You have had great reviews to date and rightly so! Did you expect to get such a positive reaction and so quickly?
Not in our wildest dreams!! The response and the reviews have been absolutely awesome.
In less than 1.5 month we have got almost 40 great/fantastic reviews from all over the world on the web. We have collected all reviews that we have found on our website for all to check out. We got stunning reviews in magazines like Sweden Rock magazine, Fireworks Magazine and Classic Rock AOR Magazine. Web interviews in Japan, Italy, Greece and UK and radio interviews in UK and of course airtime on a lot of radio stations out there. And the requests are still dropping in. We can only guess what 2013 will bring.
How did you hook-up with Escape Music?
That is thanks to the producer Martin Kronlund. He has worked with Escape for many years and both Mikael Erlandsson and Perra Johansson have released albums with other bands on Escape earlier. (Salute/Coldspell) So Escape was already aware about what we could do. But that was no guarantee for a record deal. We still have to come up with some songs good enough to fit into the Escape family since they have a reputation about just releasing only the best rock/AOR music to be found. And luckily they liked what we they heard from us.
What made you want to start making music and who have been your musical influences?
I started to play piano in second grade in school but I changed to bass guitar in 7th grade.
And I’m raised on music like the Sweet, Nazareth, Slade. The two most important bands for me is Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake that made a huge impact on me when I first heard them.
But the very first rock song that got my attention was “Fox on the run” with Sweet. I remember that we had our “own” eurovison contest in the classroom and our teacher played a bunch of songs that we casted our votes on. That was the first time I realized that I wanna rock to!!
How did some of the band become involved with Rage Of Angels whose debut album is due in February?
Since ROA will be released on Escape, Martin Kronlund had already been hired for the production at an early stage. We have just finished the recording sessions with the LUC album and I heard that Martin was about to take off in another project with “some British keyboard guy” and that Perra was hired to do the drums. I did not dig deeper in that and focused on the promotion parts for LUC. About 2 weeks after that I got a phone call from Martin who asked if I was interested to play bass on a demo track and I said ok. But I did not know that it was for ROA. Then I didn´t heard anything about it for two weeks or so until Martin called me again and said that it was time to start to record. Ok,
-Was it one or two songs that you wanted me to do?
-No, he said..
-It is ten songs.
-you told me one or two songs two weeks ago?
-Yes I did, but now it´s ten songs. That would not be a problem or?
-No, of course not, I replied.
-We have to be finished on Sunday next week so we have to record one song/day.
The first demo that I heard was “Falling” and when I heard it I thought that I recognized the vocals, so I called Martin again and said
-This sounds very much like Ralph in Primal Fear.
-Yes… It is Ralph, Martin said.
And on that point I realized that I’m gonna be a part of something very special.
So there you go. The trio from LUC. Mikael Carlsson on bass, Perra Johansson on Drums and Martin Kronlund on guitar and Production
How easy/hard is it to get a decent run of live dates?
Ha ha J I don´t have a clue!! For the last 10 years I have only been playing cover gigs on the pubs/clubs all over the west of Sweden. But this is something completely different. Now we are talking about gigs outside Sweden. If I guess we will go for festival/support gigs to begin, but who knows? We are open for suggestions
Is rock music in a healthier state now than ten years ago? How important has it been to have specialist magazines – ‘Classic Rock’, ‘Fireworks’ – in the High Street stores raising the profile of the music?
The music market in Sweden is full bloom. There is such a great variation of fantastic bands and artists in all genres here. We got several great festivals that put Sweden on the world map of music. For example Sweden Rock has been mentioned as one of the best festivals in the world. And Metal Town in Gothenburg has grown from a small 1 day festival into a big 3 day festival with a lot of respected names in the lineup. I think that everything is being more specialized. Just go back to 1980. Then it was very easy. Then you could be a rock fanatic or a synth geek, and that’s was it. Very clear borders about what music to like. But as time proceeds you got more and more sub genres and now I don´t have a clue about which genre is this or that with grunge, grind, speed, doom, death and that list goes on forever. So from that perspective I think that it´s great that you can find magazines that covers the area that you are most into. It makes it´s easier to reach your primary target of audience.
What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
Of course my daytime work takes a lot of time. But when I’m off I mostly spend time with family and friends. And it is on my time off from work I’ll get my time to promote/write/record new music. I’m also a great chef, so I enjoy cooking a lot.
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
Thank you so much for all support. It really means a lot for us. Please help us spread the word around about LUC because it increases the chances for us to meet you guys out there somewhere on the road.
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