Casablanca: «We usually just say we play hard rock music»
They have recorded their third album, that will be in stores in a few days
After the success of their last tour in Spain, the band from Sweden will be back next month. The guitar player Ryan Roxie won't come this time but Jon Sundberg, from Babylon Bombs, will join Casablanca live. We've talkied with Josephine Forsman (drummer) about the past, present and future of the band.
Hi! Let’s start with a classic: who came with the name and why?
Josephine: Hi! great to hear from you. The name is an homage to Kiss record label, simple as that!
When did you meet each other and how many formation have you had?
Josephine: All except Ryan have known each other for ages, being musicians in a small country like Sweden. About five-six years ago Anders Ljung and Erik Stenemo came up with the brilliant idea to start a rockband, they invited me and Mats Rubarth to join, and Robert Dahlqvist, the guitar player of The Hellacopters. Robert soon got to busy with his own band, so we took Ryan Roxie in to play on our debut album instead. Ryan got offered the Alice Cooper tour soon after we released the second album Riding a Black Swan, and Erik Almström from Bullet came along for the ride! He's now a full member, and is playing on the new record, the third one. We'll play a few tunes from it in Spain, though focus is of course on Riding a Black Swan.
Your sound mixes different styles, from Hard Rock to Glam Rock, or even Folk Rock. How do you define yourselves?
Josephine: You can really hear we've been influenced by all these genres. We usually just say we play hard rock music.
Do you always sing in English? Is it common in Sweden?
Josephine: Very common in rock. Almost everyone does, I guess because a lot of the music we're influenced by are all from either England or The States.
Let’s talk about your debut album, Apocalyptic Youth. What can you tell us about the recording and mixing sessions and the work with the producer?
Josephine: We were a new band when recording that album. Although you can hear we hadn't played together for long, it turned out good with Chris Laney as the producer, a large budget recording in Polar studio (ABBA studio) in Stockholm.
And what about Riding a Black Swan?
Josephine: Since things didn't go the way we hoped they would, after the release of Apocalyptic Youth, this one came out of total frustration and absolutely no budget. We produced it ourselves together with technician Jon Bordon at our rehearsal place, a bunker in Solna, Stockholm. A little bit more evil and less pop, we're really proud of how it turned out! You can hear we're a band how's playing together on this one.
And what about the new album that will be in stores in a few days, will there be big surprises? Tell us a bit about the writing of these new songs.
Josephine: The third album just finished up this week. Same procedure as last time, produced ourselves, but now with Erik Almström on guitar.
We can actually say it was financed by the Spanish people great enough to buy our merch!
This one also came out of some sort of frustration. Black Swan album got such great reviews and we got offer so many tours we could take, since Ryan had to prio Alice Cooper tour (btw we totally understood him) and felt we lost so many great opportunities. Instead of just sitting around doing nothing, we wrote this album. Worked our asses of rehearsing and recording the every day of this summer. The album really is to die for!
Looking forward to hear it... Can you tell us something about the gear you use? I’m talking about guitars, amps, drums,...
Josephine: Ludwig drums, Paiste cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks, BC Rich, Marshall amps, MXR pedals. For more info, stop by the show ;D
We will because you'll be playing in Spain in a few months, haha. Besides, it won’t be the first time, what do you think about our audience and clubs?
Josephine: We totally loved it last time!! Hoping for the same response this time! We wont disappoint you, Ryan won't be joining more than in spirit, but we have the two best guitar players Sweden can offer right now, Erik Almström (Bullet) and Jon Sundberg (Babylon Bombs).
In your country, Sweden, what’s the point of the Hard Rock scene? I mean, not the mainstream big stadium shows, but the club’s scene, available rehearsal spaces, young bands trying to build musical projects...
Josephine: It's good but it could be better. People will always find ways of expressing their music, but Sweden could use some more small and cool clubs where bands can play and develop without having the pressure of attracting a big crowd. A band should have places to perform every day of the week, and that's not the case here, maybe it's too small of a country.
We do have a lot of great talent here, and lot's of inspiration from other swedish hard rock bands.
Thanks Josephine and see you next month ;-)
Josephine: Count on it!!!
Text: Alex Belencoso
There's more in https://www.facebook.com/casablanca