ALIEN - 2020 - On November 27th, The Swedish Rockers will release the album "Into the Future". This record is taking the band from being merely an AOR band to more of a hard rock band with a heavier sound and more guitars. It's a journey back to the days of being free in a musical way to experiment with arrangement, sounds, melodies and just having a blast while doing it. ALIEN is now Jim Jidhed (vocals), Tony Borg (guitars) and Toby Tarrach (drums). The album was recorded in various studios in Sweden incl. JM Studios in Gothenburg, Borg Music & Recording Studio in Stockholm, Music Family studio in Särö and Hope Studio in Gothenburg. Mix and mastering was handled by Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse) at Blowout Production in Sollerön. And no, it's not a "comeback" album. Jim and Tony have been recording and playing together since their reunion in 2005. It's however a new chapter in the story of ALIEN. They started out back in 1986, and recorded their classic debut in '88. Two of the songs were indeed featured in the 1988 remake of the 50's Sci-Fi movie "The Blob"; "Feel My Love", plus "Brave New Love" in the end credits. And we didn't even mention that darn ballad originally performed by the Marbles. Find out more about the brand new lo.. ehh, album. Here to answer some questions for RockUnited.com (with a little help from Mr.Borg), their classy lead vocalist: - Mr. JIM JIDHED
Hello Mr.Jidhed! Alien, now a power-trio? (Jim Jidhed, Tony Borg and Toby Tarrach). Would you say it's been a natural process to include more guitars and a heavier sound? [since there's no keyboardist to complain about the sound :-)]
Jim: Hi! When things turned out as they did with the former members we just felt that we didn't want to get new members in the middle of a process. But who knows in the future. From the beginning of the project we had the plan for what we wanted to do musically but there's some keyboards there too..
One would believe that 'Into the Future' means leaving the past behind? However. Janet Morrison Minto (from your debut) has been a part of the lyrics writing?
Jim: You can say that we love the past but love the future more ha ha! We had been working with Janet and Pamela Barlow in 1988 and the again on Eternity in 2014 I think. Both Janet and Pam are so talented, when we did this new album we had the chance to get Janet's help with co-writing the lyrics which we are most thankful for.
Can you explain the meaning and concept behind the title?
Jim: We had been talking about doing something a bit different a while back but then nothing happened at that time. Then the question was raised again two years ago and this time three of the members were really into it but unfortunately two members weren't. So our bass and keyboard player left the band as the rest of us went into a very creative and fun period creating something that we would like to think is bringing us into the future. The concept of the album is that it is heavier with more guitars but still has the melodies that our old fans would surely recognize and hopefully new ones would appreciate.
Kindly tell us something about the writing process and what you're trying to capture on the album.
Jim: We would like to bring our music into a place where we just dont repeat ourselves. We did experient with the arrangement also and just felt free in the sense that music should be fun and exciting and we truly had a blast in the studio. We wanted to capture the hunger, fire, the will to develop and show both ourselves and our public that Alien is both a band with a past but also with a future.
Do you find it more or less challenging to compose music in 2020 vs. 1988? In other words. To come up with the new power riff, arrangement, structure, etc.
Jim: Well, Our background is from the seventies where a lot of riffs were happening and also if you're open to being influenced by people around you as we were you pick up inspiration. We wanted a heavier guitar sound and more heavier riffs so that what we created and boy did we ripped it up in the studio. I can say that our process was like in the early days when we started out. Great energy and flow and doing it really for the right reason and that's for the fun of it!
"What Are We Fighting For" - the first single from the album. What exactly are we fighting for? What are You fighting for? What's it all worth?
Jim: That song is about as you say. What are we fighting for? for things and stuff ? for real values? In a way so many of us have signed a contract to agree about things that dont really matter or aren't right but it is according to what society expects of you and what makes this strange wheel turning. But as I say in the lyric. " I agree to disagree with you... It's up to us all at a certain point in life to stop listening to the voices disturbing your peace and stop shoveling dirt on our crown.
Swedish media always describe Alien with words such as 'Only One Woman' or "80s comeback". Are you sick of the Marbles ballad or the comeback tag?
Jim: No we´re not sick of Only One Woman but it's a bit funny with the come back thing, I think we have done at least three comebacks.Ha ha ! I think this is due to the fact that we haven't been constant in making albums and doing gigs at a pace that get people to think we're back to stay. But as Arnold said We will be back in the future too.
Are you pleased with the cover art-work? It's very dark Sci-fi and Alien (the movie) somehow? :-)
Jim: for sure, we love it ! It's right on the money! Anders Fästader did a great job creating this for us.
Has the average Metal press agenda against acts like Alien?
Jim: Oh I really can't say!
How important was Richie Blackmore to Mr.Borg personally? The main reason why you're playing guitar? (some even say you look like the man-in-hat)
Tony: Richie Blackmore was very important to me when I was a teenager trying make my way forward. He inspired me to get better and develop my own style of playing.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do
Jim: We´re going to do a live streaming on the 26th of november in Gothenburg due to the release of the album the day after. This is going to be the only thing we do live this year due to the circumstances with Corona. Please check out our Facebook for details.
Interview by: Urban Wally Wallstrom
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