- How are things in the Broke [N] Blue camp right now?
Hello Urban! We’re fine, thanks! It’s getting a bit calmer now, half a year after our release of “Northern Light”. We’ve been busy promoting the album, doing interviews and trying to spread the information around the globe, primary on the internet. Still working on those things, but we now get some more time focusing on the future.

- Do tell us about your musical background! What have you guys been up to, before the B[N]B days ? I started out playing the drums in local coverbands in the late 70’s and joined several constellations in the 80’s. I jumped between drums, bass, keys and the guitar. Songwriting has always been important to me and from the age of 17 I’ve been writing on a regulary basis. I compose and write songs not only in AOR/Melodic-genre, also blues, bluesrock and pop both with swedish and english lyrics. Main instruments nowadays are guitar and keys, but I often play the bass too. Today I work part-time with music as trubadour and together with Peter in his band.

And then there's Eva… love of my life and my wife since 10 years. She's got a voice of an angel and she really can sing in a lot of different styles. Eva also joined her first bands in the late 70´s, then as lead vocalist. We first played together in some bands back in 86´ when she handled the keyboards too and we shared the vocals. The last years she’s not been regulary in a band but she sits in when there’s time for it. During the years we’ve been recording a lot of material in our homestudio.

Peter has been playing since the mid 80’s and he joined melodicband ANGELIZE among others. The last 10 years he’s been leadsinger and guitarist of cover/partyband SIXPACK. Peter and I played together for the first time at a party in 1996, and after that we've been playing a lot together with his band. He's a great singer and guitarist, and he's the entertainer when getting on stage. He also writes a lot of songs, so I really hope we'll have time to develop that cooperation. We've been talking about co-writing songs for about 3 years now, but it's always lack of time…

Finally, Ulf is the main-man when it comes to sound and production. He’s been working with music since early 80’s and he played in many bands and worked with many Swedish artists. Today he plays the bass in top coverband De Sotos. They are playing with wellknown pop-artists like Tityo, Jessica Folcker, Jennifer Brown and Andreas Johnsson. He owns Balans Studio where we've done the recordings, and he's a great musician with a lot of knowledge to build our work on. He also played this kind of music in the glorious 80's, so I guess he enjoyed it, playing this stuff again!

- Your trademarks are actually the use of two, lead vocalists. One female and one male! How did all this begin anyway? - This one is my favourite....It almost became two separate projects! The first BnB songs were recorded with Peter, and since Eva has done a lot of vocals on my earlier songs, I wanted her to sing some of the new ones too. The mix was very well recieved by the listeners, but I guess the labels found it confusing… this was not the usual thing! I had some offers that suggested that I should split the project, but we had already recorded a lot of work, and I somehow felt that this was something that could be uniqe for Broke[N]Blue, so we kept on…and as you mention,this became our Trademark and you can read in all the reviews, that’s one of the things that people think is great with this album. It gives a new dimension and a great variety to the whole cd. I’m glad we didn’t break it in two! I'm also really glad we changed "Heaven in my hands" into a duet with both voices and sort of "finalized" the combination of their voices on the album.

- So, how to decide which vocalist to use for which song? It’s a great advantage to have both female and male voices in the project, it’s possible to give variation to a track that maybe should sound similar to another, just by swapping vocalist. I can work from different angles when it comes to lyrics too. Regarding the arrangements, I can use either of them, they both got that high pitch voice. Peter has sung some of the heavier tracks now, but you’ll never know ‘til the next time... I try to get a natural feeling for which voice to use for which song. Sometimes it has to do with the lyrics and the mood of the song who's doing the lead. Sometimes I have written the lyrics from a pure "male" perspective, and when I realized that Eva should do the vocals, I had to change the lyrics to fit for a female performance!Of course, some songs were written exclusively for each vocalist such as "Cry for you" for Peter and "Northern Light" for Eva.

- Not to mention that the female vocalist (Eva) is your wife! Any fights within the family about song material? :-) No, nothing that I can’t live with... and it's really amazing too share such a deep interest with the person you love. I really appreciate to have such a great voice around when composing and writing songs. Of course she’s got thoughts about the songs when I’m working, but it’s good to have a reference at an early stage of the process. I often present the basic idea and melody and then we work out the details together.

- The song 'Oriental Eyes' was a big favorite here at AOR-Europe last year. What inspired you to write it? - Hmmm, will Eva read this...? Some naughty experiences in my younger days..??!!Well, some girls make more impression than others... - Seriously, it’s a common bad-trust “love/hate” song applicable to any relationship, it just ended up with that title and hook, even if I hesitated on that one. It’s a lot of clichee´in those words, you know...But I’m really glad it worked out, and we’re proud of the nice place on the AOR-Europe charts!

- Are you pleased with the out come of "Northern Light" (production, sales etc.) We’ve had a lot of reviews around the globe, and most of them are published at my homepage www.listen.to/l.a.music They are all very positive and mention the fresh sound and the use of two vocalists as a great part of the album.Some wished that the production would have been even better and what can I say… who wouldn’t wish that too? As a new act, the budget isn’t too big for the first album and you always run out of time.... Although we’re satisfied ourselves, and Ulf did a great job creating the sound for the album. About the sales, it’s no big figures, but we pressed more copies now and if we sell it all we’re talking about 2500 copies which I think is ok, being a complete new act, an indiependent release and with a small distributor. Here in Sweden the cd is in stock at Ginza mailorder and we’ve had some airplay too.

- I know that I've been kinda' harsh about the song "Big Fat Lie" Do you regret that you never included it on the album? - No, and I’ve given you some credits for that in some interviews Urban! As you know, we had some stuff with a bluesier approach on the demo. After a lot of reviews, and as a result of the style of my new songs, we decided to go more for an AOR/Melodic album. As mentioned earlier,"Oriental eyes" got high points here at AOR-Europe and named as best track of the album in reviews etc, and that song almost didn't make it to the final mix! We counted on "Big Fat Lie" from the demo, and made a more AOR-ish and less bluesier version of it, but we were not pleased with it, so we finished the idea for "Oriental eyes" instead. I guess you are very happy with this… Me too!

- What about the rock scene in Sweden? Will you be able to play live or tour anything? - The main thing right now is to promote the cd and to get it exposed in countries outside Europe. The live thing will of course have to wait, and I don’t think we make any efforts there, unless there’s a major breakthrough or something like that. BnB has never played live together, but Ulf is playing live all the time with De Sotos, and the rest of the time he produces other artists in his studio. Peter and I play live together in SIXPACK. As you know, the Swedish area produces some top AOR/Melodic music, but the interest here at home is really not that good, and the livescene for this music in Sweden is minimal. There is however no problem to put up a lineup for live gigs since there are a lot of musicians around the project. Magnus Hall, drummer of SIXPACK already appeared on one track of the cd, and as a professional musician, Ulf is acquainted to a lot of people. So sure, if the right opportunity comes, we could for example combine SIXPACK/Broke[N]Blue for a few gigs.

- Can we expect a second album in the future to come? Any new material done yet? Well, I guess you’ll get a new promosingle in the mailbox this spring... I’ve started to gather material in the right style, some older ideas and I’ve also written a lot of new songs, but they’re not recorded yet. Recently we did some basic recordings for a new track at Balans Studios. We talked about bringing in a drummer for all tracks, to ease pressure on Ulf, and to catch a live-feel in the studio, we'll see about that. Stylewise there will be no changes!!! It will be keyboard-dripping guitar-based AOR/Melodic songs with great vocals! About label, we could of course dream about a fat contract with that BIG label, but otherwise we go for it the same ways as the first album.

- What about future plans? As I mentioned, the main goal now is of course to keep selling the album, and to get the name known on the market for great songs and the uniqe sound with two vocalists. What happens next, it depends on how we fulfill that goal. We could always hope that we'll be able to make a new great album in the coming years, and that we could be able to take some more time off from the regular occupation to use more time for creating the album over a shorter period of time. It is very hard to manage jobs, family, studiowork, songwriting and playing at the same time. If the interest grew, we could spend more time doing what we love, make great music!

- If YOU have anything you'd like to say, add or plug. Please do! I’ve said it before, but I would like to thank all people involved in “Northern light” again, journalists, Webzines, distributors etc and all you people listening to and spreading our music.Without all of you guys and without the Internet- No album....

Interview by Urban Wallstrom
Pix borrowed from http://come.to/l.a.music