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NIVA - MAGNITUDE
Tony Niva has been active in the Swedish hard rock scene since the eighties, when he was in Swedish Erotica (the band, not the film series!). In 1994 he released the first Niva album. Then the band went on a hiatus, only to return at the end of last decade with their second album released in Japan. In 2011 that album was released in Europe under the band name of Oxygen. Now the band is back as NIVA again, and they've got a really good new album called "Magnitude"... Tony Niva tells us about it.
How has the reaction to your latest CD, “Magnitude” been?
“ We’ve had a lot of great reviews and kind words, so we would really like to give credits to everyone for their contribution. It has given us a lot of new creativity and energy. It feels great to have accomplished what we’ve set up and planned for during the creation of this album. We’re very pleased with the outcome of this album in terms of production/mix and with the songs itself, so it’s really nice people have picked up on that.”
“ The effective time in the recording sessions was spread out over a period of two months and we aren't counting the time consumed on demo work either…..”
“ We wanted this production to be as a battle between the heavier compositions, which then stand against and alongside the melodic parts for each song; in conjunction with the game between major and minor harmonies. Before this can be made it's primarily all about writing the melodies and lyrics, capturing a feel before thinking about the sound and then finalizing that in studio.”
“ Well, Marcus Persson had (of course), a lot of different input for this alongside the writing process. He arranged and recorded all the keys and background vocals on the album. He also had a great input regarding what to use in the arrangements and what not to use. His role in this project is, besides producer and musician, also as studio engineer.”
“ Yes, very, very pleased (with the outcome). We managed to merge the heaviness and melodic parts together as we wanted all along.”
“ Yes, there have been some enchanting moments, when we found just the right sound for a certain instrument, the way we did for the guitar sound, just to mention one.”
“ I think we've captured the live sound in a way where we’re not using too much of different sound and the amount of overlays/overdubs. We're trying to make it as; less is more, in a way but still with experimental chords and harmonies.”
“ Two songs that pop to mind right now are: “My First And Only One”, which is about the first love; everyone can relate to it and has experienced this. An innocent love as it can be in your younger years that you never will forget. This is a great tune that takes you back to a long gone time. The second tune is: “In A Misty Light”. The idea of this song came up when my neighbour passed away. I wanted to dedicate this song to his widow, who now lives alone. This song is about her meeting with him again somewhere in a misty light. This is my way of processing everything that has happened and also to give my respect to both of them.”
“ I'm trying to capture events or happenings in everyday life, putting words and music to important things that happened to me or people around me. When having a long distant run in the woods it often gives me ideas for lyrics and/or melodies that I afterwards record/save in order to use later on.”
“ We like to think that the “Magnitude” album is an album you can sing along to, full of joyful tunes with thoughtful lyrics and that that’ll cheer you up. Hopefully you'll hear the same thing we do, that these songs are suitable for live stages as well as listening to at home.”
“ No.They liked our four demo songs that we delivered, and I don’t think they would have had it differently. These songs were the reason why we had the opportunity to sign the contract in the first place, so there wasn’t any complaints from their part. Not that I know of any way.”
“OK… The studio is situated right beside an antique store; wall to wall, backing on to the recording room, there were a lot of old glass lamps stored there; until the owner one day noticed everything was moving in direction, to the floor. The antique store was relocated shortly after this.”
“ Yes, it’s certainly NIVA again and we’ll be using that from now on. I know, it’s a bit confusing. In Japan, the name has been NIVA all along. It wasn’t until we needed an EU release of the NIVA – “Gold From The Future” (2011) album, when the UK label wanted us to use a different moniker before releasing the album for the EU, that we agreed to use the name Oxygen. Now, as we’re having the opportunity of co-operating with AOR Heaven, we wanted to use the original band name again, which is NIVA.”
“ There is a lot of different kinds of music that has influenced me during my youth, such as solo artists from the 60s and 70s like Elvis Presley, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard. I’ve also been marked by the rock music of the 80s like Kiss, Sweet, ACDC and Status Quo among others. I also have to mention Swedish acts like ABBA, Europe and Roxette. These artists have affected me hugely and are also the reason why I started my musical journey way back in the mid 80s.”
“Hopefully we'll meet in the UK, during a live gig somewhere and having a great party together. Thanks for all of your support and many greetings from NIVA.”
Interview questions by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom and Kimmo Toivonen
Photos from M.E.P.R.
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