Shiva is the next big thing from Sweden says AOR-EUROPE'S Urban...Here's an interview with the band!

- Please, do introduce yourself to the readers! Who are the members of SHIVA and what's your musical background?

SHIVA'S main members is me, Mats Edstrom on the guitars, keyboard, backgroundvocals and Anette Johansson, leadsinger, backgroundvocals. We've borrowed some music-friends when we recorded our demo (drums and bass). I'm 32 years old and I work in a small company named AGRIPO. I began to play in a band when I was 15 years old the band called ARROW (1984) . The band was guest-band to bands like EUROPE and even Motörhead. We broke up 1989 [some of the members formed later, the band: Renegade]. At that time I bought a music-studio and I was involved in different music-projects until 1992. Then I was one of the members that started Yankee Heaven.

Anette is 29 years old and works as an occupational therapist. She lives out in the bush with boyfriend and 12 siberian huskies. Sleddogs are a great passion beside music. She started singing when she was 16 years old in different bands for example "Angelez". In 1991 that band were one of the two winning bands from Jönköping for the finals in the competition "On stage" in Stockholm. They didn´t win but Anette got rewarded for outstanding singing. She joined "Yankee Heaven" when she was 18. They had a lot of groovy and funny gigs for example at Motor Custom Show and at a ishockeygame (it was very cold though....) with thousands of people in the crowds.

- How would you describe the sound of SHIVA?

We try to give our songs a lot of passion and attitude because we believe that´s what hardrock is all about. We are not afraid to mix different styles/influences and we can accept some "off key´s" as long as we can keep the sound alive.

- The two of you were both members of YANKEE HEAVEN in the past. And recorded a more 'traditional', Swedish, AOR album back in 1994. Why did you guys break up in the first place and can readers still get hold of the CD?

We were all very different personalities and didn´t have that much in common so you can say that we grew apart. The CD is not available anymore.

- What about influences? Who(m) or what turned you guys into hardrock in the first place?

My older brother came home one day with a KISS-album (Dressed to kill) and since that day hardrock/metal was my thing. I was listening to bands like Saxon, Motörhead, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Def Leppard. Music/bands that inspired Anette when she was growing up was TNT, Queensryche, Helloween, White Lion, Saxon, Def Leppard and so on... All Anettes girlfriends listened to hardrock, because they had brothers who always played it, so it became natural for her to play it to. Good hardrock is powerful, emotional, full of energy and attitude - everything you needed to express when you were growing up. Hardrock was (and still is!) a great way to get anger out of the system.

- You (Mats) told me, you didn't even play the guitar for many years. How come you decided to put it away in the first place? And most of all, what made you pick it up again?

I felt that I needed a break from music, I started a family, got a real job, a decent car, a house, credits, the whole thing. But there's no substitute for rock'n roll so when Anette called me and was hungry for singing, I bought a new music-studio.

- I know that Niclas from Alyson Avenue is a good friend of yours. Would you say that your music is similar to AA? Both bands do have a female vocalist!

A.A plays more melodic rock (AOR) when SHIVA play much harder rock, sometimes even metal. I don't think we can compare our music at all except we both have female vocalists. I like/respect Niclas music and I know he likes my music. Maybe some day we'll do something together. It could be an interesting mix. We often talk about it.

- Why does anyone name a song after the "Dow Jones Index" ?

Why not! The market rules and we are it´s puppets.

- Where did you recorded the demo and what kind of equipment do you use?

We recorded the demo in my studio. It's a semi-professional studio. I mix and produce the songs there and Anette is my co-producer.

- Are you currently talking with any label(s) about a recording deal?

We're talking with one label at the moment.

- Can you find any new, Hardrock bands that you enjoy today? Like what's the last CD you bought?

The last CD I bought was SAXON 'Killing ground'. I've been listen to Pretty Maids 'Carpe Diem' I think it's a great album.

- What about your future plans?

Our goal is to get a deal rather sooner then later. We've been working on a new demo, maybe that will give us the chance.

- If YOU have anything you'd like to say, add or plug. Please do:

I was talking to Niclas when we started SHIVA. He was glad that I chose a female fronted singer. We think if melodic hardrock/metal will ever be big again the label must give female fronted melodic hardrockbands a real chance. I think you could reach a bigger audience that way.

Interview by: Urban Wallström