U- First of all, could you please introduce the band and let us know a bit about your background history as musicians.
TT- Well, We have Peter Lundin (guitar), Mick Nordström (drums) and myself - Thomas Thulin (vocals/bass). We all have a long experiance as semi-musicians, playing with several cover and original bands. Mick used to play with Modest Attraction (among others) who recorded a couple of albums. The present singer of Narnia was actually a member of the band. Mick also works as producer from time to time. I've done a couple of records myself with the band Priority, but that was back in the heydays of spandex and hairspray.
U- What's up with the name "Spearfish" and why did you choose it in the first place?
TT- When we started writing material together... must have been somewhere around -95. We didn't really have a name, only some really poor/lame suggestions, so I asked my friends for advice. Accidentally, my good old friend Michael Johansson were at the same time on a shooting mission in Spearfish. I'm sure you know who I'm talking about here? Michael is a very experienced rock'n'roll photographer, who's been working with Rainbow, Malmsteen, Europe etc. Spearfish is a place in Ohio/USA and it's the Indian (native-american) name for that special way of catching fish.
U- Your album is titled "Affected By Time". In which way are you affected and is this, in a good or bad way?
TT- You know, there's actually a thought behind the name, or rather three of them. Namely: It took quite a while for us to finally get throught it all and record this album, so the songs are affected indeed. Secondly: Non of the members are exactely kids anymore, we're all born in the good, old, 60's. And finally you have the woman on the cover of our CD! She's a 107 year old widow to a fisherman, and who's more affected by time than she?
U- Are you pleased with the response you've received with the CD?
TT- So far, so good... so yes, we are pleased. We've been receiving both good and constuctive criticism from abroad and here in Sweden. They've played our music in local and national radio and we've received a request from 'Swedish National Radio', to possible record a live gig in spring time. Let's wait and see what happens... but it looks pretty good so far.
U- Would you say that you've done a 70's rock album in 2002. Or is it more than meets the eye/ear to this?
TT- Like I said before, we're all born in the 60's, so I guess it's kind of natural that you're markt by the music of the time. There's no really motive behind it all, it's just the way it is.
What would you say that the following tracks are all about?
TT- "Blind Circus" is the song that's been the longest with us. There's at least 3 different demo versions out there. I really enjoy tracks with a lot of "light and shade", which I believe this song to have. It's the classic story about the working class man, who trys everything to get it all together in the end.
Win Or Lose
TT- We really wanted something that sounded oriental, with a couple of tempo changes. To use your own words Urban! We mixed a little bit of Zeppelin into the riff, a little bit of Stones into the verse and Voilá! There you have it, Win Or Lose.
Point Of No Return
TT- One of mine and I believe it also to be, one of Mick's and Peter's favorite songs from the album. It's got what I talked about earlier, lots of "light and shade". It's a bit progressive and I'd gladly take another step in that direction next time. It's a bit on the long side, but I really enjoy that actually, it's probably an injury from the 70's. With the chance of being political correct here, the lyrics actually have some meaning behind it all. The song is about people who only complain about others and their surrounding, without even trying to change their own situation. That really bugs me if anything!!!
U- The info sheet that the label sends out, tells us that Spearfish is a power-trio, with a singer (you) that has a voice similar to Rush. Is this something that you're OK with? You're not afraid that some will believe you to be, Rush copy-cats?
TT- I'm not sure if that's anything I'm "OK" with. But that's what I sound like I guess, and there's really nothing I can do about it. I don't spend any time thinking about it either. However, I do find a lot of the music which Rush recorded between 1974-80, to be really fantastic... in one way or the other. I'm sure this must have influenced me somehow, like it did for million's of other musicians out there. I do not believe that we are Rush "copy-cats" at all though. I don't even think that either Mick or Peter, is the owner of a single Rush album... and I speak the truth here!!! Believe it or not.
U- You also cover the Rush song "Making Memories" here. Why did you choose this particular tune and any special memories involved?
TT- Just a fun thing to do really, it's not one of their most famous songs. We had the feeling that a comparison with Rush, would be rather big anyway. So we said: let's give them all something to think about here. Then something did happen with my voice, in the last couple of years. I do manage to sing within a higher range today, than 10 years ago. Songs you wanted to do back then, but couldn't... I actually can today. I better not let this oppertunity slip by as long as my voice last. Ha-Ha!
U- Drummer Mick Nordstrom (ex-Narnia, Modest Attraction etc.) also produced/engineered the CD. Is he a full-time member or was he mainly hired to produce?
TT- Mick is without a doubt a "full-time" member of Spearfish. Peter & Myself used to hire stunt-drummers, when we recorded our demos. We received a tip about this studio with a good producer, suitable for our kind of music. The producer was Mick Nordström and that's the way it was.
U- Old Texan guitar hero, John Nitzinger (ex-Bloodrock, Alice Cooper) play some guitar on your CD. How did all this happen and what's your feelings towards this?
TT- It was great! We received a request by Johannes Lindström from our record label, about adding a guestplayer to our CD. So, we did send over two songs for John in Texas to record his guitarwork on. It was really fun since Nitzinger is a true guitar hero. Both Manny Charlton and Ken Hensley were also supposed to be involved in this. But since the mastering schedule of our CD was already booked, we simply couldn't find any time left. Let's see what happens for the next record...
U- Who's this Johansson character that co-wrote many of the songs?
TT- Ola was the rhythm guitarist in the first version of Spearfish, which also included Peter and myself. We used to write a lot of songs together back in the early days. It was actually Ola who made me pick up songwriting on a real bases, in the first place. Something which I'm very greatful of today. It's not at all impossible, that he'll turn up as a co-writer in the future.
U- But OK, If we're talkin about influences and old rock heroes. Which bands/artists would you pick?
TT- It's difficult to include them all, since there are many good one's out there. However, bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath are all on my list. But I also really enjoy Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, Journey, Budgie, Pink Floyd, Queen. The Audioslave album is a real kick to the head. I enjoy good music and it doesn't really matter who or whom did it. One of my big role models when it comes to bass players, is Gary Thain (R.I.P.) anyway. He was really outstanding during the uriah Heep days.
U- What do you think about the rockscene here in Sweden today? Can you make a living out of this alone?
TT- I'm not quite sure actually! It's difficult if you're going to play original music only. We'll see if things becomes easier now with an album under the belt. If you're a coverband with songs on the charts, this may work... but how much fun is that? I rather work at a factory! I did an audition/try-out with a Swedish "dans-band" about a year ago (Nick Borgens). Good money and all... but it was like... what the hell am I doing here?? I returned home the very next day.
U- You're signed to SwedenRock Records (also responsible for the largest rock festival in Europe - SwedenRock). Do Johannes and the lads treat you well? It's a pretty new label (even if used to be Record Heaven in the past).
TT- No, they treat us like dirt!!! Nah, I'm just kidding! SwedenRock Records is a pretty small label so far, and there's always pros and cons with being on a small label. Pros is the daily contact with the persons involved and you can always get hold of them, if you have something on your mind etc. At a bigger label it's always easier to get lost among their mega-stars/acts. You have the chance to make an impact and discuss things at the smaller label. Then there's the festival of course! Which is a great oppertunity for us to play and showcase our music, together with the major acts. We'll be playing at the Sweden Stage on the 6th of June.
U- What's your opinion about the so called "Thin Lizzy" band, that is touring nowadays. I find this to be blasphemy myself, since Lynott died in 1986. And you simply can't go on without him....
TT- I'm having mixed emotions here!!! Thin Lizzy is definitely one of my favorite bands and I understand their urge of playing Lizzy tunes. However, to call themselves Thin Lizzy is a bit too much maybe.
U- What will happen in the nearest future with Spearfish?
TT- There's a couple of gigs coming up at Anchor in Stockhom etc. Sony music is releasing "Affected By Times" in Germany on the 10th of February. We have some plans of doing TV and Radio promotions and we're planing to record some new songs in spring time. We are constantly working with new material and not to mention the Sweden Rock gig in June. There's lots of things to do really.
U- If there's anything you'd like to say, add or promote. Please do:
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by: Urban "Wally" Wallström,