Replay it Again, Sam...
AOR-Europe's Bandi talks to Roger of T'Bell.

1. The band's debut "Replay" united rock journalists. I haven't read a single review that was not raving about the release. You did not only win the professionals but all the music fans I talked to mentioned the album in their top 5 of the year. Did this success bring any change in your lives?

Not really - but it is always nice when people appreciate your work.

2. Was the album commercially as successful as with the critics?

Unfortunately not - somewhere around 5000 copies sold worldwide I think - it may be good for an AOR album - but to be honest it does not even cover the actual studio cost.

3. Readers / friends keep on asking me what I think how many copies of an album like yours can be sold. To be honest this question is killing me too! I know that nobody is willing to answer questions like this but for once could you be the exception to the rule and provide us with figures? If you happen to know

I think it is around 5000 copies as I told you in the question earlier - in Japan magazine BURRN! we actually had a journalist into heavy metal and hardcore reviewing our album and got very low scores - I think it is our only really bad review ever - unfortunately a very important one. Therefore the sales have been low in Japan. Masao Fujiki of BURRN! later on put Patrik as his favourite composer of 2000 and the album as second favourite - to give us the right treatment and score as he is into melodic rock and AOR and wanted the Japanese AOR fans to discover the REPLAY album.

4.Can you make a living out of being a musician or have you got part time jobs?

We all work with music for a living but the income from the REPLAY album is not possible to live from.

How often can you play live? Did it increase with the critical success of the album?

There is no live-scene in Sweden at all for melodic rock or AOR - and we are actually just a three-piece band so bringing the music from the album to the live scene is really hard to manage.

5. You came kinda out of the blue. Would you share your previous music related history with the readers? How did you get together in the band?

Me (Roger) and Patrik have been friends for over 10 years and done some studio work and TV-shows together and we were discussing to play together in the early 90s but we were actually busy with different projects all of the time - so it was not until a couple of years ago I talked Patrik into doing something with his (in my opinion) beautiful songs and that lead to the REPLAY album. Ola is the most hired gun at MARIANN studio, where Patrik works as a studio engineer - so we asked him to help us out with the drums and he did a wonderful job and is after that a member of T-BELL.

6.Why AOR Heaven? Did you have any other offers?

Per Winberg of VIRGIN SWEDEN helped us with the record company contacts and I think MTM was interested as well, but they thought our music was too soft for their taste - but Georg Siegl liked everything we had done without any complaints or wishes for a harder direction - so AOR HEAVEN got the deal and has been supportive and enjoyable to work with so it is highly thinkable that "T2" will be on the AOR HEAVEN label as well.

7. You are already working on the second album. What can we expect? Any changes compared to the first one?

If I look at the songs intended for next album a slightly harder direction may be noticed - but with the same melodic influence as earlier.

Any chance that Europe could see the band on tour promoting the album? Maybe as a support act for a bigger name?

I am sorry to say no - because it will not be financially possible at all.

8). Why didn't you tour with the first album? We all shared the opinion that given a proper promotion the album could have made it big.

It is because of the AOR music size these days - and AOR HEAVEN is not a really big record company with a big budget. But if the album had been out like in the late 80s we would have been touring in Europe for sure.

9). The Scandinavian rock scene is pretty lively again. What do you think the reason of it is?

I think it is because there are really many talented songwriters and musicians in Scandinavia and after the grunge period of the 90s is over people appreciate good melodies and well produced music again.

10.Having heard "Postman" you guys must have a good sense of humor, so let's play a (partly) non-serious game. What comes to your mind when hearing these words?
- guitar player - magazine
- cover version - why?
- groupie - never seen one in the studio!
- record label - the bigger the better?
- spotlight - heat
- dressing room - always small
- piano - Mozart
- rehearsal room - loud
- stage pass - please
- touring - sorry - impossible

11.How did the idea of "Postman" come?

Patrik is really a very funny guy and has a lot of jokes coming up all the time - this time he put some of his humorous side in the lyrics.

12. Can we expect a "Postman Part 2" on the new album? How about "Plumber" or something? :-)

That may be a good idea, Bandi - do you want part of the royalties for the idea?? Hahaha!

13.When is the new album planned to be released?

We do not really know and we actually have no record deal - but Georg is interested in signing us for a second album - we hope to have something ready for next spring maybe - I think it will be released a month ahead in Japan with some bonus songs on MARQUEE/AVALON label - as we have a contract there already and usually they want to have a earlier release in Asia.

14.Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. On behalf of the AOR-Europe crew I wish you success and all the best in the future too.

Thank you very much - we will keep in touch!

Interview by Endre "Bandi" Hübner,