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Articles Home » 2017 Articles » Stormburst - 2017 Interview with Thomas Hansson
 
Stormburst - 2017 Interview with Thomas Hansson



ARTIST: Stormburst
ARTICLE: Interview with Thomas Hansson
YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:


Introduction
Stormburst were recently released upon the melodic rock audience back in May. Like a flood, these guys are playing a wonderful brand of rock that really - only the Swedes can do. They've recently put up a website to compliment their debut album 'Raised On Rock'.

The band originate from Central Sweden (Dalarna County), and feature personnel from bands such as Six Feet Under (two albums released back in 1983 and 1984), Keen Hue (two albums: 1985 and 1993) and Coastline (one album released back in 2003). The personnel include:

Kent Jansson - bass
Thomas Hansson - guitars
Lars Åke Nilsson - lead vocals
Peter Östling - keyboards
Peter 'Zeke' Ytterberg - drums

Signed to AOR Heaven Records, we catch up with guitarist Thomas Hansson, who is well known to many of us here at GDM.

Interview

Great to catch up with you for this interview Thomas!
Thanks for having me!

In preparation for this, I had a look through the new Stormburst website, which seemed to cover off a few things. If I understand correctly, the origins of the concept behind Stormburst came from Kent Jansson. What was he wanting to achieve, after so many years out of the loop?
Kent was tired of only playing covers for many years and thought it was about time to start a band and write original songs. We didn't know we were going to get a record deal but it certainly was a goal.

You were the second signing for the band, and the others followed after?
Yes, he called me and presented the idea and I pretty much joined immediately. He already had some songs to try and I brought some too so we met up at his place and rehearsed.

I had a listen to some of those earlier bands which Kent, Platis and Peter Östling were involved in: Six Feet Under and Keen Hue. There's some very traditional 80's metal going on there. Had you heard any of that stuff previously? Six Feet Under sound like a Swedish version of Deep Purple.
I was aware of both bands since the 80's and I still think Thomas Larsson of Six Feet Under is a world class guitarist. He was in Glenn Hughes band in the mid 90's. Keen Hue had some good songs too, especially 'Fly Away Honey'.

It's great you guys are all reasonably close to each other geographically. Is there an active network of musicians in the Dalarna/Malung area?
Many musicians and bands are here but I think even more so in the Borlänge/Falun area with acts like Astral Doors and Sabaton.


Is it fair to say that all of the band are reading off the same page musically? I know from your preferences, you quite like West Coast and CCM stuff, which is slightly different. Who likes listening to what?
Some bands all of us like are Deep Purple and Rainbow. Lars-Åke likes progressive metal and the drummer is into heavier modern stuff. Kent likes Whitesnake a lot and I still listen to MSG> and UFO but mostly it's the softer bands for me nowadays. Airplay, Chicago, Eagles, Toto and Whiteheart but also some bluesy stuff like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Southern Rock greats Allman Brothers.

I remember you sending me one of those early demos of 'Never Too Late' a couple of years ago. The final version on the CD sounds amazing when compared to the demo. You must've been pleased with the final result?
Yes, we're pretty much satisfied with the final mix and the album as a whole. The rough demos is a good way to record songs at an early stage.

The mixes which appeared on the CD sound fantastic. It all comes together nicely. It's quite a traditional melodic rock album, not so modern sounding like some other Swedish bands are doing, like what Daniel Flores and his production sound like. This was a deliberate ploy I take it? To keep it retro?
This retro thing is the way we want to sound, there are many same sounding bands and we don't want to be part of that. Of course, it's hard to be original in melodic hard rock since it's been done for so many years but Lars-Åke has a somewhat distinctive voice. I think it's good for us.

How did Georg Siegl get to hear about Stormburst?
When the studio recording almost was finished I sent him a 5 track CD-R and a bio. There was interest from a few labels but we felt that AOR Heaven was best for us.

Who provided most of the songwriting?
So far there are three of us writing songs, me, Kent and Lars-Åke.

What has been the response to 'Raised On Rock' thus far?
Mostly good reviews and a few not so good one's but constructive criticism is always welcome. Features in magazines, interviews and songs played on web as well as local radio.

Surely this must lock Stormburst in for another CD further down the track?
I really hope so, we are working on new material and it is good stuff. It's still in the classic AOR and Melodic hard rock style with some blues elements.

Maybe even get out and play live further afield?
That's something we'd really like to do. We did it at our release party and it felt great. The response from the audience was very good too. Festival gigs and such would be really nice to do.

If I've done my homework correctly, the power metal band Cryonic Temple is also from the Dalarna area. Maybe further out to Borlänge. Do you know these guys? Are the bigger named bands known to each other around the region?
I don't know them personally but I've heard about them. There are many musicians and bands so sometimes we bump into each other and it's always nice to talk.


While we're on the topic of all things Swedish - maybe you can offer an opinion. Why are Swedish bands so good at melodic rock? And why are there so many?
I Think it has to do with the old folk music tradition that goes way back in time. My ancestors played the violin and piano but my sister picked up the guitar so I did that too. ABBA was pop but a very melodic band and then Europe really inspired me and many others. I've read Janne Stark's Encyclopedia of Swedish Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands, it's amazing but why there are so many bands I don't know. 'Must be something in the water'.

In the past, we've done interviews with other artists who have described their gear setup. I remember interviewing Tommy Denander once, and he described his OTT Bradshaw setup! I know you have numerous guitars - I've seen pics of flying V's, Gibsons, not sure if I've seen you with a Fender:

What are you mostly playing these days?
What amps are you playing through?
What does your pedal/effects setup consist of?


With Stormburst I mostly use the Flying V, Michael Schenker is a huge influence and it cuts through really good in the mix. Nowadays I mainly use Blackstar amps, at home an HT-5R and at rehearsal and gigs an Artist 30, the Warren Haynes model. For effects I use a Boss ME-80 multieffect pedal board. It has a nice delay, chorus and harmonist for twin guitar solos.

Where would you like to take Stormburst as an entity, say over the next 12-18 months?
There are so many releases coming out all the time but I hope we can make a name and record a follow up album. And I hope we get to play live.

I look forward to keeping in touch with the band and yourself as to your future progress. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. G
Thanks G., I appreciate it.

Links:
GDm Review of Stormburst 'Raised On Rock'
Stormburst website
Stormbursts Facebook Page


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