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Bjorn Jansson (Ride The Sky)

Interview with Bjorn Jansson from Ride The Sky
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 28 July 2007, 10:30 AM

Bjorn Jansson has an excellent voice that is featured in RIDE THE SKY's debut release New Generation. This album made quite an impression to the Metal Temple restless crew that contacted Bjorn and had a most interested discussion about the new band.

First of all, congratulations for New Protection, it’s really solid!

Well, thank you very much! We are thrilled with the response so far, it’s been nothing but great; let’s hope it stays that way.;)

Nuclear Blast changed the release day of RIDE THE SKY’s debut album. What was the reason?

The reason that I’ve heard is that most magazines come out around the 15th in the month so they want to have about one week between until the CD is released.

How did you all come together to form RIDE THE SKY?

I was contacted by Roland Grapow and Uli when Jorn Lande left MASTERPLAN. We had a short meeting and I didn’t hear anything more, until Uli also left MASTERPLAN; I contacted him to see if he were interested to play drums on TEARS OF ANGER CD number 3 and at the same time he wanted me to sing on a new project he was about to start. When he heard the songs me and Benny sent him he really liked the stuff and he sent me some ideas that he had and it was really great songs, then after awhile we decided that we should in fact merge our ideas into a new band, and then RIDE THE SKY was created.

How did you choose the band’s name? (Is there a link with the homonymous HELLOWEEN song?)

Yes and No. Nowadays it’s not easy to find a strong band-name which reflects the music and sounds timeless, so we made a list with around fifty names. The good ones where in use, or sounded too similar to others and other names sounded simply odd. Uli came up with the name RIDE THE SKY. And my first reaction was GREAT, that’s it. He passed the idea to me and Benny and the immediate reaction was positive, without that we knew the background and history about this song. So, that made it easy somehow to decide if the basic idea it self is good to call a band like that. So, the complete band liked the idea that was the most important for us. One reason why it popped up was maybe: When the HELLOWEEN album Walls of Jericho came out in 1985, Uli had been playing drums since three-four years. At this time it just blew him away. He remembered that the song itself was eventually THE reason why he bought a second bass-drum. Before he could even dream about to ever play in that band he was connected to HELLOWEEN. Finally, he looked at the band-logo and knew that this is the right name. Timeless, easy to remember, good for peoples to shout, open for good artwork in any direction and many albums ;)

Can we consider RIDE THE SKY a project or a full time band?

RIDE THE SKY is definitely a full time band and not just a project, the first reason is in TEARS OF ANGER when we decided to change drum and bass player was that they where to involved in so many bands/projects, so when we started RIDE THE SKY we had a long talk about, that this should be a band, and all the members should focus on this and really try to limit other involvements in other projects. We want to be able to take this band on tour and really see how far we can take this band, the sky is no limit!! RIDE THE SKY ;)

What was your composing process?

Basically Uli or Benny came up with a riff or idea of a song, then they send it to me and I try to make some vocal structure and some great melody, if the idea was approved by everyone then we start adding bits and pieces to complete the song. Then Benny was producing the music to make it sound really great and powerful and I write some lyrics before I add the final vocal. It take a lot of communication over the phone and email working this way but I have to say that we are all very proud of the end result.

Who wrote the lyrics and what they are about?

The lyrics is split on me, Uli and Kaspar. It’s not a concept album so every song and lyrics is more stand alone. I think it’s important when I get a song idea I usually listen to the vibe or feel of the music and try to find a story that fits my vocal feeling for the song. Hence one aggressive song should have a exiting story ;)

Did you face any difficulties during the recording/mixing process?

No not really, besides, speaking for myself it was winter time when I did most of the vocals so I did catch a cold which was slowing me down some, but hey that is the price for leaving in Sweden :) other then that it’s like I said before is was many emails and phone calls to sort things out. But the good things is that we all had the same goal with this album and that was to really focus on writing great songs, the song should be on the album for the reason that is was a great song and not that we needed to fill out the playtime to complete a CD. To me there is not a one weak song on the album.

Can you describe the music in New Generation?

Well it’s hard for me, in my generation it was either Hardrock or Metal, nowadays there is so many different labels on Metal that I don’t really know much about, but I’ve seen some reviews when they call us a Power metal band with some progressive influences. Personally, I see us as metal band that is extremely focused on hooks and melodies and the members are extremely skilled so it’s only naturally that the music gets intense and complex on some parts.

What is the feedback so far? Are you satisfied?

Yeah, the reviews and response so far has been really great! We’ll see when the CD is released if the potential buyers like it as well since that’s what it’s all about.

Are there any difficulties when five most experienced musicians come together to compose music?

I guess it can be, but at the same time when you’ve been around for a long time, everyone knows what to do and what is expected of them so it can be a really smooth ride as well, as long as no one creates a huge ego and wants push his own idea and not listen or compromise etc. But lucky for us we don’t have that kind of trouble in this band.

You have a MySpace personal page (www. myspace.com/bjornjansson and you make regular visits to the band’s forum, what is your relation to the internet?

Yes, I have a MySpace page and I also have been working as an computer consultant, so my computer and Internet relations is very good. I try to glance through music sites to keep me updated on what’s going on around the world.

Your voice reminded me of Jorn Lande. What are your personal influences?

Well I’ve heard that before but I think it’s mostly because we both have deeper voices and I guess we are around the same age and the same influences. Most of my influences are the old school singers, like Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale, Paul Rodgers, Robert Plant, Doug Pinnick to name a few, but I also have a lot of influences from LA west coast and AOR there is so many great singers out there.

What is the latest news from the BEYOND TWILIGHT camp?

To be honest I don’t know, I left almost one year ago and we have no contact at all, although we are not enemies. It was only my decision to leave since there was really no point or even possibilities to stay in the band since they spend money from their own pocket to record the albums and in the age that I am I need to provide for my family, that’s the reality.

Did you feel any pressure when you were chosen to take Jorn’s place?

Hmm, yes of course, he’s a really great singer and I wasn’t sure that I would have accept the offer even if it would have handed to me, since Jorn also were in BEYOND TWILIGHT it could have taken a weird turn, I mean me being the guy who always take over after Jorn, and the other thing is when a singer leave the band, it’s extremely easy for the band to lose its fan base. I have a hard time to see how any singer will do a better job in MASTERPLAN than Jorn.

Where do you prefer to be, in studio or on stage? And why?

For simple reasons right now I prefer studio since I have so much more experience as a studio session singer, it’s been a long time since I’ve been on stage. But on the other hand it will be really funny to go on tour in November with RIDE THE SKY

Have RIDE THE SKY been on stage yet?

No we have not, and I actually think we will wait until the tour with SONATA ARCTICA starts in 31 October. And we are very anxious to show people what we can perform live.

What are your tour plans? (will you make a pass from Greece?)

Unfortunately there is no dates for Greece at the moment, here is the confirmed tour dates so far:

31.10.2007  STOCKHOLM Arenan (SE)01.11.2007 OSLO Rockefeller (NO)03.11.2007 GOTEBORG Lisberghallen (SE) 04.11.2007 LUND Mejeriet (SE)05.11.2007 HAMBURG Markthalle (DE)07.11.2007 KOLN Live Music Hall (DE)08.11.2007 STUTTGART LKA (DE)09.11.2007 PRATTELN Z7 (CH)10.11.2007 KAUFBEUREN All Kart Halle (DE)12.11.2007 LONDON Carling Academy (UK)13.11.2007 PARIS Elysee Montmatre (FR)14.11.2007 LYON Transbordeur (FR)16.11.2007 MADRID Heineken (ES)17.11.2007 BARCELONA Razzmatazz II (ES)19.11.2007 MAILAND Alcatraz (IT)20.11.2007 BUDAPEST Petofi Hall (HU)21.11.2007 WIEN Planet Music (AT)23.11.2007 SAARBRUCKEN Garage (DE)24.11.2007 ANTWERPEN Hof Ter Loo (BE)25.11.2007 TILBURG 013 (NL)26.11.2007AMSTERDAM Melkweg (NL)

Ok Bjorn thank you for your time.

Thanks for taking interest in RIDE THE SKY I hope the readers at least give the CD a listen, if you like metal with strong melodies?  I think New Protection could be something you will like? Stay tuned.



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