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Jordi Sandalinas (Sandalinas)

Interview with Jordi Sandalinas from Sandalinas
by Makis Kirkos at 12 May 2005, 10:11 PM

It's always a pleasure finding new bands out there, that have something really new to offer to our beloved music. Sandalinas is a Spanish/Swedish constellation which could easily fit as a promising act for the future. If you are looking for melodic Hard Rock / Heavy Metal anthems, then you should probably listen to their debut album, Living On The Edge, released through Massacre Records. Having a great singer to lead the way and well-experienced musicians, these guys prove that good music is a never ending process and that we can't run out of melodies. Grab a cold drink and read what they told Metal Temple Magazine via e-mail.

I know you guys might seem like a newcomer to the scene but truth is, you are not. So please, tell us a bit about your story and introduce the band.

Well, I’ve always been there for music. I started my piano studies and music reading when I was just 9 years old at the Conservatory of Music in Barcelona (Spain) and I’ve been working all my life involved with music matters of many kinds. At the age of 16 I changed my piano for an electric guitar when I listened to Adrian Smith’s \[Iron Maiden guitarist] way of playing. I was just 14 years old when I bought Iron Maiden’s Powerslave and Live After Death albums, and from there on my heart was sold to Heavy Metal. In 1992 I went back and forth from the United States to study guitar at New Milford’s NGSW, where I took lessons from Terry Syrek ( I also played in a lot of bands, I did Iron Maiden and Metallica cover versions with a band in the States and also was in lots more in Barcelona, where I’m actually living now. In 2002 I talked to Andy LaRocque \[King Diamond guitarist] and had him listen to some of my tracks, and slowly - but surely - Andy realized that the songs were really good.

Andy introduced me to Apollo Papathanasio \[vocalist, ex-Time Requiem, Meduza, Faith Taboo] and Daniel Moilanen \[drummer of Runemagick, Relevant Few and Notre Dame] and they both liked the songs a lot. Also, I brought with me two studio musicians from Spain: one of the best jazz players, Xavier Monfort, and a conservatory pianist, Narcís Palahí. With help from Niclas Rudolfson (engineer) and Stefan Ingelstrand (backing vocals) the wheels were put into motion. Daniel decided we weren’t able to give 100% to Sandalinas so we changed our drummer and Xavier \[Ex-Persephone drummer] joined the band. Sandalinas was also joined by Fran, a brazilian bass player from Kreatures, a Kiss tribute band in Brazil. He toured Brazil several times. Finally, Victor, a guitar player whom I had known for a lot of years and had played with him in several local bands in Barcelona, joined us. So the current line up is the following: Apollo Papathanasio (vocals), Fran Duarte (bass), Xavier (drums), Victor Casado and Jordi Sandalinas (guitars).

Living on the Edge… Are you?

Sometimes, I am. I’ve been Living on the Edge all my life, doing things that I was not supposed to do and being banned from every single one that surrounded me just because I was different from the others and just because I wanted other things than a normal life. Anyway, I don’t care about them anymore, I just care about my music and how good I’ve managed to get there.

Allow me to say your music sounds like a mixture of Hard Rock / Heavy Metal and AOR in the 00’s. Do you agree with this term?

It’s just plain music, good music offering different grooves. It’s Rock music, of course. It’s an album that’s open to everybody, which is really good. There are fast songs, middle tempo songs, ballads, everything in one album, it’s really complete, really tight. I don’t know what type of music this is; it’s Sandalinas 100%, man. It’s pure music, 100% Rock ’n’ Roll, heart and soul directed to claim your attention and willing to make you feel excited. The rest is up to you.

Ok, I have to ask this. Why did it take you so long to record this album?

It was not that long man, I just started writing songs in 2001 but I wanted to be sure I had great songs, I wanted to do it as good as possible. Anyway, I’ve always been there for music, so it was about time I made a good album and showed it to everybody.

How did you come in contact with Andy LaRocque?

I was looking for a great producer who could understand my way of playing and my questions related to the recording of the album. So, the quest was not easy at all. I was checking out studios around the world, like Hilversum (NL), where Iron Maiden recorded Somewhere in Time, Galaxy (Bel), where Manowar recorded also one of their albums and Top Beat Studios (L.A.) but Anders’ choice was the best so far. Not only is he a great producer but a guitarist and a great luthier (sic) and that’s where we’re going to record our next album in 2006.

Apollo is in top form and he sounds really fantastic. Where did you find him? (Is he Greek?)

No, he’s Swedish but his parents are Greek. He’s a great guy, and an excellent person. I met him because Andy suggested I joined efforts with him, In 2002 when I talked to Andy LaRocque, and had him listen to some of my tracks. Andy introduced me to Apollo Papathanasio who found the album to be really great.

Do you think you will be able to gain some airtime on the radio? I certainly believe your music is radio-friendly.

Thanks so much, my friend. Well, I hope so, I hope everybody is satisfied with the final result and I hope that all of them love the album as much as we loved recording it. It’s so great when you see that all the media support you and all the media care about you. I think that everybody loves the album and I would be delighted if I saw Living On The Edge up there, with the rest of the bands.

Are you satisfied with the result? Is there anything you would like to add or change or whatever?

I think it’s perfect the way it is. Andy did an excellent job and we’re really satisfied with the final result; no changes applicable.

What’s the world’s opinion so far?

I think it is too soon to reach to a final conclusion for it all. We’ll see how everything develops in the next months. We’ve also released the album in the U.S.A. through Nightmare Records and in Russia through Art Music Group. But as I say, it is too soon to make any final conclusion.

Could you please describe the song composing progress? How do you compose?

Well, I try to make it as easy as possible, I just let it flow and what comes out is what is finally placed in the album, it’s really easy. Therefore, Andy makes it so easy to record, he’s a genius and I love him for that, he’s really skilled, the best producer I’ve ever listened to, as good as Mutt Lange or any other you see out there.

Tell us a bit about each one of the songs. Just the main story…

I talk about experiences, feelings and anything true coming out of my heart. It’s pure music, 100% Rock ’n’ Roll. I talk about whatever comes to my mind, for instance Living On The Edge is a great song, the title track refers to how I do things, upstream, also All Along The Everglades is wild, powerful and rebel or The Day The Earth Died is environmental friendly. I don’t know, more or less it is like this. Then you have If It Wasn’t For You which refers to how sad I feel if it wasn’t for your stupidity. Then Follow Me. Follow Me talks about following someone to the limit of misery and is amazing how you can fall into bullshit when somebody treats you so bad. Heaven In You is much different, it talks about positive things, about a couple that broke up at first but, finally, they reunite together. Of course, there’s rocking songs like The Conqueror, which is an epic track and really powerful, it talks about defending everything you love and protecting everything you think is right.

Speaking about the cover, who designed it? I think it really suits the band’s name and the album name.

Me too, I think it is a great cover. Thomas Ewerhard designed both the logo and the cover. Thomas is the illustrator of Asia and Symphony X, so he’s really mastering everything he does. It can be interpreted in many ways, one of them that it represents a Babel Tower, the Biblical monument where all cultures collided and split up – or it could be seen as a lost Inca culture, standing in total solitude, just like those who are living on the edge.

You signed with Massacre Records. What do you think about your cooperation so far?

They are doing an excellent job so far.

How do you plan to promote your debut album? Are you shooting any videos?

Well, it depends on the label and how well and far they want to take the album. I think it’s great what they’re doing right now, but we’ll see what happens in a near future.

Any plans for a tour?

Yes, in July we’re doing the Spanish leg with Yngwie Malmsteen and Y&T.

Let me ask you some general questions now. Do you guys use the Internet? What’s your opinion about it in general?

Yes, I use Internet very often. If you’re referring to the P2P (file-sharing programs) technology, I think it depends on the way you use it. Anybody who’s got the album and loves it I think he’ll finally buy it, no question about it.

If you could jam with any musician, dead or alive, who would you choose?

Above all, Adrian Smith.

What’s in your pockets right now?

Nothing at all, I’m in Halmstad (Sweden) lying on my bed and finishing this goddamn interview… :-)

Tell us a funny story concerning the band.

Well, when I entered Anders’ studio for the first time I was so fucking scared that I forgot everything I wrote and I was playing during the last two years, so I told him could I please go to the toilet?. Then, in there, I tried to relax, to spend a while in there, and when I came out Andy looked at me in a weird way… So, everybody can imagine whatever you want to….:-)  

Ok, lets return to your album. Do you have any leftovers? If you do, are you planning to release them?

Sure, there’s a song called Battlefield Blues lying there, but now it’s too soon to tell.

I love Die Hard. I think it’s the catchiest tune on the album. Do you agree?

Yes, Die Hard is a really catchy track. It’s kind of different from the rest of the songs but it’s really melodic and really fresh, to me it is one of a kind.

How do you manage to sound so fresh?

Well, as I say sometimes, I only record songs when I have that feeling, I don’t want to push everything to the limit, that’s what makes Sandalinas fresh, no matter if I put the album out in ten years, I’m sure it would still sound fresh.

Are you going to work with Andy LaRocque in the future?

Sure, we are entering Los Angered in March 2006 to record our next album. Everything is tied up.

What can we expect from Sandalinas or is it too soon to ask something like that?

No problem at all. We can expect everything we want to, this is a band whose limit is the sky, and there are no boundaries at all, really, we will be the best band in the world.

Thank you very much for your time and tolerance. Please close this interview in any way you wish.

Well, thanks so much for your interest and your kindness, it’s been a pleasure to talk with you all and I hope we see you on tour, somewhere in time.


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