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Interview

Deutsche VersionInterview mit Lion's Share (10.07.2007)

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HH: Hi Lars! How are you?

Lars: Fine thank you! I'm in the middle of doing press to promote our comeback album Emotional Coma, mixed with playing some summer festivals, so I'm not complaining.

HH: Congratulations to Emotional Coma! I think it's a good album!

Lars: Thank you very much! Yeah, we are really happy and proud of it. It came out exactly the way we hoped for. Hopefully our fans will agree it was worth the long wait.

HH: How are the reactions up to now?

Lars: I would say even better than we dared to hope for. Both the old fans love it and we've been getting many new younger fans as well, so it feels fantastic. We are happy to be back again.

HH: What was the reason why we didn't hear from Lions Share in the last six years?

Lars: After the Entrance album and tour I was totally burnt out after taking care of everything regarding the band plus doing the album tour - album tour routine for over eight years. I hit rock bottom pretty much overnight and playing guitar wasn't fun anymore. Since I'm the owner of the name, I just told the other guys about my decision and that they should look for other bands to play with. Unfortunately it took a bit longer than I expected to get back the hunger to run a band on this level again.

HH: Who is the most responsible part for the songwriting?

Lars: For this album I wrote most of the music and vocal melodies. Patrik wrote all lyrics. After Sampo joined however he and I started writing a lot together, but I already had eleven songs when he joined in 2004. It usually starts with one of us having a riff. Then we sit down in my homestudio programming a drum machine and trying to finish off the music background. Sometimes we do it from start to finish and sometimes we are working on several songs at the same time going back and forth between them. You come up with something new and see were it fits best. When we have the music and arrangement done, I write the melody, show it to Patrik who writes the lyrics. We're a riff band so almost everything in our songs is based on riffs. We have no set rules about the songwriting though so as long as the song come out great, we don't vary who wrote it or in what way it was written. Sampo and I wrote so well together so we made another album as well in the more melodic hard rock style of bands like Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Gotthard, Kingdom Come etc. named Road To Ruin. We have Matti Alfonzetti (Skintrade, Jagged Edge), on vocals, Thomas Broman (Hughes Turner Project, MSG, Electric Boys) on drums. The debut will be out on Metal Heaven this fall.

HH: What's the idea behind the record title?

Lars: The title was picked from the songs we had recorded. We just looked at all titles and picked the one that fitted the best. Pretty much the same thing we did with Fall From Grace. In our case the hardest part of making a record is to come up with a title. This is probably why our first two records are called Lion's Share and Two.

HH: Is there any connection to the cover artwork?

Lars: Not really. It fits quite well.

HH: Unfortunately I don't have the lyrics to your songs, so what are your songs about? Could you please tell us something about each song?

Lars: I wrote most of the music to "Cult Of Denial" way back, but it wasn't until now that everything clicked. The lyrics are based on a true story where some teenagers spread the word on different chat sites they were going to kill themselves. Instead of trying to stop this madness other youngsters encouraged them to go ahead and actually do it.

"The Arsonist" was one of the last tracks we wrote for the album. We needed another fast track and together with "Clones Of Fate" this is the fastest Lions Share song ever.

Glen Drover from Megadeth was kind enough to record a guest solo for the title track "Emotional Coma". Great guy and killer solo. It's a cool tune, very doomy and epic. The brutal and the beautiful meet in this song in a metallic symbiosis.

Any fan of Judas Priest and Accept should feel at safe with "Clones Of Fate". This track is like a bullet train. Classic Heavy Metal the way we love it. It's a description of a future world's decay and chaos, where machines and technical monsters have taken over.

When Bruce Kulick was in town to do a Kiss Expo, he stopped by the studio and recorded two cool solos for "The Edge Of The Razor". Unfortunately he was not able to be here for the video shoot we did for it. I think this song is the link between our old records and the new one. This song could have been on any of our records from my point of view.

Respect for other people is gone and the ones who run the show are the drug lords. "Toxication Rave" is probably the closest we've been to thrash metal so far. We've been fans of bands like Megadeth and old Metallica for a long time, so I guess it was about time. I had fun recording the guitar solo since it's either dubbed or harmonized all the way through.

"Trafficking" is also a slightly new side to the Lion's Share sound. It's both aggressive and poppy at the same time. We are fans of bands like Rammstein, In Flames, Soilwork as well as the old school stuff so after blending all that stuff in our sick minds, this is what came out. The lyrics are about trading with human lives, humiliation and profit-thirsty pimps.

Inspired by the James Ellroy novel "Killer On The Road". It's about a mass murderer drifting around America killing people. "Bloodstained Soil" is the heaviest and most doomy song on the album. I'm a huge fan of Black Sabbath and Tony Iommis riffing style has had a huge influence on my way of writing since day one. In my book Mob Rules is the best album ever.

"Soultaker" was the first Lions Share song ever that Patrik sang on. I think we did another song that day named "TV Preacher", but we never found the time to finish recording it for this album, but Richard did his drum parts and the vocals are done as well. Again any fan of classic old school heavy metal should be at home here.

Another song that's based on a true story is "Hatred's My Fuel". It's a brutal story about a guy who killed his family and then ate them. We had some discussions if this song should be on the album or not. After playing all songs to different people we soon realized most of them thought this track had the best chorus on the entire album, so we kept it. I think it was the mixing engineer's favourite as well.

About a year ago we received an offer to contribute to an Angel Witch tribute and we soon agreed on "Sorcerers". This album got postponed but we had turned this track into a Lions Share song so it felt absolutely wrong not to include it on the album. Some time ago we had a listening session for journalists and many of the people there thought it was an original Lions Share song, which is like the greatest commendation we could get.

HH: What are you personal favourite songs on Emotional Coma?

Lars: I like them all (surprise!!). It differs from day to day but I always try to write an album instead of separate songs if you know what I mean? Hopefully people will put the CD on and play it all the way through. That's what we're hoping for at least. We try to make it like a journey where you pass different places and moods along the way.

HH: How did the cooperation with Patrik Johansson arise?

Lars: I heard an mp3 on the internet with Patrik right before his first album ever Space Odyssey was released in early 2003. I got in touch and he was an old fan of Lion's Share and liked the new stuff I was working on so we hit it off and he joined Lion's Share in 2003. To be able to work without the pressure from fans and media we decided to not go out with it officially though. We kept on working with the songs until we felt ready to start recording the comeback album. It was the same scenario when Sampo Axelsson joined a year later so we've had this line-up going for three to four years now and it's being going great.

HH: Who came up with the idea for the cover artwork?

Lars: We wanted a mascot figure like Iron Maiden's Eddie. A mascot that we can use for future covers, on shirts and other merchandise. This friend of ours, Robert had to do draft after draft until we were happy. I think it came out great though. We even made a 6x5m backdrop of it for live shows that looks amazing.

HH: Do you have any idols? What are your biggest musical influences?

Lars: I grew up with old school Heavy Metal and bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, Anvil, Angel Witch, Accept, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Queensryche. The reason I started playing in the first place was because of Kiss. They meant everything to me when I was a kid. I like pop too like Abba and The Beatles, I like AOR like Foreigner, progressive stuff, but also newer bands like Rammstein, Soilwork, Arch Enemy etc. Among guitar players I like Gary Moore during the 80s, George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Uli John Roth, Michael Schenker. Tony Iommi is of course the god of riffs. My favourite singers are Ronnie James Dio, Tony Martin, Jorn Lande, Russel Allen und Paul Stanley.

HH: What about your plans for the future? What do you want to reach with the band?

Lars: Keep on writing the kind of songs and making the kind of albums we would like to hear and buy ourselves. To continue to write from the heart no matter what trends are going on around us. Hopefully enough people will share our taste in music so we can continue releasing albums for many more years. For the nearest future we are in the middle of doing summer festivals in Sweden. We just did the biggest metal festival in Scandinavia, Sweden Rock Festival. Next we will play the Magic Circle Festival in Germany with Manowar and others. We'll also play Metal Heart in Norway with bands like Queensryche, Testament, Dimmu Borgir etc. We are also looking at different offers for a European tour this fall.

HH: Thanks a lot for the interview! Good luck to all of you! Do you finally want to say some words to the fans out there?

Lars: My pleasure! Thanks for supporting Lion's Share! Make sure to check out our homepage www.lionsshare.org for tour dates, news and other info. See you on tour!!

Andi

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