Heart of Steel: Interviews


Interview With Jamie Salazar
Interview and pictures by Anders Sandvall

 Jamie Salazar is the Swedish drum legend of the same high class as Anders Johansson who has played on Opus Atlantica, Bad Habit, Pete Sandberg’s solo albums, Midnight Sun and Last Tribe, among others. He is now laying the drums for Last Tribe's third album. I met him live in Mamö, Sweden to talk to him about all things he has done over the years.


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When did you start playing drums?

I started at the beginning of the 80’s when I was 14 years old.



What was the first band you’ve played with?

I played in a school band.



Have you worked with other stuff earlier before you could support yourself as a professional musician?

Yes, I have worked in a restaurant, I have been an assistant teacher amongst a lot of other stuff.



When could you support yourself as a musician?

In the middle of the 90’s.



Do you only play drums or do you write material as well?

I don’t write any major material for others but I add a bit drum fills here and there.



What do you listen to private?

Right now I’ve listen to a lot of Elton John’s greatest hits.


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Do you have any drum idols?

A few that I’ve looked up to are the drummer in Police and the drummer of Jimi Hendrix.



You have mostly only played on hard rock albums, have you played any other kind of music on album as well?

A non-hard rock album I’ve played on are Sofia Loells debut album.



What was you’re favourite album to record?

All of the things I have recorded have been great to do, there’s nothing that I’m less satisfied with.



In how many bands are you a permanent member in right now?

Between 4 or 5 I think, some of them are Sofia Loell and Last Tribe.



If I say that you’re a living drum legend, how do you comment on that?

I thank you very much for the compliment.



Have you always been a studio musician or have you been out on tour playing?

No, I haven’t been strictly a studio musician, I’ve been on the road as well with the Flower Kings and Bad Habit.


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Why have you worked so much with singer Pete Sandberg throughout the years?

Because we get along real fine together and he calls me up when there’s things he want me to play on.



Are you satisfied with you work on Pete’s new album “Opus Atlantica”?

Yes I’m very pleased, but I don’t think that the sound of the drums is so good in my opinion.



If there’s going to be a follow up on Opus Atlantica are you going to play on that?

I’ll hope it’s going to be a follow up and I would like to participate on that one as well.



What do you think of Pete as a singer?

He has a very good voice, he’s really professional and he is really good to work with in anyway possible.



What about one of your old bands Bad Habit, are they still alive?

There’s not so much going on with them at the moment but they are still alive.



Why does it take so long time between Bad Habits albums?

First of all I don’t have any contact with the other guys in the band and second there’s no market for that kind of music right now.


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You are also involved in Last Tribe, how did you end up there?

Through one of the members of one of my old bands, Midnight Sun, Magnus Karlsson.



I think that the last album with Last Tribe “WITCH DANCE” was amazing, what do you think about it?

I think that it has good tunes and Richard sings really good on the album.



What do you think of Magnus Karlsson as a guitarist?

He is very good at what he does, he has the potential to be a guitar hero for the kids who starts to play now.



If Opus Atlantica or Last Tribe were going on tour would you go out with them?

Absolutely, but I don’t think that is going to happen.



You are also playing with Jonas Reingolds new band Karmakanic, “ENTERING THE SPECTRA” what do you think of Jonas work on that album?

I think it’s fantastic, very interesting music, Jonas has got a lot of good ideas and the album has a really good sound picture.


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You have also worked a lot with Jonas through the years, why?

Because we are friends and we like the same kind of music.



Do you have any plans on what album you’re going to play on during 2003?

I’m going to play on the next Sofia Loell album and maybe I will play on the follow up to Karmakanic.



Do you have any other plans for 2003 as a musician?

I know certain things I’m going to do but the whole year is not planned yet.



Who has been the nicest one to work with through the years?

Everyone I’ve worked with trough the years have been real nice.



Why did you quit in The Flower Kings?

I had a friend who worked in a studio who knew Roine Stolt, the singer of The Flower Kings, and I got a request if I would like to join them, I played with them for 7 years and I quit because of some personal differences.



Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?

Buy all of the albums I’m playing on, if you already have them then I thank you for your support.

I also would like to say thank you to Premier because they have the nicest looking and best drums in the world.



Thanks you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you Anders.