Interviewed by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Stefan at Zink Music for setting up this interview
Thanks to Frontiers for the promo pictures of the band
Michelle Meldrum is the bandleader and founder of Meldrum who have recently released their second album. This is the first time Meldrum has been interviewed in metal-rules.com so here comes a shorter interview surrounding their new album and what the band are up to.
Hi Michelle, nice to talk to you, how are you today? Are you ready to answer some questions about Meldrum?
Always ready to talk about the gang of wild hoodlums…
First of all let’s talk about your new album BLOWIN UP THE MACHINE that recently was released. When did you start to work on it and what can you tell us about it?
The songs were actually written over a period of time, we had about 40 songs to choose from and these were the ones we felt represented us best at this time and fit together best.
Why has it taken you so long to follow up you debut album that came 2001?
During that time we toured extensively with Motorhead, Black Label Society as well as some other bands like Nashville Pussy, Danzig, and Sepultura. We also wrote and recorded a shit load of songs and I’m sure you will be hearing some of those songs on our next cd….There were some business decisions that prevented us from moving forward in the recording end of it but all that’s over and done with and we are here to kick some ass!!!
What have you been up to in between the releases?
Besides touring, writing and recording ourselves I also managed to have a lovely son Jake Thomas Norum who is totally awesome….the best thing to ever happen to me!!! He has already been in the best studios in the world and toured with Motorhead, BLS, Sepultura and more!!
Fredrik Haake who played drums on the debut is no longer in the band. What happened?
He just wasn’t the right dude for the band and it has worked out for both sides fine, and he was not a main writer it did not affect us.
Gene Hoglan is taking care of the drumming on the new album, is he only a guest musician or is he a permanent member?
Gene and I had our first band together when I was 14 and him 15. He is a great friend and will play on our next cd and will tour with us as much as possible.
Who’s going to take care of the drums in a live situation?
If Gene is available Gene, if not we have awesome Gene approved drummers on both sides of the globe ready to go!!
You have produced the new album together with band members Holmsten and Stahl, what’s it like to produce your own album, isn’t there a risk of being “blind”?
Absolutely but we tried our best not to be and we knew the songs so well and how we wanted them to sound so we thought it was a good idea. We also had a lot of great feedback from other people like Toby Wright and Gene Hoglan as we recorded…We are happy with the outcome.
You have changed label to Frontiers Records now, how come? And how is it to work with Frontiers Records?
Frontiers is great and very nice people, they really believe in the band and are super supportive.
With the thought that Frontiers only releases melodic hardrock and melodic rock, do you think that this label is a good home for Meldrum?
So far so good!!
Why did you end the co-operation with your old label Record Heaven Music?
We were not bound to them at all so it was a one album deal…
The legendary Lemmy guests on one song, how come he ended up on the album?
I met Lemmy back in the Phantom Blue days so around 1989….the other girls met him at a gig we did at The Sweden Rock Festival in 2002, and we got to be good friends toured with them and continued touring for 5 tours !!!! Lemmy was a big Phantom Blue supportor and I am happy to say a big MELDRUM supporter as well…
Have you read any reviews in the media about the album? What have the media to say about it?
Most reviews have been very good and or above average I am happy to say. You can never please everyone but we are real happy with the response.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Meldrum plays?
I would say a metal band with elements of classic rock like Sabbath and Zeppelin, etc… Testosterone driven in your face metal!!!
Why did you name the album BLOWIN UP THE MACHINE? Does it mean anything special for you?
It can be taken in many ways but we like to think of it as doing our own thing blazin’ our own path regardless of what is goin’ on in the world or the music industry…
The bio states that Meldrum is the next big thing in rock, what do you think of that?
Wow that is flattering….
Who’s done the cover artwork and does it have any special meaning? What do you think of it?
We love the cover Robert John and Billy White of Fused Arts did an amazing job and we love em for it!!!
But there is no special meaning again it can be taken in a few different ways, let your imagination run wild!!!
Are you happy with the outcome of the album or is there anything you’d like to change or would have done different now that you look back on it?
There will always be a few things like, the vocal could have been louder or that harmony a little lower but over all we are super happy!!!
Where in the world have Meldrum got its biggest fanbase do you think?
Last year we toured Germany with Motorhead and we sold a lot of cd’s and merch and the response was amazing but also when we toured with BLS in the states we got an amazing response….I would say the US and Germany !!
What do you think of your debut album LOADED MENTAL CANNON now that you look back on it?
It was an album that was recorded before Moa our singer actually joined the band so we had not developed as a band. It was a good cd and a stepping stone and we got a lot out of it but we the new cd is a better representation of us as songwriters and a band…
Why did you name the band after you?
It was actually not my idea, we trying out names and the members at the time proposed it and it stuck!
What tour has been your favorite one to do so far?
That’s a tough one, we have done some good ones, and I would say the US Black Label one and the German one with Motorhead because the response was so amazing on both…
You and your husband John Norum (guitar in Swedish band Europe) moved to Sweden from USA a few years ago, do you still live in Sweden and can you talk any Swedish by now?
We never planned on moving there and we have a place on both sides of the globe. We went there to tour and we stayed a little longer than planned. I like to think I get the best of both worlds, sometimes it’s nice to escapes the dark winter in Sweden and nice to escape the superficiality’s of LA, and the plastic faces and people…I am fluent in Swedish and Swedish massage!!!
During the time when Meldrum hasn’t been active what have the members been up to then?
Well we always keep ourselves busy; we have already written 13 songs with Gene Hoglan for the next cd we have a song written with LEMMY. Also we have done 5 tours with Motorhead 3 with BLS on our first cd so we never sit around…..we love to do what we do. I also have a 2 ½ year old….
Are there any plans on going out on tour now that the album is out?
Yes in the fall …
You have toured quite a lot with Motörhead during the past years, how come? Is it fun to tour with the guys?
They are amazing to tour with and treat us great. They have an amazing road crew….The crowds are awesome….We have been so lucky to tour with BLS and Motorhead 2 bands we love and we love the people they are and the music and crowds are a good fit, we have had some great mentors and support !!!
When can we expect the next Meldrum album out in the stores?
The plan is fall 2008…
Name three reasons why we should buy the new Meldrum album?
I’ll give ya more than 3 Kick ass songs and playing, Gene, Lemmy, and Tits and ass!!!
Finally, I’d really like to thank you for answering my questions; do you have any words of wisdom for the fans and readers?
Thanks for the support, Go out and get your copy of “Blowin’ Up The Machine” and Stay Hard!!!
More info about the band
Read the CD review of the band’s new album here