XsavioR is a new band/project with the well known Swedish vocalist GŲran Edman as a front figure. GŲran has been involved in several groups/projects and albums throughout the years and this summer saw the release of the debut album by Xsavior as well as the new Brazen Abbot album MY RESURRECTION. Later this year comes another album with GŲran behind the mic, thatís Richard Anderssonís new album THE ULTIMATE ANDERSSON COLLECTION. Iím a big fan of GŲran and of course I took the opportunity to interview him.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Stefan at Atenzia records for the promo pictures of the band.
Hi GŲran, whatís up? Would you like to tell the readers a bit about what you have done within the music scene through the years, you have done quite a lot.
Itís so many bands and projects so there is no point mentioning them all but to make a long story short. I guess Y Malmsteen is what I īm mostly been recognised for.
For a while I used to work in the metal field but lately I have slided into more melodic fields such as AOR (Street talk, Kharma) Westcoast (Crossfade) and progressive rock of course such as Karmakanic and lately XsavioR. I guess Glory was my first attempt to go Progressive but not the right timing though. Important to mention is also Brazen Abbot and a long record of albums that goes way back.
I did not plan to go back to the neo-classic style but Richard Andersson managed to convince me to collaborate on his latest album "The Ultimate Richard Andersson CollectionĒ.
The first album you sang on was the Madison album DIAMOND MISTRESS from 1984, what do you think of it today and what was it like to record that album?
Well you know the first time is always magical. High expectations for the future and hungry for success. I do not regret the album but today I feel more mature if you see what I mean ... still hungry though.
I think you are one the most respected and gifted singer in Sweden today, what do you think of that and do you have any favourite singer that you look up to?
I have no comments Itís all a matter of taste anyhow but I appreciate you saying so. I do not feel that I'm recognised in any particular way especially not in my home country. The field Iím working in is far from commercial and is difficult to make a living in. Should I say impossible?
Favourite singers... well not in that way as having an idol and posters on the wall but still full respect and admiration. Stevie Wonder, Paul Rogers, Bowie, Peter Gabriel...etc
When did you first discover that you had a singing talent and how has your voice developed through the years? What made you focus on singing at the first place?
It's all coincidence really. One thing lead to another and suddenly you are aiming somewhere. It was not my intention in the first place to start a career as a vocalist. I had a friend who asked me to audition in a cover band. I was around 20. Quite late for being a beginner
My voice well...
The basic material is still the same but I guess I know better today how to use my instrument. What I like and do not like to do with it.
I think you have kept your voice intact because you sound just as good now as you did when you started out, do you have any trick to maintain your voice in such a good shape?
I guess the only trick is living healthy, get your sleep and take care of yourself. You can always train your voice and keep it in shape like you go to the gym.
Do you play any instruments or do you stick to singing?
Only singing, But making background vocal arrangements are almost like playing chords on a multi timbral keyboard. Lot of background vocals has become one of my trademarks Iím afraid.
You have recorded 26 albums if I have done my math correctly, which one have the best to be a part of?
Since I like progressive music from my heart XsavioR and Karmakanic feels closely related. But Iím also proud of my other projects. I do not want to mention any in particular Crossfade and Kharma though because of the vocal arrangements that Iím very proud of.
Do you write any music on your own?
I write lyrics and when background vocals tend to be so complex when you also have to come up with all the melody lines you can say that I write music on my own.I do not right for instruments though. My midi is not working
At the time.
How much touring have you done during all these year, you must have travelled several miles on the road, which tour have been most satisfying to do?
In the matter of fact the touring worth mentioning in my life was all for Yngwie and some with Madison and Norum.
Until last year when I made a short tour with Karmakanic In Europe. Fun.
Most of your albums have been progressive rock or hardrock, how come you chosed to stick to those genres?
Hardrock was coincident but progressive rock because I fancy that music so much. I grew up with it more or less.
Have you taken any singing lessons or are you self-taught?
I am self- taught . Ore perhaps you could express it that you learn by listening to others and by practice where you listen to yourself on different recording and then compare with certain
Influences. I think listening is the keyword.
You have worked with two Swedish guitarplayer that are considered being very egocentric, John Norum and Yngwie Malmsteen, how was it to work with them? Do you have any fun stories to tell us from when you recorded with them?
Not that I can think of right now , all I can say that it was an experience of my life. Especially working for Malmsteen.
Can you live on being a musician or do you have a regular job besides the music?
I have a regular job on the side as most musicians have.
No spare-time at all in other words. You could say Iím boring to live with. I feel sorry for the woman Iím sharing my life with.
Do you have any idea on which of the albums you have featured on that have sold the most?
Without doubt Yngwie Malmsteen and in Sweden John Norum.
Do you get any mail and letters from fans? What are the most common question you get by fans?
When will you do a solo album.
Do you get recognised by fans when youíre out on the streets?
Sometimes but most of the time not. I guess I have to show my ugly face on TV and in Media more frequently to make a change. Seriously fame is not a goal. Iím in it for the music.
How many bands/projects are you currently involved in?
Difficult question. 11 I think.
Can you tell us about Xsavior, which are the members, did you knew any of the guys from before, how you ended up in the band, if itís a band or a project?
It was during the recordings of Benny Janssons "Save the world" album we talked about making a progressive album Me ,Benny and Daniel Flores. I met Benny first during the recordings of Snake charmer .
Where does the band name come from and why did you call the band/project Xsavior?
It was an idea that the keyboard player Mathias Norberg came up with. Professor Xsavier from X-men Iíve been told.
Does Xsavior consists of a steady line up?
Well one for all, all for one.
Why the title "Caleidoscope" on the album, does it mean anything special?
Not in particular.
How long did it take to write the album, where did you record it, who did write the lyrics, were you a part of the writing process in any way?
I did write most of the lyrics and I recorded the vocals in my home studio. I spent 1,5 years now and then, sporadic with the arrangement. The album must have taken 2 years to finish.I think you can hear it. I took care of the melody lines and background vocals in general. The other members focused on producing backgrounds And Daniel mixed the album.
Whatís the lyric about?
Do you want me to right a book? My lyric are a bunch of associations with many angels and no straight line even if there is a main subject in the centre. Some lyrics are more ore less abstract , itís a mix between my life, the universe and fantasy. Makes no sense.
Whatís the thought behind the cover art-work, who has done it and what do you think of it?
Mattias Noren made the artwork. I like it but I have no clue
what it means... itís design so it does not have to mean anything...Just match the product as a suitable label.(There is a fly there so in a way it makes sense by connecting to our mascot Lex the fly).
It says that Xsavior have produced the album by yourself, why have done the production on your own and whatís the difference between being produced by a band member and a hired producer?
Hired producers that can make the difference are usually very expensive. When we had to finance this album out of our own pockets more ore less what would then be the point by bringing in someone who does not have a clue what we are trying to establish with so much talent in the band. From my own experiences I have learned that you get the best result by doing it yourself so. Saving money and having full control is the issue here I guess.
You have recorded the album in several studios, why?
I recorded the vocals in my own home studios controlled environment. Benny recorded the guitars in his home studio,The main studio for recording the background session was Sheep Valley studios that belong to Daniel and thatís where the album also was mixed in the end. The point is quite clear saving money and time. No travelling.
How come you signed on for Atenzia Records and are you content with the work the label have done regarding the album, by that I mean promoting etc?
We had to be realistic, but it is not satisfying to work with independent companies that have no budget ore time fore making a decent promotion when you have spent 2 years with an album as in our case. I know that Atenzia are doing as much as they can so...the alternative was doing it ourselves .
In the bio it says that you have your own studio, Edman Studio, would you like to tell us about that, where is it located and have any famous bands recorded there?
I have a home studio and the name of the company is Matilda Music, not Edman Studios.
I am the only one that have recorded there. Lets face it 10 square meters. One room. Not isolated .
It is not designed for session recordings. Itís perfect for me and my private work but not for rent.
Were all of the members gathered in the studio when you recorded CALEIDOSCOPE or did you do each part separately?
I sat alone in my home studio and no one really had a clue of what I was working on. That became a surprise.
Benny also produced his guitars in his controlled environment.The work was very divided for being such a complex production.
Have you read any reviews in media? What have the press to say about the album?
Most reviews has been positive. Not Burrrn though but I donít care. People who like progressive music seem to be very satisfied with the album. Burrrn are dealing with other fields in the topic.
Do you have any favourite track on the album? If so which and why?
Lex the fly would make a funny cartoon I think.
Is there any current plans on taking Xsavior out on the road?
Not at the moment. Benny is working on a new soloalbum I will sing and Daniel play the drums.
Where are the album released right now? Is it released world-wide?
It is released in Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany,Spain and Japan from what I know.
Do you know if thereís going to be more albums with Xsavior?
Personally I think that Xsavior plays well played progressive rock, how would you describe what kind of music you play?
I think this first album in many ways became very personal and original not pure progressive for the conservative fans but fresh in my ears with many unsuspected turns and a chance for me to develop different vocal characters I invented on the late Glory albums.
You are also member of Jonas Reingoldís, bass player in The Flower Kings, band Karmakanic, how did you end up in that band?
I met him at KB in MalmŲ and we talked about doing something together. The first album we recorded was Jonas Reingold "Universe" kind of more melodic hard rock oriented to please the Japanese audience album.
We both agree on that we where fed up with this music and next time he decided to go progressive under a new label that was Karmakanic.
What do you think of the two albums by Karmakanic and what do you think of your own efforts there?
I am very satisfied working with Jonas. He rights very inspiring material that are tailored for my voice and range. What more could I ask for. A great musician.
You also did a min tour with Karmakanic through Europe, how did the fans greet you? Was it fun to be on the road with those guys?
Oh it was the best event of last summer. Perfect weather.Surrounded by music freaks and the fans was very enthusiastic.Even if they where few and the venues was small.
If Karmakanic is going to make more albums are you going to participate on those as well do you think?
From what I have been told I will sing on the next album.I assume so and would be very disappointed elsewhere.
You are also one of the lead singer in Nikolo Kotzevís band Brazen Abbot, what was it like to work with Nikolo, did you knew him from before?
Back in the Glory days signed to Xtasy records (Ulf Wahlberg) What we both had in common and so he asked me to do an album for him that in the end became only 2 songs when I felt restricted by my main work for Glory.Like Jonas, Nick is very inspiring and itís always a challenge involved like the Nostradamus rock opera. Now he is working on a new rock opera That sounds very exiting.
You are featured on all of the Brazen Abbot albums, which one are your favourite one?
Nostradamus was a masterpiece even if itís not a Brazen Abbot it is Nick. Restless in Seattle is my favourite song as long as Iím concerned in my own partition.
Are you a steady member of BA or just a guest vocalist?
I guess Nick is the only steady member. He right everything except lyrics but he is still involved in a selective way.
What do you think of BAís new album MY RESURRECTION?
Oh fantastic. One of his best albums definitely.
Later this year are another of "your" albums coming out, THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION by Richard Andersson, how come youíre singing on his album?
He convinced me to be a part but I must say I felt a lot of doubts in the beginning. After so many years back to neo-classic Hmmm.
Do you sing on all tracks on that album? When and where was that album recorded?
From what I know I sing on all except one that is instrumental I might be wrong. I recorded the vocals in my home studio as usual. Where he recorded his stuff. Iím not so sure to be honest. You have to ask him Iím afraid.
What have GŲran Edman planned for the rest of 2005?
Street talk, Crossfade, Karmakanic, Nick Kotzevís rock opera Benny Jansson , Geff, Corin&Edman and others.
Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
Save the world from militant terrorist Muslim's
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks to you Anders.
Read the review on the CDīs with Karmakanic here
Read the review on the new CD with Brazen Abbot here
Read the review on the metal opera Nostradamus here
More info about the band