Band leader/guitarist/vocalist Conny Bloom and guitarist Martin Thomander – Electric Boys
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks Fernando Reis at Mighty Music/Target Group for setting up the interview
Thanks to Mighty Music for the promo pictures of the band.
Legendary Swedish rockers Electric Boys are back with a new album, UPS!DE DOWN. As a long time fan, I was really glad when I heard the guys were back. Since the release of their previous album (2018’s THE GHOST WARD DIARIES), original guitarist Franco Santunione left the band. Replacing him is former member ’90s era member, Martin Thomander. Also, since drummer Niclas Sigevall moved to the USA and the COVID-19 pandemic stopped him from travelling, Jolle Atlagic has sat down on the drum throne. Here’s a shorter interview with band leader/guitarist/vocalist Conny Bloom and guitarist Martin Thomander…enjoy!
Hi guys, I hope you’re doing alright in these strange times. Are you ready to kick off the interview..
The band released a cover single featuring two songs last year, what did media think of the release?
CB: I don’t know actually! We wanted to put something special out on Record Store Day for our fans and they seemed to dig it. The Joe Walsh tune was special since we were all singing lead for a laugh + it was recorded in Abbey Road.
Last year guitarist Franco Santunione left the band, was his departure expected and why did he leave?
CB: We had different opinions and the rest of us didn’t agree on a few important matters. We were all better off going in different directions.
Martin Thomander, who played on the FREEWHEELIN album replaced him. Was it hard to convince Thomander to join forces with you?
CB: I’m glad to say no because we didn’t want anyone else.
When did the band start work on material to the new (excellent) album UPSIDE DOWN?
CB: Some of the riffs and ideas had been around for a few years, some came up later before the recording. But we had all the songs and more when Martin joined so the focus then was to pick the best ones and then start rehearsing/ arranging.
Super God (Official Video)
The info sheet says that the album reflects the turbulent times of this year; is that correct? What are the lyrics on the album about?
CB: The whole album and also the song “Ups!de Down Theme” go through the emotions of the last year and the pandemic: how people act, how we have reacted, etc. Feelings of hope as well as hopelessness. What also reflects in the album is that the pandemic made us work harder staying creative and work faster.
I think UPSIDE DOWN has a lot in common musically with FREEWHEELIN, in terms of the more classic rock n’ roll music rather than your patented funk/metal music. What do you think?
CB: It wasn’t a decision we made but but when you say it like that, it makes sense. Martin’s back and the times are tougher which of course effects the songs.
Original drummer Niclas Sigevall isn’t playing on the album, since he lives in the USA. Was it too hard for him to travel to Sweden? How was it to record an album with Jolle Atlagic behind the drums?
CB: Yeah Niclas couldn’t make it here. Jolle is a trooper and has been with us pretty much since we reformed. In fact, he’s done many more gigs than Niclas has! What can I say, we have 2 drummers and they are both fantabulous.
How come you chose to open the album with a 7-minute instrumental piece?
CB: Because we liked it, simple as that. It just called for the opening spot as a theme to the album. Someone suggested “it could have been the last song”. Well yeah, but since everything is upside down, it would obviously have to be the opener.
UPSIDE DOWN is the third studio album since the re-launch of the band in 2009, do you think the band has evolved musically through the years?
CB: Yes I do. I really feel that some of the old songs have stayed great over the years, while some others don’t belong with us 2021. Thankfully, the Electric Boys sound to us, is not judged by what happened 30 years ago, but from what feels good and fresh NOW. It’s about developing and moving on.
Tumblin Dominoes (official video)
Martin, how much have you taken part in the songwriting process on the new album?
Martin: None this time really. When I joined there was a bunch of demos of songs already, it was pretty much choose the right ones for the album and rehearse a couple of times. Song-writing is what I like to do, and is very important. There’s already stuff coming up in jams, so lack of material is never gonna be a problem with this band.
I saw that the band have plans to tour Sweden &Norway in September, do you think that is possible with the current pandemic situation?
Martin: I hope so, but It depends on how many people have been vaccinated by that time.
Is the band going to play some songs from FREEWHEELIN live?
Martin: Yes, it feels very natural to play those songs again. And I hope people dig it when we play them at our shows.
Congratulations on the positive reviews you get on UPSIDE DOWN, does the band care about what critics and media writes about you?
Martin: Well it depends. Like, now we’ve got some good reviews and that feels great of course, but you can’t hang yourself up on what the critics says about you. You just gotta play what feels right to you.
Do you think that old hardcore fans of the band will like UPSIDE DOWN?
Martin: I think so, we had such a blast recording it, and there’s a lot of different flavors on this album. I think it came out great.
Good luck with the album and I do long to see you guys live on stage soon. Stay safe and healthy, do you have any final words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?
Martin: We are dying to go on the road and soon time will come. Rock & roll unites!