Interview with Sulo – Vocalist & Guitarist
Interview by Kat Knite
Congratulations on the release of your new album, ‘Slap Bang Blue Rendezvous’! You’ve had many releases throughout the years but I’m sure the excitement lives on each time – how do you feel?
We’re all very flattered by the great reviews from all around the world. Rock ‘n’ roll is an old fashioned genre in 2022 and to release a 24 track double album may seem like a commercial suicide but we see it more like a stand.
So this is a double album – wow. Not many people making those these days! You must write a ton of songs – what really spurred the decision to release a full double album? Do you encourage young artists to take risks and follow their desires within the music industry game?
As I said, just because it’s out of style it encouraged us to go ahead with the project. And yes I write quite a lot of songs and if I remember it right we had 38 tracks to choose between at the start. Maybe we could’ve gone for a triple!
I believe that there’s no boundaries for young bands exploring rock ‘n’ roll today. I guess it never been but now it’s more important than ever to stick to your dreams.
Rock ‘n’ roll may be dead but it won’t lie down.
You are the main songwriter – what is the process like with the band, putting the songs together beginning to end? What is your favourite part of this and what is challenging?
I always start with the title. Without a good title you can’t make a great song.
Then I write the music and add the lyrics. I have no problems with letting the other members of the band arrange the songs and I’m more than grateful if a producer puts the finishing touch on it.
Songwriting is a beautiful art form – when do you feel most inspired and what kind of emotions does it invoke in you? Do you feel equally as alive when writing as performing?
It may sound strange but I write something every day. Usually in the morning. It can be a chorus, a catchy line or a riff. The I’ll put it together on an easy demo and send it to my publisher.
During the pandemic my publisher received 387 songs and over 100 of them was properly released by other artists and my own projects.
I love writing songs but I also love performing live. Think I need both to be fully satisfied.
What artists and bands inspired and influenced you most as a kid? Is there a memory from your very young days that stands out as the moment you realised – “this is what I want to do”?
I’m a punk kid and grew up with the British punk explosion. My first real love was The Clash. I believe that “London Calling” really pushed me down the right path.
Then I went backwards discovering Rod Stewart, Slade, Mott The Hoople and the rest of the fantastic sound of the British 70’s
The group disbanded in 2015 after the death of your sax player Mats Magic Gunners in 2014, but reunited in 2019 – how did this reunion come about? How has the band felt together since then?
We released “Quitters & Complainers” and went out on tour to honor the memory of Magic but it just wasn’t the same without him so we decided to call it a day.
During our absence many fans kept sending mails and begging us to come back ‘cos there wasn’t any rock ‘n’ roll bands left. I don’t know if that’s the truth but it made us change our minds.
That we’d done something that made a big difference for all these people got us back on track.
Is there a memory of recording that stands out, or a particular track you had the most fun on and why?
The work with the double album was massive and producer Tomas Skogsberg (Hellacopters, Backyard Babies etc) really guided us through.
He’s a big Beatles fan and always wanted to do his own “White album” so it became his baby as much as ours.
I enjoyed most of the time in studio but I can’t pick a special song I’m afraid.
You’ve worked with many musicians in your career. As of today, is there anyone you dream of working with?
I wouldn’t say no to sing a duet with Rod Stewart and I still believe I could write his best album since 1974 “Smiler”.
You are based out of Stockholm but have said Spain is like a second home – what do you love most about Spain and how does the rock scene differ in these two places?
Spain are probably the most rocking country in Europe. Their lifestyle and attitude goes very well together with rock ‘n’ roll. Sweden is more of a listening audience and not as loose as the Spanish.
What is your favourite place in the world that you’ve visited and/or played?
Bilbao in Spain and Glasgow, Scotland.
On a slightly different note… I noticed the cover for the album was very well made, with a bold yet classic look. Who created the artwork?
It’s done by artist Charlie Granberg who also is the singer of the Swedish band Hellsingland.
Do you have any plans to tour if it’s a possibility in the near future?
Yes, the tours are getting booked and we’re off to Spain in September and then it’s a full UK tour just getting set.
One last question I like to ask – tell me the craziest story from your days in the music industry… something you can share on the internet!
There’s many crazy things that definitely not should be on internet. We’ll we played a gig in London and on the last song I was guested by Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) and Chris Wilson (Flaming Groovies) and after we had a afterparty in the dressing room when a sharp dressed gentleman came in to thank me for a great gig.
I thought he was working in the bar so I kinda ignored him until he shook my hand and introduced himself as John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).
Thank you again so much for your time, Sulo! I’m wishing you all the best times with your band and your music this year. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Hope to see you all at some jumping joint down the road!