Heart of Steel: Interviews

MarbleArch-pic1.jpg (29110 bytes)
Interview With Marble Arch
Interview By Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Cindy at Century Media Sweden for the promo pictures of the band

The following is an email interview with guitarist Martin Boman of the band Marble Arch about their brilliant debut album “Another Sunday Bright,” and what the band is up to now.

How long have you been playing before you started Marble Arch?

Marble Arch was formed in 1994 under the moniker Evercry, and the first time I picked up my old acoustic guitar was sometime around 1993. About that time, Niklas and I came up with the brilliant idea to start a band.



How do you guys know each other? How is the music scene in Bollnäs Sweden, where you grew up?

MarbleArch-pic2.jpg (20442 bytes)Bollnäs is not so big and we all knew each other before we started playing. And if you are into music in a small city, then its not so hard to get some similar friends. I remember the first time me and Niklas met: We were trading skateboard wheels -   can you imagine? Then we started to play guitar together. And later on Johan started to play bass. That was ages ago, but we will all remember that time. We had another drummer at that time but he didn`t want to play our kind of music. So we “took” Petter (drums) from our pals who were playing next door to us, and from there on we go. The music scene in Bollnäs is very great. For being a small city, (around 25,000 citizens) there are a lot of bands playing there. And the interest of playing is big and most of the bands are playing Hard rock, Metal, Punk, and lots of them are really great. Two big bands from Bollnäs to mention would be Lefay and Tad Morose. And its also amazing that there are so many metalheads in that city.



Why did you move from Bollnäs?

Well, we all wanted to develop ourselves and me personally - I really needed that. I started to travel (Brazil , India) and I wanted to see and feel the world around me. And then to come back to a small city where the time stands still really killed me. The rest of the band felt the same way and we all moved out from Bollnäs for studies and work. To be stuck in the same world can be a problem later on if you don't know the world around you. But we are all different and have different opinions which are great. We now rehearse in Gothenburg and we like that a lot, and it feels that we got a fresh new kick. To get a distance from your normal life can be necessary and help you out from common paths in life.



Why is the band called Marble Arch? What does it mean?

MarbleArch-pic3.jpg (20969 bytes)Marble Arch is a subway station in London. It has a historical background from the war. The funny part is that after a rehearsal once - during the time we wanted to get another name for Evercry - we went to a movie and on the way there I was singing silently to myself the Jeff Buckley cover “Halleluja” done by Leonard Cohen. Niklas had just arrived from London a few days earlier. In “Halleluja” he sings about Marble Arch and Niklas just told me that he liked that Subway station name, and I was about to sing “..marble arch” out loud, so we looked at each other and thought that Marble Arch would be a great name for us. The rest of the band also liked it. We also think that Marble Arch is a timeless name. You can`t really put a genre on it and that is also what we want.



Who is the music/lyric writer? Where do you find inspiration for the songs?

We do the music together. Mostly Me, Niklas and Johan comes up with ideas and then we work from there, which is necessary. We are all involved in the music we write and if without any member in the band, we wouldn't sound like we do. We put out feelings into it and that makes it all! Lyrics for “Another Sunday Bright” are written by Niklas, Me and Johan, and reflects mostly our opinions of life: how reality can feel when all you want to do is to lay down and close your eyes a little bit longer. Look at yourself and ask yourself if you are really satisfied with what you are up to. About how you are going to solve things in different ways. Sometimes all you want to do is to flee.. but would it help? The lyrics are very personal.



Why did you choose to record the album in Astia studio, and why did you choose Ansi Kippo as the producer?

MarbleArch-pic4.jpg (31447 bytes)We listened to some stuff that Ansi has done and we really liked it. And to spread our ideas with Ansi felt good. He liked our ideas and so on. He has done some great stuff with other bands and he is a great person as well. And we are all very satisfied with the result. Its very important to work with someone you like and with someone you can trust. And Ansi is very patient and has a universe of music inside his head. And to record the album in Finland was an experience.



Why did Johan quit playing bass, and why does he only sing now?

Johan is great bass player but he felt that he had to choose between playing bass or singing. And of course he chose singing. To concentrate on just one thing can be a good opinion and he wanted develop his way of singing.



How did Tanja Laino from Lullacry end up on background vocals on the record?

We talked about having some female background vocals and Ansi has worked with Lullacry and knows the guys; they are Finnish as well. So he contacted Lullacry and they sent some material with her singing and then she stopped by to put some background vocals. And her voice really worked on our music and it gives a special touch to it.



How would you describe your music? What kind of music do you play?

This is one of the most difficult questions. I would say some kind of dark rock with different touches from different ways. Sometimes atmospherical rock, but also sometimes very dry, dirty and close. I compare our music to life and stuff that develops. I would say “timeless rock.”



What do you think about the debut “Another Sunday Bright”? Are you happy with the CD? Any favorite songs on it?

MarbleArch-pic5.jpg (19538 bytes)I think that “Another Sunday Bright” is our way to express ourselves about the life we are leading, and about the reality we actually are in. We are all very satisfied with the work we`ve done on “Another Sunday Bright”. I like the cover a lot! It tells something - something that maybe all of us can relate to. It also shows our music, in a way. I can`t pick out a favorite song from the album because I like them all. But “For Real” has always been one of my favorites. I like the melody and the feeling in it.



When and where are you going out on tour? Will there be any live gigs in Sweden?

No tour is planned at this moment, but we will play some shows in Sweden. For more information about that, check our website at www.marblearch.nu



What do you like to listen to when you’re at home?

There is so much music that I like. I like bands who are doing their own thing. But indeed I am a true rocker. I mean when I was younger I loved metal bands, like Helloween, Savatage, Candlemass, Queensryche and stuff like that. I like them a lot now also and I do buy records. But somewhere in me I opened up another way of music some years ago. There are so many great bands on this planet. So much great music, but rock for me is the way of life. My absolute favorite band right now is the Canadian trio The Tea Party. I like bands who put “world music” into darker rock. The old English rockers The Mission has also done some great records, and so has Stabbing Westward. Open minded musicians often do great music. I like Indian music (since I spent 2 months in India) and I play a lot on my Sitar, so maybe there will be some weird sounds on the future Marble Arch albums. haha!



What reactions have you gotten from media and fans about the debut?

We´ve got really great reactions from people who have bought and heard “Another Sunday Bright.” They like what we are doing and even if you are not into dark rock - people like it. And that feels great! So, I do hope that we will open up some unheard ears!



When does the follow up come? Do you have any new songs ready for a follow-up CD?

There is not a “follow-up” scheduled yet because “Another Sunday Bright” has just been released. But we are already trying out some new stuff, and I can tell you that the “follow-up“ album won’t disappoint you if you like “Another Sunday Bright!”



What do you think about hard rock in the new millennium? Does it have a future?

MarbleArch-pic6.jpg (24602 bytes)I do believe that hard rock has a big future. Hard rock is not a “fly” - it is a lifestyle - something that you don't stop with. Hard rock is “true music” in my ears, and it is really necessary! There have been a big development in hard rock music: the new “nu-metal” (editors note: AKA MALLCORE since it's NOT metal), which maybe is not my style but anyway,  have done something to hard rock/metal. It’s a new thing that has come even though it has been around for awhile. Who knows how long it will last? Rock is important and I think that a lot of people these days need it more and more. I mean the world today is really a mess and people often feel that rock is true and that they can relate to it, at least that’s my opinion.



Is there anything you would like to say to the fans?

I hope that “Another Sunday Bright” gives you placid moments. It is more than just music. Be true to yourselves and I really hope to see you around!


Band Website: www.marblearch.nu