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Fireworks Magazine Online 73 - Interview with Naked

NAKED


Naked are a Swedish four piece and their debut album came out in 2003. And that was it, nothing more was heard from them until original band mates Peter Sundvall and Mats Stattin decided to get back together and write some new material. Ian Johnson speaks with Peter and Mats about the delay in making a new album, what drives them now and their new band members Tony Borg and Paul Logue.


Naked Interview

Your first album came out in 2003 I believe. Why has it taken so long for album number two to surface?


Mats: To be honest I didn't know if there was going to be a new Naked album.
It was a little bit turbulent after making the first album so we´ve kept a low profile. I hadn't talked to Tony in a few years when he suddenly called me up:
Hey Mats I have new table (mixing) now, do you wanna come up and record a couple of songs? Of course I answered and quite fast we had recorded three demos. Tony was very impressed by what we achieved and said to me: This is the future!

What have been the biggest musical changes you've encountered in the years between the debut and 'End Game' albums. Is it the recording process, the internet or something else?

Mats: I don't think there's been any big musical changes from the first album. I think the difference is that with this album we took our time (two years) to work it through. The first album had a different singer so it was produced and sounded a little bit more "sleezey" but 'End Game' with Peter at the microphone is much more what I think NAKED is all about.

The new album could I suppose be described as Melodic Hard Rock. Yet it's musical structures and the way the songs are arranged, give the whole album its very own strong identity. Was this how the band decided to write the album or how these songs turned out during the song writing process?

Mats: I can describe the song writing process like this: I present a skeleton to Tony and Peter. Tony begins putting on the lungs, the heart and muscles then Peter comes in and dresses it with a smooth skin and turns the body into a beautiful NAKED woman (laughs) I think the three of us have found a perfect way to combine our talents, And we're having a great time doing it! Also I think Peter is a great lyricist which adds to the flavour for those interested in lyrical content

Are the songs on the new album all new ones? Or are there songs and ideas left over from your earlier album that you have used?

Mats: There are no songs leftover from the first album. The songs on the new album were all written over a ten year period. Except "Victoria Avenue". Peter presented to me a demo that he wrote for his band XVII Days back in the old days. We listened to it and agreed that "Victoria" was a great song. I added some new guitar parts and Peter added some lyrics, wrote a new chorus and it turned out to be one of our personal favourites on the album.

I'd like to talk about a couple of the new songs, firstly the lead of track 'Silverthorn'. It has a real Kansas feel to it. It also has to my ears anyway an odd time signature and arrangement. What can you tell us about it?

Mats: Silverthorn was actually the first song we recorded. I really liked the riff even though it has kind of a backbeat in the verse. I asked Tony: Can we really use this riff? Hell yeah, he said, it's cool. Tony likes to work "outside the box"; If you don't try your ideas you kill creativity. When I played it to Peter for the first time he just looked at me and said "How the hell am I going to sing this one?" The song is a little different but I think it has a lot of rock 'n' roll in it.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

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Also please tell us about the wonderful Jennie Jahns and the ballad 'End Of Eternity' on which the two of you sing. Your voices really compliment each other

Mats: I had the idea of turning "End of eternity" into a duet from the beginning and I had met Jenny a few years earlier. She's originally from the same town as me and Peter. It was not written in stone but it turned out great.
Peter: I was also surprised at how well our voices complemented each other – there are parts when I cannot make out who is who! In addition to singing in her own show band, Jenny is a very talented voice actor, doing lots of voice over's for cartoons and Disney movies in Sweden.

Can you tell us about the band and how Tony Borg and Paul Logue get involved with Naked?

Peter: Well, Tony was involved in producing the first Naked album so there was a connection already. We have to thank our record company for hooking us up with the great Paul Logue. The original demos for 'End Game' were made using programmed drums. When Mikael Wikman added real drums, Escape felt there was a disconnection with the bass guitar. They sent the tapes to Paul and we spent three-four days sending files back and forth, and the result was just great. What a player!

Talking of Tony and Paul... they are two well respected and very busy musicians, so will Naked be able to go out and tour? Or will you have to form a band specially to do this?

Peter: Naked started out as a studio project with me, Tony and Mats but we have since put together a touring band, including Mikael on drums, Conny Payne (ex Madison) on bass and Mats Hedén (ex Weeping Willows) on keyboards. Paul is a very busy man and this was a pure session job for him.

With such a gap between albums is Naked now an on going thing and will you be recording albums on shall we say a more regular basis than before?

Peter: Well I certainly hope so! We have been getting a great response to this album so far and although the market place for new bands is not that great, we hope the sales will merit some outside financing for the next one. We have already laid down a new track in the studio, and we're working on some ideas.

With the new album out any day now, are you more excited now than you were when you released the debut CD, and if so why? What does making a new album in 2015 mean to you?

Peter: When Mats released the first CD, it was on his own label. This time we have a global distribution deal with Escape Music and we have already noticed the difference in reach and attention. Also, it doesn't hurt being associated with profiles such as Paul Logue, Pete Newdeck and Tony Borg. Personally I am much more excited since this is my recording debut! As for making an album in 2015, the market is not what it was back in the early 1980s: there is no guarantee whatsoever that you will be noticed, certainly not any guarantee that you will make any money to finance a second album – at least not on record sales alone. For us, this time around was a very enjoyable creative process and it felt important to get the final product out there – and into our hands. That has now been achieved. If others enjoy and embrace it, that will be a bonus!

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