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In Words: ColdSpell

- Michael Larsson - March 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© ColdSpell

Michael Larsson - March 29th 2011 (by email)

ColdSpell just released a new album, their second. With their 70's / 80's-influenced hard rock they keep the past alive but in a nowadays sound. Thanks to guitarist Michael Larsson for enlightening us!

You started ColdSpell in 2005. When did you first think about starting what then became ColdSpell? And why did you choose this name?

I guess the thoughts of doing this have been around since the late 90's, but after finding the right people and the timing was right ColdSpell was formed! I thought the hard rock scene have improved a lot since the mid/late nineties and it was worth give it a try. Think its a name that fit us perfectly when we live up here in the cold north of Sweden, but it also sounds great.

In 2009 your debut Infinate Stargaze was released. Your debut was well received, did you feel under pressure?

Well, it is certainly not easy to follow up with a new album when we did get all that awesome feedback on the first one, but I somehow knew that this one will be a good one too. I mean its the same kind of melodic hard rock, the same songwriter and the same Tommy Hansen that is doing the mix. So it can't be wrong, haha! But to be honest I knew that the expectations will be huge for his new album.

You have a new rhythm section.... What happened? Did you new the new ones already? Or have you done auditions?

When we started planning on doing this new album the drummer and bass player realized that they did not have the time to do this ColdSpell thing with all that it takes, so they left the band during the spring 2010. Auditions where not necessary, I did call my 2 old friends from Uppsala that I played with when I use to live there. They said yes right away and I must say that these 2 guys have made this band to a much happier, more solid band and they sure are amazing dudes with tons of experience over the years!


When did you start writing? Are you the main songwriter? Or is it a band effort?

Some of the songs and ideas have been around for a while, but I started to put it all together in Feb. / March 2010, did have about 25 songs to pick from, but I think that the 12 songs on the new album sure do complement each other. I'm the main songwriter, but I co-write some lyrics with others and Niclas did the lyrics for 2 songs. But every one contributes with their own touch and everything when it comes to the recording procedure. I think its important that everyone gets to put their own personal touch on those songs.

How important is the Hammond sound for ColdSpell? And what makes the sound of the 70's / 80's special for you?

That Hammond sure do means a lot and it definitely gives a special touch to our sound, I guess it has to do with the fact that bands like Deep Purple and Whitesnake meant a lot. If I get the best from the seventies it will be the groove and the great sound, them guys sure did know how to play, and from the eighties that huge sound with big choirs.

Which bands influenced you when you started playing music? And which of your old heroes do you still follow?

When I started playing I did listen a lot to bands like Purple, Rainbow, Sabbath, Van Halen, Whitesnake. I guess almost all of them are still rocking and that is pretty amazing. Whitesnake is a band that still after so many years and albums, still delivers true classic hard rock at its best!

The track list sounds familiar, but the songs aren't the one you might think of... What inspires you lyrically?

I guess, its not that much sex, drugs and rock'n'roll lyrics, its more of this things that's going on in this world of ours, about life in general. The track Heroes is some sort of dedication to our little ones – our kids, they sure are the future and what kind of world are we creating for them?

Ian Haugland is doing a guest appearance on your album. How come?

He is a good friend of mine, Anders and Perra, so it felt right to have him doing one song on the album and I think that song is almost made for him. He sure hit those drums on that song, hard and heavy! Haha.

Tommy Hansen took care of the mix, never change a winning team?

Haha! That's true, why change that! I was so pleased with the job he did on the first album, so I really could not think of anyone else doing the mix for this second album.
I think we have a good collaboration and speaks the same musical language and he did just what I wanted with this new album. It has this bigger sound and is a bit heavier and that was just what we needed.

You did a video for the album opener Heroes. Why this track? Please tell us a bit about the video shooting!

Oh well, that video shooting did not take more than, I guess, 4 hours to do. We did that one with Ronny Hemlin that also did the video for the song Night Falls! We all did think that Heroes was a song that really show who we are and it has that groove and a great chorus too. We are about to do a new one in a while so we see what song we will come up with – maybe Time!

You just got 'best selling album in February 2011' on NEH Records... I guess, that was quite a surprise... Especially as you left some big names behind you. Do you feel honored? Encouraged to keep going?

Yeah, I think that sure was a killer, haha. I mean look at those artists and bands that are on that list – I'm still so thrilled about that! And of course I feel honored and it sure shows that we have some amazing people in US that are doing a fantastic job and support for us, I'm so grateful for that.

In March you'll play some shows incl. a release concert, looking forward to enter the stage?

Yeah, we sure do – with this album released we are very eager to come out in Europe and do some shows / festivals / touring and we will see what we can come up with, we are at this moment confirmed for a show at Rock Temple in Netherlands and hopefully we will have some more dates announced soon. We are for sure ready to rock your socks off haha!


Do you plan to record something for your YouTube channel? Or do your fans have to wait to get some live footage til you play festivals this summer?

We will as soon as we have something decent to come up with have it out on YouTube and we will update as soon as we can.

Beside the shows this month, what are your plans for 2011?

The plan is to come out and meet all of you on a ColdSpell tour in Europe, maybe the fall 2011 and we are now doing promotion for this album. We are still getting so many fantastic reviews and stuff! As I said we are about to do one more video from this new album.

Hopefully they can hit the road... As long as bands like Y&T, Scott Gorham and his Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Stryper can tour, there should be an audience for ColdSpell.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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