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In Words: Grand Design

- Pelle Saether - Dec. 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Grand Design
© Grand Design

Pelle Saether - December 6th 2011 (by email)

Grand Design are back with Idolizer and Pelle Saether, the man behind Grand Design was so kind to enlighten us about the past, present and future of Grand Design!

Grand Design was started in 2006, but when did you first think about founding an 80's sounding band?

I have always been a big fan of 80s rock so it was a pleasure to start writing songs to the 1st album back in 2005. I did all the songs on acoustic guitar – recording the pre demos thru a PC microphone – hahaha. It sounded like crap, but it was good enuff to hear the melodies and arrangements.

Was it difficult to find the right people? Someone who shared your vision? And why Grand Design?

I found Peter in a early stage and he suggested Richard for the drums. We all 3 have 80s rock as favorite music and we all love bands like Scorpions, Europe, Def Leppard, Journey and so on. Later on we were lucky to find 2 more 80s rock clowns – Anders and Dennis. The name Grand Design was Janne Stark's fault – but we loved it from the 1st moment we heard it. He also came up with the title Time Elevation.

In 2009 Time Elevation was released, the Def Leppard elements were there, are you happy with the response you got?

Ah you must mean Lep Deffard right??? Hehehehe. We never expected this much positive response when we released Time Elevation in 2009. It seemed the whole AOR world was talking about our 1st album. To answer your question – yes we are veeeeeeeery happy with the response! :)

When did you start writing songs for Idolizer?

I started writing the songs for Idolizer in September 2010 – it took almost 6 months to complete all songs and doing pre demos and programming software synth drums.
The programmed drums were used when we recorded the guitars. We recorded in an odd way – 1st all guitars then drums. After gits and drums were recorded we did bass, vocals and backing vocals. Last was the guitar solos – luckily we had some help from Janne Stark and Tommy Denander.

Is the song writing a band effort or is there a main song writer?

Well, I write all songs, all lyrics and do all arrangements. So you can say I'm the main man – hehehe. Of course the guys put in some personal input when we record.

How long did the recordings take?

Give and take I think around 4 months of recording, mixing, mastering. But it was 4 months of happiness.

Why the name Idolizer?

The name Idolizer is pretty much a saying for our fans. We wouldn't be anything without our fans – so we wanted to say we adore them, we idolize them.

At Idolizer the Def Leppard elements are even more prominent, just natural progress? Or something you planned?

We never had a plan that said: do this and do that and you will have more of a Def Leppard sound. We tried thou to have a little rawer sound to the guitars and bass.

Are you satisfied with the feedback you got so far?

The response have been great!!!! Fans really love Idolizer – some critics say if the 1st album was Hysteria the new is Pyromania. I say it's Idolizer!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahaha.

You added an album preview to your YouTube channel, are there any plans for a video? Which song(s) would you like to visualize?

When writing this we have just finished the 1st video from Idolizer. It will be released in December. We chose the 1st song Get On With The Action for the video – great song I think and the video turn out exactly as planned!!

What about playing live? Anything on the way?

We are planning for some gigs next year – I will let you know when we have more set dates. It would be great to do some gigs around in Europe during 2012!!

If you play live, will you record something? At least for your YouTube channel...

We haven't discussed that at all – maybe....... it's a great idea!!!

Pelle, you are a producer, what were the last bands you produced? And what's next on your producer schedule?

Right now I'm working with 2 bands Sinate from New Zealand and Sky Of Rage from Sweden. Also did the mixing / mastering for Shotgun Express (Ger) & White Wedding (Aus).

Does social media help a band? You as a producer? Love it or hate it?

Of course!!!! Nowadays the market for selling CDs is going down – but it's more important to play live and meet fans. And doing interviews to show you are a serious band is also veeeeery important.

What do you like about producing?

I looooove producing, mixing, mastering. It's my life!!!!

What are the plans for Grand Design in 2012?

To do gigs in Europe, maybe in Canada and the US also. Making 1 or 2 more videos. Keeping the 80s rock flame burning!!!

I'm looking forward to see Grand Design hit the road in 2012! And perhaps we can do another interview with them to catch up....

Claudia Ehrhardt


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