Even if Oliver Weers is active for many years he just released his first solo album Get Ready. Time to learn more about Oliver Weers!
With Get Ready you release your first solo album, but you are active for many years. What took you so long to make this step into public?
Well I never stopped playing music that's for sure, but back in 1998 my band in Norway (D.I.M.) broke up. My first child was born 1996 and I was busy being a father, I enjoyed it very much and felt it's important to give my children a good start in life...listen to some Rock'n Roll albums from Daddy's shelf, bring Daddy a bottle of beer from the fridge, learn how to raise the fu** finger and the usual stuff a rock baby needs to learn. Playing in a blues band was good for me in the period up to 2007. And I actually earned some money for once! We released an album 2001 before I moved to Denmark, this gave us even more gigs and I ended up flying to Norway every second weekend. Overall the ambition was more the fun than serious engagement in the music industry. 2006 my children started building up their own little worlds. Daddy wasn't the only interesting person around anymore. So I had more and more time for music and I was extremely interested in giving it another serious try doing what I do best; sing Hard Rock!
I was happy to find Ripe in Denmark (www.myspace.com/weareriperocks) and it was cool to be part of a good old 80's style metal band á la Iron Maiden, DIO. The first album was recorded early 2008: At The End Of Time. Due to my solo project with Søren Andersen the same year I quit with Ripe and they have a new vocalist now.
January 2008 I joined the Danish X-Factor TV show and was profiled a lot during the audition rounds and the finals. I joined the show to make contacts in the Danish music business. Coming from outside of Denmark I thought this was a fast way to build contacts. I was rejected just before the X-Factor live shows for reasons the audience still has no answers for. The X-Factor production manager didn't accept this and got me back into the show at the TV finals where I joined to sing Queen's The Show Must Go On! This resulted in so much storm on YouTube and media that I was contacted shortly afterwards by producer / songwriter Søren Andersen who is part owner of the well known Medley Studios in Copenhagen.....
During the summer of 2008 Søren Andersen and I recorded Oliver Weers first solo album. I signed a record deal with Target Records for this album. And this will with no doubt be the most advanced production in my career and to make sure about this we hired drummer legend Tommy Aldridge who amongst many others has played for Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake and bassist Marco Mendoza who has also played with Whitesnake and many other big bands like Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder. ....
In 2009 I met Mike Tramp (White Lion) and we became quite good friends. He was invited to run a TV show early 2009 in Denmark where he also invited me to come and do my version of Queen's We Are The Champions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecqMVJ6bml4 this resulted in a couple of shows around Denmark including singing the song for 40,000 football fans in the National Stadium and for the Danish Crown Prince Frederick last week.
You took part in the talent show X-Factor in Denmark... Did this make the release of your solo album possible?
Not directly. Søren contacted me over MySpace after he watched me on the TV shows. He always says he'd been looking for my type of voice for a long time. We are simply into the same type of music. So we wrote the first 2 songs (First Day Of Our Life & Get Ready) and hunted down some labels. Target Records was our choice in the end.
I'm new in the Danish music business and this was the perfect way to get in! It was the first time X-Factor ran on Danish TV and I thought ok, then it's cool to participate! TV is a different world, but it's a lot of fun and you meet besides lots of amateur singers many professional people in the business. So for me it was perfect networking. 50% of the Danish population watched the finals! And TV's power shouldn't be underestimated.
Were Tommy Aldridge and Marco Mendoza on the top of your list for a cooperation? Or did things just turned out that way?
Søren was touring with Tommy Aldridge and Marco Mendoza for some time. We both thought that this could be the perfect setup. Tommy and Marco liked what we were doing and said YES!
Søren is now playing with Glenn Hughes. Did that effect your plans? Or can you easily schedule things around this?
That's no problem at all, it's more likely to become a benefit if anything!
My musicians all live from music and today it's very difficult playing only in one band. Also the big guys move around a lot and hook up with several projects.
The only artists that can't do that are the front men! We have to stay true and keep to one thing at a time unless it's occasionally guesting TV shows, theatre shows etc.
How was it to share the stage with Whitesnake? And what do you expect from the show you open up for Mötley Crüe?
It was fantastic and magic for me to play with Whitesnake. David Coverdale has always been a big inspiration for me and I felt extremely honored. I already met the band 6 months earlier during the recording of Get Ready. We all met up for some beers in Copenhagen City and they were very happy to meet their good old friend Marco Mendoza. Whitesnake was back just some weeks ago and we visited their concert and to then go out afterwards for a chat and some drinks. Today it feels they've become part of my close friends in the music business. We will meet again that's for sure. Especially Timothy Dury and I have one thing in common: The passion for Greece. We both have a house there, he is also half Greek, so maybe we spend our holiday together some time.
In regards to Mötley Crüe I was also extremely honored to play with them, because I love their energy in their music. I never got that involved in the band and most things around the band never really interested me. The stories etc seem to be their biggest hype and not the music which is a shame if you ask me. I was happy to see Vince in such great shape. Jumping around as if he still was in his twenties, well done! But I can't stop thinking of Spinal Tap when I see them play live today.
The atmosphere although wasn't that cool behind the crowds. It was a very strict road crew and so much security that the vibe got a little lost. But a great crowd to play for, the audience was bloody awesome.
Your lyrics seems to be inspired by life in general, is that right?
I love floating on a thought, I love watching happiness, I love analyzing and I constantly look for answers. Writing helps me focus, collect, research and finally refresh.
Most of the time I write some lines when something comes to me, catching these random flashes is often the best way to build a baseline for a new song. Then when I listen and work on new music I always have a tool box with different lyrical sketches to kick off or pick from.
My inspiration is my surrounding and my experience through life. I'm very interested in people, the way we think, we learn, we communicate, we love, we hate and we mate. It's a long list of inspiration there and always a big question mark behind it.
The hard work is then to make the lyrics seem simple. Remember a song is only 3-4 minutes long and it's challenging to give each word something meaningful in the context. On Get Ready I like the lyrics because they come straight from my heart. I'm of course always very curious of what people think of my lyrics.
On the album you have a cover version of Björk's Army Of Me, why this song? Is Björk fascinating you?
I played in a Progressive Metal band in Norway (Diabolos in musika D.I.M. http://www.ronnyheimdal.com/index.php?info=sounds) and we covered this song live, years ago. This is where I got the idea. But it was also because I wanted a Nordic angle to the album and hey, Björk is so cool, I love her!
It seems to me that more hard rock and even glam metal bands are releasing albums these days... Do you think that hard rock is on the way up again?
It's already up and kicking serious arse all over the world. My kids and their friends are even caught by the vibe. Here in Denmark I sometimes feel like a Rock missionary! Even the long hair seems to be in again since the films of Lord Of The Rings.
As you are making music for many years, you have seen the scene changing - and also media changed. Do you think it's easier now with the internet to get people's attention? Or is it more difficult, coz so many more bands / musicians give it a try?
It's just as difficult today to get the wide attention but it's much easier to get started. Internet is a fantastic media for us musicians we just have to be careful not to lose ourselves in all the 'easy way out' options there are, because truth and honesty in a song is still the strongest weapon to catch attention. Many people get lost in all the technical details resulting in perfectly boring, meaningless and soulless music.
For the listener it has also changed a lot and there's a jungle of good musicians out on myspace etc. problem has just become that large media has destroyed our ears slightly and many of us can't distinguish what 'I like' or 'I don't like' anymore without having someone else telling them what to buy and what not to buy. Do you follow me?!?
It has become a very big business but also a very desperate and difficult business. Music is part of our life and shouldn't be treated as a 'return on investment'. Music is life!
You shouldn't have asked me this question, because I'm very interested in this discussion so I continue a little more; I believe that music has become a very important daily part of our life and we're consuming it just like bread and butter. Who isn't running around with an ear-plug in their ear today? It's also become very easy to download song for song legally. The music industry has for the first time realized that it can be done to make music legally available on the internet and still earn a little money. Statistics even show that people in developing countries prioritize to download a song to their iPod than using the money to buy food first. And this is a research done recently. The world needs to be entertained when life becomes hard. Believe it or not!
Are any shows planned? A tour?
All in work! A tour in Denmark is planned for September / October. Before we're doing some festival jobs in Denmark. For Europe we're currently working on a tour to warm up for somebody, who this will be is not 100% clear yet.
What else is on your schedule for 2009?
I hope to hit the studio next winter for a follow up album. It's all about giving it 100% and enjoying it. We will all go as far as it takes us keeping passion and work on a healthy balance.
Music and writing is the only way I have to express what is inside my heart, soul and thoughts. I know that now! I hope you all enjoy the album and I can't wait to visit you and play some Rock'n Roll!
Thank you very much for answering my questions! It would be great to continue when Oliver Weers hits the road... And perhaps they make it to your area, then just go an have a good time!