IT'S ALL ABOUT GROOVE & MELODY
The Black Marbles
Interview by Tony & Bill @The Dedicated Rocker Society
Tired of the same old stiffness, plug-ins and covered up pop-tunes. No worries, with a sense of pride. It is our pleasure to introduce , THE BLACK MARBLES. Kaj Paxéus - Vocals, Krister Selander - BassPhilip Karlsson - Guitar and Tobbe Bövik - Drums.
The band's debut album, 'Made In Concrete' is rocked and loaded with rock and roll that will blow you away! The lads have already proven themselves on the live scene in Sweden. Thier focus soon turned to Germany with ambitions to release their album to the German market. Starting with their single, "Free Your Mind" which was backed up with a video. Their intuition was right on target! The Black Marbles have arrived!
With a swagger and attitude in their delivery. The Black Marbles are set to rock your world with their brand of rock'n'roll, rooted in the 70's classic rock vibe. Revolution is in the air, but we have no promises for world peace. There is instead a far simpler message hidden: Take No Prisoners! That goes for every man, boy, woman and child!!
The Rocker and I asked The Black Marbles' drummer/producer, Tobbe Bövik to give us the lowdown behind the band and their music. Here is what He shared with us....
What are The Black Marbles all about?
"The Black Marbles are a 4-piece classic rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden that formed back in 2009 as an offspring to the band On Parole. Three of the members felt they needed to go back to their roots and write music like the one they grew up on, you know, bands like Bad Company, Humble Pie, The Faces etc. After a few member changes we finally built our own studio and started recording our debut album. Our main driving force is the groove. Every song needs a good groove rather than a killer guitar riff. When the groove is laid down you can start building a song with melodies and I think that is what The Black Marbles are all about, the groove and the melodies."
Your debut release, 'Made In Concrete' was released earlier this year. Are you satisfied with the response you've received so far?
"Yes, very much so! Every review has been great and the response from Germany and the UK has been great. Sweden is tough though. You need to be on shows like ”Fame Factory” or similar to get noticed here. Thats why we put most of our energy to promote ourselves in Germany for a start."
How long did it take to record your album? How many songs did you actually write for the album?
"We recorded it in our own studio which we built in our rehearsal space. We started recordings in july 2011 and finished in december, but we combined recordings with rehearsal so we were not recording the whole period. The album was supposed to be released in 2012 but we decided to wait since our bass player left the band and we wanted to find the right replacement before release. We wrote about 15 songs for the album and 13 got recorded. 12 ended up on the CD so we got one track that is left over. Maybe it will get released some time in the future."
As far as the song writing process goes, who writes the music or is it a group effort?
"We mostly start with an idea that Philip (guitar) or Krister (bass) comes up with. Then we jam on it for a while so Kaj (singer) gets comfortable with the structure and has time to write some lyrics. Then we record a primitive pre-production version of the song which we listen to a lot and make the changes we feel are necessary until it is time to finally record it for the album. So it is prettty much of a group effort, if we don’t feel right away that ”this kicks ass” we throw it in the bin."
What memorable moments, good or bad, can you share with us in the making of your debut release, 'Made In Concrete'?
"The good memory is that we had no pressure at all. It was my first production and I didn’t follow any rules, I just went the directions I thought sounded cool. I guess many professional studio engineers never would have done it that way, but it was a great feeling. There is no ”wrongs” as long as the result sounds right. The bad memory is that we had to pause sessions for six weeks when they needed to repair the ventilation system and made recordings impossible during that time. This was in the middle of vocal takes so it was really frustrating for Kaj who was really charged at the time. When we got back there was this fine dust all over our equipment so we had to clean it up for several days before we could continue."
Who are your musical influences?
"Oh, there are too many to list here. We got all the blues legends like Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters etc in one hand and all the soul legends Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, James Brown in the other. In between there are these bands that we grew up on, Kiss, Stones, Led Zep, Purple, Sabbath etc. But we listen to a lot of different bands and genres so we grab some here and there and make it The Black Marbles!"
For your video, "Free Your Mind", where was it shot? How long was the shoot? Memorable moments making the video?
"We found this huge empty store room that we could borrow for free for a whole day. We got our rig up and just played the songs two million times while they shot us in different angles. The director had this female actor friend that was willing to do the inbetween shots, and she was really great I think. The video shows that you can make a video with very low budget and still have a satisfying result. Above the store room there was this office with a kitchen were we had our breaks. I was going for a drink from this ”juice machine” and when I tasted I realized it was red wine! So the day just got better from there. I’m glad we did playback sessions… ;-)"
Playing in the studio is one thing, playing LIVE is a whole different story. What does your band bring when you play Live?
"We give everything at our shows. We think it is important that you get a connection with the audience even if there is just a few people there. When we rehearse before gigs we play the set exactly as it was the real show so that we feel 100% comfortable when entering the stage. The good thing about this band is that every member is such a good musician so you never need to worry about the guitarists solo or the high vocal part or whatever. You know every guy in the band will nail their part so you just have to focus on your own thing and deliver a great show!"
Are there any plans on coming to America for some shows?
"Not at the moment but you never know. We see that there is a growing interest for our album and with some luck we will be able to do it. Playing in the States would be like a dream for us!"
For the people reading about The Black Marbles for the first time. Why should they check you guys out?
"If you’re tired of the clinical, overproduced, hard rock shit that plays on the radio and you love the old school classic rock from the 70’s you should definetely check us out. I think there is a growing interest for bands like us, just look at the success that Rival Sons are having and new upcoming bands like UK’s The Temperance Movement. We fit in between those two bands like a glove and it would be great to play live with them at some point!"
As avid fan of classic rock, The Rocker and I are always on the hunt for newer bands with that classic rock sound and feel to them. We finally found one such band, The Black Marbles. This band is a fusion of classic rock spanning 50 years and is flawless with a fresh feel to it. They are an evolution of greatness and if they can keep it together will definitely make their mark, big time. Enough said, check out The Black Marbles and get your hands on their debut, 'Made In Concrete' be amazed by the classic sound.
- The Dedicated Rocker Society
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