Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Artist Interview: Andreas Sydow of RIOT HORSE

Swedish Rockers RIOT HORSE
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society

In 2006 the Danish/Swedish heavy band Sons Of Tomorrow decided to take a long time break. Guitarist Nille 'Neil' Schüttman have had a vision for many years. To set up a new heavy rock band with a more classic sound. The inspiration came from bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Free and The Black Crowes. Bluesy, groovy and heavy riffing. Just a couple of weeks after Sons Of Tomorrow announced their hiatus, Nille called some musicans and asked them to join. Some of them were old Sons Of Tomorrow fellows and some of them were new friends. 

After jamming the new ideas Neil knew that this was not only going to be a temporary project. The seed of Riot Horse was sown… By 2011 Neil had tried numerous different constellations for Riot Horse but constantly found it difficult to keep the band together. He was just about to give it all up when he was convinced by bass player at the time, Anders Johansson, to give it one more try with a couple of guys Anders knew. In came Andreas Sydow, former metal vocalist of Darkane and drummer Jonas Langebro (ex. Bai Bang). The chemistry was instant and unquestionable. During the first rehearsals the songs started to come together. A lot of the riffs that Nille had worked up through the years came together with Andreas melodies in a magical fusion. With Joacim Sandin (former bandmate with Jonas in Bai Bang) replacing Anders on bass, the band was complete. Riot Horse had found their sound! Classic heavy rock that kicks ass, straight from the heart!! Dirty, groovy and sexy... WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF RIOT HORSE!!

Riot Horse frontman, Andreas Sydow talked about his band and shared his thoughts on the band's debut release, 'This Is Who We Are'.

Q: How long did the album take to record? How many songs did you actually write for the album?

Andreas Sydow: We didn't do everything in one streak. The basics where recorded during a week or so. Then we did additional recordings, like guitar solos, vocals and such, during weekends and evenings. With the mixing I guess it took all in all about 6 months to complete. But in effective time it was probably something like 3 weeks. Ha-ha! When we started the recording we agreed on recording the basics for all the twelve songs we had at the time and later decide which ones to go ahead with. In the end we felt that we wanted all the twelve songs on the album so we didn't cut anyone of them.

Q: What is the song writing process for you as a band? Group or individual?

Andreas Sydow: Most of the time Neil comes to rehearsal with a riff or an idea to a song and then everyone pitches in their own parts to that. So the songs sort of evolve in the rehearsal room. On the new songs both me and Joacim has come up with some ideas to start with. When it comes to the lyrics everybody pitched in on different songs.

Q: Your four song Ep was released in 2012, did you re-record the songs to add on your debut, 'This Is Who We Are'? Or did you leave them as is?

Andreas Sydow: Well, that EP was originally never ment as more than a demo but when the result ended up sounding as good as it did we thought - why not just put it out there digitally? When we started recording the rest of the songs for the album we figured that the basics of the songs on the EP was good enough to use. We used the same studio and sound guy (Richard Larsson @ Handsome Hard Studio) which made it simple to keep working on them as they were. We did re-record the bass guitar for those four songs, since we have a new bass player in the band, and we did some additional vocals and other stuff to spice them up a bit.

Q: Memorable moment(s) in the making of, 'This Is Who We Are', good or bad, that you can share with us? Are you satisfied with how the album turned out?
Andreas Sydow: We are very satisfied with the result! We wanted to do an album that included all of the elements that make up Riot Horse and I really believe we managed just that. It made sense to name the album "This is who we are" as it makes for a good presentation of the band. I don't know about memorable moments. The recordings went without any special accidents or mishaps but I do remember when Jonas insisted on bringing his giant gong and wanted to use it since he'd never had the chance to use it on any recording before! It was a challenge for Richard and a lot of laughter for the rest us in the band. We have a few great photos of that!
 An emotional moment for me was when we did the vocals for "Hold me", which was the last song we did vocals for. The studio was booked on sunday the 18th of august. On saturday morning August 17th my father passed away. I could've cancelled the recording session but instead I decided to use all my sadness in that performance. I know that's what my dad would've wanted and it was a good way for me to deal with the grief and sorrow. I'm very proud of that today.
Q: Have you guys shot a music video for any of the songs off the album? If you have, which song(s)?

Andreas Sydow: We've shot a few shows during the last year and some of that is used in a video for the song "Medicine Man", which will be released with the album release in the US.

Q: Your bio states you guys are influenced by "The Classic Rock Era", which band or bands would you say you most  influenced by?

Andreas Sydow: There are so many... Obviously the giants like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath etc. But there are so many less well known but equally great bands from that era.

Q: Do you include "Covers" during your live set? If so, which songs do you cover? If not, which songs would you consider?

Andreas Sydow: We've done a few covers just for the fun of it. "Fever Dog", featured in the motion picture Almost Famous, is a cool song we've done a couple of times. We've also played the Led Zep song "What is and What Should Never Be".

Q: Are there any plans for you guys coming to America to do some shows? If you do get to come over, who would like to tour with?

Andreas Sydow: I would love to do an american tour with Riot Horse! I was fortunate to get the chance of doing it once with my former band DARKANE and I would love to do it again. We have a few connections in the New York area and in Los Angeles and I hope we can make some shows happen in the future. When it comes to touring I would love to get a support slot for bands like Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke or The Temperance Movement. All of them are doing quite well in Europe. Naturally bands like Whitesnake, Deep Purle, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith would benefit from having Riot Horse opening for them! Ha-ha!

Q: What goals have set for yourselves as a band?

Andreas SydowWe do what we do because we love it! We're not really big on "goals". We'll just see what comes along and we're ready to grasp the opportunities when presented to us.

Q: Complete this sentence: The reason why you should check out Riot Horse is because......

Andreas Sydow...We carry the heritage of giants with respect and because heartfelt music never gets outdated! The journey of Riot Horse is just beginning... Cheers!


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