The Black Marbles Are Back,
Best Believe It!
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society
photos by Peter Pousard
Hailing from Sweden, The Black Marbles the blues hard rock band that formed in 2009 dish out a sound that drips with swagger, groove, energy, heart & soul. A sound that is guitar driven riff oriented classic rock, rock-solid drumming and monster vocals. The band has embraced the traditional 70's classic rock sound of rock giants like Free, Humble Pie and The Faces. Comprised on, Marica Svensson on vocals, Rickard Lindberg on guitars, Krister Selander on bass and Tobbe Bövik on drums.
Their debut album, ' Made In Concrete' released in 2013 received excellent reviews and recognition worldwide. Now in 2016 The Black Marbles are back and set to rock once again. The band are planning to release a new full length album later this year. As well as a mini tour that kicks off on the 26th of April in Bilbao, Spain. In the meantime the band have released a four song Ep, 'Best Believe It' as an appetizer of greater things to come.
We caught up with the band's drummer, Tobbe Bövik to ask him about the band, their latest Ep and their upcoming tour. Here is what he shared with us..
Q: Best Believe It', the title of your new five song Ep. Is this a precursor to what we can hear on the upcoming 'MOVING MOUNTAINS' or have you to go a different direction altogether as far as your full length release?
Tobbe Bövik: The EP contains four songs of which three will end up on the upcoming 'MOVING MOUNTAINS' album, although in completely different versions. The fourth song is a re-recording of the song 'All Out Of Money' which was included on the 'MADE IN CONCRETE' album. The EP is a live recording without audience, hence the raw sound, and I think it gives you a hint of the "new" Black Marbles sound. A little heavier, a little more soul and a dirtier sound.
Q: Where was the Ep recorded? How long did it take to record? Can you describe the "Bunker"?
Tobbe Bövik: We recorded it very quickly in our rehearsal studio; it took probably not longer than 12 hours. Everything is live except for a few guitar and vocal overdubs. We call our rehearsal space The Bunker since it is a concrete room with no windows. But we have made it cosy... This is actually the second 'Bunker Session' with the first being an album with the 2120's which I was briefly in during 2014.
Q: Back to a full length recording. How different will it be from your debut, 'Made In Concrete'? As far as musical direction.
Tobbe Bövik: It will be heavier but still contain a lot of groove and melodies. It will have a little more 70's vibe to it and not as 'produced' as the first album. Marica has done a great job transferring the melodies to fit her voice. Kaj had written lyrics and melodies to all the songs and some were kept but most of it was rewritten. One song we had to ditch though, but we have this song called 'Young Boy' that Marica and Rickard has written before The Black Marbles, and we made it sound to fit the album, so right after the tour we will enter the studio and record it.
Q: Talk about the band's new singer, Marica Svensson and new guitarist, Rickard Lindberg. How did you find them? Did they click right away with the band? What happened to Kaj Paxéus and Philip Karlsson?
Tobbe Bövik: We found Rickard in an ad on the Internet. Actually me and Krister (the bass player) was fed up with the Black Marbles at the time since no one had the time to rehearse so we thought we should start a side project. Rickard was contacted but it never got to happen so we just went back to The Black Marbles to give it another chance. Philip was a student at the time and had a lot to do with school work and therefore could not focus 100% on the band. After a few months we realized that we had to let him go. I remembered Rickard from the ad and sent him a SMS again but with no answer until two weeks later. It turned up he changed cell phone and number so it was a coincidence that he saw our SMS when he checked the drawer where his old mobile was. Anyway, it was a perfect match from the start. He had a lot more blues feeling and a more 'Ritchie Blackmore' type of playing. Philip was great but a little too 'clean' for the band. Marica was together with Rickard for six years and they also had a band together so it just fell naturally to ask her when we went separate ways with Kaj. She is without doubt the greatest singer I ever worked with in any band and she fit the music of the Black Marbles really well. I think Philip quit music but Kaj is in search for new bands and we wish them both all the best of course!
Q: What's the music scene like now in Sweden? Are local music media outlets (music television, radio, etc.) helping out as far promoting local artists/band's?
Tobbe Bövik: The music scene in Sweden is tough. We have all these great bands and artists but still the best selling albums is 'products' put together by the music industry. It is very hard to get gigs as an unknown band unfortunately. The last rock show on national radio was put to rest recently and TV has now shows for bands to promote themselves. Perhaps that is why the standard is so high for bands from Sweden? They have to struggle and fight really hard to get recognintion.
Q: Speaking of media how has social media via the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc., help the band?
Tobbe Bövik: All these channels offer great opportunities for bands to promote themselves. We have built a fan base of over 4000 fans on Facebook which is great, but of course that involves a lot of hard work and some expenses such as advertising etc. But it is important to make updates regularly to maintain the interest of the band. I think people visit social media sites more than they vist the official webpage. We recently opened an account on Instagram (instagram.com/theblackmarbles) and we hope to grow a following there as well.
Q: What is the deal behind, "Thunder Valley Rocks" TV series?
Tobbe Bövik: We applied for this contest to compete for a place in a TV series about upcoming new bands, we got chosen as the only Swedish band and went to Nottingham and played a three song audition. It went really well but unfortunately The Black Marbles wasn't the kind of band they searched for.
Q:Your tour starts later this month (April 26th). How many dates do you have booked? Will you also be playing some of the big Summer Festivals (Sweden Rock /Sonisphere)?
Tobbe Bövik: Yes, we start the tour in Bilbao, Spain on April 26th. We have six dates booked in Spain before we go home to play Gothenburg Rockfest, a two-day indoor festival. Then we head down to Berlin to play an acoustic gig at Rock Steady Records before driving to the Netherlands for three dates. We are so psyched to go on tour since the band is really tight now and have never sounded better! No festivals are booked for the summer since we must focus on finishing the 'MOVING MOUNTAINS' album. Hopefully we can release it during autumn 2016 and head back out on tour.
Q: Any messages for your fans?
Tobbe Bövik:Please check out our new 'Best Believe it EP' available at CD Baby or our webshop. If you like it we'll hopefully meet on the road somewhere! Stay cool!
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