02/ 2004

We all have our own desert dream that we are searching for, do you know yours?

With their selftitled debut they have provided for a violent rushing in the sheets wood. Now, after some commercial dispute with her fomer label, the Swedish Hard Rock Duet have found their musical home at MTM Music in Muinch. The new album titled "Desert Dreams" sound much harder and more modern than the predecessor. Occasion enough for a detailed and amusing conversation, to hear from Anette Johansson and Mats Edström the reason for this development:

S: First of all: Compliments to your new album! It's one of my favorites records of the beginning year.

Anette: Thank a lot! That feels really good to hear.

Mats: That's great to hear. Thanks a lot!

S: Could you give us an overview about your present musical career, please?

Anette: My first band was called ANGELEZ and we were more like a cover band. But we did a couple of songs and participated in a national wide competition "On stage" in 1991, we didn't win but I got rewarded for outstanding singing - that felt great! After ANGELEZ I became a member in YANKEE HEAVEN were also Mats played. We did a lot of funny gigs for example at a hockey game and at Motor Custom Show - a national big show with cars and motorbikes. In 1994 we did an album called "Unclassified". After a couple of years we broke up - you can say that we grew apart. After that I tried a different road and did a pop/ soul oriented album called "Nettie Q" with Per Billengren but it ran out in the sand. Then I was a member in a cover band called JELLOSTONE were also Mats were a member. After we broke up the only singing I did was in the shower until fall 2001 when SHIVA was formed.

Mats: I'll played in ARROW 1984-89 then I was involved in different project. After that I formed YANKEE HEAVEN with Anette. The last band I played with before SHIVA was RENEGADE (from Sweden). It was meant to be a forth album with them but it ran out of sand.

S: What was the reason for you to become a musican?

Mats: The day I heard Elvis Presley in my very young days, I had to do something. Well, I started to sing ;-), then later I heard the band KISS. Well, I had to play the guitar and of course hardrock!!

Anette: Perhaps fame and fortune... ;o) ... oh I can´t remember... all I know is that singing always been the best way for me to express myself and my feelings. Music is a source of freedom and joy so who doesn´t want to be a part of it?!

S: Your debut was considered with good criticism by the specialist publications. Could this critcism help the record for a good turnover, or do you have never seen - like many other bands - a flow cent from Z Records?

Mats: We haven't seen a cent, so we don't really know how the debut sold or anything. The only thing we know is that it got very good reviews. It's very sad, but we'll look forward now and leave Z Record to our lawyers.

S: Now, your new record was published by MTM Music. How does it came to this contract and how you are contented with the new label?

Mats: I have had contact with Mario at MTM since a few months after signing with Z Records. And it was easier to leave Z Records when we had MTM who could back us up for the second release. We're very happy with MTM. They work very professional and it's easy working with them.

S: On my opinion "Desert Dreams" is much harder and more modern in comparision to the debut. What was the reason for this development?

Mats: Well, we thought we could reach a bigger audience with "Desert Dreams" sound. And it was a naturally step for us. And in fact it's all about how you produce the songs in the end of the day. But we'll see what happens, we feel very comfortable with DD's sound.

S: The song "Unjusty The Truth" seems to be a very aggressive song. Could you tell us about what the song exactly acts?

Anette: Well ... this song is dedicated to Mark at Z records, our first label. He is a liar that has profit on us without giving us a penny. He has violated the contract and broken the law. To make a long story short - we don't like him.

S: In the middle of this song we can hear an amusing Swinging-part. How is this passage originated? Who had this brain wave?

Anette: We can't explain that, it just happened! You know, we like to play around a little and we don't take our selves so seriously. I guess we just said: Hey, let's do something totally off here. Nobody will probably like it but at least we have a good time! And so we did and we had some great laughs too.

S: The ballad "Losing My Child" belongs to my favorite Songs of the album. I think, this song must be a great challange to Anette?

Anette: The melody has both high and low tones and also soft and "aggressive" parts which had to be done with true emotional feeling so yes, it was a musical and emotional challenge. We are both very pleased with how the song turned out, although we couldn't listen to it at first because it touched us so.

Mats: When I wrote the music, my dream was to make a 3/4 beat. And I'll think the result went pretty good. And Anette wrote a cruel lyric to it, so she found a new dimension to the song and the melody.

S: The title of the album sounds a little mystically. Could tell as something more about it?

Anette: "Desert Dreams" is about the things we desire; it could be money, power, drugs etc. The Desert is your reality where you wander around searching for a waterhole. The waterhole is the symbol of your desires, your dreams. We easily fall into the hands of the ones who possess these things and become their puppets. We all have our own desert dream that we are searching for, do you know yours?

S: How of you is responsible for the songwriting?

Anette: It's completely up to Mats and he is doing a great job. Mats gets some ideas that he record at his studio. Then we get together and decide what key to play the song in and what the lyric should be about, what kind of "feeling" the song should have. Sometimes Mats already has a chorus line or verse and sometimes we start from scratch. Then Mats continues work with the music arrangements and I work with the lyrics at home (sometimes we also finish the song at the studio but that's not often). Then we get together again and record the song, sometimes with some adjustments. At this stage this has been the best way of working because both of us have so little free time after work and being with our families.

S: When do you have begun with the works on the new album and where do have you recorded the songs?

Mats: We begun working with Desert Dreams in January 2003 and were finish it September 2003. We tried out maybe up to 25 ideas before we decided to which ones who felt best. It was meant to be released with Z Record but thank God it didn't happen.

S: There any favorite songs on "Desert Dreams"? Please justify your choice.

Anette: my favorite song is "Losing My Child" because it just touches me so, maybe it's because I'm a mother. And the song has a great melody, great guitars and I'm very happy how my performance turned out. I also like the part where there's a touch of Swedish folk music in it.

Mats: at the time it's "Mystery Of Mind" and "Completely Strangers", maybe because they are the last songs we wrote for DD. But as Anette, I love "Losing my Child".

S: You are only a two members in the band. Is SHIVA only a studio-project or is it a real band how want do some live gigs as well?

Anette: When we first started out SHIVA it was just meant to be a studio project because it was difficult to find band members among our old friends (we had to face it, we weren't 16 anymore with all the time in the world...). We we're quite surprised when we got our first record deal because our primary goal was to try to get a distribution deal. Anyway, the first record got great reviews and it seems that "Desert Dream" also will get that so the idea of playing live doesn't feel so far away anymore. We have taking contact with a couple of musicians that will help us out if we have an inquiry send to us!

S: Which expectations do have you on "Desert Dreams"?

Anette: It would be great if we could reach more people with "Desert Dreams" than we did with our first album. But we don´t know how many copies of the first album that we sold so we don´t really know what to expect or wish for. Hopefully "Desert Dreams" could get some airtime in different radio shows and make people curious about SHIVA. And even more hopefully that we could get the opportunity to play live sometime, that would be great!

Mats: I'll think we have a much bigger chance with our new label to reach our goals. Which means to sell a hell of a lot albums and go on tour ;-) That would be a dream come true!

S: Do you've still time for other activities beside music? Which?

Anette: I have a great passion for sleddogsracing and I have 17 Siberian Huskies at home that takes a whole lot of my time and energy. But it´s a great hobby (or way of living) and gives quality of life. And I have also a daytime job as an Occupational therapist, so I keep my self busy... ;o).

Mats: Well, daytime work and my family takes a lot of time. I'm surprised that I had time to write, record and produce "Desert Dreams". It takes a lot time but I know it's worth it.

S: Anette & Mats, thanks you very much for this interview. Last but not least: A lot of success for "Desert Dreams"!

Mats: Thanks a lot and very nice talking to you!

Anette: Thank you! Please tell your readers to visit our homepage: www.shivahardrock.com and sign our guestbook or ask us something in the forum section. We look forward to your visit!

1. Mystery Of Mine
2. Desert Dreams
3. Unsjustify The Truth
4. Compeletetely Strangers
5. Losing My Child
Passengers Of Live
7. Crucified
8. Porno Star
9. Dawning Of A New Horizon
The Preacher

"Desert Dreams" (2004/ MTM Music/ SPV)


"Shiva" (2001/ Z Records/ Point Music)
"Desert Dreams" (2004/ MTM Music/ SPV)

andere Beiträge über SHIVA
SHIVA/ The Curse Of The Gift (Female Fronted-Tipp/ November 2006)
Desert Dreams

further infos: www.shivahardrock.com


Thanks To Sebastian @ MTM Music

Last Update: Sunday, 25. January 2004
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