1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with your musical activities these days?
Hi,Yes,I.ve lately been busy promoting the new album and I've also been working with
the release shows that we've had and also some upcoming shows. I've also been rehearsing with Solid Faces for some upcoming shows this summer, otherwise, I take it pretty easy and enjoying that the album is finished and reading/listen on all comments/reviews coming in.
2.Recently you have released your first solo album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction you have taken with the new recording?
Yes,I'd say that it represents a fairly wide taste in music and it was probably the idea in the first place that it would contain all the genres that I enjoy(Classic Rock/Hard Rock/AOR/Prog and so on).The risk was of course that the album could feel scattered but I think that if you make a solo album, you can take the risk.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
The song I've written lyrics to are "Place Of Fear","Perfect Dream" and Co-writed "Thunderbrigade" and "Lonely As I Am". I would say that they are about pretty everyday things,for example Place Of Fear is about a prison and on survival and fear.Perfect Dream is about dreams and life/hope,Thunderbrigade is about a great ancient army and Lonely As I Am is about the lives many of us live,large cities with lots of people but full of loneliness.
4.You took a break from 96 to 06 can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during those years?
I had come to a point where my music making seemed to not going forward,the band was about to be dissolved, we were left without rehearsal place when the city teared down the house we rented.My "dayjob" took more and more of my time and we decided to build a house,the years went by and I didn't have much time for music...so it was many different reasons contributing to a nearly 10 year break, of course, I played guitar for my own use during the time. In 2006 came a rewakening with the launching of Solid Faces
5.You have a decent amount of guests on your new album, can you tell us who all participated on the album?
Yes, I have been fortunate to get to know many singers and musicians around Finland but also from abroad, I think the decision to start with a solo album was when Doogie White was interested to participate...
So i have 4 singers on the album,Doogie White (UK) known from, among others Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and now participating with Michael Schenker and then we have Jari Tiura (Fin) who also have been singing with MSG and Jukka Nummi (Fin) a well known singer from the local music scenes around Finland and Johan Mattjus (Fin) known from (i.a.Stormwing and Altaria) and now lead singer in Solid Faces.
On bass we have Jonas Kuhlberg(Fin),a bass teacher and bassist in the Finnish Melodic Death Metal band Mygrain,on Hammond/keyboards we have Sven Wannäs(Fin)known from (i.a. Stormwing) and now keyboardplayer in Solid Faces.Drums are handled by Roger Snellman (i.a. Tinderbox)also the drummer in Solid Faces.
6.Have you done any live shows as a solo project?
Yes we did three shows around Ostrobothnia(Fin) in conjunction with the album release and another is booked,there is also talk of trying to schedule a few more throughout Finland, the problem is of course to make it fit with all when everyone involved has their own projects
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your solos record by fans of hard rock?
So far, the feedback has been good, especially in Finland, newspaper feedback has been good and the album has been played in several radio stations.Of course, nobody knows who I am out in the world but almost every day there some feedback and requests, and so far, at least in Belgium,UK and Canada, the album has been played on Radio.
8.What is going on with your full time band these days?
Solid Faces released their first album in 2013 a "Tribute to Classic Rock" containing cover songs, so right now we are working to book gigs,and some gigs are booked for the summer.We have also discussed to start working on a theme concert and under own management spring 2015 organize some concerts in Finland.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I do not have any big plans yet, I've had a dream to be able to release my own solo album and now I have done that,playing live is the best thing I know so I continue whenever the chance is given.To play overseas is a dream too.. who knows maybe at some point another solo album will be released again.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
When I was growing up, I listened and played a lot of Jimi Hendrix,Frank Marino has made a big impression on me as well.At a young age, I studied classical guitar for almost 7 years so from there, I have probably received a portion of impressions.I listened a lot to all the Classic Hard Rock bands and of course Ritchie Blackmore but I listened to other genres also for example Rush,Toto...
Nowadays I like to listen to and discover new bands and artists.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
In the mid nineties, I became interested in American muscle cars, I had a Mustang -69 Fastback that I completely restored but I don't own the car anymore,but they still interests me.
When you own a house, there's a lot to do so I guess to fix things around the house interests me...not :)
I also like to read,books but also science/technique magazines.
My son who is 10 years old is also studying electric guitar so I spend time to accompany and help him also.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First of all I want to thank You for your interest and for the album review.
It has been interesting doing this album and get an insight into how things work and I've learned a lot...contacts... contacts...
and I cannot believe what great musicians I got to participate on this album, beyond my wildest dreams, and who gave so much of their time, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I am forever in your debt.
for more info please visit www.henricblomqvist.com for more info.