We invite the Xandria bassist to take a personal look back at 2018...
Hello Steven – welcome to Sentinel Daily! Thanks for agreeing to be subjected to a light grilling, the first part of which is: What was the best new album you heard in 2016? “Only one? That`s tough. OK… Candlebox – Disappearing In Airports”.
Candlebox! I haven’t heard that name in a while. And what about old stuff – did any reissues grab your attention this year? “Here I would have to name the sensational re-issue of the Temple Of The Dog album”.
What was your non-musical highlight of the last twelve months? “Traveling round the world with my friends. Priceless!”
Priceless indeed! Moving away from music for a little while, what have you found particularly disappointing about the wider world in 2016? “Our society is losing itself more and more in a digital, artificial, plastic, anti-human, greedy and zombie like way of leading our so called lives. When you are playing a concert, standing on stage looking into a sea of mobile phone cameras, there is definitely something wrong! People should dance, sing, headbang, have fun and enjoy themselves! Come on, enjoy the moment! Time to wake up before it is too late!”
Have to agree with you totally there! Back to the important stuff – Do you think the music scene – and our sort of music in particular – is in good shape at the minute? “A lot of people say that rock n`roll is dead, was dead, will be dead…or whatever, but this is BULLSHIT. Rock n`roll is not some kind of trend or fashion, it is a way of life and it will never go away or die or disappear. So as I don’t separate rock music in specific drawers I would say: Yes, our music is alive and well and as vital as ever! There’s absolutely no need to worry!”
Did anything disappoint you musically in 2016? “Well I don’t waste time and energy judging the work of other people. If I don`t like it, I just don`t listen to it. So, no real disappointments, only a lot of positive surprises. 2016 has been a great year for rock n’roll with tons of awesome new records! There is so much to discover!”
You’re not wrong there either! On a more personal level, which practitioners of your own musical role impressed you most this year? “Tough one. I am more impressed by people and their attitude towards their work, their music. I don`t care much about how fast someone can play or how high he or she can sing. That`s boring. So if I would have to pick one person, it might be a guy like Bruce Springsteen. He is sixty seven years old and still kicking ass, as passionate as ever. This is the way to go!”
Best live act you’ve seen this year? “Thrice”.
What does the next twelve months hold in prospect for you? “We have our new Album Theater Of Dimensions coming out on January the 27th, 2017. So this will keep me busy for at least the next 12 months (and more). Could be worse right?”
Haha certainly! Good luck with it all and we look forward to hearing it! Which band, if any, do you think is primed to break out into the wider consciousness in 2017? “Oh this is always hard to tell, because you never know what goes on behind the famous curtains of the music business. I would really love to see the UK rockers from Deaf Havana have their so well deserved break through… But as I said, you`ll never know…”
Good band and a break would certainly be well deserved… Away from music again – We’re fast approaching the festive season – best night for a party – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? “I would go for Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve I usually meet with my friends after all the family business is done for a beer or ten and just let go. We had some of the best, most unexpected and intense parties on this date, so…”
Probably best to leave it at that… We’re not going to ask for a New Year’s Resolution – but what musical feat do you hope to attain next year? “To use more than three strings on my five string bass guitar! (laughs) Challenge accepted!
We’ll reconvene this time next year to see whether you did it! Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily? “I would love to wish all of you a beautiful holiday season and a fantastic 2017! See ya somewhere out there!”