Very happy to meet you, even by mail Tony l!!!
I am very glad to ask you questions about your last album Magnitude, so great and so awesome! Many thanks for your answers and my congratulations to the band!!!
We don’t have a lot of information about you, your childhood and your musical beginnings in melodic rock. Can you tell us more?
Tony: I started to sing quite early when my father played his old vinyl disks from 60s and 70s. I’ve always listen to music where the vocals had a primary position, such as in solo artists like Sir Cliff Rickard and Sir Tom Jones. I used to practise my singing a lot while I was listening to solo vocalists and later also to melodic rock acts. It wasn’t until much later when I was about 20 years old that I encourage myself to sing in public and had the opportunity to start singing in a band called Zanity. We made a demo tape with four songs on it that was spread around locally but was also played on a national radio called Rock Box.
I read you sung as lead singer for SWEDISH EROTICA in their first single Downtown, after being a member of VANESSA and TRACY GOES CRAZY. It was in the 90’s and after leaving SWEDISH EROTICA just before you first album No Capitulation, in what state of mind were you at this time and did you work with other bands?
Tony: At first, after leaving Swedish Erotica I had a chance of being the lead vocalist in Axia that later on become to be NIVA after having a line-up change. At this time a began to feel a strong desire of getting into the studio to record song-ideas that was popping up and needed to have them saved in order to create new song-ideas. Several of these ideas were included on the No Capitulation album. In the early years of NIVA, we were composing songs pretty much in the same way we’re doing for NIVA of today. With that I mean, that we’re having song ideas individually and afterwards arranging the songs together, although today and on the previous album, the songwriters are Roger, Marcus and I.
Looking forward, what do you think about your first album No Capitulation released in 1994, and only in Japan I think? Can you explain why it is very hard to find?
Tony: The fact that it has gone some time now since that album was released only in Japan (1994) and also the fact that the label Zero Records (Japan) doesn’t exist anymore, makes it hard to get a physical copy of the album.
We didn’t have news from you (in France of course) from No Capitulation to Gold From The Future released another time in Japan only in 2011. In what were you involve musically speaking of course?
Tony: For both of those albums, I was involved early in the song-writing process and also with lead and background vocals. As I mentioned before, I and the guys in the band, individually came up with ideas of songs and then presenting the song-ideas for the rest of the band. Afterwards we made the proper arrangements for the songs together. In both of the mentioned albums there was always three song-writers cooperating together which today seems to be a great formula for NIVA.
Why did you decide to re-release Gold From The Future in 2012 under the new name Final Warning and with a new band name OXYGEN, with the original line-up of No Capitulation? It seems to be a new departure for you because this album is marvellous and sounds great, like an AOR masterpiece already?
Tony: I’m really glad that you like the Final Warning album or should I say Gold From The Future album. We really need to clarify everything about the previous release of NIVA. NIVA – No Capitulation album differs completely from NIVA of today in terms of line-up and musical genre. From that debut album it’s only me left. The new NIVA was formed 2011 with me, Roger Ljunggren and Marcus Persson. This year we managed to release NIVA – Gold From The Future in Japan through Marquee Avalon. I felt that this wasn’t enough since I needed to have this album released for the European market. There was only one label showing interest and that was Escape Music. Their plan was to release it under the moniker Oxygen – Final Warning and we agreed to that. So basically Final Warning and Gold From The Future contains the same tracks but has a different artwork. When we started our cooperation with our new label AOR Heaven we wanted to go back to the original name NIVA for the new European release Magnitude.
Were you surprised by the result of Final Warning in Sweden and was the album, for you, giving answers to the rock melodic music fans, who were longing for your music?
Tony: I wasn’t expecting anything about our debut album after a long absence from the music business. We recorded the songs in 2011 and a year later we had it released for the European market in 2012, I was just very satisfied with that, knowing that the album was out on our home market, available for our fans, friends and families. We soon found out that we had a lot of attention not only in Europe but also in the US which really has inspired us. We therefore started to write the songs that now appears on NIVA - Magnitude.
How did you proceed to compose the Magnitude songs? With the entire band or only alone with your inspiration?
Tony: Roger, Marcus and I have written the songs for this album as we did on the previous album.
Tell us more about the guys you involved in your project for Magnitude? Is it for your essential to have made the new NIVA like the NIVA from 1994?
Tony: Except from Roger, Marcus and I, we have Jan Stål on bass guitar and on drums we have the former Lambretta member Tomas Persic. We have a great line-up in case of live performances or video recordings. The new NIVA is completely different from the on back in 1994 when it comes to line-up and music genre! The new NIVA is working under the AOR and Melodic Rock genre whilst the first NIVA (1994) was a melodic metal band.
The result is over all we expected! Do you realise your vocal performance on Magnitude? It’s simply fantastic; your way of singing is absolutely irresistible…. Explain us how you realised this?
Tony: Thank you. I really appreciate you saying this, but when it comes to the vocal department it is for me always about expressing the songs lyrically, emotionally and the technical aspect has to play second fiddle. We’re just trying to create music that is giving joy and feel of happiness. We don’t have to prove anything for ourselves or for anyone else for that matter. We are simply just NIVA and doing our thing without having great expectations.
Do you have the project to release Magnitude in Japan and what are your projects after the release of the new album?
Tony: Magnitude is to be released in Japan 18th September through Marquee Avalon but will then be entitled Gravitation. We haven’t planned any projects after the release of the new album except to have a release party. We would like to record a video taken from the album Magnitude but there’s always a financial aspect to consider before taking that decision.
Have you planned a tour or some shows to promote Magnitude, with GERMUSICA and AOR HEAVEN of course?
Tony: As I always have said. A musician’s primary goal is of course to play in front of a live audience, but it’s always about how the album will be received and if we’re getting any invitations to the international stages.
What do you think about melodic rock nowadays? Are you surprised by the rebirth of this music because there are a lot of bands following this way of composing ?
Tony: Haven’t given that much thought about it since I was hooked up to the music business by accident when Roger Ljunggren called me up in 2011 and asked if I could consider to record the vocals on “Janitor Of Love”. I and my fellow composers are just doing what we’ve always been done and are good at, composing joyful and melodic songs, like we did back in the 80s.
What do you think about your music impact in Sweden and in the world? What are your ambitions?
Tony: To be perfectly honest, I’m doing this for fun. I and the rest of us have a profession and a family to support beside the music. My music is my hobby and also my way of sometimes having an escape from reality. It is more or less a way of living. During early mornings or at nights there might pop up an idea to a song and to be able of relaxing, I need to record/save the idea in one way or another. My ambition lies in composing songs mainly and would of course be happy to be able of performing them live.