AOR and Melodic Rock News on 03/05/2014

ALIEN LAND ON SWEDISH CHART:
Reformed Swedish AOR legends Alien have entered #75 at the official national Swedish sales charts and #4 at the Swedish metal charts with their critically acclaimed comeback album “Eternity” which was released on AOR Heaven on April 25. Well done guys!
The album also gets fave rave reviews – here are some quotes:
“A melodic rock masterpiece!” (Rock Hard, Germany) 
“”Eternity” ist ein bдrenstarkes Melodic-Rock-Album mit enorm hohem Wiedererkennungswert geworden und bringt die Herren wieder dorthin, wo sie vor einem Vierteljahrhundert schon einmal waren: nach ganz oben!“ (powermetal.de, Germany, 9/10 points)
“It deserves to be placed between Signal’s 1989 Loud And Clear and Survivor’s 1984 Vital Signs in the record collection of every self-respecting AOR fan.” (Hardrockhaven.net, USA) 
“Released on the aptly titled AOR Heaven label, “Eternity” attests to the love and passion that never fades over time or distance like it sez in the Survivor like ‘Burning Heart’ – Alien are truly back and with a number one album!” (Battle Helm)
ViriAOR (Spain, 10/10 points); Metal4all.net (Spain, 9,5/10 points); Nu Rocks (Spain, 5/5 points); Rock Angels (Spain, 5/5 points); Metal-integral.com (France, 8,5/10 points); Rockmeeting.com (France, 5/5 points); Metal-temple.com (Greece, 9/10 points); Melodicrock.it (Italy, 9,5/10 points); Planet AOR (Sweden, 9,5/10 points); Metal Underground (Austria, 5/5 points)…and many more!
WebLinks: www.facebook.com/alientheband / www.facebook.com/aorheaven.

EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT READIES PETER GABRIEL BACK TO FRONT – LIVE IN LONDON:
New York, NY (May 1, 2014)—Eagle Rock Entertainment is proud to announce the release of Back to Front – Live in London from Peter Gabriel on June 24, 2014. Simultaneously available on DVD, Blu-ray and DVD / Blu-ray Deluxe Editions, this release captures the complete live performance of the So album from start to finish.
Back To Front includes the classics: “Sledgehammer,” “Solsbury Hill,” “Don’t Give Up,” “Shock The Monkey,” “Big Time,” “Digging In The Dirt,” “Mercy Street,” “No Self Control,” “In Your Eyes,” “Biko,” and many more. The stunning DVD / Blu-ray Deluxe Editions offer a 60-page hardback photobook which includes a second disc containing the theatrical version of Back To Front, featuring additional interviews and montage versions of “Solsbury Hill” and “Sledgehammer” utilizing footage from live shows across the years. The Deluxe Editions also contain a double CD of the complete Back To Front show.

This spectacular live concert, filmed at London’s O2 using the latest Ultra High Definition 4K technology, captures Peter Gabriel’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of his landmark album So. To mark the event Gabriel reunited his original So touring band from 1986/87 and for the very first time fans saw them play the multi-platinum selling album in its entirety. As a bonus, Back To Front includes ‘The Visual Approach’, a fascinating feature on the creation of the live show, the track “This Is The Picture” as filmed by fans on the night, and a montage version of “In Your Eyes”.
While the core of the performance is the So album, there is so much more to the concert with unfinished, previously unreleased and re-imagined songs sitting effortlessly alongside classic hits reflecting what a multi-dimensional artist Peter Gabriel is. With innovative lighting and staging, Back To Front – Live In London offers a visual and narrative feast that puts the viewer inside a concert like never before.

Track Listing: 1) Daddy Long Legs 2) Come Talk To Me 3) Shock The Monkey 4) Family Snapshot 5) Digging In The Dirt 6) Secret World 7) The Family And The Fishing Net 8) No Self Control 9) Solsbury Hill 10) Show Yourself 11) Red Rain 12) Sledgehammer 13) Don’t Give Up 14) That Voice Again 15) Mercy Street 16) Big Time 17) We Do What We’re Told (Milgram’s 37) 18) This Is The Picture (Excellent Birds) 19) In Your Eyes 20) The Tower That Ate People 21) Biko.

DIRTY DIAMONDS TO RELEASE LET’S GET LOUD THROUGH VANITY MUSIC GROUP IN THE UK:
(1 May 2014 – Limerick, Ireland) The Irish mob known as Dirty Diamonds will release their debut full length effort, Let’s Get Loud in the UK via Vanity Music Group on 5 May 2014. A heart pounding twelve song affair of melodic hard rock fury meant to take your head off, the album is the band’s follow-up to their ‘Leaving Town’ Ep in 2013.
Let’s Get Loud encompasses everything Dirty Diamonds love about rock and metal music. “We decided from the get go that it should be something that is reflective of all our influences,” states Jonathan. Songs such as “Want You to Want Me” and “Wakin’ Up the Neighbourhood” are reminiscent of Def Leppard and then you have tracks like “Crash & Burn” and “Against the Grain” which stray much further into the heavier territories of Pantera and Megadeth and “Paradise & Tropicana” features Foo Fighters and Journey as influences. “It wasn’t that we were trying to please everybody it was more like there is so much more to Rock n Roll as a genre than just pedal to the metal straight ahead rock all the time and we are big fans of the genre.”

The band is accompanying the release with the following dates:
2 May – Dumfries – The Venue
3 May – Dumfermine – Monty’s Bar
4 May – Glasgow – 13th Note Cafe
5 May – Edinburgh – Bannermans
6 May – Sunderland – The Corner Flag
7 May – Newcastle – Dog & Parrot
8 May – Manchester – Grand Central
10 May – Nottingham – The Salutation Inn
WebLinks: www.dirtydiamonds.ie / www.facebook.com/dirtydiamondsrock.

BASSIST ERIK SCOTT TO RELEASE SECOND WORLD MUSIC ALBUM ‘AND THE EARTH BLEEDS’:
“A rocking bassist takes trips down unconventional musical roads, with apparently no rules or signposts. Medieval gypsy violin, Celtic melodies, steel guitars….. surprises.”

San Francisco, CA – Much to the excitement of music aficionados worldwide, bassist/composer Erik Scott will be releasing his sophomore CD ‘And The Earth Bleeds’ on May 8, 2014. Best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Sonia Dada, and Flo & Eddie, Erik’s newest release takes the listener on an aural voyage through ethereal and otherworldly musical landscapes. ‘And The Earth Bleeds’ adds some vocals, gypsy violins, Celtic melodies, a dash of steel guitar, a wisp of French horns and other surprises to the soulful and mystic brew of his first ‘solo’ album, ‘Other Planets’. And Erik continues to stretch convention with his melodic playing and bass-generated SFX.

Says Erik, “There are people who carefully plan out the direction of their music…smart. Then there’s me. I pretty much have no idea at the start. I get in the music room and start messing around on something; bass guitar, chord changes on the keyboard, or a beat on the beat programmer. If I like something, it just starts to build. The lyrics on the five songs with lyrics on this CD…well, they happened later, when it seemed that the music alone wasn’t saying all that I wanted.”ќ
Among the eclectic mix, there is a definite Scottish influence in the music – especially on the tracks “Free”, “The Battle For Neverland”ќ and “Run”. Erik explains, “I went to the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh last August 2013. I had completely written and recorded ‘Free’ as an instrumental, when I was reminded of the price some people have paid for their freedom, in this case William Wallace of Scotland. It seemed that I needed to say a few words…not a lot…just a few. After returning from the Highlands, I found the trip had helped me complete the Scottish inspired pieces. The melody, originally played on bass, took on such a haunting beauty when played on the veille (medieval violin) by Shira Kammen, that I decided it was the music to which I should write the lyrics that became ‘Free’.”ќ

“Free”ќ is inspired by, and dedicated to William Wallace. “The Battle For Neverland”ќ is inspired by J.M. Barrie, the Scottish creator of ‘Peter Pan’, and “Run”ќ is decidedly influenced by traditional Celtic melodies. Also the bridge to “Battle”ќ is inspired by a traditional Scottish melody “The Haughs of Cromdale”ќ. Watch the promotional video for “Free”ќ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mjAUnayIb8.
Erik Scott’s first real break in the music business came in mid-1974 when he was hired to play bass for former Turtles/Frank Zappa’s Mothers members Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan). Erik recalls, “We toured and recorded constantly for about three years, making the ‘Illegal, Immoral and Fattening’ and ‘Moving Targets’ records. Flo and Eddie shows were known for alot of great hit songs from their career as ‘The Turtles’, cool stuff from the Flo & Eddie albums, some stuff from the Zappa years, and their usually profane and hysterical tirades about the excesses of pop stars and the music business in general. That’s how I first met Alice, onstage with Keith Moon at the Troubadour in LA singing ‘Happy Together’ (Turtles Hit) and ‘Wooly Bully’. We went out in ’75 with Jefferson Starship, whose ‘Red Octopus’ album went to #1 five different times, and in ’76 we were out with the Doobie Brothers, whose ‘Takin’ It to The Streets’ was also #1. In between we did a tour with Steven Stills, and gigs with Fleetwood Mac, among others. These tours, and the albums with Flo & Eddie, still stick in my memory.”ќ

In 1980, Erik began working with the legendary Alice Cooper after a short stint with drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Erik Scott, first hired as bass player on the ‘Flush The Fashion’ tour, later became a co-writer on ‘Special Forces’ and co-producer as well on ‘Zipper Catches Skin’, touring extensively behind the ‘Special Forces’ album.
After Alice, Erik spent some years as a session player in LA, with artists as diverse as Kim Carnes, Peter McIan, Franne Golde, Tonio K, and others. He also found time to co-write and play on the title song from Pops Staples’ ‘Father Father’ album, which won the Grammy as Best Contemporary Blues album in 1994. He also played on the title song from Mavis Staples’ album ‘Have A Little Faith”, which was recognized by the WC Foundation in the Gospel-Blues category for the year 2004.

In 1989, Erik formed the rock band Signal and released the album ‘Loud and Clear’ on EMI Records. The album was largely lost in a regime change at EMI USA, but gathered acclaim as an AOR melodic rock hit internationally…a bbit of a classic actually. Three commemorative packages were released overseas: Japan, France (Axe-Killer Records), and South Korea. ‘Loud and Clear’ made many 1989 year end Top Ten and Top Twenty charts for AOR and melodic rock.
In the early 90’s Scott became an original member of the band Sonia Dada. The group featured eight members: three African-American soul singers and five European-American players with backgrounds ranging from rock, folk, jam, psychedelic, jazz and R&B, all of which brewed up quite a genre-busting stew. Erik spent 15 years, and recorded 6 albums with the ensemble, “where a diversity and collision of styles awakened all kinds of possibilities in me, probably helping to inspire the unconventionality of my solo work”ќ.
Although Erik is originally known for his work in the rock field, he has recently pursued a path in ‘world’ music. In 2009, he released the critically acclaimed solo album ‘Other Planets’. John Diliberto, producer/host of the radio show ‘Echoes’, is quoted: “To say that his solo debut ‘Other Planets’ is a bass guitar album is to miss what a powerful, cinematic release he’s created. It’s an album that is more Pink Floyd than Jaco Pastorius.”ќ

And now, Erik has taken his enchanting and mystical music a step further with the release of ‘And The Earth Bleeds’. He explains, “Again, no plan… I premeditated nothing. The melodic nature of it, any chilled out nature of much of it, came mostly from the fact that the music was birthed in my studio with just me. Rock music generally happens when you have more than one person…a gang…a rock gang. These solo projects come more from a melodic and chilled-out rhythmic place, and a desire to experiment with the potential of the electric bass as a major melodic voice, in combination with violin, steel guitar, and other less-expected partners.”ќ
In closing Erik has this to impart to his fans and listeners, “I guess I hope that listeners appreciate the soulfulness, nuanced performances, and spacey honesty that probably leaks all over the stuff.”ќ
For more information: erikscottbass.com.
To purchase Erik Scott’s And The World Bleeds CD: www.cdbaby.com/cd/erikscott3.

STRANGE KARMA TO STREAM LIVE PERFORMANCE IN CONJUNCTION WITH NEW SINGLE:
With their latest killer single, “Devil from the Moon,” just issued via iTunes on Tuesday, April 22nd (on Flexitone Records), Strange Karma will be celebrating its release by streaming a live performance (of the album in its entirety) on the internet. On Sunday, May 4th at Top End Studios in Sydney, Australia, the group (which is led by the brother duo of Martin and Paul Strange, who supply vocals and guitar, respectively) will be performing at the USA Times of 12:30 AM Pacific/3:30 AM Eastern and the Australia Time of 5:30 PM. Click here to stream it live on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFrRjrAihNI.
Fans can also give a listen to “Devil from the Moon” and purchase it for $.99 via iTunes, via this link: itunes.apple.com/album/devil-from-the-moon-single/id853946945.

“Devil from the Moon” also serves as a prelude to the group’s upcoming, yet-to-be-titled album, which was produced and engineered by Grammy nominated David Ivory“Working on the new album with David was an unforgettable experience,” the brothers recall. “He instinctively recognized what was necessary to manifest the essence of Strange Karma and mould it into something that appeals to a worldwide audience. During our collaboration, David connected with us both on a musical and personal level. His intrinsic ability as a producer to bring out the best in us as musicians has led to the creation of an authentic live performance experience and an honest representation of the Strange Karma sound.”

Judging from “Devil from the Moon,” Strange Karma’s upcoming sophomore disc will expand on the promise of their debut effort. And soon, fans will be able to experience the band on a nearby computer screen, when they perform live from Sydney.
For More Info, Visit: www.strangekarma.net / www.facebook.com/pages/Strange-Karma/157783670932214.

MRX UPDATED:
It’s Aussie rock week with MRX – 3 killer live recordings to check out:
– Rose Tattoo – Live Reading Festival 1981
– Dragon – Live One (1985)
– AC/DC – Austin1985
Join MRX now.

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Additional AOR and Melodic Rock News on 01/05/2014

LOVERBOY KEYBOARDIST DOUG JOHNSON’S NOTES TO SELF:
Indie release available on iTunes, CDBaby and his own website is an homage to Beethoven, Bartok, Chopin and Ravel featuring pieces he composed and arranged himself.

Los Angeles, April 30, 2014-The distance from “Working for the Weekend” to classical composers like Beethoven, Bartok, Chopin and Ravel might seem like a long way, but Loverboy keyboardist Doug Johnson has proven there is a connection on his new CD, Notes to Self. Recorded in Vancouver with classical musicians from the Vancouver Opera Symphony, the CBC Radio Symphony and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the album is available digitally on iTunes and CDBaby as well as in physical form on his own website (www.dougjohnsonmusic.com/CD.html) via PayPal.
“If you listen, the keyboard parts for many of Loverboy’s songs were very much informed by my classical training,” says Johnson, who started taking piano lessons at four years old, then received his Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (A.R.C.T) degree when he was 18, with a silver medal. “This has been a lifelong passion for me.”
Recorded in Vancouver on a nine-foot Steinway concert grand piano with a variety of classical musicians-most prominently violinist Mark Ferris, who helped with the arrangements, and flautist Lorna McGhee-Notes to Self was inspired by “my physical and emotional connections to the places and people in my life.”
The album ranges from solo pieces like the playful “Sucrose,” a number that reflects the deleterious effects of a birthday cake-induced sugar rush on his visiting granddaughters to a quintet featuring violin, viola, cello, flute and his own keyboards on the opening four-part “The Crescent Suite,” a grand vision of four seasons as seen from running on the beach near his Surrey home in West Canada.

“It goes from the fall, when the storms start coming in (‘Con Brio’) through all four seasons, ending with the summer (‘Maestoso’), when all the tourists arrive and life is more laid-back,” says Johnson, who also captures the brooding, overcast nature of the area’s weather in “Waltz of the Grey Days,” a duet with piano and cello.
“Zoe” and “Emily” are dedicated to his nieces, the former “beautiful, capricious and brave,” the latter “a methodical, persistent problem-solver,” both painting vivid pictures by capturing those personalities in sound. “Two Versions of a Visit” is another piano/cello duet that reflects the very different personalities of his two grandsons. “Warsaw” is his tribute to Chopin, whom Johnson considers “the best composer of piano music who ever lived… I’ve always had a special place in my heart for him.”
Johnson, an outspoken believer in music education, hopes that Notes to Self will simply make people feel good. “I’m hoping it will energize them, and allow them to reflect,” he says. “Music is inspired by the things around us and our experiences, our interactions with others,” adds Johnson. “I wanted to let people in on that process, how this album came about.”

And while he has already performed some of this music recently in a live setting, Johnson isn’t about to ignore his “day” job, playing with Loverboy, who for three decades have entertained several generations of fans with hits like “Working for the Weekend,” “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “Heaven In Your Eyes,” “Turn Me Loose,” “When It’s Over,” “The Kid is Hot Tonite” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”
“Playing with Loverboy is just a great deal of fun,” he says. “We’re like brothers. We get to stand up before thousands of fans, and when you look out into the crowd, you see them smiling, laughing, dancing and having a great time. Our songs seem to have stood the test of time. They’re not only relatable to our old fans, but their kids.”
Catch Loverboy on tour this summer: www.loverboyband.com/tours.html.


FROM POLAND TO PERRIS FOR SCREAM MAKER:
Perris Records is proud to announce the CD release of their first band from Poland Scream Maker. The “Livin’ In The Past” CD cover was designed by Roslaw Szaybo, world-renowned designer of Judas Priest, Elton John, Santana and Bob Marley.The band just finished a tour in Poland with Paul Di’Anno and sharing the stage with Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden). Scream Maker will also be on 9 city tour through China including the Mordensky Festival festival in Beijing.
WebLink: www.perrisrecords.com.

xx


NEW WIZARDS OF WINTER ALBUM ARTWORK TO BE DESIGNED BY IOANNIS:
Legendary record cover artist Ioannis (Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, King Crimson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Weir, Allman Brothers Band, Dream Theater) will be joining forces with The Wizards of Winter to produce cover artwork for their upcoming album to be released later this year. Ioannis will also design merchandise and the tour art for their upcoming 2014 schedule.
Says Ioannis, “I think The Wizards of Winter is an incredibly talented group of individuals and it will be cool to work on their holiday project, so I am really looking forward to doing this.”  Plans are also in discussion for additional ventures to be announced later this year.

The Wizards of Winter, the prog-metal-meets-classical rock band that has been hard at work recording their second release, are excited to be working with this iconic artist for the design of their album cover artwork. Ioannis has created the covers of over 170 albums, with his art firmly rooted in fantasy and surrealism. The currently untitled album, produced by Tommy Farese of Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame, promises to continue the band’s style of integrating elements of hard rock and classical influences into a distinctive blend of original compositions. “We are honored to have the privilege to work with a creative master like Ioannis,” said Scott Kelly, leader of The Wizards of Winter. “His art work has graced the album covers of so many of the music industry’s legendary performers that he too, truly is a legend. When Ioannis contacted us and told us that he really liked our material and wanted to work together, we were really quite surprised given where the band is in its development. It is just another proof point that the Wizards are really beginning to gain some broad recognition. After speaking with Ioannis, Steve Ratchen, one of the other co-founders of the band, and I both found that besides being a very nice and approachable guy, his artistic concepts and marketing directions appear to be exactly what we need at this time to assist us in moving to the next level. We are humbly grateful that he has chosen to work with us and greatly look forward to working with him.”
For more info visit: thewizardsofwinter.com / www.dangerousage.com / www.facebook.com/DANGEROUSAGEART?ref=hl.

UNISONIC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND EP ‘FOR THE KINGDOM’:
Two years after their celebrated eponymous debut album German hard rock supergroup Unisonic which includes Michael Kiske, Kai Hansen, Dennis Ward, Mandy Meyer and last but not least Kosta Zafiriou is back with a new record that will be released on July 25. As a foretaste of their eagerly awaited sophomore album the band will release the EP ‘For The Kingdom’, which contains two new songs and four live tracks, on May 23.

Rock and metal fans had to wait many many years – 23 to be exact – before it finally happened: German metal icons Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske, who kicked off German Metal trailblazers Helloween’s international triumph with the two ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ records at the end of the 80s, got back together again. Again? Yes, again: Hansen quit Helloween in 1989 to found Gamma Ray while Kiske left four years later to attend to his solo projects. Even though the band already formed a year before Kai joined them but it was his involvement that made Unisonic a so-called supergroup.
The two congenial musicians’ new baby was called Unisonic and instantly aroused enthusiasm in the rock and metal community. Their first single ‘Unisonic’ got well over 150.000 YouTube clicks in just a few days after its release in January 2012 and has by now garnered more than 640.000. When music legends like Kiske on mic and Hansen on guitar, who are completed by bassist Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), guitarrist Mandy Meyer (Krokus, ex Asia & Gotthard) and drummer Kosta Zafiriou (ex Pink Cream 69), pool their creative strengths, the world is going to be set on fire for sure.
And Unisonic did deliver the goods: After their teaser mini album ‘Ignition’ got rave reviews and sold out immediately, the eponymous full-length debut was equally acclaimed and proved impressively that the chemistry between Hansen and Kiske is simply second to none. However, all those who expected a third ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys’ album were mistaken: Instead of relying on worn out success patterns the two thoroughbred musicians rather indulged in heavy rock than in power metal and delivered a stylistically manifold album which featured everything from emotional ballad to luscious rock track while occasionally still drawing on buzzing heavy metal of course. The outcome was a unique collection of rock anthems full of energy, melody and magic.

And there’s more to come. Only two years later Hansen, Kiske and co. up the ante again with their sophomore album which is once more produced by Dennis Ward and will be released on July 25th. Heralding this eagerly awaited full-length album, Unisonic will again offer a foretaste in form of an EP called ‘For The Kingdom’ which will see the light of day on May 23rd. The six song collection consists of the brand new album track ‘For The Kingdom’, which hymn-like chorus and its double-bass footwork extraordinaire will rush the blood to the head of all metal fans. Followed by the EP exclusive smasher ‘You Come Undone’ which could have been included on the first band offering as well but also gives a hint of what to expect from the near-by future plus four live recordings from their show at the Masters Of Rock Festival 2012 in the Czech Republic where Unisonic performed a celebrated show (also exclusive to this EP).

NEW SHOWCASES ONLINE:
New Showcases online today for Tesla & Night Ranger (Frontiers Records, out June 6) and Perfect View, Sonic Station & Rik Priem’s Prime (Avenue Of Allies, out May 23). Check them all out!

Sonic Station’s New Album “Next Stop” Arriving In May 2014

On May 23rd 2014 Avenue Of Allies will release “Next Stop”, the much anticipated second album by the Swedish AOR band SONIC STATION. One month before the album the digital single “Amelia”  will be available on April 18th 2014, accompanied by a music video for the track.

 

While perfect arrangements and production values of the highest order are still a trademark of the songs of guitarist, composer and producer Alexander Kronbrink and his band, the music is now focusing on the AOR side of SONIC STATION. The powerful tunes have a more upbeat feeling and give more room to the guitars and with most of the musicians performing on all songs, the recordings carry the spirit of a real band performance rather than having the nature of a high profile studio project like the self-titled debut from 2012. 

Alexander was brought up in a musical home in Stockholm, Sweden, where one of his friends in the neighborhood was Jonathan Fritzén, who played keyboards and the piano. Together they had jam sessions fooling around with jazz harmonies and even trying out some of their own compositions. Today Jonathan is a star in the Smooth Jazz genre with several number 1 hits on the US Billboard charts to his name. Jonathan appears on all SONIC STATION albums, as does Alexander on Jonathan’s solo records.
Like most teenagers Alexander was venturing into several musical genres, before a friend of his father’s introduced him to the music of American guitarist Lee Ritenour, this listening experience  paved the way for Alexander’s own playing. Subsequently he discovered the music of some of the most influential artists of the US AOR and Westcoast genres like Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins and Toto, as well as songwriter and producer David Foster and listened to guitarists like Jay Graydon, Steve Lukather, Michael Landau and Dann Huff.

 

Eventually in his early twenties Alexander decided to dedicate himself completely to music. While studying music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, he met his now long time musical partner in crime, singer and piano player Marika Willstedt.  
In her home country Sweden, Marika became a household name after appearing for several seasons on a popular national TV show during prime time. In addition to her work with SONIC STATION as a singer and song writer, she is also a renowned session musician and artist in her own right. 
Marika recommended the most significant new addition regarding the album’s personal, lead vocalist Johan Boding. After she and Johan toured together with the legendary Swedish session guitarist Janne Schaffer in 2012, Marika immediately saw Johan as the perfect lead singer for SONIC STATION and he gladly accepted the invitation. When he and Alexander started doing demos for the new album they were both very excited by the magical mix of Johan’s marvelous voice and Alexander’s music. As a result Johan is singing eight of eleven songs on the new album “Next Stop”, while Marika took over the lead vocals on the remaining three songs.

 

“Next Stop” was recorded between February and November 2013, with Alexander playing guitar and synthesizers and taking over the production duties and handling the mix. The drums on all tracks are played by Thorleif Robertsson and the keyboards by Jonathan Fritzén. Erik Metall laid down the bass on all songs, except on “Catch Me If You Can” and “Fool For Your Love”, where Mathias Garnås, who also co-wrote these songs together with Alexander, took over the bass parts.  
Musical guest contributions come from Arvid Svenungsson with additional synthesizers on “Stopped Beating”, Andreas Ekstedt added another component that makes the album come alive by playing percussions and violinist Conny Lindgren wrote and performed, the violin arrangements for the three ballads “Fool For Your Love”, “Broken Man” and “Hide And Seek”. 
The co-writers Matilda Bådagård, Mathias Garnås, Morgan Lydemo, Anders von Hofsten, Rebecca Petersson, Emma Essinger and Matilda Lindell added a variety of moods and feelings to the AOR tunes of “Next stop”.

Following the album release SONIC STATION will treat fans of prime AOR in the vein of Work Of Art, Lionville, The Theander Expression and Mecca with several live performances during the coming months.

Sonic Station - Next20Stop front cover 500X500