Alicate - A little bit heavier!

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Categories: Interviews

Alicate - A little bit heavier!

ALICATE from Sweden have been formed back in the late eighties but only recently they are quite active again with “Butterfly“ (2022) and the new album “Heaven Tonight“. Drummer Jesper Persson and bass-player Fredrik Ekberg are there to answer some questions. The melodic rockers showcase a deep understanding of what makes up a band and how important playing live is. An informative and nice conversation was about to unfold. A conversation that covers a little change in style, long-time influences and future plans.

“Heaven Tonight“ is quite a quick follow-up to the last effort “Butterfly“. How come?
Jesper: The songs have been written shortly after the release of “Butterfly“. We work more or less the old school way and most of the final versions of the songs were born in the rehearsal room.
Fredrik: At the beginning, Jonas Erixon, our singer, sends the parts and demos to us and everybody adds his little bits and pieces and sees if it works. We used the same studio, gear and stuff, so it was basically a continuation of what we did on “Butterfly“ except for the fact that the new songs are a little bit harder, heavier which was a conscious decision.

Some of you also write songs for other artists like Geoff Tate’s Sweet Oblivion, Skills with Billy Sheehan und Brad Gillis or Giant as far as I know. Is it difficult to decide what to use yourself for Alicate?
Jesper: It’s Jonas, who is responsible for most of the material in Alicate, and he writes songs for all kinds of artists but he writes for one band or project at the time. So there won’t be any conflicts, I guess.

Is there a keysong? A song that represents the new album best or is most important for whatever reason?
Jesper: I would go with the title track “Heaven Tonight“. It’s a classic melodic rock tune but also “Are You Ready“, the opening track, could be a keysong as well as “Big Time“, our second single of the new record.
Fredrik: Yes, “Heaven Tonight“ is my choice, too. By the way, we made a video for that song. Check it out! It’s cool!

The two songs “Ride The Storm“ and “Dreaming“ do have a great Whitesnake touch. I guess this is not a coincidence. “Dreaming“ for instance fits the style on “1987“ perfectly…
Jesper: No, it’s not a coincidence. We all love Whitesnake and you’re right in saying that there is a specific inspiration especially in these two songs. In general, the hard and melodic rock of the seventies and eighties is our main influence in everything we do in Alicate.
Fredrik: “Ride The Storm“ is actually an idea based on the David Coverdale solo track “The Last Note Of Freedom“ from the soundtrack of “Days Of Thunder“, a phenomenal record. Soundtracks like these unfortunately are non-existent today.

And then there is the final track of the album, “You’re Gone“. It almost gives me goosebumps as the track has got a strong Magnum touch…
Fredrik: Yes, but it was recorded before the passing of Tony Clarkin. We didn’t have any real incident in mind. But of course, we are huge Magnum fans and have always been. We could not think of a time without this band. It’s really sad that they have come to an end as a band.

What about live appearances of Alicate? Anything planed as of yet?
Fredrik: We play a release show in April next to our hometown with Falling Hazard and are absolutely open to more gigs.
Jesper: Yes, we definitely want to play more live. That was clear from the beginning when we came back as a band with Alicate. It is a real band and real bands play live. It’s simply fun and releases a certain energy that you definitely need in a rock band.

I asked this question a lot and got both similar and surprising answers from your fellow countrymen. What do you think makes Sweden so special when it comes to music, melodic music - both pop and rock - in particular?
Jesper: We have the likes of ABBA, Roxette and Europe, of course. These artists and many others in the past paved the way for numerous bands today. To me also Treat have been a major factor in my musical taste. But I think there are also many really influential German bands as well like Helloween, Scorpions or Accept.
Fredrik: When Europe appeared even the punkers wanted to be some sort of a Joey Tempest. They surely paved the way.

The Artwork is done by Janne Stark from Constancia. Your fellow countrymen is absolutely multi-talented, isn’t he?
Jesper: Yes, he is. It looks like a classic artwork of our genre. Janne really did a great job. I also play drums in his Mountain Of Power project and on the tribute album “Bandolier Kings“, a Budgie tribute. We know each other a long time starting from the days of Overdrive, a band he played guitars in. So, yes, he’s doing artworks, is a musician and works as a journalist and author, too. And he has a huge collection of records…ha ha ha.

Any “last words“ to address to the German melodic fans? To the customers of Pride & Joy label and mailorder?
Jesper: First of all, thank you for taking the time. Check out the new album and watch out to catch us live. We play Malmö Melodic in July along many other great bands and artists of the genre. It’s an honor to be part of this event for sure.
Fredrik: We really can’t wait! Hope to see you!

Martin Stark