Street Talk: Back to deliver their best record to date.
Frederik Bergh talks about the new Street Talk album and why he decided to give this classic AOR act another chance, plus news on the new Bloodbound album.
Fredrik - let's start by talking Street Talk. First of all - fantastic to have you and the band back. Could V be the best Street Talk album yet? I think it was the most consistent for sure...
Very nice to talk to you! Yeah, it's good to be back with the new album! I'm very pleased with the result, lots of work was put into the making of this album to make sure that we really did a killer album this time around! I think this is our best album to date for sure!
I for one was pleased to stuck with Goran for all vocals - he has always been the main player, but why on this occasion did you chose not to use another vocalist also?
I'm also very pleased to have Edman onboard for all the vocals on the new album! I think Goran will be the only singer in Street Talk from now on! There's no need to involve someone else when we have what we have already! Of course I love to work with other musicians and singers for other albums/projects but for Street Talk I would say that Edman is the man.
I know you have felt some frustration with the constraints of the melodic music scene - frustrations a number if not all of the artists out there feel!
Is that what led you to declare at one stage that there would likely not be another Street Talk album?
Yeah, I felt that I put so much work into something that didn't give too much money in return. But as you can see I couldn't stay away from the studio too long because of my love for melodic rock music.
What convinced you to take another look at that?
I guess it was because I received lots of fan mails from fans from around the world who wanted the band to continue, and also because I felt that we had some very good music in us after recording the new two songs for the compilation album (Astray and Made For Paradise) which turned out to be some of the best tracks we've ever done.
The album V is the result - so I dare say you made the right decision! Are you happy with the sales to date and the reaction from fans and critics?
Yeah, I'm very proud of this collection of songs and I'm glad we did one more studio album! I'm happy with the reactions from the fans and the media! Almost everybody says that this is the best Street Talk album to date and that feels good after all the work with the album. Regarding the sales, I have no concrete idea of how many copies we've sold so far.
There are some glorious AOR tracks on this album - Responsible and If I Could for starters...Favourites for you?
Thanks for saying so! I really like most of the tracks on the album. But if I had to pick my top five I would probably chose the following tracks as my absolute fave songs: At The End Of The Day, Don't Believe, Groundhog Day, If I Could And Something's Gotta Give. Something cool about Something's is that one of my all time song writing heroes Mark Spiro told me that he dug that song a lot after hearing it! So if Spiro likes it I guess I have to have it on my list as well!
A couple of more intense tracks I'd like to quiz you on also - tell us about the lyrics behind the very emotional At The End Of The Day?
I guess you have to ask Goran about this track as he's the one responsible for the lyrics on that tune!
How about Oh Maddy? There's a definite story there. Musically is reminded me of Journey's Raised On Radio record...
Same here, Goran wrote the lyrics, I wrote the music, so he's the one who could tell you the story behind this tune. Yeah, I agree with you that it's got some Raised On Radio vibes. I guess it s because of Sven's Neal Schon-esque guitar playing and my keyboard harmonies that remind you of that particular Journey album. ROR is my all time fave Journey record. It still sounds very fresh even today 20 years after its release!
What are your music influences as far as the AOR side of things?
I have to say that my main music influences come from the following artists. I don't know if you can label all those artists AOR, but the following has meant a lot to me over the years: Journey, John Waite, Phil Lynott, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Def Leppard, Jackson Browne, Rick Springfield and many many more.
What about the future for Street Talk Fredrik? Does the response to V shore up the future for the band?
Well, I think there will definitely be more Street Talk albums in the future. I have already the music for half an album written for another album, so I guess it would be stupid not to do another one!
Of course the response to V feels very nice and there are a bunch of people out there who want Street Talk to go on, so yes, the future looks pretty good for Street Talk. As a matter of fact, we've sold more and more albums for every album we've done even though the over all sales of CDs have gone down! That is a pretty good sign that more and more people discover the music of the band.
V is immaculately produced - just how do you present such a fine sounding album on the recording budgets of today? What is your method of working?
I just try to do my best. It's all about hard work and to try to bring the best out of myself and the musicians around me. I'm very picky in the studio and I try to push everyone involved to the limit of their capacity.
I think most will be aware that there is another side to your musical personality that we should definitely speak of - Bloodbound. Certainly a band at the other end of the melodic music spectrum to that of Street Talk, yes?
Yeah, bloodbound is pretty different compared to Street Talk. But bloodbound is still very melodic and structured even though it's hard and more aggressive music.
What was the thinking behind getting this band off the ground and did you get a lot of comments from surprised fans that thought perhaps you were not capable of such power?
Well, myself and the bloodbound guitarist Tomas Olsson had been talking about doing something musical together for years as we are good friends and I am a big fan of Tomas' guitar playing and writing. So that was pretty much how the band got started! Some Street Talk fans have reacted to bloodbound thinking what the hell was going on with me
but it's not strange at all for me to play harder music as I started my musical path playing in hard rock bands as a teenager and I grew up on bands like Maiden, Priest, Accept, Helloween and so on, so it isn't so strange that I play this kind of music now.
Why the make-up, the look of the band? What was the thought process behind that and has that decision worked in favour of the band?
The make up started as a funny thing. We thought we'd try to do something crazy and wild during the photo shoots for the album
maybe we got too crazy
Yeah, I think it has worked because people talk about us and our image, some think it's cool, some think the make up sucks...haha....I guess all publicity is good publicity so all this talk about the make up have been good for us I guess. We'll see what we'll look like on the next album ;)
You are best known for AOR - but do you have a preference for style of music, or are you equally happy doing both styles?
I think it s very interesting and creative for me as a songwriter and musician to do different kinds of music, so I can t say that I prefer one style over the other! It would be boring if I only created music in the same style all the time.
You are just wrapping up the band's second album - what can we expect from this new album? Any surprises?
Yes, that's right we are currently working very hard on the recordings and writing of the forthcoming second bloodbound album. The disc will be released early next year. Probably around March/April. It will be a killer disc for sure! We have some amazing new metal tunes in the making and the biggest surprises is that we have a few new members in bloodbound since the last album. But these changes have only made the band stronger and better.
The album will be in the same style as Nosferatu more or less, but we have some small surprises for you for the second album. For example we have a big epic ballad that will be very cool! I can reveal some of the song titles: The Tempter, Book Of The Dead, Vampires, Turn To Stone, The Silent Call, Lord Of Battle and Into Eternity.
Are you up to anything else mate? What else has been going on in the world of Fredrik Bergh and what can we expect from you in 2007?
I work on new music all the time and besides bloodbound and Street Talk I will also be involved in the forthcoming albums from Bruno Rock and Northern Light. I have also talked to the great singer Rob Moratti from Final Frontier about doing some writing together. Oh, I almost forgot, myself and Goran Edman also did the backing vocals together on an album by a new Swedish country singer which was produced by Asa Jinder.
Cool. Anything that you would like to add?
I would like to say hi and thanks to all the people out there who buys our albums!
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview and look forward to what comes next!
Thanks a million Andrew and keep up the great work on your website!