Interview with Goran & Dan
It's time that Gothenburg's OTHER sound get's a little respect. Generous Maria have been one of my favorite bands since I started out on this mission three years ago. The combine modern heaviness with an Iggy attitude and a DLR-era Van Halen swagger. Vocalist Göran Florström has one of the best set of pipes around and, trust me brother, I've heard a lot of 'em. I was lucky enough to talk to Göran and guitarist/producer Dan Johansson about the band, getting a BJ from a groupie with cowboy boots and the new album. Read on!
Hellride Music: Well Goran and Dan, last time we talked, the Generous Maria/Skua split had just come out on Alone Records. Now here we are, two years later, and you've got a full length under your belt. How do you guys feel about Command of the New Rock? How does it differ in sound from the material that was on the split CD?
Göran Florström: We´re really pleased with the album! It´s our baby and we´ve worked hard on it and we love it. Compared to the split we spent much more time on each song in the studio and it´s recorded under much better circumstances.. And it´s an album y´know, there´s room for different vibes and moods, more variation y´know... Still love the rawness of the Strict Nurse EP from the split though..
Dan Johansson: It differs quite a lot as the split was recorded on an eight-track portable, and Command... was recorded on 24 tracks. That allowed us to make the sounds and arrangements a bit "deeper" and a lot more interesting. I think it´s kind of boring if you get to know the songs during the first couple of listenings, and then there´s nothing left to find out, so why bother to listen to it again?
Hellride Music: For those that are unfamiliar with Generous Maria, can you give us a little background on the band? Who plays what and how would you describe your sound?
Göran: We were formed four years ago, back in '98. Doesn´t feel like a long time though, I´m enjoying myself so much in this band. We´ve got Ulrik Nilsson and Dan Johansson on guitars, Mats Ohlsson plays the drums, Jeppe Klarqvist handles the bass and, well, I sing. As a band we´re pretty much about digging in the rich mould of the heavy rock of the 70s, and combining that with a more modern-day way of doing things.. well, I guess.. it comes out in a certain way anyways, not too much thinking involved really.
Dan: Since I came about the band at a late stage, it´s difficult for me to give you the story, but I used to be in heavy bands like Mary Beats Jane and such and that led me to come about producing the album. I actually recorded and somewhat produced the split as well, but did that more of a favour to old friends rather than anything else.
Hellride Music: Give us the background on Command of the New Rock. When were most of these songs written? How long did it take to record, who produced and how did you hook up with Lunasound Recording?
Göran: The songs were recorded about a year ago, during the winter/spring of 2001, in portions and all together about a month in the studio. Dan here, who was to become the guitarist of GM, produced the whole thing and did an excellent job, together with the bassist Jeppe who kinda is the band´s musical maestro. Then a mix was done which wasn´t to our liking and there was some bad vibes going on. In July we took it to another studio and remixed it and there it was, the album we knew was there all along. And as for Lunasound it was like it often is; they liked us and we liked them and there you are... Stuart and Chelsea are really cool guys and at this point and so far it´s nothing but a love story.
Dan: The guys in the band had already written most of the songs as I entered their rehearsal studio, but we did the final arrangements together before we went into the studio to record, and had long chats about how to come about the right vibe and sound. As you probably understand I was the one who produced, it wasn´t ´til later when George, the guitarist, left the band that I joined in full time. As far as Lunasound´s concerned, we just sent them a demo of an early mix, and that, as they say, was that!
Hellride Music: Who is Generous Maria anyway? And in what ways was she generous? Does she have any sisters living near Redondo Beach, CA perchance?
Dan: Aaah wouldn´t you like to know!
Göran: We had this simultaneous dream in the band and there she was, gotta be some kinda archetype or collective subconsciousness or something. And I dunno, aren´t all girls her sisters..?
Hellride Music: Let's talk about the album art for a bit. You chose the famous Malleus folks from Ufomammut to do your cover artwork.... are you happy with the result? What was the reason behind using Malleus?
Göran: Yeah, we´re really happy with it! Is it possible to be something else..? We thought they were the only ones to be able to realize our idea with the New Rock, the monolith from Kubrick´s 2001 - a space odyssey, bringing understanding to the ape-men, which gotta be us coz it´s five of them around the Rock.. well, it´s great anyways.
Dan: And to sell more records!
Hellride Music: Well, that's honest! Generous Maria is from Gothenburg, famous for the "Gothenburg Sound" in the metal world. What are your feelings on the bands that were instrumental for bringing so much attention to Gothenburg? Are you a fan of In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Opeth, etc?
Dan: Not a fan really, but what´s good for Gothenburg can just as well work out for us too.
Göran: I think it´s great that they turned the attention in this direction, I´m grateful for that, but I can´t say I listen too much to these bands..
Hellride Music: Give us one outrageous tour or gig story...preferably involving scantily-clad groupies...
Dan: There was a gig a while back where I actually got a blowjob done by a 16 years old girl still having my cowboy boots on. Very pleasant I might add.
Hellride Music: NICE!!...What's the plan for Generous Maria for the remainder of 2002?
Dan: Hopefully the record will gain enough interest, that we can get some good gigs throughout the world. Apart from that we´re already on the move for some pretty good new songs. We don´t want to wait a year or two to make a new record, you might say we´re already started recording the demos for it.
Hellride Music: Thanks for the interview! Anything else you'd like to add?
Göran: Thanks to you Chris, you certainly are a Rock to lean on. Cheers!
Dan: And thanks for liking the record, and a big shoutout to all you headbangers out there. Thanks for keeping it heavy!