There is a new melodic rock voice on the block, and it is quite enjoyable - Nordic rocker Martina Edoff has readied a new disc full of cool melodies, thoughtful and personal lyrics, and awesome vocals. While preparing for a US tour that will see her opening for Epica in September and October, we were able to get a few moments of her time for a quick chat. We got her to talk about the disc, her hopes for the tour, and much more...
Martina: Thank you.
Toddstar: Well, a lot of exciting things going on in your world right now. You've got a new album coming out, Unity.
Martina: Yeah, that's right. I'm really excited about that and I'm really excited to go and tour North America as well.
Toddstar: I wish you were coming to Detroit.
Martina: Yeah, that would be awesome. Maybe next time.
Toddstar: Maybe. Let's talk about the album first. Unity, it's billed as your solo debut. It's going to be out October 16th.
Martina: Yeah, that's right.
Toddstar: What can you tell us about the project?
Martina: Well, actually I did an album last year, but that was just one opportunity I got from a friend of mine who asked me if I wanted to do an album and then I wasn't well prepared with the songs, so I just took some old songs that I had. This time I said let's do another album with new songs, so I started to write music together with a guy who has a well-known band here in Sweden and we wrote some songs together starting in January this year. Then we went into the studio in March, so it's completed now and it's out as you said, October 16th.
Toddstar: What I really like about it is you look at the cover and I'm assuming it's going to be symphonic rock, which I love, but this is really a lot more of a melodic, up tempo sound. Is that where your heart is when it comes to writing and recording?
Martina: Well, I guess you would say this is classic rock although. How do you feel it is? What do you say?
Toddstar: I think it's more of a melodic sound than symphonic. I don't think it sounds a lot like other symphonic bands. I think you've got your own sound.
Martina: Yeah, that's right. It's more like a melodic sound. It's true. I usually write the melodies and the lyrics and I get the help from the musicians to get the sound of it. Since I have more melodic sounds when I write songs, it comes through in that way, I guess.
Toddstar: While listening to this I've got my favorites. Are there any that you go back and listen to and you think, "That is a great song."?
Martina: It's too hard to tell because all the lyrics mean something to me that I wrote myself, so for example I like "Unity" and on the other hand I like, another song that might not other people like, but it's a song that I wrote for my son, "The Spirit of Light," and then if I feel I really want to get an energy boost then I listen to "Come Alive," so it depends. At the moment I guess it's "Unity."
Toddstar: Looking back, you recorded at Bohus Sound Studios in Sweden, and it's had quite a history. How did it feel walking in there that you were recording in the same studio as ABBA or Status Quo?
Martina: It was wonderful. I like this old kind of studio when you see the big control board, with all the buttons and everything on it instead of a computer only today. Nowadays everybody's more used to get into a littler room where it's a computer and everything is done there, but this place is huge and this room where all the mixing takes place. Everything is so huge and it feels good to be back as it used to be in the old days. I like that.
Toddstar: You mentioned the tour and you are coming to the U.S. here shortly.
Toddstar: You're going to tour between September 18th to October 3rd. When you're out there how much of the new album can we expect to hear when you're on stage?
Toddstar: Sure, sure. What is about the tour that you're looking forward to the most?
Martina: I'm looking forward to of course to meet the audience, to see the country. I've been there before, but to go doing this tour is going to be an amazing experience, so the whole thing. It's just an awesome thing to do.
Toddstar: That's awesome. Looking forward even past the U.S. tour you've actually got a special date set up in Argentina.
Martina: Yeah. It's going to be really exciting to go there too.
Toddstar: How are you being received in these areas? You're in Sweden obviously, and then you're going to come to the U.S. and then head to Argentina. How do you find that you're accepted and received by all the fans in the different areas?
Martina: Strangely enough I've got a lot of fans in South America through my Facebook page, so I know already now that people like it, but we'll have to see what we get there. So fart, they really liked the new songs.
Toddstar: I've been fortunate enough to listen to it for about a week and a half now and I love the album.
Martina: Oh, wonderful. Thank you.
Toddstar: Looking back at the album, were there any songs that lyrically you had trouble writing?
Martina: Some of the songs I wrote the lyrics together with my co-writer, Jona Tee. When I first wrote the song, one special song maybe then, and then he came in and said, "No, say that," and then "Take away that and do that," and I had to compromise because we were both co-writers on the same song. If I had it my way all the way from the start, it would be differently, but I'm pleased anyway. Mostly I'm pleased. Some of the songs maybe I could have done something differently, but the essence of it is the most important thing.
Toddstar: What song hit closest to home with you? Which one is the most personal song on the disc?
Martina: There's a few of them. It's not just one because as I said before, "The Spirit of Light" is about my son and all the young ones out there. "Unity" is to unify people, and try to think in a way that will go back to the roots. It's a little bit too big sometimes what I really mean, but it's not meant to be too deep. Sometimes a song means a lot to me but the listener might not understand the depths of it. I would say "Unity" means a lot, "Spirit of Light" means a lot. "The World Has Gone Mad" is also one of them.
Toddstar: You mention "World Has Gone Mad," and there's a very cool video.
Martina: Thank you.
Toddstar: What was it like doing the video for that?
Martina: It was fun. It was exciting because I had to play like a maniac. I had to act like a maniac. I wanted to show that the madness in the world was like I was personified, if I say the right word there to show just that the world has gone mad and that I was the mad one in that scene. It was quite fun to actually act like that.
Toddstar: I was going to say it was a very different video than some of your previous videos from your previous efforts where "Before I Die," was more of just you're up there with the band playing.
Martina: Yeah, exactly. That's what I wanted to do because it's so easy to just go up there and sing and play and having fun, and this time I just wanted to do something different, so that's why I came up with the idea.
Toddstar: Very cool. What's the one thing you're hoping to get from the tour career wise? What's the one thing you're hoping you're able to pull off on this tour?
Martina: I would love to get the audience to like my music first of all, and I would like to get people more interested to follow whatever I'm going to do after this album, so to get a fan base because they like what they hear. That's what I want most of all, and that they like the music, the energy of the music, and maybe some people like the lyrics. Mostly I get an audience that likes what I do.
Toddstar: Again, based on the eleven songs on the disc, Unity, I don't think you're going to have a problem getting fans to like what you've got.
Martina: Thank you.
Toddstar: Have you already got a band together?
Toddstar: Are they the same players from the album, or did you assemble a band for this tour?
Martina: I handpicked some musicians this time because I'm a solo artist so I don't have my own band unfortunately, so I had to handpick them and they're really, really good musicians I have with me this time. On the album, it's an already well known band, but they are going on tour, so they had full booked. These musicians that I bring this time are incredibly talented, so it's going to be really, really fun to play with these guys.
Toddstar: Very good. Well, Martina, we wish you well. We wish you well on this tour and we really wish you were coming to Detroit.
Martina: Yeah. I would love to come next time.
Toddstar: Next time for sure. Again, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day and we look forward to the whole world experiencing Unity when it comes out October 16th.
Martina: Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much. Thank you very much.
Toddstar: Thank you. Bye bye.
Martina: Bye bye.
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