"Flames of the Sun"
My second record in line to be released is the Lizard Eye album "Flames of the Sun" which will be released tomorrow (September 1st), and done so with a release party at Sweden's premier rock club Pub Anchor in Stockholm that very night.
This album has taken it's time to make, not in the actual making though, but to get to the point when it was ready to be made. It has also taken some time for the band to rotate into the right position, to get in the right band members, where it most certainly is now - Lizard Eye has never been tighter, stronger and better, both musically and personally. According to me right now this is definitely as good as this band can ever get.
"Flames of the Sun" is a good mix of smoking brand new material mixed with some older songs that have been waiting quite a while to be recorded the way they deserve. I'd say the material it pretty varying and dynamic and it's definitely a bunch of really strong songs. I've written about half of the album's music and more than half of the lyrics and I perform most of the guitars, even though Lasse Gudmundsson plays most of his rhythm guitars himself. I play all the lead/additional/layer/add on guitars, except the first and third round of the lead guitar duel in the solo in "Pride" which are played Lasse. Besides that I've been hugely involved in the arrangement of the songs, I sing some backing vocals on the album and I've also done the sleeve design and artwork for it. Even though I engineered (me and Fred Thörnblom) the guitars when recorded, I wasn't at all involved in recording the rest of it nor in the mixing and the final production process, which is pretty unusual but actually feels really good. A relief to let the decisions that comes with that to someone else for a change.
The album was mixed and co-produced by Dino Medanhodzic at Radionica and he's also responsible for my guitar sound (well, all guitar sounds) on the album and you won't quite find the usual and pretty much personal mid-eq lo-gain naked guitar sound of mine on this one. I thought it'd be cool to let someone else handle that for a change as well, even though it feels a bit strange, uncomfortable and awkward - and yea, scary. Even though it's a really different guitar sound gear wise, I still believe that the major part of a guitarist's sound is in the hands and the fingers, and even in the spirit and attitude of the player, but off course not entirely.
I used some different Gibson's on the album, but most of it is my '98 Limited Edition Saari Custom Flying V '58 Reissue armed with DiMarzio humbuckers, a Norton in the bridge position and a PAF at the neck. The amp Dino chose for my sound was a Peavey 5150. Haven't used one of those for many, many years, and I have to say that they really have their own distinct sound and warmth, a great sounding amp, can't argue with that even though those aren't my number one choice these days. I also put on quite a lot of different acoustic guitars to create and add colors and mood, both steel and nylon stringed.
I'd say this is easily the most amount of different guitar tracks that I've ever laid down on a recording ever and I was a bit afraid that it would feel uneasy and overkill, but it really turned out pretty naturally and great - Dino really did an excellent job mixing them all in really naturally and into the right places. There are however no doubled guitars though, only time we get close to that is when Lasse and I are playing the same riff on each side in the stereo field, but no doubled guitars like to get a fatter sound or something - I mean hey, this is 70s and 80s influenced classic heavy metal!
...anyway, the conclusion is that there are loads of guitars on this album and it's most certainly a "guitar album" and it feels really, really good to finally have finished and putt this one out. Hope you'll enjoy it and hoping to see many of you tomorrow at the release party where we'll be playing the whole album live for the first time ever.
The track list:
1. Garden of Hope
(Music and lyrics: Saari) 4:32
(Music and lyrics: Saari/Gudmundsson) 5:23
(Music: Gudmundsson, Lyrics: Saari/Gudmundsson) 4:35
4. Through the Flames of the Sun
(Music: Saari/Gudmundsson, Lyrics: Saari) 4:18
(Music and lyrics: Gudmundsson/Saari) 4:44
6. In the middle of what?
(Music and lyrics: Saari/Gudmundsson) 3:32
7. Into Nowhere
(Music and lyrics: Saari/Gudmundsson) 4:16
(Music and lyrics: Gudmundsson) 5:08
9. My Darkness
(Music: Gudmundsson, Lyrics: Saari/Gudmundsson) 7:22
10. Your truth (and Nothing but a Lie)
(Music: Saari/Gudmundsson, Lyrics: Saari) 4:52
11. My truth (Instrumental outro)
(Music: Saari) 1:34