Months fall away like days when it comes to updating my blog. Don't know where the time has gone since November ! But families and friends need us all and music can take a backstep for a few weeks at the nicest time of year for me, quite happily.
Geographically, I've remained pretty Anglo- Scandinavian since then, but creatively, the music has bounced like a ball between the states and Scandinavia for four months.
Co writing sessions for probably my last solo album, have been instigated, enjoyed and completed since then, with both Tommy Denander and Robert Sall, pushing those songs to the mix stage. I'm very close to that now.
Further sessions that were commenced have achieved little more than a shot from the starting gun and have yet to be pursued properly.
Andreas Nergard hits live drums for us this weekend in Trondheim, Norway and we are looking forward to pulling in some great stereo drum mixes to steady us up for mixing with Neil Kernon.
Neil is currently in the no go zone in Indiana with horrendous weather, still waiting to go home for his winter break, I believe !!
The songs, 'Passion Drive', 4 In The Morning', 'Northern Star' and 'Somewhere in London' are heading to mix, as well as 'Speed Up', 'Song For The Future' (featuring Eric Ragno) and 'Catch Ya Later', also head to drum recordings with Andreas.
This pretty much sees me half way through the album with plenty of time to focus on many other songs while the mixing is taking place in Chicago. Maybe the track line up will change later; I always hate that moment, when you've just approved the master and the next day you come out with the best idea for a song, but it's too late. So this time, I'll make sure I don't miss that :)
Onward and Upward !! Jumping head first into the rest of the songs as of this week; the snow will no doubt make sure I don't get away from the microphone too far in the coming months.
Happy New Year,
Since the end of August 2013, I've really looked at songwriting and little else. I took some family time in the UK, but apart from that, I've either been behind the pen or the mic. I guess it will carry on that way into the new year and beyond; I expect it to, anyway.
Quite how Tommy Denander has had time to jump in with me, I don't know, his schedule is demanding to say the least. But he has and it's been great so far working with Tommy. Very easy. And fluid.
Robert Sall has been jetting back and forth as well, with MRF amongst other things, but we've still connected well to develop two songs and hopefully a third. Good powerful stuff.
I've also hooked up again recently with Paul Sabu and Eric Ragno, who I've worked with in China Blue as well as some solo material for Vital Designs. Eric is currently re-working a song I've written for the record and finishing up some ideas on a ballad we are co-writing. Paul is co-writing various music for different projects with me. Great guy to work with.
Terje Eide has been very involved with editing the first of two songs we are working on together and we are currently building tracks for that material right now.
Andreas Nergard and Pete Newdeck are involved with percussion, although we haven't reached that stage yet we are also involved in other productions of Andreas' own planning for next year.
There should also be some live announcements with SHY during the not too distant future, so I'll keep you posted on that; possibly in Norway as well as the UK.
I'll post some shots of the musicians on the team over this coming week.
20 November 2013
Of course, like the seasons and particularly this one, there is always change.
I'm changing. We all are. Changing how we think, how we feel, what we aspire to and what we don't want to do anymore.
I want to do different things. Not the same things all the time.
I have a very definite 7 year cycle in my life, where my system undergoes change without any real control or plan of my own and TNT has come firmly under that hammer. When 7 years landed this time, I became very restless and uncomfortable, no matter how good the shows were. I was just plain bored and wanted that great feeling back in the headphones where new ideas manifest themselves again for the first time.
But I was patient with the feeling for 7 months and then it got the better of me. When I reached the end of July, my legs got up and walked on their own.
So, I no longer sing for TNT (As of the time of this writing, I've agree to fulfill the outstanding three concerts, which is really no big deal for me, I'm sure I will enjoy it and it will give me an opportunity to say goodbye to a lot of great people I've met on the road since 2006.)
I'm taking a break, then I'll be studying a lot for the AOR album I intend to release next year and trying to recover from a snapped finger dished out by an over zealous biker in Averoy a couple of months back. I'm no fantastic guitar player, but I need it to write, so I've dispensed with any writing attempts, since then.
I'm very excited to be working with Robert Sall from W.E.T. and of course Tommy Denander, both very talented guitarists in my eyes, with some great feeling music also from Vic Rivera, Pete Newdeck, Terje Eide, Andreas Nergard, and hopefully Jeff Paris, Simon Harrison and David Bryan.
With regard to heavier material, I'm also focussed on continuing with the SIAM material, but if the remaining members dont manage to pull it together, I'll sail ahead with a similar style album under my own name regardless, with help from Neil Hibbs, Oyvind Waernes, Sid Ringsby and Andreas Nergard amongst others.
That's where I am today, reeling from all the press of the TNT departure, which has been considerable and the 3500 video hits on You Tube of the Girls In Norway single in 48 hours of its release.
After recently completing live performance schedules in Scandinavia, Tony Mills is unsigned to any live contractual commitment for any artist or agency. Mills remains signed to both Marquee Avalon Music and FujiPAcific Publishing in Japan as a solo artist only.
Much to say about Florida and the Monsters of Rock Cruise with TNT, but mostly it was exhaustive and people have launched most of the photographs on Facebook, so they've kind of beaten me to it really, but in time what is left will be published here.
I'm undergoing a studio upgrade with all that computer stuff and new hardware here and there to cope with the writing I'll be doing all year.
The single, 'GIRLS IN NORWAY' is finished and currently being mixed in Chicago by our beloved SHY producer Neil Kernon, from the Excess All Areas era.
The initial mixes are great and all that is left to do now is satisfy ourselves that we have chosen from the best of the guitar overdubs that were recorded in Norway and England. Tommy Denander, Tore St. Moren, Steve Newman and Stig Rock n Rolfsen joined in the sessions and we have a lot to choose from to make the song the best it can be. This is really kind of a one-off single for me to partake in; I've never done anything like it before, so I'm determined to have some fun at it while I can. Hopefully, the video will be recorded in the south of Norway sometime over the next month or two ready for the summer and the radio airplay while the weather is good to hold the hand of the track.
It's really just a fun song about all the wonderful girls in Norway and it's funny how few names you can squeeze into a four minute song, when you have a list of several hundred, but here you go.
If you made it in there, then well, you made it in there, but if you didn't, then I'm definitely going for a metal album next, so cross your fingers that you don't end up on the next one !! :)
GIRLS IN NORWAY
Downtown, Oslo, work is on a go-slow,
Too many long legs walkin' my way.
Eva, Maria, Inga Elizabeth
Heidi and Carina, makin' my day..
Blue eyes, blonde hair
Don't even go there
Kari Ann, Sofie, will come for the ride
Marit & Sissel, they just wanna feel,
I tell ya Scandinavia's wild !
We got the girls in Norway !
We got some girls in Norway !
Uptown, Trondheim, Waitin' for the showtime
Silje & Kristel, walking their walk
Sweet Kari Mette, she don't know any better
Or dreamy Caroline and the way she talk..
And she talks.....
Tone, Sonja, got their eyes on ya,
Tuva's a groover, Solveig's got the fight
Henrietta Louise, so good for a squeeze,
Monica and Kristin all night..
We got the girls in Norway
Yeah, we got the girls in Norway
Drinking Chanpagne with Johanna, cruisin' in the sun
With Helena in the fast lane...
Can't Stop Catarina, loaded like a gun, enough to drive ya insane...
Westside Bergen, Got the heads turnin'
Hannah and Grethe, shakin' this town
Don't forget Stine,
I don't know if you've seen her,
Ella, Gabriella & Josephina
Dark eyes, red hair,
Man don't even go there
Astrid & Britt Eva, they got the hots
Hilda, Elise, Trine, what a dreamer \,
I tell ya, Scandinavia rocks !!
We got the girls in Norway
Yeah, we got the girls in Norway.
We got the girls in Norway
We got the girls in Norway.
Where do the weeks go ??? Since April, I took a week with my family in the UK, but apart from that and one show in Lillestrom with TNT, I've been buried in writing and recording at home in Oslo; with a mountain beneath me, I'm chipping away at the peak.
A meeting in Oslo, with King Baltak from Sydney and his comcern of Battlegod Productions has left me with opportunities that I scarcely saw previously, with enthusiasm abound and the desire to create a third SIAM album to complement and probably escort a re-release of the other two. It was only the desire to see who was behind the stunning production of the NERGARD album that drew me to meet him, but we got on famously and have discussed it ever since. I've contacted the remaining interested musicians in SIAM, which are Andy Faulkner on bass, Darren Horton and Marcus Thurston on guitars and Pano Moullaris on drums. I was already in the throws of co-writing very similar material with Neil Hibbs, which was fortuitous to say the least, ably assisted by Pete Newdeck on drum programming. There is a strong intention to do this, yet again, we'll see how it pan's out. I intend to involve other guest musicians as well on the third album, depending on their availability etc.
In and around this metal genre, I have a distinct intention to release one more metal album of my own. I've been asked by a lot of people to record a new metal album and I think for my part, the kick is easily big enough to free the desire to do so. So that is in motion anyway.
Over and above this record, I'm contracted to deliver one more AOR album to my Japanese album, Marquee Avalon.
I was kind of hoping that they would go for the metal album, but not so. So, through desire and demand, I'm really pulled both ways into two records, which in itself doesn't bother me, it will just be a case of keeping two projects on the go.
Saying that, I'm surrounded by more than enough capable musicians both in Norway and back in ol' blighty. So, co-writing I am and very happy about it as well. There's so much talent about. As the songs develop, I'll release the names of the musicians I'm working with and show you how it all fits together as I go.
Neil Kernon finished mixing the single, 'GIRLS IN NORWAY' in Chicago last month and it was mastered by his colleague, Alan Douches at West West Side Productions. He did a great job.
Since then, Inga Woie has been pulling together the video production in Kristiansand, Norway, which goes ahead on Saturday June 8.
I have to say, she has done an amazing job; a true people expert.
Somewhere in the middle of this, we managed to perform a GARY MOORE memorial show with TORE ST. MOREN at Dokka festival, which I have to say, was not only great, but a little strange, singing all the songs from the '87 tour, back when SHY supported Gary.
With little rehearsal, it didn't seem to matter that much, things fell into place with no real effort and it gelled great on stage; a huge slice of nostalgia and basic, great rock music. A winning combination. There is a definite intention to play further shows this year and into 2014. The mans name will not die !! We'll make sure of that !! So look out for, 'WILD FRONTIER'. I'll post some photos this coming week.
With the cancellation of a festival TNT were due to play in the north of Norway, it was only right that I get over to Birmingham to sing some of the songs that the late, great Steve Harris wrote from SHY at his tribute charity raiser concert on July 19. So I'm away to jog my memory of some songs from twenty five years ago and contribute what I can, to the band's efforts to raise some money for the foundation that his widow Debbie, sports so enthusiastically.
When my UK trip is over, I'll be back to Oslo to set my mind to the albums in hand and play a few remaining shows with TNT for 2013.
Whatever else pops up in the meantime, I'll drop on FB.
Have a warm and pleasant summer :)))
Back to writing and recording for a week or two after a hectic few weeks on the road.
TNT sold out the Musikleffen venue at Sandvika, Baerum and it was as hot on stage, as any I remember.
But what a great crowd; for them to be my home crowd was especially satisfying. Looking forward to playing the venue again later in the year. Thanks to Sverre Rokseth for doing a proper job on the promotion/production at the venue. Nice to see it done professionally. The concert deserved the extra press that it generated as follow up.
After a small show in Farsund on the south coast of Norway, I took a week out with my daughter in the UK. (Who has taken to singing and dancing in a big way; I wonder where that's heading...) After she wore me out completely, I headed back through Stockholm to Oslo to get ready for one last show in Trondheim at Uptown in Stjordal, before we head to Florida for the Monsters of Rock Cruise running to Nassau and the Bahalmas.
Jon Lovstad has been a running pro photographer with us for some weeks now, we met him at Age Sten Nielsen's New Years Eve party and got on famously with him. Jon covered a photo shoot with TNT at Sandvika, along with our beloved Vegar Bakken, my designer and kung fu master. We'll take one more shoot in Trondheim before we leave for the States.
TNT's new single is nearly completed in Denmark.
Neil Kernon will mix my new single, 'Girls In Norway', oddly enough in Japan, before we film a video shoot for it in the Spring for a summer release. I haven't worked with Neil, since he produced the best selling SHY album, 'Excess All Areas', in 1987. Great to be working with him again. He's been a very busy guy over the years working with everyone from Queen and Bowie to Dokken and Queensryche.
So, all in all, a very busy month. This week, I'm just gonna sit behind the mic and sing.
Budstikka newspaper publication released a 3 page portrait on my history this weekend, which kind of dug into corners that I hadn't really talked about in public before, definitely the kind of angles that will appear in my book, when I eventually pick it up and start work on it again. (When will that be ?!!!!!)
Been doing a lot of travelling recently around Norway and there is still a lot to do before I take some family time away next month.
The 'Cash In The Attic'/ 'Hidden Treasures' TV production is complete, which really left us with a song to complete, which will more than likely appear on the next TNT album.
This week, I have to focus on some editing on the TNT anniversary production show which will appear this year on national screens along with an associated DVD, although I have no actual release dates. I filmed an in-depth interview for the TV Rockumentary last Friday night.
The Monsters of Rock Cruise in Miami leaves me at the US Embassy this week, in and around some TV8 work and press interviews that remain to be done to introduce work on the new solo album.
I'm slowly getting ready for the Gary Moore Tribute show with Tore St. Moren and TNT also have a show this week close to Oslo airport.
Bobby Kimball and Tommy Denander land in Oslo late next week after they clear Sweden, so I'll be hooking up with them for their 'Legends of Rock' show at the back end of next week. So, it's time for some homework, some recording, some press, some TV and some shows.
I'll check in later.
Erik Engebretsen delivers some great drum tracks today. And Tommy Denander comes with a solo that I need, in between working for Mutt Lange and getting ready for NAMM. What a pro !!!!
And hopefully I satisfied Michael Voss and the WolfPakk in between his sessions with Michael Schenker. It's all go !!!!
Apparently, I'm to be the new vocalist.
Interesting, nobody told me!
Got a nice call from my old buddy in Germany, Michael Voss, with regard to the WolfPakk project. Sounds good !!!!
Erik Engebretsen delivers drum files for Girls In Norway and I've spent the evening mapping the backing vocals for the track. Plans start for the video production of the song in the spring and I'm getting ready for a private event in Trondheim. Busy day.