'Over My Dead Body' - Liner Notes.
I've been very fortunate, to be brought back to life, from death, during my lifetime.
It's kind of difficult to describe that, as I'm sure you can imagine. I was called back, but I wasn't expecting it. I remember being bitter, for some reason, although I could not really explain that, other than, that such a peace had been disturbed.
The artist in me, has been hell bent on trying to understand the way of explaining such things, for over four years.
With the help of some remarkable talent on this earth, I've been able to understand and express my own feelings and put them all in order of sensibility.
(Well, as much as you could expect, under the circumstances !!) The art of making music for me, is not about Billboard or maximum sales. It's very much about venting internal thoughts, experiences and trying to explain a certain issue in a listenable way. Presenting situations or feelings to other people that they wouldn't otherwise realise, in a musical format and of course, trying to survive in the process; which I managed, thanks to Inga and many other people after this dark journey.
The result of all this time, is the forthcoming album, 'Over My Dead Body'.
It's pretty much a testament, to being able to get up and write and perform again. I didn't think that would happen.
It's also very much a celebration of all the rock styles that I have been involved with, in my career. From acoustic, to piano based anthems to acapella and a lot of wound up Marshall's too; the tension is set for a show at the beginning of the album and resolves itself after a spiritual journey through death and rebirth in a Scandinavian airport, to a peaceful state of recovery and artistic creativity once more, after psychological despair, emigration and re-settlement of mind and body, but in a different country, from my upbringing.
The album goes through many changes in it's tone and temperature. I wanted to be able to express myself in as many vocal capacities as I could. Recording records with, or for other artists, always presents it's vocal limitations, but this was an opportunity to break those chains and focus on vocals more heavily for a time. I think I've really needed a vocally dominated album for a while and we have recorded thousands of vocal files on this record.
The style dynamic, ranges from classic 80's rock, which came through the collaborations with Paul Sabu, to the insurgence of detune and depth of the 90's where Siam was born, in co-writes with Henning Ramseth. Ram-Zet have their roots and cred based in Scandinavia. Henning has worked with the band,'Return', for years and currently is a sound consultant in Oslo. And a remarkable guitar player.
This is very much the closure of Siam for me. The demand for another record was heartwarming, but completely unrealistic because of everyones lives having taken such different paths. I think I came as close as I could here, with the intentions and expressionism of the band from the 90's. Even the artwork was resurrected by Alex Cooper from the original merchandise in 1993 before it was all stolen on tour in the U.K. and never seen again.
Siam drew much from Judas Priest, Queensryche, Racer X, Dokken, Hellion and many other other influences from earlier years, such as U.F.O and M.S.G.
With Neil Kernon and his production experience of both Dokken and Queensryche and indeed Shy, I've tried to maintain the high standard of production that the band really warranted. Robert Sall from Work of Art and W.E.T. shook up the AOR end of the album with his composition and guitar wizadry. I was to include a third song with Robert, but I wanted it to sit on the album I plan to release next year.
Douglas Docker is a remarkable musician and someone who completely understands my mindset. If it wasn't for his work and involvement, so late in the day, many of the ideas that were running around inside my head, would never have come to fruition. There is a cover version on the record. The remarkable Belgian writer, Jacques Brel inspired much in worldwide artists throughout his career in the 50's/60's. I never encountered him until the 70's shortly before his passing, but to record 'La Mort' in this fashion, is something I've waited thirty years, to do. It belongs here, for me, so I can put that artistic anxiety to rest at last. The orchestration of three of the songs are distinct possibilities and I have great hope of that before the final mixing. I've always enjoyed rock songs performed by a Philharmonic Orchestra. When we meet each other as rock musicians and those 'other' clever guys, we always find each other incredulous. But the respect is amazing, both ways.
'Over My Dead Body'. (Running Time, 45.09)
Time Won't Wait
4 In The Morning
We Should Be On By Now
No Love Lost
The Crue ;-
Drums - Andreas Nergard
Bass - Andreas Passmark, Sid Ringsby, Victor Borge, Henning Ramseth, Paul Sabu,
Guitars Paul Sabu, Robert Sall, Henning Ramseth, Ronni Le Tekro, Douglas Docker
Keys - Douglas Docker, Robert Sall, Paul Sabu.
Vox - at time of sessions, I covered all the vox, although that may change before the final mixes.
Courtesy of APM Music, Battlegod Productions and FujiPacific Publishing.
Mixed at OTB by Neil Kernon for Auslander.
Management - Woie Communications and Culture development.
'Over My Dead Body' artwork, by Arkham Artwork 2014 ©
Photography by Jon Lovstad and inc. credits pending.
As the writing moves into different circles with, Ralph Cardall, Steve Higgs, Douglas Docker, Simen Johanhessen, Oyvind Waernes, and Tony Marshall, a songwriting session is also underway with Vince O'Regan, whom I am sure many of you will be very familiar with. Vince has worked and written with several artists in the UK and is also well known for his live work with Bob Catley from Birmingham based prog rockers, Magnum.
Andreas Nergard hits the studio.
Andreas Nergard began drum tracks in Trondheim today, recording the first four tracks for the album, 'Over My Dead Body'. Great to know that the guides are disappearing now; another step closer !!!!
SHY at FIREFEST, October 2014.
I got the call from Kieran Dargan, shortly after the last successful concert at Firefest in Nottingham. It's kind of perfect for SHY to play Firefest this year, because sadly, it is the last festival to be held under the official Firefest banner and SHY have only played the show once, nearly ten years ago. As it is really impossible to say whether SHY will play some more shows or not, I welcome the Firefest show with open arms. I'm toying with the idea of bringing the band to Norway, simply because so many people have said they would like to see the band, including festival promoters. I've tried to attend the last few Firefest shows, but because of concert commitments myself, I've missed them all since the only show we played. Maybe I'll actually get to meet some of the guys I work with at last !!
It will be great to see Michael Bormann again and Circus Maximus are a great band, so that will be really cool. I've never had a chance to see The Poodles, Ten or H.E.A.T.
The intention is to give a rounded performance of the more well known songs from some of the SHY albums from 1983/2006 with Steve Harris' work looked after by Neil Hibbs and Carl Anthony Wright. It's difficult to summarise such a history in an hour, but it maybe an hour to run a wish list for fans to shout up what they would like to hear over the coming months.
Recording sessions with..........
I've been working with Eric for about the best part of ten years now I guess. Coincidentally, the pictures here were taken of Eric performing at the MR Festival in Chicago recently. The MR festival organiser, Andrew McNeice, was actually the guy that introduced me to Eric Ragno at the beginning of the CHINA BLUE project, 'Twilight Of Destiny'. Since then, Eric played and wrote on the 'Vital Designs' album and is now contributing to the new record, from his studio in Los Angeles. Eric is currently re-arranging a song I've written called, 'Song For The Future', as well as penning a modern electric ballad for the record. Great to have him back on board. :)
Thanks to Adam Novak for the shots.
Tommy has seen so much activity with his guitar this year, that it's difficult to know how we've managed to steal some time together. He is currently recording with Mutt Lange and his touring schedule is unenviable. Anyway, we have and managed to work on three tracks together !
It's an important part of development to involve and listen to what younger artists have to say and play, with regard to our music and I'm a big supporter of that.
Randy Jefferson has capabilities that remain untapped as far as I am concerned, but I intend to change all of that. Randy is currently contributing to my new solo album, which gives it another dimension altogether. 'Song For The Future' is really the anthemic track on the album, made wide and colourful by Eric Ragno, providing the missing link on the record that I was searching for. Randy will be appearing on this as well as various recordings over the coming months. Great to have him on board.
Andreas and I have been composing some different sorts of rock music together, over the last year or two. I have been working on his 'Memorial For A Wish' prog epic, and he he has been getting ready for the drum sessions and co-writing various pieces, Andreas is well versed in a lot of different instruments and his work has recently been released by Battlegod Productions in Sydney.
I shall be performing in Trondheim with NERGARD in April in support of his material and album release. Looking forward to that.
Robert has been a great co-writer through this project. '4 In The Morning', has caught the ears of Neil Kernon, to the tune of, ' Can we have another half a dozen like that one?' I'm currently working on the third and final song with Robert Sall, who has a lot of things on his plate with W.E.T./Work of Art, so these months have been fortuitous, to say the least.
Paul has long been in and out of the AOR business since the 80's. He also gets involved with music for film and theatre as well. 'Angeline', was his most well received single, which we've re-recorded to give it a more up to date production. Paul has been actively involved in co-writing for various projects I'm involved in right now and working with him is great, he doesn't hang around !!
I have talked a lot with Terje Eide over the years, with regard to his project, 'ON THE RISE', but we have never really worked together. I started discussing music with Terje many years ago when I lived in the UK, but it is only now, that I have begun to write with him from Oslo to Bergen, as it were.
We are co-writing two tracks for the AOR project and Terje has a great guitar style that really adds to the albums overview and depth inside it's genre. Welcome on board, Terje !! :)
Oyvind comes from the more northern part of Norway in Trondheim. I met him at a festival some years ago and we've been endeavouring to write together for quite a while, but I'm sure we'll manage it this time. He produces dark and very heavy material that I know will suit my heavier project after all things AOR are complete :)
IN RESPONSE TO RECENT DEBATE - 20 SEPTEMBER 2013.
I guess I have to respond to the overlying tension within the media over my statement through Full Throttle magazine recently and that's fine.
I understand the tensions over leaving a band that are popular in their own country and the conflict that is generated through my actions, although I have said little really, other than the fact that I was drained of energy and motivation by hammering the same old songs, year in, year out. It was pretty much beating the artist out of me and I very much wanted to nurture creativity and continue to develop for the coming years. I could not have done that, if I had just towed a line to suit others and deny my natural assertion. I had to stop it somewhere.
I have not felt the need to lift sentences from interviews of other members of the band and point fingers and draw attention to myself. That is easy; my statement is from myself with regard to my point of view, I'm not interested in making profit from other peoples words that don't agree with my own outlook.
My focus of losing days of possible creativity just to satisfy one end was my main point, it frustrated me greatly to the point of feeling that I was actually achieving little of what I actually wanted to do with my aims, aspirations, ideas and the time I have. TNT have given me a great platform for seven years, regardless of who says what and I am grateful for that. Playing live music loud is a great kick for all the musicians I know and satisfying the fans is a bottom line. Shaking a lot of hands after a show speaks volumes whether they break your fingers or not !! TNT have always been very popular in Norway and the fanbase speaks that volume. If the point wasn't made for me, in the last seven years, then it never would have been made at all. But with no further performances for a year and no album forthcoming, it was a good time to make the space for the original line up to reform and to give them the time without any further involvement to settle together again and do whatever they want to do. I am happy for that.
Whatever agreements or disagreements we had internally have not left me bitter, let me say. It is difficult to live in total harmony with what is effectively a second family.
I met as many people and fans over the years that were just as happy as the ones that were bitter and I gave them equal audience because I understood.
For anyone who is interested in facts, I don't regret leaving the band; on the contrary, I am happy for them, that they will continue and do what they want to do, as I can myself. I'm not in the least perturbed by the hatemail or anything else and I'm sure we will all get on with our own separate directions as time goes by. I had originally said that I would cover the bands commitments up until Christmas, should I be needed, although January was mentioned, but I think those times have passed us by, now. I'm sure I wont perform again with TNT; that way everyone is clear on where everyone else stands and that should satisfy a lot of people.
I think some comments were right, regarding the balance of focus from 'wasting my days' (which I meant my own creativity ebbing slowly away) and 'hating playing old songs for fans', which was really a genuine frustration about not going forwards or even sideways, but remaining static.
There have been some bright sparkling moments over the years, and the desire to hold the torch up a little higher, is all that really emotes such statements, not a different agenda. I do not leave the band hating anyone, quite the opposite; I have treasured great times with the Norwegian fans and already enjoyed the time to write with different talents in different countries since then, to great satisfaction. So, for anyone who wishes to perpetuate the negativity, go ahead. And for those who wish to perpetuate the legend of TNT in Norway, go ahead. Godspeed. Enjoy your freedom of speech. In our world of music, it belongs to us all.
Yep, Tommy is back !!
Well, I couldn't be happier than working with Tommy Denander.
He's coming to the table with a co write for the AOR project for Marquee Avalon Records and completing some work that remained unresolved from previous recording sessions over the past few months.
Tom's got a hell of a schedule on his hands as usual on tour with THE LEGENDS OF ROCK, so, it's great that he has taken time out to jump in join the team to make this record count. Cheers, bro :)
Robert Sall has joined forces to write some AOR tracks with me, for the album contract in Japan.
His work with W.E.T. and Work of Art holds great acclaim in the genre and I was connected to Robert through a New York contact and friend, Steve Cirvello.
Steve's intuition was right and Neil Kernon will be mixing the first track we wrote together,'4 In The Morning', which has worked out just fine.
Robert and I intend to start work on another song this month, timescales allowing, so needless to say, I'm pleased as punch about that.
Sid Ringsby - Soldier in Arms.
Sid Ringsby, was a guy I only met once before he re-joined TNT this year, but we hit it off pretty much straight away. After all the changes and aspirations this year, Sid decided to work with me and I have to say, it's a delight to write, record and play with him. He's a natural and thinks totally on the same wavelength as I do. There is little point in looking for a different bass player for anything that I work on really, he's such a flexible and friendly guy, you couldn't ask for any more. Metal or AOR, Sid's the man. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time working with him for all the ensuing recording sessions and live performances..
After the final concert with TNT in Trondheim, I'm free of any time constraints to carry on with writing my own music with musicians that I get on real well with, for however long it takes me to be satisified with the records. I've waited a long time for this; I recently said that I had been delayed this year, but the response was, 'Actually, several.'
And so it is, but I have a glorious team to work with for the rest of this year and it's great to be able to focus uninterrupted for a change. Got some heavy stuff to do with some cool musicians from the UK, USA, Norway and Sweden for the album, 'OVER MY DEAD BODY' and also some more mainstream lighter rock that I don't want to neglect this year either. So it's great to have the time for such self indulgence; I intend to make the most of it. Here we go !
Girls in Norway
The wait is over. Here you have it! 'Girls in Norway!
Tony Mills leaves TNT
After seven years, Tony Mills leaves TNT.
Norway, August 5th, 2013
After three studio albums and extensive touring in Scandinavia, Europe and USA with Norwegian hard rockers TNT, Tony Mills continues the journey in his own artistic direction.Tony’s contractual obligations in territories like Japan and Australia, as well as different preferences in the rock world fueled the decision to part ways with the band.
«It has been a a long road since 2006 and I’ve been through a lot since Z Records recommended me for the job in Oslo» says Tony. «I’ve met a huge amount of people here; for such a small population compared to the UK, the market for rock music is a lot bigger than I could have ever believed with grand support from the government and open doors for funding.The fan base is spread over generations and the promotional support unprecedented.The country is much bigger than it seems and we have flown so many times, I’ve lost count» Mills continues.
«After the passing of our beloved Dag Stokke, and the parting with Victor Borge at the end of last year, my departing may not be altogether unexpected. But there are other contracts I need to fulfill and a different focus I have to maintain in the coming years. I wish Ronni and his team all the best for their future, however it may shape itself. We’ve had some remarkable experiences together and we’ve worked with some incredible characters, from Ozzy Osbourne to Trine Rein, Anita Hegerland, Skid Row and Motorhead, Stage Dolls, Morten Abel, Age Sten Nielsen and even the crown prince. Bless them all; I hope to see them a few more times before the rock n roll wheel stops spinning and finally grinds to a halt. I shall be fulfilling all the previous engagements booked by the band and expected by the public, with great pleasure. And the ‘Girls in Norway’ are wonderful», Mills says in closing.
Tony Mills will be performing with TNT in Alesund August 9th and at Eidsvoll August 10th and for the good feeling of all concerned, I've agreed to return from the UK to play my final show with TNT in Trondheim, Norway on 23rd August, as announced in Adressa Newspaper this morning.
About the artist: Tony Mills toured the world with British AOR sensation Shy in the 80’s and established himself as a versatile songwriter and session vocalist with a slew of US artists during the 80s and 90’s. For the past seven years he’s been fronting Norwegian hard rock band TNT and currently resides at Jar outside of Oslo. He’s been maintaing an active solo career and session work along throughout this time. Mills is currently showcasing his new single and video, «Girls in Norway».
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.
Further information/interview bookings :
press officer Phone: +47 913 94 629
Girls In Norway release
Lots of pictures will be published in the next couple of weeks from the video shoot in Kristiansand and the video itself will find its way onto You Tube shortly as well as the track on iTunes. I'm not printing any hard copies of the single as it has become increasingly pointless. Even the industry internally are no longer pressing promo CD's to send out anymore, so it's downloads from here on in. No hard copy format. Who would have ever thought that you couldn't go and buy a new record from your preferred artist from a shop one day.
'WILD FRONTIER' cross the barricades.....
With Tore St. Moren at the DOKKA festival, fronting the WILD FRONTIER show, June 1.
More shows to be announced.
Never thought I'd be singing old Gary Moore songs from 1987, but it was a blast and I'm looking forward to more of the same.
Keep you posted on the dates.
'GIRLS IN NORWAY' - VIDEO SHOOT / June 8
All young ladies between the age of 17-28 are invited to come and dance for a couple of hours to the new single, 'Girls in Norway' in Kristiansand, Norway on June 8.
Here's a link for the details :)
The mighty Pete KingBaltak from BattleGod Productions in Sydney. Siam discussions...
SIAM. There is a New Age Calling.......
After what is really 17 years, since Siam's second album, 'PRAYER' was delivered, I think it's time to stamp the book and produce one final album from the band and its members. And the members have expanded, of course. And I think that's a good thing. Many, 'Signals Of Intuition', 'Languages of Menace', Interactions, Christians, and God knows, there have been many 'Nightflights to Heaven' and 'Last Sunrises', that's for sure. And the less said about, 'Animus', the better.
But, so be it. They may never forgive us on Cato St.
There is an, 'Unfinished Business' in this, as Steve Harris would say, so I intend to finish it.
It was a formidable band, but somehow never saw it's complete fruition..
The third and final album ensues, with members of Siam from the 90's and other fine and talented musicians that also deserve to vent such passion and depth of soul on this closure.
Progressive metal ?
I dont know whether we had heard of that term between 1992-6, but we didn't care anyway.
Regardless, SIAM 3 is under the tip of the pen and being written. 17 years or not, it still doesn't matter. Rock music is timeless, whatever genre you want to label it.
Gary Moore Tribute, Stopp Pressen, Oslo.
Tore St.Moren; a shot from the Gary Moore Tribute evening, it was great to play Gary's songs, for us, the guy is very much still alive. We hope to play some more shows to honour Gary's work in the near future.
TNT at BAERUM.
TNT play in my hometown !!!!
Really looking forward to this, if you're around, come on down, I'd love to see you there :)
15 February, MUSICFLEKKEN, SANDVIKA.
Now the single is all but complete, I have to settle on a competent mix engineer to complete the job !!! There are so many talented people available, it's difficult to know where to start, but in the meantime, it's back to writing and there's a lot of it to do. We have press and camera crew in studio today and then a hop to Trondheim for a sizeable function.
Screaming with WOLFPAKK !!!
Erik Engebretsen - in Studio
Erik Engebretsen takes to the kit for, 'Girls In Norway', down in Frederikstad.
Erik will be involved in further sessions as we move through the album process.
Performing with Bobby Kimball and Tommy Denander
A great honour to be performing with Bobby Kimball and Tommy Denander in the Legends - Voices of Rock Show in Oslo, February 9.
Ronni Le Tekro's Studio Studio @ Nyhagen
Recording at Studio Studio, Nyhagen for Hidden Treasures, TV3, January 2013.
Filming and recording with TNT
A great day today filming and recording with TNT and Ivar 'Ravi' Johansen for the forthcoming show, 'Hidden Treasures'/ 'Skjulte Skatter', to be broadcast on TV3 in March this year. A lot of fun, digging all sorts of crazy stuff out of our past to lay in front of the public for auction. A superb production team at Ronni Le Tekro's 'Studio Studio', in Nyhagen.
New age warnings...
Work Commences on my new solo album, with various well known names in the rock business.
Tommy in his studio, doing what he does best :)
Tommy is recording the guitars for, 'Girls In Norway' and will also be working on the solos for the ballad, 'Red Berries', later this month.
Gary Moore Tribute with Tore St. Moren
I'll be performing a concert in Oslo with Tore St. Moren on February 6th, to commemorate the anniversary of my ol' buddy Gary Moore's passing.
Tony Mills Live
12 October - with NERGARD at Selbu Kirke
26 October - SHY at FIREFEST, Nottingham, UK.
Siam 1994 - 'The Search'