We managed to get attention from the one who is probably the most prolific and busy artist in the rock circus: Tommy Denander.
Among many other commitments he was able to find the time to give extensive answers to our questions ...
Recently we met in Bologna, where you performed the guitar lines of half a dozen songs that will become part of your next album. Will this be a new chapter of your Radioactive project, or will you go under another name? Please, give us some details: title, release date, label, etc ....
Hello my friend,
the show in Bologna was a lot of fun and i love Italy!!!
I will be coming back this winter for a bunch of guitar clinics and i can't wait.
The new Radioactive album is very close to being done, i have some vocals left, a couple of guitar parts and drums with Simon Phillips one 1 song and that's pretty much it before mix.
I really take my time doing the Radioactive albums cause i try to make them last many years…quality and not quantity.
The release will be this fall or early winter…i have a deal offer that is nice but i'm also the head of a new big record label myself called Dreamsphere Recordings so we will see what i choose.
Talking about the forthcoming album, last June, you mentioned Jimi Jamison, but also told me of an unprecedented parade of appearances ... would you like to reveal to us some names?
The album features an amazing line up and this time mostly focused on the singers…Fergie Frederiksen, Jimi Jamison, Jeff Paris, Robin Beck, James Christian, Dan Reed and more :-)
Are you intentioned to follow the style of your previous works as Radioactive, as indeed appears from the cue of melodic lines, or are you aiming to move in different musical directions?
I always try to do every album a bit unique but at the same time not try to reinvent the wheel…it's 80's melodic rock/AOR that i love myself and the fans seem to dig a lot.
Since i put more focus on the singers this time i also put more focus on the melodies and making the songs very catchy so it's almost a radio friendly album in some ways.
On wikipedia it is said that your name appears on an average 100/150 works per year, which means you undertake a different project every 2 / 3 days ... such that dedication is the result of a visceral and inexhaustible artistic vocation, or is derived from a kind of mania to achieve some primacy in the history of music recording?
Last year i played on 170 albums and in the last 28 years i've worked on almost 2000 albums!!!
I was told last week that i am the most recorded European guitarist…not sure if that's true but still kind of cool haha
It's very important to understand that on most albums i play 1-3 songs and it's very common that i do 3-4 sessions every day in the busy periods so it ads up quickly.
I also write a lot of songs for albums and i'm a very good but also fast writer these days because i've been doing it for more than 30 years, i have about 2000 songs recorded on albums and get requests every week for more.
Mostly when i write i do the music and let the artists write melody and lyrics and this helps me get a lot of songs on albums as well.
On Facebook you defined the Stockholm Airport as your second home: how many trips do you average in a year? Do you make a skimming between the work proposals you receive, or try to meet any request for cooperation?
Haha yeah and it pretty much true :-D
I fly all over the world all the time…right now for example, on wednesday i'm going back to Germany for the 4th time this month, i've been in London 2 times month also, next sunday i go to New York, Los Angeles and Nashville for 2 weeks, then home 5 days before going to England, Sweden and Poland with Jimi Jamison, then home a week before it's Tokyo 1 week, then guitar clinics in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Germany, Netherlands etc before christmas break…then i'm in Los Angeles 3-4 weeks in january, guitar clinics around Europe in february and in march i start a 10 week tour all over USA for a big TV production…so it's a lot hahaha
But i love traveling…so it's ok.
During your career you have been showing the attitude to work independently, though some months ago, you were counted among the permanent members of the Dan Reed band. Are you still in that lineup?
I was a band member in rock bands when i was young but quickly started doing sessions which sometimes pissed the other guys in the bands off so i quit the band thing and has mostly been independent, but i've had some bands later like Prisoner, Rainmaker etc.
Dan Reed Network were a big favorite band for me and Dan is an amazing human, singer and song writer so it was great getting together with him to create music and start playing live.
We wrote a great ballad on the last House Of Lords album called "Sweet September" and he sings on the new Radioactive plus on the last Spin Gallery album.
So i joined his band and we've been touring all over plus recorded a great live DVD in London, but my life has changed A LOT this year and i'm getting involved in new types of big business with Dreamsphere Enterprise which is a new major entertainment company plus my new "Tommy Denander - VGS" signature guitar that is completely revolutionary with the True Temperment neck and the AMAZING Evertune bridge…this guitar has 100% perfect intonation and is IMPOSSIBLE to make go out of tune…not kidding!!
So with all of this i don't have time to be in a small band even if i love Dan and the guys, but i lose too much money and they are so great that i'm not really needed since i only played acoustic guitars….don't miss to see them if you can people!!
You have proven you’re able to play many different kinds of music, from funky to pop, up the progressive soundstyle of Mind's Eye. Is there any style of music that you never faced and you'd be interested to explore?
Thanks, i've always been a fan of all kinds of music and of course it is interesting to try to learn how to play all styles well enough so you can record or do gigs with it.
I have written and recorded on jazz albums but to say that i'm a jazz player would be a huge insult to jazz players!!
I would like to learn some styles like jazz, flamenco etc but i just don't have the time anymore…i do the old "Holllywood trick" sometimes and fake it pretty good on sessions but the real guys can tell i'm faking it hahaha
I know your first collaboration at the highest levels was with Toto. Now you can say that you’ve worked with virtually all melodic rock musicians, most famous or not, I mean from Joe Pasquale (as an example) to Paul Stanley and Kiss. But is there any artistic partnership that still just stands only in your dreams?
Yeah the list of people i love and sometimes even idolized as a kid that i've gotten to work with is amazing but there are sooo many left still that would be fantastic.
Steve Lukather is a dear friend of mine and one of the greatest players EVER…period!!!….and if i ever feel cool about having played on all of these nice albums it takes me 5 seconds to land hard back on earth again when i think of his career with Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Elton John etc etc…
I guess the people i would still love to work with belong among the older legends like McCartney, Sting, Peter Garbriel etc but i do love new artists like Keith Urban, John Mayer and such so hopefully i get to play with many more great artists.
Would you like to describe Tommy Denander as he is in his life outside of art, whether you may find some time to have one? Have you got any hobbies or interests besides music?
I'm a very down to earth guy with a really crazy sence of humor :-D
Family means more to me than anything and they always come first, music second.
I do work a lot so when i have time off i spend it with my family or if i'm alone i simply just do nothing but watch some TV or films to relax…we also love traveling as a family.
In 2008 at the Firefest you were on stage alongside with Mitch Malloy as a guest star. Next October you will perform again at Rock City playing guitars for Jimi Jamison. Is this an exchange of courtesies between you, or the organizers of Firefest know they can count on you to accompany solo artists coming from overseas?
- Playing with Mitch was great and the DVD came out very cool, he did an amazing job mixing it.
I truly love playing at Firefest and the whole gang behind the festival are amazing people and good friends, we are definently talking about more possible concerts for the future and to play with Jimi this year and record another live DVD will be magic!!!
Have you ever thought of bringing live a set of your own songs, with pieces written for the project Radioactive as first?
Absolutely and it will happen, hopefully next year at Sweden Rock Festival with many of the biggest names that has appeared on my albums.
I wanna record a great live DVD and CD.
I'm also talking to my dear friends Robin Beck and James Christian about maybe doing a tour together where we play the best of Robin, House Of Lords and Radioactive so something cool stuff will happen for sure.
Do you consider yourself more talented as a guitarist session musician or as a composer? I also know you use to give some support to emerging swedish talents. Can you name a few possible new sensations in the rock scene who you’d bet a beer on?
It's tough to answer cause i think i've gotten pretty good at both things at this point but i have to say that i mostly love the song writing process more than the sessions eventhough they are fun as well.
I love finding new talents and helping them get their dreams come true, right now i'm developing the biggest talent i've seen in my life, Viktor Fritz-Crone who is an 18 year old Swedish singer, song writer and guitar player.
He is a John Mayer, Keith Urban meets Maroon 5 type of artist and i've signed him to our label, we are recording a killer album in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles soon with top class musicians.
You’re credited on the recent “Alice in wonderland” movie soundtrack. Which contribution did you bring to it?
I play the role of Johnny Depp when his wife has that "urge" hahaha
I play the guitars on the Tokio Hotel song "Strange" for the soundtrack, Desmond Child and Andreas Carlsson wrote this great song and i play on a lot of their demos and albums so when Tokio Hotel picked this song they liked my guitars so much that they asked me if i could play them on the album.
Tokio Hotel has great players but this was a little special and an honor for me.
I know you'll be back soon in Italy to run some guitar clinics. Can you tell us exactly where and when?
Yeah they are being booked right now and i honestly can't wait!!!
Italy is one of my favorite countries on the planet so it's gonna be wonderful, as soon as i know the dates and places i'll post them on Facebook.
I would have a million other questions for you, but I know your time is so precious…. I leave you with a joke that I told you by voice: what about turning the name of your project from Radioactive to Hyperactive? ... Have you ever felt the need over the years to take a break?
Haha it's been close to that for sure :-D
But as Gene SImmons put it "vacation's are for people who hate their work" haha
We are all eager to enjoy the new album, expressing in advance our total admiration and trust. Don’t stop rockin’!!!
Thanks for my friend and hope to see you soon again!!