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Erik Martensson is perhaps best known for his work with Swedish melodic rock band Eclipse, but he has recently recorded W.E.T. with Jeff Scott Soto and Robert Sall.

What are you currently up to?

Erik: Currently Iím writing for an album with Toby Hitchcock on vocals and Iím also producing and mixing a few records for other Swedish artists. We will soon start to write for a new Eclipse album that I think is going to be killer!

Can you sum up the ideas behind the W.E.T debut album?

Erik: When we started to write for this album I wanted to make powerful AoR songs but I also wanted to bring some of the identity of Eclipse into it. That means more guitar riffing compared to whatís normal for this style.

And when I mixed the album I also wanted to give it a really modern and punchy sound just to add something new and fresh into this genre and it looks as it was a good plan as many seem to have noticed the fresh ideas on the album. But it still have the classic melodic rock ingredients that we all love and never get tired of.

How did the idea for W.E.T. first come about and will this be a studio based project or are there plans to play the songs live?

Erik: The project was set up by Serafino at Frontiers Records. He wanted to combine our talents in a project but the name WET didnít come up until later.

We all got more involved and passionate about this project we could ever imagine and who knows, if there is a demand for it we will definitely take it on the road and record a new album. The fans will decide in the end!

The reviews for the W.E.T. have been amazing so far. Did you have inkling when you recorded this album you were onto something special?

Erik: When we started to write the songs and we listened to all the demos we soon realised that we didnít just have a few good ones, we actually really liked all of them, and we knew that this might become a really good album.

But itís been a while since we finished the album so I went on into working on other albums and when it was finally released I was amazed of the great reviews.

Iím really honoured that people like it so much and all the great feedback we have had from people who has bought the album.

How pleased were you with the reaction to ĎAre You Ready To Rockí? Was this a hard album to make given the previous hassles with record labels and line-up changes?

Erik: We had so many great reviews of 'Are You Ready To Rock' I was amazed. Many magazines and web sites actually voted it as one of 2008ís best albums.

The funny thing is that this was the easiest and fastest album I have ever done. When we finally was over with the fighting in the band and we could move on into making music it was pure joy wo write and record that album. I really looking forward to start to record the next one.

How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

Erik: I recorded a four-track demo when I was 19 and I got signed to the notorious UK label Z Records just a week after sending out the first CDís.

So that went pretty smooth for me in the beginning but it was when it really started with recording, promotion, unpaid invoices etc the real face of music industry showed itself and these kind of problems almost killed than band several times.

But now I know the industry much better and can instantly avoid certain people or situations that are not good.

My advice for new artists is to not take anything for granted, try to learn as much as possible about how things really work. Never sit down and expect that someone else will do anything for you. If you want things to happen, then you better start doing it yourself cause only really hard work will make a music career possible.

Have you seen an upswing in the interest in hard rock and metal music over the past couple of years? Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse?

Erik: I think that melodic really have had an upswing. When we released our first Eclipse album in 2001 people just laughed at the genre and no one could believe how we could play such music. But now there is a much greater interest in the scene.

I believe Internet is a big part of that and that fans of the genre can get together in a way that they couldnít do in the past. But the downside is of course illegal downloading that really affects the records sales. But that has been discussed so many times so I wonít continue doing it here.

Who have been the biggest musical influences on you both and why?

Erik: AC/DC without a doubt. Kind of funny for a guy like me who am known in the AoR scene but I listen far more to harder bands like Slayer, AC/DC, Megadeth, and Whitesnake than AoR bands.

Message for your fans...

Erik: Buy a lot of WET albums and give to you friends and family as Christmas gifts! Seriously, thanks for your fantastic support and if everything goes as fortunate as we all hope then weíll see you on the road with WET!


Interview © November 2009 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.

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