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Ten Questions with...

BJ LANEBY (Million)

M.ill.ion are back with their no holds barred classic hard rock sound and they support MSG on their UK tour this month (November 2004).

1. What are you currently up to?

It´s exciting times! Our new album KINGSIZE is coming out in the stores as we speak and the first reactions are fantastic. We just had a very successful launchparty/show in our hometown Gothenburg, Sweden to celebrate the release. 400 mediapeople, fans, friends, biz people attended and we filmed the show with 5 cameras. A great night, sponsored by Jack Daniels´s and Harley Davidson a.o .

The first promo video track from Kingsize will be "Backdoor Queen" and the photage for that was shot at the launch. Will be edited and out soon. Expect some good action!

Apart from that, we´ll go on the road! M.ILL.ION will be special guests to MSG (Michael Schenker Group) on his upcoming UK tour! MSG / M.ILL.ION:


Hope to see You all there!

There´s a plan for us to visit Japan, gigs in Germany and mainland Europe are being booked, a tour with with Waysted this winter is coming up (UK second half of January from what I´ve heard).

Pete Way is one of the reasons I started to play bass and formed a band in the first place, so that´s special - very much looking forward to tour with him. I´ve met Pete a couple of times lately and he´s still my hero, but now also consider him a friend. I´m afraid that tour won´t be the calm, quiet, early night´s sleep one - M.ILL.ION & Waysted - How rock´n roll could it get?!!

2. Could you take us through some personal highlights of the new album, 'Kingsize'...

I´m damned proud of it all, otherwise the tapes would never have left the studio... I was very involved in the whole production and coordination, but the whole band and the engineers (from recording to mixing and mastering) worked their asses off for this one as well, and the result is the best sounding M.ILL.ION album ever.

We went for both power and atmosphere and I think we came pretty damn close... Ulrich is singing his ass off, Jonas Hermansson (cover star Guitar Player soon, if You ask me) and our new brilliant keyboardplayer Johan Bergquist exchange solos, riffs and come up with great harmonies and Per hits those drums like the big man he is. Favourite tracks depends on the mood...

There are fast tracks, heavy tracks, rocking tracks, dramatic stuff and a different and beautiful ballad. All melodic. Without strong melodies, no real songs if You ask me. Right now my fave track is "Zombies", but that changes everyday. Can´t wait to tour this record- it´s made to be played live and this band line up is the best ever.

3. How do Million come up with song ideas and if you could write with outside writers who would they be?

The world is filled with inspiration. Million lyrics reflects life it self. Close personal things or far away things. Just watch the news, read, travel or meet people and You´ll get ideas. Happiness, sadness, life and death...

Same with riffs and melodies. They pop up in Your head in the shower, in the car or when You sleep- hopefully You´ll wake up and remember them, hahaha. I´ll quote Keith Richards: "Songs are not written, they come to You" . That´s my point of view as well (although Keith never sleeps, does he? hahaha). Everybody in the band contribute to the songwriting and although we come from different backgrounds and come up with ideas differently, it all tend to be Millionized in the end somehow...

Don´t want to sound upnosed, but I don´t think we need outside songwriters. There is so much competence in this band. But Phil Lynott would have been nice to write with and yeah - if Keith gives me a call I will take it...hahaha!

4. How did Million hook-up with Majestic Rock and what do you hope to achieve with label's help?

We were with A2 Records, but as we needed more support than they could give us and they agreed we deserved the chance to move up the ladder, they were kind enough to let us go. Several labels approached us and we had many offers. But Majestic Rock, I actually found on the net myself. I saw some info about them, checked their homepage out and very much liked their attitude.

They guys behind the label have worked at majors like Warner and Universal with everybody from Guns´n Roses to Skid Row and Dream Theater, as well as with promotion, A&R and independent distribution so they got the experience and knowledge. Send them an email and got immediate and nice response. They were aware of us and after sending them some new songs they offered us a deal that in the end was better than the others. After one month of discussions, they flew over to Sweden for final negotiations. We signed and got pretty drunk that night...

They are a new label, been going one year only, but has been very successful. Besides us they´ve signed Waysted for the world, Magnum and Lionsheart for Japan and has released Phil Lynott live recordings as well as Pat Travers back catalogue, some Michael Schenker stuff, British band Kick etc. They are musicfreaks and businessmen. Good combination if you run a record company. Have never seen them wear a tie, a plus in my book. And they´ve named M.ILL.ION their no.1 priority.

We have also recently signed a very prestigious management deal with former Jimmy Page and Robert Plant manager Honey Bianchi as well. She´s one hell of a lady, could have picked any band, I guess, but she´s really into this little 5 piece. We´re happy to have a world-class name like that representing us. Has worked with The Who, Judas Priest etc as well...

So with our new album coming out the situation looks good and we hope people will find our records in the shops. We definitely look forward to tour KINGSIZE in Europe and Japan, do festivals, have some videos out, etc. Then see where we are - The U.S and South America would be nice as well, but we´ll take things step by step And: There´s already talk of the next album!

5. You were down for a NWOBHM tour last year with OD Saxon & Girlschool. Why did the tour get pulled? Any chance of future tour like this?

AAAArgh, ask the promoter! I still have no idea and I´m still angry. It cost us a lot of money and frustration as it was cancelled just three days to us flying over. It was so badly handled and we got seriously hurt! I wanted to kill somebody!

I´d love to tour with the O/D Saxon guys again (we had so much fun in 2002 when we did two weeks together) so You never know what happens. Not with that fuckin´ promotor involved though...

6. Have you seen an upsurge in sales/interest for hard rock/metal bands recently in Europe?

Interest for hardrock/metal in general seems to grow back in shape and I hope Kingsize could reflect that.

7. Describe Million's sound and style to a prospective fan

An updated version of classic hardrock, I would say. We combine heavy guitars with Hammond organs, strong vocals and lots of rock´n roll energy. One journalist described us as: "KISS and Dio meets Purple in the 21:st century" and that made me smile. Another one wrote that "M.ILL.ION do their own mix of 30 years of hardrockhistory and succeed in sounding fresh doing it" Made me smile as well!

8. What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?

To name a few:

Helsingborg, Sweden 1995 supporting Magnum and Nazareth in a big hall comes to mind. Packed, we did great and I got to play with the band that did the first record I bought as a kid (Nazareth- Razamanaz). Dan McCafferty thanked us from the stage, which was a big thing for me.

The UK tour in general 2002

We did 7 shows with O/D Saxon and 3 own headline gigs. Getting standing ovations in the country that started it all was a big compliment. All the fans we met, all the fun we had and all the respect we got from people we respect!

(Note: The song Room No.3 on Kingisize is a true story of horrifying happenings in a southern hotel on that tour)

Headlining one stage at the big 3 day Sweden Rock Festival 2002 We had more people in front of that stage than many major artists and the energy was unbelievable. People that saw us the first time in England flew over to see us! Good sound and lights, lots of pyro and we smoked. The audience shouted 10 minutes after we got off. Some mags named us the best or one of the best bands of the whole festival. (Other bands included Bruce Dickinson, Halford, Ted Nugent, Saxon, Motörhead, Magnum Status Quo etc). Thank U very much! Hope to play there 2005 again.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Sparetime, what is that?

My girlfriend and my two great sons need me. It´s hard to live with a workaholic, I guess!

When I have some time and apart from playing & listening to music: Watch football (Liverpool is my team), read good books, watch cool movies and have a pint with my friends.

10. Message to your fans?

Keep those emails coming - and enjoy KINGSIZE! Rush to the store and buy the album- we can´t wait to see You all on tour soon!

A double Jack & Coke to You all!

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Interview © 2004 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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