Arkado: Never Say Never Again
Arkado: Never Say Never Again
Arkado present first rate AOR selections that will remain blissfully in your head forever and a day. With roots dating back as early as 1983, Arkado has at long last made their presence known worldwide thanks to Never Say Never – their standout debut album from AOR Heaven. With a thoroughly appropriate album title and the dynamic tunes and skillful musicianship to back it all up, Arkado is ready to launch themselves into the AOR stratosphere. Highwire Daze recently caught up with keyboardist Mikael Svensson to discuss the Arkado AOR experience and why you really should Never Say Never again. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Arkado, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Mikael Svensson, and I play the keyboards and backing vocals in the band. I am also the one, writing the music for ARKADO. As well, I do arrange, produce and records, all the music.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
ARKADO is based in Helsingborg, in South of Sweden. The local music scenes here is quite limited, however there are one or two small – midsize stages, that sometimes offers the opportunity to arrange some live gigs.
How did you wind up signing with AOR Heaven?
Last year, we did just for fun and because we found the theme in the song very important and in time, released a small video on YouTube. It is the song on the album, called Don´t Rape The Nature, that we did at the time release. Just a few days later, we were contacted from several actors in the music biz, such as Radio Channels all over the world, wanted the song, to play on their stations. After some twist and turns, we ended up talking to AOR Heaven. Which resulted in a contract, for which we are really happy.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Never Say Never album title?
Yes, actually there is. We started to play together already in 1983, and ended at 1987 (about). After that point, we have not been in contact with each other, until 2018, where we suddenly were asked to set up a gig, playing our old songs. At first we were very unsure, but then it was decided to accept. This gig went so well, so we decided to keep on playing together. However we changed the name to ARKADO, since we did see this as a “new start”. Also we added Mr. Philip Lindstrand on lead vocals. So it was a bit of a re-formation of the band.
So the fact that we after more than 30 years later, came together again, and now succeeded with, which was never reached back in the 80’s, we would like to say as you should, Never Say Never. You never know what future will bring 🙂
Select two songs from Never Say Never and what inspired the lyrics.
Don’t Rape The Nature. This is a really hard title, we know. However the message is very clear. And should be very clear. It is quite obvious that we all over the world do have a huge environmental problem. Another problem is that too many people “shut their eyes” for this critical situation we all face. The lyrics are all about what is happening, and that we can only hope we are not too late, to make some changes
To Leave It All Behind. This song is about the situation that we believe a lot of people are finding themselves in. You have it all. Good life and you have found your life partner. However as days go by, reality does have an ability to create some, initially, invisible fractions to the relations. Such build up over time, and suddenly you find your relationship with a big gap in the middle. Often this is due to we as people tend to commit ourselves to, by far, many, what we believe, important and necessary obligations. Such as that in your daily profession, you must be very successful. Make a lot of money. Show the surroundings, by material items such as nice cars etc. how good you are. Instead of just be brave enough and letting go of all this pressure, and just realize, what is actually really important in life. Your family, friends etc.. to realize such, you sometimes just need to dare to Leave It All Behind.
Who produced Never Say Never and what was it like working with them?
All the songs on the album are arranged, produced and recorded by myself, in my own studio. So we do not have any external help or such, at all.
Who did the cover art for Never Say Never and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was done by Nello Dellómo, in Italy. All the ideas about theme, layout etc, is coming from ourselves in the band. However Nello did a fantastic job realizing our vision of the artwork.
What could one expect from a live Arkado show?
Such we still have not done any gig in present band configuration, it is a bit hard to exactly say 🙂 . However, we do expect to deliver an energetic and memorable show. With a lot of passion to be able to play live.
If Arkado could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Wow, tough question 🙂 . Well, I’ll have to choose from the bands which have done the most impression on me and the others in the band. So I would say, Saga, Journey, Toto. We hold so much respect to these bands as musicians, and their songs respectively, of course. I also believe our music/songs maybe could attract the audience for these bands.
When you look back on the BB2 (Better Be Together) version of the band in 1983, what do you think of that time period of your band and in music overall?
BB2 was the start of everything for us. And at the time, we was just happy new beginners, dreaming of a success within rock music. Something at the time seemed to be a tough mission, however at some occasion, we had some small opportunities. But I believe we was just too young to realize and to take the chance. Music wise, we looked a lot at band such as Toto, Saga, U2 and so. Of course trying to replicate that music into our own. I believe one of the problem at the time, was that we did not have the sufficient skills, as musicians to reach all the way. Looking at music in that period, I still believe that this period released the best music. But that’s all about taste, and I believe there is nothing right or wrong, when it comes to music taste 🙂
Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of Arkado?
Our singer, Philip Lindstrand is involved in a few projects. East Temple Avenue. He also part of Nitrate’s last album. Myself running my own studio, and of course acting as producer for some others that want to record music in my studio. But that is only upon request, and I would not see that as some side-project to ARKADO
What’s up next for Arkado?
We are preparing for a live-setup. We just recently, a few weeks ago, changed one of the guitarist. Mr. Mats Nilsson is no longer a part of ARKADO, and is now focused on other missions within the music branch. Mats have been replace with Mikey K Nilsson. Mikey is an excellent guitarist and will be the lead guitar in ARKADO. Mikey have a history playing with Sapphire Eyes, Alyson Avenue, Divine Rain, Anett Olzon etc. So we are really happy with this addition. This is a huge strengthening of us as a band, to have Mikey joining. So repetitions is ongoing at full speed, and we hope to be ready to go live after the summer
Any final words of wisdom?
Well, don’t know if wisdom is my strongest side. Live your life as every day is the last. Live here and now. We believe that is very important. And do spend a lot of time listening to good music. There are so many excellent bands out there, so just enjoy and take good care of each other.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Arkado on Facebook