The Hard Rocking Highways of Stormburst
The Hard Rocking Highways of Stormburst
Stormburst is a hard rocking AOR collective from Sweden ready to traverse upon a sonic journey throughout this great big world. Highway To Heaven is the name of their latest magnum opus available through AOR Heaven, and the recording is jam-packed with absolutely inspiring lyrics and rapturous melodies. Fans of acts such as Rainbow and UFO may want to check into what Stormburst has to offer. So hop on your motorcycle and check out our interview with guitarist Thomas Hannson as discuss the hardrocking highways of the almighty Stormburst. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Stormburst, and how long the band has been together.
Hi there! I’m Thomas Hansson, guitarist and one of the founding members and songwriters of Stormburst. Kent, our bass player wanted to write and perform original songs instead of just playing covers. He presented the idea of forming a Melodic Hardrock/AOR band and we did so back in the summer of 2014.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We’re mainly based in the deep forests of Dalarna, middle parts of Sweden. The small towns we come from are called Nås, Björbo, Vansbro and Malung. Erik Mårtensson of Eclipse is an old friend of mine and he lives just one hour’s drive from me. There are many cover bands here but also some pretty big Metal acts like Sabaton and Brothers Of Metal.
How did your association with AOR Heaven come about?
I have always been a fan of the label and its releases since I’m a CD/Vinyl collector and it was the first label we sent our demo to. I sent a CD-R and a biography to several labels, some didn’t even answer but AOR Heaven got back really quick with a good offer so we decided to go for it. It has worked out very well for us.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Highway to Heaven album title?
Yes, we’re all getting older and the older you get you start to think about death and were we might be heading. If you’re living in a country suffering from starvation, war and conflicts you want to get away. Escaping to a country where there’s peace can be like coming to heaven when you’ve experienced terrible things. We’re not afraid to touch the dark matters of life but we always try to keep a good mix of light and shade, lyrically wise as well as musically.
Select any two songs from Highway to Heaven and what inspired the lyrics?
The title track “Highway To Heaven” and “Closer To Heaven” are both songs about the dream of a better life, from two points of view. The refugees in “Highway To Heaven” just want to leave their war torn country and find a peaceful place to live. The rich, middle aged man in “Closer To Heaven” just wants more things and more money to console himself. Quite the opposites.
Who did the cover art for Highway to Heaven and how much input did you have on it?
When Lars-Åke wrote the song “Highway To Heaven” I thought it could also be the title of our new album. Ingo Ertl did the great artwork and I or shall I say we had pretty much to do with it in terms of the Idea for the cover. I made some suggestions to the rest of the band and they liked it so I presented it to Ingo and he made this great looking cover.
Who is the motorcycle fanatic in the band and what is your motorcycle of choice and why?
The singer, Lars-Åke is actually the only biker in the band and he rides and prefers Harley-Davidson. I’m not much into bikes, I prefer and like old Mercedes cars and American muscle cars like Pontiac.
What has it been like to release new music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
It’s hard because of the Corona situation but we’re still happy we get to release another album. I truly hope we get to play live further on, there hasn’t been much interest but I hope that will change. A festival or something like that would be really nice and suit us just fine.
What could one expect from a live Stormburst show?
A Stormburst live show will be a rocking experience with the best songs from the records, a good mix of hard and softer songs and a guitar solo in the middle like my heroes used to do. There will be a nice light show with the mighty backdrop in the background and smoke machines and some fire.
If Stormburst could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I think that would be Rainbow since we’re all fans of the band and it would be somewhat similar in style. Personally I’d like to open up for UFO or Michael Schenker, it would be a dream come true.
What past bands have you been in and what do you think the music now in retrospect?
I was in a Female Fronted AOR Band, Coastline in the early 2000’s. We released an album on Spanish label Vinny Records in 2003. I was also in a band called Steam, with bass player Kent. I am pleased with the way the Coastline album turned out musically but the guitars should have been louder in the mix. Kent and Peter was in a band called Six Feet Under and released two albums, in 1983 and 1984. The music was very much in the Deep Purple/Rainbow mould.
What’s up next for Stormburst?
We are already working on new songs and we’re going to do a livestream for the release of “Highway To Heaven” on Friday August 28th. I’m hoping for good reviews of the album, radio play and I look forward to do more interviews.
Any final words of wisdom?
Life is a puzzle and it’s sometimes hard with so many pieces to fit but now I’m beginning to see the picture. All our puzzles and pictures are unique to each person but on this journey called life the end station is the same for all of us. Thanks for having me and stay safe, take care and keep on rockin’.
Kent Jansson – bass
Thomas Hansson – guitar
Lars-Åke Nilsson – vocals
Peter Östling – keyboards
Pelle Hindén – drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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