Perfect Plan: The Miracle Has Arrived!
Perfect Plan: The Miracle Has Arrived!
Perfect Plan is a melodic rock/ AOR band from Sweden who has just unveiled Time For A Miracle, their latest album of inspiring anthems on Frontiers Music Srl. The follow-up to their well received debut All Rise, Time For A Miracle is the auditory adventure we all need in these pandemic days and beyond. Fans of bands such as Foreigner and Survivor are destined to discover a new favorite when exploring the vast and glorious songs found within the Perfect Plan experience. Highwire Daze recently interviewed lead vocalist Kent Hilli to find out a whole lot more about Perfect Plan and their epic Time For A Miracle manifesto. Read on…
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
I’m based in a town in the Northern Part of Sweden called Örnsköldsvik – can you pronounce that?
I don’t even wanna try (much laughter)…
…it’s about 60 Swedish miles away from Stockholm. So you know, the local music scene in my hometown at the moment is quite calm. There’s not a lot of things happening except for Perfect Plan at the moment. We’re releasing our new album on Friday, so that’s going to be great.
So let’s talk about the new Perfect Plan album. Is there any overall story or concept behind the Time For A Miracle title – besides the fact that it’s a timely title…
It’s a title for the current situation in the world. That’s the fine thing about art is that everyone can interpret the song as they want, and basically turn it into something that means something to them. But basically I wrote the song / the first lines when I saw Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump on the television maybe a year or two years ago. You know, it basically felt a bit scary – you thought there was going to be a war between North Korea and USA. But everything turned out great. But basically it gives the perspective of living in a safe environment and something bad happens like the war coming or disease like the pandemic – so you could basically interpret the song in the current situation as well. But it’s describing the feeling if the war could come to Sweden. We live in such a safe environment here in Sweden, and we can’t really imagine something like that happening. But that’s the actual reality of different places in the world – so it’s basically to give that kind of perspective and feeling in the song.
Select any other song from Time For A Miracle and what inspired the lyrics for you.
You know, the lyrics are basically what comes into my mind and into my heart – it’s from my own experiences, so I basically write about that. This second album is really a continuous journey from the first album. But it’s a bit bluesier album and it’s a bit heavier album, but it’s also got two ballads which we didn’t have on the first album. We’ve got some motivational songs about being in a dark place or a bad place and getting yourself up again – some songs about mental health issues and things like that. You know, it’s really about different kinds of things when I write the lyrics.
Your previous album All Rise just hit 1 million streams on Spotify. How does that number make you feel?
(Laughs) Yeah, that’s amazing! We’re quite spoiled at the moment, to be honest. You want more all that time. You know the music business today – it’s really hard to get through. There’s so much music out there and there’s so many videos and so many bands and artists. So it’s quite amazing to reach such a milestone with so many streams of the album. We also have a lot of views on our YouTube videos as well – we have over 300,000 views on our first two videos. That’s really cool and amazing. So we’re very grateful and fortunate to also be on a label like Frontiers and putting the music out there and keeping this kind of music alive. You know, it’s not mainstream – from that aspect I think it’s an even greater achievement. I mean it’s not pop music or Ed Sheeran kind of things. We’re grateful.
So how do you think Time for a Miracle compares with All Rise?
I think it’s a better album. I think it shows progress in terms of songwriting and in terms of production. And we worked with different guys on this album compared to the first album – very experienced guys like Mårten Eriksson who mixed the album and Svante Forsbäckfor back who has mastered all the Rammstein albums, did the mastering of the album. We have done the producing as we did with the first album as well, and I’ve written all the songs on the album and the first. But I think it’s a more diverse album that the first one. I think it’s definitely a huge step forward for us and it shows a lot of progress. I think that Rolf Nordström our guitar player did his absolutely personal best when it comes to the guitar work on this album. Basically everyone has done their personal best in terms of their performance on this album. It’s definitely a huge step forward and I think that everyone is going to like it because every song on this album could have been the first single. There’s no fillers on this album. Definitely not.
What was it like playing the Frontiers Rock Fest in 2018 and who were some of the other bands on the bill that you were able to hang out with?
We played with bands like Stryper and FM. FM is one of my all-time favorite bands as well, with Steve Overland on vocals. I had the chance and honor to meet him and talk to the band. It was great fun. And I met Kip Winger who played an acoustic live gig there. With just one acoustic guitar, he blew us off the chair – he’s such an amazing guy – an amazing talent! So that was a once in a lifetime experience. Hopefully we get the chance to meet some other idols of our own. That was great fun. That was our first gig as Perfect Plan – so it was a bit shaky and nervous. We didn’t get the chance to sound check or anything. It wasn’t our best gig ever – we didn’t have the greatest monitoring or anything like that. I don’t know if it 3000 or 4000 people in the audience, but that was just amazing – and just to be able to take part in such an event and meet the label and meet the other bands – that was a very great experience for us as a band – definitely!
If Perfect Plan could open for any one band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I think two bands – Foreigner and Survivor. If Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik could get their things together, you know. But I would choose one of them; it would definitely be Foreigner, because they’re just in my genes. I just grew up with those songs since the 70’s, so Foreigner would be the ultimate band to open for. That would be a dream come true.
What has it been like to release new music in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
It’s been strange and good, because we have been given the possibility and the extra time really to focus on the next album. And we wanted to bring out the next album as quickly as possible to be able to have more songs to tour with and play live. So it’s better to have 24-25 songs than just having 11 songs to play. But it has given is the time to focus on the quality of the next album and just enabled us to get the job done. And it turned out really great. Otherwise it’s strange times, music aside – everything is so strange. So I’m longing to get back to normal again. So it’s been both strange and good.
Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of Perfect Plan?
I was involved in a project called Restless Spirits with Deen Castronovo and Johnny Gioeli and Dino Jelusick, which was a solo project from Tony Hernando from Lords Of Black. I co-wrote a song with Tony called I Remember Your Name which was out last year. I wanted to write more songs with Tony because we hit it off and had a great chemistry – so hopefully in the future we could do some more stuff. So that’s the only involvement so far outside Perfect Plan, but I have two other projects that I’m currently working on which I’m very excited about which is coming within the next year – nothing I could really talk more about, but it’s a very exciting project for me. I’m very fortunate at this point that have that possibility – getting the chance to work with others as well – it’s very developing – so I’m really looking forward to that.
What’s up next for Perfect Plan? Do you have any plans to maybe tour in 2021?
Yeah, hopefully we can do that – but as the times are at the moment, we don’t have any strong or secure plans. We have some requests but they’re not solid, but hopefully we can go out and play live in 2021 – and play as many gigs as possible and hopefully some rock festivals. But for the time being, it’s just focusing on releasing the new album. We have a couple of other things that we really can’t talk about coming up – so we’re going to be busy until Christmas – but no live gigs at the moment.
And hopefully Perfect Plan could eventually tour out here in the States…
I would love to come to the States and play – that would be a dream come true. So hopefully that would be something we could do, but it’s really the financial side of it that’s tricky. I talked to Kip Winger and asked him why he doesn’t tour Europe, and he just said there’s no financial side of it – it’s really hard to do that. And it’s the opposite when it comes to touring the States. But we’d love to do that – that would also be a dream come true to come to the States definitely.
Well I really hope it happens. Maybe if people could get you a million streams on your new album on Spotify, who knows…
(Laughs) Absolutely! No, that would be great! You never know. With this second album, I think we position ourselves even more to get a larger fan base. There’s a lot of fans coming from the States in out fan base, so that would be great. It helps to spread the word like you do as well…
Kent Hilli – Lead vocals
Rolf Nordström – Guitar
Leif Ehlin – Keyboards
Fredrik Forsberg – Drums
Mats Byström – Bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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