Interview with Chris Laney; April 2009

Chris Laneys Pure alright... he's got the magic touch production and songwriting wise.... he's a rock n' roll Max Martin (who used to be rock n' rollin It's Alive before hitting the heady pop heights). Laney's more of a rock n roll monster with a list of credentials that make him an A lister!
I was first drawn to him via Steevi Jaimz whose career's been revived via Laney and who also produced his forthcoming record (My Private Hell) that leaves his handbag glory daze well behind with some blistering melodic anthems courtesy of Chris (the new Mutt Lange to Steevi's new "Pyromania" big chorus affair). I've been hearing his name for years and now I get to hear Swedens premier rock animal up close and personal. He's a real all rounder production/engineering wise.. he's worked with Europe, Candlemass, Crash Diet, Bruce Kulick, Brian Lizzy Robertson, Easy Action and more.
As well as working at Polar studios built by ABBA, he's a member of Randy Pipers Animal and Zan Clan... you will hear his fine axe work on their CDs, but now at last he's goin it alone..... Now available, the long anticipated solo affair puts him on the map big time!

'Pure' kicks off in style with "Situation" great riffing and great hooks, my favourite though is "Pissed At What Ya Missed" which is catchier than an epidemic with Laney's typical huge backing vocals. I must mention the Laney, Ringman penned "Get U Down"; which is very Def Leppard; big background vocals essential. The whole affair is very kiss like as well, and let's not forget the Zinny Zan (Easy Action, Shotgun Messiah) anthem I Hate Yer Guts. This CD has mass appeal to AOR and Glam fans alike as well as classic rocker!

1. Hiya Chris…. You're kind of a rocky version of Max Martin? Have you ever worked with him?

"Wow, thanx mate!!! Max Martin was a great Rock singer back in the day and is now a fantastic songwriter, I am flattered. No, I have never worked with him, but someday we might be able to put something together?

2. Tell us about your earlier bands?
OK. I've been in bands since my early teens.
I started off with Scratch where I played keyboards…, we recorded a single "I Can Feel My Love For You" back in 86, I think.
Then off to Unameus, where I played Keyboards and Guitar…, they released an EP "Assassins Eyes". It was more of a rock version of Simple Minds, weird but cool.
After that I started my own band 17 / Seventeen, where I sang and played guitar. We released 2 singles and a mini CD.
Then I started writing and producing bands a lot... It wasn't until late 2004 I hooked up with Zinny Zan to reform Zan Clan. And whilst doing Zan Clan I got involved with Randy Piper's Animal and ended up releasing two albums with Animal.
Now, today, here I am, The Last Man Standing, with my first ever solo album "Pure" out, it's a fantastic feeling!

3. Why do you think you've made more of a mark now as opposed to the 80s?

I was too young, I guess?... I just turned 37 the other day so I was always in bands with older guys all along…., that is why I have a track record winding back to the mid 80's.
I am glad of this now, now I have developed my skills and grown into my clothes, hahaha.

4. Tell us about your more recent works with Europe, Crash Diet, and Zinny Zan?

Well, I mixed the Japanese bonus material for Europe on their last few releases and made backing tracks and stuff for them.. I also work a lot with Ian Haugland, who is a great drummer.
With Crashdiet, well; it's some time since last we worked together. I produced half of "Rest In Sleaze" and became very close to the guys. I hope we will do something together soon actually, we have a chemistry no one can take away…
And, Zinny, he's my brother in rock 'n roll!! We speak all the time… he co-wrote two tracks on this album and sings a track with me too...He is the best!

5. Candlemass too? You crossed over to the darkside?

I guess so!! Now I've done "The White Album", "King Of The Grey Island", "Lucifer Rising" and the latest "Death Magic Doom" one as well…They're great guys, I love to work with them...they are so much fun!! Somewhere in this sleaze heart there is love enough to enjoy a good Sabbath riff!!

6. Why now the solo LP and why not a band project?

Well, just as you said in your question. I do not want a project. This is the real deal, a solo album. I will continue to work on more stuff and hopefully I can then release more music and start touring. I love this - It is my life.

7. Will you be touring the UK?

Call every Pub you know and get me over there!! LOL!! I wanna get out and play everywhere, now it is up to the booking guys to make that happen.

8. How did you become involved with Randy Piper (ex Wasp)?

It was when I heard the album "900lb Steam".., I mailed his manager and told her I'd remix that album for free since I hate to see an old hero of mine sound that bad….I thought the mix sucked.. Well, they got back to me and the ball started to roll.
It did take a few years 'til I ended up in the band and started writing songs, but we had some great fucking times!! Then, sadly it is all in the past now, I am 100% solo now.

9. You seem to work with a lot of glam acts?

Well, the glam bands seem to like my sound... I love music, Glam or Doom, I don't care…. A good song is a good song no matter what style it is...but I am an 80's Sunset Strip rocker by heart!

10. And, you also dabble in pop?

I have written some pop stuff yeah. It paid for my first studio and got me to where I am today. I sold a lot of records with Pop acts, and why's still music?
I have my two Swedish Grammy's up on the wall actually…, I call them 'Heaven & Hell'.One is for a pop act and one is for Candlemass, LOL!!

I'm very impressed with up coming Steevi Jaimz project, you seem to have brought out the Best in him ever…, how did that come about?
Thanx!!! I am an old Tigertailz fan…, Steevi Jaimz era. We got in touch over the net and he said he loved my work with Zan Clan and Crashdiet. So we hooked up, and started writing.
Everything just started to fall into place, we hit it off right away. I now consider him family... Love that man!!!
I hope his album will be released soon though…, it's a packed full of great tunes and attitude...would be a real shame if it ended up in a box!

11. I was a stalwart in Stockholm in the 90s; Its Alive, Leif Edling, Pole Postion, Magnus Sodequist, Megarock; it's funny our paths have never crossed!

I didn't move to Stockholm until the mid 90's... But next time you're here, gimme a shout!

12. Anybody you wanna work with you haven't yet?

KISS!!! And I'd also love to produce a comeback album with Shotgun Messiah.

13. Now word association! Make comments!

Abba - FANTASTIC songs!!!!
Ryan Roxie - Rock Star
Bai Bang - Hometown
Anders Ringman - Talented Brother.
Babylon Bombs - Next album will KILL!!
Vanity Blvd - Cool Band!!

Thanks to you Chris - that was fabulous!!

I hope this is cool enough?? Thanx mate, hope we meet soon!!
Chris Laney

Interviewed by Kelv Hellrazer

Visit the Chris Laney Website