Street Talk interview June-21-2000.
After having released their second album "Transition" through AOR Heaven/Point Music I managed to talk to main man/keyboardist/songwriter Fredrik Bergh in Swedish AOR act Street
He is given you the details about the band, the making of this album and finally gives us a little view in his crystal ball regarding the future!
Read on and enjoy the cheerful Fredrik Bergh and the other members in Street Talk among others the very busy vocalist GŲran Edman!
Q: You released a debut-album a couple of years ago - what was the
reactions on that one ?
A: Yes thatís right Steen, we released the debut album called "Collaboration" at the end of 1997. The album sold a couple of thousands in Europe and I guess it sold a little less than that in Japan so it was not a big success sales wise but I guess itís very hard these days to sell any larger amount of albums when you stick to playing a little bit softer and sofisticated Aor which is what StreetTalk is all about!
But the album was a great success if you look at reviews and stuff from the rock press here in Europe and in Japan.
The album showed up in several top ten lists in many of the important rock magazines like Burrn!, Hard roxx, Heavy oder was and Rock report.
Q: Whats the story behind Street Talk?
A: STREET TALK was formed in late 1994. The band was formed out of the ashes of the hardrock band SHAPE that I had formed in 1990.
The musicstyle was a mixture of seventies influenced hardrock (Deep Purple, Free, Led Zeppelin,Thin Lizzy.) and Aor/Melodic hard rock.
At the end of 1994 I decided to start STREET TALK and I took my old band mates from SHAPE - Jon Persson on Drums and Guitarist Tomas Olsson with me.
In late 1995 I and STREET TALK got together with guitarplayer Andreas Lidberg who joined the band and me and Andreas worked very close together as a team.
In February 1996 STREET TALK recorded their second demo tape and at this time I, who up to this date had handled the lead vocals in STREET TALK felt that I wanted to concentrate on songwriting/keyboardplaying and producing only!
So with this album recording in mind STREET TALK got in contact with my old friend vocalist Kristian Andren (Memento Mori, Tad Morose, Fifth Reason) and asked him to participate as one of the singers on the forthcoming STREET TALK debut album and Kristian accepted the offer directly as he was deeply impressed with the demo material he heard.
The futher plans was to have a couple of other vocalists to do the lead vocals on the album, and during the summer of 1996 I got in touch with legendary Swedish vocalist GŲran Edman (Madison, John Norum, Yngwie Malmsteen, Glory, Brazen Abbot, Kharma).
As the third and last vocalist for the album local vocalist Daniel Johnsson was picked.
When the final recording sessions for the album started in January 1997 several other guest musicians was brought in to participate. Like Bass player Micael Berner and Drummer Christian Johansson who did a great job during the sessions of Collaboration.
The Collaboration album was released in October 1997 in Europť by German label USG Records/East West and the album came out in November 1997 in Japan through AVEX/Bareknuckle.
The album recieved rave reviews from media all around the world and showed up in top ten lists in many of the important rock magazines all over the world like Burrn!, Hard roxx, Heavy oder was and Rock report!
In 1998 Drummer Jon Persson decided to leave STREET TALK and Guitarist Tomas Olsson who havenít been so much involved in STREET TALK during the last years also moved away.
At this moment in time I was in discussions with guitarist Andreas Lidberg asking him whether or not he was willing to go on to do a second STREET TALK album -but Lidberg felt like he didnít have the time and energy that it takes to get involved in another time consuming process that it is to create an album.
So I spent the entire year of 1998 writing and demoing new songs with a second STREET TALK album in mind - and in early 1999 when I had written almost the entire new album I started to think about musicians that could be suitable for the STREET TALK music.
And the first musician that I thought about was guitarist Sven Larsson.
So I asked him to get together with me in 1999. I felt immediately that Sven was everything I dreamed of in a guitarplayer and absolutely the right man for STREET TALK.
Also, in early 1999 shortly after the time when Sven and I had got together I gave vocalist GŲran Edman (who at the time was in the studio recording with his other band KHARMA) a call asking him if he would be intersted in being part of this new beginning for STREET TALK and if he would be interested in singing on every song on the new album - and GŲran accepted the offer to participate on the entire new forthcoming second STREET TALK album.
So In January 2000 - after almost two years of preparations and pre-productions for the album the studio recordings started for the second Street Talk album with me, Edman, Larsson, Berner and Johansson. The album was recorded during January/February 2000 at the Soundcreation Studios, Sweden with myself producing.
Q: How have you matured as a band - (or is it still a solo-thing from you featuring GŲran Edman) from your debut till your recently recorded album "Transition"?
A: Street Talk is very much my own project at this moment as I have written, arranged and produced the new album totally on my own except the lyrics on two tracks which Goran Edman wrote! But I could never have done this album without the input from all the great musicians that participates on the album!
I believe this new album is much stronger and it has more of a band feel, as we are the same five musicians throughout the album and itís great to have Goran as the lead vocalist on the entire album!
Q: What can we expect as follow-up on the album- tournews etc?
A: Well, whatís next up for Street Talk and myself is to continue the promotion work for the Transition album here in Europe and to start to work on some brand new song material as soon as possible.
And later in the summer, on July 19 the album will be released through Marquee Inc./Avalon in Japan with the brand new bonus track " Iíll Always Remember".
I really hope the sales figures will be good for the album so we can go out on tour in support for this album both in Europe and in Asia!
Q: The last Cd was released through USG Records - this one through AOR Heaven - what's the story to that?
A: Regarding USG Records, I really donít know what happened to the label. I was very surprised when I heard that they called it quits n í99. So with USG calling it quits, I had to find another label, so I simply gave Georg at AOR Heaven a call and asked him if he would be interested in hearing some rough demo tapes that I had of some new songs.
He was very interested in hearing the new material as he is a big fan of the first Street Talk album "Collaboration" .
After recieving the demos, Georg and Harry Enzian from POINT MUSIC had a meeting and they both liked the new material a lot and directly wanted to sign Street Talk for the European territory!
Q: How would you discribe the new album - maybe compared to your debut? I have only heard bits from both on the Internet - can we get it in Denmark or shall we buy it on-line?
A: Iím still very pleased with the first album, I think there are some great songs on that album, but it felt more like a project with all those different vocalists and musicians.
I believe this new "Transition" album is much stronger and solid than the first album as it has more of a band feel,better songs and better production. And we are the same five musicians throughout the album and itís great to have Goran Edman as the lead vocalist on the entire album!
So these are the main differences between the albums i believe.
I really donít know if Aor Heaven/Point Music have a distribution partner in Denmark!
Yes you can buy the album online at AOR Heaven check it out!!!
Q: How would you describe the music scene in the genre of AOR and Melodic Rock today?
A: Itís very hard for melodicrock/Aor bands on the music scene today, but thereís still many fans out there who enjoys "our" music! Keep on believing in melodic rock!
So - may this be the last words from Fredrik Bergh in this round!