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Cross is a great name, how did that come about? I realise it’s your surname!

True, it is. After being part of a couple of bands I decided that I wanted to go in a more progressive direction. I penned a couple of songs and recorded these and the wondered what to do with it. At the point I found that naming a band after myself was a good idea as it made it natural to keep the band name even if members were shifting. During the first 8 years there was many different guys on board.

Do you find it important to be classified as a progband and /or do you see yourself as a prog band? Or you couldn’t care less about  classification genre long as people recognize/like your music?!

I see Cross as a progressive rock band. Both in the sense that we, now and then, create some truly progressive music as well as leaning towards some 70’s heroes who was the one’s that initially was labelled as “progressive rock”. It’s of none importance to me, personally, whatsoever to be classified as anything but I believe it’s important to let music fans know what type of music we are creating and when it comes to that “prog” is what is most appropriate.

Do you find cover art important? Please elaborate.

Yes I do. If the music is enjoyable it is of course worth listening to even if it comes with the ugliest cover ever but…I like when the cover has some kind of connection to the music. It can be that it reflects the atmosphere of the album, or it can illustrate the story (if there is one). It can be nice to study the artwork while listening as it can bring in a different dimension.

Which comes first in your process of composing/creating music, the lyrics or the music? And secondly please tell about the writing process from scratch to demo and the final state the recording/studio sessions!?

The music always comes first. At a certain point we have vocals including a very strange, improvised “language” then we take it from there. Both me and Tomas do our best to write words that fits the melody line as close as we can but at times, to write lyrics that makes some kind of sense it becomes a must to change a note here and there. The writing process starts with me, mostly working with keyboards and sampled drums, at the computer. If I don’t immediately come up with a good bass line I leave that empty. Then Lollo comes over and adds some stuff which can be inspirational and give me some new ideas, then I sometimes re-write some parts and add guitars. At times I leave empty spaces so that I can also compose on the guitar. I often program the drums as simple as possible and let Tomas create his thing. On the latest album I sat together with Göran and composed together with him. That was a welcomed break. I had not done that since, I think it was back in 1995-1996 - then together with the bass player that was a part of the band at the time (Tomas Christensen).

When we have some finished compositions I send these to the guys so that they can rehearse. Sometimes they have opinions about one thing or another. Thing’s like “I’d like to try this one in a slightly higher tempo” or “I love the chorus, can we make it a little bit longer?” When we are satisfied with all the basics we start to record. This usually is kind of fast. What takes time is the mixing process.
There’s so many opportunities one wants to try.

Which bands/artists/genre would you name as your inspirational source?
Please elaborate and individual perspectives would be great.

When I write I simply do it and don’t think about other bands or artists but I am a huge fan of listening to music, and has been since I was 5 years. To mention some of the most important bands, once that I’ve listened to very much I’d come up with - The Beatles, The Move, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Yes, VDGG, Genesis, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Brand X, Weather Report, The Sound, XTC, Prefab Sprout, Magazine, Tears For Feears, Killing Joke, It Bites and many, many more. There are some really good new bands as well but I don’t believe they have much to do with what formed my composing style. I also have been pretty much inspired by Tschaikowsky and Shostakowich.