Cross

I really love the new album and I can hear connections/hints to Alan Parsons Project and American artrock band Ambrosia...but also a refined new Cross style, still with the power rock assessments! Not to mention the typical (most positive meant) Cross sound. Would you say that is an accurate comment?!

I say that any comment were the listener expresses what they experience is accurate. But to me personally I must say that I have heard very little of the two bands you mention and have not been very much into the US style pomp rock thing. We are often compared to bands we don’t listen to ourselves so…I guess these must be great bands! J

You as a guitar player...are you self taught and/or classical trained?
Your band....same question!

Yes. I am self taught. I picked up some tricks from more experienced guitarists that I played together with when I was a teenager but mainly I either just jammed with people (9 out of 10 solos on Cross albums are improvised) or I played to records. I actually don’t know if the other guys are classically trained (!). We have never talked about it so…I guess they are not. What I can say is that Lollo used to be a guitarist, which might explain his a bit unique approach to the bass guitar.

Any plans of touring Europe/Scandinavia? I for one would love to see you in Denmark!

All plans for any touring anywhere must seen as a “no” until the day I - hopefully - are 100% recovered. My hearing is very good and the tinnitus is not bothersome, it is rather quiet now, but I still sense that I must become even better to dare to put myself in the situation where I must be, for hours, surrounded by loud music and crashing cymbals

Any plans of a new album? If I know you right...its allready in the making!?

I’m writing material and testing out some guitar arrangements right now. We have nearly 40 minutes (three songs) where the basic stuff is written. We will work on these now and then - I guess the lyrics is what will take the longest time, as usual - until June when we will start the recordings. I can’t remember that I have felt this inspired before - ever! It’s pure joy. I love to compose and every album has been lots of fun but at this moment - after the 2 year break - it is even more fun. With “The Thrill of nothingness” we made the album we wanted to do, an album where we focused on our more melodic sides, quite heavily leaning towards traditional prog and symph rock. Next one will be different. The new material is more daring and more symphonic with room for the heavier guitars that was pretty much abandoned on the latest album. I believe that this is the direction we will have for a while. Albums that are stylistically different from each other but still very Crossish.

Returning to cover art...you yourself are quite a pro, creating cover art! What, in your opinion makes a great cover? Secondly...did you ever (as
yours truly) buy an album judged by the cover art alone!? Please elaborate.

Thanks. I would hardly call myself a gifted artwork man but I like to fool around and now and then something workable shows up. But for next album we will use another artist for the cover. And, yes I have. Several times. The first one I recall is Uriah Heep’s “Very ‘eavy, very ‘umble”. I was like “Wow! Look at THAT! He’s allcovered in spider web! That album MUST be great!” Hahahaha…I bought it and loved it! I believe that I also bought Greenslade’s “Bedside manners are extra” because of the cover. I recall thinking “This is probably music that can be compared to Yes”.

You once told me, that you include tiny hints/allegations of classical composers music in your compositions!? Whom, where and why?

Why is easy…it just comes out when I compose. Whom is, as I said, mainly Tschaikowsky and Shostakovich. I have these things for Russian symphonic music. Then we of course, as for many other musicians, can find something reminding of Holst’s “Mars” here and there. I will also reveal a little secret about a game I have. On every Cross album one can find some bars from Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” somewhere. But I will not tell you where…hahahaa. It’s in fact my way to do a sort of Yes Tribute. I love how they use Stravinsky as opener for their concerts. It’s some bars from that (I believe you know which one I mean) paty of The Firebird Suite I “steal”.

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