About Me

Interview with Reach

Hard Rock was my own gateway into heavier sounds, so I always had a soft heart for it. Now Iet me introduce you to Swedish modern Hard Rock trio, Reach, who are loaded with new killer songs in their new album 'The Promise of a Life', which will be released on April 23, 2021 through Icons Creating Evil Art. Reach is a great song-making machine with potential to explode with this new collection of 10 catchy tracks and memorable choruses.
The band will be huge, believe me! The charismatic Ludvig Turner (vocals and guitars) talked to Metal Imperium about the band, the new album, their dreams and a “conspiracy” involving Marilyn Manson! Curious now? Read on!

M.I. - Ludvig has participated in the Swedish Idol. Has this experience helped the band somehow?

It’s hard to say, I started singing in this band a year after my participation. I think Marcus being a part of Death Stars have had a greater impact on Reach to be honest! 

M.I. - How old were you when you decided you wanted to form a band? Why did you form Reach?

Marcus and I had other bands when we met, this was in 2012, I think! We met when Marcus auditioned for a band I was playing in at the time. We got along really well and decided to leave that group to form our own after the first rehearsal! We liked the same music: Whitesnake, Sabbath, Zeppelin etc. We both had long curly hairdo, so it Made sense we should start a band.

M.I. - Which Hard Rock song has triggered the rock vibe in you?

Marcus is a huge Judas Priest fan so I’m sure they had something to do with it! I knew I wanted to be a rock n’ roll Guitar hero when a friend of mine played me Paranoid in 5th grade! 

M.I. - The band has chosen to name itself “Reach”, which is a rather basic word. What’s its meaning to you?

We thought it appropriate since Marcus and I had been searching for something to dedicate our lives to. Reaching out for that which would fan the inner flame in us both. We didn’t think much about it since Reach instantly felt right for us.

M.I. - The band is described as a Swedish modern Hard Rock trio. Why Hard Rock? What attracted you to this genre? 

It might sound a bit cheesy but if rock n’ roll finds you Young it’ll stick! For me, I love the epicness in the live performances and the rawness of the music. Rock takes so many shapes and forms so There is never enough to still that hunger! 

M.I. - According to the label, Reach is a great song-making machine with potential to explode with this new collection of 10 catchy tracks and memorable choruses. What’s your take on this?

I truly believe this band has something. Every band hopefully thinks that. We know that What we do is a bit controversial but we can tell that people around the world are liking it. This album has pushed this band far up the hill before even being released and in a time of total lockdown. I’m a bit shy when it comes to predicting my own sucess but I truly believe we did Good creating ”The Promise of a life”.

M.I. - What bands are Reach’s musical influences?

We have our commons like the old time greats but besides that we have 3 kind of separate tastes in music. Marcus and Zouf should namedrop theirs. For me there are many I love listening to, from Sinatra to Johnny Cash, Muse to unknown prog-bands and all in between!

M.I. - When your first album “Reach out to rock” was released in 2015, what were your first thoughts? “Stardom here we come?”

Well Yeah! Again, what band doesn’t think that?! My mistake in the aftermath of releasing that album was that I didn’t spend enough time with the lyrics. I find that to be the 4th instrument of Reach today. At that time all I cared about was guitar solos and looking sassy! (laughts)!

M.I. - Both your albums include 10 songs… any particular reason for this?

Not really, i think it’s standard to have 10 songs and a special for Japan. At least as a melodic rock band. We sorta branched out from that genre so there is really no reason for not having more songs. I would love to release a 20-song album after this one. But that’s just me! 

M.I. - The album title is “The Promise of a Life”… what’s the meaning behind it?

Over all the lyrics have a dark vibe to them and the song ”The Promise of a life” represents the album. It’s somewhat ironical. Why do you expect life to be good? Why do you suffer when all goes to shit? No one’s ever promised a Good life. Perhaps some are just promised a life. 
It’s not a very happy statement but I find tragedy, strangeness and horror to be good topics for a lyric.

M.I. - Even though you have major 80s hard rock influences, there’s a contemporary sound on your album. Was this done on purpose or did it just come out naturally?

When I write songs I don’t like recognising other music in my own. One can only be so innovative but I try to stir things up a bit. I also enjoy a modern mix. That in combination might be the reason for this contemporary sound. 

M.I. - The new album has been getting awesome reviews/reactions both from the media and from fans. How does it make you feel? Do you still feel nervous when those reviews in bigger magazines are published?

It makes us all feel great! We make music that we love playing and listening to and to have people sharing that feeling is out of this world. We’ve got a lot of new listeners and a lot of interaction with people expressing how they enjoy our songs. We do get nervous, a good review isn’t everything but it looks good and it feels great! 

M.I. - Many of the lyrics of the band are about murderers, drug addicts, depression… are these biographical lyrics somehow or are you simply interested in these issues?

Little column A, Little column B. I draw inspiration from my life, the tragedies and joyful moments in it. I like story telling and using bits from my life gives those stories some truth. For me that element makes it a bit more real and honest for the listener and myself.

M.I. - Do you plan to release a new video anytime soon and if yes for which track?

Probably not for the remaining releases of “The Promise of a life”. We were supposed to release this album earlier and that would have meant 3 videos/singles, then the album. But since we pushed the release date we decided to release the ”extra singles” without a video. 

M.I. - The album cover has a rather steampunk vibe, with all the googles, the eyes… what does it mean? What’s its connection to the songs?

Vagelis, who made the artwork for the whole album, was handed the songs and lyrics from it and asked if he could present something he felt represented the album. He has a style we liked but the art he put together for the singles and the album was just about exactly What we wanted. A bit mysterious and provocative. That part of making the album was super smooth, he gave us everything we wanted with a cover for this particular album.

M.I. - Of all the tracks of the album, which one is your favourite and why? 

“Motherland” is just a banger! We had much fun recording it, fretless bass, jazzy guitarsolo, chaotic Drums, epic bridge and all of it being the perfect soundtrack to a story about a fictional land of murderers! 
New frontiers is right up there as well! 

M.I. - Please tell us a few things about each track… 

New Frontier - We wanted this big opening track for the album and thought to make this “space opera goes western” style song, at least 5 minutes long. It’s a weird format for an opening song but it really gives you a taste of what’s to come when playing the album. 
The Law - I wrote about a broken system, a place for villains. Sorta Gotham I guess. I wrote as if The Law was a being, a machine of sort. The song needed to be industrial and repetitive. 
Young Again - The song was not originally for Reach, just an idea that was way too happy to be a Reach song. But when adding a terrible story of a depressed suicidal person to it the whole thing became a bit bizarre. That’s why we chose to paint that picture even clearer with a very dark music video.
Satellite - it’s the only song that’s not about death or destruction on this album. It’s about a kid chasing a star just to make a wish. But that star is a satellite! I think it’s kind of sweet and sad at the same time. No one dies but it still makes it on the album because of the bad ass riff in the intro. 
Seventh Seal - A take on the Classic scene from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal. A Tribute sort of. 
Higher Ground - The first song written on the album. It defined what the rest was going to be like in my opinion. The weird verses and big melodic choruses. We tend to lean toward that build up of a song. It gives room for innovation. 
Cover my Traces - This song is a stretch for us. Very much beat-based. Lyrics and vocals plays a major role here since there’s mostly ambiance going on. But it’s got a very cool bass solo that Zouf wrote and it was a joy to see him record it. 
The Streets - Drill Sergeant full on action song! The one that brings us back to melodic rock days the most I’d say. 
Promise of a Life - it’s the one closest to heart for me. 

M.I. - Are you satisfied with the album’s final outcome?

Very much so! But very excited for the next one as well! There are some ideas that didn’t make it on here just because we had a theme in mind. I hope they see the light of day. I also know that the next will be different from this one and I’m curious in what way! 

M.I. - The link of the album that was shared with me also included instrumentals for all the 10 tracks. Was this your personal choice or was it the label’s decision? Why include them? 

I heard that but I have no idea why! (laughts)! Sounds like it might be a bit dull to listen to instrumentals on an album made for vocals.

M.I. - “The Promise of a Life” will be released on the 23rd April by Icons Creating Evil Art. How did this deal come up?

We got together thank to Erik Grönwall who had just become our manager. We say down for a meeting and got along well with The guys at ICEA. They had and have a passion for this band equal to our own and that alone was reason enough for us to join them.

M.I. - “Sex, drugs and rock and roll” has been Hard Rock’s motto for the past decades… do you live by it? Or do you have a more personalized one?

We’re being watched, so to speak, so no googling around like that at the moment! But we do enjoy a good time, that’s for sure! 

M.I. - Recently, Alice Cooper has dismissed the notion that rock is dead, saying that “rock and roll is just too much fun to let die”. Do you agree? Do you believe in a resurgence of the genre? Will it be as big as it was in the 80’s?

I think Rock is just as big! But 80s rock is 80s rock and 2020 rock is 2020 rock. It’s unfair to expect a band like Whitesnake to stay on the billboard for 50 years. I mean times change, music’s changed. The Whitesnake of today for me is Muse, Awolnation, Imagine Dragons. You may not like it if you only listen to 80s rock but that’s you then. Give Awolnation a spin, specially The latest album and tell me that’s not The rock n roll of our time!
But I think you refer to Adam Levine of Maroon 5, he said something like that. Well, he had a great rock band and Harder to breath is a kick ass song. That album songs about Jane made them famous but then he went full ”moves like Jagger” and lost himself rather then losing rock n’ roll. 

M.I. - Is there a track (either rock or not) that you find so special that you wish you were the author of? If so, which one and why?

I really get a ”masterpiece vibe” when I listen to “Life on Mars”. I think its brilliant. If we wrote that song it would have fitted perfectly on this album! There are so many but that’s the first that springs to mind. 

M.I. - The album is about to come out and the tour is postponed… how will promotion be done until things go back to normal? Any expectations or fears regarding that? Live streaming?

We did that live streaming and it was a good choice. It’s not what I want to do but out of respect for our listeners we’ll probably do that again. We’re all just hoping for this shit to blow over so we can go out in the world and play our music!

M.I. - Reach would love to be the opening act for Muse… why them?

That was my wish since I’m a fan but I think we’d be a good opening act! Another three-piece with alternative rock songs! I’d be too starstrucked to perform though.

M.I. - Do you dream of becoming huge rock stars and have cult status like the members of bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row, Alice Cooper and many more? In your opinion, what does it take to become a huge rock star? Are your looks and charisma enough? 

I have no idea What it takes but like you Say, you’d probably need it all right?! A look, the songs and a bit of luck perhaps. I started playing guitar wishing to become one of the greats, i still have that goal. If that dosnt happen i’d like to die leaving behind me something that im proud of. Im proud of this album but i know There is more in me! 

M.I. - Ludvig’s all-time hero is Chris Cornell… how much has his demise affected you?

I think people who have an idol like that feels the same when that person passes. I felt like I know him and I was sad when I heard it. I’ve never met him, I haven’t even seen him live to be honest. But I love his voice and his music. Probably more than any other artist. 

M.I. - Some rock stars have taken their own lives due to mental health issues mainly… is this one of the reasons why you write about depression? Have you ever faced it yourselves or know someone who has? Do people still try to hide it from others in order not to be misjudged?

I’ve been asked to talk about this recently. Maybe because of the lyrics and topics of the recent songs. I don’t have education in this subject and I don’t claim to know how to get out of a depression and advise to seek help if you face mental hearty issues. 
I’ve faced my problems in life thinking it would help me get through. If not then I’d make sure I’d keep myself busy, getting my mind working with something else. 

M.I. - If you could create a super group with musicians you are a fan of, who would you choose and why? 

I’m just now thinking of Glenn Hughes writing songs with Stevie Wonder. 

M.I. - The cover of Avicii’s “Wake me up” in 2013 was a fine way to introduce the band to rock audiences worldwide. How did you come up with that idea? Are you planning on doing another cover in the near future? 

That idea came in an afternoon and was recorded over night, released a week after. Very spontaneous! I’d like to make a tribute to someone, we did record a version of God’s gonna cut you down by johnny Cash. We had it recorded last year and, after a few months of not knowing where and when to release it, Marilyn Manson released a cover of that song. It sounds just like the one we did. I showed our version to a guy at Universal Music and 3 months later Mansons drops a very similar cover to the one we did. Let the conspiracy begin! 

M.I. - In your opinion, what’s the main difference between Reach and the other young bands of your time?

We don’t take shortcuts with our music, we don’t write a song for someone else, we stick together and we show respect to the ones around us. 

M.I. - What does the future hold for Reach and what are your personal ambitions?

As soon as we can begin touring then everyone will see what we’re trying to do. There will be a lot of music from us. Reach has just started for real.

M.I. - Please share a final message with Metal Imperium’s readers.

We wanna send our love all of you listening and welcome those of you who haven’t heard of us to our family. We wish you all the best and that you take care of each other during these crazy times. We would like to thank Metal Imperium for letting us be a part of their world. Thank you / Reach

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca