The Über Rock Interview: Astrid Carsbring (Heavy Tiger) Print E-mail
Written by Gerald Stansbury   
Sunday, 28 May 2017 04:00

Heavy Tiger came to my awareness in 2014 with the release of their debut album, ‘Saigon Kiss.’ The title track to the album remained in constant rotation for me, but the rest of the album never connected with me in quite the same way. Their sophomore album ‘Glitter’ was released back in March and has been on constant rotation since I first received it. Nearing the midway point of 2017, it is sitting firmly as my top album of 2017. Astrid Carsbring took some time to catch up with Uber Rock.    


Heavy Tiger with Kiss

You recently opened for KISS in Stockholm, so that seems like a really good place to start. What was that like? How was the crowd? 


Opening for KISS was something we'd dreamed about since we were kids, and it's feels surreal to have actually done it. They are rock legends. Of course, we were nervous for weeks before the show, and right before the show it just felt crazy. But when on stage, it all disappeared, and we had such a great time. It was our first time playing in an arena, and we loved it! The crowd was great and seemed really into it, which was surprising since that's usually not the case when it comes to support acts. All in all, it was a crazy day, and a memory for life.


As I mentioned earlier, ‘Glitter’ continues to be my Album of the Year for 2017. How has the response been to the album? How does that compare to ‘Saigon Kiss?’ 


Saigon Kisss was our debut album, and we got quite a lot of attention for it. Now with GLITTER, we knew we had to step up and make our second album a worthy follow-up, and we succeeded! We've gotten great reviews and the fans seems to love it as much as we do. It makes us really happy, and we can't wait to get on tour and play the songs live!


Can you tell us how the recording process for ‘Glitter’ differed from ‘Saigon Kiss?’ 


When we made Saigon Kiss we had little experience with recording, and Maja was still a beginner at singing lead. So we had to learn and record at the same time, which was fun but maybe not ideal. When recording GLITTER, we had become better musicians and much more experienced. So naturally, it became more professional. We still recorded everything live, like on Saigon Kiss, but spent more time on details like percussions, guitar solos, and perfecting the vocals. 


In my review of ‘Glitter,’ I mentioned bands such as Cheap Trick and the Hellacopters. What bands did influence you, whether it was in terms of musical style or to pick up an instrument? 


We all like 70s bands like KISS, Thin Lizzy and AC/DC, but we also have some different influences. Maja has grown up with punk rock bands, like the Clash and Hanoi Rocks, Sara has listened to a lot of motown and soul music, and I(Astrid) love hard rock band from the 80s, such as Deep Purple and Whitesnake. I think that's what makes Heavy Tiger so great, we take the best from different genres and make something even better from it.


What brought the three of you together? Was it the band? Friends first? 


Heavy Tiger


The band brought us together, we didn't know each other before. When Maja decided thet she wanted to form a new, kick-ass band, she began searching and found me and Sara through common friends. And now, we've sticked together since 2010!


Music resonates in my soul, and I cannot imagine a world without it. What is it that each of you loves about music? 


Music is all about feelings, that's what's so great about it. The feelings you get performing on stage, listening at home, at a party or whatever. It's our feelings that makes us human, and music amplifies our feelings and turns them into something greater.


As I approach my mid-40s, the changes in popular culture around music and its value disappoints me. It does not seem that most people get to experience that rush of first hearing an album they have been anticipating. What excites you about making music in the world today, and what would you like to see change? 


Making our kind of music today is hard, but somehow we do it anyways and things are going well for us. We'd love to be a part of making rock'nroll become popular again, because it's the music we love and it's worth fighting for.


‘I Go for the Cheap Ones’ opens the album on an excellent note and really gives the listener an idea of the band’s sound. The video is a really cool performance based clip too which inspires me to play air guitar. What was it like making the video? Do you plan to make some more from the album? (I hope so)


The video was actually filmed in just a few hours, including the time to set up the stage. It was made by Emil Klinta, who's done most of Imperial State Electric's videos. We played the song a couple of times with Emil shooting from different angles, and after a few takes Emil got the footage he needed. We're the one-take tigers! We'd like to make another video soon, but there's nothing planned yet.



‘Catwalking On A Dog Day Afternoon’ is one of my favorites from ‘Glitter.’ I thought it would make an excellent autumn single and think the phrase is really cool, especially in that it likely evokes different images with each listener in terms of what that phrase could mean? Can you tell me a little more about that song? 


Many fans have said it's their favourite as well, which is pretty cool since it's an attempt from us to make a song that's a bit more laid back and "slow"(I know it's not a slow song but for us it's a step in that direction...). It started out softer than on the album, but turned out to be kind of a mix between a slow song and an upbeat rock tune. And it was a lot of fun making the harmonies for that one, we really went all in! Another fun thing about it is that it's Sara who sings the lead vocals, something not everyone notices at first! But we think her voice fits the song perfectly, which we found out pretty early on during songwriting.


The first song that initially got played time and again on my first run through the album was ‘No Tears in Tokyo.’ I think it should be all over radio this summer. What can you tell me about how that song developed? 


We've only been to Japan once, in November 2014, and there's something about Tokyo that makes the city one of a kind. We loved it there, and that feeling for a city makes it perfect to write about. There really were no tears in Tokyo for us. When we started to arrange the song though, we had some problem with the chorus. We wanted it to be energetic and powerful, like a punch in the face but in a good way. We worked on it for quite a while, and finally got it right. 


What bands would you love to tour with? 


We'd love to tour with Juliette Lewis, she's so cool! But we wouldn't say no to some more shows with KISS either...


How long do you plan to be out on the road supporting the album? 


We have some shows in Sweden during summer, and some touring plans for this fall. It's not all planned yet, but we'd like to go touring as long as possible, and also tour around Europe. Stay tuned!


What else does the band have planned for the future?


We want to continue to create great music, and tour more frequently and in new places we haven't been before. Heavy Tiger is the future!


‘Glitter’ is out now. You can read our review HERE.


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