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Chris Laney

posted 25 Jul 2011, 12:00 by Paul Woodward
Woody talks to Swedish guitar maestro Chris Laney about his latest album, asperations and his collaboration wish list.

Hi Chris, this is Woody from Midlands Rocks, hope your well and ready for a quick interview!

“I’m doing great, Woody!! I was born ‘Ready’!”

I have to say I really love your new album “Only Come Out A Night”, although your last album “Pure” was heavily recommended to me I never did check it out, something I hope to rectify shortly. Are you pleased with how the album has turned out?

“Thanx Woody, I’m flattered!!! Yes, I’m pleased! I hope I never have to release something I’m not 100% happy with ever, to be honest. I've always believed in the live to win theory. It’s always tough to release a second album, ‘cause people have something to look back on and say, “that last one was better ?” But, when it comes to “Only Come Out At Night”, you’re safe, ‘cause it kicks the living shit out of “Pure”! In many ways they are quite different, “Pure” has something this doesn’t! It’s just like kids, you can have many, and you love them all for their unique persona.”“My mind is set on album No3 already, I'm so ready to rock n roll. You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

What are your favourite songs from the album and any reasons why?

“My favourite depends on my mood, but I love "Only Come Out At Night", ‘cause it has that anthem like chorus which reminds me of the kind of vibe KISS’ “Creatures Of The Night” has, with the big, bombastic chorus and main riff.”“I also love "One Kiss Tonight", which is my Def Leppard tribute, ha! ha! ha! ha!! Gotta have it all in there!”

The album is produced by world famous producer Lennart Ostlund. You do a lot of studio work so did you find not having full production control frustrating?

“Well, actually, I produced this and Lennart co-produced, so I’ve overseen everything. It is hard to produce your self, you can go ego-blind! I love to have Lennart there to bounce ideas off and I always ask him for feedback when I hit the wall. He is my mentor and best friend.”

What was it like working with him?

“It’s wonderful. We work every single day, together, at Polar Studios, so it’s more like hanging around with your buddy, just having fun playing music. He is a maniac, a funny bastard. He is still, after 30 years in the business, interested in developing his skills, and that is something I truly admire.”

You have worked with some well known names in the biz on this record, including Nalle Phallson (Treat / Last Autumns Dream), Brian Robertson, Conny Bloom & Bruce Kulick. Is there anyone who you would really like to work with whom you haven’t already?

“Well, I’ve been asked this many times, and in regard to the studio, there’s many answers, but my dream top 5 would be to:

1. work on an album with Mutt Lange.

2. work with Def Leppard!

3. work with KISS.

4. work with an re-united Shotgun Messiah

5. and to work with a re-united original W.A.S.P. line up!”

Are there any musicians you’ve particularly enjoyed playing or writing with so far in your career?

“There’s tons of them Woody, and that is probably why I have so many ‘buddies’ on my albums? I love to work with people! It can’t be rock if you sit alone. You have to have a few laughs and beers in there to make the magic!”

I’m hearing your name praised more and more for the production work you do in the studio, mixing and engineering. You worked on Steevi Jaimz’s “My Private Hell” album, an artist I’ve never really been fussed about but you definitely brought out the best in him as the album is an absolute sleaze rock gem!

Thanx!!! That is amazing to hear! I mean, I’ve never thought that people knew much about who I was, even when we were doing that album! Ha! ha! ha! It’s True! Steevi, is a great guy, I love him like a brother, and that album has some really cool songs!”


You’ve also worked with Crazy Lixx & H.E.A.T. You definitely have an ear for melodies and what will work on record. How have you taken people’s opinions on your studio work so far? How do you feel about how some of the albums you’ve worked on have turned out and been received by the public, especially the Steevi Jaimz album?

“I have to pinch myself sometimes, you know? But, it certainly helps me, getting back into the studio, doing more albums. I love music, it’s my life, and I hope this is just the beginning!!! I don't know what it is that I do, and why I get tons of jobs, but I must do something right? Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Is there anybody you would like to do studio work for?

“Well, I mentioned some of them above…, so I think we covered that one, no!”

Are you currently producing anything that would interest rock fans?

“Yep. I just did Casablanca, a cool rock band that features Ryan Roxie of Alice Cooper fame and a bunch of Swedish stars. It’s kind of an ‘all star band’ but, importantly, it is a band, not a project!! They sound like rock did back in 1979-81, really cool!!”“And Lennart and I also just finished the next Therion album, too which is a masterpiece!”

You clearly enjoy working in the studio, it isn’t just a day job to you?

No. I love my job! I don’t think you can have my job if you don't have your heart in it fully. My working hours vary from between 10-16hours a day, and that’s 7 days a week. You must be as crazy as me to fix it!”

Would you prefer to be totally focused on your own material and let someone else deal with production duties?

“Nope. I love having the cake while eating it!! Ha! Ha! That's me, control freak. I will have it no other way!”

Is there much chance of a Chris Laney gig here in the UK? I’d love to get a chance to hear a lot of these songs live and I know many others who would too.

“Well, I’m talking to some people right now, but nothing is set in stone. I would definitely love to come over! As I've said in earlier interviews, we will play anywhere as long as we break even. It’s not about the money, really either, we think the world of playing live”We’ve done about 10 shows so far in Sweden, and the response has been absolutely fantastic!! I want to take this band all over the place!”

“I can't wait to continue after the summer break. We have 4 more shows booked, and a 20 date tour in late fall here in Sweden. After that, it’s time to leave this place and set our minds on hitting Europe!”

What bands or artists are you currently listening too?

“Well, I just got the new Ratt, that is great, the new Winger too! I am really into a Shotgun Messiah period again. I played quite recently with Zinny and Stixx, on some of the old stuff and my heart craved for these songs again, that’s some of the best stuff around!”

What does the future hold for Chris Laney?
“Hopefully, just more touring, more studio work and then some!! Ha! Ha! Ha! “Only Come Out At Night” will get a Japanese release on July 28th, so that is exciting for me!!”

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to Midlands Rocks readers?

Add me on Facebook!! - Visit me on Myspace!! Check out the new album, and let me know what you all think!! Don't be a stranger!! I love chatting with people! Cheers!!”