Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 18th, 2005
Hello Anders and welcome to Rock Eyez. How is your day going?
Thank you! My day is going great so far, thanks for asking.
Tell us how the music scene is in Stockholm?
I think the music scene in Stockholm is quite alive and well if you’re talking about bands playing and rehearsing. It’s quite lame when it comes to places that book unsigned bands, it’s slowly getting better but it’s still not good.
The band formed before you were a member. Did you have to audition?
Yes and no. The band had the name CellOut and there was Percy & Robert at the time. They demoed some songs and put out an ad on the net looking for a bass player who plays with a pick instead of the fingers. (For a more aggressive sound) I liked what I heard and e-mailed them, the funny thing about it is that they put out the ad just a minute or so before I answered. Stefan Orhamn, an old friend of Robert, joined in on drums and we all did our first rehearsal together a week or so later.
Were you currently in a different band at the time and if so who were they?
I wasn’t in a band at the time, I had just quit the band I was in at the time and wasn’t really looking for a new band. I had in fact decided to quit playing music but when I heard some of the songs and Percy’s voice I changed my mind. I felt that CellOut would fit me like a glove and the glove still fits.
Was “Superstar Prototype” the first demo issued by the band?
Yes it was, we had about 10 songs at that time and we selected the four we liked the most. This was like the second month of the band existing. “Superstar Prototype” was released. Not to brag or anything but I think that’s quite impressive to put out such a high quality demo.
Seems to me that Sweden is the hot spot in music these days, is there a reason why?
I don’t really know why but there are a lot of talented musicians and producers here in Sweden. It might have to do with the weather in Sweden, we only have about 2 months of summer here and the rest of the year is quite chilly and dark so there isn’t that much to do other than playing music. I guess the main reason is that we have music in school, everyone can try to play an instrument at a very young age.
“Superstar Prototype” has a fresh sound and has a lot of power. Were there label interest with that demo?
Yes, there where a couple of smaller companies who was interested in SP. Big words and absolutely no money to turn words into action so we nicely thanked them for their interest.
“Superstar Prototype” is much more melodic then your latest demo “Evilution”, I like the change. Why did you decide to get a bit heavier?
I can’t really answer that question because I don’t write the songs, Percy and Robert do that. I guess it’s because now we’re a band and have played the songs live and wanted to catch that rougher side on tape. It’s also a natural progress that a band finds their own style along the way I guess.
For a band that is not signed to a label you are getting a lot of air-play in Sweden and other European countries. With that air-play are there more labels recognizing the band?
Yeah, we’ve been very lucky to be getting a lot of airplay, but seriously, do record companies listen to radio???
“I’m Keeping You Down” is a great tune on your latest demo. Is that the song that is getting air-play?
No, it’s “Dark Days” and “Flooded” who had the most airplay from “Evilution”. I love to play “I’m Keeping You Down” live, it’s a great song. “Flooded” was actually voted #1 by the listeners at “Rock Radio”. (see Tuesday’s top ten list.) That was cool as fuck being #1 voted by the listeners over artist like Papa Roach, Judas Priest, and Anthrax. “Dark Days” and “Just What’s Right” have also been top 5 on that list.
What is the best moment for you being in Cellout?
I never been in a band that fitted me so well as CellOut and we’re gonna crush the world together.
Have you toured with any popular acts?
No touring yet, mostly gigs on weekends and with local acts, but I would love to get on a good tour. We actually got the support slot totally by surprise on English old rockers Magnum Swedish tour but the tour got cancelled. A very weird combination of bands I think but it’s always fun to play live and as an unsigned band, you can’t be that picky.
In Sweden it’s impossible for an unsigned band to support bigger bands and that really sucks big time. I’ve heard that in the USA the promotors understand that local acts have a following and they will sell tickets... It’s a shame it doesn’t work here in Sweden.
Who would you like to go out on tour with?
Oh, many bands come to mind like Slipknot, CruE, Papa Roach, 30 Seconds To Mars… Let me put it this way instead, any band with a big crowd would be nice.
Tell us your feeling about each member of the band:
Percy Mejhagen - Percy is an excellent performer and songwriter.
Robert Monegrim - Great guitar player and songwriter.
Robin Lagerqvist - The newest member of the band, great sense of humor and an overall nice guy.
Do you feel playing bass you go unnoticed and not many bass players are asked for interviews? Why is that?
I don’t feel like I’m getting unnoticed, I think that it has to do with who you are as a person. But you’re absolutely right, singers and guitar players are often the ones media are focusing on.
“Evilution” is a great demo. You sound a little like a harder version of 3 Doors Down. Is that the type of crowd Cellout would appeal to?
Thank you for liking “Evilution”, I really can’t say that I’ve heard 3 Doors Down but if they sound like CELLOUT they have to be good. I think our music will apply to any fan of great songs and killer guitar riffs.
You’re working on a new demo right now. Can you tell us some working titles and how many songs are written for that release?
Yes, we are constantly working on new material so I can’t give you a number of songs. Percy & Robert are the bands two songwriters and they always have new stuff in the works. I guess there will be 4 songs on the new demo as well and the only song title I can reveal is “BLOW” because that song can be downloaded on our site. The new demo will be released before 2005 ends.
Can you tell us any other new bands from your country that you can recommend to fans?
Oh, there’s a lot of great bands but the first ones comes to mind are Source Of Ignition (hilarious guys), AMP (if you’re into BLS you gotta check this band out) Backdraft (My old band, great southern rock) plus a bunch more bands, Sweden has a lot to offer.
Who do you admire as a musician?
Nikki Sixx without a doubt, he’s the reason I picked up the bass back in the days. I can’t say he’s my favorite bass player but he’s Rock ‘N’ Roll. I also admire Dimebag Darrell (RIP), he was one of the best guitar players I ever heard and saw. I also had the pleasure to meet him a couple of times, a really great guy and he will be truly missed.
Why have you never put a picture of the band on any of the demos?
Like Aerosmith once said, ‘let the music do the talking.’ To tell you the truth, we didn’t have any pictures of the lineup when we released “Superstar Prototype”. We wanted a clean, good looking cover with only our logo on it, just plain and simple we are CellOut.
When it was time to release “Evilution,” Stefan Orhamn (drums) had left the band and ex-Amaran drummer Robin Bergh joined us and the same thing happened again, NO PHOTOS!!!! So we just took the same cover and made it white on black.
Robin Bergh quit and we now have a new Robin (Lagerqvist) who has been with us for almost a year now. Do you see the Spinal Tap drum connection here?
I’m pretty sure the new demo will have a picture of us, cross your fingers.
What will be the next step for Cellout?
Playing live as much as possible, finishing the third demo before the end of 2005 and GETTING SIGNED!!!!
Anders, Rock Eyez would like to thank you for letting us have some insight on Cellout and wish the band the best of success in the future. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Thank you very much Rock Eyez for your interest in CellOut.
Please check out our website www.celloutonline.com, download some songs and write the guestbook. We love to hear from people from all over the world.
lateM – Metal
Rock Eyez Review of "Evilution" by CellOut.