Interview with Robin Jidhed of Creye. 02/11/2018.

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Interview With Robin Jidhed Of Creye.

 

02/11/2018

 

Interviewed by David.

 

 

Early last year (2017) we saw the release of a three track EP from a new Swedish band by the name of Creye (check out my review of that EP here). The band, masterminded by the talented writer and guitarist Andreas Gullstrand (Grand Slam), featured, at that time, none other than Alexander Strandell of Art Nation fame on vocals.

However since Strandell was, of course, comitted to his band, the need to cement a permanent line-up who could give 100% of their time to Creye led to vocalist Robin Jidhed entering the fold.

Now the name may be unfamiliar to you right now, but with a talent like this young man possesses and being the frontman of such an exciting new band as Creye then it will not be long before Robin and the rest of the band will be household names to fans of melodic rock.

Despite being very busy and hard at work on the band’s first full length album, Robin kindly took the time to sit down and answer some questions with me about his career, how he came about joining Creye and what we can expect from the debut record.

 

—————

 

MMR:   Robin, thank you for taking the time to do this, man, I really appreciate it, I know you are busy right now.

RJ:   It’s my pleasure!

MMR:   So let’s start with a little about your early years. Obviously you came from a musical household but when did you first discover your love of music?

RJ:   I practically lived in a studio during my younger years, following my father wherever he went and stayed up listening to him write & record music at nights. My own interest came when I was around 5 years old and I gathered my friends, “borrowed” my father’s old M1 keyboard, guitars and built drums from a chair.   

MMR:    Drums from a chair, now that is inventive! I used old tin cans and empty buckets but never thought of trying out chairs. So do you play any instruments then on top of being such a talented singer?

RJ:   Thank you for your kind words! My entrance to music was through the guitar, and throughout the years I´ve learned to play along on both drums, bass and keyboards. As a songwriter myself I think that´s a key ingredient, the understanding of each instrument.

MMR:   Oh wow, so you are really quite a talented guy! And I agree with you there, the more instruments that you have an understanding of the better I think you will be able to write, as you can write with, at least a bit of knowledge, of several instruments as opposed to just one. 

Well your father (Jim Jidhed) is, of course, a well known vocalist to us fans of melodic rock with his work in the classic band ALIEN. What was it like growing up with a father involved in the music industry like that and what kind of impact did that have on you choosing a musical career?

RJ:   Growing up in a family of music, surrounded by music-industry people will of course influence you. I learned a lot by observing, both the good and the bad. The music industry is everything else but a smell of roses. You really have to put your heart and soul in it, invest a great portion of your life to it and make tough priorities with family and friends. Music has been a part of me for as long as I can remember, It formed me into who I am, and whom I  always will be.

MMR:   One thing I have learned since starting this site and talking to so many artists, is just how demanding the music industry is for you guys and how much blood, sweat and tears it takes just to release this music that so many of us fans just take for granted and there is really not enough thanks we can give to all of you artists for continuing to put this music out for us.

Well to piggyback on the previous question some, did having a melodic rock singer as a father help to give you your love of this genre and inspire you to pursue a career in that same genre?

RJ:   That is something I´ve never thought of, honestly, but as I´m writing this I believe subconsciously that it has.

MMR:   So who are some of your favorite bands and artists? and as far as inspirations go, who would you say has had the greatest influence on you musically and vocally?

RJ:   I´ve had different influences throughout my life. Michael Jackson, Skid Row, Kiss, Hammerfall & Journey were some among many artists that inspired me in my younger age; and still do! I find inspiration in all kinds of music, all kinds of genres. Vocally there are so many great singers, both past and present, that I look up to. My father, Russell Allen, Steve Perry & Dio are some of them.

MMR:   Definitely some incredible bands and artists there and some amazing vocalists!

Now previously you were a member of a band called Danger Avenue, will you tell us a bit about them and how the band came together.

RJ:   Danger Avenue is a band in Gothenburg that I joined 2015. Before that the band had been together for 10 years with different singers. I´ve known the guys for a long time and when they reached out asking if I would like to join I said yes. The band has many influences from Kiss, Thin Lizzy and other classic rock n roll bands.

MMR:   Are you still active with them?

RJ:   No, the band is currently on hold

MMR:   Now, to be honest, Danger Avenue is the only band I am familiar with you from, have there been any other bands you have been a part of over the years?

RJ:   I´ve had my own bands on a smaller scale since early years. The last active project was Mezmoria, a melodic hard rock band.

MMR:   Excellent. Well let’s move on to something current and very exciting, Creye. I have spoken with Andreas many many times, just a prince of a fellow, and I just love the EP he put out earlier this year. How did you come about hearing of Creye and what events led to you now being the lead singer for the band?

RJ:   I practically stumbled over it on Facebook when Johan Nylén, a good friend, was searching widely for a frontman for the band. I called him and asked for some details, later on I did a vocal audition and sent it to the band and before I knew it I was part of this amazing team.

MMR:   I know Johan, great guy and a huge advocate for our little genre. And it seems like things just worked out perfectly!

So Art Nation’s Alexander Strandell provided the vocals for the EP, was it a daunting task coming into a new band and having to fill the shoes of a prolific vocalist like Alexander?

RJ:   That´s right, big shoes to fill stepping up after Alex but also getting to know 5 new persons at the same time. Their expectations were of course high, Johan´s, Frontiers and everyone else too. You have to have a strong mind, be surrounded by loving family and friends who support you. But most of all you have to believe in yourself. 

MMR:   And what was that dynamic like of coming into an existing band as the new guy? Was there a feeling of needing to prove yourself to the others or did you feel readily accepted and comfortable?

RJ:   The dynamic was great, we clicked right away.

MMR:   Well that is definitely an important part of a band for sure.

So let’s talk about the rest of the band for a moment. It sounds like all of the other member’s were already a part of it when you signed on, is that true? if not then how did Andreas and yourself go about finding the guys that now make up Creye?

RJ:   Yes, all of the members were a part of Creye when I joined. 

MMR:   2018 is a big year for the band with the new album coming out. The EP was lauded over by fans and critics, and rightly so, and the new album is highly anticipated by myself and throngs of others, can you tell us anything about what we can expect from the album this year?

RJ:   Yeah it´s huge for us! The anticipation is indeed high, both from within the band and outside, and we couldn´t be happier and more  proud about the end result. It’s been hard work from start to finish, but it has definitely been worth it. The album will stay true to the Creye sound, but be bigger, better and more mature than the previous releases.

MMR:   Fantastic! I can’t wait to hear it. And we have the first music video coming soon!

So you have the first full length album coming out later this year, on the largest and most well known melodic rock label no less, what is the feeling like amongst the band right now? Spirits have got to be sky high.

RJ:   It´s a dream come true, really! We´re all super excited about the release and finally be able to show the world what we been working, living and bleeding for.
MMR:   Well I, along with a multitude of fans, couldn’t be more excited about it!
So what was the writing process like for this album?
RJ:   Most of the songs are written by either Andreas or Fredrik, but we’ve actually had quite a number of external writers on the album as well such as Ulrick Lönnqvist, Erik Wiss, Sören Kronqvist, Mike Palace & Hal Marabel. All the songs goes through Andreas and he does his thing with em to bring them into the Creye universe. When that process is done the rest of us is brought in to do our individual performances and bring the music to life.
MMR:   Wow, some amazingly talented writers there! How exciting!
Moving on, as someone who has never personally been through the recording process, can you take us through what that is like for you?
RJ:   The recording process for me started almost exactly when I joined the band. Andreas and me live in different cities so we started pre-productions by sending files to each other from early Summer to October and worked through the songs thoroughly and intense. In November I went to Malmö to record vocals for the album with Erik Wiss at Wiss Music Productions. It was tough, because I recorded on weekends and worked weekdays. And after commuting Gothenburg to Malmö, with minimal sleep and rest, we finally had a rap after 4 weeks.
MMR:   It is so cool how far technology has come to where you can simply share files back and forth like that. It has become more and more popular, especially in this genre where we have a lot of supergroups and have members that not only live in different cities but often times different countries.
So what do you do to keep your voice in shape, especially through hours of recording and back to back live shows?
RJ:   For me, no alcohol, soft vocal exercises, physical good shape and a lot of ginger/honey tea is magic. I’ve learned there’s no right or wrong way, just your way.
MMR:   And what are your plans for after the album releases, any touring plans in the works?
RJ:   We’re planning a release for the album, when and where is not yet set.
First show for us will be at Melodic Rockfest (Sweden) the second of July, which we are super excited about.
More exciting news is to be announced so stay tuned.
MMR:   I would absolutely love to be able to make it to either of the Melodic Rock Fests this year, both in the US and there in Sweden, unfortunately circumstances will not let that be a possibility for me, but both of them have simply amazing line-ups and I know you guys will kill it there!
Well we are nearing the end of the interview here so let me ask, what are your top three favorite albums of all time and why?
RJ:   Jim Jidhed – ‘Jim‘.
All-time favorite album in songwriting, technical performance and deliverance. My biggest influence in vocals.
Hammerfall – ‘Crimson Thunder‘.
One of my very first albums that led me to a heavier world of music and influenced me in crafting my first band.
Michael Jackson – ‘Bad‘.
A masterpiece!
MMR:   Some amazing albums there of course!
Well again I thank you for taking the time out of your day to answer my questions, Robin. I can’t wait to hear the new album, it is going to be fantastic!
RJ:   Thank you, it’s been my pleasure!
MMR:   So last question, if you could meet any artist, who would it be?
RJ:   A privilege in my profession as a promoter in Gothenburg is that you meet almost all of your favorite bands, local heroes and legendary icons. I would very much like to have met Dio and talk about everything between Heaven & Hell.
For more on the band, visit their Facebook page.
CreyeFacebook.
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