The Sum of No Evil

Category : Hasse's Blog
You can never tell anyone, what’s right, what’s wrong or what to think. When we released the latest TFK studio effort “The sum of no evil”, the critics were more divided than ever, from 10/10, to worst crap ever and that amazes me. Before the recording during the pre-production and the rehearsals, we were all very happy with the material Roine had written for the album. In fact so much that I did’nt even bother to present the song “It’s only my blood” because I did’nt think it suited the rest of the songs. The music written for that album were in my opinion homogeneous and had a “language” of its own. Personally, I think if both Jonas and me would have contributed with material, I guess that would have split up the sound we were going for, at that point. I’m not even sure Tomas song “Flight 999 Brimstone air” fits the formula, even though it’s a funny little melody. As I remember the recording, first of all the surroundings were perfect on the countryside in Skåne (southern Sweden). The studio “Varispeed”, was out of this world with first class equipment, that made the “technical fanatics” Roine and Jonas drool. The atmosphere in the studio was relaxed and positive. If a session did’nt come out as constructive and creative as we would like, we could easily put on “Borat-the movie” (that just had been released on DVD) to get our energy, fantasy and feeling back. I remember take nr.6 of the end section of “Life in motion”, when all of a sudden all 5 of us Roine, Zoltan, Jonas, Tomas and me, were surrounded by magic. All 5 of us transformed into one person and the dynamics and the ritardandos and everything, sounded in my ears perfect.

Even though some of the critics, the album sold very well. After some tough rehearsals with once again a new (temporary for the tour) drummer Pat Mastellotto of King Crimsson, Mr. Mister and The Rembrandts fame, a new sound engineer Paul Deviller (who’s worked with Yes, Stevie Wonder and Bette Middler amongst others) and a new crew, we hit the road. Maybe it was the combination of all the new faces, the limited time of rehearsals, or the complexity of the songs (and the moose of course), that was the reason it took maybe 5-6 gigs before we took off and started to sound good. Onboard the bus, we took off immediately and I think we had a good time all the way to Calais. When we arrived to board the train this time (first time we used the tunnel). The guys at the border saw that we had an American drummer and asked us if he had a working visa for EU. We were totally knocked out by these news and immediately got a flashback of the incident 10 years earlier at the Montreàl airport, on our way to Los Angeles. Of course we had’nt think of that and the custom officers tried to act psychologically correct and talked to us in a very slow and informative way, that we needed a new drummer for the show tonight. There were lots of drummers in England, at least one of them must have the night off and could help us out. After 10-15 minutes of hard discussions, we managed to convince the guys at the border, that Pat ARE GONNA PLAY with us tonight. We jumped onboard the train, where the bus and the trailer already were parked, with approximately 24 seconds before the doors were shut. Once again Chris Squire watched the show together with his wife, who actually bought a t-shirt and did the thumbs up to Brian, who took care of the merchandise. The result of all this, was that Pat and Paul crossed the Swiss border by train, before our show in Pratteln. Since Switzerland is not a member of EU, for some reason they’re quite tough at the border. The venue in Pratteln, I think it’s called “Z2” or “Z7”, is in fact the best venue I’ve ever played at. The top two shows during this tour was the one in Pratteln and the one in Jonas home town Lund, at the club “Mejeriet”.

I’m gonna end this blog with a little chat I had with Paul at the bus, after one of the shows. I asked him what it was like to work with people like Stevie Wonder or Yes etc. He had lots of interesting things to tell me. He was the producer for the Yes album “Big Generator” and he told me that Jon Anderson and Chris Squire were not the best of friends at that period. Their working relationship was so infected, that they refused to see or meet each other. They recorded the album and they did’nt meet once. At the end of the day, after the recordings, he had to sit and wait for either Jon or Chris, to record messages they sent to each other. I hope we’ll never come to that point.

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