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Linkan Andersson
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I was lucky enough to catch up with Linkan Andersson, the Swedish Rock God..Ledgend..Guitar Master of  Zoodrive and The Andersson Mills Project, during his hectic schedule and ask about his awesome new high energy album, ”Crank It up”, that he co-wrote with Tony Mills (TNT, SHY).…..         
                                      
(Interviewed by Fiona McKeown - August 2006)
 

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As with most interviews we need to find out what is behind and driving Linkan Andersson. So who are your biggest influences in music and why?
Oh…I have so many influences but I have to say The Clash and Radiohead have a big influence on me.
I just love The Clash for their raw and uncut energy. Joe Strummer was a brilliant performer and he was a genius to express his emotions from his lyrics. That is what it’s all about in music, to express your emotions.
Radiohead feels always fresh when they release a new album. OK Computer and Kid A are milestones in music history and they just don’t give a shit of what people think they should do. They just write music in what they believe in and fuck the world if they don’t like it!
Placebo have been my favourite band since their first album and they have been a huge source of inspiration for me when it comes to write songs and how to perform them as well.
 
How many guitars do you own?
Iīve have 2 Fender Stratocasters. A real nice one from 1982 and the other one is a 1987 model which was the main guitar I used for the ”Crank It Up” album.
I also have a hand made acoustic Hofner guitar from the late 50īs and a Greg Bennett Bass guitar. For the Zoodrive recording sessions I was tryin’ to kill a really nice Gretch from the late 70īs through a Marshall JCM 800, an old JMP Marshallīs and a Laney amp, to get that special Zoodrive sound.
 
Where do you write? Why is most of your writing done during the night? Do you ever sleep? What inspires you when you write?
I write at my home, I have my recording studio there as well, so it’s easy to just plug in the guitar when I have new ideas and record it.
Well I’ve tried to live like a ”normal” person with ”normal” daily rhythm but it just doesn’t work that way when I write. Especially when I wrote the music for the ”Crank It Up” album it follow the same routine. For example with “Anyone”, I woke up at 2 am with an idea and wrote it down in 10 minutes and tried some different arrangement and at 4 am I had recorded, all guitars parts and the bass guitar. Then in the morning, I recorded the drums and mix the track, send it to Tone (Tony Mills) in England the same day, done!!
Within a couple of days, or maybe a week, Tone recorded his part, send it back to me and I can tell you that I have never been that inspired before in my life, like I was that day! It was fucking awesome!
So Tony’s voice and his awesome writing really inspired me to write more tracks.
I think I always get inspired by the singer I am working with, it’s the same thing when I write with Zoodrive.
 
Your band Zoodrive.. tell us a little about them, band members and their influences and the excitement of releasing the new album in the USA?
Zoodrive was formed in 1997 in Sweden and the line-up is Eke (vocals) Peter Strandberg (Drums) Anders Lundin (Guitar) Johan Hedström (Bass) and myself… Linkan Andersson (Guitar)
I think we all have very different influences in music, but bands like Placebo and Sex Pistols are music we all enjoy to listen to and Thin Lizzy as well.
In September we will release a 5 track Ep called ”Not Fully Medicated” and it will be release on Zip Records ( San Francisco ) and the excitement of releasing the new album in the USA feels great and this whole development with Itunes feels exciting as well. It’s a great chance to distribute your music.
 

For you, who’s the sexiest woman in rock? Is Suzi Quatro one of the most fanciable women on this planet?
Ahh…haha..yeah Suzi is cool but I think I prefer someone like Nelly Furtado. Sheīs a very sexy woman isn’t she?
 
Tell me something I don’t already know about you? I won’t tell a soul…
You wouldn’t believe me anyway.
 
You like bands like The Clash, The Sex pistols etc and their music was an influence when writing Crank it up..do they influence a lot of your music? How was working with Tony Mills (TNT Lead Vox)..? What is your favourite track on Crank it up? Why?
Yeah, they really do. I like that concept of writing and recording 3 minutes uncut high energy tracks without no fuckinībullshit…just straight to the point.
And that was the concept when Tony and I wrote for this album, a lot of the influences come from the turn of the 70īs with Iggy And The Stooges and MC5 and that whole Detroit scene and attitude…we’re doin' what pleases our self and if you don’t like it just fuck off!!
And that’s the cool thing about this record that you can here that we’re having fun.
And it was a real honour to work with Tony. He’s a cool man, one of the best singer in the world and an awesome writer as well. And he’s not afraid to try new things, which is a cool attitude. And that gives you a lot of freedom in writing but in the end it’s all about 12 high energy killer tracks!
One of them I like best right now is Bleeding Heart. Itīs a slow one and I just love the atmosphere and Tony’s vocals is outstanding! And it works well to end the album.
Crank It Up is a great track to start the album with, Kill For Love is awesome as well and Skin And Blood is a 2:48 minutes killer!!
It’s hard to just mention one song, I like them all and every track on the album has been a favourite of mine at some stage. 

What other projects are you doing at the moment and in the near future..
Right now I have finished a new Zoodrive track. And I have started to kick out some new tracks for a new album project, but I cannot tell anything about this yet.  I will work on that for the rest of this year and I’ll let you all know more about this later.
 
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Well, I will write music and recording records like I do now.
 
Henrik Larsson (Famous Swedish Footballer) had the world at his feet but chose to return to Sweden. What would make you return to Sweden at the top of your career?
Well not for the taxes!! Thatīs for sure!…nah I don’t really know…maybe for a rehabilitation!
 
If your band was headlining a massive festival.. What other bands would you have in the line up?
Would be cool to be playing with bands like U2, Placebo, Manics and Interpol on the bill. Bloody awesome fest that would be.
 
What was the first rock band you ever heard? that got you in to rock music..?
Kiss was the band that got me into music. Remember that I was maybe 3 or 4 years old and sat down and listen to the Kiss Alive album and I knew directly what I wanted to do in my life.
 
You have been influenced by rock & punk music.. What other music turns you on?
Cat Stevens is really great. Tea For The Tillerman is a masterpiece. Bob Marley is one of them. Ed Harcourt and Bright Eyes are brilliant.
And I like Pantera, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath and that metal thing as well. And many many others…
I listen to all kind of music.
 
Is it more difficult to be based in Sweden, do you feel you would have had a better start living somewhere else in the world? Or has this been a benefit?
I think itīs a benefit for me to live in a small town here in Sweden, when Iīm in a writing proccess because Iīve got a great piece of mind when Iīm working here.I may try to go somewhere else in the future to write music for a while and see how it affects the result.
 
You wrote Crank it up with Tony Mills (TNT, SHY) who was based in England at the time, do you find the internet allows much more opportunities to work with people all over the world?
Yeah, absolutely. We where sending a lot of Mp3 files when we wrote “Crank It Up” and internet is a great chance to have contact with your friends, press/media and create new contacts all over the world. The Internet gives you great opportunities to promote and distribute your music as well.
 
You are very good at answering fan letters and emails personally. Are your fans important to you? Where is your biggest fan base?
Yes, of course they are. I mean, they buying records, they come to our shows and they are paying money for it. Without that we’re nothing. It’s always a source of inspiration when we get great response from fans, from all over the world and they are telling us they like our music.
So of course, the fans are important too us. I’ve received great response from The States, U.K , Italy, Germany and Norway as well. .They seems to like what we’re doing.

Why did you decide on Guitar playing? Do you think rock music is the best place to express what you do?
Well I got my first guitar at the age of 10. It was just an natural thing for me from the begining to play guitar and I started to write songs at the same time as well.
I think this ”Rock ‘nī Roll” thing fits my character quite well haha...this is what I am, and I will continue to play and write till that day I’ll die.
What is the rock music industry like in Sweden?
I think it’s quite good. We have some metal bands like Arch Enemy and In Flames and they doing really well but I don’t really listen to bands from Sweden that much apart from Atomic Swing and Entombed and a few others.
 

What is your favourite song that you have been involved with?
It’s hard to pick just one track. I’m proud of what we did in my former bands LivinīParazite and Unborn and of course with Zoodrive as well. But I have to say every track on “Crank It Up” and this whole theme means a lot to me. This is the record I always wanted to do and we had great fun during this recording.
And I’m damn proud of it.
What album do you feel everyone should own?
Decisions!! No, Iīll give you 3 records everyone should own.
The first one is Placeboīs ”Without You I’m Nothing”. Itīs one of the best records I’ve heard.
The other two are Interpolīs ”Turn On The Bright Lights” and ”Antics”. Really great albums.
And did I mention Judas Priestīs ”Sad Wings Of Destiny” or maybe U2īs ”Achtung Baby” and ”War”…
And then we have some Thin Lizzy records as well…and Kiss ”Dressed To Kill”.
Who would be in your dream band? If you could create the perfect album who would be in the band to create that with you? Where would you play a one off gig?
Iīd like to spend some time with Jonh Frusciante in the studio because of his brilliant songwriting, for his creativity and heīs a awesome guitar player and vocalist as well. Then I would pull Nikki Sixx in as a bass player. It would be cool  having Jonny Rotten on vocals..that guy need no introductions. 
And Steve Hewitt from Placebo on drums. What a fucking great party it would be!!!
Of course we would have our one off gig on Queen Elizabeth’s 100 years birthday party!
Just kick out Mr.Rotten, that motherfucker on stage and the fucking party will continue till the morning after!!

Apart from music what are some of your other favourite things..?
Reading Paul Auster books, watching Man.United games and hang out and drink a lot of beers with my friends.
Anything else you feel we should know?
It was nice talking to you and I'll take this opportunity to plug our own web sites:
so people can have a look and see what we're up to...Cheers
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I would just like to thank, Linkan for his precious time, much appreciated..xx  Thank you to Linkan’s photographer for the pictures used in this article: Photos by :Fotograf Robert Bengtsson AteljeīAnna.
I look forward to hearing about this new project and recommend you all get a hold of the New album ”Crank it up” – The Andersson Mills Project (Zrecords) and Not fully medicated – Zoodrive (ZipRecords).
 
Thank you
Fiona McKeown
www.myspace.com/fionamckeown
        

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