2012.10.05 - Toxic Roseexclusive
It seemed like they had appeared overnight: Toxic Rose. On the one hand one of the hottest newcomer acts at the moment, on the other hand the new supergroup from Sweden's capital Stockholm, consisting of (ex) members of other well-known bands such as Gemini Five (Tom Wouda), SexyDeath (Goran Imperator) and Lipstixx'n'Bulletz (Michael Sweet and Andy). What is the hype all about? In order to get to the bottom of this, Neon Lights grabbed the guys right before their show at "Trash Fest V" at "Gloria" in Finland's capital Helsinki and asked them a few questions...
Q: First of all, thank you, guys, for taking some time for this interview. As this is your first interview with Neon Lights, would you like to introduce yourselves?
Tom Wouda: I'm Tom. I play guitar.
Andy: I'm the singer. Andy.
Michael Sweet: Michael. I play the drums.
Goran Imperator: And I'm Goran and I play the bass.
Q: First time I heard of your band was in February 2012 during the "Rammstein / Deathstars Efterfest" in Stockholm where different people talked about "Goran's new band". No sooner I was back in Finland, Toxic Rose were suddenly everywhere: On facebook, on twitter... There was even an own webpage, merchandising, street teams all over the world... Usually bands first start to play gigs for a while, try to make their mark, before coming with the rest of the stuff... Aren't you afraid that people could question your credibility if you start first with the other stuff and just then with the gigs?
Tom Wouda: Well, we do have played one gig. Last week along with the AOR band H.E.A.T. at "Sturecompagniet" in Stockholm.
Andy: We wanted to have everything perfect from the beginning, that's why.
Michael Sweet: Like KISS.
Andy: The whole package.
Michael Sweet: The bigger the better!
Andy: Very big!
Q: And you are not worried about your credibility?
Andy: No, not at all. We wanted to first deliver something before we start to play.
Q: So how was your first gig?
Toxic Rose: It was great, it was great... We had more people than H.E.A.T.! [Laughter]
Q: So you already have a fanbase in Stockholm...
Tom Wouda: I think we have a fanbase all over the world...
Q: Well, as a matter of fact you already have street teams all over the world. How have you build them up?
Tom Wouda: We haven't build them up...
Michael Sweet: We haven't done anything. We just released our two tracks "Don't Hide In The Dark" and "I Drown In Red", our promo pictures... And people really liked it, so...
Q: How has everything started with Toxic Rose?
Michael Sweet: Well, me and Andy, we met first. We played together in another band, Lipstixx'n'Bulletz, and we felt like it wasn't for us. What we wanted. We wanted to go for something bigger so we started out, and then we met Tom and then Goran...
Q: And that was in 2010?
Michael Sweet: Yeah.
Michael Sweet: No.
Q: Are Lipstixx'n'Bulletz still existing?
Andy: No, not at all. Now it's 100% Toxic Rose for us.
Q: Tom, how about Gemini Five? Are they still existing?
Tom Wouda: Yeah! We actually recorded a couple of tracks for a compilation album. I don't know when it will be released but it will be released someday. We are not playing at the moment but we are still around.
Q: Goran, how about SexyDeath?
Goran Imperator: I actually quit the band around two years ago but it's still existing. Alex [Alex Frejrud, the singer] has recorded a new track. I don't know when it will be released but Alex is still active for SexyDeath.
Q: Who came up with the band name "Toxic Rose"? And why "Toxic Rose"?
Michael Sweet: I don't remember.
Andy: No, me neither.
Michael Sweet: I really don't remember! [Laughter]
Andy: "Toxic Rose" is like this yin and yang thing...
Michael Sweet: Yeah, toxic but beautiful. I don't know. [laughs] I can't explain it.
Q: How would you describe the style of your music to someone who hasn't heard it yet?
Andy: "Heavy Metal, dude!"
Q: How does the process of songwriting look like?
Andy: It's often me who comes up with the songs. Michael is good at writing lyrics, and when I have the foundation for a song, Tom comes with his guitar and does his stuff and then Goran comes and does his part. I often do the combination and then we are working on it together.
Q: Michael, it's not a secret that you are the brother of Martin Sweet, the guitar player of Crashdïet...
Michael Sweet: No, it's not a secret...
Michael Sweet: Well, yeah, probably...
Q: Now Crashdïet even posted something like "thinking of teaming up with Sister and Toxic Rose for a massive Scandinavian tour and later possibly a European tour as well during the first half of 2013". Is this just an idea or is it more concrete?
Goran Imperator: Well, you have to wait and see.
Q: Your next gig after tonight's show here at "Trash Fest V" will be again in Stockholm, at "The Nocturnal Halloween Ball 2012" at "Slakthuset". After that follows a European tour with gigs in the Czech Republic, France, Switzerland and Germany. Quite impressive. How about Russia?
Tom Wouda: Russia? Well, I don't know where to play in Russia...
Andy: We'll get there one day, probably...
Tom Wouda: Yeah, in a big arena or something like this... [Laughter]
Andy: With a lot of people...
Q: Are you booking your shows by yourselves?
Tom Wouda: At the moment, yes.
Q: Toxic Rose are a quite young band but already a part of the "Mama Trash Family", how come?
Goran Imperator: I became a member of the "Mama Trash Family" back then with SexyDeath and when I started with Toxic Rose, Mama Trash asked me if we want to play here at "Trash Fest V" - and I was like: "Well, I was just going to ask you if we can play at your festival..."
Q: Are there any bands at "Trash Fest V" you are particularly looking forward to?
Goran Imperator: Dope Stars Inc.!
Andy: Deathstars, New Generation Superstars... A lot of stars!
Q: Did you take the boat from Stockholm to Helsinki? And have you been in Helsinki before?
Goran Imperator: Yeah, we took the "Booze Cruise"! And I have been here a lot of times.
Q: Have you seen anything from the city?
Andy: We have seen the centrum's shopping centre...
Michael Sweet: But you are not allowed to drink alcohol inside the mall so they kicked us out...
Q: You are currently recording your first EP...
Tom Wouda: We have recorded it already, it's in the mixing process right now. We are going to release the EP later this year.
Q: What is the title of the EP?
Tom Wouda: It's simply called "Toxic Rose".
Q: How about a single release or a music video?
Tom Wouda: There will be a music video. We will shoot it in two weeks, in Gothenburg, with the Swedish director Patric Ullaeus. For a new song called "A Song For The Weak". There won't be a single release but there will be this music video and then later on the EP release.
Q: You don't have a record deal yet. Do you aim for it? Do you think it makes sense to have a record deal nowadays?
Andy: It depends. Records don't sell anymore so the only way to earn money is to play live.
Q: Did you ever have any other dream than being a musician, for example in your childhood?
Toxic Rose: No!
Goran Imperator: We all wanted to be rockstars.
Tom Wouda: We wanted to be like KISS.
Michael Sweet: Yeah, we saw KISS and then everything changed, and that was it.
Q: Do you have a "plan B", just in case something goes wrong with the music career?
Toxic Rose: Nope!
Andy: This is it. This is the biggest plan. [Laughter]
Q: If you could choose a band to go on tour with: Who would it be? KISS?
Michael Sweet: No, not really. Probably a newer band.
Tom Wouda: Like Avenged Sevenfold from the US would be really cool to be on tour with.
Michael Sweet: We want a younger generation.
Q: Can you think of any younger bands from Finland you appreciate?
Tom Wouda: Children Of Bodom. I love Children Of Bodom!
Q: Which bands are your major influences and / or role models?
Toxic Rose: KISS, Pantera, In Flames, Metallica, W.A.S.P.…
Andy: Anything but Children Of Bodom!
Q: Alright, we are almost done so it's time for the "Famous last words"...
Toxic Rose: "Fuck you, bitches!"