Chris Laney Gives Birth To Laney’s Legion
February 12, 2012
After two internationally acclaimed solo albums, ‘Pure’ and ‘Only Come Out At Night’, artist, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Laney takes everything to the next level with the formation of a new band, Laney’s Legion. A new album is due for release later this year.
Together with the band and co-producer/co-writer Anders Ringman, Laney has put his heart and soul into this project. “This time I deliberately decided to work without a deadline, to really put all the necessary time and effort into making each song as good as it can be”.
This was also part of the reason for bringing in Anders Ringman, Laney’s close friend and former partner at Platform Studio. “We make a great team, because we complement each other. Anders provides an attention to detail to both songwriting and arrangements, whereas I can be a bit more impulsive. He also keeps his ear on the ground regarding current production values. This brings a new freshness to the material”.
The 21st century has been busy for Laney so far. Often called the Godfather of Swedish glam/sleaze scene, he produced acts like Crash Diet, Crazy Lixx, Dynazty, and Babylon Bombs. He was the main songwriter and producer in bands like Zan Clan and Randy Piper’s Animal. In the process, he’s been credited with revitalizing the whole scene; there has not been an issue of Classic Rock or Classic Rock Presents AOR lately, that doesn’t mention his production work in some way.Laney has spent the last few years launching his solo career with two strong albums, while doing production and engineering work at the legendary Polar Studios in Stockholm. Lately, he’s produced the Casablanca album, due for release in March 2012, and at the time of writing this, he’s just finished mixing the last Candlemass album.
He’s never stopped writing songs, however. “It’s what I do”, he shrugs. “Once in a while, an idea pops into my head, and before I know it – it’s a song! And I never throw away a good riff, because they’re timeless. Some of the riffs on my solo albums were written back in 1989! The difference with the new album is that I’ve tried out different vibes and arrangements for the songs, until each song has reached its full potential”.
That the songwriting is top notch is illustrated by the fact that every bridge is as strong as a chorus, and THEN the chorus comes along to blow your mind. This could be called “the Mutt Lange effect”. “What can I say, I’m a melody guy!” Laney laughs. “For me, there’s a thread that runs from The Beatles, through Kiss, to Sixx A.M. And that’s good songwriting. On this album, more than ever before, the song is king. It may not be your cup of tea, but I defy you to find a weak track on this one.
But songwriting and production alone do not make a great rock album. It needs the right players, with the right attitude. And this time Chris knew what he wanted: to form a real band.Having a lot of friends making guest performances on his first two albums was great fun. “Who was I to say no when the drummer of Europe, Ian, called me and begged to play the drums on the album for free?”, laughs Laney, referring to the last album.
In the end, the first two albums turned in to a “who’s who” of Swedish hard rock talent. This time, however, Chris wanted a unified band sound. He went on a quest to find the ultimate line-up. Enter Laney’s Legion.
Guitarist John Berg was already there. “John has played with me from the start of my solo career. One of Sweden’s best guitarists, hands down. His solos have it all: feel, skill, inventiveness. He used to be in Dynazty, and recently toured with OZ”.
Chris had known Mats Vassfjord for 20 years, without ever thinking of him as a bassplayer for his band. “That’s pretty unique, expecially when you consider what a killer bassist he is. But he’s one of the biggest Kiss fanatics I know, and that’s how I used to think of him – as a fellow Kiss fan. In fact, the first time I saw him live, he played with former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent”.
This is a strange coincidence, since co-producer Anders Ringman has also toured with Vincent, while Chris himself once did a Scandinavian tour as the lead singer with former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick. “Mats has also been an injection, energy-wise. We’re on the phone almost every day, making new plans and schemes for the band”.
Drummer Patrik Jansson used to be in Maryslim, and is currently a member of Hellsingland Underground, as well as Laney’s Legion. “A great all around musician, singer. He’s also released his own album as a blues singer/guitarist. He’s the only drummer I know who always brings his guitar to the studio! This musicality shines through in his drumming: he doesn’t just hold down the beat, he really plays the song”.
Chris used to tell the musicians more or less what to play. This time, he let the players do their thing. “That’s why they’re in the band, because I like what they do. On a couple of occasions I had to pull in the reins, but in most cases they added exactly what the song needed, while putting their own stamp on the performance. They really stepped up to the plate on this one. And all of them have co-writes on the album”.
New year. New band. New album. “In all honesty, this feels like a rebirth, We’ve had to turn down offers to tour, because we wanted to make sure the album was everything that it could be. Hearing the end result, I know that we made the right decision”.
Laney’s Legion have arrived. Expect greatness.
Courtesy of www.sleazeroxx.com