Official Bio: “Sencelled is a Swedish four-piece rock band from a suburb just north of Stockholm. Their music is essentially melody-driven rock (not that far from AOR) with a twist of the power pop of say, Rick Springfield – mixed with a small part of the Green Day of the 90’s. It’s music from the heart, about love, suburban life and the urge to get out of your shell and make something great of yourself. Emotionally, powerfully sung by Erik Holmberg, flavoured brilliantly by Fredrik Askenström’s guitar playing and powered up by the energy-packed duo of Christoffer Ahl on drums and Mattias Ohlsén on bass – this is a band to seriously look out for. The debut album, which has already been hailed as one of 2011’s most important in the rock community of Sweden, is produced by the great Ricky B Delin (who last year won acclaim for Houston – 2010’s best AOR album in Classic Rock Magazine) and mixed by the legendary Robert Wellerfors. The bands debut album was released worldwide on September 23, 2011, led by the first single ‘Breathe Out’.”
Let’s start with the basics first, when did the band first get together and what is the background to your band name?
The concept of Sencelled was originally developed in 2003, though at that point we had two female lead singers, but it was first in 2005 we realized that girls belong backstage, and the men do the rocking on stage… Joking aside, the original guys have stuck around since and Erik shouldered the role of a lead singer phenomenally, and we’ve been on track ever since!
The band Sencelled derives from two words, Sense, and Cell, combine those two and you get Sencelled, to us it means that your emotions in a cage are just screaming to get out, something we try to set loose with music.
For the benefit of our readers who would have not yet heard Sencelled, how would you describe the style of music that Sencelled performs?
We listen a lot to modern music, but keep the classics close to the heart, something that might show when you listen to us, It’s a bit of modern melodic pop/rock and AOR influences from the 80’s, the best of two worlds!
Can you introduce each member of the band and give us a fun rock ‘n’ roll fact or myth about each?
Erik “Teddy” Holmberg (vocals): Used car paint to make his stage clothes, also had to ride an ambulance due to a coffee mug being dropped on his foot.
Mattias “Osse” Ohlsén (bass): Has a flight case dedicated for two drinking glasses, a bottle of coke and a pint of Jack Daniels. Slept on a bbq grill in the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Christoffer “Chris Rock” Ahl (drums): Once dropped a coffee mug on someone’s foot.
While on the “Smokehead rocks” UK tour, he also had a genius plan of slipping a Viagra in Freddy’s beer, that plan was successfully executed. Later that night, he found someone else had slipped Viagra in his own beer.
Fredrik “Freddy” Askenström (guitar): While on the “Smokehead rocks” UK tour, he had a genius plan of slipping a Viagra in Chris beer, that plan was successfully executed. Later that night, he found someone else had slipped Viagra in his own beer.
In September you released your debut album, which is awesome! How has the reaction to the album been from fans around the world?
We’re glad it’s been welcomed the way it has; shortly after the release it hit the Swedish album charts and a few weeks after that we were off on the “Smokehead rocks” tour in the UK, while receiving great reviews from all over the world, all the way from Jakarta to Ukraine(!) It’s still pretty new though but we had a great response after the UK tour, so now we’re talking about another tour in Sweden and perhaps one more in the UK this spring!
In terms of your song writing, what do you consider to be the most important things that need to feature in a Sencelled song to give you your trademark sound?
Usually for us it’s something you feel when writing the song, as long as it’s got the groove and ignites something inside you, we think it’s something you can work with.
Being familiar with Houston, I am also familiar with the work of Ricky B Delin who you also used as producer for your album. How did you find the experience of working with Ricky on this album?
We found more than a top of the line producer in Ricky. He was onboard from the start, from preproduction to postproduction and everywhere in between. Everything in the recording process felt really natural, he really knew how to get the best out of the whole band during the sessions and helped guide in the direction we wanted this album to be heading.
What inspires and influences your music the most, in both a lyrical and musical sense?
We all come from different musical backgrounds, and since we’ve been playing together for a while we figured out how to mesh all influences towards the same direction, though the most important bit is not taking yourself too seriously and having fun while playing.
As far as a specific song on the album, one of my favourites is Tommy & Gina. Aside from obviously the Bon Jovi reference, what was the background to that song?
One day Erik came to the rehearsal with a riff and Freddy had just bought his first Fender Strat, feeling like Richie Sambora himself, so that basically set the tone towards where we were going and as soon as we had the core of the song done, we realised that sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas.
If you had the opportunity to contribute your music to a movie soundtrack, what kind of movie do you think your music would be best suited to and why?
Something that goes with the theme described in the previous answers; a movie that doesn’t take itself to seriously goes along with the theme of having fun!
You were recently out on tour in the UK with a couple of my favourite Swedish bands…Dynazty, Electric Boys, and Miss Behaviour, not to mention DJ extra-ordinaire Simon Cruz and UK band Jettblack! How did you enjoy this tour and how did the UK crowds like Sencelled?
It was an amazing experience, we really had a blast both on and off stage! It might not be the easiest thing opening for all the great bands we were on the road with, but I think all the bands followed each other up nicely and the British audience really responded well to the whole concept, even though the genres were slightly different from each band to the next.
For the benefit of those of us that haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing Sencelled perform live, how would you describe Sencelled as a live band?
We’re really grateful for all the reviews of the record, though seeing Sencelled live is seeing the band in their strong suit, it’s more free, more raw, and more to the core. The music really comes out the way we intended live, with a more spontaneous take on it all, it becomes that much more honest!
Here’s a chance to gaze into your crystal ball. In the next 6 months Sencelled will have:
1. Been out on at least two more tours
2. Got material ready for a second record
3. Have an endless supply of deep fried mars bars (YUM!)
Sounds like: Your next melodic power pop addiction
Band members: Erik Holmberg – Lead vocals, guitars, Fredrik Askenström – Guitars, Matthias Ohlsén – Bass, Christoffer Ahl – Drums
Latest release: Sencelled (2011, Sound Pollution)