The Soul Exchange is amazing, find out why!
Who are the members of The Soul Exchange?
The band members are:
Hans von Bell - Lead Guitar, keyboards, bass, founder and principal songwriter
Thomas von Bell - Guitar
Tobias Chevalier - Keyboards, guitar, vocals
Tommy Forsell - Bass
Erik Olofsson - Lead vocals
Benny White - Drums
Additional band member is Jens Joel Evaldsson - Jens is the principal lyrisist for the band, and he also contributed to the album with some vocal and guitar overdubs.
Are you all from Sweden? What is the Rock music scene like there?
Yes, we are all born in Sweden, although three of the band members (Hans, Thomas and Tobias), resides in Stockholm, and the others in Northern Sweden. Benny White shares his time between Stockholm, Los Angeles and Bangkok. The music scene in Sweden is well known as Sweden has a global reputation for producing great song writers and musicians such as e.g. Max Martin, Red One, Avicii and others. Although, those big names are mainly in the main stream pop and R&B genres. Sweden also have a pretty lively rock scene, particularly in the Northern part of the country, with names such as Opeth, Meshuggah, Hammerfall, Mustasch, Hardcore Superstar and of course Europe to name a few. Having said this, Sweden is a small country and the opportunities for rock bands to play live is limited. Hence, artists from Sweden, and rock bands in particular, has to look abroad as well to reach a bigger audience.
Where was your soon to be released album recorded?
The major part of the album was recorded in Hans von Bells' own studio outside Stockholm. Some of the guitar and vocal overdubs were recorded in Ístersund, North Sweden. The entire album was mixed and mastered by Mats "Limpan" Lindfors in "Cutting Room" studios in Stockholm. http://cuttingroom.se.
The band is a mix of a few genres, that has a dark theme with music and lyrics. How did this style all come together?
We are very much inspired by rock music from the 70's and 80's. We love how bands such as Led Zeppelin and Queen made songs that were ambitious but still accessible. The Soul Exchange project was ignited when Hans & Thomas von Bell with Benny White got together in the summer of 2013 to rehearse and record a few demos of songs written by Hans. However, what really made the project fly was when Hans von Bell and Jens Joel Evaldsson began writing songs together and the idea to record a full length album came up. Hans and Jens comes from different musical backgrounds, Hans being the classic rock and blues guitar shredder, whereas Jens takes his infulenses more from a singer/songwriter tradition e.g. Bob Dylan. We found this to be a really interesting combination. The idea was to create something new and fresh out of the classic rock tradition combined with lyrics that had meaning and depth. We wanted to write songs that allowed us to stretch our wings both musically and lyrically. We also believe that our lead singer Erik Olofsson has a voice that sets us apart from other bands in the Hard Rock genre.
Hans von Bell - When I create music, my goal is to find interesting riffs and chord structures that are not too obvious. The idea is to make every song a musical journey, where the listener doesn't know where the journey will take him next but in the comfort that there will always be to an exciting place. I guess my songwriting is just a bit on the darker side, and when I began writing songs with Jens, I specifically asked him to write something poetic and meaningful and avoid "heartbreak" type lyrics. Jens has a very good sence when it comes to coming up with lyrics that suits the mood of the song.
Jens Joel Evaldsson - As a lyric writer I found the tracks Hans sent me very inspiring. I felt liberated yet challenged, the songs allowed me to be more ambitious in my craft. I believe we need songs for all stages of life, both the good and the bad.
How has the reception been in the United States so far?
The reception in the U.S. has been overwhelming. We think that the U.S.A. has a long tradition of classic Rock FM radio that suits our music perfectly and therefore people in America and Canada can easily identify and adapt to our kind of music. Judging from the inflow of emails and people signing up on our mailing list, our estimate is that probably 60-70% comes from U.S.A. and Canada.
The internet has been a huge help for all artists and bands to connect with fans anywhere.
What social networking site do you feel works the best for gaining new fans?
This is a double-edged question, that is difficult to answer. When it comes to comunicating with your fans, the obvious sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great. However, to reach out to a big audience, we have found that sites for independent music e.g. Hardcoremix.com, ReverbNation.com etc, are much more effective.
Has the band been playing live lately?
As The Soul Exchange started out as a recording project only, we yet have to make our live debut. In 2014 we have focused on completing the recording and production of our new album and thus, we didn't want to go out and play cover songs or original songs that people have never heard. Now with a full length album out in January 2015, we are looking forward to go out there and play our music to a live audience. We are truly excited to be able to play live in the new year.
What is your fan base like?
Obviously a great number of our followers comes from Sweden and as we already mentioned, we have a following from U.S.A and Canada. 3rd place would be the U.K. Although, we get contacted by fans from all over the planet, as far as India. We also have a pretty big following from the former Eastern Europe. We think that the reason for this is that people in those countries has always had to find their own alternative ways to find the music that they like, releases from the major record labels not being available in those countries in the past, and thus there is a huge community for independent artists.
Tell us about the new album.
The new album is simply called The Soul Exchange, just as the the band itself. It contains of 12 original songs, whereof ten are co-written by Hans von Bell and Jens Joel Evaldsson, and two are written by Hans and Jens respectively. The idea behind the album was to construct a new alchemy from the rock solid foundation of the 70's hard and Bluesrock scene. We have taken this tradition into the new millennium and has created our own unique style of guitar driven hard rock. However, The Soul Exchange is not just about brute force, but diversity, where we have mixed some softer and moody tunes with real hard rockers. All of the songs on the album are about overcoming adversity. Sometimes you succed, sometimes you fail, a fact of life which the songs reflect. Such as "Prisoners of Planet Earth" which is about that even tough the universe may make us feel small and insignificant, it is up to ourselves to decide our own fate. We want the listener to feel empowered. The album will be released on all major music sites such as, Itunes music, Spotify, Amazon mp3 and more, as well as a physical CD on January 20th, 2015.
What can we expect from you in 2015?
We are looking forward to 2015 with great anticipation. As already mentioned, we are planning to go out and play live in the new year and meet our audience face to face. Hopefully, we will do a club tour in Sweden in the spring and early summer. As we speak, we are also in negotiations to play some of the major music festivals in Sweden in the summer. Although, this has yet to be finalized. Besides live gigs, Hans and Jens has already commenced writing and recording new songs in various stages of completion, intended for a follow up album later in the year or the beginning of 2016. The big difference is that other band members, e.g. Thomas von Bell, are much more involved in the writing process for the follow up album. And who knows what faith has in store? We are certain of one thing, though. 2015 is going to be a very exciting year for The Soul Exchange!
Copyright 2014 Hardcoremix.com