A.C.T. breaks the “silence” after three and a half years!
The Swedish prog rock/pop band A.C.T. finally brings out a new album called “Silence”. It is their fourth release and all albums received excellent reviews. In fact every time the band brings out a new CD the compositions and the music get better and better. The music of A.C.T. has developed a lot and has become more mature and concise with each album. “Silence” is their best effort so far and one wonders how the band is able to cope with the pressure trying to please the fans and the critics. On a warm October Wednesday evening I have a talk with bass player Peter Asp.
MARTIEN: So, Peter I have read a lot of reviews about the new album and they are all very positive and enthusiastic. Did you come across a bad review, or not?
PETER: Not really, no, but I came across a review in which the writer said that we were too much of a pop band. We were not progressive enough; we only played radio potential stuff!
Well, that is weird as I cannot recall hearing your music on the radio ...
No, you are right; so far we have not been on the radio. But our most important things in the music are the instrumental parts and the melody of course. A good melody is very important for our music.
It took the band almost four years to come up with a new album. Did something go wrong or what happened?
The writing process took almost four years and I think that our music changed a lot since our last album "Last Epic". Maybe not soundwise, but we matured a lot, the A.C.T. sound matured a lot. The inspiration has been there for four years, but we also toured a lot with Saga and we played on Sweden Rock. Furthermore we had some problems with our former record label, so it took some time, yeah. But now it finally has been released and we are very proud of the new album.
Inside Out is your new label, which – I think – is perfect for your music. How did you come into contact with that label?
Well, the guys from Inside Out heard us when we were on tour with Saga and they really liked our music. Later on our manager Graham Collins talked to them – via e-mail – and they were very happy to have us, so ...
Any difference with the old record label approach?
Yeah, they really promote us, even when the record was not out yet, they already did a great job for us. And we already have done more interviews for this album then for the three other albums ever.
I talk and have talked to a lot of musicians already and most of them really do not like interviews. How about you?
I like them, no, really. It is a chance for us to speak to the fans, actually. Every interview is different and that makes it interesting for me. Of course some questions tend to come about more than once, but that is quite all right. We have done at least 50 interviews in the last couple of weeks.
So, what was the most "stupid" question (besides this one, of course) that was put to you during all these interviews?
Ha, ha… Well, in fact it was a strange question, actually. It was for a Greek magazine and the first part of the interview was really good, but then he started to ask me questions about my sex life and if I liked leather, which was really weird ...
Well, then here is my second stupid question. What does the name A.C.T. stand for??
Ha ha… You know that I will not tell you, it is up to the fans to guess.
So, will you give a reward to the person who guesses right???
Maybe, but I think that nobody will ever get it right!
So, you made four albums now, what are the musical differences between the last two and which is your favourite album so far, and do not say the last one ...
Well, in fact "Silence" is the closest to my heart and we did everything by ourselves on that album. We recorded it in different places and the album is really very creative. But I remember the debut the most as it was our first one, we finally had a real CD and that was so cool.
Could you tell something about the beautiful cover, it reminds me of Nosferatu ...
Really? On the picture you see a girl whose ears are covered by the man behind her and the man is screaming, which is weird of course. I really like the cover and I think that if people see this CD in the store they would like to pick up the CD just because of the cover.
When can we expect the first DVD?
I hope that it will not take too long to record our first DVD. It is best to do this at the end of a tour as the band gets more into the songs and you get an almost perfect live show. Hopefully we will release one in 2007.
Talking about tours, when will you be coming to The Netherlands to promote the new album?
Next year around March/April we will be touring through Europe and of course we will also come to Holland. The fans there are great and they really love and appreciate our music in your country.
Which band would you like to take along, as a support band?
Pink Floyd would be great actually, ha ha … No, I think that Saga would be great as we have become real friends during the last tour with them.
The influences in your music range from ELO, Styx, 10CC, Saga to Supertramp. But I also hear ABBA influences, or am I completely off track?
No, I think that you are right there. We really like ABBA, especially their amazing melodies and of course also because they were the first band from Sweden that sold millions of albums. Our sound is rather unique as it is indeed a mix of bands like ELO, 10CC, Muse and even the Foo Fighters.
On this album you recorded a real epic progressive rock song called "Consequences". Whose idea was it to record such a long track?
Well, Jerry is the main composer and all the different short songs were first written. The first part called Silent screams is actually based on an old song. The music of these tracks fitted so well together, so we wrote the lyrics fir this long track, made of shorter tracks. We already had long tracks on the first two albums and we really like epic stuff, so ... It is all about the consequences we have to face every day because of the decisions we make. It is the darkest piece of music and lyrics that we have ever done and we really enjoyed doing it.
It is my favourite track, which one is your fav?
I like "Call in dead" a lot and "Joanna", because of its melody and the lyrics that fit in perfectly.
Will you release a single from the album?
I really would not know. We would like to do that and a video as well, also for the American market ... But I do not know which song would be suitable ...
May I suggest "Puppeteers"?
Good choice! However on the Swedish radio there is hardly any rock music that you can listen to. It is all pop music which is controlled by the media and the selling markets. We do not stand a chance to get a hit single.
Not even now that you are with Inside Out?
Of course we are glad to be with them now as they really take care of their bands. Being with Inside Out made us very creative and it is very good for us to be free and make the music that we like to make.
So, my last question then: what does the name A.C.T. stand for?
Ha, ha you will not give up, will you - Nice try and thanks for the interview!
Thank you, Peter.
A.C.T. Official Website
DPRP Review - ACT - Silence (2006)
DPRP Review - ACT - Last Epic RTR (2003)
DPRP Review - ACT - Imaginary Friends (2001)
DPRP Review - ACT - Today's Report (1999)