INTERVIEW WITH ZACK ANDERSON intervista di Daniele Pietrini
MELODY LANE had a great interview with Zack Anderson, bassist of the swedish hard blues rockers BLUES PILLS! In this  very detailed interview, Zack told us about the roots of his band, their plans for the future, his influences ...and his favourite bass players. 

MELODY LANE: First of all, even if it could sound a bit expected, could you tell us something about the name of your band: where does the name BLUES PILLS come from? And talking about the roots of your band, who’s the founding member and how did get in touch with Elin Larsson and Dorian Sorriaux?
ZACK ANDERSON: The band name we got from a friend who introduced me to a lot of the music that inspired the band.  His name online was Blues Pills and so he lent us the name when we needed a band name. The band was born after Elin and I met in 2011.  We met in California where i was living at that time and we started to write songs together and realised we had a lot in common musically.  Soon we started to take the project a bit more seriously and that’s when I contacted Dorian.  I had seen him play once before in France and was really impressed by his talent and he was very young.  We started to send demos to him over the internet and he would record his guitar parts from his home in France.  At first it was just a test to see if he would fit into the band, but we felt right away that it worked so well with his guitar playing combined with the songs we had written.

MELODY LANE: Which bassists are/have been your main musical inspirations? .. And which are your favorite bands nowadays?
ZACK ANDERSON: I have two favourite bass players.  One is Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath.  The other is James Jamerson who was the bass player on most recordings from Motown from the late 60’s.  Those two influenced me the most.  My favourite bands change all the time, but what I am listening to at the moment is The Allman Brothers.  ZZ Top’s First Album, Ty Segall, Atomic Rooster… 

MELODY LANE: Can you tell us something about your past. Where are you from and where do you live nowadays? We know that you played  for years in the American psychedelic rock band RADIO MOSCOW. How has your career started and how have you become a professional bass player?
ZACK ANDERSON: I grew up in a town called Story City, Iowa.  It’s a very small town with a bout 3,000 people.  I started playing music when i was 14 and made some bands with friends from school. When I was 16 I joined the band Radio Moscow who was also from Story City.  This was the first serious band I played with and I played in the band for about 5 years.  During that time I learned a lot about touring and playing shows and the music business.  I left the band when I was 21 shortly before we formed Blues Pills.

MELODY LANE:  Tell us something about the creative process of BLUES PILLS music. Do the songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio, jamming together, or is it a team work and your songs are written in the studio with all the members composing together? Can you tell us the difference in writing and composing between your first album and Lady In Gold?
ZACK ANDERSON: Most of the song ideas have come from Elin and I.  We do a lot of writing together and we write all the lyrics together.  Usually we start with a solid idea that we think is good and just build off of that in the studio. Although, there is one song on the new album called Little Boy Preacher which started from a jam that we recorded.  Then we went back and arranged the best parts, and formed it into a song. We recorded it in pretty much the same way as the first album.  It was done in the same studio with the same producer.  It's a very small studio, just 2 small rooms in a warehouse in Gothenburg.  It was recorded and mixed all analog  to get a vintage feel.  The record company has always given us freedom to do as we please, however there was some small differences this time.  The album was almost completely written in the studio.  We spent a lot longer time recording the album because we were really busy with touring as well.  We would just go into the studio when we had time off, so it took almost 2 years to complete it.

MELODY LANE: Talking about ‘seventies influenced sound’ new bands, there are many interesting emerging bands around…The scene is quite rich in this period. Apart from BLUES PILLS, on our webzine, among our followers,  there are a lot of fans of bands like SCORPION CHILD, UNCLE ACID & THE DEAD BEATS,  SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, THE VINTAGE CARAVAN, ORCHID… Every band with its own character and mark, some more blues other more psychedelic...Are you in contact with any of these bands listed above? Are you friends with any of them?...And can you suggest us any other interesting bands that have got a ‘seventies sound’ out there?
ZACK ANDERSON: Yes! It’s a lot of new band inspired by older music these days and I think its great.  We did some touring with Scorpion Child, Vintage Caravan, and Orchid.  We had some good times together and we are still in touch with a few of them from time to time.  Some other bands with similar style that come to mind are DeWolff, Spiders, Wedge ,and Purson. 

MELODY LANE: On last 5 july, BLUES PILLS played here in Rome as ‘special guests’ for the ALTER BRIDGE concert. I was in the audience at the ORION live club, and apart from some little technical problem with  Dorian’s guitar, it was a hell of a show, a killer show! Audience was really supportive with BLUES PILLS and very happy to see you on stage…So what can you tell us about the Italian dates with ALTER BRIDGE, and have you already planned to come back in our country for other live shows in the near future?
ACK ANDERSON: The shows with Alter Brigde were a pleasant surprise!   We were not  sure how the audience would receive us because we thought that maybe the fans of alter bridge don’t know our music.  But it was great, and the audience was very enthusiastic!  As of now there are no dates booked in Italy, but we will surely be back once we finish a new album.

MELODY LANE: List us 3 songs,  from the BLUES PILLS discography, that you like the most to play live in concert… And why these songs?
ZACK ANDERSON: 1) Little Boy Preacher, because we add a lot of jams and psychedelic parts to extend and improvise compared to the album version. 2) Little Sun, because it’s one of my favourite songs we have written and it’s one of the few softer songs we have so it stands out.  3) Devil Man, because its always one of the crowds favourites when we play live.  

MELODY LANE: Can you tell us a couple of bands you’d like to tour with, from the actual hard rock scene? And why these bands? Will you keep touring in the fall or will you start writing and recording for a next release?
ZACK ANDERSON: Some bands we would love to tour with are Rival Sons, the Alabama Shakes, Graveyard… because i think we have similar fanbases and it would be a good combination… but it will have to wait, because we will take a break from touring in 2018.  We have a few shows left in the fall with Black Star Riders, and a few shows with the band Europe in Sweden.  But after this we will stop touring for some time and write new music.  

MELODY LANE: Thinking about your career, what has been your biggest achievements to date, the things that you look back with the most pleasure… and what do you want to achieve in the next future?
ZACK ANDERSON: One of the things I am most proud of is Lady in Gold reaching #1 in the German charts.  Also, many of the huge festivals we have played and big artists we have had the pleasure to share the stage with.  A few that stand out are Hellfest, Rock en Seine, Rock Im Park, and Rock Werchter festival.  It’s an honor to play on these legendary festivals.

MELODY LANE: Thank you Zack! All the best for you and for THE BLUES PILLS