Newsflash! It seems that Swedish media finally have “discovered” Soundshine! In the new issue of “Studio” (4-2013) which is a music magazine specializing in recording and music production (and that I’m an avid reader of myself) you will find a three hour(!) long “mix video” featuring myself talking about the writing, recording, and production of my song “Never Mine” which as many of you know is the opening track of my solo debut album Soundshine. (Feel free to have a listen on the Spotify player to the right!).
The magazine says (kindly) that Soundshine is a “fantastic solo debut” and that it’s “sprängfyllt med gnistrande poppärlor” which would be something like “filled to the brim with glimmering pop pearls”. Don’t know if that works in English though… Should anyone (except for me) be on the look for nice praise over the album in “real” English you can also check out Hooks and Harmony who named Soundshine the album of the year (followed by interview here).
In the STUDIO interview I talk about how the idea for the verse melody came to me already back in 2006 and how I reworked it over a two year to period until I finally was happy with it and how the song was put on hold while The Merrymakers were still active (or should we say inactive?) as a band but became an obvious choice for me to include on my album once I was a solo artist. By then it was up to no one but me to decide whether my songs were good enough or not – and guess if they were! (Insert laughter here…)
I also discuss at length about the choice of co-producer (and drummer) Andreas Dahlbäck, session musicians Anders Petterson, Rikard Lidhamn and more, and you will see unique video clips from the recording, how the drums were miked etc. Above all the mix video contains a detailed run-through on-screen insight into my Logic (recording software) project. There you will see which instruments are part of the arrangement and how they were recorded and treated from a production perspective.
Also, in the last part of video you get to meet Marcus Black who mixed the whole album where he discusses his approach to mixing in general and to the mix of “Never Mine” in detail (with an on-screen run-through of his Pro Tools project). At the very end we talk a little bit about the mastering at Abbey Road and you will be invited to see the mastering room of senior engineer Steve Rooke who apart from my album has worked with among many, many other artists Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Not to mention the recent re-mastering of The Beatles themselves.
The magazine also features an article about myself and the recording of Soundshine. So if you are in Sweden (or know Swedish) and you are interested in the above I hope you find your way to the magazine store this month. Or if you’re living the modern digital life you can buy it as a pdf here.
UPDATE: As en Easter egg STUDIO magazine is offering the video link for free! Just click the picture below to get access to the three hour video (in eight parts). Remember to click the HD symbol so it becomes grey (not white) in order to get high quality.
A million big humble thanks to chief editor Mats Stålbröst and business manager Andreas Hedberg at STUDIO for showing an interest in my music and sharing it with their readers.
Please let me know what you think about the article in the comment section below or at my Facebook Page.
What “a day in the life”! Recording at ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS!!!
I have always loved the Beatles. And I will surely do ’til the day I die. One of the biggest highlights in my “Beatles career” was to be able to spend a day in legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road to record an alternate version of my song “Never Mine” which is the opening track of my debut album Soundshine. Check out the video and continue reading below for full background story.
Since my first visit to London back in 1990 I have never missed the opportunity while in town to visit the famous crossing at Abbey Road. But until 2011 I had never been able to actually enter the building. It was in May when I did it for the first time since I (in a strike of megalomania) had chosen this legendary place for the mastering of Soundshine. Read more about this occasion in this blog post.
Little did I know then that the doors would open for me again only six months later, and this time to RECORD in frickin’ Studio 2!!! Yes, THAT studio…!
I wrote then; “today we’re not here to try to change music history but more to study the process of how music history was made from within the actual room were a big part of it was created. I hope to be able to share the result with you sometime in a not too distant future”. That distant future is NOW! Almost fourteen months later…! The reasons for the delay are many. One being that Thomas Juth who took the initiative (which I will be forever grateful for!) is a highly demanded sound engineer in London and therefore hasn’t been able to find the time to work on the mix from this little “hobby project” (although very close to his heart). Thomas is a really sweet (and also cool) guy who has worked with many great names and I mean GREAT(!). Read more about his impressive track record on his own home page.
However, when I was asked to be part of a free download sampler (yes that’s where you’ll find the song I’m talking about here!) released by the music blog Real Gone (who by the way made a really nice review of Soundshine here) I decided it was time to have a proper mix made. The mix is a combination of Thomas Juths ground work and Soundshine engineer Marcus Black’s fine adjustments.
I really wanted to be able to offer a video clip as well but there was no time and no money (as always…). But then Christmas came I and went to Spain with my wife to spend time with her family. And in between tapas, dinners, family life, and a gig at Festival Alta Fidelidad in Madrid, I finally found some time to take my first, stumbling steps as a video editor using Final Cut Pro X. And with the very little rough material I had from my iPhone standing on a tripod (and a couple of other cell phones in the room) I’ve tried to make a little video documenting this very special moment.
It was really a day in paradise for us Beatle geeks and we spent more than half of the precious ten hours staring at Beatles microphones and Beatles compressor and that kind of stuff. The recording became kind of secondary and something we really did “just for fun”. Considering all this I’m really happy with the final result. It’s obvious that we do not hide our love for the Beatles in the way it’s produced and played. And that’s also my reason for not releasing it on Spotify or iTunes or on CD. As much as I love the Beatles, and to play their songs, I don’t want my own stuff to be TOO Beatlesque and end up being categorized next to The Rutles.
To put even more weight into this occasion I decided to write a little piece of lyrics for this world premiere:
It was fourteen months ago today
Thomas Juth invited me to play
To try to recreate the Beatles style
was guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The song you’ve known for just a year
David Myhr’s “Never Mine” in Abbey Roooooooooooaddd….
Special thanks to Thomas Juth and his brother Fredrik Juth (who played bass and drums) for inviting me to this very special occasion. Thanks also to Michael Bianco, Dyre Gormensen who were part of the recording process. And to Andrew Campbell at Lojinx who co-ordinated the Real Gone release. To Amy Campbell for shooting some nice photos (including the one above) at Abbey Road. And to Henrik Irgens and my wife Paula who also made the day even more pleasant through their sheer presence.
Six months before the Japanese release of Soundshine and nine months before the European release I entered the main stage at PDOL (an abbreviation for “Piteå Dansar och Ler”
which is Swedish for “Piteå dances and smiles”). It’s an annual street festival in my former home town Piteåway up north in Sweden which usually gather at least some 25,000 visitors.
For the occasion I used the same backing band as I did on my premiere show in Piteå earlier the same year. Andreas Dahlbäck on drums who also played drums on the album and acted as my sounding board in the recording process which led to me entitling him “co-producer” of the album. Robert van der Zwan (Poplabbet) and Krille Eriksson played guitars, Erik Jonsson (The Fix) played bass, and Joel Sjödin (Mankind) played keyboards. An amazing backing group if you ask me. Furthermore we were joined on two songs by the horn section Horny Minds from local blues heroes Ramblin’ Minds, and last but not least we were honored to have one of the finest Swedish current female pop artists around… Edith Backlund!
I have played at this festival a few times before over the last twenty years, both with the Merrymakers in the 90′s, not to mention our short “revival” in 2007, and also at reunions of my early bands from my youth (Ant-Mansson and 2nd Hand B band). I’ve also played there with the ABBA tribute band Super Trouper in which I play the part of Benny Andersson. However, this was the first time that I entered the main stage of the festival, and what’s more as a solo artist. In that sense it was kind of a big moment for me so I decided to document it properly which included renting a multi-track recorder and hire a film crew.
Time has proved it difficult to come out to meet audiences in other countries with a full backing band. Instead I’ve made solo acoustic gigs – like for instance in Spain in March. It’s true, there are rare exceptions like when I played in Tokyo with local backing musicians or in London on the Lojinx release party where I had a full band. But as the situation is right now it doesn’t look like a proper world tour with a full backing group is happening…
Therefore, I am now very pleased to be able to share this live experience and fond memory with anyone, anywhere, who might be interested. The 47 minute film documents not only the entire show including all the talk between the songs (subtitled in English – only for you!), but also a little bit of life back stage including the nervous artist only seconds before going on stage and the after show hugs while the credits are running to the soundtrack of the re-mix of Looking for a life.
Put on your best headphones, get your beverage, sit back, and enjoy! A splendid time is guaranteed for all! I really hope you like what you see and hear and if you do, please feel free to comment, and of course to share. For those of you who want to have a high quality, hi res experience, I am open for burning DVD’s of the occasion. Don’t hesitate to contact me in order to discuss the practicalities…
And hopefully one day I’ll be able to bring the band, come to YOUR town and play IRL!
If you’re reading this you probably already know I was in a band called The Merrymakers in the 90′s. Our two albums which you can find on Spotify came out in 1995 and 1997. We had our greatest success in Japan and was fortunate to work with our hero Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish. The second half of the 90′s were our “heydays” when we were at least somewhat productive and succesful. By then we were a trio featuring me, Anders Hellgren, and Peter Arffman. But that story I’ve told many times – like in this interview or in many blog posts like this one.
But today I’m going to celebrate the “mark 1″ line up of The Merrymakers from the formative years. Back in the days when we were still living in Piteå up in northern Sweden. By then we were a five-piece band with no more than four of us figthing about the spot behind the vocal microphone. Almost like a “super group”…
The reason for becoming nostalgic today is that it’s exactly twenty years ago that our first single (with a proper record deal) was released and heard on national radio P3. We were signed by Ola Håkansson (already legendary from bands like Ola & The Janglers and Secret Service) to his new label Stockholm Records. They later fired us partly since we were lacking a clear profile (very true by then!) and that they had found “a younger group”. How old we were..? Twenty-three! The other group…? The Cardigans!
Here’s a picture of the single cover from 1992 alongside the cover of my new solo album Soundshine. As you can see a lot has happened in 20 years!
Anyway, the song is called “Andrew’s Store” and below you can enjoy (or suffer!?) a few nostalgic video clips from that era. You will note I had more hair, more glasses, worse shirts, and a stronger Piteå accent (only notable for those who speak Swedish). I sing lead on this particular song (I won the fight that time probably because I came up with the melody for the chorus and bridge). No matter how painful and embarrasing it may be for ourselves (and our wives) to watch this I thought it was a good moment to share these clips. It might be fun at least for those who were around at the time. And maybe (but no guarantees, hey!) for those who discovered the song much later after our success in Japan where it was re-released again in 1998 o a compilation together with the rest of the singles and B-sides from the early years.
Enjoy and have a nice weekend!
Coverage by SVT (Swedish television) with clips from the studio and outdoors in Piteå (don’t miss the ending picture with the trumpet players behind Andrew’s Store):
Coverage by local TV (Piteå Kanalen) from the release party at local record store Hit It Records.
Playback in Z-TV (first TV performance ever):
Live (but playback) in Z-TV at Stockholm Records release party at Hamburger Börs:
So what’s the world like after the release of my solo debut album Soundshine a little more than a month ago? Do people talk about a “before and after Soundshine” effect? Maybe it’s too early to tell… ?After all the sound of the album is what I usually call “timeless” (sounds better than “dated”, doesn’t it?) and therefore I hope it will live on for years to come.
Since the release I’ve received messages from happy record buyers both on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail saying incredibly nice things about the album. (You can be one yourself – no matter where you live – by ordering it from the David Myhr Store!). And that’s really what makes it all worthwhile. It’s such a thrill knowing that the CD is now spinning in car stereos and the mp3′s streaming out of computers and iPods in the U.K., the U.S., Japan, Spain, Sweden, Italy, France, Germany, and hopefully many more countries. I want to thank you all for those messages – your feedback means the world to me! Please keep the thumbs-up coming for a year or so in order to avoid me sinking into the post-production-depression that I’ve been fearing since I started the recordings two years ago.
There’s also been a bunch of reviews – above all in the blog world – and I thought I’d share some of them with you. Starting of today with a review from americanaUK written by David Cowling that gives Soundshine a 7 out of 10 saying it’s “sheer unadulterated pop music, sheer unadulterated delight” and that it contains “a kaleidoscope of major chords, of bouncy melodies with everything fine-tuned for pleasure”
Here we are now… this is it! Today’s the day! The wait is over! My solo debut album Soundshine is released!
I could go on forever about how happy I am, how proud I am, how fourteen years have passed since I last, as an artist myself, released an album. I could talk about all the hard work behind the recording, about all the talented people who helped me to make the music come alive and made the sound shine. I could talk for hours about all the millions of creative decisions that were made along the way, the ups and downs, about periods of excitement, but also about struggles and periods of doubt. I could write in length about how incredibly difficult it has been to find the right record labels for me, and what a relief it was when I finally did so. And I could go on about the craziness of putting my own personal economy at risk by recording and releasing this album in an era of ongoing devaluation of music. But instead of all this I would simply like to quote the great Neil Innes saying: “I’ve suffered for my music. Now it’s your turn!”
You can start suffering right away by listening through a four minute teaser of the entire album in a “don’t bore us – get to the chorus” fashion…
For those of you who would have preferred me to write about some of the stuff mentioned above I encourage and welcome you to browse through the old entries in my blog here on my official web page which covers my activities over the last twelve months and to follow (by “liking”) and read my status updates on my Facebook page that goes back 21 months which was when the first notes on Soundshine were recorded.
With the release of my solo debut album Soundshine only a month away I have a special surprise gift for you all to enjoy. Together with my U.K./European label Lojinx that will launch Soundshine throughout Europe I am today sharing with you a free download of the album’s bittersweet opening track “Never mine” in an alternate, very “stripped down” version – or “unplugged” version if you prefer:
The song is one of my personal favorites on the album and I sincerely hope you will like it too!
If you are Japanese fan who already bought the album on it’s pre-release in December – this is your chance to discover an album track in a new way!
All you have to do is click on the “Get it now”-button above and it will ask for your e-mail address. A second later you’l have an e-mail in your inbox asking to confirm and the download begins! I would be thankful for any help from all you early followers in spreading the word. One way to do this is of course to use the “share”-button on the widget above – or this whole blog post with the buttons below.
In any case – thanks a lot for your help! Now please enjoy and “sing, sing, sing, sing…”!
I fell in love with the country when I was there a few times in end of the 90′s with the Merrymakers promoting our two albums. We traveled all over the country to make showcases at record stores, signing records and making interviews. It was in a strange time when the music business was doing well (believe it or not!) and Swedish music was particularly successful there. Such were the times that for example the record company would pay a trip for the three of us to only to take a photo for the front cover of our album “Bubblegun”. They put us, the struggling poor musicians, in one fancy hotel suite each for a whole week and it must have costed a small fortune (not least considering the bills from various sky bars, restaurants etc). Ironically the photo we ended up with features us in the stairs of a subway station – a photo that could just as well have been taken in Stockholm… but in all insanity, for me the experience created some unforgettable memories. Please feel free to enjoy a long lost super-rare promo clip of our Japanese radio smash hit “Monument of Me” which I found the other day on a VHS at home:
After a few years of longing back to Japan Paula and I went there in 2007 and it was great – catching up in person with old friends, business associates, a few loyal fans, and artists that I had been writing for – here for instance together with Puffy (left), Sarasa IFU (center). We also were introduced to the very famous Japanese artist Tamio Okuda (to the right).
We came back in 2009 and this time I also made an acoustic live appearance at Club Wonder in Osaka (which I also will do tomorrow!) even though I still wasn’t officially a solo artist, just a Merrymaker without any new music to present. Only five days later(!) I came back to take part in a songwriting camp writing songs with Japanese artist but that’s for another blog post…
This time there’s no major label involved though. Rumors has it that they are specializing in Korean boy-bands and no matter how I try I don’t seem to fit in that category. Instead, a small cool and tasteful independent label named Thistime Records has licensed the rights for Japan from me. They seem to have a great love for guitar based melodic pop and power pop so I have certainly found a great “home” for my record here in Japan which I am very humbly thankful and happy about.
When I travel and come to new cities what I enjoy most is to just ”feel the vibe”. The best way to that is often just to walk around a little bit, sit down at some café, grab a bite to eat at some restaurant, and maybe (probably) enjoy a beer or two at some nice bar. With that, my life as a traveller is almost complete. Especially if I’m in good company. I can even do it on my own for quite a while – as long as there’s wifi in the cafés and bars so I still can be in contact with my loved one, my friends and family, my fans, and try to get my career going (for the 20th year in a row!) with e-mails, social medias, and so on… It would take many, many hours to get me bored as long as I have my MacBook Pro, a power plug so I don’t run out of battery, and a high speed internet connection.
As for other activities when coming to a new city I must admit I don’t care much for museums. I often find myself thinking: ”I could look this up on the internet anyway instead of standing in front of a wall and reading a sign…” (is this strange?), my legs get tired, and I start longing for the computer and/or the café/bar/restaurant life that I enjoy so much.
“What about shopping then?” you might ask… Well that’s another area where I easily get stressed, nervous, sweaty, and tired (like every man does, or is that just a prejudice?). Again, I keep longing back to the same things mentioned above. This is even more true in modern times when every city has the same kind of shopping complexes with the same kind of chain stores (H&M, Zara, etc….) selling the same things. Quite frustrating actually!
I do get excited occasionally if there are stores that sell things that are unique and appeal to my interests, like Liam Gallagher’s clothes shop Pretty Green on Carnaby street in London. I mean; who can resist a store that have the good taste in marketing a new ”Lennon jacket” for every season. That’s an example where I don’t mind going shopping. However my wife gets worried and frustrated when I start waving around with my credit card since things there are about ten times more expensive than the kind of clothes she normally buys. So I try to not go there too often…
But the one single thing I miss the most from the last few years of travelling is the record stores that suddenly all just disappeared! Such a tragedy! That was like the ”oasis” in every shopping area where I could sneak in and spend long hours just browsing around, looking at record covers, listen to music, check out rock’n’roll biographies and just enter a room that in itself was a ”world of music”. Today everyone carry their own ”music world” around in their iPhones and that’s of course great (I am one of them) but the expereience is no longer shared the same way and there’s nowhere to spend your shopping hours anymore. The last time I remember doing at home here in Stockholm was at Pet Sounds which can be seen in the video for “Looking for a life”:
I completely agree with what my ”good friend” Paul McCartney said when supporting Record Store Day a couple of years ago: ”There’s nothing as glamorous to me as a record store…” ”…what fantastic memories such a collection of music brings back when you see it all in one place.”
Even in the world’s largest cities the record stores are few and far between. When I come to Tokyo the next time I will make sure to visit a few of the remaining ones. I will take my responsibility to try to keep them alive by buying at least ten CD’s this time maybe for instance Tim Christensen’s, or The Jayhawks‘ latest album. It’s true that I put my CD collection in the basement already in 2003 so the CD’s will ultimately end up in a shoebox. But I miss the feeling of the phsycial CD and the record store so much that I will pay the price. The fact that I’m supporting the suffering artists, producers, musicians, sound engineers, graphic designers, and record label people at the same time makes the decision even easier. After all music matters!