State of Salazar : ‘Toto is definitely an important influence to me as a songwriter and also for the band’

Samedi 20 Septembre 2014

Interview with Marcus Nygren, singer of State of Salazar, the new AOR sensation, for the release of All the Way, their first album.

Could you tell me the creation of State of Salazar?

We started the band around 2010. I had some songs I wanted to try out with a full band and I had met these guys at school were we all studied. So from the beginning we were just five guys having fun together playing some songs I had written. After two years doing private shows and recording demotapes we released our EP ”Lost My Way” and everything took off from there.

Some of the songs really sound like the great Toto’s songs of the 70’s and 80’s. Did this band inspire you?

Well thank you I guess. Toto is definitely an important influence to me as a songwriter and also for the band when it comes to our style, sound and the way we arrange the songs. But then there’s also Queen, Journey, Chicago, Survivor, Airplay - just to name a few - which also have had a great impact on me and the band. The most important influence though is something we would like to call ”Training Montage Music”. We often try to make our songs suitable for a training montage in movies like Rocky or Karate Kid and such. Those movies had soundtracks which has a certain feel to it, a feel-good peppery spirit sound with an inspiring mode. To understand the red line in State of Salazar’s music you should look up composers like Bill Conti and Vince DiCola. Because when it comes to influences their way of writing movie soundtracks is as important as all these bands mentioned.

How would you define State of Salazar’s music?

In simple terms - Arena Rock. We try to mix a lot of different genres like West Coast, AOR, Symphonic Rock, Swedish Pop and Movie Soundtracks. I don’t want to put us in one specific genre because all these genres I mention are important for the State of Salazar way of writing songs and for the way we sound. But if I have to define SoS in a hurry I would say; Slick Arena Rock.

What inspires you to write a song?

That could be anything. Writing music is just something I have to do it’s not a choice really, it’s a valve where I can express my creativity. I feel the best when I create music on my piano in my apartment. When it comes to lyrical themes I’m inspired by everything from movies and media to my own life.

All the Way is your first album after the release of the Lost My Way EP. Did you feel that the band has raised a level above? What improvements have been made for this second record?

Yes, definitely! I believe we’ve developed our sound and style a lot since the EP. With this album we decided to work more as a band from the beginning rehearsing the songs and arranging them together as a group. The goal was to sound more as a band. On the EP we used a horn section, a big choir and other session musicans did participate in some way. When we started to work on this album we decided to sound more as a tight five-piece band and I believe we’ve succeeded. We’ve worked thoroughly with every song, every arrangement and we worked a lot in the studio to make the album sound the way we wanted it to. This album is a band effort and it’s therefore the true sound of State of Salazar.

The keyboards play an important role in your music. Some people think that keyboards are contrary to the spirit of rock. What is your answer to these people?

I don’t think I need to answer ”these” people because they obviously don’t care about our music haha. No but seriously, I couldn’t care less about the spirit of rock. I love our music and I’m really thankful for all the fans who appreciate what we do.

Which countries are the more sensible to your music?

I don’t know yet. We’ve received great reviews from all over the world and we are truly surprised by the great amount of incredible reviews. And the fans contacting us seem to come from all different kind of countries from Europe, North America, South America and of course Japan.

Is there a chance to see you live in France in the near future?

We really hope so! There’s nothing booked right now but hopefully it’s just a matter of time before people hear our album and realize we have a killer album to offer the audience in a live show. If people in France would like us to come and visit we will try our best to do so.

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Boris Plantier