WORK OF ART
[note to haters, it's clearly not: Work-O-Fart :-)] and their 4th album "Exhibits" where the Swedes return to the melodic scene with an album which encompasses all that they have managed to create until now. Offering another bunch of unforgettable songs with soaring melodies (courtesy of singer Lars Säfsund) and amazing instrumental prowess (offered by Robert Säll and Herman Furin), "Exhibits" will thrill fans of the band and of the genre as a whole. "Like always, when Herman, Lars and I get together, it sounds like us, it sounds like Work of Art," tells Säll. "However, with this record I tried to bring out more old school AOR influences and get rid of some of the West Coast influences that were on our previous albums. I wanted it to be an AOR album, not a melodic rock album, not a West Coast album, just a classic AOR sounding album, start to finish!". Find out more about the album and other topics such as Garfunkel and the sheer power of AOR. Here to answer the Q's. Mr. ROBERT SÄLL..
Robert: Hahaha NO! We just wanted a title that sort of connected with our band name. Just like the names on our previous albums. Actually a friend of ours came up with "Exhibits". We liked it and gave it thumbs up!
One could hear the odd Toto-esque melody in the past. What influences did this album have, if any? (lots of woh's and yeah's?)
Robert: Our influences are the same, it's basically the stuff we listened to growing up. So it's kind of in our "musical DNA". But with this album I wanted to bring out some of our old school AOR influences, rather than some of the west coast influences that's been part of our earlier albums. And that is not to say that we wanted the whole album to sound like it was made in 1982 but rather, just a touch of that. I think songs like "Another Night" and "Let Me Dream" demonstrates what I'm trying to explain here!
Do you feel it's important to continue with your "trademark" music, or even more to widen the horizon with new influences and styles?
Robert: Absolutely. As it's been 5 years since our last record, I think fans are wanting and expecting the new album to have that "trademark" sound. However, I do think it's important to widen the horizon but we get to do that in bands we're in outside Work of Art. When we get together, for better or worse, it sounds in a certain way. But that's one of things we like about making music together.
You must let us know the story behind the track "Destined to Survive".
Robert: That's actually the first song I wrote for this new album and ironically, one of the last that we got lyrics for. Our friend Miquel Persson wrote the lyrics and it's a pretty obvious "we almost made it" type love story. At first he we wanted to call it "So Damn Close" but we thought the word "Damn" was a little too strong in regards to the music so we changed it up a bit and added that last "Destined To Survive" line.
Damn indeed. What inspired you to write "Let Me Dream"?
Robert: That was basically me nodding around with an acoustic guitar in my studio. I came up with this guitar figure that had lots of open strings in it and it inspired me to write a chorus melody over it that, in my mind, was something I could hear someone like Lou Gramm or Steve Perry sing. Then I turned it into a full song and sent it off to Jim Peterik for lyrics. Only he came up with a different but beautiful verse melody. Only problem was that it was too similar to my original chorus melody and we kind of got stuck there for a while. But in the end, Lars reached out to a song writing friend of his that came in and just nailed the chorus melody. Turned out beautifully! Still, I would have loved to hear the song with my original chorus melody before it got lost in all the twist and turns this song took.
Do tell us something about the (overall) writing process and what you're trying to capture.
Robert: Really, all I wanted was to come up with eleven really strong songs. That was my main focus, not so much that it needed to a certain sound or style. By now I know, that once I come up with a song the other guys like and we start work on it, it's gonna get "Work of Art"-ized and end up sounding like us.
I have to ask you this, what's up with the 'Work of Art' name? Who came up with the idea and don't tell me it's a tribute to Garfunkel :-)
Robert: Hahaha, it's certainly not a tribute to Garfunkel although I really like him. Our name has stuck with us from our very beginning and I'm pretty sure Herman came up with it. Back then we were 16-17 yrs old and just thought it was a cool sounding name. We did not think about that it could come off as pretentious and we didn't have any deeper thoughts behind it. I was just a cool sounding name to the younger versions of us wink emoticon
Would you say it's difficult to confess to other music/biz people, that you're into AOR and all of that "wimpy" stuff? Do they usually go: "Oh Yeah... AOR... that died along with spandex, huh?"
Robert: In the music school where Heman & I first met, it was a really outspoken attitude that there is in fact good and bad music. Good music being jazz & classical music, bad music was basically everything else. I studied music for 10 years and was surround by that attitude for all those years so yeah, for a very long time, I felt embarrassed talking about my own music. But once our first album took off, I didn't care at all anymore. To me, AOR is all about really well crafted songs, played and sung really well, what's wimpy about that?
How upset do you get about critic and if you should receive the not-so-great review?
Robert: If there is one thing I've learned after 11 years of doing this, it is that there will always be people who loves your music and people who hates it. Some think you're the best band in the world while others go "meh!". But all you really can do is to make sure you're doing your absolute best. What other people think is out of your control. But if you know that you've done your very best making an album, playing a gig or whatever, then if people likes it, it's great and a very rewarding feeling. But if the don't, it's like... oh well... you can't please everybody!
Are you the workaholic/control freak? (music-wise)
Robert: Not so much anymore, everyday life with work and family has gotten in the middle of any chance of being an workaholic. I used to be control freak when I was starting out but as you get older and starts to learn about your own strengths and limitations, any feedback that can make me see or do things differently is much appreciated. It's one of the best way to develop I think.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do
Robert: I would just like to thank our fans for waiting on this new album for five long years. We're thankful that they've stayed with us and I really hope the new album has been worth waiting for!!! Cheers/ Robert Säll
Interview by: Urban Wally Wallstrom