”I write on inspiration – good or bad” Hasse Fröberg tells the story of COTC

”Crime of the Century” – or crimes committed to our environment. What can we expect of the future? What kind of world do we hand over to coming generations? No one knows for sure, but there’s hardly any light at the end of the tunnel. Swedish meteorologist Pär Holmgren has been occupied with the issue for years. To be able to open people’s eyes – and have a little fun – Pär decided to carry out the Environmentally Wise rock opera. Since his earliest childhood, Pär has been obsessed by 1970′s rock music, and by chance he happens to be friends with some of Sweden’s foremost musicians in the field.
I had a talk with Hasse Fröberg, singer with The flower Kings and more lately his own Musical companion.

⁃ I got a request from Pär Holmgren, who apparently had been pondering on this for a while. I was very surprised, but also very flattered.

Hasse Fröberg says he was initially reluctant, considering his skills in writing words and music for a complete musical. Still, at the first meeting already, Hasse came to think about his friend Tomas Bodin, keyboard player of The Flower Kings and with a background in theatre music. Another four meetings down the road and the project was on a roll.

So – how has the song-writing been arranged? In front of us are two musicians, used to writing and composing in accordance to their own muses, this time writing on request. Hasse Fröberg however, doesn’t think along those lines.
⁃ I write on inspiration, good or bad. I couldn’t possibly be ordered to write even if I tried.To begin with, I’ve had song ideas unfitting to Musical Companion, also I’ve written a few all fresh things, in a more hard rock/metal style. It’s gonna be a rock musical, for christ’s sakes!

Speaking of the cooperation with Tomas Bodin (actually the first time the two write together, even though they’ve been working closely for so many years), Hasse says what’s important is that the music fits the characters of the story.
⁃ To begin with, we weren’t all to sure, but now we’re starting to locate the different personalities and what kinds of songs fit them. I guess we were both a little surprised when our first song was complete. Tomas had an idea which we re-wrote completely. We were supposed to save the chorus, but that went through the re-write too. Through this, we realized this collaboration could work.

Recordings have commenced in a Knivsta studio, working with Opeth drummer Martin Axenroth, guitarist Joakim Marsh (Glenn Hughes band) and ex-Flower Kings bass guitarist Michael Stolt. Who will sing? Lots of ideas, still no decisions.

So, finally, can a project like this make a difference?
⁃ Just look around, Daniel, says Hasse Fröberg. We’ve treated Mother Earth too harshly, for a long long time, and there’s evidence a-plenty. Japan, Haiti, the Mexican Gulf to name just a few recent ones. Many people are interested in, it’s just for us to find the right balance from synopsis to music and lyrics. Simply, it should be graspable what it all is about, still not shoving the message down people’s throats. We should be as populistic as possible.

Daniel Reichberg

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