Joseph Williams and Peter Friedstedt interview…

Jospeh Williams and Peter Friedstedt have just released a great AOR album on AOR Heaven. Here Peter gives us the lowdown on the album and future plans…

What are you currently up to then Pete?

“Hi Jason! We are just about to release the Williams/ Friestedt record in Japan now, with 3 bonus tracks; and we are super excited, as it’s been doing great here in Europe up ‘til now!!!”

Could you take us through the songs on the new album please? The ideas behind the songs, song writing process, etc.?

“Sure…. “Swear Your Love” – It’s the ‘uptempo’ starter off the record with great backup vocals by Lars Säfsund. It was a lot of fun playing those guitar solos!”

“Say Goodbye” – That’s the first “new” song we recorded for the album; it was wonderful to have JR playing that great groove on this one!”

“Sometimes You Win” – Great composition written by Jay Graydon and Randy Goodrum! Bill Cantos did a wonderful work with BG vocals here!”

“Where To Touch You” – This song was originally from “LA Project II”, and it’s a particular favourite of Joseph’s, I know….”

Joseph –“Yes; we worked at Bill’s and had many laughs throughout. Bill recorded my entire lead vocal with the instrumental track going to ‘Tape’? So we had to re-do the whole thing. It is a common mistake, and it’s happened to me more than once. We laughed it off and did it again. Not a big deal (but funny)! I love working with Bill and always will. The same goes for Peter. He is so talented and I always feel blessed to work on his albums.”

Peter – “Going Home” – The instrumental track off the album. The most spiritual song on the record!”

“Stay With Me” – We did all the vocals for this one in Stockholm, right before a concert; Joseph and Lars arranged the background vocals, right on spot, there and then, in the studio!”

“One More Night” – One of my favourite songs that I’ve ever written! I wrote the chorus for this track when I was 20 years old and found it on an old cassette tape! It was an inspiration back then and is still!”

“Letter To God” – Andreas Carlsson, who actually wrote this song, is probably one of this century’s most successful songwriters. You may have heard his songs recorded by Celine Dion, Bon Jovi and Britney Spears, right? The track features an extraordinary vocal performance by Joseph; really heart rending!”

Are there any plans for the both of you to tour together or is this purely a studio-based project? Ideally which musicians/bands would you like to tour with and why?

“Well, that will definitely be something to look into if the record does well? We have already done a few small tours in Scandinavia, with sold out venues and live broadcasts! If a good promoter wanted to do it, I think it will happen?”

Peter – how did you first get involved in the West Coast AOR scene? Who ideally would you like to work with in the future and why?

“Oh, that’s impossible to say, because you can’t see too far forward. I used to live in LA in the late 90’s and got to know many great musicians during that time, who also later got involved in the LA Project albums, but, we’ll see what happens? If this does really well, I’d fancy doing this again actually!

“I’m sorry with this. I actually did this interview whilst Joseph is out on tour with Toto, so it’s really hard to answer his questions. I’ll do my best on the songs because I know the emotions behind the work, but on the Toto stuff and the film stuff, I can’t speak for him.”

No problem Peter – what’s next for the LA Project?

“As I said, I’m really not sure right now…. I’m open to ideas though, all the time!”

Is melodic rock/AOR music in a healthier state now than ten years ago? How important has it been to have specialist magazines – ‘Classic Rock Presents AOR’, ‘Classic Rock’, ‘Fireworks’ – in the High Street stores raising the profile of the music?

“Yeah, things are really changing, and I definitely feel a revival regarding AOR and Westcoast music in particular! The “Williams / Friestedt” record has been doing great so far, with shop signings and stuff like that where Joseph is, and hopefully, the climate will stay like this for a long time to come?”

In the age of downloads and declining CD sales has the internet helped you get your music out there or has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads etc?

“I really hope that everyone will go out and buy the record instead of downloading it; I really hope for a return to the time when people really were appreciative of a high quality production and wanted to own that!”
“Sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are great networking forums and a good way to reach new fans, but the record business needs to find a new way to make each artist earn more on their products!”

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?

“Same as most people really!! Traveling and hanging out with friends and family!”

Anything else to add and a message for your fans…

“Thanks for this opportunity Jason! Just hope people check out the record and really enjoy it because Joseph and I certainly enjoyed putting it together!”

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