Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An interview with Alex Lachan from Saturdays Heroes (Sweden). For fans of Street Dogs, Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, etc.

Saturday's Heroes Promo


Its great to be back with an interview.  I took a week off to focus on other aspects of my life.  Recently, I had the great opportunity and fortune to correspond and email with my good buddy, Alex Lachan from Saturdays Heroes.  This fantastic punk rock and roll band from Sweden that resonate within the sounds of the Street Dogs, Stiff Little Fingers, and Cock Sparrer.   They have their own edge of rock and roll which makes them on the up rise in the punk scene in Europe and gaining ground in the United States.  If you are into high energy, maximum intensity, punk rock and roll and that is meant to have a few pints with your buddies, I suggest you listen to this band.  I present you, Alex Lachan!

RDW: Hey Alex, how are you doing today? Why don’t you give us a brief history of the band, what you do, and where the band is at now?

Alex Lachan: Hey Nick! I'm doing really good today, finally getting well from a way to long cold. Really cool that you choose to do an interview with me for your blog, it means a lot!
We're four guys from a small town in Sweden called Finspång that went to the same school, listened to the same kind of music and finally made the decision that we'd start a band.
It began with me, my brother (Mikael, drums) and Marcus (rythm guitar) playing some covers in the basement of our parents house. Then I started to write some lyrics and all of a sudden we had our first batch of songs! Niklas (bass) joined a while later and on the same day he joined we got booked for our first show.
Right now we're at that stage of a band that's transforming into a touring band. We're doing all of the bookings and planning by ourselves so it's a lot of trial and error, but we're starting to learn how these things work!

RDW: What is the punk rock and hardcore scene like over in Sweden where you guys are from? Is it as strong as the states or do you see it a bit differently? What bands that are coming out of Europe at the moment do you currently enjoy?

AL:  Sweden is such a small country that is filled with great musicians and great bands so the people here is kind of spoiled. I'd say that the punk rock scene in Sweden is great if you're ready to work for it, because you really have to spread the word yourself if your band isn't one of the big ones. This makes it kind of hard for the new bands (like us in the beginning) who haven't figured out how to promote their band and getting the contacts needed for booking shows and making sure that people shows up.
The hardcore scene seems to do really well with tons of bands playing every weekend, usually with great crowds! I'm not that involved in the Swedish hardcore scene right now, but you can definitely tell that it's doing good!

RDW: How old were you when you picked up the guitar? What was your first guitar? How old where you when you started writing songs and lyrics?

 AL: I was maybe 9 or 10 years old when I first started playing the guitar. My mother and father bought me my first guitar. It was a used stratocaster-copy made by Levin. It had the sunburst finish that I really wanted after watching the Weezer - Buddy Holly video!
I wrote my first lyrics at maybe 7 or 8 when I borrowed my brother in laws guitar. The songs were about killing teacher and that kind of stuff... Then I occasionally wrote songs troughout the years, mostly songs filled with noncense. The serious writing started when I was seventeen, that's when I really got into writing and realised that I actually could do it!

RDW: What has been the most notable tour you have been on so far with Saturdays Heroes? I know you guys and the Street Dogs did a few dates together. What was that experience like?

AL:  Yeah we did two dates with Street Dogs last year and I'm not gonna lie to you, it was a dream coming true. Street Dogs is one of those bands that almost everyone in the band had been listening to for many, many years. Just a couple of days before this band got formed we visited Stockholm to see Street Dogs play live, and that had a huge impact on us.
They were such nice guys and Mike McColgan even did a The Clash song with us. When we rehearsed that one during the soundcheck I looked at Marcus and he's face was all weird and his eyes were screaming "What the fuck, is this really happening?".
But the most notable tour must have been the last one which was almost three weeks long and filled with sketchy bookings! It was a blast and we had so much fun within the band and with our friends in Subwaste. We got the full tour experience with the bus breaking down (twice), getting ripped off and all the other things that you'd only hear about before you start going on tour. It was our longest tour this far (still learning the whole tour booking thing) and I'm so glad we pulled it off!

RDW: Let’s talk gear! Tell us your current set up with your guitars, amps, effects, etc. How does that “define” your sound in Saturdays Heroes? Is finding the sound of your band an ongoing process like for many? Is it set and stone and something you approach with a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude?

AL:  I mainly use a Fender American Standard Telecaster with a Seymour Duncan lil´59 pickup in the bridge. But I just bought a Les Paul Traditional that I'm going to use a lot more! I only use one pedal and that is the Fulltone OCD overdrive pedal for solos. The amp I use is the Orange Rocker 30 and I'm completely in love with it, it sounds fucking amazing!
Me and Marcus are the biggest sound-geeks in the band and we've been chasing sounds since the beginning. I think we've gotten to a good place because people come up to us after shows and tell us that the guitars sounds lovely, and I think we're kind of satisfied with the way the band sounds right now but It's an evolving thing. It's always fun to play around with sounds, trying new stuff and keeping it fresh.

RDW: As a band, what goals do you have for the future? What goals have been met already? Which bands would you like to play with that you have not yet?

AL:  Our first goal as a band was to play a live show in our hometown, and everything after that would be icing on the cake haha. We're still so young and we've already released a full length album, been on tour and played with some of our favorite bands out there. I can't put in words how thankful I am for that!
Every goal we had when we started out has been met and it's fantastic to look back at something that started out in the basement and see where it's taking us. Our goals right now is booking bigger and longer tours, write and record more music and hopefully make it over to the states.
A dream we've always had is to open for the Dropkick Murphys. If I'm allowed to dream a bit more we'd love to play with bands like The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Twopointeight, Bad Religion, Off With Their Heads, Cock Sparrer, Bombshell Rocks (they're back!), Street Dogs (again), Hot Water Music, Against Me! and every other band that we're listening to and are inspired by.
Then we'd love to play more with our friends in bands like Subwaste, The Sensitives, Stiffy Jones, The Civillains and many more.

RDW: What of your life experiences shine through in your lyrics? As any good artist, you obviously write about what you know, and only what you know. What things in life that you see constantly inspire you?

AL: The places I find myself in, the people I'm with, things that are happening to them and to me. It can be everything from world problems to personal problems. Not only problems of course, sometimes good things influence the songs but it's just so much harder to write about.
One of the things that is constantly inspiring me is the thin line of being somebody that chose to walk his/her own way and being a fucked up misfit loser. I had big issues with school and teachers as a young kid, so I had a bad start in life when it comes to the norm. I dropped out of high school with only months left until the graduation, just because I couldn't stand it. So I've always been balancing on that line, doing my best to accept my own choices and my own road in life.
This gave me a new perspective on things which really helps me when it comes to songwriting. You don't have to be a loser just because you dropped out of school, you just got to do what you believe in and follow those dreams.
I guess that's why a lot of our songs is about people and their lives, because people is the biggest inspiration to me and everybody's got a story that is worth telling.
I'm sorry if the answer is a bit blurry, but it's a hard one!

RDW: In Europe, which countries are good to you? Where have you not gone yet that you would like to? Where else would you like to play?

AL:  We haven't been to that many places yet, but everywhere we've been the response has been amazing and overwhelming! The biggest shock was when we started our latest tour in Prague and had no idea what to expect, and the crowd went completely crazy on a Thursday night!

RDW: As a musician, which has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

AL:  When I look back at the journey so far it must be the ability to walk up on a stage with my guitar, place myself in front of the microphone and together with my best friends (bands and audience) create something that cannot be described. To be a part of the intense energy that is a live show, that is my biggest accomplishment as a musician! I could easily be one of the guitarists hiding away in the bedroom, but instead I'm part of this amazing thing that is live music.

RDW: What are some European bands to look out for and to keep an eye out for on this part of the Globe?

AL:  Right now I have to say Twopointeight from Sweden. They're currently on your side of the world, recording their third album together with Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem and Pete Steinkopf from The Bouncing Souls in Asbury Park. They've been around for a while and a lot of people know them, but I think this will set things of in a different way!
Thank you so much for the interview Nick, take care and have a a great day. I hope that we'll reach the states soon, so we can grab a beer or twenty!

Band Info:

Saturdays Heroes Facebook
Offical Website


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