Interview with ANDERS JOHANSSON Page 5
by Fredrik Hjelm
FH: Speaking of breaking stuff and going bananas; during a conversation you and I had a while ago, you told me of a very odd phone call you received a while ago from John Sykes (Thin Lizzy). Would you like to tell the readers about that phone call?
Anders: One morning he just called. I used to play in his band Blue Murder for a short while, so we know each other pretty good. Anyhow, he had an idea about starting a band with me and my brother and I thought it sounded like a great idea and asked him to evolve on it a little. He wasn't interested in writing any songs - he said "Who cares about songs? We should just play any tunes we can come to think of and then tour and just wreck everything that comes in our way and we should call the band The Wrecking Crew and just go at it, break shit and let it all out!" I thought he was wasted or something, but he was very persistent regarding this so I realized he was serious.
FH: He called you a few times about this idea...
Anders: Yeah, twice, but then I didn't hear from him.
FH: What did you do after Yngwie?
Anders: Well, me and my brother Jens quit around the same time and he joined DIO right away. As a matter of fact, he quit right before I did. Everything was a mess back then. Joe Lynn Turner was fired, Yngwie was drinking heavier than ever, my brother got out of the band, and we were on a new label and so on. So with all of this, I felt that it would be the best thing to get out myself. But it was mainly the money issue of never knowing when or if I'd get paid. So I moved to L.A. and I also started playing with Swedish jazz-fusion bass ace Jonas Hellborg and have up to this day played on two of his releases. I also hooked up with John Sykes (Thin Lizzy) and his Blue Murder band he started after quitting Whitesnake. I didn't really fit in with Sykes and his boys though, I'm mainly coffee and booze and they're hash and opium. Sykes is a very talented and cool guy though.
FH: So, why did your brother Jens leave DIO?
Anders: Well he did one record and one tour, but I don't think he's so much into the touring so he ended up quitting the band. But I mean, at the time DIO wasn't working out that great anyway and old Ronnie James was more or less going downhill as it was. It was all about club gigs back then, so I guess Jens lost his motivation and moved to New York and started playing jazz-fusion too. We actually did a number of projects together as well before he ended up joining Stratovarious around '96 I think. We also did projects together and released a few since then.
FH: I jokingly once said to Yngwie Malmsteen that you and Jens bailed on Stratovarious and Hammerfall to rejoin Silver Mountain (Anders and Jens recorded a second Silver Mountain album in 2001). I'm not sure if Yngwie quite got the joke...
Anders: (laughing) I think he thought that was pretty weird, actually! I mean Silver Mountain wasn't really a big band. He probably didn't think it was a joke either. Yngwie's not really into the career thing himself as a musician, believe it or not, so he probably thought we actually split from our current bands to join Silver Mountain for good, for sentimental reasons. I mean the Silver Mountain tunes are great and Yngwie always thought so too. Jonas Hansson is a wicked guitar player after all.
Interview with ANDERS JOHANSSON Page 6