Perfect Plan

Perfect Plan took us by storm with their sophomore album “Time for a Miracle”. Hence Grande Rock got in touch with guitarist and composer Rolf Nordström to talk about the new album, the songwriting techniques and the band’s influences, among other interesting music stories… read more below…
Perfect Plan band pic
Hi Rolf, I’m glad to have you on Grande Rock. Congrats on your new album, “Time for a Miracle”, it’s a worthy continuation of your debut.
R: Many thanks! We in the band are very proud of our new album.
Well, in less than 2 years from your debut, you return with a new studio album. Why’s that? Did you want to keep your fans content and not lose the momentum or what?
R: When we released “All Rise” we had already a couple songs written, so we really went from there. We got together in to rehearsal and many of the songs was written like that. We were very happy the way “All Rise” came out and all the positive response we got so of course we wanted to make a second album that our fans would like.
What did you change in the way you approach the songwriting this time?
R: As I mentioned many of the songs on “Time for a Miracle” was created during rehearsals. On our first album Kent had a lot of ideas written on acoustic guitar and then we arranged them together. This time we created the songs together which was very inspiring. We all contributed in the song writing process. Our singer Kent has a great sense for melodies and I make lot of riffs but when we come together in the band the ideas really comes alive. So, it was really exiting and fun to create songs this way.
It seems that big hooks and fancy melodies are your trademark. You’re influenced by the 80s AOR / Melodic Rock music (Scandi, European & US scene), but there are also some modern touches on your songs. What do you think?
R I agree on that. We all grew in the 80s so our influences can’t be denied. We really love band like Survivor, Giant, Foreigner, Def Leppard and Whitesnake for example. But it’s not the 80s right now and we also get inspired in what’s happening today, so of course there’s a modern touch in our music. But in the end we want to create music that we like.
Tell us about the member change – you have a new bass player, Mats Byström (Killer Bee), since 2019, right?
R That’s correct. Mats is an old friend and a great musician so when PO our former bass player left the band it came very natural to ask him to join Perfect Plan. Mats has done a great job so far, so we are very happy to have him on board.
What does the album title “Time for a Miracle” declare?
R We live in a time when lot of bad things happen, but we want the world to be a better place. I believe that we need more kindness and understanding. It would truly be a miracle if people stopped fighting. The thing you can do is to begin with yourself and try to be kind, try to be understanding and when that happens it’s a kind of miracle and a start for a better world. It may sounds a bit naive but I must keep hoping for the better.
It ain’t easy to find some truly sensational ballads on rock albums these days, let alone 2 like you have done (“Fighting to Win” & “Don’t Leaven Me Here Alone”)! How’s that?
R Kent wrote these beautiful ballads for this record and we all in the band loved them both so for us it was natural that both of them should be on “Time for a Miracle”.
Do give us a hint about each track…
R “Time for a Miracle”: It’s an old riff that we put into this powerful song. The verse was written in my summer cabin by Kent and me and we really felt that it had something to it that was good. I think that Fredrik plays the drums like thunder on this song.
“Better Walk Alone”: Kent had this catchy melody line idea of the chorus. And then it practically wrote itself during rehearsals.
“Heart to Stone”: Our keyboard player Leif had a great chorus and then one night when me and Leif got together we almost finished all the parts and when we came to rehearsal Kent put this lovely melody on top and everybody was involved in the arrangements and how the song turned out in the end.
“Fighting to Win”: Fantastic ballad written by Kent. We worked together to find the right arrangements and I’ll think we got it right. I think that Kent sings with such deep emotion.
“Everytime We Cry”: It’s a song that we also tried to do as a rock ballad and then we had the version that turned out on the album. This is one of my personal favorites on “Time for a Miracle”. It took me a couple of weeks to find out the solo, I just couldn’t find the right melody but then suddenly one night it was there.
“What About Love”: A great AOR song which Leif our keyboard player has written and the vocals by Kent is amazing!
“Nobody’s Fool”: The riff for this song I had for years. I played it for Kent and he immediately put some groovy vocals to it. Kent and I have a very good chemistry when it comes to songwriting. The bluesy intro was an idea from Kent. So Mats our bass player who practically can play any instrument played some cool lapsteel riffs and I added an acoustic guitar to it. We nailed it on the second take recording it.
“Living on the Run”: This is one of the first songs we wrote after recording “All Rise”. I had some different parts and riffs that we put together during rehearsal. I remembered that we were very excited about this song and it made finally to the album.
“Just One Wish”: Originally this is a leftover from “All Rise”. We really liked the song but for this album we changed the first part of the chorus and we felt that it came out really well.
“Don’t Blame It on Love Again”: Kent had this beautiful melody and came one day to me and I added the riff. It didn’t take long to finish the song when the band came together and it was one of last song we wrote before recording the album.
“Give A Little Lovin’”: This is an old chorus written by me and Mårten Eriksson, we thought it was pretty good in the band so we continued to work on the song and it ended up on the album.
“Don’t Leave Me Here Alone”: I really love the melancholic feel about this song. Perhaps it’s the best Kent ever sung in my opinion.
Some (including me) have compared Kent’s pipes with Steve Perry’s. I know it’s something more than an honour to be compared with one of the best AOR/melodic rock voices of all time… but how do you and Kent feel about it?
R I know that Kent is very proud and honored being compared to Steve Perry and it makes him happy!
You’ve worked with Mårten Eriksson for the album’s mixing and Svante Forsbäck (Rammstein, Volbeat, etc.) for the mastering. What do you think about the production, in comparison to your debut?
R: We are very satisfied with the production and Mårten did a fantastic job to get the sound that we were looking for. Even before we sent the recordings to Svante it sounded great. But when Svante had did his part it sounded greater and he also did a fantastic job. Compare to “All Rise” the sound is a bit thicker, the guitar is a little bit more in front and it’s more energetic I think. Every member of the band put everything they got into this album. We all did our personal best.
How did your cooperation with Frontiers Music occur at first? It’s a plus that you found a label that supports this kind of music… what do you think?
R: We had recorded the album “All Rise” and was going to release it by ourselves. Then a friend of Fredrik (our drummer) listened to it and he thought it was really good so asked if he could send it to a friend of his that knew Serafino. Maybe a week later Kent got this email from Serafino at Frontiers and they wanted to sign us. It was amazing. For us it’s been great to work with Frontiers because they understand AOR music and they’ve been very supportive all the way.
Since all the touring has been postponed… what do you think of the virtual live shows in general?
R: Of course it not the same as seeing a band live but in this situation I think it’s great that fans of different bands can watch and join their favorite bands in virtual live shows.
What do you think about this corona-virus thing? How much has affected the music business and people’s lives so far?
R Of course it has affected the music industry and the lives for all people. We all have to be careful and follow the regulations. The sad thing is that many people have died because of the virus .The sad thing for the music business and all the bands is that you can’t play live on stage. But the only thing we can do is to wait and see where it goes.
It’s time for our “weird questions”!!! How did you come up with the name Perfect Plan initially?
R We were sitting in a car just trying to come up with a name for the band. We had so many suggestions. Then suddenly PO (former bass player) came up with Perfect Plan. which we all thought sounded great.
What are those things that you do not like in the music industry nowadays?
R It’s hard to make a living out of it, All members in Perfect Plan work full time jobs, so when it comes to recording and the work with Perfect Plan, it sometimes hard to get in the time schedule. It really would be great to put some more time into being a musician but you have to earn money to pay your bills.
What do you think about the “downloading & streaming issue” of our time? Do you prefer the streaming services better or not?
R From the point of view how many people you can reach out to with your music it’s great. Back in time you had to tour a lot to so that people could hear your music but today with streaming and downloading you can get at much quicker response and many more can discover your music. But when it comes to how much money you can make as band and songwriter it’s not that good.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words:
R Rockstar: Gene Simmons (hahaha)… Just popped up, I was a great Kiss fanatic during my younger years!
AOR: Great melodies, great singers and music that makes me happy!
Eurovision: Friday night in front of the TV, yes I’m watching it.
Music Realities: Lot of fun and lot of hard work…
Which are the best 3 AOR albums of all time according to you?
R “Time to Burn” by Giant, “Out of the Silence” by Dare, “On a Storytellers Night” by Magnum.
Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
R I really like melodic rock but I’m always had a progressive side. I so hard to choose but it would be “Operation Mindcrime” by Queensryche. It has so many musical layers and there so many things to discover a lot of details. Many great guitar riffs and wonderful composed songs and Geoff Tate’s vocals are amazing.
Which is that band that you’d like to be part of (any time & era)?
R: I think it would be in Def Leppard during the time of “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, really like those albums so being a part of that would have been awesome!
Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history?
R: Ohh there so many its almost impossible to answer. But I like Ronnie James Dio, Joe Lynn Turner and I’m a sucker for Chris Cornell.
Which is the composer/songwriter who influenced rock music the most?
R: That’s a really tricky one, depends on what genre your talking about, you could easily write an essay about that so I have to pass on that one.
If you had the opportunity to invite any musician, living or dead, to play on your album whom would you choose and why?
R: As a guitarist I have a lot of influences. I’ve always like guitarists with rock bluesy approach with sense for melody and great tone. So, it would be Gary Moore, which is my biggest influence.
If you could be any historical person, which one would you be and why?
R: I only know what it means to be me and I’m very happy about it so I have to choose myself.
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
R: An album that meant a lot to me is “Moving Pictures” by Rush and have given me a lot of joy, so I can only speak for myself. To choose just one album for all human music is impossible so I’ll give them and album that’s important for me.
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
R: I think one should not linger too much in the past and you don’t know what the future has in mind. I would choose to be right here and right now. And it is right here I and now I can make a difference by showing kindness and understanding.
That’s all for now Rolf. Thank you very much for talking to Grande Rock. Wish you the best for the future to come. Take care dude!
R: Many thanks to you. May the force be with you!!!