Spiritual Beggars

Spiritual beggars need not further introduction. They are a band that since the early 90s have offered us and keep on offering great hard rock music based on the 70s. This time due to the band’s newest release “Earth Blues” Grande Rock caught up with the keyboardist Per Wiberg and had a very interesting chat… Check it out below…

Hey Per… How’s it going? The first leg of the tour is over. What has the fans’ response to the new album been so far?
P: Hello there, all good here and so far so good I’d say. It was really cool to go out on a little tour again with Beggars and we’ve had lots of positive feedback on the new album.
What did you want to attain with “Earth Blues”? What did you have in mind when you started composing songs?
P: First of all we decided to record it in a different way than the previous album “Return to Zero”. The basic tracks for “Earth Blues” was recorded live together in a room and without a click-track. That way of recording gives the album a completely different feel compared to “Rt”Z which was done instrument by instrument, first drums and then bass etc. It felt fresh to do it like this again and it gave the songs a little bit more of an edge I think. (i.n.: Way to go! That’s why it has that “live” feeling!)
Second album with Apollo. Do you think that he’s been the best match for the band since day one?
P: He’s been doing a great job I think, especially on this tour we just completed. I think it was easier for him to record “Earth Blues” than “RtZ” since we played a couple of gigs together and he learned how the band functions live, musically speaking. I think all of the vocalists in Beggars have done a great job in their own way and now it works fine with Apollo.
Is that a possible end of our planet that we see on the cover artwork? Is this what the title “Earth blues” declares?
P: I guess Mother Earth is singing the blues as we’re not very good at taking care of each other or the planet but let’s stay positive and it doesn’t have to be all negative either I think, maybe more like a warning sign.
Who’s responsible for the production? I believe that you hit right on the spot… it is neither too “retro” nor too “modern”.
P: Thanks! We recorded in a studio we never been in before with an engineer called Roberth Ekholm. He’s a friend of mine and very good at capturing a band live. Then it was mixed by Mike & Staffan Karlsson who mixed our live album from Japan a few years back(bonus disc on “EB” media book & LP version). I’m really happy with how it came out and I think it’s a very organic sounding album, you can tell it’s a band playing together which is the most important thing to me.
Is there gonna be any new video out soon? If yes, for which one of the songs?
P: We made a video for the track “Wise as a Serpent”. We did it on our own and good friend Anders Björler (At The Gates, The Haunted) did the edits for that. At the moment there are no plans for a second video.
I think “Kingmaker” is like a tribute to Deep Purple/Rainbow. What do you think?
P: Sure! Throw in some Sweet and Uriah Heep as well and you got yourself a “Kingmaker”! There’s always loads of influences in each track since we’re fans of 60s/70s rock in general and Beggars are in many ways a tribute to the music we grew up on and all things heavy of that era. (i.n.: Couldn’t have said it better!)
What are those elements that make SB separate themselves from several similar bands of the genre?
P: Age...!? J All of us has played metal/punk from a more extreme perspective before as well, that was definitely a different thing when the band started out and gave Beggars an edge some bands didn’t have that came from another angle so to speak. That wouldn’t be a difference nowadays though as it’s quite common for people in bands to play different styles of music but in the early days of Beggars it was.
How do you see that 70s rock trend that’s become evident in the last years? When SB started in 1992, things were different. Nowadays, everyone must play like in the 70s so as to be someone. Can this all lead to something good eventually?
P: There was a big trend for 70s rock in the late 90s as well so these things comes and goes. As long as people play music they enjoy it’ll be fine and that’s exactly what we do in Beggars. I’d say most music lead to something good and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s 70s rock as long as people are creative and do stuff.
I’ve noted: “…Earth Blues” can be placed, indubitably, among the bands finest works…”. What’s your say?
P: Thank you, it’s really difficult to have a sober perspective on your own work when you’re in the middle of it but to me “EB” is like a combination of “Another Way to Shine” and “On Fire” if that makes any sense! The production values of “AWtS” and the song writing and diversity from “OF”. I think it definitely holds up well in the Beggars catalogue.
Thx for this interview Per. Wish you the best for the future. Send a message to the band’s fans…
P: First of all thanks for all the support through the years! Since we’re gonna tour a little more on this album than on the last couple of releases I hope those interested will get a chance to see us live, keep your eyes and ears open as we got more gigs coming up this fall, cheers!