Interview with keyboard player Fredrik Bergh, Street Talk (August 26th 2006)

Hi, first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album “V”. The album has been out some time now, how has it been received by the fans?
Fredrik -
Thank you! The album has been very well received from melodic rock fans. Lots of people say that this is the best Street Talk album ever and I agree! I’m very pleased with this one!  

The album has received good reviews in the media, did that surprise you and how does it make you feel?
Fredrik - No, it did not surprise me as I feel that the album is very strong! The songs, production, performances…I think we did a good job on all different parts this time around! Of course it made me feel good!

Fans and the media label you melodic rock, do you feel that label is fitting or how would you describe your music to an outsider?
Fredrik -
I agree that Street Talk is all about melodic rock! But I would not like to be looked upon as a nostalgia act that is stuck in the 80s…I only try to write good quality songs and don’t care too much what people call it!

If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Fredrik -
Difficult to answer….I think our music contains lot of different emotions…So I’m afraid I can not say just one emotion…

To new fans could you please fill us in on the story behind Street Talk?
Fredrik -
Street Talk was formed in late 1994. The band was formed out of the ashes of the hard rock band SHAPE that I had formed in 1990. The music style was a mixture of seventies influenced hard rock (Deep Purple, Free, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy.) and AOR/Melodic hard rock.
At the end of 1994 I decided to start
Street Talk and I took my old band mates from SHAPE - Jon Persson on Drums and Guitarist Tomas Olsson with me.
In late 1995 I and
Street Talk got together with guitar player Andreas Lidberg who joined the band and me and Andreas worked very close together as a team.
In February 1996
Street Talk recorded their second demo tape and at this time I, who up to this date had handled the lead vocals in Street Talk felt that I wanted to concentrate on songwriting/keyboardplaying and producing only!
So with this album recording in mind
Street Talk got in contact with my old friend vocalist Kristian Andren (Memento Mori, Tad Morose, Fifth Reason) and asked him to participate as one of the singers on the forthcoming Street Talk debut album and Kristian accepted the offer directly as he was deeply impressed with the demo material he heard.
The further plans were to have a couple of other vocalists to do the lead vocals on the album, and during the summer of 1996 I got in touch with legendary Swedish vocalist Göran Edman (Madison, John Norum, Yngwie Malmsteen, Glory, Brazen Abbot and Kharma). As the third and last vocalist for the album local vocalist Daniel Johnsson was picked. When the final recording sessions for the album started in January 1997 several other guest musicians was brought in to participate. Like Bass player Micael Berner and Drummer Christian Johansson who did a great job during the sessions of Collaboration.
The Collaboration album was released in October 1997 in Europe by German label USG Records/East West and the album came out in November 1997 in Japan through AVEX/Bareknuckle. The album received rave reviews from media all around the world and showed up in top ten lists in many of the important rock magazines all over the world like Burrn!, Hard roxx, Heavy oder was and Rock report!
In 1998 Drummer Jon Persson decided to leave
Street Talk and Guitarist Tomas Olsson who haven’t been so much involved in Street Talk during the last years also moved away. At this moment in time I was in discussions with guitarist Andreas Lidberg asking him whether or not he was willing to go on to do a second Street Talk album - but Lidberg felt like he didn’t have the time and energy that it takes to get involved in another time consuming process that it is to create an album.
So I spent the entire year of 1998 writing and demoing new songs with a second
Street Talk album in mind - and in early 1999 when I had written almost the entire new album I started to think about musicians that could be suitable for the Street Talk music.
And the first musician that I thought about was guitarist Sven Larsson. So I asked him to get together with me in 1999. I felt immediately that Sven was everything I dreamed of in a guitar player and absolutely the right man for
Street Talk.
Also, in early 1999 shortly after the time when Sven and I had got together I gave vocalist Göran Edman (who at the time was in the studio recording with his other band KHARMA) a call asking him if he would be interested in being part of this new beginning for
Street Talk and if he would be interested in singing on every song on the new album - and Göran accepted the offer to participate on the entire new forthcoming second Street Talk album.
So in January 2000 - after almost two years of preparations and pre-productions for the album the studio recordings started for the second Street Talk album with me, Edman, Larsson, Berner and Johansson. The album was recorded during January/February 2000 at the Soundcreation Studios, Sweden with me producing. Since then Street Talk recorded the following albums : Restoration (2002), Destination (2004) and V (2005).

The album cover quite simple – who came up with the idea? And how important do you feel a good album cover is these days?
Fredrik -
I really like the new cover. It was created by Carl Andre Backston who also did covers for bands like TNT in the past. A cover is very important I guess. Something to create an interest at the first look in the record store

The sound on the album is very good, where did you record it and who has produced and mixed it?
Fredrik -
Thanks! The album was produced by myself and recorded in four different studios. The album was mixed by Per Ryberg with assistance from me at the studio Sound Creation which is a top notch studio here in Sweden.

Do you have any touring plans for 2006?
Fredrik -
I wish. But no plans as we speak…  

Let’s speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
Fredrik -

The internet is a very important source for many music fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands, and what’s your opinion of Napster, file-sharing and so on?
Fredrik -
I think the internet is both a good thing and also a bad thing because people tend to download the music instead of buying the CD’s…But it’s also an incredible thing because of all the information you can get on almost everything!  

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?
Fredrik -
My parents because they are responsible for my existence…It’s hard to find a bigger influence in my life than that :-)

If you want to kick back at home and relax, do you put on music, turn on the TV, read a book or…?
Fredrik -
I probably watch a good movie!

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?
Fredrik -
Thanks yourself for your interest and for your support! I also want to send a big hello from myself and Street Talk to the fans out there as well! Without you all we wouldn’t do this!!! Thanks!

Interviewed by Kenn Jensen

Street Talk - V

Album available on MTM Music.