Interview with vocalist Andre Linman of Finland’s One Desire, new album now out

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One Desire (Photo Submitted)

Founded in 2012 by drummer Ossi Sivula as OD, writing songs and putting together demos with several musicians, their goal to create music that would “change the world”. Meeting and hiring guitarist Jimmy Westerlund, having experience as a producer and song writer, they grabbed the attention of owner and head of A&R Serafino Perugino at Frontiers Music srl. Still missing a very important component a great singer, Westerlund suggested longtime friend Andre Linman of Strum und Drang. After a few sessions and writing new songs together, their sound was what they were looking for as One Desire was born.

One Desire, based in Finland, released their self-titled debut album March 24th via Frontiers Music srl, with the release of their first song Hurt. It grabbed my attention along with music lovers all over the globe, reaching a quarter of a million views on YouTube.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with vocalist and song writer Andre Linman, discussing his start as an artist, the upcoming tour, a little insight on the four songs released and Andre’s reaction to the compliment from their record label Frontiers Music srl. 

 Hello Andre, it’s very nice to meet you. How are you?

Andre: I am really well, thank you. I’ve got a pretty bad cold and I’m talking like Bryan Adams.

One Desire released their self-titled debut album via Frontiers Music srl on March 24th. Introduce yourself to the readers?

It’s a melodic hard rock band that’s what we’re trying to do is sort of combine a very solid rock metal like foundation with some really catchy commercial like songs. We’re trying to combine those two things. Really hard to explain, you have to hear it for yourselves.

You’re a self-taught guitarist and vocalist, that’s quite the undertaking. What influenced you to learn both?

Actually, when I started I didn’t want to be a singer at all. I had decided that no way man, I want to be like my heroes like Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, for example. I’m not going to sing but somehow, I guess it was — yes that’s a pretty good question because all of my heroes, idols, they’re either singers or guitarists so I just kind of started doing it and it wasn’t as hard as I had thought.

Did you eventually have vocal lessons or was this completely on your own?

Yes, I did it on my own and I can say that if I would have taken lessons it would have been quicker, definitely. I mean it took me years and years of trial and error to sort of figure out how my own voice works and what my limits are. So no, I didn’t have any lessons but yes, it would have been quicker.

Thirteen years correct?

Yeah.

It really isn’t that long.

Depends on what you’re comparing with.

That’s true. One Desire released four videos prior to the album release. Was this a band decision or the label?

I would say, it was pretty much the label decision as I’ve understood that, this is a label that kind of likes to work that way and they have their reasons and that we perfectly understood that and so we were fine with it. I mean, because the four songs, they released that many because of the internet. It goes so fast, on the radio you do one song per half a year but on the internet people get bored. It’s a lot faster so we only released one song to the radio so we’re kind of doing internet and radio separately.

There are ten great songs on this album. What was the process of choosing ‘Hurt’ as the first video to be released?

Great songs, first of all thank you for that.

Oh, you’re welcome.

That was A pretty easy decision actually because that song is not really like a classical single type of song. I mean it’s a little bit weird and different and I guess that’s why we sort of chose it because it’s like an anti-single type of song. Also, because we felt that, it was maybe the one song that represented the band’s sound in the best way.

It caught a lot of attention from music lovers, love it!

Oh thanks.

‘Whenever I’m Dreaming’. You wrote the music, the lyrics with guitarist Jimmy Westerlund, my impression of this song it’s about regret of a past relationship. Care to elaborate?

Well, yes, you pretty much nailed it there. This is quite a personal song for me. I mean it’s specifically about last, oh not the last, but a past relationship. It’s quite a true story. Yes, I mean, I guess it’s about what you could have done, should have done.

The third song released was ‘Apologize’, I understand it caused a little bit of controversy, due to it being in a church setting. Tell us about this song and what you experience due to the location of the video?

Well, the song, I got to be completely honest with you. The lyrics to most of our other songs are sort of meaningful but this is like an old-fashioned rock and roll song. We just chose the coolest sounding words and put them together. It doesn’t really mean anything.

That’s the only song that we’ve done like that. Yes, like old fashioned rock and roll from the 80’s where it didn’t have to mean that much but yes and the church video, we chose it because the church is situated in our guitarist’s hometown or home village. He got married there and I was a guest and we just felt it was a great looking location. Our guitarist also had this personal relationship with this place. So, we got permission to shoot the video but unfortunately due to a technicality we had asked the wrong priest. The guy who gave us permission was actually from another church so those guys in that church, they didn’t really like it that much. It’s been all over the news here in Finland and they didn’t really like the lyrics which is funny because like I’ve mentioned, they don’t mean anything. I can understand that but what’s done is done.

They say when you cause controversy, you’ve made it in this business. Whether it’s good or bad, you have people talking. I’m sure they’ve looked up the video.

Yes, pretty cool.

The last song released was the power ballad ‘This is Where the Heart Break Begins’, probably my favorite song on the album. When I reposted this song on Facebook, my comment was: When Music evokes an emotion it’s powerful, parts of the lyrics does that for me. This is another song you wrote the music and lyrics. What was the inspiration behind this song?

Yes, this is also a true story. It’s about a — well the guy who sings it, in this case me, having a secret relationship with another woman who is also in a relationship and I’m also in a relationship. So, it’s kind of yeah, two couples and the woman and the man from those couples are having a secret affair sort of the heartaches that comes from that — you pretty much just want to be with each other but none of you want to leave the other relationship either. So, it’s like a foursome drama thing.

Part of the lyrics triggered an emotion in me, I love the song.

Super.

Erik Martensson of Eclipse and Nordic Union has several rolls on this album production, writing the music and lyrics for ‘Apologize’, even some backup vocals. What is it Martensson brought to be a such an influence on the album?

Actually, I’ve worked with Erik for over 10 years. We’ve done a lot of songs for my previous band, for example, and he had a similar role back then as well and I don’t know why I’ve worked with him for so long that it just — we didn’t even discuss whether or not we should bring him on board. I mean, it’s not even a question. It feels so natural that it would have feel unnatural if he weren’t with us.

Like family.

Yes, and as a co-writer he’s a big influence of mine and it’s just great to have him along, I mean he does a lot of contributions or he doesn’t do that much but I mean it would feel weird not to have him at all.

Speaking of Eclipse, you will head out on a European tour with them, the middle of this month. Are there any expectations on this tour, or taking it one show at a time?

Yes, I mean right now we’re actually rehearsing our asses off for that tour which is funny because I have this bad flu right in the middle of rehearsal but yes, I guess it’s one show at a time. Mostly we’re just excited to reach out to fans and possibly win some new fans. We are all in the studio, but live, that’s where it all goes down. That’s what you live for.

One of the stops on this tour, will be the Frontiers Rock Festival IV in Milan Italy, that has to be exciting?

Yes, that’s pretty cool. I’ve never been to that festival. Our drummer has been to there several times in the audience. He’s told me all about it and I’m really excited to go over there and play and pretty nervous as well, of course. It’s not just a big festival filled with amazing artists and bands, it’s also all of those record label people. So, it’s like yes, I think it doesn’t get more nervous than that. But luckily, we got some shows on the tour before that. If it would be our first gig, I would have probably died of a heart attack because of –

Nervousness.

Yes!

One Desire’s debut album was released at the same time as Eclipse, Night Ranger and House of Lords, through Frontiers Music srl. Was there a concern? These are already well-known artists and this being your debut album. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe it’s not the right time?

Yes, I mean, at first I think my spontaneous reaction was something like, “What the hell? What are they thinking?” But, it was the record company’s decision and at some point I just thought I think they know what they’re doing because we’re all part of their — we’re all their artists and they want to sell all of our records and I don’t think that they would have done it like that if they would have suspected that for example. One Desire won’t sell as well because of that date so I mean they want to sell records as much as we do so I thought they know what they’re doing. I don’t know why they did it like that but they know what they’re doing.

From what I’ve seen One Desire has held their own, that’s something to be proud of.

Yes, I’ve been really surprised by all of the super positive feedback we’ve gotten. And I think at least here in Finland, it’s selling pretty well, yes. I’m smiling all the time pretty much.

I’m not aware how soon the artists receive the stats, I’m here in Southern California. Do you know how the album has sold here in the States?

Not yet. It’s been a week so I think we’re going to get some figures soon.

Doing my research for this interview I ran across this statement: Frontiers Music srl manager noted that your album is a strong contender for album of the year. That’s quite a compliment. How does one grasp that statement, or has this even been a thought?

I think I remember when I saw that statement, I just — I remember it was in the middle of the night and I just started yelling and woke up the neighbors. Yes, I think that, a thing like that or even the possibility of that is so overwhelming that I can’t really grasp it, doesn’t feel real.

I can understand that.

Yes, it feels like, I can’t really even… just hearing that feels unreal.

It’s quite a compliment coming from your label.

Yes, I mean, and the label, they’re usually the ones that are the toughest. And so yes that’s pretty, pretty amazing.

As I close this interview, you’ve set the bar high on this debut album, I have read rave reviews from all over, so I would like to say Congratulations!

Thank you.

Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

Well, to the fans, I would like to say that hang in there because we’re coming and that’s a promise. We’re going to try to reach out to all of the corners of the globe. That’s what I’m going to try to do or we’re going to do it.

We might see One Desire in the States sometime?

Yes absolutely. I mean, definitely.

I look forward to it. I know you’re busy so I’ll let you go. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you I love the album, I have my copy.

Oh cool. I don’t even have it yet.

I pre-ordered the album, it arrived a couple of days after the release.

Cool.

Thank you again and I hope to see you soon.

Yeah. It was very nice to talk to you and thanks for having me.

You’re welcome. Thank you.

And I’m sorry about my voice, I can barely speak, sound like Michael Bolton here.

That’s alright. Take care of yourself.

It’s that, it’s quite cold here so yeah. Yes, it’s going to be fine but yeah, thanks for having me. It was real nice talking to you, Tammy.

Nice talking with you, as well Andre. Thank you very much. Bye for now.

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