This week we chatted with Simon Forsell, the lead guitarist of Swedish melodic rock band Pressure, about a lot of our favorite topics at Concert Archives like first/favorite concerts, bucket lists, concert plans, and more!
Pressure’s Concert Archives
What’s the first concert you went to?
Simon Forsell: I went to a lot of concerts when I was a kid, so it’s hard for me to remember. One really important concert for me was Eric Clapton; his tone and melodies were just so good! I had been playing guitar for a while, so I understood that it wasn’t just about shredding; you needed to understand the theory behind the music to be able to build awesome melodic solos. Eric Clapton was one of my childhood guitar heroes because of that. I played along with all the old albums and it made me fall in love with the blues. His music opened a lot of doors to me as an aspiring guitarist.
What’s the first show you ever played? First show with Pressure?
SF: I played a lot of shows when I was a kid so its hard to say, one show I remember vividly was when I was around 13-14 years old and went to Swedish high school. My current band and I attended a school show with school bands. Everyone was playing soft rock songs and slow ballads, and then we got on stage and played Twisted Sister and Joan Jett! We got the whole crowd going crazy, and that’s when I realized I belonged there, on stage, performing.
Pressures’ first show was actually at our lead singer’s pool party. He had a little party, and we wanted to try out the songs we were working on. It went really well and we rocked the place! It wasn’t a big crowd but the response to the music was genuine. After the show, we continued to write songs and build our current sound and image.
What’s your favorite concert you’ve ever been to? Favorite concert you’ve ever played?
SF: One of my favorite concerts was Metallica’s Load tour. It was a great show with a heavy sound. I loved the performance, and the sound was great! They poured a lot of energy into the show, and I always love when an artist connects with their audience. Hetfield had really good banter, and the show was just rocking!
I’ve played a lot of great concerts, but here’s the story of one of my favorites: I was playing in a cover/party band at the time, and we had just finished Wednesday’s rehearsal. Suddenly the phone rang, and it was an upset person whose wedding was the upcoming Saturday. The band he had booked had cancelled on him three days before the wedding, and he got my number. I just said “Relax, we got your back!” The wedding was in the northern part of Sweden (a really long way from us) but we couldn’t leave him without a band, so we packed in all our stuff and went on a long roadtrip and got there just in time!
We usually play mostly heavy rock covers, but since it was a fancy wedding, we thought “eh, we need softer music.” So for the first set, we played all the soft songs that we knew. When we were chilling after the first set, we looked at each other and said “What are we going to play now?” Then ,the bride came to us and asked us “Do you know any rock songs?” and we told here, yeah it could be arranged! So we went back up on stage and started the set of with Billy Idols’ “Rebel Yell” and the audience went nuts. The guys threw away their jackets and we were rocking out all night! It was a really cool experience!
Pressure’s Recent and Upcoming Shows
Have you done any live streams yet during quarantine, or plan to?
SF: We’ve done a couple of live streams, both acoustic and electric. We usually do a live stream when we release something, and it’s always fun. Recently, we’ve been trying out new variations of songs, which is really fun to do! We’re also planning to live stream when we release our next single, “What You See (Is What You Get),” out February 19, 2021. It will be a blast. We’ll be playing the single and some unreleased material as well.
How have you been passing the time at home?
SF: Mostly practicing and writing new songs. There’s a lot of things going on with the band, and we’re trying to be more active on social media and network a lot now so we have a bigger network when we can get back out on the road. It’s really frustrating not being able to play shows, but it’s also been a learning experience. I write most of my songs from stories and experiences, so there’s been a lot of material coming to me in these trying times.
How has COVID impacted you as an artist?
SF: A lot of course. We cannot play live, and there is limited time to work in the studio. We’ve been using the time to build our songs and sound and really worked through our lyrics and all. We have been working really hard to keep the energy and connection to the music, and we’re very proud of the result! Now we only hope that the world can return to normal or somewhat normal. You never know how the scene will look when we can start going to live shows again. But I know there is a lot of people just dying to go to shows, myself included!
Favorite song to play live?
SF: We love to play all our songs live! But I love the songs with the longest guitar solos haha 😂. Well, nah – our music is called Story Metal, and its really fun to play each and every song. The meaning of the music is to play it and at the same time tell a story to the audience that comes from a true experience. So the simple answer is that my favorite is any song that we feel connects with the audience at that time.
Favorite venue to play?
SF: Every one! All of them! Of course we love the big venues and stadiums, but we also love the small scene at the clubs. When you’re playing a smaller venue, the connection with the audience feels much stronger. I love making eye contact with someone in a crowd and to really play for him or her! My music is my mirror and I need to show it, so wherever and to how many people doesn’t matter.
Bucket List/Fun questions
If you could tour with any band, who would you love to tour with?
SF: Ah, there’s so many talented musicians out there that I would love to tour with! One Swedish band that I really admire is Sabaton. The way they deliver a historical glimpse through their fantastic sound and voice is perfect! I would love to share a tour with them. I also would love to tour with some of my old heroes like Queen or Aerosmith. Joe Perry is such an amazing guitarist and Brian May has such an amazing tone!
Any festivals/venues on your bucket list to play?
SF: Yeah! Give me Madison Square Garden and I´ll show you some guitar tricks that have never been played before!
Favorite snack/meal when on the road?
SF: I am not sure I have any! Haha. But our lead singer is always drinking coffee with butter in it. Sounds horrible, but it’s his way of keeping his voice strong!!!
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