RockReunion - The Online Music Magazine - Legacy Review

Interview with Marten Andersson (Lizzy Borden, Legacy)

by: DERRIC MILLER - Metal Express Radio (Norway)

You are the bass player for Lizzy Borden and also the founder of the band Legacy. Can you give us a brief history of your other highlights?

Hey Metal Express!!! I have done everything from playing top 40 to death metal, to acting on TV/Movies, to writing a reference book about the music industry. I like to keep it interesting and try different things. I don’t like to brag so just read the bio on my site if you are interested - Let’s move on!!!

What is your role in Lizzy Borden compared to Legacy? Do you have any writing or producing credits with Lizzy Borden?

Over the years Lizzy Borden has always been Lizzy’s band. He does the writing and co producing. We are in the studio working on the new CD/DVD right now; we have contributed songs and ideas as far as the production. We will see what ends up on the final album. Either way it sounds great, very different than what people are used to when you think of Lizzy Borden!!! We are all very excited about it. I know a lot of musicians will do anything to get their songs on CD’s, even though they are crappy songs and that was never my thing. I consider myself a hard worker, and part of continuing to grow and learn for me is working with all kinds of people, in all areas. I personally don’t care where the original song idea came from. After all, some of the most successful bands and their biggest hits, like Aerosmith, Kiss, Bon Jovi, etc., co-wrote with outside writers.

How was Legacy formed?

Legacy was an outlet for me to boss people around, have them play my songs, the way I want them too be played (Haha I am kidding). No seriously, we took a break from Lizzy Borden and I decided to put together my own project to jam and record with, as an outlet for my songs, the rest is history.

“Legacy” means “Something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor.” Why did you name this band Legacy and what is its significance?

I guess in my own way the Legacy CD is a small tribute album to all the great bands out there that I respect and grew up listening to. I always liked band names that are just short names like Kiss, Motorhead, Ufo, Whitesnake, etc. I had heard there was a band with the same name before my time (?) We did a trademark search and Legacy was not taken, as far as a name for a hard rock band. There are vacuum cleaners, a car, real estate agents and things like that.

Give us a capsule of a live Lizzy Borden show compared to a Legacy show.

I love playing live! No matter if I play in front of 30,000 people or at a packed club of 250 people, it’s all great!! Lizzy Borden has always been about putting on a big, blood and guts, horror show. Legacy is more musician based (as of right now). I am taking baby steps with Legacy; we will see what happens as far as a full scale live show. Right now, I am just glad to be getting this album out in the States and then we’ll see what happens from there. Don’t get me wrong, if the opportunity is there, I would put on a huge show, using smoke, fireworks and all the good stuff. But from a logical stand point, unfortunately, playing a small club tour is not feasible to do all that fun stuff. Either way, if it all ended today, I would have no hard feelings whatsoever. It has been a great journey. In the early days I played a lot of shows not making shit just because I loved it so much. We traveled in a van and played every little hell hole there was to play. We also headlined shows, had tours worldwide, and played and toured with some of the biggest bands out there (Deep Purple, Dio, Motörhead, etc.). As I see it, it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.

Let’s focus on the Legacy CD. The best song with the most attitude on this CD is “Mission of Mercy”. Given the lyrics, “I’m on a witches kill and I’ll heal til the day I die,” exactly how pissed off were you when you penned this song?

Ha-Ha - That’s the alternate personality coming out. You’ve got to let the anger out somehow right?!?! I just do what comes out of my heart and hopefully people can see it that way too. “Mission of Mercy” is actually an old song. I think the riff was one of the first ones I ever wrote in my life. People often ask me about my mind frame, what it meant to me, and where my head was at the time when I wrote a particular song. See that’s the wonderful thing with music, each person interprets them totally different from the next. I have stopped telling people. I just tell them, “Listen, and let your own mind decide what you want it to mean for you!!”

Legacy vocalist Chris Roseberry is an incredible singer. How did he come to join the band, and when you first heard him, was he the vocal embodiment of what you were looking for?

He is very powerful, bluesy, and has a great vocal range. Chris was one of the first singers I was referred to when I put the word out there. I knew he had a great deal of experience in the L.A. music scene which was very positive. I was not looking to deal with some druggie, loser- type guy. Last thing I wanted was to make this CD a drawn out process, and having to audition a ton of players and singers. Chris came in, added the missing parts, and we banged it out in no time.

Tell us a little bit about Jonas Hansson and Stephan Emig.

I know I wanted a kick ass guitar player to put some cool shredding down. Jonas Hansson is an old friend of mine and was a natural choice to call. Jonas is one of the original so-called guitar heroes coming out of Sweden. Silver Mountain was out touring Asia before guys like Yngwie were. He was busy doing soundtracks for movies and “The Jonas Hansson Band,” but he loved it and came in and did a great job. I called up my friend Joy Basu (note: guitar player with Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, etc.). He was teaching at the Los Angeles Music Academy at the time and recommended this young, crazy, German drummer that blew away students and teachers alike. Stephan came down and we ended up jamming to everything from the Scorpions to a mix of jazz and fusion. Stephan is one of those all-around great drummers; this guy can play everything and does it well.

For people who are into intelligent lyrics, there are obvious lines of poetry riddled throughout the CD. One of the best lyrics can be found in “Leave It Alone,” with the stanza “’Cause I’ve seen myself in so many people whose lives are such a long and lonely walk … so I just want to run.” How did you come up with that lyric?

I love the fact that you noticed the lyrics the way you did. Not many people do that. From a musical standpoint that song is one of my favorites to play. That line you are referring to was written by Chris, but I think we can all relate to that statement. I think we have all been there at some point. Everybody definitely has a dark side to them. How many people are not out searching for that one thing and have that facade built up… especially if you live in Los Angeles (laughing).

How does the songwriting process work in Legacy? Do you take the lead on every song or do the other members come to you with riffs, lyrics and ideas?

On this particular album most of the basic ideas are mine. It was my project from the start, but for the next CD I am open to any song ideas, lyrics, production, hell you mention it. I’d rather sell millions of albums and share the fame and money that comes with it, than sit with a big ego, do all my own material in the basement in-between humping pillows, drinking beer and doing shitty numbers as far as CD sales. Hey do you have any song ideas? (smile)

Is the song “My Last Sunrise” influenced by Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” or is subject matter the only thing they have in common? Since this is the second best song on the CD, tell us how this was written?

As you can tell it has a total dark Vampire theme to it, but no, it has nothing to do with Sting. We wrote this song for the movie “Interview with a Vampire” with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Unfortunately David Geffen decided to go with just Geffen Recording Artists for the soundtrack, but it was very cool to be considered, if only for a minute.

There are three instrumentals on the Legacy CD. How did you come up with “2.4.1” and “Astral Sundown?”

Both of these songs are riffs that I played around with during sound checks etc. It’s actually a funny story of how both of them came together. I got the idea of making them into songs one day as I sat around working on bass sounds in the studio. There was a drum beat going on in the background and I started to play the riff. I showed the lick and melody to Jonas and I love how he took it to the next level. There's definitely some top notch technical playing in there. I came up with the name “Astral Sundown” as I looked up in the studio and there was some funky painting hanging on the wall. It looked like an Astral Sundown in Space. I went, “That’s the name for this song!!” I actually bought the painting from the owner and I still have it in my garage somewhere.

What is your main focus today? Lizzy Borden is in the studio right now recording their next release. Where does Legacy fit in?

I don’t sleep more than 4 hours a night. Who needs sleep anyways? HaHa! It’s working out pretty well actually. It’s just a matter of planning. In addition to doing the Lizzy Borden and Legacy bands, I am also working on a new un-named heavy project with Lizzy. It’s a really heavy-type project. We sat around working on songs one day and we both said, “Hey, this is awesome but it doesn’t sound anything like Lizzy Borden!” So we decided to make it totally different and release it under a different name. Most of the music is already recorded but I have no idea as far as when it will actually be finished and out in the stores. I have these 2 other little bands and CD’s I am focusing on right now.

Legacy and Lizzy Borden seem to be about as far apart thematically or conceptually as two bands in the same genre can be. Do you see it this way?

Sure, it’s very different in many ways, but it’s definitely not a problem whatsoever. Like I mentioned earlier, years ago I played with everybody and everything from top 40 crap, to playing hotels and weddings, to getting my aggressions out playing death metal on the weekends. I love old school metal but there is also some elements of newer stuff like Rob Zombie on Legacy as well. I like the idea of bridging the gap. Many people will definitely be very surprised when they hear the new Lizzy Borden CD too, very 70’s. It feels like I cover 30 years worth of music styles with all of these bands and projects combined. I guess I get bored and I like trying new things so it’s all good!!

What’s next?

I will be in Sweden next to promote the Legacy CD. We are finishing up the new Lizzy CD/DVD for an early 2004 release. In between all of this, I am giving private bass lessons to students in the Los Angeles area and I’m also working on a group Bass Seminar. It’s going to be awesome. I will invite some famous Bass Players to come down as guest performers and speakers. Even though I am still learning, I wish I would have had the knowledge I have today when I started out playing. If you are a bass player (beginner or advanced) you don’t want to miss this seminar. I am working on the details as we speak.

Any closing remarks on the industry, Lizzy Borden, Legacy or anything else that is on your mind right now?

Keep doing what you are doing, bro. Love your radio station. I check it out all the time!!! Keep checking my website for news on Legacy, Lizzy Borden, and all the other good stuff. As always, let me know if there is anything else. Take Care!!

Article appeared at: Metal Express Radio Norway

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2001-2003 DERRIC MILLER (Metal Express Radio Norway)

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