Gravitonas the new BWO?
Gravitonas is a brand new Stockholm-based music project, fronted by lead vocalist Andreas Öhrn and celebrated record producers and songwriters Alexander Bard and Henrik Wikström. Gravitonas was formed in the autumn of 2009 and immediately signed by Maria Molin-Ljunggren to her Universal Music-associated company Lionheart Music, where the band is the first act to be launched on the brand new pop/rock label Sofo Records with the release of the Gravitonas debut single and video “Kites” on April 28, 2010.
“Kites” will be released globally as a digital download and streaming maxi-single in no less than 15 different versions with a total playing time of over 77 minutes, a new Guinness Book of World Records for a single release! Featured remixers on the “Kites” release include Dada Life, SoundFactory, Adam Rickfors, Holter/Erixson, Ambience, Freakchild, and Håkan Lidbo among others. A second single or EP is planned for an August release to be followed by a Gravitonas debut album in September 2010.
Andreas Öhrn rose to fame as the founder and front figure of Swedish Amateurs, Sweden’s leading underground punk rock band. Feeling the urge to cross over to the mainstream rock scene, Öhrn decided to skip the traditional rock’n’roll production clichés and instead opted to work with electronica producers Bard and Wikström to create a more innovative hybrid sound. A first demo tape from the new project Gravitonas began circulating in August 2009, a bidding war quickly ensued, and the band chose to sign with Molin-Ljunggren’s Lionheart Music, introducing their own SoFo Records label in the process. Öhrn has since also established himself as an internationally successful songwriter, scoring his first Japanese #1 hit single in October 2009 as a songwriter for Japanese boy band Hey! Say! JUMP. Öhrn’s co-producer Ben Smith is also involved with Gravitonas as the main guitar player of the project.
Attempting to avoid the cliché image of a fixed-member rock band churning out records, promoting and touring in a loop, Gravitonas is working towards a more original band model better suited for the web-, mobile- and streaming-dominated environment of the music industry beyond 2010. With this circus-like model, Gravitonas has artistically more in common with say Daft Punk or Gorillaz than with otherwise similarly sounding bands like Coldplay or Muse. Gravitonas will consequently be launched with a variety of soundbytes, pictures and short video clips online throughout 2010 and 2011, for example on the gravitonas.net website, concentrating on a bizarre audiovisual interplay between internet-savvy front figure Öhrn and producer/director Bard, inspired by the likes of Sparks and The KLF. More musicians and actors will gradually be introduced in Gravitonas.
Although this is the first time the two work together, Alexander Bard and Henrik Wikström are both legendary record producers in Sweden. Bard first rose to fame in the early 1990s as one of the founders of the Swedish electro-pop scene (the other two being producers Denniz Pop and Max Martin). In 1992, with his own band Army Of Lovers (over 7 million records sold) as its only signing, he partnered with legendary entrepreneur and producer Ola Håkansson to launch the classic record label Stockholm Records. Stockholm Records expanded rapidly, breaking major international stars like The Cardigans, A-Teens and Stakka Bo, and by the time the company was sold to Universal Music in 1998 it had already become Scandinavia’s biggest independent record company.
Bard has since proceeded with an internationally successful career as an innovative writer and lecturer (his first book, co-written with Jan Söderqvist and released in 2000, has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide and been translated to 17 languages) but always maintained his career as a prolific and visionary producer and songwriter with acts such as Vacuum, Alcazar and BWO under his belt. His last incarnation BWO was voted Sweden’s most popular rock and pop band in both 2006 and 2007 and went on to top the charts in over 20 countries on 4 continents.
Henrik Wikström, originally schooled as a Rachmaninov pianist, has been the leading in-house producer at Lionheart Music during the past decade. Mixing his broad knowledge of classical music with rock history and the latest electronics, he made his first international album production in 2009 for Greek superstar Michalis Hatzigiannis, signed to Universal Music Germany. Wikström is now engaged full-time as the head of all musical production for the Gravitonas project and is its main musical coordinator both for the planned record releases and upcoming live productions.
You can read more about them here.
Makes me wonder though, what will happen to the rest of BWO? Martin Rolinski is now ready to start a solo career, but of Marina Schiptjenko? Maybe she will go back to her art gallery in Stockholm.
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