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In Words: Pride

- Jonas Öhlund - March 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Pride

Jonas Öhlund - March 1st 2011 (by email)

When I came across Pride's self-titled debut due to the initial release via AOR-FM Records I was wondering why I missed them back in the days... Anyway, somehow they are now getting the attention and it shows that good music is timeless. But I also was curious to learn more about Pride. Thanks to guitarist Jonas Öhlund for answering my questions!

Let's talk a bit about the past! Tell us about the beginning of Pride! Did you knew each other? Played together before?

Me and Anders Henriksson (drums) started to play together in 1984 in Grime Crime. This was a band influenced by NWoBHM and Black Sabbath. The music got more and more melodic and in the fall of 1986 Stefan Karlström (keyboard) joined the band. This led to a change of name to Grandeur. Later the band was called Silhoutte and we were in desperate need of a singer. In the autumn of 1987 Dan Kristiansson (vocals) agreed to join us. Dan had sung in Transit and had released a single in 1985. The name Pride was used for the first time at a gig in January 1988.

Right from the start all spare time was spent in rehearsal or partying together. When Johan Agerberg (bass) joined in the summer of 1988 we begun working even harder. Pride was outsiders in the local music scene and one of the few bands that played AOR / melodic rock.

Do you recall which bands inspired you to start Pride? And why the name Pride?

There were different tastes of music in the band but TNT was a very important band. Most parties ended with us screaming our lungs out to 10,000 Lovers. The Scandinavian scene was so strong at that time and we also listened to Pretty Maids, Treat and Electric Boys. Off course our local heroes 220 Volt was a great inspiration.

Pride was chosen because we wanted a name easy to remember.

You played live a lot and in 1989 released the single You're The Only One. How was it received back then?

Actually we didn't play live that much. We spent six days a week in rehearsal, but should have played live more than we did.

The local news papers wrote a lot about the band at that time. It helped having a friend that was journalist at one of the papers! The single nearly only got local recognition. But a review in Metal Forces helped us get some recognition else were.

You also recorded an album, but it wasn't released back then. What happened?

We recorded a single in 1989 with Mats Karlsson, 220 Volt, handling the recording. The label postponed the release date over and over. Eventually they thought that the sound wasn't right and they wanted to add more keyboards. At that time we were really fed up with how they handled things and we didn't care what they did. Suddenly the label ceased to exist and the single was never to be released.

In the early 90's Pride disbanded. Frustration? Other problems?

We had some problems getting along. We were young, immature and perhaps we spent to much time together. After Anders left in 1990 we couldn't find a drummer good enough wanting the job. It was frustrating and life felt a bit empty when it was over. An important part off all our lives were over.

When AOR-FM Records contacted you about the release of Pride, what did you think? It's been ages since the release of the single...

We were off course surprised! I knew that there were some interest in the old songs. Over the years I had been contacted by collectors and I had sent the single and CD-Rs to anyone that wanted them. Bruce at AOR-FM was one off them. But we couldn't believe that anyone would want to release an album.

Only 550 pieces which soon sold out. Have you ever thought that there would be so much interest in the band?

No, not at all. Not many people knew about us outside our hometown in the 80's which makes this even more surprising. I guess this has to do with people wanting to discover 'new' bands from the 80's.

Now YesterRock picked it up and make it available to every AOR fan... It must be a dream come true... But also a bittersweet one, coz it happens so many years after the recordings... What are your feelings now?

I'm really happy. This means that more people can get a chance to discover our music. The limited release by AOR-FM was cool and underground. Since 2008 I have been contacted by so many people wondering, if I had any CDs for sale. It was obvious that there were folks out there that really wanted to get there hands on the album. When YesterRock contacted us it felt right to re-release it especially as we added the bonus tracks.

When the album originally was released the band got together for the first time in nineteen years. We had all matured over the years and we got along great. This was a nice bonus!

AOR-FM choose a different cover, now YesterRock uses the original cover. Why the different cover at the first release? And how does it feel to have the album out the way you planned it about 2 decades ago?

This album is a collection of demos, the released and the unreleased singles and never meant to be released as an album.

The front cover is the same as on the You're The Only One single. The cover on the first release was made by Bruce at AOR-FM and the band thought it was a great one. This new release has a cover that makes most men want to take an extra look. Hopefully this means that we sell some more CDs.

The new edition has 2 bonus tracks, have you had more to choose from?

We have songs for at least one more CD.

Any old songs / recordings waiting to see the light of day?

There are no more old recordings that are good enough for a release.

The band are recording music which hopefully will end up on a CD. We are taking things slow and it will take some time. The songs we are recording were written 1988-90.

What have you done after the band split up? Have you continued making music? If my information is right, Jonas, you are a part of Linehouse...

Some of us have kept on playing. After leaving Anders played in April Sky and then in cover bands. Dan is playing covers in a band called 2-Stroke. I have been recording with Linehouse since 2005. Linehouse released the CD Take One a year ago and we are writing songs for a follow up.

What keeps you busy these days?

Work and family life. Too much time is spent in front of the computer. Every time I get the chance I spend time in my home studio. I'm lucky to have two projects to work on now.

Anything you want to add? Something I should have asked?

Thanks Claudia for the interview!

Well, I have to thank Jonas for enlighten me and everybody else reading this interview about Pride as there is little information available. And I confess, I'm curious to hear new stuff from Pride.

Claudia Ehrhardt


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