In the autumn of 2018, we had just finished pushing for the debut album ”Stoneface”. It had been intense months in the start of the year, where the whole band had lived, loved, dreamed and talked about the songs of the debut album. The release party went down in April 2018. And following that it was time for something new, time to move on…
As it happens, I’ve been a closest friend of Tom for over 45 years, and he is one of the greatest guitarists I know. Not only is he an axemaster, he is also a songwriter of rank.
During winter 2018 to spring 2019, the songs kept pouring out of Tom’s head and fingers. All together 11 songs became arranged and ready for recording.Then, one day in April it all fell together like a house of cards. Tom told us he was diagnosed with rectal cancer which had spread to his liver and lungs. And he immediately had to start chemotherapy.
It became urgent to realize the plans for the new songs. 11 songs needed lyrics and vocals, on top of what was recorded so far. I must say that year 2019 was a ”dark-mood year” for me. I felt surrounded by extremism. Extremism that could be found among the world leaders and in worldwide terror attacks. It could also be found in the climate changes and the worldwide disasters we heard of in the news. The feeling I had was: - ”What the f**k is wrong with this world”. Learning about Tom’s cancer didn’t exactly improve my dark thoughts or my mood.
When I started to write lyrics to the first songs it was quite easy. A little bit about love and a little bit about how power corrupts us all… But when my close friend’s cancer came into the picture, new feelings and worries had to be dealt with.
As the summer passed by, Tom didn’t get any better, and the chemotherapy didn’t really do what it was supposed to do…
Since having my best friend seriously ill has occupied my heart and mind most of 2019, the subject of at least mentioning cancer in the lyrics came up… How can you write about something only an affected person can understand? Well, you can always try listening to that person, listen to what he/she feels and says. It’s a process of thoughts constantly changing along the ride, depending on whether results are positive or negative.
I don’t claim to know how to express that specific sorrow, but I love my friend and cannot ignore what has happened to him and his loved ones. The lyrics on our new album ”Bad Luck World” is a mix of thoughts running through my head during 2019 and so far in 2020. Not all lyrics are serious. The old hitman Stoneface (who were in the title song of our first album) makes a comeback. There are also texts about relations. All lyrics are written ”with soul” to match the great music created for this album…
I am pleased with all the lyrics on the ”Bad Luck World” album, because they mirror the thoughts and events, that all of us in Stoneface have experienced during the making of the album.
/Christer Hellström, Stoneface 2020