An Interview With ‘Petter Hjerpe’ of ‘Morning Dwell’


Petter Hjerpe 2014Morning Dwell – is the new power metal machine from Sweden. Classic power metal in the vein of Helloween – Keeper Of The Seven Keys Era, Rhapsody, Blind Guardian and ReinXeed. Morning Dwell started as a one man band / project by Petter Hjerpe. But nowadays it is a full band with behind the drum-kit Golden ResurrectionReinXeed drummer Alfred Fridhagen. Below you can read an interview with founder and vocalist Petter. He speaks about the early years, his greatest fear, and of course the debut album which will be released next week (April 2nd), and much more:

TMR: Hello Petter this is ‘The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Sweden ?

Hi! Right now things are going great! The spring is getting near and the sun is showing it self for the first time in several months! There’s been a too long and dark winter up here so…The spring combined with our album release feels great!

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]

Petter Hjerpe-Vocals
Michel Barréra-Guitars
Ulf Zetterman-Guitars
Martin Erneström-Bass
Samuel Olsson-Keyboard
Alfred Fridhagen-Drums

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Morning Dwell’

It started as an one-man-band project by me. I started to record and write music as a teenager and then, after years passed by, I decided to re-record some old songs and write some new and make a 10 years-anniversary demo. Later I contacted some friends to make Morning Dwell become a living thing. A band. Not just a recording project.

Morning Dwell (large)TMR: What is your musical background ?

I learned to play guitars, drums, keyboards and bass by myself. But with some help learning the guitars by my father. Vocals is actually the “instrument” I developed latest. When I was a teenager I couldn’t sing at all. I learned to sing because I wanted vocals on my recordings and there were no one else I knew who could sing. So after a couple years recording music it sounded ok.

TMR: Why the name ‘Morning Dwell’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

At first, back in 2003, I decided my power metal-project to be called Wishing Well. But I remember I thought it sounded a little bit to “cheesy”. To much “demo”. But then I tried to change the first word in Wishing Well and it became Morning Well. But I was not happy with that either so then I changed “Well” to “Dwell”. The meaning with Morning Dwell fits the musik. Look forward and don’t think of bad things in the past. Something good Dwells in the next morning.

TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Morning Dwell’ ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

I (Petter) write almost everything. But the other guys in the band are free to do, for example, guitar solos or drum fills. They are also free to write songs. But since the music already was written before I had a band I am the writer this time. I also have a friend who wrote music with me for a long time. The song ‘Predator’ is a song he wrote 80 procent off. But now he don’ t have time to be in our band because the band takes to much time now when he have a family and a wife…and a dog.

TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Morning Dwell’ the best ?

It’s inspired of GOOD power metal that I listened to in the late 90’s and early 00’s. I say GOOD because there were so much awful power metal back then. It’s very straight forward metal. Every part is there for a reason. The feeling is very uplifting, very theatrical and full of energy. You could say we play metal with energy before skills!

TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?

“Always look on the bright side of life”, if you want to get somewhere in life-go somewhere. But don’t live your life in a hurry and try to capture the moment!

TMR: What can you tell us about your upcoming self-titled debut album [the recording proces, the songs, who did the artwork etc ?]

We recorded the album in Production House, Örebro Sweden, (which is Doolittle Group’s studio) with help from Frippe Eliasson and Tommy Johansson (Reinxeed). Frippe helped me alot with the vocals. Since I don’t know anything about songtechnics Frippe guided me through the vocals and gave me advice how to use my voice better. We recorded the most of the music in the summer of 2013 and some additional details and vocals in the autumn same year. CJ Grimmark (Narnia) mixed the album and Micke Lind mastered it.

The artwork is made by the famus Andreas Marshall. I contacted him becouse I thought he always made the best metal artworks. I wanted parts of each song visible on the artwork and gave him some thoughts I had for the artwork. He didn’t just create a beautiful artwork he gave us a mascot. “The gatekeeper”. The man in the middle of the artwork. We will use that character more in the future!

MorningDwell_cover_0TMR: The album will be released on April 2nd. Via ‘Doolittle Group AB’ how did you get signed by them ?

At first, when I recorded the demo, I only ment it to be given to friends and family. But then I spoke to a friend, Chris (back then bassplayer in Reinxeed), who told us which label Reinxeed had. I thought “why not give it a try !” So I sent the demo to Doolittle in march 2013. 2-3 days later Doolittle called me and offered a deal… And here we are!

TMR: Is there already a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Morning Dwell’ ?

Off course when Doolittle called me up and told us they were interested in our music.

TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]

It was actually not a big “worst thing” but we had a problem finding a drummer when we got contracted. But then Doolittle gave us a tip to ask Reinxeed and Golden Resurrection’s drummer Alfred Fridhagen for a studio job. Later he bacame a member in Morning Dwell.

TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all times ?

Helloween- Keeper of the seven keys part 2 (and 1)
Judas Priest-Painkiller
Dimmu Borgir-euphoric puritanical misanthropia
Stratovarius-visions of europe
Gamma Ray-blast from the past

TMR: What makes you laugh?

Many things. I laugh very often. Monty Python is great! But nothing could beat laughing with friends.

TMR: What is your biggest fear ?

To be blind, deaf or paralyzed.

TMR: How is it that so many good musicians are coming from Scandinavian countries [what is the secret ?]

I think there are a couple of factures involved:
*Freedom: Play what you want and no one will judge you.
*Good economic support: You can easy get help from different organizations that are specialized in helping people with just develop music. They find you rehearsing rooms and set up gigs etc.
*Taste of quality: in Sweden we have quite alot of musicians compared to the population. There are a kind of competition who is the best musician or songwriter. And people are quite critical.
*It’s winter, dark and cold at least 6 month a year. There is nothing else to do then to play music or play sports….or drink beer.
*But the most important thing, I think, is the nature and landscapes of Sweden. Especially in the small towns where I am from. You are raised in a nordic land with rivers and big forests. There are old tales, legends and myths that have roots from vikings that you learn as a child. Trolls, wolf, mysteries and deep dark forests.

TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?

I have alot of interests.
I paint alot. Fishing, Sports and training. Be with friends.
I have played icehockey my entire life until now. This year the music took over.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

Since we haven’t released our album yet we haven’t made any shows. But until know we use facebook a lot. Youtube will also be a great promotion source with musicvideos and mabye some other clips. Our label will help us promote the most since they have more contacts then we have. But the best thing to promote our band, is to make many shows and show people who we are!

TMR: How do you prepare for a show?

As I said above, we haven’t made any shows yet with Morning Dwell, but I have made many shows before in other bands. In the other bands I prepered myself by checking my instrument so there’s nothing wrong with it. I Check the set-list with the band and discuss it. I’m selldom nervous before a show so I don’t have any special ritual before I enter a stage actually. But the main key of not beeing nervous is to be well rehearsed!

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days?

For a couple of years I were on many festivals and gigs. But now a days I don’t go to gigs very often. Mabye it’s because I enjoy more to stand on the stage then standing in the audience.

I listen to other bands alot. I like to hear new stuff and new bands. But to get inspired to write music I need to go back in time and listen to classic bands like Helloween. But not to often! You need to be in the right mood! I listen to all kinds of musik. But right now I am listening alot to Dragonforce and “old” Edguy albums..But next week it could be something completely else.

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?

I enjoyed to play with a great cover band called Wolfland Band because everyone in that band are very kind and funny. We have made many many gigs on partys all around. But The chemistry in Morning Dwell is something special and is something i really am looking forward to!

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?

There are many dumb questions i’ve been asked but….hm…? One really dumb question I get from older people who don’t have a clue what metal is is “Why do you play so fast?” Or a question I get when I tell someone that I play metal: “So you play music where you scream all the time and you just hit the drums random?”

TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?

Since one of the guitarists in the band have a family and a second one soon will become a father and get his own family spontanious shows will be an obstacle. Almost everyone work full time so a gig must be planed and booked at least 1-2 weeks before we play.

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

You need to know what you want. A goal. Listen to what people have to say, but listen to people who knows what they talk about. BUT DON’T LISTEN too much. You have to believe in your idea from the beginning.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future ? [European tour maybe ?]

We have a couple of shows in Sweden planned. But a goal is to spread our music so a European Tour is possible. Before we decide of a tour we need to find out how interested people are in our music. We also need to sacrifice a littlebit of our time to show us to people. So it’s a kind of thin line there. To play on different festivals around the world is also a goal! So we hope to see you on the road!

TMR: Petter thanks for your time and the interview. We wish ‘Morning Dwell’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?]

It was a pleasure!

-Don’t forget to visit the child inside your mind sometimes. It’s within that child you find joy, fantasy, creativity and curiosity.

Band members:
Petter Hjerpe-Vocals
Michel Barréra-Guitars
Ulf Zetterman-Guitars
Martin Erneström-Bass
Samuel Olsson-Keyboards
Alfred Fridhagen-Drums

Weblinks: Facebook / Website

Video below ‘Unlock All The Doors’

Video below “Morning Dwell” album teaser

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