Interview with The Poodles (Pontus Egberg)

Once in a while, when in the business of reviewing music, an unexpected surprise will grace your desk. The new release from a band out of Sweden called The Poodles is one such group. Endowed with members from some well-known bands, their debut release Metal Will Stand Tall has taken Sweden by storm … the rest of the world can only be shortly behind as the band just recently announced some European tour dates with Hammerfall and Krokus. Metal Express Radio was fortunate enough to get some of bassist Pontus Egberg’s time to answer a few questions!

MER: The Poodles are something akin to a “Swedish Hard Rock Supergroup” with members coming from such great bands as Talisman, The Ring, Zan Clan, RAW, and Lions Share. How did this group come together? Did the record label initiate this group?

Pontus Egberg: No, it wasn’t initiated by a record company or management, I think the credit actually must go to Jakob. When it became clear that the band was going to participate in the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest, he rounded up the gang that now is The Poodles.

MER: Are “The Poodles” a long-term group or a shorter term “project?” Are all the guys in it for the long haul? Will there be time for other projects (e.g., the remaining albums in Jakob Samuel’s much anticipated The Ring trilogy)?

Pontus: You never know what will happen in the future, but we all would very much like to see this as a long-term group and right now we really don’t have time for any other projects. After the Eurovision, recording Metal Will Stand Tall, and touring all summer, we have been busy writing new material and doing preproduction for the new album and we will enter the studio and start recording right away.

MER: How did the band come up with “The Poodles” as a name? At face value the name could be taken out of context and some might consider the band as not being a serious contender on the name alone. Has the name chosen hurt the band at all, especially with initial impressions by new fans?

Pontus: Well, the name might not seem like the most serious one at first, but I think anyone who hears our music on CD or comes to see us live will realize that this is a no bullshit band. I don’t think the name has hurt our career in any way so far, and I don’t think it will in the future. I hope people see it for what it is; it’s just a name. It’s what’s behind the name that counts.

MER: Congratulations on recently getting a Swedish platinum reward for your debut single “Night Of Passion,” and a gold reward for your second single “Metal Will Stand Tall.” Your debut album, Metal Will Stand Tall, is about to reach gold status, which is also the case for your newest and third single “Song For You.” Is this all a bit overwhelming? Did you guys really think success would come so fast in your homeland?

Pontus: Thank you! No, I don’t think anyone expected this. It’s really amazing and we are extremely happy about all of this, of course.

MER: Some might characterize Metal Will Stand Tall as having some 80’s Hair Metal/Hard Rock influences. Does this surprise you? Why do you think there is still such a strong following after all these years for Melodic 80’s-type Metal with strong hooks and choruses?

Pontus: Well, I’m not surprised. We all grew up on a harsh diet of 80’s Metal and Hard Rock, so it would be more surprising if we didn’t get any influences from that genre. We are not trying to do the 80’s thing all over again, though; we take influences from all over the place and try to mix that into good music. About your other question, why it’s still popular after all these years, you said it yourself, “strong hooks and choruses.”

MER: Was it a goal of the band from the beginning to write this type of music, i.e., melodic and easily accessible?

Pontus: Yes, we all like strong melodies with a hard-hitting, pounding background, so that’s what we try to do.

MER: What is the age group you’re seeing as far as your fan base? Are you seeing more teenagers, more middle-aged folks, more working class, etc.?

Pontus: So far, our fan base seems to be very mixed, everything from young kids to teenagers and on to middle-aged folks come to see our shows. As far as class, I really can’t tell, I think it’s a big mix of all kinds of people, which is great.

MER: There seems to have been a lot of hands in the writing of this album, with several different publishers. How did all that come about with so many contributors? Did writing become a huge task?

Pontus: The first reason for this is the fact that we were extremely pressed for time when doing Metal Will Stand Tall. We basically had one month to record and mix and everything. Also, we were first and foremost interested in making a great CD, with a whole bunch of great songs. We tried not to focus on who wrote the songs as long as they were good songs.

MER: The band did a big Scandinavian tour this summer. How was that received? Were The Poodles headlining?

Pontus: We were basically on tour from May to the end of August and the band was very well-received everywhere. We played mostly outdoor festivals, sometimes headlining, and sometimes second bill. All in all, we had a great time and got to meet a whole bunch of wonderful fans along the way.

MER: Metal Will Stand Tall was released in Japan in September of 2006. How has that market responded to the release and are there any tour plans for Japan?

Pontus: I don’t really have any figures right now, but as far as I understand the response has been very good. We have no plans for touring in Japan right now, but we very much hope to do so in the near future.

MER: Are there any plans for The Poodles to invade the rest of the world, perhaps the States, with additional record labels and tour dates?

Pontus: It has just been made official that Metal Will Stand Tall will be released through AFM Records in Europe in January of 2007 and that we will be touring throughout Europe in January and February. Our record company is also negotiating with other companies around the world for release in other territories.

MER: Are there any plans for a follow-up album and tour?

Pontus: Yes, definitely! As I mentioned earlier, we are already working on a follow-up album and you can be sure a tour is not far behind.

MER: What are the members of The Poodles currently listening to in their CD players?

Pontus Egberg: Audioslave – Revelations and Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium.
Jakob Samuel: Megadeth – Countdown To Extinction and Lisa Nilsson – Hotel Vermont 609
Pontus Norgren: Always ACCEPT
Christian Lundquist: The Boppers Christmas Album.

MER: Any last words for your fans?

Pontus: Check out our website, for all kinds of info and fun stuff. Hope to see each and every one of you on tour soon. Stay Metal!!

MER: Pontus, thanks for taking some time out for Metal Express Radio and your fans!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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