Interview With All-Girl Swedish Rock Band Thundermother!

Swedish rock band Thundermother are back with three new members and keeps on fighting for their music with the new single “We Fight For Rock N Roll”, which was just released through Despotz Records and can be purchased on iTunes!

Guitarist and founder, Filippa Nässil, started Thundermother in 2009 and since their inception, the band has released two albums and played hundreds of shows.

The former line-up was formed in 2013, and when the other four members decided to leave Thundermother this Spring, Filippa was determined to keep on rolling, adding singer Guernica Mancini, bass player Sara Pettersson, and drummer Emlee Johansson to the fold.

Guernica Mancini is the soul rock singer from Lund in southern Sweden who previously lived in Los Angeles where she was the singer in the band Souls On 11 together with Jeff Young (Megadeth). 

The bass player, Sara Pettersson from Märsta, Sweden was an obvious choice since she and Filippa already played together in their side project Hifly. Sara is a great musician who previously has played the violin, guitar, contrabass and piano. 

Emlee Johansson is the drummer from Falköping in Sweden who’s also had guitar as her main instrument and she is currently studying at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. She has previously played in bands such as Vision, Frantic Amber and Spitchic. 

“This is a new beginning. We’ll fight for our passion for as long as we can. We fight for rock n roll!”

These girls are full of energy, their momentum is taking them on a fast and furious ride down a road that is destined for international recognition and success!

We’d like to bring to your attention this interview with Thundermother! Thanks to our Scandinavian reporter & photographer Jörgen Rasmusson. The following interview is taken exclusively for Rock Arena. Enjoy it.

– INTERVIEW –

– Hello, Ladies and welcome to Rock Arena! Thundermother is all-girl band, based in Sweden… Have you had any previous projects and what was their style?

♦Sara: We have all been in different bands and projects before and all of us actually have a musical education. I was about 5 years old when I heard a song on the radio, so on my birthday my mom gave me the cassette and I’ve been hooked ever since.

♦Guernica: I have always liked all kinds of music, but I wasn’t hanging out with the rock crowd. So I was listening to soul, RnB, and hip-hop, but I have always listened to rock. I had a punk phase growing up and started to date a rock guy, so it opened all these doors. I moved to L.A and going to music school, my voice just fitted the rock genre just perfect and since I already liked rock music it just went from there.

♦Filippa: It was at a school show, I saw a band performing Rage Against The Machine “Killing In The Name” and I thought it was so cool. Then, I started listening to Ozzy and fell into AC/DC.

♦Emlee: I was watching a Swedish music show and Linkin Park just came out with the song “In The End”, that was the breaking point for me. And I started playing acoustic guitar, my parents asked if I shouldn’t play electric guitar but I thought I couldn’t because I was a girl and didn’t have any female role models. But they gave me an electric guitar on my 14th birthday and then it all started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filippa, you are the band founder, producer and lead guitarist. Tell us a bit about the history of Thundermother… How did you feel when you got signed to Despotz Records?

♦Filippa Nässil: I started the band in Växjö 2009 where I lived and studied music production. I missed playing guitar because I had played a lot when I was in high school and at college, I had to lay down the guitar for 2 years. I listened a lot to AC/DC and wanted to do music with great riffs and a certain groove, and here we are today.

This is the 3rd official line-up. Thundermother has been touring a lot all over the world and in a total of 500-600 shows and I´ve been playing each and every one of them. About Despotz, we had a choice between Despotz and Warner Music. We got with Warner but they weren’t so supportive. We went back and basically begged Despotz to take us in and they did. We have the best support at Despotz and they even take the time to come visit us on the road. It´s like we are a family!

– How did you get your name, Thundermother… Did you ever consider any other names?

♦Filippa Nässil: It only took about four beers and then I had the name. I just sat and just dropped a bunch of names. When I got to the fourth beer Thundermother dropped and it felt good because you can hear what you get.

Thundermother is back with three new members – lead vocalist Guernica Mancini, bassist Sara Pettersson and drummer Emlee Johansson… How would the girls describe themselves? When and how did you all get together?

♦Emlee: I´m a nice, happy and music loving person who loves to play.

♦Sara: Well I´m the same an easy person who loves music and playing the bass.

♦Guernica: I consider myself to be an organized hippie, free spirited and happy. But still, I´m a go getter and get things done. A nice and down to earth person.

♦Filippa: Sara and me played in another project called HiFly, we have known each other for a couple of years also. And we really connected when we played together. Emlee and me we actually met at Sweden Rock Festival 10 years ago, playing in different bands. I got an advice about Emlee when searching for the new line-up and I remembered that she was a great drummer and a really nice person. So this April I called Emlee and asked if she was up for playing with me in Thundermother.

I´m a big fan of Guernicas other band The Royal Ruckus. And we played a show together with HiFly and The Royal Ruckus 2 years ago. That´s when we met in Lund and really connected. The Royal Ruckus went on hiatus this spring and Guernica told me if I wanted a singer for some project she was available. And I was, so it was strange how things connected and turned out.

 

Let’s talk about your brand new single, “We Fight For Rock N’ Roll”… Who writes the music and the lyrics? Do you think the title of this song is symbolic…?

♦Filippa: Me and two guys, Mikael De Bruin and Plec Johansson. We wrote the song together as a project to see what happens when I write with professional songwriters. I found it to be really interesting to write with these professional guys, but from now on we will write our own songs again.

♦Guernica: The song is symbolic, because we have each one of us gone through stuff lately and have now passed it, we have fought it and will continue fighting. So everyone can have it as their anthem, not only us. It was actually written for this line-up and was finished just two days before we went into the studio recording it.

The band currently working on new material; can you tell us more about it? Would you change your sound as a band in the future?

♦Thundermother: It´s a bit of a secret. But some differences are that we only have one guitar now, it´s gonna be more raw and back to were it started. So stay tuned.

Sweden just seems to have such a great rock scene… How is the music business for Thundermother there? What do you think of the Rock ‘N’ Roll scene worldwide nowadays?

♦Thundermother: It´s not that great for the band, we are much bigger outside Sweden. It´s actually a difficult market for rock music in Sweden, people want more pop music here. So it´s difficult for venues that doesn’t take 20 000 people. But with the upcoming album, we are thinking about touring more in Sweden, because we have a lot of fans here. And we are a band fronted by 4 strong women and we think we could be good role models for others… But worldwide it´s really great, rock is a genre that never dies and the songs can be played forever.

Rock & Metal have always been dominated by male musicians… How does it feel for you as a woman to see many all-female rock & metal bands today? Do you feel people look at you differently because you’re women playing rock music?

Guernica: It´s awesome and it makes us happy. I even told Filippa at my audition that, even if I wanted this spot, it was more important to me that Thundermother got the right line-up to continue, then me getting this gig. Because it needs to exist. It´s a hard industry, so of course, we need to support each other.

♦Filippa: Many of my female music friends have felt that they got looked at differently. But I have actually never felt that maybe because we play straight forward rock´n´roll that people get totally blown away. People accept Thundermother as a band and no one has ever said that for a girl band you’re good, never.

♦Guernica: But many female bands are always underdogs until people seen them perform and then people change their minds; You guys are really awesome! When we got to the show in Prague in our pj´s, carrying our own gear (even our lead singer carry the gear, so no lead singer disease in this band) and did the sound-check. There were 10 guys working the set and they looked at us funny, but when we did the sound-check they were blown away. So it changed fast.

Maybe some of your fans are interested what are the Girls doing when they’re not playing? If you were not a musician what else would you want to be?

♦Filippa: Well we live for music. I work 50% for the band and another job the other 50. If not in music, I would love to be a carpenter, do crafts and create things.

♦Guernica: I just gave up my job. But we all have such a strong passion for music that we strive to do this 100%. If not in the music industry, I would be an agent or a politician!

♦Sara: I work as a sound technician, so it´s still in the music industry. If not in the music industry, I would love to be a truck driver.

♦Emlee: I study right now to become a music teacher. If not music, I would love to work in the movie industry.

How would you describe a Thundermother live show? Who would you most like to do a tour with? What has been your most memorable touring experience so far?

♦Thundermother: Explosive, power, high energy, and heavy groove! Touring with The Dead Daisies, they were so great and humble. They hanged out with us and they bought our merch and stuff. It was a great tour, it was our first tour together with this line-up so we really enjoyed it.

– What more can fans expect from the band in a next few months? When can we hear Thundermother live in the UK?

♦Thundermother: All the time, we just love touring and meeting the fans. Wacken´s gonna be awesome, going to Spain and France. Next thing we are doing after the festivals is to record the album. Hopefully soon, at least after recording the new album we are planning to come to the UK on a European tour. We would really love to come back to the UK!

– Thanks for taking the time out to do this interview! Final words…?

♦Thundermother: Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, our webpage, Itunes and come meet us at our shows. We would love to thank our fans for all their love and support! Thank you!

More information at:
https://www.facebook.com/thundermother

Editor: Toni Rock
Reporter & Photographer: Jörgen Rasmusson