Some musical combinations just happen, and when they happen there are sparks and fireworks! This is such an occasion!
Neil Merryweather has a long career as a singer, bass player, composer and producer including playing and recording with Mama Lion, Heavy Cruiser, Eyes, Lita Ford, Steve Miller, Randy California, Hundred Watt Head and of course the under his own name, such as the classic “Kryptonite” and “Space Rangers” albums. Janne has released numerous albums with bands like Overdrive, Grand Design, Constancia, Locomotive Breath, BALLS and Mountain of Power. Between them they appear on well over a hundred albums.
Neil: - Janne originally reached out to me to get my ok on his Mountain of Power “Volume Three”, covering two of my songs from my "Kryptonite" album. I asked if I could contribute a few vocals to the album, and that's how it all started. We just continued our new friendship and musical relationship into the Merryweather Stark "Carved In Rock" album. It all came together very quickly, one song after another. It's been a fun endeavor and it's been so great working with Janne and I believe it will go on as long as the two of us can still rock!!! It's also great when you find a record company that gets what you did and believes in it, a perfect combination from start to finish!
Janne: - The writing process has been so effortless and so much fun. Some songs I’ve had the basic musical idea for, sent it to Neil, he got back with vocal ideas and lyrics, maybe switched things around so that the bridge became a chorus and the solo section became a verse. Some songs Neil came up with and I added some additional ideas. We also did a re-recording of one of Neil’s old tracks: “Always Be You”, which he still sings in the same key it was originally recorded in 1974, says Janne. The track was featured as a bonus track for the vinyl version of “Carved In Rock”.
When it came to the mixing of the album, it didn’t take long to realize the most perfect person to mix it was Martin J Andersen, who also mixed the Mountain of Power album, plus he’s a great singer and guitarist (Blindstone, Meridian) who understands the genre. Janne and Neil were aiming for a classic, dynamic, seventies oriented sound without sounding dated. All real acoustic drums, bass, guitars and tube amps, like it’s supposed to be! Drums on the album were handled by Peter “TrumPeter” Svensson, whom Janne has been working with since the 80s in various bands like Locomotive Breath, Constancia and Mountain of Power.
In 2019 Neil and Janne started working on a new album. This time they started out like the first album, sending files back and forth, but when it was time to finish up the album end of November/beginning of December of 2019, Janne flew over to Las Vegas. There, he and Neil finished up writing the songs and brought in BONG drummer Michael Maysonet to record the drums in Neil's studio. Janne went back to Sweden and finished up the guitars and bass, while Neil recorded the vocals in his studio. This time Janne mixed and mastered the album. GMR Music was again interested in releasing the band, and the release was set for November 27, 2020. The title: "Rock Solid". The album is released on CD and a limited vinyl run of 300 copies.
On March 28, 2021 Neil Merryweather sadly passed away.
"I'm humbled to have had the privilege to work with such a beautiful man, such a creative and professional musician and such a kind and fantastic person. He will be forever missed." - Janne Stark
Neil Merryweather: Vocals, bass
Janne Stark: Guitars, bass
Drums on "Carved In Rock" by Peter “TrumPeter” Svensson
Drums on "Rock Solid" by Michael Maysonet