Thursday, 17 January 2008


After bringing you Alexander Bard a few days ago, the Schlager Systems now bring you BWO's resident sexy young thing Martin Rolinski! Melodifestivalen fever certainly seems to be taking hold of the schlager universe but Martin remains calm and condifent that the best song will make it to Belgrade!

SS - Are you excited to be performing in Melodifestivalen this year?

MR - Definitely!!
SS - Can you tell us about 'Lay Your Love on Me'? we can't wait to hear it?
MR -It's an energetic, orgasmic, seductive pop song!

SS - What will your outfits be like? Glittery and fabulous?

MR - A little bit of both but manly outrageous. Our stylist Sally O´sullivan is picking out outfits that definitely are going to stand out.

SS - BWO are widely tipped to win this year, does that put more pressure on you?

photo: Madam Tempest
MR - No, it only makes us even more excited and determined to give the best performance ever. We know that the song's already a winner!

SS - who do you think is your biggest threat in this years' Melodifestivalen?

MR - Difficult to say, I hope its artists with the best songs, after all this is a song contest not a popularity contest.

SS - Why did you as a band decide to compete again? Was it to kick 'wildcard' Carola's ass this time?

MR - Carola isn't even on BWO's radar to be quite honest:)

SS - If BWO wins MF08 what will they bring to Eurovision?

MR -An amazing song, an excellent performance and bundle of flair. But mostly a strong contender for the whole shabang!
SS - Do you have a message for your UK fans?

MR - I loved performing in London in July and hope to soon be performing in the home of pop music soon!

Good luck Martin, you go pull Carola's hair and kick Andreas' ass!

Martin and Kethan
The Schlager Systems

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Sven Garås Speaks to The Schlager Systems Ahead of Friday's MGP Semi!

Sven Garås is a Norwegian singer/songwriter and producer and he is one of the entrants for this Fridays MGP semi finals in Kongsvinger, Norway with the song 'I'm In Love'. He takes time out of rehearsals to talk to the Schlager Systems! (SS - Schlager Systems, SG - Sven Garås)

Hi Sven, thanks for answering some of our questions. How did you become involved in this years MGP?

SG - Universal Records had heard a few of my own songs and asked me if I was interested in performing “I`m in Love”.

SS - Were you happy to sing a song that someone else has written when you are an accoplished writer yourself?

SG - Being used to solely performing my own songs, I see it as an interesting challenge to perform someone else`s material.

SS - Why do you choose to sing in English instead of Norwegian?

SG - My ambition is to work with artists and producers within the international pop genre. I would not exclude the option of singing in Norwegian one day down the road. But right now I choose to write and sing in English to possibly also reach an audience outside of Norway.

SS - Who else in MGP this year do you admire?

SG - I really admire the hard work of the crew and all the people making this amazing event possible. Fully devoted, professional and very supportive to all of us in front of the cameras.

SS - What would it mean to you to represent Norway in Eurovision?

SG - If I had the honor to represent Norway it would make me really proud.

SS - Do you think that the internet is vital for young artists these days?

SG - These days new and exciting business opportunities arise for those who are willing to take a risk. The music industry is in a rapid structural change and new technology gives possibilities of exposure and availability in a way no one could imagine ten years ago. "Being a part of this revolution is so thrilling. I currently work on projects with people from other countries where our communication is based around the Internet. I think the most important ability of our age is to learn fast and move fast. The potential of every project is infinite. Looking at the way the business moves these days, everything is possible. I guess the only challenge is whether or not one is exposed, seen and heard within the vast stream of information and competition.

SS - Are you comfortable in both roles as producer and performer?

SG - I love to make music. I love to create. I love to use the language of music to portray my life. To me it all comes from the same source, and my approach when encountering a project never differs. I have to live the music whether I am laying down tracks with DJs, sitting in my own apartment writing songs, playing the guitar, or making sound design for an art director. I love the versatility in working with music, and I am thankful to wake up every day knowing that I get to work with what I enjoy the most.
SS - Do you have a message for your fans here in the UK?
SG - Like one of my favourite songs from my up-coming album, “Choose to live!”


Thanks and good luck for Friday Sven!

Watch Sven this Friday at

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Euro Build Up 2008!

Well what can we say? We are not going to flood the site with endless reviews of every song from every semi but we will say this: after a weekend of watching several countries semi finals, we can safely say Norway are in the lead as far as production values go, if not songs. Iceland's semi was unbearable with the atmosphere of the 'South bank Show' filmed in a morgue, the songs were appauling! Meanwhile the Danish held their first semi of Melodi Grand Prix 2008, clearly filmed in a portacabin with a dreadful show of songs from them, hope next weeks 8 semi finalist are better. And poor old Malta, on a budget of 50 cents, they have magaged to swamp all their semi finalists today with smoke... someone please call the fire brigade, and we are not ever mentioing Cyprus! The countdown is on for Sweden to once again show the world how it should be done!


picture by Madam Tempest
BWO are in it to win it this year, after being beaten in the finals of Melodifestivalen by the divine intervention that is Carola. Alexander Bard, the musical genius behind Army of Lovers, Alcazar and his most current creation Bodies Without Organs. Martin and Kethan ask the questions... and Alexander fights back the flu to answer them!

SS - Are you excited about performing in MF this year?

AB -Yes!

SS - Can you tell about 'Lay Your Love on Me'?

AB -"Lay Your Love On Me" is a dramatic up-tempo electronic dance-pop track, a bit reminiscent of Alcazar and Madonna at their best. It is probably the most dance-oriented pop single so far from BWO.

SS - Your song was co-written by you and long time co-writer/producerAnders Hansson with Bobby Ljunggren and Henrik Wikström can you tell us how this writing parnership came about?
AB - Bobby called me repeatedly last summer and told me he really wanted to work with BWO towards the Eurovision contest. We finally gave in and co-wrote this one track with him and Henrik which we were really pleased with. However, since there are almost 3,000 songs competing for the 28 regular positions in Melodifestivalen, we never thought the track would make it to the actual contest. I mean, we didn't post 50 songs, we only posted this one BWO song! So it was like posting a needle in a haystack. But apparently "Lay Your Love On Me" went down a storm and was an instant favorite with the jury, and obviously made it to the final 28. The jury really found the needle in the haystack this time!

SS - Bobby and Henrik co-wrote 'Evighet' with Carola and Thomas G:son, do you hope to emulate that winning formula for BWO?

AB -I actually think "Lay Your Love On Me" is a much better song than "Evighet". The track is at least bound to become a bigger and more international hit. That's what really counts.

SS - Can you give any details away of BWO's melodifestivalen performance?

AB -No, not really, It's too early to tell. But let's just say it will be a very extravagant and energetic performance. But I guess that's what people have come to expect from BWO anyway.

SS - Who do you think are BWO's biggest rivals in this years Melodifestivalen?

AB -I hope the artists with the best songs. Possibly attention-seekers like Carola and Charlotte. Even if we personally like Velvet and Patrik Isaksson a lot more.

SS - Not only are you a pop Svengali, you are also a renowned author and lecturer, how do you find time for all the different facets of Alexander Bard?

AB - I have no kids. Kids take lots of time. If you have no kids, you can easily run two careers simultaneously. All three of us in BWO do.
SS - Apart from working with BWO, does Alexander Bard have any other projects for 2008?

AB - A new book and the previous books constantly being released and promoted in new translations. The rest of my time I will devote 100% for BWO.

SS - After reworking an unreleased ABBA song 'Funky Feet' with Alcazar, is 'Lay Your Love on Me' a nod to ABBA or just coincidence?

AB - Just co-incidence. The same way the title of our song co-incidentally reminds people of Thompson Twins' classic pop track "Lay Your Hands On Me". Pop repeats itself, you know. ;-) Jokes aside, "Lay Your Love On Me" is a fantastic pop song in its own right and doesn't sound like any of the other songs mentioned.

SS- Will BWO be playing Europride in Stockholm this year?

AB -Yes, of course,. BWO has written and will perform the theme song for Europride 2008. The track is likely to be the follow-up single to "Lay Your Love On Me" in the summer. Both tracks will be included on the forthcoming BWO compilation album.

SS- Crucified was released in the UK around the time I (Martin) came 'out' and was very important to me, having something to relate to as a young gay man. Your music is still popular with the gay audience, is this important to you?

AB - Yes, of course it is. Gay people are the best and most devoted pop fans. And my career has always been about writing and performing the very best pop songs possible. I love pop music. BWO is all about the love of pure and great pop! And hey, I'm also the gay third of BWO!!!

SS -Do you have any words for your fans in the UK?

AB -Whenever the rest of the world forgets about the greatness of pop music, the UK is always the harbor where pop resides awaiting its next period of world dominance. This is a tradition that should make all UK pop fans mighty proud of themselves. And may things stay that way, at least during my lifetime. So the UK love for Scandinavian pop is reciprocal. We love you guys just as much!

Many thanks, good luck and see you at Globen!
Martin and Kethan xx

Wednesday, 9 January 2008


We love Zuma, their song 'Always Always' is the best song in MGP 2008. Alexander Stenerud and Henrik Njaa have been going as a group for a long time, their single 'Inferior' was released as far back as 1996 (before we were born lol). The 'Inferior EP', Their 2001 long player 'Juno' containing the fab tracks 'Pearl' and 'Winter of Your Heart' and 2002's 'Joy in The City EP' are available on itunes uk NOW. If you don't buy them within 7 days you will die (only joking!)

Visit the boys myspace site

Our Picks For MGP 2008!

One thing is for sure, guitars are the order of the day for this years MGP 08! Be it boy or girl, every heat has its guitar driven songs. The Schlager Systems are not to keen on many of the songs from Stravanger but if we have to pick a song it's Michelle with 'Baby Don't Stop The Music', it's a little like a Sophie Ellis-Bextor track, nice pop but not a eurovision winner. Kethan likes Tinkerbells with the song 'Hold On' - Norwegian Dixie Chicks kind of thing.

However Kongsvinger is a different matter! A lot of the tracks are very good which is a shame because they can't all make it to the final. Zuma - 'Always Always' - yeah we love this one! This is cheesy pop at its best! We also like CRASH! - 'Get Up', you can feel the energy CRASH! invest in their song. Sven Garås's ballad 'I'm in love with you' is pretty good and he is pretty easy on the eye too! Maria Haukaas Storeng's 'Hold on Be Strong' is very Amy Winehouse-esque song but Maria with a very distinctive voice and brings something new to the euro table, we like!

Bodø - Maria Trøen has a powerful guitar driven track called 'Hear Me When I'm Calling', she has a great voice and if her performance is as good as the studio she is going to blow a lot of people away! And that's it for Bodø, several of the songs are instantly forgettable but there is one song which is so bad it worth a montion too. Ole Ivars drop a total clanger with 'Some I Himmelen' which is awful. NRK what are you doing? The only other notable track from Bodø is Torstein Sødal's 'Eastern Wind', which could have come directly from Boznia-Hertzegovena and feels like a 'clever' ploy to woo the eastern block countries. Having said that, it is easy on the ears.

The Schlager Systems can delcare that the song they are backing from MGP 2008 is....

Monday, 7 January 2008


The songs for the semi-finals of MGP 08 taling place in Stavanger, Kongsvingar and Bodø are up on the NRK website (link provided) all the tracks are of reasonable quality, which is refreshing!