If there are two things that we ever-arguing humans seem to can agree on, it’s movies and music. A close inspection of all those iconic, generation-defining, mind-blowing flicks of the 80’s and 90’s reveal that it’s the very amalgamation of the two that does the trick: There’s no blockbuster from that era that doesn’t have an equally legendary theme song or soundtrack.
Explosive all-star assembly AT THE MOVIES are fully aware of this. On their rocking and blockbusting cinematic spectaculars »The Soundtrack Of Your Life – Vol. 1 & 2«, the supergroup led by Chris Laney (PRETTY MAIDS) turn some of the most memorable and quintessential film songs of the 80’s and 90’s into leather jacket wearing, hard rocking, entertaining versions you most certainly haven’t heard before nor ever expected to do so. Grab your popcorn, take a seat: we’re at the movies, the lights go down and the show is about to begin.
“I just love to disappear for a while. Shut out the real world and just think of something else for two hours – even more so last year,” Chris Laney says of his passion for movies, citing »E.T.« as his all-time favorite. “I was watching all these movies during lockdown because I had literally nothing better to do,” he remembers. “I confess that I am a sucker for rom-coms like »Music And Lyrics« with Hugh Grant. This film features this unbelievably cheesy song ‘Pop Goes My Heart’ and I just loved that song!” the Swede laughs. “I instantly needed to make a demo of that song right away because I wanted to find out how it would sound as a rock version.”
Just for fun, he sent it to Danish drummer Allan Sørensen (ROYAL HUNT) who was equally excited about the prospect of interpreting famous theme songs. “And that’s what started it all,” Laney shrugs. “We were simply looking for something to have fun with in these times so I called up a couple of friends and everybody was very eager to join.” The thing is: When Laney is calling his “friends”, he ends up in a band with the likes of Björn “Speed” Strid (SOILWORK, THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA), Linnéa Vikström (RONNIE ATKINS, THERION), Morten Sandager (ex-PRETTY MAIDS), Pontus Egberg (KING DIAMOND, WOLF) or Pontus Norgren (HAMMERFALL), just to name a few. “I am blessed to be friends with all these talented people,” says Laney. “I played in bands with some of them, I worked with some others individually, played live or simply met them on the road. The interesting thing is that we still haven’t been in the same room. Yet.”
With »Volume 1« focusing on the 80’s, AT THE MOVIES offer their wildly entertaining and uplifting take on classics like ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ (from »St. Elmo’s Fire«), ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ (from »Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome«), ‘The Power Of Love’ (from »Back To The Future«) or ‘The Neverending Story’ (from »The Neverending Story«). “Picking songs was fairly easy,” the mastermind explains. “I knew that I wanted to focus on the non-rock songs. Of course, there are great ones like ‘Danger Zone’ or ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ but they already are rock songs. We wanted to see what happens when you take disco songs or these huge and dramatic pop ballads and turn them into rockers. In the end,” he laughs, “this meant replacing lost of saxophone with electric guitars.”
»Volume 2« directly plunges into the 90’s. ‘Waiting For A Star To Fall’ (from »Three Men And A Little Lady«), ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ (from »Notting Hill«), the riff-heavy rocker that once was Jennifer Paige‘s teen pop soundtrack anthem ‘Crush’, or the furious glam rock extravaganza ‘Venus’ make it pretty clear that their only agenda was fun. After all, why would a troupe of well-established take on a song like ‘I Want It That Way’ by notorious heavy metal bad boys BACKSTREET BOYS? “We were going for songs you wouldn’t normally take on as a rock band,” Laney tells us. “What we were asking ourselves all the time was: can we get away with this? And of course we can because we have nothing to lose. We can do whatever we like.” He marvels: “We never actually thought anybody would care about that but then all of a sudden, the uploaded songs became quite popular. And there we were, doing song after song. Every Thursday at 7:00 pm.”
With the parallel re-issue of »Volume 1« (including a bonus track) and the brand-new »Volume 2«, AT THE MOVIES prove to be movie lovers with a heart of rock and a penchant for fun. Recorded remote, brought together in Chris Lane’’s home studio, both instalments of »The Soundtrack Of Your Life« are finest blockbuster entertainment on a Hollywood scale, paving the way for future cinematic endeavours. “We’ll figure something out soon,” Laney is sure. “I would love to do a Disney special but I’m not sure Disney will like it. Maybe we’re going back to the 60’s. You never know.” What we do know, however, is the guarantee of success once this all-star vessel is hitting the festival stages. Chris Laney concludes: “What could be better to open up a day at a big festival with songs like this?” What indeed.
AT THE MOVIES are:
Björn “Speed” Strid | vocals
Linnéa Vikström Egg | vocals
Chris Laney | guitars
Morten Sandager | keyboards
Allan Sørensen | drums
Pontus Egberg | bass
Pontus Norgren | guitars