Ronnie Atkins / Pretty Maids vocalist talks new solo album and battling cancer
15 December 2020
Danish vocalist Ronnie Atkins will release his solo album ‘One Shot’ 12 March 2021, via Frontiers. The Pretty Maids vocalist, who has been diagnosed with stage four cancer, has been unable to tour the latest Pretty Maids ‘Undress Your Madness’ due to COVID-19.
Atkins told MetalTalk: “I initially had no intention to make a solo record, but for various reasons and in particular my own personal health situation, I finally decided to have a crack at it
“Around Easter 2020 and only a few weeks after being told that everything seemingly looked very positive for my health, I was unfortunately diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and told it was incurable, which was devastating news for me. Needless to say, that was a total game changer and I went into a kind of panic situation for a while!
“But, once the dust had settled, I realised there were two ways to approach the situation.
“I could sit down, accept the facts and feel pity for myself, or I could pull myself up, set some goals, pursue my dreams and carry on living!
“With fantastic back up from my family and friends, I went for the latter!
“Well, I couldn’t change the facts. The whole world has been in lockdown and the prospects for concerts are still uncertain!
“Basically, that meant that if I was going to go through with a solo album, it had to be now since I do not necessarily have all the time in the world. I had all these ideas recorded on my phone that I felt were too good to never see the light of day and I was writing a lot at the time to help ease my frustrations.”
Atkins worked with producer and Pretty Maids keyboardist, Chris Laney to put his ideas into songs.
“I am old school and a complete idiot when it comes to IT, Pro Tools, etc, so I hooked up with Chris, who literally cheered me up and convinced me to go ahead with it.
“I recorded my ideas on either piano or guitar and with a mellotron click to keep the beat and the accompanying vocal. I would send these to him to make the instrumentation in Stockholm and then send demos back to me. I then recorded the vocals, which is the opposite of what you would normally do, but based on the uncertainty of my health situation, I wanted to get them down.
“After that we did the basic tracks; drums, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, etc. Odd way of doing it, for me at least, but it worked.
“This procedure finally turned into a full album, but I would not have been able to do it without Chris’ enthusiasm.
“I also had the pleasure of working with a variety of great musicians and singers, such as Pontus Norgren, Kee Marcello, Oliver Hartmann, Pontus Egberg, Linnea Vickström Egg, Björn Strid and, last but not at least, my Pretty Maids relatives Allan Sørensen and Morten Sandager.”
What can we expect from the album?
Ronnie told us: “Musically and lyrically, this album has been a different process for me. Musically, it could have gone in various directions. It is always a question of what you want it to be.
“A good song is a good song, so it is really a matter of how it is packaged. But I decided to make it appeal to the fans, the supporters who have been following me for almost 40 years, so this is basically a Melodic Rock album with a heavy twist.
“Lyrically, it also has a different approach. I found it hard to write about sex, drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll due to the situation I am wrapped up in, so I guess it turned out a bit more personal and maybe melancholic at times.
“But, it reflects my thoughts at the time the words were written.”
3 One Shot
5 Frequency Of Love
6 Before The Rise Of An Empire
7 Miles Away
8 Picture Yourself
9 I Prophesize
10 One By One
11 When Dreams Are Not Enough
Ronnie Atkins – lead and backing vocals
Chris Laney – rhythm guitars, keyboards and backing vocals
Allan Sørensen – drums
Morten Sandager – keyboards
Pontus Egberg – bass
Anders Ringman – acoustic guitars
Pontus Norgren, Kee Marcello, Oliver Hartmann, John Berg, Chris Laney – lead guitars/solos
Chris Laney, Linnea Vikström Egg, Olliver Hartmann, Björn Strid – additional backing vocals