Second Theory is the brainchild of Anders Jivarp, founding member, songwriter and drummer of the iconic death metal band Dark Tranquillity. Jivarp spent three decades with the band, releasing acclaimed albums, winning Grammy Awards and touring the entire world popularizing the genre. When parting from the band in 2021 Jivarp found himself with ten new songs and without a given outlet for his music. Being part of developing the Gothenburg sound of melodic death metal, it was time for a second theory in many ways; in expression, in playing a new instrument, in forming a new band, in trusting a new set of musicians - and mostly in doing something completely different from the 30 years prior.
The first step was to find a voice strong enough to push the vision forward. Through a friend he stumbled upon the extraordinary Tønnes Skyman online. Skyman had spent decades perfecting his voice, only not too many had been exposed to it. At the time he was writing, recording and releasing loads of music digitally in need of a second theory going through some tough times, with a relationship falling apart and grieving the loss of a family member.
At a traditional Swedish summer party Pierre Stensson was keeping the beat on a micro kit for fun, and Jivarp immediately knew he got his drummer. Stensson had been trying to make it in music, and came close, with Max Martin producing his band Krim in the 90's, so the second theory came in handy here as well.
Three pieces done and rehearsals of the ten songs could take place, with Jivarp on bass, Stensson on drums and Skyman on vocals, only missing a guitar. The band sent some of its demos to LA-based producer/songwriter and former guitar player of million-selling rock band Fuel, Andy Anderson, looking for feedback. Anderson, who scored a no1 on Billboard in 2014 and considering himself a young retiree, got excited and offered his services on guitar, but only if he could produce the album. Seems the second theory resonated also with him.
Second Theory, the band, entered the renowned Svenska Grammofon Studion in Gothenburg to lay down the tracks, the ten Jivarp started out with, along three from Skyman and as many from Anderson. Four weeks later, and with guest appearances by Peter Keys (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and steel guitar legend Cowboy Eddie Long being flown in to the studio, the album was done. No computers needed, no digital wonders, all old school and a bunch of great songs.
You can hear the trademark melodies from Dark Tranquillity, of course, some of Fuel's alternative guitars - and you will definitely hear a band carving out a space of their own, with the vocals demanding attention as the center of it all. You get a rock band working in many directions sounding like they've been doing this forever. And in a way, they have.
No need to second guess anything - it's time to welcome Second Theory.