Chapter One: The First Attempt
It all started 1988 in Finspång, Sweden, when Mattias Davidson and Ole Knudsen decided to form a constellation that would contrast the Hard'n'heavy Metal Rock that was dominating the local music scene at the time.
The project was not so much musically serious, but more about making a statement. Most people, or at least the musically engaged, appeared to be ignorant of acts like Sisters of Mercy and Jesus and Mary Chain and their ilk, so the music of choice would certainly leave a mark. Not because the Metal-lovers would appreciate it, but rather leaving them shaking their heads, more or less clueless.
Meanwhile, 'Rigor Mortis' as Ole & Mattias´ first brilliant musical attempt suitably was called, made a few epic gigs that left no one untouched and the two companions had a blast.
Although Mattias, which had no problem with writing songs or pulling a few strings on his guitar or even making low pitched sounds with the mic, and Ole, hammering away on his drums, were the two main characters behind the project, they realised that a bass player may come in handy.
Since a fun project as 'Rigor Mortis' was, they didn't require a top notch musician, so basically any one with moderate skills would do. In fact, although Anders Norberg actually was (and still is) a skilled musician, his main instrument was acoustic guitar. They all agreed that Anders would play with them until they found themselves a 'proper' bass player. Anders stayed in the band until they broke up in 1993.
Chapter Two: Going Greek
After jamming together for a year or so, the three friends decided to make a more directed effort and changed their name to the more greek-sounding, but easier to forget/harder to pronounce: 'Caragorgya'.
The music also changed from the dark, gloomy-sounding graveyard mystique to a more straightforward style, somewhat a mixture of The Cult and D.A.D. Mattias' voice also changed from the Eldrige-inspired 'way-down-in-the-basement-pitch' to a dead on Wayne Hussey (The Mission).
‘All of a sudden’, the guys realised that - just maybe - they lacked those skills they didn't need in the beginning. Serious music takes serious effort. So they began to practise, practise, practise. And then, with replenished self-esteem, they got some gigs in the neighbourhood and some gigs in Denmark.
At some point around 1990, the band ran into the director of the renowned record company A West Side Fabrication, stationed in Skellefteå. He recalled a song called 'In Stagnation'; a powerful song which the band was not only responsible for, but also made a video to, thanks to one of the former Swedish instances who genuinely cared about culture. Yet to this day, the guys clearly remember the circumstances around the making of that historical piece of film.
The most natural ingredience in a video recorded in the late 80´s was smoke, obviously. 'In Stagnation' was no exception, in fact, quite the opposite. For the set, they used a monstrosity of a smoke machine that accidentally filled the entire studio with white smoke so thick, rendering it impossible to see one’s hand in front of one’s face.
Anyway, Joakim Wallström at A West Side Fabrication said he liked ‘In Stagnation’ so much that he wanted to release it. But Mattias boldly said to his face: 'Hmm.. No, wait, I've got a better idea!'
Chapter Three: Lift Off
The sound of the band had transformed into something that reminded of AC/DC, so the 'statement' they were trying to convey to the rest of the music scene in Finspång was out the window and felt rather obsolete.
Little did it matter, because the Skelleftonian record company had decided to release two of the band’s songs. This was it! 'Sail' was a clever uptempo tune with a backbeat verse and a chorus containing a catchy and fairly complicated riff that Davidson had carried with him for decades without knowing what to do with it. Until then.
'Mad World' was the B-side. However, as the track was just as energetic as the A-side, it wasn't really a typical B-side song.
Lucky as they were, Ole incidentally ran into the gifted guitarist Mikel Lindberg (R.I.P.) at an event in Linköping, who at the time was touring with Claes Malmberg. Mikel was kind enough to hook the band up with the producer Stefan Svensson in Göteborg.
Chapter Four: Rain in the Making
The guys headed for the second biggest city in Sweden to record their debut vinyl single at Studio Lane and producer Stefan got the brilliant idea to use Vojtek Goral on saxophone. Mikel Lindberg appeared as well on backing vocals along with Stefan's brother Peter. Interestingly enough, these two guys’ voices sounded quite alike.
The band was very happy with the outcome, as was the record company. The thing they didn't like was the name of the band, which no one remembered or understood.
Since Mattias, Ole and Anders were fans of The Cult and their marvellous suggestive album 'Love' and especially the song 'Rain', it wasn’t far-fetched that a tribute to them would be in order. Simply 'Rain' wouldn't cut it, so Mattias settled for 'Waiting for Rain'. It would make a great word play on the posters: 'Waiting for Rain in Stockholm', 'Waiting for Rain in Umeå', 'Waiting for Rain in Las Vegas'.
Unfortunately, Mr Wallström didn't like that as much as his own suggestion 'The Waiting Rain', so there you have it. It wasn't until decades later the band realised how ingenious the name really was.
Once out on the market, the single was highly rated all around Sweden which not only generated more gigs for the guys, but also encouraged Joakim at West Side to continue the cooperation. In short terms, that meant appearance on three successful compilations.
Seen from a perspective, this was not a given to be honest, since that kind of music was not common among the West Sides usual clientel. Though practically every previous release had been Indie Pop, Joakim had a secret desire to work with a genuine Rock’n’roll act. It appeared as if The Waiting Rain had a perfect timing.
Chapter Five: Rise of the Machine
In 1991, the members of The Waiting Rain comitted totally to their call and decided to move to Göteborg in order to record their debut album 'Another Mental Earthquake'. The project involved prominent guests such as Freddie Wadling (R.I.P.) and Nils Wohlrabe, both former members of Lädernunnan.
In 1986, Freddie recorded the album 'You Can't Kill the Boogeyman' with his band Cortex at Studio Lane. Since one of TWR's songs were called 'Bogyman', producer Stefan thought it was a cool idea to invite Freddie to do some vocals on that track, a request to which he agreed.
Nils Wohlrabe was the feedback guru who did an excellent job on the concluding track 'Microwaving'. Both the band and Stefan were so impressed by his work that they let him do the mixing of the song as well. The result turned out to be something quite unique and unheard of uptil then.
The list of additional musicians on the album grew pretty extensive, and to name a few: Mikel Lindberg, Peter Svensson, Anja Ryne, Nico Bergling (former front member of The Nuts), Peter Dolving and Lollo Johansson.
Chapter Six: A Crude Awakening
Joakim Wallström at A West Side Fabrication was kind of disappointed of Another Mental Earthquake. Who could blame him? Furthermore, it didn't sell. The train appeared to have left the station since long.
Back in the early 1990's, there were significant musical trends going on, even in the Hard Rock/Heavy Metal domain. Anyone in his or hers right mind would think that’s stupid, right? Those of us who remembered, know it was all about the Grunge hype; Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. That's not exactly what The Waiting Rain was about. Not by a few miles or so (red alert: understatement). The Cult and their alike were done for the time being.
Record companies have bills to pay and can of course not invest in something that doesn't return their interest. So that was the end of the line.
All of a sudden, the energy wasn't so intense anymore. For sure, Davidson kept delivering music, but they all had the feeling that there wasn't to going to be a successor to 'Another Mental Earthquake'.
Chapter Seven: The End of the World as They Knew It
Meanwhile, The Waiting Rain enjoyed their lives and played in various concerts around the country. One of their specialities was to engage other gifted musicians to join them, seldom were they just the original three on stage.
Life eventually catched up with them, they were pretty much stuck. They've been 'living their dreams on Borrowed Time', now was the time to return it. Mattias, Ole and Anders went separate ways, tending to their families.
Chapter Eight: Going Solo
The years went by and the three friends had very little contact. The daily struggles overpowered the musical ambitions, but somehow the intent didn't fade completely.
Mattias found some time to build himself a new studio called 'Dzone’, mostly consisting of homemade gear, some old synthesizers, drum machines and a four channel tape recorder.
Ten years later he had enough material to send to his old friend Joakim in Skellefteå. He loved the stuff and applied for funds from the Swedish Committee of Cultural Affairs. The committee loved the stuff too and gave Joakim the money he wanted.
Early in 2000, Mattias’ solo album 'The Craze' was a fact. The music wasn't exactly Hard Rock, neither was it plain Pop, it was somewhat hard to explain and hard to compare with the mainstream chatter. One thing is certain, it was still uncompromised, eccentric, unbiased and genuine originality.
Chapter Nine: Time Flies
So much to do and so little time. Davidson’s solo album did get a lot of decent reviews and even got some air time, which was a completely new and satisfying experience. But as the briefly lit flare fainted, the ordinary weekdays quickly made everything feel old and mundane.
Over the years, something extraordinary happened with all the different disciplines of Metal, and no, I'm not referring to the periodic table.
The era of trends luckily came to an end. It's a simple apparent fact, that you can't control the Metal fans in the way the music industry try to control the mainstream listeners. Iron Maiden is still Iron Maiden, Saxon is still Saxon. We all agree that we are sad to say that Motorhead isn't still Motorhead (R.I.P), but their music will be alive forever.
The music industry had failed to compartmentalize Metal, there will be no more trends. Any new born band today can choose to play any kind of Metal they like with equal chance of success under equal conditions.
Chapter Ten: Age of the Old
Where did the fun go? Your kids grow up, you hardly see them anymore. What to do? What did you like to do before all that? Oh yeah, you remember now.. You used to be in a band! You wonder what that drummer 'what's his name?' is doing now? Is he on Facebook? Maybe you'll get lucky?
The year was 2012, they met, had lunch, and after some sushi.. They closed a deal, The Waiting Rain would live again!
After just one rehearsal, it was clear that most of the old tunes was lurking just beneath the surface, and the 19 years of absense really didn't mean that much at all.
To their delight, most of their old hard core fans were still around, cheering them. Life was complete again.
Chapter Eleven: Like a Brick Wall
The differences between now and nineteen years earlier were subtle at first, but became increasingly clearer the more they rehearsed: The power, the determination, the motivation, the heavier sound and the better songs. And above all, the focus. They didn't care for the little imperfections anymore, they solely focused on delivering the real deal.
'Solid Brick Wall' was the perfect continuation of 'Another Mental Earthquake'. The project stretched over four years and contained songs from a 20 year span. The style was still the same and interestingly enough, just as up to date as any other Heavy Metal genre.
Chapter Twelve: Bass-ically a Clockwork
The guys gave the former member Anders Norberg a call, but as things were, he was running on a different track. The obvious choice fell on the long time friend and accomplice Hans Ahlin. Finally a 'real' bass player!
The Waiting Rain is a constant revving music machine, which so far has delivered eight new albums since the reunion. The guys will keep rocking for as long as there is juice in the powerlines.