GRAND DESIGN - BIOGRAPHY 2010 written by S. Johansson

IT WAS JUST a question of time. Raised on melodic hard rock there was no escaping it. Nourished on the hook laden songs with big guitars and big choruses of the 80’s, they finally came to the crossroads.
The time had come. The path was chosen, mapped out in their hearts by their AOR-heroes, and their new walk of life started. Swedish melodic rockers Grand Design decided to go all in, and the result is already a classic.
“Time Elevation”, their debut album, is a masterpiece; ten songs in the same vein as Def Leppard, Scorpions, Journey and their fellow countrymen Europe. This is an AOR-album of pure class, overloaded with hooks, big choruses, big guitars and a massive, almost overwhelming production. Grand Design is bold, brave and proud; this is their inheritance, a homage to their heroes and perhaps one of the finest examples of what happens when you succumb to your dream.
“Time Elevation” is AOR with dedication, excitement and something that only can be described as The Magic Touch.
“Time Elevation”, produced by mastermind and lead singer Pelle Saether, is an album from a band that came from nowhere who’s now ready to show the world they got it all.

GRAND DESIGN FROM Vasteras, some 100 kilometer west of Stockholm, is the life of the party for all true AOR-fans: they got the songs with both power and melodies, breathtaking hooks and choruses so big that there’s no way of resisting them. The sound and the production is a wall of sound; a layer-on-layer affair signed Pelle Saether, and it most certainly sounds like he’s a disciple of the genius Mutt Lange.
“We wanted that Def Leppard sound to it. You know: 96 channels of choirs just running you over and we nailed it”, says Pelle Saether when asked to sum up the work with the album. The comparisons with the genres giants Def Leppard doesn’t bother him, quite the contrary. “Def Leppard are my Gods of rock ‘n’ roll. When I dreamed up this album I set out to make music in the vein of their 80’sound”, says Pelle. Wow, that brave guy made it: “Time Elevation” is the best Def Leppard album since “Hysteria” of 1987. Big words, but Grand Design got the songs to prove it. “I missed that sound and those songs. I couldn’t find any band that matched that and then I decided to give it a shot. I’m not denying that I tried to copy that sound and vibe. Damn it: those guys are my heroes”, says Pelle Saether. “I’m proud of where I come from musically, and if you want to pin me down as a copycat, fine. I don’t care, this is the music of my heart and soul”, says Pelle Saether.

GRAND DESIGN IS the brainchild of Pelle Saether, a producer working out of his own Underground Studios and a background as a lead singer in various Swedish bands. He started writing songs in 2006, and one after the another hand picked the musicians for his project: Peter Ledin (guitars and backing vocals), Richard Holmgren (drums and backing vocals), Dennis Vestman (guitars) and Anders Modd (bass).
Grand Design are five guys sharing a dream and a passion for the 80’s music. Finally they build the vehicle for their dreams. Says bass player Anders Modd: “The thing with the music from the 80’s is that there is a lot of soul and passion in it. I think that’s gone in most of the music of today.” The drummer Rickard Holmgren says the trademark of the best bands of the 80’s were fantastic singers and brilliant songs. “Giant, name them”, says Rickard who of course regard Def Leppard’s “Hysteria as his favorite album. “I brought it along on a holiday abroad and listened to it day and night. It’s imprinted in my brain forever”, Rickard adds. “I was sex or seven when me and my friends fantasized about being rock stars. We were Motley Crue and I was Mick Mars. Man, we were so cool. I loved the music and still do”, says guitarist Dennis Vestman. Guitarist Peter Ledin was on his way to make it big in the 80’s but quit the band, and now tells the reason why: “Guns ‘n’ Roses came along . The other band members suddenly wanted to sound sleazy and raw and that was not or will never be my thing. I’m so happy to pick up this dream again.
Grand Design is all about The Big Dream. To believe in yourself and let passion decide. They ‘re hardly teenagers anymore, and with maturity and experience comes the confidence. For Grand Design it’s “Fuck it, this is us. Take it or leave it!” “We had the songs and now we had to realize our vision of the sound we wanted. And that, I can tell you, was tough. We worked our asses off in my studio”, says Pelle Saether.

ALBUM IN HAND, Pelle Saether remembers the long sessions and how everybody in the band pushed each other to do better than best. “I wanted to get that Mutt Lange sound, and that’s not easy, to say the least. But I think I got there. Layers on layers, a big sound. It was hell sometimes, especially doing the big vocals with those gigantic backing vocals. We sang and sang...some mornings we were so knackered that we barely managed to whisper to each other”, says Pelle Saether.
Released in the fall of 2009, “Time Elevation” is one of the best AOR-albums I heard in a long, long time. It’s got all the elements of a true rock classic: the songs, musicianship, attitude and the pride. These guys don’t make no excuses. This is the music they love and now they want to spread the gospel according to Grand Design. “We want to bring the 80’s back in to your CD-players and on to the big stages. We’re ready to rock the world”, says Pelle Saether.

YEAH. WHY NOT? They have their foundation in the album “Time Elevation”, ten brilliant songs that, in my book, should send them right up to the top. This is the story of a band with blueprints for a foundation that were pure rock ‘n’ roll masterminding. The house was built with sweat and joy, brick by brick. And the finished house became a glittering rock ‘n’ roll palace.
But then agai
n, it was all done with Grand Design!

Information taken from band myspace page

Heaven *Band Score 8.5/10*
For BeRock Radio MiniZine (2010)

Release Year: 2009