May 2003
interview by Ian C Stewart

Sweden's Hansi Cross formed his eponymous band in 1987 after putting in time with Von Lyx and Voodoo. "At the start it was a solo project. I decided to simply use my surname for the band's name. Formed with the purpose of crossing styles and going in a more progressive direction than Voodoo and Von Lyx."

He also runs a label, Progress Records and a studio, Progress Studio in Stockholm. "A couple of years ago, I arranged prog rock concerts here in Stockholm under the name Crimson Club, but since 1999 I've had no time for that, since my work with Progress Records, Cross and also working as a studio technician and producer at Progress Studio takes most of my time now."

Songwriting: "I usually get a basic idea and take it from there. Most of my songs are written on keyboards and then arrangements are developed together with the other members. I used to write lyrics first and then create a melody from that, after all the basic tracks had been recorded. But nowdays I compose the melody of the song on keyboard and then Tomas [Hjort - drums, lyrics] writes lyrics that fit in with that. He lives in New York, so sometimes I send him basic idea on a CD. But sometimes, when I don't want to wait, I'll send him a message where I try describe the song, using words like dramatic, sad or happy. "Awakening," from Secrets, was created very, very fast. Tomas and I were in the recording studio and I told him to improvise and 'make it sound as if it was a written song and I'll try to play keyboards in the same manner.' The version on the album is actually the first take with guitar and synth melodies added the next day."

Next: "We'll record a new album this summer, and maybe there will be some concerts during the fall."

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