INTERVIEW: Emlee Johansson of THUNDERMOTHER discusses Black And Gold EP


Swedish all-female hard rock/power metal outfit THUNDERMOTHER recently unveiled their music video, “Watch Out,” a track from their just-released EP, Black And Gold. THUNDERMOTHER will accompany renowned heavyweights Whitesnake on their farewell tour this summer, passing the baton to capable hands.

With more than 431,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, along with millions of streams on hits such as “Whatever,” “Dog from Hell,” and Driving in Style,” THUNDERMOTHER’s sound is at once ferociously pulverizing, swinging, and melodic. Put simply, THUNDERMOTHER is the queen of hi-octane, hard rock/metal.

The video, directed by Mattias “Sulan” Sulander of Reckless Media, depicts THUNDERMOTHER pumping out their unique, massive, muscular sound in a vast room surrounded by mega-stacks of Marshall amps. Finessed visual shifts show the band members being picked up in a vintage black convertible and driven to the practice space.

Once THUNDERMOTHER begins playing, the rafters shake as walloping drums, throbbing bass, and blazing guitar unleash, topped by the searing vocals of Guernica Mancini.

XS Noize spoke with drummer Emlee Johansson to find out more about how THUNDERMOTHER got together and the inspiration for “Watch Out.”


What three things can’t you live without?

Snus, coffee, and Iron Maiden.

What inspired your single/music video, “Watch Out?”

The song is inspired by many different things that we’ve been through during the last two years. The lyrics are about having enough of people that disrespect you, and to stand up for yourself and to believe in yourself. Musically it’s a lot of mixed influences, and we are very proud of our own performances; the song really allows us to go wild as the musicians we are. It’s a nice and crazy power energy song with a lot of attitude!

Who directed the video, and where was it shot?

Filippa has always dreamed of driving a nice old car in a Thundermother video, so now her dream finally came true, haha. The performance clips was filmed in the green screen studio” Virtual Star Studios” outside of Stockholm, and we did the car shots nearby the studio too. Mattias” Sulan” Sulander makes the video, and he is full of energy and super fun to work with, and I think that really shows in this video. It fits the song very well, and we had a lot of fun filming it, except when I almost froze to death, haha. Don’t drive a cab in winter…

We love the result and the response to the song!

You have a new EP, Black And Gold, dropping soon. What can you share about it?

I think it’s a killer album, I mean, we just keep developing as a band, as musicians and as songwriters, and I really think’ B&G’ shows that. Every song is a hit. We recorded it in legendary” Baggpipe Studios” in Stockholm, and I am so happy with the sound. I can’t wait to share it with the world!

Who is in THUNDERMOTHER, and which instrument do they play?

Emlee Johansson – Drums

Filippa Nässil – Guitar

Guernica Mancini – Vocals

Mona Lindgren – Bass 

How and when did the band get together?

Filippa founded the band in 2009, and there has been some line-up changes, but since 2017 it has been Guernica on vocals and me on the drums, and since then, the band has been reaching higher grounds. Last year we found our last missing piece, Mona, on bass. Filippa and Guernica met a couple of years back when their former bands played together. I met Filippa the same way on the demo stage at Sweden Rock Festival in 2010. So Filippa reached out to both of us when she was looking for new band members in 2017. Me and Mona have played in two different bands together 12 years back. She is a guitarist, but last year when I asked her if she wanted to play some bass with us, she bought a bass and started to work hard immediately, and she was just a perfect fit from the start – both musically and personality.

How did you get started in music?

My parents are both musicians, so music has always been a natural part of my life. I started to take piano lessons when I was 9, and guitar lessons when I was ten and continued with the guitar until I was 19; then I discovered the drums, and since then, my guitars are more like furnishings, haha.

Where are you from?

I am from a small town in Sweden called Falköping. Sweden’s most cow-dense municipality. I guess Sweden’s equivalent to Wacken? Haha.

Did your hometown impact your sound?

Falköping was a good rock/punk town when I grew up. There were lots of bands and concerts to see, and many people from this area in Sweden are quite successful in the music industry today. The band Nestor is from Falköping, and Sabaton drummer Hannes Van Dahl and I have known each other since high school! So yes, I guess it must have made some kind of impact on me when I started to play music. Definitely, I think it’s very important to be in an encouraging environment when you start with a passion.

What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?

It can be anything. Most of the lyric inspiration comes from our lives and what we experience on tour. Musically we all have different influences, and when we put that together, it becomes this interesting sound called Thundermother.

How do you define success?

To live the life you want to live, to be proud of yourself and to be happy!

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Xsnoize Author
Randall Radic 186 Articles
Randy Radic lives in Northern California where he smokes cigars, keeps snakes as pets, and writes about music and pop culture. Fav artists/bands: SpaceAcre, Buddy Miller, Post Malone, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, and he’s a sucker for female-fronted dream-pop bands.

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