Nfld. & Labrador

What do Alan Doyle, Russell Crowe and Abba have in common? A new record

Newfoundland and Labrador's favourite homegrown songwriter and Australian actor have a new record in the making, and they are laying down the tracks in a very special studio.

The pair are recording their second album in the land of the superstar Swedes

Russell Crowe and Alan Doyle are in Stockholm to record their band's newest record. (Submitted)

Newfoundland and Labrador's favourite homegrown songwriter and Australian actor have a new record in the making, and they're laying down the tracks in a very special studio. 

"Here we are, in Stockholm, recording music in the Abba world. It's fantastic," Alan Doyle told CBC Radio's On The Go Wednesday from Sweden, where the band is recording in a studio recommended by a member of the Swedish megastar group.

"Tomorrow afternoon Benny Andersson [of Abba] is coming to say hello to us. And, of course, the studio we're in still has Abba equipment and keyboards and memorabilia. It's just fantastic. It's a very, very unique experience and I'm very lucky to be in the mix."

The super-group Indoor Garden Party features Doyle along with close friend Russell Crowe, who released the band's first record in 2017. 

But, the friendship and musical partnership between Doyle and the Hollywood actor began many years earlier, and now the duo have set up shop in Stockholm with longtime producer and Swede Carl Falk, along with vocalists Samantha Barks and Scott Grimes. 

"It's just a wonderful opportunity where we all had a break in our schedules that we could get to come to Stockholm and make some music in Carl's backyard," Doyle said.

Best buds

"I love working with that reprobate," Crowe told CBC News on Wednesday, referring to Doyle.

"He's one of my favourite people in the entire universe. The hang and the banter is a fabulous thing, but the fact that we also write really good songs — that's a bonus, really, I suppose."   

The duo continues to teach other things about life, as much as about songwriting Crowe said, which is why they're so close and continue to work on projects together, whether it be film or music. 

Doyle and Crowe are recording a new album in a studio filled with instruments and memorabilia from the superstar Swedish pop group Abba: from left, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus. (Olle Lindeborg/AFP/Getty Images)

Lyrics are Crowe's main priority in Indoor Garden Party, and Doyle has helped him extract the best parts of his writing for the songs on the record. 

"Those early sessions with Alan really taught me that I had a considerable responsibility, and it's been great for my own songwriting," he said.

The sound 

Different experiences from different people are what drive an Indoor Garden Party song, according to Doyle. 

"Russel's gift as a lyricist, and his background in music in Australia and that part of the world, is completely different from Carl's, for a example, here in Stockholm," he said. 

"And the other people all bring different kind of skill sets, and talents and it's just fun to get together with people who have full-time jobs elsewhere and then to do music that's really inspired by each other's stories."

The band arrived in Stockholm with eight songs to record early in the week but has since added three more to the official track listing as the creative energy continues to bounce around the studio.

"It's just a real strange thing that happens when we get together. It's a very, very creative atmosphere," Crowe said.

"The idea of writing one or two songs a day is not an unreasonable thing at all."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from On The Go