Evergrey – Hymns UnbrokenSunday, 5th October 2014
Dead Rhetoric: Where do you stand on the balance between using technology as a tool to enhance your live performance/studio work and not having it become a proverbial crutch?
Englund: For this album we said that was one of the main things to discuss, we wanted the sound to be organic and show the skills we have as players. I’m talking about finding the groove and maintaining the groove through the whole song. We did the drum and bass recordings as much as possible live, and I was tracking it. We had a good vision of it, there was more respect for each other because we met up together to make this album. I think it sounds full of life, everyone is on their toes, it sounds energetic and full of themes. We didn’t want to mess around with computers to make it perfect. I sang the vocals while I was writing the lyrics, it has a real spontaneous of the vocals because of that.
Dead Rhetoric: Who would you consider some of the models you’ve used as benchmarks throughout your career, as vocalists, as musicians, and as songwriters?
Ekdahl: Models? Naomi Campbell, maybe (laughs).
Englund: Pamela Anderson (laughs). The only thing we did from the beginning is we wanted to sound like Dream Theater and it took like 2 and a half seconds to realize we didn’t have the skills to do that.
Ekdahl: We had more death metal influences in us than Dream Theater.
Englund: Other than that, I listened to Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen, Europe, and Pink Floyd. I never had these certain people that impressed me.
Ekdahl: I came in later on so I already was a fan, I worked for the band for a couple of years. They were one of my top three all-time favorite bands, when I was like 14. When I joined the band, they already had their sound, I just tried to maintain that and preserve that.
Dead Rhetoric: Can you name some of your favorite albums of the 1980’s, 1990’s and maybe of the past ten years? They can be metal or otherwise…
Ekdahl: I love the 1980’s, but I think I’m more of a 1990’s kind of guy when it comes to favorites.
Englund: Powerslave, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Pyromania, Hysteria for the 1980’s.
Ekdahl: I would have to add Fair Warning from Van Halen and Creatures of the Night by Kiss.
Englund: 1990’s The Division Bell – Pink Floyd, Far Beyond Driven – Pantera, all the Pantera albums, Alice In Chains, Machine Head – Burn My Eyes, all the early Meshuggah albums. Images and Words – Dream Theater.
Ekdahl: There were so many great ones from the 1990’s.
Englund: For the 2000’s… In Search of Truth (laughs) I listen to that quite a lot. Ark I love a lot.
Dead Rhetoric: Has Evergrey achieved all that you imagined through the years? What types of goals/ambitions do you set for yourselves?
Englund: When I was on the verge of putting Evergrey to rest, October of last year, I didn’t feel stressed about that at all. I felt content and proud. I have really achieved everything that I’ve set out to do. When I was a kid I wanted to travel the world, play music in every part of the world, and today, we are super proud and happy to know that Evergrey means a lot to people. It’s weird to think that this is a big part of our lives. You have to be humbled by it, I read all the initial comments on the “King of Errors” video and how people were happy to have Jonas and Henrik back and how great it was. The ambitions for this album are to feel really good about making music.
Ekland: It’s like we don’t have anything to prove to anyone, because we know what we are capable of and we want to do this for us. We love playing and creating music together and it has turned out awesome. We knew that the fans weren’t going to be disappointed because we always aim to do our best.
Dead Rhetoric: As you’ve matured, do you believe your views on the metal scene have changed from the beginning of Evergrey’s development to now? Are there any particular aspects that please you or disturb you?
Ekland: From even the late 90’s the scene is different now. With the internet stuff you have to be out there all the time, man. There are a lot more bands out there today, the competition for bands is much harder, especially for new and up and coming bands to get a decent record deal or show. Music is so easy to record now, if you have a computer people will say they have their own studio. Everything is happening at a much faster pace now.
Dead Rhetoric: What are the next 12 months looking like for Evergrey in terms of touring and performances? Any new territories you hope to get to?
Englund: We would like to get to all the territories that we have never been to, the world is a huge place. We are going to take this step by step and follow the plan that we’ve had in place since November. To work with the right partners to present Evergrey to the fans in the best possible way. We would rather play 50 great gigs than 150 others being shit. So we will sit down with the people we want to work with and see what happens from there.
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