Progressive Metal is now becoming very popular and with the likes of Dream Theater been 1 of the god fathers of this movement, along side the likes of Fates Warning, and even Queensryche. Since then other bands have developed and like the above are making a name for them selves. Inside Out Records are properly one of the leading labels that are becoming bigger by each year and with the likes of such as as Symphony X, Enchant, Deadsoul Tribe, Pain of Salvation and now Evergrey. One of Sweden's finest metal acts 'Evergrey' have become a strong outfit with each album they release and their latest album 'Monday Morning Apocalypse' is yet another shining example of what this band has to offer. I have never seen this band live but I have to say there 1 of the finest and most professional acts I have seen to date. I managed to catch the band on their last UK tour in late November 2006 in Bradford when I asked drummer Jonas, keyboardist Rikard & new bassist Fredrik Larsson. Here is what the 3 had to say after the interview took place after the show.
As this is the 2nd interview I've done, the 1st since I did the webzine. I'd like to start by asking you if you think that the band's name reflects within the style of music you are playing?
(F) "Yes I do, I feel that the name is reflected within our music, as the name suggests there are some dark elements around the bands name, not evil just depressing and at the moment there is a lot of shit going on in the world which makes a lot of people depressed."
Evegrey has had a few line-up changes, from what bands were you all in before joining Evegrey?
(F) "Well I was in Hammerfall at the beginning, that was 10yrs ago and I played with Hendrik and Jonas for a short time, this was a side project 'Death & Destruction' and Rikard was the singer in the band. (R) I was in a band called 'Solid Blue' and we played the UK in 94"
So who are the bands influences and how do they reflect within the bands music?
(J) "Well it depends from week to week really, anything from mellow stuff to the extreme stuff like Morbid Angel and we are 5 different members who have different influences. (F) I'm into stuff like Pantera, Morbid Angel. (R) I would say I'm more into the softer stuff such as Toto, Journey and I feel that our influences do reflect within the bands music."
Looking back at the bands previous albums, which ones to you stand out the most and why? Also which ones do you feel could of been better?
(R) "I think my favourite album has to be 'Monday Morning...' because I feel that I have played the best on this album so far since I joined the band. The band did 3 albums before I joined the band so I would have to say before I joined the band that 'Solitude...' is the best previous album. (J) I don't have a least favourite album, and its like Rikard said, the new album is the best 1 so far. As far as the album's I didn't play on I would have to say that 'Recreation Day' is a great album because, it is heavy and really dark album. (F) Well for me, I'd have to agree with the rest of the guys, the last album is the best and I have yet to play on a Evergrey album, but I also like 'Recreation Day' is a great album too."
Up until Mike leaving the band, how many line-up changes has the band gone through?
(J) "I think enough to cover a full football team with a couple of substitutes. I really don't know but I think if we gathered the whole line ups since 98."
My next question is, the 1st two albums were released on GNW Records, what other labels showed interest in the band?
(J) "Well the band sent demos to various labels, but GNW were the only label who showed interest in the band. They only sent out 1 demo and with that demo the label seemed very interested in the band."
So who's idea was it to re-release them on Inside Out Records?
(R) "Well it was so hard for people to get a hold of those records, so I think Inside Out got in touch with GNW and somehow they finally released them. They are the same in sound, no re-mastering, but they did change the booklets for those albums."
Besides signing to Inside Out, what other labels approached the band after leaving GNW records? Also are you happy with Inside Out Records?
(R) "At this moment in time we do not have a record label, our contract with Inside Out ended after the release of the new album. They seem interested in us, but we will have to wait and see if we will re-sign to them."
Why did Mike leave the band and are you still friends?
(J) "Well he was in the band for 7yrs and I think he got tired of playing our style of music. I think he wanted to go back to the hard stuff he was playing before he joined the band, you know the Death Metal stuff. We are still friends, there are no hard feelings between us and we wish him the best of luck. Fredrik was our guitar tech for 3yrs so it was easy for us to have him in the band after Mike left the band."
Moving on, the band have finally released their debut live DVD 'A Night To Remember', do you think that the timing was right to release this DVD? Also how long did it take to edit and get the packaging together?
(R) "I think it is the best product we have made so far!! I think it was perfect timing and everything really and the show and we only had 1 shot to get it right and we did just that!! (J) Thom busted his ass in the studio to try and get the whole thing right, mixing etc... and we had 15 camera on stage and we also have backstage footage on the DVD did take some serious time to sort out. Tom and myself stayed up for 6hrs every night trying to make it a perfect finished production and I think we have achieved that."
So lets talk about the latest album title 'Monday Morning Apocalypse', why did you come up with that title and who's idea was it to name the album with this title?
(J) "One of the titles we were considering using was 'Closure' as the title for the album, but I think the title we chose suited the album more perfectly and the whole concept of the album. I think the music does reflect within the music on this record, even if it is not a concept album and each song is a different subject."
Who's idea was it to have the band on the cover as if you were convicts?
(R) "Tom and our producer came up with the idea for the cover. (F) I think that this album cover sticks out the most when you look at the bands previous covers they have done. (R) I would say that 99% of journalist ask about that cover and I have never experienced that before. I don't know if it a good thing or not to be honest. (J) For me I think it was a idea and to get away from the typical Prog Inside Out covers that the label have, and to me it does stand out!!"
How did you hook up with the producer for this album?
(J) "Well his name is Sanken Sandqvist, who has worked with Paradise Lost and he has done stuff that we have liked since the days with Paradise Lost and we hook the chance with him and it worked out great!! Tom also produced the album with him. I think it took 5-6 weeks to record and it was recorded in Toms studio as well as went to Stockholm with Stefan Glaumann to finish the album off at his studio."
On the latest album, which songs stand out for you any why?
(J) "Well that's a tough question to answer. every song on the album stands out for us. I really like the song 'I Should' and 'In Remembrance' very much too. (F) I would say 'In Remembrance' too, but every night is different for me. (R) For me it has to be 'Obedience' because it rocks!!!
So how well is the tour going so far and this is you're 1st full UK tour, how is it for you compared to only playing the likes of Bloodstock?
(R) "It is going really well for us so far, this is the last night of the UK tour and then we head off to Europe. We are grateful to be headlining a UK tour at last, and we have had a lot of fun on this tour. Bloodstock was good too and we hope to be back again soon playing that festival."
Are you planning on playing any festivals in 2007, what about the ProgPower Festival in the UK?
(J) "Well we have never been asked to play the 'ProgPowe'r. (ED: Damn I can't believe that, that's too bad!!). yeah it is Jason, but nobody has approached us. We have some festivals booked for 2007, 1 will be 'Bang Your Head' in Germany."
Out of all the bands you have shared a stage with, who would you like to play the same stage with that you haven't yet?
(J) "Kiss (laughing), Iron Maiden. I'd love to open up for Robbie Williams, seriously!! (R) That's a tough question, I'm not sure. (F) Judas Priest or maybe Queensyrche."
Well thanx a lot for taking you're time out and doing this interview, best of luck with the rest of the tour and 2007. Do you have anything to add?
(J) "Yeah thanx to our fans for their support, thanx for checking us out. (R) Thanx for checking us out. (F) Stay metal and thanx for the interview & support Friday 13th".
Thanx to Peter @ Inside Out & Gary @ Tora for setting the Interview up.