In Words: Elegy
© Claudia Ehrhardt
Ian Parry (by phone)- September, 20th 2000
Forbidden Fruit is the 4th album of Elegy with singer Ian Parry and this one offers a few changes. In a phone call Ian told me about the changes... "Henk van der Laars been through tough times. His mom died from cancer and he lost his father as a child. He lost his motivation, his interest in music.... in Elegy. Then his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter and due financial problems, he took a day job." The band started working on the album, the last one to fulfill the contract with Noise Records. The studio was booked and there was a deadline to deliver the master tapes, when 2 days before entering the studio Henk told the band that he quit. "That was a shock for us! I felt that he wasn't into it anymore. That he lost the interest, but didn't expect that!" After the tour with the Floridian band Kamelot in 1998 Ian worked on a solo-project called The Consortium Project together with Patrick Rondat who is known for his work with Jean-Michel Jarre. Due a short club tour with span The Consortium Project Ian and Patrick became friends and Ian was impressed by Patrick's talent and sounds. So when the first shock was gone he rang up Patrick and he agreed on working with Elegy. Within a few days Patrick learnt the songs which been almost written by Henk and added his own sound. Beside that Patrick wrote 3 songs for the album! Forbidden Fruit offers a larger variety with faster tracks, progressive songs which are more simple than in the past and a ballad. Lyrically the album tells 10 short stories in the tradition of Stephen King which are all related to the search of the ultimate forbidden fruit... The forbidden fruit symbolized e.g. greed or the longing for something... The song Elegant Solution was originally recorded for the 3rd demo which was recorded in 1989. "Fans requested the release of the demo stuff, but in my eyes it won't make sense to release the demo recordings on CD. So we re-recorded this song. We kinda re-wrote it... I also wrote new lyrics for the song." The cover artwork should be linked to the title... "We choose the apple, the forbidden fruit Adam took which is the ultimate symbol for the forbidden fruit." The bright colors and the crystal apple also reflect the more transparent sound, the simple progressive songs... "With Patrick we sound fresher! Part of that is his guitar playing. Patrick played all the solos without using any effects!" But not just the guitar playing brought some freshness into the new album, also working with another keyboarder. Chris Allister left the band and Elegy had the luck to get keyboarder Günter Werno (Vanden Plas) for the recordings. "Günter is a great guy and a fantastic keyboarder. It was a pleasure to work with him." The album got very good critics everywhere, probably because the album contains more uptempo songs... "Live the fans showed us that they prefer the faster tracks and less the more progressive ones. Forbidden Fruit is kinda building a bridge between our past (fast power metal tracks) and the presents with more progressive elements. As the result it made this album that stronger." Perhaps Henk's frustration let him write heavier and more aggressive songs than he did during the last years... Anyway, with Forbidden Fruit the Dutch-British-French union offers a great album. It would be interesting to see them live with the new material and that at least the band gets the attention they deserve!