It wasn't the first time that I met Evergrey, but the first time after the release of In Search Of The Truth! For me one of the best releases in 2001 and so I won't missed on tour with Therion. After the soundcheck singer & guitarist Tom Englund had time to answer my questions and a few moments later bassist Michael Håkansson joint us.
Please tell something about the concept! I know that you had stories related on the previous releases.
Actually I read a book by the author Witley Striter. It was a book called Communion which effected me very deeply. So,..... And as you said yourself we touched this subject on prior albums.
Yes, but you can't do a conceptual album about everything you wrote about in the past.
No, I hope not.
Otherwise you have to record 10+ albums... ;-)
At least, but I think we will do that anyway. As I said the book touched me deeply and Michael read it as well. I told the guys about that idea and they thought it's a cool idea as well. I tried to make something out of it and it worked out pretty good.
Also you changed musically....
Of course, I mean, we have 3 new members!
How came this line-up changes?
Coz I'm a dictatorial asshole! ;-)
Oh, you try to be the next Dave Mustaine! ;-)
I'm Dave Mustaine! ;-)
No, basically.... The former guitarist and bass player left before last years tour.
Right, I remember Michael was on tour with you last time.
And with Sven, our new keyboard player, we feel that everyone is 100% committed to it! We are 4 guys who really work hard for it. And it's hard to have a person who is just giving half of what we give. We wanted to have someone with the same goals, who gives the same and fight for the same... For the same future.
For the next years...
So, we don't have to expect new faces soon. I think it works pretty good with the new line-up.
Absolutely! It is like we were lacking persons, like "Everybody's here?" It's very easy right now, everybody is completely into it!
That makes it a lot easier, especially on tour.
Yes, we even hadn't any fight's yet!
No, not a single one!
And the tour is almost over!
Tonight's show and tomorrow!
Last shows tomorrow, then you're going back. What's coming next? Small club shows? Another support tour? Festivals? What's planned?
There are plans, but nothing confirmed yet. We will do some headlining shows in France and then Sweden.... And hopefully we can do a full-scale American tour.
That sounds good.
Our aim is to do another European tour before summer.
With the better support of your new label, it should be possible. Do you see any difference after you signed with InsideOut Music?
Absolutely! Everything is fantastic so far with InsideOut. We really can tell the difference from former labels to now.
So, you are satisfied with the situation these days?
Absolutely, this feels like a major release.
For many it'll look like that, I think. I guess that there are still a lot of metal fans who haven't heard about Evergrey until the release of this one. You had less promotion and probably if I wouldn't have ran into you at the Kamelot / Crimson Glory tour, I might heard about you first with In Search Of The Truth... You said you'll play some shows in Sweden. Will you do festivals there?
Actually there are not that many festivals in Sweden.
Two, as far as I know...
Two or three, whatever...
Two I know about.
We are booked to play the one and only....
... The big one!
The Sweden Rock Festival!
That's nice, coz I'm going there this time!
Good, get another dose! ;-) (A joke, coz when we were on our way to the nightliner to do this interview, I said that I miss a sticker on the album which warns that you might get addicted after listening to it!... Ed.)
Yeah! So there is a lot to expect. And there will be another album somewhere in time which won't be a conceptual album. A regular one....
A reggae album! ;-)
Regular album! Have you already started to write new material? Or are you writing when you know that you are going to record soon?
We did this mistake with this album. We wrote the album in 1 ½ months,...
Therefor it's pretty good! ;-)
Probably, so... But it was a fucking hard time to be 9 or 10 hours in the rehearsal room a day for a whole month. It's not that much fun! We have started writing and have 2 songs so far.
Did the line-up changes also changed the songwriting? Do the band write the songs? Or are you still the main songwriter?
It feels like it's more a band afford thing now. Even if I feel that the last albums were also a band afford thing. It's only a Tom Englund project thing until I bring it down to the rehearsal room. Then everybody gets integrated!
You write the material and in the rehearsal room everyone can give input to the songs.
Of course! but now everybody comes up with riffs and harmonies, songs! So far I haven't done much.
That's pretty good, coz you have a larger variety when several persons write and not just one. Also it's more satisfying for everyone in the band to be involved. Earlier you said that you might tour the US which ain't confirmed yet. How are the reactions there? Usually we hear that for almost every band it's pretty hard to tour there and that there is no metal scene...
For us it's fantastic! We have a really, really strong fan base there! We played the Prog Power Festival...
That's very unusual to have a strong fan base there for a European band.
Prog Power we played 3 or 4 weeks ago.
Four weeks ago in Atlanta!
... And we co-headlined with Kamelot, but 85% of the people were there for us. So, pretty good!!!!
Kamelot are more known in Europe then in the States.
That was like a 1,000 seater place.
Sounds cool and I think it was nice to meet the Kamelot guys again after awhile.
That was pretty cool!
There are more people into prog then into... Whatever you wanna call it.
Power metal it's called. ;-)
With the prog elements in your music, do you think there is a larger interest in the band?
We don't think that way at all.
That's a classification of the writers of some zines...
Well, we don't consider ourselves to be a prog metal band.
I don't think that you are a prog metal band, you are more power metal with progressive elements.
Well, I don't really know what we'll do on the next album. So, it's really hard to tell.
There will be a lot of pressure, coz people will expect something like In Search Of The Truth.
We don't care. We do it for ourselves! As long as we are happy... We don't care. You got to be true to yourself and that's what gonna gain you the most.
And that's what bands do who are around for 10 or more years. Otherwise they won't succeed.
So, you'll be around for ten more years? ;-)
Then we will be about 37 y. 40, that's it!
That's nothing! We can do it until we are 100! ;-)
Then we are ugly....
Depends on how long you can still walk on stage and rock...
We can sit, sit and headbang!
That might look a little strange....
Yeah! But we will be around for awhile. It's hard to say, perhaps this band will be dead in a year...
Of course, but you know....
You don't know what the future holds for you.
But at the moment the future looks bright for Evergrey!
Next shows in France and than Sweden. We were in the charts in Sweden.
You are one of the bands who can play in Sweden and people come to see you.
Right now we get a lot of interest from each and everywhere.
Sweden is hard to tour, to play... But it's getting better!
Not just Sweden... Scandinavia at all. Many bands can't go there, coz it's to expensive.
Of course it's expensive to tour Scandinavia.
But I think that the fans appreciate it, if a band plays there. Do you see any difference in the fan reaction?
So, where is the best country for you to play?
On this tour? Poland!
Definitely Poland! And Hungary...
Perhaps coz almost nobody plays there.... Have you ever been to Athens?
How was that for you?
The best experience so far!
Turkey shall be even better....
I heard that before.... Perhaps next time....
Than it was time for them to get ready for the show, but I think this wasn't the last time I had the chance to talk to them... Perhaps at Sweden Rock I'll get a little up-date.... Anyway, good to see them again!