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In Words: Lefay

- Tony & Charles - April 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Lefa: Charles Rykönen live 2000 at BYH
© Claudia Ehrhardt

Tony Erikson & Charles Rykönen - Dortmund (Germany), April 15th 2000

A few weeks ago I got the latest release of Lefay and the album is a killer! So I was happy to get the oppor;tunity to talk to Charles and Tony during a promo trip. It was the first interview of the day and the Swedish been in a good mood...

Last time we met when you toured with Nevermore. For many fans Lefay was the real headliner of that tour. Now you're back with a new album which is in my opinion stronger than the last one. How you came up with the title?

I think we had this idea for several years and so it just came up. It was like "wouldn't it be cool to have something like ...---..." (Charles gave a audio sample of it). Than it was like wasted and now we picked it up again.

It was around 1996/1997 when we thought about that. We were thinking about doing a song with this. It kinda escaped and then we did this SOS song with a little different beat.

I think this album is stronger. Do you think that touring together make you become a union and that this affects the songwriting in that way?

I don't know...

You have no idea about....

No, nothing.... I'm from Bollnås! *joking*

I think it's pretty much kinda the same...

It's still Lefay, that's right!

This time we had a lack of time. We started working on the songs just 10 days before we entered the studio!

That probably a little late....

We are always very lazy. In summertime in Sweden we try to enjoy life, you know. And we enjoy the warm and sunny weather...

So you may work on your schedule... Than you might have a little more time...

I don't think we will...

....we tried to, but it didn't worked... I mean we were a little better than in the past. Anyway, Tony was kinda sleeping with his guitar and I was writing a bunch of lyrics. Luckily everything developed in the studio and the other guys had a great input!

When it came to re-arrangements and stuff like that.

Perhaps that's the difference to the 1st album...

Maybe.... I don't know....

.... we think that's just another Lefay album!

You are used to it, I mean it's your music, but to the people who listen to it, it may sound a little different. As far as I know, everyone who likes Lefay, do like the new album...

We actually noticed a kind of very good response.

I got ask from quite a few people about the tour which been scheduled for May together with Sinner. People are confused, coz first a tour was announced and then shows been cancelt...

We are too!

Fantastic, so you don't know about it?!? Great, you don't know if you go on tour or not. Nice!

I think actually the record label do know more about then we do. Recently we heard that we shall do a kind of tour, headlining tour, I think it is in August. As far as we know with Angel Dust, Jag Panzer and.....

... Stormhammer.

That would be a cool package with Jag Panzer and Angel Dust.

I think there is really nothing decided yet, but it seems that this will be the package...

So you doing a few festivals in the meantime? During the summer?

In Germany we'll be at the Bang-Your-Head festival in Balingen.

Any other festivals?

Just one in Sweden....

That's maybe a little too far for people from the South of Europe!

Even for some people in Sweden it's too far.

I've been to Sweden for just one day, just one show. So, what's the problem?


Sweden is a pretty big country... From North to South.... It depends where you live in Sweden, e.g. when you live in Lapland and it's in the South, it is a big distance!

While you doing the promo trip, you got reactions from the media. How is the response?

Toppen, toppen... Excellent, I mean...

I understood, no problem.

All right, it been a great response.

Totally! Almost unbelievable, I think.

So next time you're under a lot of pressure...

No! I don't bother!

That's the best point of view in this situation...

I do what I do and people have to make their choice about it.

As long as we are satisfied, we'll doing what we are doing.

When Morgana Lefay release an album, people got confused. I think most see Lefay as the follow-up of Morgana Lefay, especially coz their album sound so different. But fans are confused. Have you solved this problem?.... No, I can see in your faces that you haven't solved it!
(The reaction of them was really funny, but impossible to tell....... Sorry!)

Actually not, but we don't want to make a soap opera out of it!

It's already a soap opera...

... Okay... It's a fucking mess! We want to leave that behind!

I think it's obvious when the people see you live. The way you play and act on stage is important. So I think for most Lefay became what Morgana Lefay was and Lefay is more like a joke... Action speaks louder than words, or in this situation your music makes the difference.

That's exactly who we feel about it! If people are confused...

... we are confused! *laughs* No!

... Buy our record and find out!

I think most already found out, coz I heard that the Morgana Lefay album didn't sold very well......

I think so too, coz of the main difference in the music.

And especially live you'll convince the people, coz you are a very good live act!

Do you think so?

Yeah, and I think many realized it already. A lot of fans saw you in a position as the secret headliner at the tour with Nevermore and that's a big compliment!

A real big compliment!!!!

We were a little bit nervous actually, before we went on this tour, because of the changed name. But when we played the first show, the feeling was pretty good and so it was okay.

I saw you at the beginning of the tour and at the end, I think at the end it worked out a little better. But I think that's the way it is.

Yeah, beside that it's different from gig to gig. From time to time someone gets sick, etc....

Yes, I remember Vosselaar, not one of your best shows due to health problems... But that's okay, anyway.

Right, there never be two shows like the same... But that's good!

I agree, as long as you have fun on stage, it's okay. To expect to be perfect on stage is ridiculous. As long as you have fun and the people have fun, it's okay. That's what it's all about!

If we would start to be perfect on stage, we'll be stiff!

That don't sound like it would be fun for you and for the audience!

No, I don't think so!!! That's live!

It's supposed to be energy and if anyone wants it to be perfect, he can buy the record!

I agree, but on the album it's also a lot of energy!

Yeah, but there we can work until it's perfect!

Kinda re-arrange the songs live without knowing about it... *laughs* It's a new thing in this song, okay....

Our drummer Robin has a good line to say whenever he makes a mistake or something... "Ahh, I made a new song out of it this time." Instead of saying that he made a mistake... *laughs*

That's fun!

It was fun to see you on tour and that's why I asked about a tour before. And because many people want to see you live and were confused...

The thing you told me about Sinner, I heard that from a friend...

... some venues had it already in their agenda. It was for May, I think.

I heard the rumour, but we never heard any official thing about it, Noise either!

At the same time the shows of Sinner with Dio were announced and so it would never fit in their schedule... So I thought that there must be something wrong.

Well, we just heard this rumour, too.

The next rumour is that you'll tour in fall with Armored Saint!

It's very funny to hear all this rumours, but who make these things?

I don't know, but I think it's something like "oh, I would like to see Lefay touring with Armored Saint" and the next say "Lefay will tour with Armored Saint". And this got more and more since we have the internet.

That's maybe how it happen....

That has to be the way it happened......

So, you see it from the funny side? Don't take that too serious?

I mean things are the way they are and...

That's as easy as it should be.

It's a kind of your philosophy... "Take it the best way you can."

Every day should be a happy day! A new day, what have been, have been and what future holds, who knows? Today we are here and tomorrow we are somewhere else.

We are really easy people, I think.

Otherwise it would be a little complicated, if you start to think about everything... Like getting worried about rumours like that and whatever....

If you would be worried about how it'll work on stage and other stuff, it would also influence the show. Your attitude is more like "we want to have fun and we do our best on stage."


Mainly, sometimes it's a little bit exciting before the show, especially for me. But when you go on stage, it's gone!

Yeah, let's play!

Ohh, where are all these people come for? *joking*

Another thing, who had the idea for the cover art­work?

Kristian Wåhlin as always. We called him early in the progress and this is a concept album about this and that, you know. We kinda gave him the big picture of it. He started to paint, really slow... He was really busy with other things as well, so... We tried to update him a little bit as long as we progressed in the material.

Who came up with the idea for the con;cept? Or was it something you thought about for quite a while?

No, actually when we decided to go into the studio, I said "no way to do a concept album." I had skipped that idea kinda thing, but when Tony gave me those demo tapes with the songs on it, it was kinda "what the fuck, let's do a concept album!" I had this kind of idea in the back of my head and I started to write. I got help from the others, we had kinda brainstorming sessions, you know. And yeah, it happened...

At the moment it seems that everybody is doing a conceptual album, so...

Yeah, it's a little bit like don't over do it... But if there is a good story to tell, why not?

As long as you don't start like "hey, we have to do a conceptual album", then it's okay. It's a natural progression. It's wrong to do it, coz everyone else is doing it. And I think that's not the way of Lefay!

No, no!!!

No, no!!!

It's more the other way around. It's a little over done these days.

For me it looks like Lefay is very spontaneous in a lot of ways!

In every way, I think!

I can't say this, coz I just met you a few times, but I have no doubt about it!

Why should it be difficult?

Take it the easy way! ;-)

We are five guys in a small town in Sweden, playing, having fun... That's what it's sup­posed to be!

To live in Sweden in a small town and have fun?


(Tony and I started laughing, while Charles tried to explain... But than he got it!)

... everybody should live in Bollnås!

Or he didn't really got it!

Oh, what a small town it would be... *joking*

Yeah, than I would move directly....

I think than it would be pretty crowded...

5 billion people in Bollnås.... *joking*

(We all laughed and Charles kinda tried to show us how it would look like... And we can't stop laughing!)

And everybody try to move a little bit... Tried to show how it would look like...

And everybody tries to be spontaneous.......

(No way to describe that Charles pretended to be wedged in a crowd and how it could look to be spontaneous there.... If you have the possibility ask Charles about and maybe he shows you... lol)

No space and everybody is like "Huh, huh... I'm very spontaneous, but I didn't have room for it!"

It's a nice thought anyway....

Maybe in a Monty Python movie...

I guess if Monty Python would become reality, many people won't like it anymore....

No, I guess not.

Cool in a movie, but not in real life!

That would be very confusing... lol

I can see the picture like they are in front of me! lol

On the streets of Bollnås! lol Charles: Well, okay... Let's get serious...... lol

(Then Tony ask Charles in Swedish, if he can take a cigarette to smoke spontaneously and everyone started laughing again........)

Okay, you maybe tour in fall with this package, anyway, you'll tour. But if you could choose any band which one you would choose to support?

A good, decent, spontaneous band!

So name it spontaneously!

It's hard to say.... But as long as the people are down to Earth and don't have a rock star atti­tude, it's okay for us.

Friendly people.... As long as it is from this genre, of course!

I would not like to go with Ricky Martin, or so...


And what about the Spice Girls?

Okay, that could be interesting...

But the fans won't like you....

...or Christina Aguilera!

I don't think that it'll be fun playing in front of their audience!

... But backstage!

Yes, backstage......

I know what you mean! I got it! *lol*

That could be really fun! Maybe!

But not to play in front of millions of their fans...

Perhaps it would be really, really fun....

Everybody standing there like..."Hä?????" and wish they had tomatoes and stuff....

That could be fun.... *lol*

Do you think the internet helps a band? Coz even if you toured, there are a lot of places around the world where you haven't been.

The internet is a very important media, but it has good and bad sides. Like this rumors...

As long as the people talking about, even if it's rumors, your name been in the public eye...

... Yes, but the MP3 is a problem. As long as the people can a MP3 for free, it's a good promotion for us. On the other hand we don't get any money out of it.

I think it's good to place sound clips to give the people an idea about the sound of a band, as long as it's no complete song it won't harm the band.

Right, and we can reach people in South America and everywhere. That's a good thing!

Do you got a lot of mails from kinda non-metal countries?

Some, yeah, e.g. from Yemen, Turkey....

Many people don't know that Turkey has a huge metal scene...

I though it's just a good place to go on vacation there.

No, it's also a good place to play there.

Okay! Perhaps we can combine those two things...

Perhaps you shall schedule it at the end of the tour and stay there for a few days....

Sounds good!

Just delay the flight and you don't have to pay for...

Good idea... Fly back a week later...

... or two weeks later!

... or a month or something!

But you won't be able to write new material there, coz it's sunny and warm there....

Perhaps we can get some of their instruments there and start working...

They have real instruments there! *joking*

They really have, oh! *joking*

There are metal bands, so that won't be a problem.

So the weather will be the problem, again...

Beer drinking, being at the beach..... *smiles* "Okay, let's play!" "NO!"

You'll be under pressure then...

No pressure, no album...

It was really funny to do the interview, even if there is no way to bring this to you 100%... Now it's to wait and see.... I can't wait to see them again live, not just at the Bang-Your-Head.... I'll see them on tour, anyway!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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