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In Words: Moonlight Agony

- Robert Willstedt - March 2007 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Robert Willstedt - March 19th 2007 (by phone)

Moonlight Agony from Sweden just finished their 2nd album which soon will be in the stores, but I haven't heard of them before. What caught my attention first was that Arnold Lindberg produced the album and I know Arnold from his work with Evergrey and Kamelot. Anyway, time to learn more about the band and Robert (drums) was so nice to talk to me. Robert Willstedt founded the band in 1999 with Kalle Lundin. "We wanted to find a name that draws the thoughts to the music. And not bring up an image. Moonlight brings up some nice thoughts. Its a soft word and stands for the melodies. Agony is an aggressive word, full of darkness... Moonlight Agony don't have a real meaning, but it stands for the two different aspects of our music. It represents our music" As usual a few line-up changes took place and in 2004 their debut album Echoes Of A Nightmare was released. At that time Chitral 'Chitti' Somapala was in the band. "Chitty lives in Germany and so we were a bit limited due to the distance. We wanted to do more, wanted to have more personal interaction. And we wanted to be able to play more often. So we were looking for a new singer." They went separate ways and the search began. "We kept a low profile, we placed ads, but not mentioned the band name. We were looking at certain websites, etc. It was a long process, but finally we found David." Not that David lives in their neighborhood, but its just about a 2 hrs. drive. "Its nice to have a Swedish singer, coz we can meet at the weekends to rehearse and to talk about things. And communication is much easier. If we get the chance to play, we can do and don't need to plan things long range." Their debut was produced by Arnold Lindberg and Evergrey mastermind Tom S. Englund, this time Arnold Lindberg did it on his own. "Actually Tom was involved, but only helped with a few songs and so we decided not to mention him on the CD as producer. Arnold is a very good and underrated producer - and a nice guy. So he was the obvious choice and perhaps we will work with him again. We are very satisfied with Silent Waters, even if there is always something you would change with more time... like some melodies and harmonies." As Robert told me they wanted to create a more unique sound on Silent Waters. "The idea behind the album title is... We wanted to make the listener to clear his mind. There shouldn't be any expectations from the title. And silent waters are said to be deep..." And the artwork should represent the title... "The cover is done by Jan 'Örkki' Yrlund (Imperia guitarist - editor) - - who also worked with Korpiklaani. We had the idea of the ocean, the big wave and the meteorite falling down. He did a great job, but there was something missing. So he came up with the idea to add the pier and the girl - and it turned out great. He did changed last minute and it was great to work with him." The girl looking out at the sea... the big wave makes you focus on the scene. "We haven't thought about a tsunami, but it's a bit like that. People watched the tsunami coming closer and can't get away from it. The cover shows this a bit." Things like that have a certain attraction to people, but Robert admitted that they haven't thought for a moment about a tsunami, it was me who came up with the tsunami. Perhaps if you aren't involved you see things differently... Their music is often compared with bands like Dream Theater and Helloween, but "that gives the people a wrong impression. We focus on the music and not on other bands." In my opinion a comparison with Evergrey makes more sense, coz Moonlight Agony are as Evergrey heavy, progressive and melodic. And Robert agrees that even if they sound different they are musically closer to Evergrey then to the often mentioned Dream Theater and Helloween. How they sound live? "We couldn't play much live, but hopefully this will change. In 2004 we supported Doro at a few shows in Scandinavia - and the reactions been pretty good. People didn't know what to expect and our songs are a bit complex, but also melodic and catchy." Its too early to talk about promoting the album live, but as Robert says "We are always well prepared. Personally I would like to tour with a band with a different sound like A.C.T.! Touring with a band like these is a challenge, coz you have to convince the audience every day." Most bands / musicians would like to tour with a similar sounding band, coz it's easier. Time will tell, if the Swedish will be able to tour with this album and who they will tour with. But first we have to wait and see what reactions Silent Waters get...

Claudia Ehrhardt


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