PYRAMAZE are back with a new album. I thought it was time to talk to Jonah about this and that. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
It’s been two years since I last interviewed you guys. What have you been up to since the last time we spoke?
-A lot I think! Mainly the creation of our new album Contingent. it has been a wonderful and fruitful creative process and has been a big step for the band moving forward. Additionally, we played at Prog Power USA last September. It was a historic show as all three of our singers that we have ever had joined us onstage to sing from their respective catalogue of Pyramaze songs.
How hard was it for you guys to pick your name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-Our founding and former guitar player Michael Kammeyer picked the name when he created Pyramaze back in 2002. I think he was into Egyptian history and so forth and decided to fuse the words “Pyramid” and “Maze” together to form Pyramaze. So not too hard at all I don’t think.
I take it you got a new recording to promote. What can we expect from this new one? What inspires you to come up with new songs?
-Indeed we do! I think you can expect a full and epic album full of progressive and symphonic melodic metal full of memorable and catchy choruses. It is an album with tremendous depth and will take many many listens to fully absorb. We are very inspired by a variety of genres of music when we write our music. For me, its mainly modern cinematic film score music and epic orchestration when Im composing my keyboard arrangements.
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play? How do you feel it has gone so far? Have you achieved what you set out to do?
-Pyramaze originally was the vision of our founding guitarist Michael, who set out to write an album (Melancholy Beast) of music in the Power Metal vein and find a line-up of musicians who would enhance his ideas and bring something special to the table. It has gone great so far, and with a 15 year career and five albums behind us now I would say this is really just the beginning. I think Pyramaze is something special in that we have a solid fan base around the world despite the fact that we haven’t gotten to play live very much over the years. At the end of the day we are all very proud of the music we make, so I would say yes, we feel a sense of accomplishment.
I believe that people’s change of habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Am I right in having this fear?
-I think the truest of the true fans still buy physical copies of cds. I even buy them myself at the local record store here in Minnesota. Obviously digital releases are popular and thats all well and good, but I don’t think the manufacturing of cds and vinyl is going to stop completely.
We live in an age where people download rather than buy and hence miss out on the joy of having a booklet or a LP cover in their hands. How do you best catch people’s attention today when art work isn’t the eye catcher digitally?
-I think you can do so by reaching out to the fans and reminding them of how important it is to buy CDs and support the bands they love. Social media is a great way to do so. I encourage fans to take selfies of themselves holding their CDs and shirts and post them on social media… and to lead by example.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
-I view social media as a resource to reach out to fans and to get our music our there in front of their faces. Social media has certainly changed the game and has made things very different since the inception of Pyramaze back in 2002. It seems like different bands have their own approach as to how to handle it, but I would say ours is to be as accessible as possible.
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
-I think Metal is really more of a community than anything else, or a brotherhood as it were. Pyramaze is heavily routed in the Prog/Power community, which is certainly a worldwide phenomenon. It is as big and grand as it gets! We love our fans dearly and at the end of the day, they are really the reason behind everything that we do.
How much has the touring circuit changed over the last two years? I get the impression that it is much more festivals and package tours these days.
-That’s an accurate observation really, as festivals seem to be the place to be these days. Package tours are great too, provided they are done properly. Pyramaze has always been more of a festival band anyway. We are pretty spread out all over the world with me being in the USA and then those guys being in Denmark and Norway so festivals is really more of a viable option for us. I wouldn’t rule out a tour if the circumstances were right however.
What will the future bring?
-Well, this summer we are going to start writing songs for our sixth album and we are also playing Prog Power Europe in October! We are really looking forward to expanding our fan base and showing the world that we can still produce quality album after quality album. We have some pretty ambitious ideas as to what we can do to continue to grow as a band, and how we can expand our creativity. The future is bright my friend!