When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
-I guess the very long gap behooves that question. I guess the answer is we just keep on doing what we do. To us who have lived with our selves this whole time, so much has happened, so it doesn’t really feel like a comeback to us. I mean in the down time, eventhough no new albusm were released, we found a new drummer, played a big gig at ProgPower Europe, played ProgPower USA, recorded the DVD and worked through editing and mixing, recorded two new songs, made a vide for one of them, plus played both Sweden, Norway and Italy. Add to this that Tommy is away a lot with Kamelot, and that we also wrote and arranged this whole new album. So I mean, for uss, eventhough it has been slower, it never really felt like we quit. At the same time I can appreciate that people might feel that way.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
-Hm, not really no. There are some themes that me and Tommy who do the lyrics like to dabble in, like existential issues, or Scandinavian folklore etc but not really beyond that. I think every record is its own entity, and we like to view to just like that. The music also has a tendency to come out as it does, intentional or not. We might strive towards a certain direction but in the end it always comes out sounding like Seventh Wonder, which I guess, is a good thing.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know that you have the right lyrics?
-It is usually the easy part if you ask me. I know Tommy struggles, more but I believe that he neither struggles with topics, rather the actual wordings, to make them good and make them fit. That is of course where the challenge lies. There are just too many great stories to tell to ever have to struggle with lyrics. I would love to write three times as many lyrics as I do.
I am old school. I like really cool album covers but from what I’ve gathered some bands tend to spend less on art work because people don’t buy records, they download songs. What are your feelings on this?
-Artwork is important to us. AT least three of us in the band still buy CDs as the primary way to get the music we want. I love emerging myself in lyrics and visual concepts when I buy an album so that is important to us for sure. The tone, or the atmosphere of the artwork needs to compliment the music and work with whatever expression you’re after with a certain record or a certain song. It is a big part of it for me. When you think of an album, you see the cover in your mind. It matters.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpretated because of the music you play?
-Nah I don’t think so. Maybe if you’re like at a wedding or some family thing, and some distant relative or new acquaintance ask you what kind of music you play, then sure, you rarely get people excited when you say it is hard rock or metal, but among fans of music I have never experienced that. There might be a certain snobbery associated with progmetal that people can frown upon, but I do believe it is generally a genre held in high esteem by critics and fans alike. They will slam you every now and then for “endless solos” or whatever, but that doesn’t matter.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-It is 99% a bad thing. Maybe, just maybe, there is an upside to it, and that is that more band could MAYBE get their five minutes of fame. Basically it kills the industry, as only really big bands with a huge following will attract production companies and investors on a scale where it is feasible to pull off massive tours in every place of the world and so on. Having said that, I do think that metal in general is the genre that suffers the least from this. Our fans are dedicated beyond belief, and truly passionate about the music they follow. There is no issues with like “flavor of the month” in this genre. Fans are loyal, well read-up on things, attend concerts, buy the albums and are generally incredibly supportive.
Back in the days you had to trade tapes if you wanted to hear new unheard of bands. Today you are just a click away from discovering new acts. Do you feel that this development in some ways will do more harm than good in the long run, that it will eventually kill off music as we know it?
-Like I just said, maybe the internet etc will get more bands the opportunity to attract some fans, but at the same time, even for bands on our level, whatever level that might be, basically have no chance ging on tours for any extended period of time or being supported by larger production companies. That is just the way it is. Noone is willing to put up the money up front, which means the band has to do it, which is a heavy burden. The upside is just how easy it is to interact with fans from all over the globe, but rock n’ roll has always been about getting to a club and frickin’ rocking out together with the fans, and that aspect sure suffers.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
-Again, yes absolutely. With record sales waning, there is no money upfront to use to get the tour started, whether you’d be able to recoup that money down the road or not. Don’t get me wrong playing festivals is awesome for bands and fans alike, but regular tours is what puts food on the table for the bands and without it, more bands struggle to get by and keep it up.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
-I have no idea! Seriously, that is the least of my concerns. Sure, like when playing Mercy Falls live it would have been awesome with video screens and stage actors etc, but normally, I don’t really care all that much. A stage where everybody is seen and heard is a good start! Add some pyros and w’ll be happy!
What does the future hold?
-Right now, we are in the studio recording the new album. That will keep us busy until the end of the year, at least including mixing and post production etc. The release of the live show from USA is getting closer though, which is pretty cool. There is a new song on that album, a studio version I mean, and it is going to be great getting people’s reactions on that whole package, and hopefully it will keep people content until the new albums is released sometime after New Year’s in 2017!