Evergrey - Englund, Zander, Niemann

Evergrey - Englund, Zander, Niemann

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EVERGREY is a really special band that I believe hasn’t received the attention it deserved from the Metal scene. Nevertheless, the brand new lineup did a US tour and METAL KAOZ did not lose the chance to have a nice talk with Tom Englund, Rikard Zander and Johan Niemann in the band’s tour bus, a couple of hours before their excellent show in Chicago.


 

How has been the US tour?
Tom: Great! We have four bands coming with us and we did get along very good!

Were you involved in choosing the bands for the US tour?
Tom: No, the management took care of this.

Did you have any doubts or even feared how the fans would react to this new lineup?
Tom: Yeah, we did. On the other hand, this lineup has been together for quite some time now and we feel confident. Maybe, I would be afraid if we were touring on an old album that the rest of the band wasn’t involved with, you know writing, recoding and producing. But we do have a new album, so there are no fears about that at all.

So, the fans are treating you good?
Tom: Absolutely, me (pointing at Johan Niemann) and not them... (laughs)

First of all, congratulations on the gold award about the new single.
Tom: Thank you.

Did you expect that?
Tom: No, you can never expect such things. It’s really cool but it’s not that important at the end of the day. It’s not like we are getting a Lamborghini each, you know (laughs).

Yeah, but it gives something right?
Tom: Yeah, we are getting an extra beer at the end of each month...

So, the platinum award is a case of beers?
Tom: I guess...
Rikard: Well, in Sweden it is one hundred copies…(laughs)

Ok, let’s talk about the new album; what did the new member bring to this?
Rikard: It’s a whole different attitude. Especially the playing; I mean, we brought three new musicians so at least from my point of view it’s very different. (addressing to Johan Niemann) What do you think you brought?
Johan: I have no idea; how they fuck should I know? Of course, getting three different players it will sound different. I think Markus brought some new riffs...
Tom: That’s true, Markus got involved in the song writing from the very beginning and that’s really important of a new member in a band.

(asking Johan Niemann) Did you feel any type of anxious getting onstage with EVERGREY?
Johan: Yeah, a little bit. You never know how the fans will react.

Does this lineup feels solid to you?
Tom: Yeah, but we never think like this. After all, things happen all the time and apparently in EVERGREY many times. But this is where we are now.

Let’s talk about the US tour; how many songs did you rehearse?
Tom: Quite a lot since we also played the entire “In Search For The Truth” album in Atlanta. We have a great variety of songs that we could play and I’d say we have at least 30 songs to choose from.

Are there any plans to do the entire “Trilogy Of Damned” live?
Tom: I think we have done this...
Rikard: Yeah, but it was a long time ago. But we really have thought about.

You have also done some acoustic shows and in a previous interview we did back in 2010, you said that you were going to release a full acoustic album.
Tom: We have been thinking to do this probably for 10 years and I really cannot tell you when or if we are going to. Maybe next year...

Are you thinking of writing new songs or will you just rearrange some old EVERGREY tunes?
Tom: If we will do it, it will be only with old songs. Maybe we will add one or two new ones but it will mainly be old material. We have so many things that we could do acoustically and this is purpose of it; to reinterpret some songs into acoustic versions.

So, we will just have to wait… let’s go back to the new album; was all the music already written before the new members had come in?
Tom: No, we had written a part of it. But we did some adjustments and rearrangements and as I said Markus came in and co-wrote a couple of songs, so everybody was at least involved in the thinking process. But it was mainly me and Rik who wrote most of it.

What is the meaning behind the album’s title, “Glorious Collision”?
Tom: When you step into a problem, like breaking with your band for instance, then things feel really black and dark and you are unable to find a solution just at the moment of impact. And then later, you understand that this collision turned to be glorious because it made you to do different things and look in other directions, so in the end the first impact gets you in a new road. Just like with EVERGREY.

What about the cover artwork; what is the connection with the album’s title?
Tom: This guy [on the cover] does not know to where he is falling on. He is going to hit the ground soon but he really doesn’t the outcome of this collision.

He also seems to have lost his grip…
Tom: Yeah, and sometimes in life you just have to let go...

So, how important are the lyrics for you?
Tom: Extremely! They are equally important with the music. You see, the vocal melodies go hand-in-hand with the lyrics, so it is like you are asking how important are the vocals.

Some of the EVERGREY albums have a main theme or a concept; so, do you have in mind a specific subject or concept that you’d like to cover in a future album?
Tom: I have pretty much covered all the subjects I wanted with the previous albums. Honestly, no. I think we have done too heavy subjects like in “The Inner Circle” or in “In Search Of Truth”. It’s quite a task to do a concept album and make it interesting with 10 songs. So, if you don’t passionate about a certain subject, then it is possible to deliver. Of course, I am not closing doors since there might be something interesting on the way.

Having played in Europe and the US, what can you say that is the difference between the two audiences? I know it’s a cliché question…
Tom: Yeah it is, but it’s also a good one because there is a difference, although it is really hard to define this...
Rikard: The European audience differ so much from country to country. I mean, the Greek and the German audiences, for example, are totally different. But in the US is pretty much the same.

So, Tom, you have also participated in the new NIGHTRAGE album; how did this come up?
Tom: Marios just asked me and I simply said yes. It took me 30 minutes to record the song.

Did you wrote or change something in the music?
Tom: Actually, I wrote some parts according to some basic ideas they had. I also participated in another song that I wasn’t supposed to. We rewrote it there in the studio.

You have a distinct timbre in your voice, so I was wondering: what are your personal influences?
Tom: The truth is that I didn’t have a plan to become a singer and this means I wasn’t prepared to start singing. That also means that I did not have some vocal gods to look up to or a specific singing way. It become so hasty for me to become a singer so again I was not prepared and it really worked out!

So, what is next for EVERGREY?
Tom: Well, I really don’t know; maybe do the acoustic album? (laughs) Well, we do have a ‘best of’ compilation released via SPV that will also include acoustic versions of two songs from the last album. And then we are preparing the vinyl edition of “Glorious Collision”.

What about releasing the rest of the EVERGREY albums on vinyl?
Tom: Nah, I don’t think so. It would be great for us but we will see how this will turn out.