The night before their gig at Sweden
Rock Festival, Evergrey played at the youth centre Galaxen in Sollentuna,
outside of Stockholm. Metal Covenant decided to book a meeting with Tom
S Englund (vocals/guitars), Richard Zander
(keyboards) and Michael Håkansson
(bass) in a conference room in the same building.
Niklas: So, whats going on at the
Evergrey: (Michael): We've just returned from
America, where we did a really great tour together with In Flames.
So we've just been home for a week, and now the festival season starts.
It can't get any better, really.
Niklas: We were surprised to hear that Evergrey were coming to
Sollentuna to play a gig, isn't it unusual for a band of your size to
come to a small place like this?
Evergrey: (Tom): When we were in America we
got the question if we wanted to do this gig one day before Sweden
Rock Festival, and since we're on the move, why not? I mean, this
is the reason why we're doing tours. Unfortunatley the premonition
was a bit short for this to be perfect, but we're still glad to be
Niklas: Isn't it a big difference to play
in America for several weeks, then coming home to play here?
Evergrey: (Tom): We try not to have preconceived
thoughts about any places we go to, you never know beforehand how
successful a concert will be. There was one club we played in America
that was really worn out and about ten times smaller than this place,
so we've seen just about everything and try to stay positive.
Niklas: Are you pleased with the way your
new album Monday Morning Apocalypse has been received?
Evergrey: (Tom): We're still waiting for most
of the reception since the album is so new, and we've just been in
America and are just starting our tour with the album. We were in
Germany the day before yesterday and played a festival there, and
got great reception from the audience. It seems like Monday Morning
Apocalypse has succeded in a whole other way than the other albums.
A wider audience seem to have taken it to them.
Niklas: How would you compare this album
to your earlier ones, music-wise?
Evergrey: (Michael): Evergrey has always been
about an on-going revolution with our music, none of our albums really
sound like the other. Sure, at first it might not sound like a gigantic
step, but if you for example compare the first album with the third
you really hear the difference. But then there's an album inbetween,
so perhaps it takes two steps for us each time to really evolve. (Tom):
Yeah, and especially since it's been such a long time between this
album and The Inner Circle, because we made a live-album inbetween.
Which means that we have marked out different paths, and that's why
Evergrey sounds like this today.
Niklas: On your American tour, did you feel that there were any
songs on the new album that worked extra well with the crowd?
Evergrey: (Richard): We have played three new
songs on this tour, and all of them have worked great. I think that
all the songs on Monday Morning Apocalypse would be able to work live
if we decided to play them, which we will probably do in the future.
To me these songs feel like great live-material. (Tom): The songs
that we have shot videos for are always the ones that gets the best
response, obviously. But our new video hasn't been played in America
yet, so it will probably be received even better on our forthcoming
tour over there this fall.
Niklas: I recently watched A Night To Remember
on DVD, and was mighty impressed about how ambitious and grand everything
was. Will you ever try to do something similar?
Evergrey: (Tom): Personally, I never want to
do a DVD again. (laughs) I mean, it was a hell of job to do and we
had to sacrifice a lot of our free time to do this. It took quite
a while to gather all the backstage material, too. We have to do at
least a couple of albums more before we try something like that again.
Niklas: I would like to have your comments
on your discography, how do you look back on each album that you have
made? Starting with the first album, The Dark Discovery (1998)?
Niklas: Solitude Dominance Tragedy (1999)?
- Evergrey: (Tom): A bit more balanced than the
first album, we knew what we were doing this time. On the first album
we tried to get as much out of us as we could, since we didn't know
at that time if we would be able to do more albums. A bad-ass record,
if I may say so.
Niklas: In Search For Truth (2001)?
- Evergrey: (Richard):
To me, it feels like the most progressive album we've done. If you choose
to look at our music from a certain viewpoint, this is the record with
the most progressive elements. (Tom): But still, personally I don't
think that any of our albums feel that "progressive". To me,
that kind of music is more like Rush, and that's not what we play.
Niklas: Recreation Day (2003)?
- Evergrey: (Michael):
That album has great collection of terrific songs. (Richard): It was
the first album I did with the band, and I feel that we wanted to make
something more straight-forward and more live-friendly than before,
which really showed.
Niklas: The Inner Circle (2004)?
Evergrey: (Tom): That time, we tried to do
something opposite of Recreation Day. It was a relief to finally get
everything out of our system when the album was finished. (Richard):
We took the time we needed on The Inner Circle, and really dug in
deep, contrary to what we did on Recreation Day.
Niklas: And finally, Monday Morning Apocalypse
- Evergrey: (Tom):
A really great album, it sounds good, it feels good, it smells good
(laughs) It's the most even album we have done, and it's great all the
Niklas: How do you think your next album
- Evergrey: (Richard):
It will br über-progressive! (laughs) (Tom): That's impossible
to say, we don't even know if we'll do any more albums after this. We
don't plan ahead that far. It's just as hard to say as how Sweden's
game against Trinidad and Tobago will end. Hopefully we will win with
6-0! (it ended 0-0
Niklas: Can you describe a typical Evergrey-concert?
We're not into this thing about building castles on the stage, and
so on. We always let the music speak for itself. We have become a
really good live-band over the years. We normally play for one hour
or maybe one and a half, more than that I don't wanna see any band
Niklas: Do you prefer to alter your set
list during your tours?
- Evergrey: (Michael):
It depends, on longer tours we usually stick to a specific set list,
more or less. But otherwise, we're not afraid to change set lists. (Richard):
If there is long time between the gigs, we often change quite a lot.
I remember on our last tour in America, we felt that the set list didn't
work the way we wanted after 4-5 concerts, so we made some adjustments.
That's what you have to do, try the set list a few times and see how
the audience reacts. Then of course, you have to make some changes here
and there from time to time, otherwise you get tired of it all.
Niklas: It's been precisely four years
since you last played at Sweden Rock Festival, what are your expectations?
- Evergrey: (Tom):
Wow, it's been that long?! Anyway, we're looking forward to breaking
WASP, since they play the same time as we do. Normally on festivals
you collide with 3-4 bands, but not this time. And seriously, I doubt
that 21.000 persons on this festival are WASP-fans, because then they
would surely play at Globen or Scandinavium all the time, which they
don't. Most of all I'm looking forward to NOT playing at 12 AM which
we have done two times, this year we're almost playing at 12 PM, so
we must be making some kind of progress here! (laughs)
Niklas: Any last words to our readers?
They should check out the new album, of course. Even those who didn't
like us before, because hopefully Monday Morning Apocalypse has something
for them as well. (Tom): Definintely, we noticed a huge change on
this tour we did with In Flames. We normally don't play to their fans,
but this time there was a victory for us every night. So a message
to all the In Flames-fans: check out the new album!
Then Tom and the others sign the Metal Covenant-shirt (they
choose the grey pen, of course) and then go out and play kind of an exclusive
gig in front of roughly twenty people. Unfortunatley, due to a mistake
by the arrangers Evergrey were only allowed to play for half an hour,
since there can't be any music at Galaxen after 2 AM. But as you can see
on Michael's pictures, Evergrey made sure to give all they had for the
audience who had waited so patiently.
also: pictures from the gig the same night »»