Mat: Could you please start by giving a
brief introduction to the band's history, formation and career up to this
Christian: The band was formed by me Christian
Rivel and Carl Johan Grimmark back in 1996.
We have since then released three albums worldwide Awakening(1997),
Long Live The King (1999), Desert Land (2001) and now our new album
The Great Fall( 2003). All our three album releases have been out
through Nuclear Blast and Pony Canyon in Asia. The new one The Great
Fall is out by Nuclear Blast, no deal is secured in Asia yet.
We have been touring with several bands as Stratovarius, Black Symphony
and Dio and other smaller bands. We have been to UK, Sweden, Norway,
Finland, Switzerland, Germany and also done a promotion tour in Japan.
Christian Rivel: Lead Vocals
Carl Johan Grimmark: Guitars & Vocals
Andreas Olsson: Bass & Vocals
Andreas Johansson: Drums & Percussion
Linus Kaase: Keyboards & Vocals
Mat: You've recently also have some changes
in the line-up. Your keyboard player since six years back, Martin Claesson,
has obviousy left the band. Can you tell us something of why he chose
to do so? How did you get in contact with his replacement, Linus Kåse?
Has he been involved with the band before or was he a new acquaintance?
Christian: (from Martin:) "As You know
by now I have decided to leave Narnia - a tough decision to make since
I've really enjoyed being a part of the band and meeting the fans
at our concerts. Despite all this I feel that it's time to move on.
I want to thank all fans and promoters I have met during my time with
Narnia. You have made this time unforgettable! I also want to wish
the best of luck to Narnia and especially my replacer."
I met Linus back 2001 and get in touch with
his band Brighteye Brison where I released in January 2003 on my label
Rivel record, Sweden. See www.rivelrecords.com
He is a great keyboardplayer and we asked him
and he joined in.
Mat: You also have a new bass player, Andreas
Olsson. What do you mainly think that he and Linus have brought to the
band? Have they contributed with anything that has had an influence on
the song-writing and recording of the new album?
Mat: In what ways do you think the Narnia
of today has matured and changed the most since the beginning? Have things
developed along the lines you wanted them to, or have there even been
unexpected turns along the way? Both for better and for worse.
Christian: It has been the easiest album to
record so far . Mostly of the material is recorded at our guitarist
Carl Johan Grimmark´s studio Dreamfactory. Some sessions are
done in Germany where we recorded Eric Clayton´s ( Saviour Machine)
voice for the song The Great Fall Of Man. The choir part in the same
song that is recorded in Tone Zone studio in Stockholm.
The drums on the song Judgement day is recorded and handled in Malmo
by Anders Johansson(Hammerfall, ex. Rising Force).
We have been working in a good way without stressing sessions on this
album and we are pleased with the result.
The album is heavier than the previous ones
and it has more of our own identity on this album and also some more
progressive and symphonic elements but of course the melody is the
most important element in Narnia´s music. It is also a concept
Mat: I'm supposing the name Narnia is from
the great productions of C.S Lewis, since you have the lion Aslan as the
band symbol and that several of your songs are titled with names and events
from those productions. But do you just re-write a story from those books
or do you intertwine it with other elements as well? If so, what topics
and in what ways do you make them part of it all?
Christian: We like the Narnia theme but most
of our lyrics deals about our daily life , as story not based on the
The Great fall is a conceptalbum about a soldier and his experiences
and journey through a war and his spiritual journey and struggles
to find God for his broken soul. It is also how you and I take care
of brothers and sisters when they are in need of help and not feeling
well. Out time is very limited these days and many people don´t
have time to spend for their brothers and sisters when they definitely
Listen to the album and you will see our points. I will leave this
up to the listener to find out what it is all about. Treat each other
as you want to be treated yourself!
Mat: What are your feelings concerning your
new album, The Great Fall? What kind of new angles and developments have
majorly taken place since your previous release? How has it been received
up to this point and how do you suppose it will be received by the fans?
Christian: Everybody says so far that this
is the best Narnia album and that we have developed as musicians,
our songs, sound and production!
It´s good to hear because it is a change on this album but I
think the Narnia fans will love it. We have to go further as a band
but we will not leave the melodic metal!
Mat: Could you list your three personal
favourite tracks on The Great Fall and give a brief description of them.
What do you think make those specific ones stand out from the rest?
Christian: My favorite song is Back From Hell.
It is very dynamic, melodic and also very aggressive. I love the mix
and arrangement of that song and it also shows the new direction Narnia
are moving into musically.
Two ther song is the Countdown Has Begun and Innocent Blood and the
same reasons about these songs I mentioned above.
Mat: Drummer Anders Johansson from Hammerfall
and vocalist Eric Clayton from Savior Machine have done guest-appearances
on the album. How did it happen that it turned out to those two in particular?
Do you think you will work with them again?
Mat: Which of your albums has been the
most succesful one and what countries provide the best market for your
music? Has different albums been more popular in certain countries or
is it more a general and evenly spread issue?
Mat: What kind of feelings and emotions
do you want to mediate with your music? What is the basic massage behind
it? Do you think that you've succeeded in this area or is there even more
- Christian: Our
mission and vision with the band is give good melodic metal with a good
message and we don´t deny the impact of Jesus Christ in our lives.
I got the vision from God about Narnia 1996 and I will follow his guiding
hand with this band.
Mat: You also have your own record company,
CL Publishing. When and why did you start this originally? What bands
have you signed and could you also please describe them briefly?
- Christian: My
label is now called Rivel Records because of my name changewhen I got
married last year. I release from melod to extreme metal.
My visionis the same as with Narnia. I want to give good music with
a good message to the people.
Right now I have release 10 different albums withj bands like:
Sons Of Thunder
Brighteye Brison and more will follow. See www.rivelrecords.com
for more info.
Mat: You seem to be involved in a some
side-projects besides Narnia, like for instance Wisdom Call and Christian's
Powertime. Are both of these projects still "alive" and if that
should be the case, what can we expect from them later on? How do you
think the sound of those majorly differ from that of Narnias?
- Christian: My
self I am running my soloband Audiovison and right now in the writing
process for the debut album. The musicians on the album will be Lars
Chriss / Lion´s Share, Carljohan Grimmark/Narnia, Pontus Norgren/
Ex. Talisman Great King Rat, Andreas Olsson/ Narnia and other people.
The style is very good melodic metal in the vein of Pretty Maids, Dio,
Stryper, Impellitteri etc.
I have also a symphonic rockband called Windy City in the vein of Styx,
Queen and Kansas. This band I have together with keyboardplayer Linus
Kaase. Hopefully a recording will be done with this band in 2004.
I am also involved in Beautiful Mind who toured in Israel and released
a single in April 2004. I have also released my first Swedish album
with hymns and songs written by Jerusalem, Pelle Karlsson etc. I am
performing in churches in Sweden with my wife who is professional dancer
so she is doing correography and I am singing and the response in local
radio have been overwhelming.
Wisdom Call and in the first place Powertime
is not exsisting anymore due to different musical goals.
Mat: I know your tour is due to start soon,
but who will you tour with? Do you even have some festival gigs planned
for the upcoming summer?
Mat: And before we end this interview some
Nokia or Ericsson cellular phone?
A live-concert that was something very special
-Uriah Heep magicians birthday Party in London 2001
Recently read book or magazine?
-Henning Mankell: "Innan Frosten"
Nostalgia: What band/artist did you first
take to your heart?
-The Sweet, Kansas and Deep Purple
Interests besides music?
-Sports, fishing, spending time with my friends and my wife.
A vacation resort you highly recommend?
Mat: And finally - any words of wisdom or
funny facts about the nearest future
you want to share with the readers?
That was all I had for now, Christian - the staff at metalcovenant.com
wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank
you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!