Interview Credit: Adrian Hextall (Photographer/Live Gig reporter Myglobalmind Webzine
Dynazty are in London tonight not to play but to watch Voodoo Six and Santa Cruz at the Underworld in Camden.
Having released the Chris Laney produced debut album ‘Bring The Thunder’ in 2009, the band have been received well by critics, praising the bands retro-sound and overall playing ability. Subsequent albums in the same vein have followed, all receiving excellent reviews at www.MyGlobalMind.com
Now with latest album ‘Renatus’ hitting the shelves, an album that has nothing in common with their previous works, MyGlobalMind was fortunate enough to talk to Love Magnusson during their brief stopover in London to discuss the radical change in direction, a love of Egyptian history (allegedly) and a short stint on Eurovision.
Love, many thanks for speaking to us tonight, MGM has followed you guys for some time now reviewing all of the previous albums with some very good scores from the team. Before we talk about the new album, I’d just like to know a little more about the band’s origins as the web site states that you all have “a want for something majestic and a fascination for Egyptian history”. Tell me about this love of Egyptian history.
(Laughs) I have no idea, really, why it says so on the site. I think I cannot answer that as I truly do not know about it. The name (Dynazty) is something that came from George (Egg – drums) when his family visited China and they became fascinated with the Ming Dynasty and the whole concept of the dynasties that existed there. But as for the Egyptian element, I think not so much.
Last time you came to the UK, it was on the back of the Smokehead Rocks tour with the Electric Boys, Miss Behaviour and others.. with a London show at the Islington Academy.
Yes we also had Sencelled and a British band I do not recall….
Tainted Nation I think?
Ah yes.. that’s a good friend of ours as well in that band, Pontus (Egberg) from the Poodles. He lives in Stockholm as well so we play with him sometimes.
Have you been out on tour with him \ supporting him?
Yeah, we went on tour with the Poodles in 2009, that was a very good tour, it was our first tour , well, real tour anyway as Dynazty. It was only 2 to 3 months after the release of our first album.
With the first album and also the 2nd and 3rd, you established a classic retro sound that was well received by the critics but this time with Renatus you’ve made a conscious decision to play in a very different style.
Yes, we talked about this for some time before we made the new album. All of us are into heavier metal than the material we had recorded before. We are all big fans of Symphony X for example, which is much more progressive metal.
And there are elements of that on the new album…
Yes definitely, it is a little more… rhythmic in style. We also tried to do this on the last album as well (2012’s Sultans of Sin) which was at least a little bit heavier than the previous two. This time however we thought “let’s go all in for what we really want to play”. We could then record without any obstacles and do what we really wanted to do.
Did you previously look at what was popular in the Swedish market then and take that approach before deciding that now was the time to play what you feel is best for you?
Yes, exactly, this time the music is straight from the heart.
Given the radical change in style, is it difficult to fit the new songs into a live setlist where you have to place progressive power metal against the hard rock of say the debut?
(Laughs) ha, yes.. It is, very difficult. We do not as yet know quite how to deal with it. We think the best thing to do would be to play the older songs in the style of the new album to make everything fit. Then if all goes well, perhaps in 20 years’ time we can do an old school tour based on the original first two albums.
So to promote the new album you are playing Hard Rock Hell AOR festival (at Hafan Y Mor, Pwllheli, do you have plans to continue touring after that?
No, once we have done the HRH show we return to Sweden for a launch party for ‘Renatus’. Then we wait around 3-4 weeks before we head out on tour with Gamma Ray and Rhapsody of Fire for the Swedish and Finnish dates. After that we will do a few shows maybe but for now we are starting to book everything only. All I know is that we will be in Spain at the end of the summer. Other than that, nothing definite.
So the right bill for you given the new direction? Given you like Symphony X I also assume that Rhapsody of Fire and Gamma Ray will also be bands you listen to as well.
Oh yes, We all love that heavier power metal sound, especially when we tried to combine our styles and put the heavier power metal feel into our choruses and then change style again during the verses.
It must have been difficult to make such a change. If you look at the drumming for example on power metal albums, the speed and style differs considerably from drumming patterns on a hard rock album. Has it therefore been a learning experience for you to all play differently or were you already playing a lot of this just not recording it?
We have always played this music as it is what we enjoy so that for us is good because you will hear that enjoyment as well. What is interesting is that our drummer has always played with the single kick (and not double typical with the faster power metal bands) and he wants to stay that way. So to get the faster double kick sound, he’s bought a bass drum, put it next to the snare and he plays that one with his hand. So he alternates the beat between the two with the kick and also his hand. He always wants to be able to play the high hat cymbal with his left foot so now he can do this like so (Love at this point demonstrates the new style with a mixture of foot and hand taps on the floor and table where we are sitting). He took time out to prepare a drumming schedule for about 100 hours, to do all of the things he wanted to do and learn to play this new way.
So with the new album released at the end of March, beginning of April, it is an interesting name. Is it pronounced ‘Ren-R-Tus’?
Ren R Tus or Ren-a-Tus we are not sure, we’ve not really decided yet. It means rebirth in Latin. We chose it because of what we have done with the album and it is a perfect fit for us now. Even with the album cover we were trying to symbolize the rebirth as well.
One of the tracks on the album ‘Salvation’ comes in at over seven minutes long and really showcases the more progressive style you’ve been talking about. Do you see yourselves heading more that way in future in the vein of bands say like Symphony X and perhaps Royal Hunt or maybe lean more towards the straight power metal feel of bands like Gamma Ray?
We hope to fall somewhere in the middle. We still like to play to shorter more immediate songs as well so a combination would be good. We don’t want to make it complicated but instead give everyone the opportunity to listen to progressive metal easily.
And the opportunity to show more technically what you are all capable of playing?
Exactly, from the time we were growing up we were always the geeky kids that never went out to play but were always rehearsing or practicing instead to get better. So now we get to show that off.
A final thought then, looking back a couple of years, you put yourselves forward to hopefully represent Sweden in Eurovision (Song Contest). Tell us a little but about that.
Yes we took part in the Swedish finals (that would determine the final entry to represent the country) in 2012. We did not play for Sweden in the final contest but we went through to what is called the second chance stage. It was good for us for our profile (Previously home country Sweden had not caught on to the band as quickly as the rest of Europe) and we finished pretty high in the rankings with ‘Raise Your Hands’ the second track from ‘Sultans of Sin’.
One to revisit then.. Thank you for your time today Love, it’s been a great insight in the band and the future direction that I wish you all the best with.