Interview with Rikard Zander (Evergrey)(Keyboards)

"We felt we were going in different directions and made the mutual decision that it was time for a change. A few of the guys felt it was not...

Interviewed by Denys (Site Founder/Senior Staff Writer) Myglobalmind Webzine

Myglobalmind: Thanks so much for the time guys and congratulations on the upcoming new album “The Glorious Collision”.

Rikard: Thank you so much! Right now it feels really great and we have high hopes for the new album!

Myglobalmind: What’s been going in the Evergrey camp? Busy with the upcoming album promotions right?

Rikard: Yeah, that’s pretty much whats going on right now. Its really good with the new situation with internet and everything to spread the word but at the same time you really feel the competition is really hard. New albums are being released constantly and its easy to drown in the media circus.

Myglobalmind: What’s the early feedback on the record? Are people digging it?

Rikard: Yeah so far so good but we learned that you cant please everyone so of course there will be people that think Evergrey used to be so much better. We are pleased ourselves though and that’s really what matters at the end of the day.

Myglobalmind: Hard to believe this is the band’s 8th studio album already, I still remember as if was just yesterday when I heard “In Search of Truth” and blew my head off. How has the band’s sound evolved since then you think?

Rikard: There’s been some lineup changes over the years so that of course changes the sound. And we are getting older and try not to repeat ourselves so that might do something to the sound as well. But I think the basic vibe still is the same. Much to that Tom is still around and he always had the strongest vision for the band and most of the output. Hopefully you can hear that we still have a good time doing this though.

Myglobalmind: What kind of preparation goes into recording a new Evergrey album in particular?

Rikard: The most important thing is of course the song writing. We really have to feel that we have a strong bunch of songs before we consider making an album out of them.

After that its just hard work with making the most of them. Creating the best surrounding for the whole situation so to speak but that can look very different from each album. Like Glorious Collision we recorded and mixed in three different studios because that suited us best this time.

Myglobalmind: Obviously by now the band has developed their own niche and style, is it hard to not fall back on going back to the same sound that made you successful on previous records?

Rikard: Well, you want to please the old fans as well as getting new ones so that’s a bit tricky.

But we have learned that we have to please ourselves first and the only way to do that is try to evolve all the time.

Myglobalmind: How would you best describe the sound of Evergrey now on your new album?

Rikard: The biggest change from the previous album Torn is I think realizing the role of the keyboard in Evergreys music. So it’s a bit more in the foreground. Otherwise its really hard to put the finger on what has changed. I think you really have to listen and make up your mind of your own.

Myglobalmind: Apart from the line up changes which will get to shortly, what other changes has the new line up brought to the table?

Rikard: One big change is that we don’t live in the same city anymore which makes it a little bit harder to organize things. Otherwise its still a very new line up so apart from the obvious changes like a little different bass drum and guitar playing etc. its not so much of a change.

Myglobalmind: Evidently every band goes through line up changes at some point in their life span, when Jonas Ekdahl, Henrik Danhage and Jari Kainulainen all left the band how did you guys deal with this adversity?

Rikard: We felt we were going in different directions and made the mutual decision that it was time for a change. A few of the guys felt it was not so funny anymore to be part of Evergrey and they also had a project on the side that they wanted to give main focus. Its of course a bit scary to make such a major change and we didn’t have a clue if we could find good replacements. I must say we were really lucky finding Marcus. Hannes and Johan. If its a stronger unit its a bit too early to say but at least we have found some new energy and right now it feels really good. We are still kind of on our honey moon:)

Myglobalmind: I have always noticed that Evergrey as a band you guys always do a very cool job of keeping your fanbase on alert with the site updates via videos, blogs, etc. How important have the fan’s been in sticking with the band even through the line up changes?

Rikard: Its very important because every time we do some changes we are really scared that people are gonna be tired and think we are not too serious. But we are really lucky because I think people see Evergrey as something bigger than its members so the most important thing for them is that the band continues. I really like to look at things in that way and that’s a little bit how we work now that everything must be the best for the band.

Myglobalmind: The band hails from Gothenburg, Sweden, describe how the metal scene up there is like? I remember the Gothenburg sound famous for bands like In Flames, Soilwork, etc..Is that type of vibe still pretty popular in those areas?

Rikard: We have a lot of successful bands from this town so I think a lot of new bands are influenced by that but I hope new bands will develop new sounds because I don’t think the world needs another melodic death metal band from Gothenburg.

Myglobalmind: What inspires you to write and play this type of music?

Rikard: Pretty much life in general and also the music we grew up from. Like a mix between the hardest and the most beautiful. That’s always been Evergreys vision of type of blend.

Myglobalmind: What kind of feeling or vibe do you want fans to feel after they listen to Evergrey’s new record?

Rikard: I want them to like it simple as that!

Myglobalmind: Who or what has been the best concert you have ever been to? Your own doesn’t count?

Rikard: One of them must have been when I saw Magnum in Stockholm in the 80s. The crowd was jumpin up and down and clapping the hands from the first to the last song. That’s a really strong memory and also one of my first concerts ever. That might have a role in this aswell.

Myglobalmind: Our webzine is based here out of the good old USA, Any possible US dates in the horizon? I know the band was recently added to the Progpower USA 2011 festival.

Rikard: Yep as you might know now were doing a tour with Sabaton in September. I really miss the States so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a real special vibe to do a US tour that you can’t compare with anywhere else!

Myglobalmind: The famous words are yours, thanks for taking the time and good luck in the future, as fans we look forward to more!!!

Rikard: Thank you and hope you´ll like Glorious Collision and come to see us in our upcoming US tour!

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Myglobalmind Webzine Review for Evergrey – The Glorious Collision

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