Interview with Evergrey drummer JONAS EKDAHL covering new album, the band, the pandemic and other things…

Interview by: Gabor Kleinbloesem

Live Phot Credit: Zenaefilmz



Swedish Melodic Metal heroes EVERGREY have been a constant factor in the Hardrock/Metal world with each new album sounding even better than the previous one, always delivering high quality records and also their new album Escape of the Phoenix is a sensational melodic metal. Time to sit down with drummer JONAS EKDAHL and talk about the album, the band, the pandemic and other things…

I would like to start by congratulating you for releasing yet another strong new album! What EVERGREY divides from other bands in the genre is the great melodies in your songs, how do you come up with them?

We gather inspiration from a lot of other genres besides metal and hard rock, like pop, soundtrack music, hip hop and instrumental music i.e. We just want to write good music that sound and feels good to our ears, we have no magic recipe, but at the same time we can’t always explain how we come up with a certain song or melody, sometimes (or actually a lot of times) it just comes to us. So maybe there is a bit of magic involved after all when I think about it. We let our inspiration lead us and trust our gut feeling.

Did the pandemic influence you during the creative process of the music and the lyrics of the songs on the new album?

No not at all. I’m glad we’re not releasing a pandemic inspired album, there are already so many artists doing that thing. I think it’s nicer to have released an album 2021 (recorded in 2020) that doesn’t remind you of the pandemic every time you listen to it. That doesn’t feel like a good thing to me.

Forever outside is the first single, and personally I think this is one of the best EVERGREY songs from the past few years, can you tell me more about it?

It’s one of the first songs I presented as an idea for the new album, and Tom really got inspired when I played him the idea. We wrote the music for the chorus during one of our sessions and thought it would fit into the song. When we recorded it in the studio, Tom came up with the last phrase of the chorus and we both got very excited and felt like he just found the tag of that chorus. I like that it’s the opening track. It sets the vibe and throws you straight into the album in a second.

Can you please tell us also more about the other songs on the new album Escape Of The Phoenix? 

Some are aggressive and heavy and a bit technical. Other songs are more dynamic and melodic.

I also need to have a look back at the past, because what do you consider your finest effort so far?

To be able to still be around after almost 30 years in the business, and at the same time still grow as a band, get more fans and new listeners for every album is something I cherish a lot. We are very fortunate to be where we are.

Did you find new interests during the lockdown?

No, I have too much on my hands as it is, besides, Sweden has never had a lockdown, only recommendations and restrictions. So we’ve been able to live our lives almost as usual, but with restrictions of course.

What are your main influences musically speaking, because also on this new album prog, power and melodic metal seems to be the main ingredients?

Actually, my main influence nowadays comes from pop music and hip hop. Might sound weird, but it’s amazing to get inspired by a different genre and then turn that inspiration into something different in a different genre of music. That’s mainly how I write. Sometimes it comes from listening to metal music for sure, but other genres is a bigger part for my songwriting.

If gigs aren’t allowed also this year, how will you promote this album besides doing countless interviews, streaming concerts or already writing for a future album?

Good question. We’ll try to stay relevant somehow. Let’s just hope the world opens up this year.

A few short questions that you hopefully are willing to share with us:
– Favorite band of all times: Pantera
– Favorite album of all times: ’Native’ by OneRepublic
– Favorite music genre besides Metal: Pop, Hip hop, Rap
– Best concert ever: KISS reunion in 1996, The reunion of A Swedish Hardcore band called LOK in Malmö Sweden 2019 or Katy Perry in Stockholm 2018
– First bought record (or CD): ’KISS’ by KISS.
– Last bought record (or CD): Does vinyl count? I don’t buy CD’s anymore. I bought ’Reinventing the Steel’ by Pantera on vinyl.
– Most precious moment in your life (could be non-music related): When my daughter was born.
– 2020 is… over.
– 2021 will be… better.

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