Zu “Evergrey” muss ich eigentlich nicht viel sagen, oder? Die Schweden bringen am 26.02.2021 ihr neues Studioalbum “Escape of the Phoenix” raus. Die Platte wird sehnsüchtig von Fans und Freunden der Band erwartet. Ich durfte im Vorfeld Fragen zum Album stellen und Bassist Johan Niemann nahm sich die Zeit sie zu beantworten. Ich freue mich sehr, euch das Interview zu präsentieren und hoffe, dass es euch ebenso gefällt wie mir.
Metal and Me
Dear Johan. My name is Tobi. Thank you for taking the time to answer me a few questions. I run a Facebook page and a webblog. On these pages I post reviews of current albums, interviews, band presentations and reports about concerts that I visit with a wheelchair. On the one hand, to tell other wheelchair users how the venue is equipped in terms of accessibility and, on the other hand, how best to proceed to get tickets, because this is usually not possible with conventional ticket portals. Of course, I also rate the bands‘ performance. Today I have a few questions for you about your upcoming Album „Escape of he Phoenix“. But first of all:
How are you doing?
I’m alright. Sick and tired of this Covid crap. Like everyone else.
For Metalheads who don’t know Evergrey yet, or don’t know them so well, how would you describe yourself?
People seem to like to call us Dark Progressive Metal, which is fine.
How have you spend your time under Covid19 so far?
Last year was focused on writing and recording the new album. And we also released our debut album with my other band Hollingshead.
Let´s talk about your new Masterpiece „Escape of the Phoenix“! What is the main difference between your new and the previous album?
Maybe it is a bit more direct and not as ”tricky”. Slightly faster. More aggressive.
How long did you work on the album in total?
I don’t know. Months. I’m really bad with time and perspective.
How much has the virus restricted you in your work?
JN: Last year we only had a couple of Festivals cancelled, but we were working on the record. This year is a different story.
So far there have been two singles with “Forever Outsider” and “Eternal Nocturnal”. Where does the inspiration for the songs come from this time?
Anywhere and everywhere. We listen to a lot of music and we draw inspiration from that. And the more you play and write, the more you learn.
After the two singles and especially after the Eternal Nocturnal, expectations of the album are in great demand. Do you have a glimpse of what will come?
The response so far has been overwhelming. It is always nerve wracking to release a new album, because what if people don’t like it? What if we’ve changed too much? Or not at all? But so far, so good.
Do you have a song that you particularly like on „Escape of the Phoenix“?
That changes every time I listen to it. ”Stories” is great. As is ”The Beholder”. ”You From You” is a bit different for us. Love that one.
The Cover-Artwork is awesome. From who was the Idea and how long does it take to finish something like that?
It was Tom’s idea, and our art guy Giannis Nakos took it and ran with it. You’d have to ask Mr Nakos how long it took. I have no idea.
There are already tour dates for October – November 2021. Among other things, you will stop by Mannheim, which I am very happy about. How optimistic are you, that the tour can take place?
To be honest, not very. I mean, I hope it will happen, that would be amazing. But I’m not holding my breath.
The billing with “Witherfall” and “Dust In Mind” is very cool, how excited are you, when you think about the “Recharging Europe” tour?
If it happens, it will be the event of the year! At least for us. I haven’t really gotten into the other bands yet, but I hope to do so and hang out and have fun.
If you could privately go to a concert in this, sorry for the expression, shitty corona year, which one would it be?
I’d love to see King Crimson. Haven’t seen them since the “Power To Believe” tour in, like, 2003. That would be amazing!
What was your best experience so far in the history of the band?
Well, the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruises were highlights, definitely. But just being on tour with your best friends is priceless. Wherever we might be. Had a day off in Madrid with Jonas and Henrik. That was very nice.
How important is social media to you at the moment? Do you often check how your Fans are doing?
It’s very important. More so now than ever. A lot of them I consider friends. And since we live in different countries, social media is the means to stay in touch.
Are you planning a Concert/Record Release Show via livestream in the early 2021?
No, not really. We did a livestream show last summer, which was filmed. That might see the light of day this year.
Is Heavy Metal also a means for you to switch off everything in this hectic world, to Pause and just listen?
Actually, I rarely listen to metal. Unless there is a new record I want to check out. But I don’t put on a metal album to relax.
A question apart from the music: Wich Hobbies do you have in your Freetime?
I’ve taken up meditation again after being away from it for a while. I’d like to read more, but I have trouble concentrating. Family takes up the most time, though.
A few words to your Fans out there in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and all the Others in the World?
Thank you very much for the support throughout the years! If you hang on just a bit longer we’ll be able to come and play for you. Stay safe and keep your eyes out for tourdates. Whenever that may be.
Thanks for the Interview. Something that is important to me: Stay healthy and heavy!
Danke fürs lesen und wenn es euch gefallen hat könnt ihr ja ein Like auf meiner Facebookseite “Metal and Me” da lassen. Mein Review kommt in der Releasewoche! Bleibt auch ihr alle gesund und munter!