First of all, thanks to Henrik Flyman From Evil Masquerade for this interview!!, here it is, the man talk in exclusive for PerfectProg.Com!:
1. Can you tell us How Evil Masquerade was born?
Back in 2003 when I wrote the songs that ended up on our first album “Welcome to the Show” I had no intention of releasing them on CD or starting a band. It was more kind of a therapy thing for me to re-build a love for music that had become a bit too lacerated and damaged by past experiences. But as time passed by and therapy did the job I started to realize that I was sitting on a lot of good album material and that it would be a waste not to release it, despite my earlier decision not to. So I started to look around in Copenhagen (where I recently had moved to from Sweden) to find a really good line up. It didn’t take very long to come up with the right guys and we entered the studio to record the songs. We soon got a record deal and an overwhelming response in form of top-reviews and enthusiastic fan support. It was clear that Evil Masquerade had good potentials and I decided to focus my full time on this band there and then. It turned out to be a wise decision now with 2 cool albums out and # 3 just around the corner. The upcoming album “Third Act” is really great and I’ve never been more satisfied with a release. Killer stuff!
2. Since when you been playing, any other bands you have before Evil Masquerade ?
I formed my first band in the 8th grade together with some classmates. Members came and went. Back then it was all about finding out what instrument to play and how. I started out behind the drums but made a switch with the guitarist later on. I became a bit more focused when I turned 15 and began writing my own music. A couple of years later we had a pretty stable band going and did a lot of live gigs. But we weren’t too serious about the band. We were focused on the music and spent quite some time rehearsing and writing. Our image was however deliberately totally out of focus. We had fun and learned a lot. My first professional band was Moahni Moahna and that was more or less the next chapter of the previous constellation. We made 2 singles and 2 albums. Circumstances made that band go away and the vocalist and I formed the band ZooL. We had a short time of success and then the band fell asleep. I moved on and founded Evil Masquerade a couple of years later. Simultaneously with the early Evil Masquerade days I also made 2 albums with the band Wuthering Heights.
3. Do you or any of the Evil Masquerade members have side proyects?
We try to keep as busy as possible without causing chaos for the band. It’s a good way to develop as artists and getting to know other great musicians. As I said, I was earlier involved with Wuthering Heights but right now I have nothing besides Evil Masquerade. Our bass player has a nameless side project together with our drummer Dennis. Dennis also plays in a band called The Downward Candidate. Apollo recently made a guest appearance on Vitalij Kuprij’s latest album and he has sung on the upcoming Firewind CD. He’s also working on a solo album.
4. Are you guys planing touring in the near future, playing on a festival or else?
We are constantly getting requests from fans, but we have nothing planned yet. Right now everything is about the new release. Next thing in our calendar is to shoot a video for one of the songs on the upcoming album. After that we’ll look into the possibilities of getting the masquerade on stage. If it turn out to be a tour, or if it will be stand alone gigs remains to be seen. Certain is that we look forward to it.
5. In our website PerfectProg.Com we have several polls, can you tell us where your votes go on each one?
Hmm… let’s see… I’m not very familiar with all those names and bands. So I have no other option than choosing between the ones I know. Any other person in Evil Masquerade would be much better off doing this but…here goes nothing…
Best Band: Symphony X
Best Singer: Russell Allen
Best guitarist, composer and musician: Michael Romeo
Best Drummer: Mike Portnoy
Best Keyboardist: Richard Andersson
Best Bassist: Tony Levin
6. Can you tell us about your relation with Richard Andersson, André Andersen, Lars Boutrup and Mats Olausson, how was to have them as keyboardists in your album?
Richard Andersson: Old friend from live gigs with Moahni Moahna, a really nice guy and has played on all albums I made with ZooL and Evil Masquerade. One of the best!
André Andersen: I got to know him through our former vocalist who used to sing with Royal Hunt in their early days. He made guest appearances on our 2 first albums. A nice guy and really good songwriter and keyboardist.
Lars Boutrup: A local guy that did a guest appearance on our debut. He did one gig with us on the release party for that album. He has a solo album out now. Cool guy.
Mats Olausson: He also played on our debut. I didn’t know him before “Welcome to the Show”, but now I do and I can easily see us working together again. We got along very well.
7. What are your music influences in general for all of you?
I think we have a rather individual taste in music. Of course there are some common denominators but not as a whole. I think Thor and Dennis have similar basic ideas about their influences. Apollo and I share many favourite bands as well. But in the end that doesn’t matter, because we’re most of all interested in good music regardless the name of the source. So our music influence in general is probably any good music out there.
8. Your songs, like, welcome to the show, very neo classical, and Power metal is well performed, are inspired with classical music, like beethoven, mozart, sebastian bach, pagannini...can you tell us more about this..
I think most people are inspired by those guys one way or another. Almost everyone is familiar with their most famous works. And since their music is living in most people’s subconscious, it’s also a natural part of our influences. We just let it shine through very clearly on the album “Welcome to the Show” and played around with some of the better-known pieces. Kind of like a tribute to the old masters if you wish. I can’t recall any Niccolò Paganini though. But we opened with a whole lotta Wagner.
9. What are the future plans for the band?
To continue developing and make the best albums we’ve ever done. We also would like to perform a lot more live from now on. We get requests from all around the world and we really look forward to go anywhere. But it has a lot to do with album sales. In some countries there are very few albums sold and a huge amount of mp3 downloads. Such countries are more or less impossible for us to go to before that changes. I can easily see Evil Masquerade around in 10 years from now so you have a lot more to expect from us and we’ll plan along the way.
10. How do you meet richard anderson, it was that great neo classical thing that get you togheter?
When we were looking for a live keyboardist for my first band Moahni Moahna we ended up calling Anders Johansson (Yngwie, Hammerfall etc.) and asked him if he knew about any good keyboardists in the vein of his brother Jens (Yngwie, Stratovarius etc.). He told us about this guy in Southern Sweden that didn’t play in any band back then. So we contacted him and started working together soon after. As you know he has made a great career on his own since then. First with Majestic, then Time Requiem and Space Odyssey. Anyone not familiar with those bands should check `em out right away. It’s really good stuff and some kick ass keyboards.
11. What you guys expect from your music?
Personally I expect to keep improving and to stay away from artistic laziness. Commercial success would be great and make life hell of a lot easier, but I will never compromise with the music. We have spoken about this in the band and came to the conclusion that we can only continue to do what we’re already doing and as good as we possibly can.
13. Please tell us what gear do you use to play?, please give us details about your guitars, amps, effects, etc...
My rig is simple. I still play the same old Aria guitar I’ve used on all 8 albums I’ve recorded so far. I have no favourite brand of strings (but if someone decides to endorse me, I might get one :-)) and play basically any 009 set, as long as they don’t break. I use Jim Dunlop Jazz II and Dunlop 1,5 mm picks. Sometimes I use a slide tube. I’m still old school and connect with a cable instead of a wireless system. There are not many effects between my guitar and the amp. Something to boost the signal for leads and a delay is what I usually have. Right now that’s a Boss compressor and a ToneWorks delay. But the brands aren’t that important to me. Occasionally I might use a wah-wah and an octaver pedal. My amp is a Peavey Classic 50 w 4x10. It sounds great and is perfect in the studio, but a bit small for bigger venues. That’s why I’m looking for a new live rig.
Ok Henrik , thanks for this great interview you give us, we really appreciated, anything you want to add to your fans and PerfectProg.Com visitors...
The pleasure is all mine and Evil Masquerade’s. You have a great site going here with PerfectProg and we’re happy to be a part of it. Please drop by our official website and write us a couple of lines if you like. It’s always nice to hear from you. The address is http://www.evilmasquerade.com/
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