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Evergrey

author PP date 09/08/06

Swedish prog metallers Evergrey have long been considered one of the best of their genre alongside such legendary names as Dream Theater and Opeth, though the bands bear major differences to each other. Petteri and Josh got a hold of the band at the backstage area behind the Arena stage, where they were waiting with cold beers about an hour after their solid show, all ready to hit the showers to clean up as soon as their interview session finished. All five band members were present and observably tired after the show, receiving all of my sympathy for having to do a ton of interviews straight after an hours worth of jamming on stage. The band was one of few words, but often times it's quality and not quantity that counts. We asked them the usuals about downloading issues and funny stories, but also about their recently failed gig in Aalborg. Read on to find out what really happened.

So how was the show?

It was fun. It feels kind of big to play here, we've never played here. It's such a legendary festival. It's great to finally have played it.

You went straight to the Arena stage. Were you satisfied with that?

We have done some arena shows before, but not as successful as this one.

How was the crowd reaction?

Good! We came in pretty late on the bill of course and we are always so happy that many people know about Evergrey. It was the perfect opportunity for us to be able to show a lot of people who we are.

You played quite early (13:30), did that affect your show?

Yeah we only woke up like half an hour before the show, so yeah I would say we were a bit tired. We played yesterday in Sweden as well so.

How about the lightshow, was it a problem?

Not really. We never notice the lights even when it is dark outside so I don't know.

If you were to describe Evergrey's sound to someone who has never heard it before, what would you say?

I would say dark melodic metal. That pretty much sums it up.

Many people compare Evergrey to the likes of Opeth and Dream Theater. How do you feel about that?

It's nice with every comparison, but we don't find ourselves influenced by any of those bands, especially not Opeth. I don't think we sound like them at all. I don't think we sound like Dream Theater either though.

Who are your influences then?

Everything from Kiss to Deicide basically, I think that's what makes Evergrey sound the way we do. We have everybody listening to everything from pop to the darkest sort of metal. But I mean, you get into this when you are a kid. When you are our age.. 52 and 40 whatever, you merely like music. I don't think it influences you that much anymore. But of course while we grew up, we listened to the bands who were big at that time. Everything from Judas Priest to Kiss to Iron Maiden.

So what do you think of these new 'fads' like emo and metalcore?

There are some good bands and some shitty bands as always..

You've been working rather closely with danish Mercenary. How would you describe your relationship with them? Can we expect to see more collaboration between you two in the future?

We haven't met them in a while. Or actually we met them in a festival. We've toured with them several times. It's all good. It's all about the money and the labels.

From the fans point of view things at Roskilde has been turning out well except for the little rain we had early on in the week. How do you feel about the festival as a musician? Is everything running smoothly?

Definitely, we don't have anything to complain about. As long as the beer keeps flowing, we're happy (all laugh). Doesn't take that much to keep us happy.

Have you seen any bands here at Roskilde yet?

Nope.

Are you going to?

Yes. Okay. Yeah. WOLFMOTHER!

Tell me the craziest story that has happened to you while on tour.

Henrik's got a good story I can see it from his eyes. (all laugh). There's always a lot of crazy things going on in the tour buses.

Any funny anecdotes?

It's hard. (silence) It's always hard. (silence). No.

Nothing crazy happens in Evergrey?

Every fucking day. That's why it's so.. I can't really think of anything right now.

So how about the best live gig you've ever done and why?

The best live gig we've done? One of the best live gigs was when we recorded the DVD of course, that was a really cool thing for us to do, being able to do it in our hometown. I think that's one of the best we've done. But I mean we've done bigger shows than that as well of course. Sweden Rock this year was one of the best we've done as well.

According to many, the show you recently played in Aalborg was a bit disappointing. Do you agree? Do you think you've got something to make up for at this show?

(The whole band laughs) Yeah that was a really fun day. That was a funny story. We had a band meeting starting off with drinks and beers and then we went onto the shots. All of a sudden, the five of us were really, really, really drunk and we just realized that we were about to play a show. So yeah, we were really sucky. We even played covers that night. We even played Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The Usa" (All laugh). We said before the show that if anyone gets the feeling to do it lets do it, so if anyone starts on the fucking riff then fuck it, do it. I think there were like five people left in the audience because Jonas wanted to play "Born In The USA". So that was probably the worst show we've ever done. That was a one off thing, it will never happen again.

How do you guys feel about downloading, it's a hot topic these days?

I don't think it's a hot topic anymore. I think it's a thing that's become part of the music business today. Just to accept the way it is. It's like tape trading in the old days but it's easier. I don't think it affects us in that way, that much at least.

Do you approve of the 'try-before-you-buy' police?

Of course not. But I mean, what can you do, it's impossible. In that case you have to stop sending out promos and release the album first and send the promos out afterwards. That really doesn't help the magazines a lot.

So how would you say that downloading affects Evergrey, if at all?

In a good way I think, because of course album sales go down, but at the same time we have more people coming to the actual shows. It's fun when you arrive in a city where you've never played before and you know that you've sold like 50 copies of a CD in that country, and then you have a full house. It's really strange. But then they move on and hopefully buy a shirt instead.

How do your future plans look like after Roskilde?

Umm... (long silence. Some more festivals this summer, and then we'll go over to the States to do a festival there. And then in the fall we're going to do a European tour.

Will you come to Denmark as well?

Yeah, why not. The last show we did in Copenhagen was really good.

You've just released the new album "Monday Morning Apocalypse". How has it done so far?

Very good. That's what's fun about being in Evergrey, we always sell more for each album. I think we've already sold more on this album than totally on the last one.

One more question. Do you have any guilty pleasures that nobody knows about? (The band looks puzzled). Say like a pop artist, like Britney Spears?

We like Backstreet Boys! And Darude and Blue. We like a lot of pop music. We listen to everything.

Many people see Evergrey as a very serious band. After all, you play in a very serious genre. How does that work out?

Yeah but at the same time we're not that serious. Everybody who's bought the DVD will know that for sure. We're serious about the music, but as far as being normal, just get drunk and stuff like that.

Anything you want to tell your fans?

Check our website [Ed note. www.evergrey.net] for upcoming tours and dates, and hopefully we'll be in Denmark soon again. Hopefully this gig has done something for us in Denmark as well.

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