First of all congratulations for your new album, it's great cd.
Thank you very much !
Can you tell us a few things about the songs?
I wrote the songs after collecting a few hundred ideas over a period of several months. When my "collecting" process is over I start to make "real" songs out of the melody and Riff ideas. That takes me another 6-8 weeks. The songs are in general about
medieval kind of things, but not all of them. For example the song "Cold Heaven " is about a girl who thinks that she`s a Queen, but she`s not, because she has heart of stone and she`s very rough to the rest of the world. Another song, named "Strong as a Rock" is about a musician who is totally on drugs, still thinks that he`s the "King", but he`s not and he desperately tries to get back to the top...
How was the writing process? Did the songs come out easy or you tried many different versions?
Normally I´m trying out the best possible arrangements for the songs at home, before we enter the studio. So there are not any big changes in the studio. Mostly I`m working at home very hard till I´m very satisfied with the result. Some songs are very easy to write, others are taking a bit longer...
The artwork of the album is once again excellent, who does the work?
It`s a guy called "Marc Klinnert". He really`s doing an awesome job every time ! He did all my cover artworks since the 1994 album
"Between the Walls". He once lived here in Germany in Cologne, but moved to Australia last year, but as long as the internet and the telephone is running ok, there`s no problem with the communication !
The song take the crown is really emotional. Is the concept of the front cover
based on its lyrics?
No, more the other way round. The cover was there first and then I wrote the lyrics, but I had the name of the song before.
Do you have any plans releasing a cd single for radio stations? For example Flyin' High would make a good hit song.
If my record company and myself too would pick a song for a possible single, it definately would be "Strong As A Rock".... but it makes no sense, because most of the radio stations wouldn`t play it anyway.
How would you rank Kings and Queens among your previous albums?
As for now, I would vote it Nr. 1 !!! My personal number 2 would be "Oceans Of Time"...
Tell us about the setlist of the new tour. What songs should we wait to hear and will there be any Deep Purple or Rainbow covers.
I can`t tell you about our setlist right now,
because then the surprise for the fans is no longer there.... but we will play one cover version of one of the mentioned Bands... but I will not tell you "which" !!!
You have established yourself among the best guitarists in Europe the past 10
years. How hard is it for you to 'defend' your good reputation every time you write a new album?
It`s not a big deal.... the only thing is really important, that you don`t lose your creativity you know... as long as I have enough ideas for new songs, it should be no problem .
Although you are technically an excellent player you write songs that are not so
complex. Do you believe that a guitar player no matter how good he is, he
mustn't show off what he can do but concentrate on good melodies? For example Malmsten plays very difficult solos but
musically they have no meaning and no good melodies.
Yeah, definately ! I don`t care about any difficult techniques or how fast I play or any bullshit like that... a song is always a good song, when it has a great melody and I don`t care if a solo is very difficult to play or not. There are a lot of guitar players around who really are technically much better than I am, but I don`t care ! I see myself more like an "emotional" player. A solo has to fit to a song ! I never would write any "song" around a guitar solo...I´m not writing and playing music for other
guitar players, I wanna entertain the people with good melodies, that´s definately the main point. But don`t you think you are a bit too cruel to Yngwie`s music ? In my opinion he wrote some really great songs too...
What made you want to become a musician? Who were your influences.
It was really Ritchie Blackmore whom I saw on TV peforming with Deep Purple in the beginning of the 70ties. I was so impressed that from that moment on I wanted to become a
guitar player too. He still is one of my biggest influences, others are Michael Schenker, Jimi Hendrix, Uli Jon Roth to name only a few. I think that Rainbow during the Dio period is and always will be my biggest influence of all time, it was just amazing and I really hope that they will rejoin for another studio album and a world tour in the near future. I remember the time when I saw them live in October 1976 during the "Rising" tour... I stood there with my mouth open and never ever saw such high level performance again... and
nowadays the people have to watch "bad" bands like us, because nobody else is playing that kind of music any more...
hahahahaha . . .
Musically do you think you have achieved all your goals? What other musical paths would you like to explore?
I`m still dreaming of getting a "Gold" disc award some time... I think I will stick to "my" music as long as I can and hopefully will do another 15 albums at least...
Final question is: let's say there's a big Tower and on top of it are 3 bands and you have to push down 2 of them saving just
1. Which band would you save and why? The 3 bands are: Black Sabbath,
Rainbow, Deep Purple.
Definately Rainbow, if Blackmore and Dio would be in the band ! Simply because their combination is unbeatable and a
grant for quality !
Thank you so much!!