Progressive Metal's newest upstarts release their first album and set the world ablaze with their intense neo-classical sound. Pete Pardo caught up with leader and keyboard virtuoso Richard Andersson for an informative interview.
Sea of Tranquility: So, what happened to your previous band Majestic, and what led to the formation of Time Requiem?
Richard Andersson: Well, I thought our European label Massacre did a crappy promotional job on the last Majestic album
Trinity Overture. They didn't go for it. Massacre just put it out and hoped it would sell with no effort, no real promotional push. It was sort of the same thing with our management and production company Roastinghouse, who did very little for Majestic. The whole thing got stale, and we never reached the next level. I wanted to move on with more dedicated people, but we were stuck in all those contracts. So I decided to put Majestic on ice and locked myself away and started to write on something I've had in mind for a while. A bigger, more progressive and more Symphony X and Dream Theatre sort
of album. It's a sort of continuation of Majestic, even though it's a brand new thing. That's important to understand. I'm extremely happy with the result, as I've been able to decide every step on the way when it comes to use of studios and all that. Maybe it sounds like I'm a dictator, but it's one man's vision and it's worked out very well. I have now signed new deals with Regain Records for Europe and Marquee for Japan.
SoT: What is the background of the members of Time Requiem? I know a few of them came over from Majestic with you.
R.A.: When it comes to Martin Wezovski (Majestic's bass player), his depature had to do with the fact that the music became more progressive. He couldnīt really handle that, plus he really wanted
to go for a job as a computer techican. So there was no hard feelings there. (Time Requiem's bass player is Dick Lövgren) Iīve chosen to continue to work with Apollo Papathanasio, Magnus Nord
and Peter Wildoer from Majestic, as they are the people I wanna play with. As Iīm happy
with them, why should I look for other players? Appolo is about the only great lead singer totally without an ego I know. Magnus Nord is a guitarist that I have a lot in common with music wise. We like the same sort of music and we both have a lot of knowledge when it comes to harmonies and chord
chemistry. Magnus is able to play those very difficult keyboard written parts I give to him. A lot of guitarists would refuse do do that, and insist on playing them their own way, the way normal guitarists would do. And Peter
Wildoer is a monster of a drummer! I donīt think itīs confusing or stange that Iīm using a few of the guys from Majestic for this new band. Look at Whitesnake, Rainbow, Sabbath, Dio and all those British bands in the old
days, it was they same bunch of people who went from one band to another all the time. Also itīs not easy to find good people.
SoT: Was it intentional to make Time Requiem sound more progressive and more
classical influenced than Majestic?
R.A. : No not really. I always try to develop my music from one record to another.
But, in this particular case it was kind of natural for me to move on into
more progressive music since I like this genre.
SoT: How has reaction been to the new CD?
R.A.: Very good so far. It's a strained business nowadays with war and other
global economical problems. I can't complain though since I can make a living out of my music.
SoT: Which many bands and musician's cannot say these days...
SoT: Back to the CD, what are some of your favorite songs on it and why?
R.A. : "Time Requiem". That was the first song I wrote right after the Symphony X
tour. I was very inspired by them and I think they are one of the best bands coming from the last half of the 90īs. I wanted to write something along those progressive lines. I think itīs the best song Iīve ever written. It
features so much.
"Watching the Tower of Skies". That was also the second song I wrote. I usually write the songs in the running order of the album. I have an idea about what chord a song should end with and what chord the next one should
start with. Itīs all to create a special feeling. Thatīs also why the songs have interesting endings. A priest talking or some cool rhythmic thing. I can feel what tempo the next song should be, to create an atmosphere. Itīs
all very well-conceived
SoT : Who are some of your influences?
R.A.:I do not listen to music nowadays, so I really do not know what's happening around me on the music scene. That's basically because I'm not that interested. There are although some good bands like: Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Ayreon.
My old influences are: Deep Purple, Rainbow, Witesnake, ABBA (The best), and Yngwie
SoT: You mentioned Symphony X a few times already-what was it like to tour with them a few years back, and do you have any plans to tour/work with them again?
R.A.: It was great. They are very nice and calm guys. We shared the same bus for
two weeks and did a lot of partying, etc. There were also a Japaneese band
called Double Dealer. Those guys are absolutely hysterical. Double Dealer
where boozing like crazy before every gig, then playing rock nī roll aīla
Deep Purple like demons, very good, and afterwards they continued to drink.
That's how they were for two weeks, always happy and extremely nice.
I was inspired by Symphony X and the way they were creating music. Just as
long as the music and the musicians are good it's no shame being inspired in a good way.
SoT: Does the band have any plans to tour the US?
R.A.:Not at the moment. The sales are not high enough to warrant touring on this CD. Sorry! I would have been great!
SoT: Who are the bands main songwriters, and how does the process work?
R.A.:I'm creating everything concerning Time Requiem. It's my vision shared with a bunch of other people. Iīm always writing the melody first, then I add the
rhythmic package, the intro, the outro and all that. The main thing is always the song, not the solos. But itīs cool to have some advanced things on the record as well. I'm always extremely well prepared before a record. I do several pre productions for my musicians. You can say the record is
already recorded before we enter the big studio.
SoT: What does the next year have in store for the band? Is another CD on
the > immediate horizon?
R.A.: I have a lot of things going on at the moment. I've just recorded my Space
Odyssey project featuring Marcel Jacobs on bass (ex. Malmsteen) and Zoltan
Churcz on drums (The Flower Kings). The music is more like Rainbow meets
Malmsteen with lots of late Sabbath stuff (like on the TYR album).
In the meantime I'm composing for the next Time Requiem CD, which is going
to be recorded this summer for release January 2004.