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InterviewsThe Seventh Wonder Of Prog-Metal?

Posted on Tuesday, December 13 2005 @ 18:24:58 CST by Duncan Glenday
Progressive Metal

Seventh Wonder's debut CD was a real surprise. I'd never heard of these guys, yet the more I listened to Become, the more I liked it. See our review - it's clear that this quintet of Swedes is onto something, and today's progressive / power metal practitioner's had better take note.

Sea Of Tranquility's Duncan Glenday caught up with Seventh Wonder's 'Johnny' for a chat about the band, the change in vocalists, and about their debut CD.

Duncan Glenday – Sea Of Tranquility: Are you familiar with the Sea Of Tranquility webzine?

Johnny Sandin ('Johnny') – Seventh Wonder: Not really. I saw the review you did on us, and that was the first I visited your webzine.

SoT: Johnny, you guys have been around for a while, but this is your first full-length CD, so most of our readers are not yet familiar with Seventh Wonder. Can you give us a brief overview of the band?

JS: Me (Johnny), Johan L, Andreas B and Andreas S have played together for about five years. Tommy joined the band six months ago, shortly after Andi K left the band.

SoT: Your web site has references to the original 7 wonders of the world - but how does that play into the band's name?

JS: Hmm -- it doesn't. We thought that Seventh Wonder is a cool band-name, so we decided to try it out.

SoT: As you're aware from our review, we felt Become is a wonderful with a mix of progressive and power metal. But how would you classify the sound you've developed?

JS: Tricky question.. Well, if you listen to Dream theater for an example, they always have that clinically perfect sound. We felt we wanted something more warm, a lively sound...

SoT: Who are the band's main musical influences? And yours?

JS: I'm a big fan of Symphony X, A.C.T, and Masterplan. Johan is a big fan of Extreme, and Andreas is a great fan of Metallica. So we have many bands to pick influences from.

SoT: You no longer have singer Andi Kravljaca in the band, and as far as I was concerned his performance was a big part of the success of Become. Tell us about Tommy, the new frontman, and why we should expect a similar standard of performance?

JS: Tommy is awesome! He totally blew us away when we tried him out the first time. He's going to make the next album more interesting and more progressive. Andi had that high-pitched clean voice, that fits metal-bands like Helloween, or Judas Priest. But Tommy have more depth in his voice like Russel Allen, or Jorn Lande, which makes everything more interesting.

SoT: You guys are just starting out - what methods are you using to get your message and your music out there?

JS: We're trying to get gigs and so on. But we've just signed an contract with the Danish booking-agency 'Intromental', so hopefully we can tour in Europe in short time. We've played live on Radio in Stockholm a couple of times.

SoT: And has that worked? how have the band's sales been in the USA vs. other parts of the world, and where do you think you will be the most popular?

JS: We've sold about seventeen hundred CD's now, although I don't know where we've sold most albums. We probably sold most of them in Europe...

SoT: Johnny, when I wrote my review of your CD the first comparisons that came to my mind were Symphony X, Dream Theater, Royal Hunt and Sieges Even; Then I read other peoples' reviews, and they drew similar comparisons. What other bands do you compare yourselves with?

JS: A.C.T, Vanden Plas and so on. There are so many bands that influence us, so its hard to count them [Laughs].

SoT: So what keeps you busy from day to day? How do you spend a typical day when away from Seventh Wonder?

JS: We all work fulltime. But we're all dreaming of getting the chance to tour worldwide and make a heck load of money! [Laughs])

SoT: So until you make all that money - none of the members of Seventh Wonder fulltime musicians?

JS: No, not yet. I am currently recording the drums for the upcoming Sheebang album. But not as a fulltime-musician.

SoT: Besides your own record - what would you say were the best albums of the past year or so?

JS: Hmm. - tough question! Symphony X - Odyssey is definitely one of them. It kind of depends on what mood I'm in. I also listen to regular pop, rock, A&R ... so the list can be quite long!

SoT: The version of the CD I have includes a 9th song, which I assumed was a bonus track. Yet none of the literature refers to it. What is it called? It seems to be power ballad reprise of the first song ... can you tell me about that piece?

Seventh Wonder is already vuilding a strong following in Europe

JS: We were told that if we were to release the album in Japan we had to have an bonus song. So we kind of experimented a little and came up with Day By Day - an orchestral version.

SoT: I really like that piece. Are there any concepts or themes behind the new album? Or is it all song-oriented?

JS: It's all song-oriented. Most of the lyrics were written by Tommy, and Andreas, since they're most talented and have the most interest in it. We have been talking about recording an concept-album, but I guess that has to wait...

SoT: Your cover art is interesting - ethereal yet clear, with very clean lines. Tell us about the cover artist, and what you were trying to convey with the cover art. And did you have much input on the cover art?

JS: The cover artist is André Bec. Lasse Mattson of Lion music had recommended him, so we contacted him and told him about ourselves and our music. He actually asked for a CD with our music so he could get an picture of what sort of cover we wanted. He immediately began working on the cover and after a month we got the first example. Of course we had much input, but he had impressed us with his idea on the example - so we took it from there.

SoT: What's your favorite moment on the new album?

JS: Tommy obviously! [Laughs - referring to the new vocalist] He's added something really extra to the band with his presence. And of course our great music. It will blow our fans away!

SoT: [Laughs] So what's next for Seventh Wonder - a new album? Perhaps a tour?

JS: We're planning on recording the next album in February or March next year, so I don't think there's any time for a tour right now - we're rehearsing right now

SoT: Johnny, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us! The new album is great, and we hope it helps accelerate your penetration into the American market. Take care.

JS: Thank you. Hope to see you on the road some day - cheers!

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