Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview with drummer Kristian Enqvist

Interview by EvilG

From The Past...

First off lets get something out of the way that might not be the most fun topic for you. Myself, and some of our readers with a good memory, will remember you from the band Rising Faith. You guys even did an entertaining "studio diary" in the summer of 2001 for us. However, after the studio diary no CD came out and then I got news you were leaving the band for "personal differences." What happened? Did it come to fist fights or something? Was it mainly musical differences....give us the dirt man! Haha...

I`m glad that you enjoyed that diary, because we sure as hell enjoyed doing it! Anyway, to start off with, we weren't 100% satisfied with how the sound turned out on that Rising Faith CD so I guess that was the biggest issue of not releasing it. About the "personal differences", Unfortunately (fortunately) there`s really no hidden truth behind that and like the "topic" says It had nothing to do with any musical differences.



Are you still in contact with anyone from the Rising Faith camp and do you keep up on what they are doing?

Can`t say that I am, except that I have talked to Stefan once or twice since I left the band.



Were you surprised to see Rising Faith get signed to LIMB music?

No, not really. Actually, they got signed just before I left the band and the songs that actually got the signing "job" were 2 new, really good, songs that we recorded in the rehearsal room (quite shitty sound) and apparently LIMB liked those songs too.



What do you think of your replacement on drums in Rising Faith, Mr. Tony Gelander? :)

I guess he`s ok, since he`s the one who got the job.



A New Hope

After leaving Rising Faith you decided to put together Cosmic Sphere. First of all, tell us how you came up with the name and what it means to you.

I wanted a name that sounded good, original and at the same time was a bit abstract. Abstract, because everybody can have their own opinion/idea what it stands for. Also, I have to confess that when I came up with that name I was listening to an old time favorite band from Sweden called Eucharist (who had a song named "Into the cosmic sphere"), a coincidence you think?



Since I've only heard one very cool vocal-less clip from your new material, I am not exactly sure what to expect from Cosmic Sphere. What style of metal do you think you might lean most towards?

Hmm....hard question. I don`t know how to categorize our music, a cliché I know, but all I can say is that it`s heavy, melodic music with crispy, intense vocals.



I read this funny statement in your bio: "Cosmic Sphere are not inspired by and nor do they support the campaign to legalize dragons, kings, warriors, swords, knights or armour." haha!!! So please tell me what's wrong with this sort of thing in metal? I know it's overdone and can be cheesy sometimes, but sometimes it's ok isn't it? :-)

There`s nothing "wrong" with using these things in metal, it`s just that these topics feel kinda "worn out" now, at least that's what I think, so I had to come up with something ha ha, but of course it`s ok if some bands use it, especially those who first came up with these topics, and sometimes, just sometimes, when the music is really good and you actually can`t hear those announced "DRAGON", "KILLER", "WARRIOR" I guess it`s ok for other bands to use it as well ha ha.



When you put the band together I read that you said something to the effect that you could not find the right players in Sweden. How is this possible? I mean, to me sitting here in Canada, I look to a country like Sweden as being very much a happening spot for heavy metal!!!!!!

No, It wasn`t like that at all. I mean, Sweden has thousands of great musicians. What I said (or at least tried to) was that Kinna or the places nearby are not exactly the right place to live in, if your looking for musicians. During my time in Rising Faith we had a lot of guitarists auditioning from Gothenburg and other places around and I don`t want "re-live" that experience again. I mean some of them told us that they were the greatest guitar players and when they showed up they almost couldn't tune their instrument, y`know what I'm saying....


I have a question about the current line-up. The band consists of:
- Vocalist Shawn McPherson from the USA
- Guitarist Antti Wirman from Helsinki, Finland
- Bassist Tapio Oksanen from Helsinki, Finland
- and yourself, Kristian Enqvist (Drums) from Kinna, Sweden.
Please tell us how you came to know about each player, how you approached them and convinced them to be a part of Cosmic Sphere!

I met Shawn at Musicians Institute. He was working in the library there and every Friday M.I. had their so called "Metal Meltdown", a show where teachers and students performs 2 chosen heavy metal songs every week. On this show I heard him singing for the first time. Shawn and the teachers usually performed the songs one time first before the students went up there. Man, I was totally blown away and amazed of his intense and panteracaristic voice, haven`t heard that kinda voice since the release of "Cowboys from hell". I found out about Antti after I came across some songs with Warmen and Craydawn and it`s just way he plays, look, in my opinion, guitar solos should be some kind of melody in (no offense Kerry!) and stick to structure of the song and I believe that Antti can do that with blindfolded eyes 24/7 (ha ha!). Finally, Antti was the one who suggested Tapio (he also plays bass in Craydawn with Antti) and so far that has been nothing but an excellent choice! I contacted all these guys, told them about the project, goals, ideas etc. and luckily they liked what Cosmic Sphere is all about!

Were all these people your first choice, or did you have a hard time putting this band together?

Yes, they were all first choices and no I can`t say that I had a hard time getting this thing together.



Everyone in the band is also in another band. So, is Cosmic Sphere a "project" to them or a band?

Cosmic Sphere is a project, but I got to give these guys credits, because until now I think they all have given more than 100% , but I think you can do that in a project as well, don`t you? Or is 200% too much (haha)?

What level of commitment can each member make or do you expect them to make to Cosmic Sphere?

Like I said before the other guys have priority bands, but at the same time we seem to be writing pretty quickly for a 'project', so it seems as if everyone is working steadily on it, I'm very satisfied with their participation.



Are you also in any other bands?

Well, a time ago I had this other project going on, but right now CS are taking all my time and since it`s my 1st priority I`ve put the other one on "ice"...



Since you are from different countries are you now all going to move to the same location to write and record material? Tell us how you plan to make this work out.

No, there`s no plan about moving to the same location, it works fine as it does now and since none of us have enough money to travel on and off I guess we better stick to the way we`re working now. Which is: Antti and Tapio writes the music, burn it down on a CD together with a clicktrack and send it to me. I record the drumtracks and ship the CD over to Shawn. Does it sound complicated? Ha ha, It`s not!



Lion's Share guitarist, Lars Chriss, was originally a member of Cosmic Sphere for a short time. Your recent press release said he was leaving because of a lack of time. Why didn't he realize that before committing to join the band huh? haha! I was a bit letdown to read this because his band Lion's Share is fucking great!! A mixture of his guitar playing with Antti's would of been interesting to hear!

When we started I don't think he knew how much time this thing would require. At least not until he also agreed upon mixing the whole thing as well and we all know how much time that requires. Looking back, you realize that it`s almost inhuman to expect anybody to have enough time for 1 band and three projects, right? Unfortunately I never heard a song with them together because the thing we agreed upon was for them (Lars and Antti) to write 2 songs each. I understand that you feel a bit "letdown" but there's really no reason to, I mean , Lars is a great guitarist, Antti is a great guitarist.



What is Lars busy with besides Lion's Share anyway?!?

I think he`s having a project with Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass) and another one called Typhoon. Besides that and Lion`s Share he recently contributed to an tribute album for Jason Becker (who`s suffering from ALS, Lou Gehrigs disease).



Was the split with him on friendly terms or were you guys pretty pissed with this?

If a split can be friendly I guess this is the one topping that list. He just told me that he couldn`t find time for this and I was like, I understand you and wished him good luck and all that. The other guys weren`t pissed either, they basically told me the same things I told him.



Lars did write some material with the band. Will you keep what he has contributed or will you only use material current members have written?

He wrote two songs for Cosmic Sphere, really good ones, but we will not use any of them as we think it`s best for everybody if we use our "own" songs.



Were you ever able to play live with the original line-up OR has the full line up ever all at least played together at the same time?

Cosmic Sphere is a studio project and our intention has never been to play live. This was one of the topics that I told them about when first contacted them. First, It´s kinda hard since we all live in different countries (except for Tapio and Antti who both lives in Finland) . Second, my hearing is really bad beacuse of all the drumming and I don`t think I ever will be able to play live anymore.



Your Debut Album

How many songs are now written for your upcoming album?

Until now I think we have like 4 or 5 songs.



Does this album have a title and can you give us some more information on it like the songs, running time, cover art, release date, anything? :)

I've read some of Shawn's older lyrics and some of his latest for cosmic sphere. The general vibe is about the world as a whole, either about how the world is destroying itself or how the world needs to join together. Their usually very positive lyrics with a very aggressive delivery. So far no short songs and no anthems, each song so far is roughly 4 minutes long.


Will the album be independently released, or do you hope to send some early demos to labels first?

As it seems now, I don't think the album will be independently released. We already have some labels that have showed interest in the band and some of them seems to be pretty "eager", but I wont mention any names because I don't want to be one caught with the beard in the mailbox ha ha.



For "Shits and Giggles"

On your website I was reading your personal bio. Thanks for listing Metal-Rules.com as one of your favorite website by the way!!! I also noticed in there that you list your favorite sports team as the Canadian hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now how does a Swede come up with a Canadian hockey team and the Leafs as their favorite team?

That`s an easy one. First, I`ve always been a great fan of NHL hockey and whenever there`s a game on Canal+ (Swedish movie channel) I`ll be watching it!!!! Second, Toronto Maple Leafs: MATS SUNDIN, 'nuff said ha ha.



What do you know about Canadian metal and do you listen to any Canadian metal bands?

One of my current favorites are from Canada: Quo Vadis. I love the albums "Alice In Hell" and "Never, Neverland" from Annihilator, and oh, isn't Gorguts and Crytopsy from Canada as well? I think that's the best I can do, sorry...



Tell us a bit about life in Kinna, Sweden. Is there a large group of metalheads there? Do many bands play in Kinna or close by?

Ha ha. There`s really not much to say about Kinna except that we have like 3 bars, 1 record store and like 5-10 metalheads ha ha so not too many concerts going on here ha ha. But, luckily I live quite close (55 kilometers) to Gothenburg, which is a great "metal city"!!


How about you give a few words on these great Swedish metal bands?

HammerFall: Bold eye?
Soilwork: Excellent!!
Arch Enemy: Good look...eh...great!
Lost Horizon: hmm...
Europe: Sweden ran out of hairspray in the 80`s, guess why?
Lion's Share: Sins of a father!
The Crown: Trollhättan!
Vintersorg: Borknagar!



What are your favorite Swedish metal bands at the moment and what seem to be the more popular bands at home?

At the moment I listen a lot to the new Impious album "The killer", Opeth's "Deliverance", Darkane's "Expanding senses", but I also like a lot of other bands like Edge Of Sanity (r.i.p.), Meshuggah, Eucharist (r.i.p.), At The Gates (r.i.p.), The Haunted and the list goes on forever. If you want a "power" act, I think the best one right now is Evergrey from Gothenburg. The 2 most popular metal bands in Sweden right now must be In Flames and HammerFall I think. They have been aired on some big TV channels in Sweden and they're doing quite well on the Swedish selling charts as well.



If you weren't playing drums in a metal band what would you likely be doing instead?

Playing drums in a dance band? Hell no, just kidding, I`m not sure, but I think I`d better stick to the web-design then.



The Swedish ChefWere you offended by "The Swedish Chef" from the TV show "The Muppets" hahah... :-)

Actually, I think he looks kinda cool with those 10 ton eyebrows, you don`t have those in Canada do you ha ha?

Satan only knows...

Any closing words....the floor is yours?!?!

Thanks EvilG and the rest of the crew @ metal rules for showing interest in Cosmic Sphere, be sure to check out our new website, soundclips coming soon!


Official Website: www.cosmicsphere.net


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