I want to start with something simple and
something that no doubt you've been asked before; and that is, where
does the name Evergrey come from and what does it mean?
When we were at a point in our lives where we didn't have any jobs,
and didn't have any money, and whatever, we had to do criminal things
just to get by basically. We had a period in out lives like for 3 or 4
years that passed really quickly without affecting us at all so we
caught in a "grey storm", so basically that's how we came up
with the name.
It doesn't have any reflection upon your sound?
No, not other than the name might sound a bit depressing
One thing I really like about the band is that you can't label the
band and say 'This is prog metal'; this is 'power metal or thrash
metal'...whatever. It has elements of many metal styles. I was wondering
if this happened naturally when you write material or is it a result of
your varied influences?
It happens very naturally. I mean, we don't sit down and
think at all. We just do whatever comes to mind. What you hear is what
you hear basically. We have no major big plans planned.
IN SEARCH OF TRUTH is the newest album that I believe, like
everything else you've done, was produced by King Diamond guitarist Andy
La Rocque. What is it like to work with this legendary guitarist?
(laughs) Well for us it's nothing special really. I mean, me
and Andy are really good friends. He's been with us since day one, which
is like six years ago now, so it's like being at home basically. He's
getting a bit old and grumpy now...(laughs) but he's a great guy.
He contributed a little bit to the new album as well. Did you ask him
to that or did it just kinda fall together in the studio?
Well basically it came together because I don't know how to
play the slide guitar and he does (laughs)…so we were the only two
The concept of IN SEARCH OF TRUTH obviously, as anyone who has read
the lyrics knows, revolves around aliens and alien abductions. You have
written about aliens in past albums but have never made it a central
concept for an album until now. I was wondering where do you get your
inspiration to write about such things?
I read a book called COMMUNION by Whitley Strieber.
Yeah yeah I read that.
That book really affected me deeply and I think it's very
sincere and honest book and no matter what you think about it serves as
an introduction. This man believes he has been experiencing something in
that way and that it's the most important thing that you got to think
about. You know that he believes this all happened to him. So you gotta
respect his ideas and cause for that. On this album I tend to reflect
more on the personal level of him and try to reflect more on the
emotional side of the character - his fears, sadness and all that.
What was the cause of the madness in the story line? Was it the
aliens or was it the madness that led to the uncovering of the truth?
It was both actually. Mostly that nobody else believed him,
not even his close family members and loved ones basically. When people
close to you abandon you, you really don't have much left do you?
This whole alien conspiracy type of a story line has been very
popular lately in pop culture. For example, things like the X-Files and
stuff like that you've probably seen. I was wondering, what your opinion
is on TV shows, movies, and pop culture things like that that are
I was an X-Files fan a couple years ago. I think they have
really lost track in the two later seasons we have seen in Sweden. I'm a
big Sci-Fi fan but I don't watch Star Trek and stuff like that. I like
any stuff that belongs to the unexplainable; the supernatural basically.
Those are the subjects that really interest me.
This leads me to ask do you believe in this stuff or have you ever
had a close encounter?
No I've never had a close encounter (with an alien anyway),
not yet. But yeah, I think I believe. It's really hard to believe in
something you've never experienced yourself. I have a major interest in
Being a concept album, would you say anything in your personal life
had an affect on the lyrics or the writing?
Of course. Even though I'm basing the basic story on a
book, all the feelings, fears, and ideas come from myself. I think that
is what makes the story line really sincere because it's a truthful
story basically. Of course I added some fiction to the story in order to
make arrangements, etc..
On the track "Dark Waters" you use the Mercury Choir and
they help make that song one of the better ones on the CD in my opinion.
Can you tell us a bit about the choir and why they were chosen for that
Well they were chosen for that track because I thought they
would fit there but I mean I had an idea all along. I had the harmony
going from day one of writing and I had that choir part in my head. So
we got the choir in like the last album and told them what to sing
basically. I think it turned out really well.
Does that happen to be your favourite song on the album or do you
have a favourite from the new album?
I think "Mark Of The Shining" is my favourite.
You also made some videos from the album; are these the first videos
you made or were there ones made in the past?
We made one in the past.
What song was that for?
A song called "For Every Tear That Falls".
I haven't seen that one but I've seen your latest where it's
downloadable off the web site.
The other video is downloadable as well!
Regarding line-ups, and there's been a few variations in your
line-up. Leaving right now; yourself and Patrick as the only original
members. Has this in any way hindered or are all changes necessary to
the further development of the band?
It will have an effect on how the band develops and
whatnot. The good thing about it is it really makes the band feel like
we get a fresh start. Bringing some new blood into the band, it's always
healthy in one way.
Your bass player Michael was also playing bass in Forsaken, but he
has left to put all his time into Evergrey. I was wondering was this an
ultimatum he was given for Evergrey doing so well or..?
No, not an outspoken one ultimatum anyway. He felt, of
course, that there was no time for doing both and that's why he chose to
The most recent change that I've read about is regarding your
keyboardist Sven Karlsen. He has left to concentrate on Soilwork. I was
wondering if you've decided a replacement already for him?
Absolutely. It was us deciding on whether he should leave
so we already had a plan for another keyboard player before we told him.
The new keyboard player is Chris Rehn.
It seems like most of the replacements are more about time
constraints for some people. Or were some of them also character clashes
or musical differences?
Yeah. The most important thing to remember is that
everybody should put their soul into it. It's not fair if four guys put
in 120% into it and another guy like Sven putting 50% into it. It's not
a good balance basically.
On the newest album, how did each member of the band contribute to
the writing process?
It's always that I have a basic song structure or harmony
and then I bring the stuff to the other guys and we make an Evergrey
song out of it. Everybody has a really big impact on the songs. It's
really hard to point out who really did what.
How would you describe the evolution the band has had from your debut
THE DARK DISCOVERY to your latest album?
The Dark Discovery album was made like eight months after
we were formed and of course we wouldn't have found our way at that
time. At the time we were still searching for what we wanted to do with
Evergrey. It's a very raw, harsh and dark album and after the second
album SOLITUDE, DOMINANCE, TRAGEDY we really found our way and what we
really wanted to do. That album gave us quite a bit of success in
Europe; so that was the album that really opened up the doors for us. If
I was to describe the SOLITUDE… album I would say it's a total display
of despair basically…a really sad album. And the new album is between
hope and despair. You get the feeling of a bit of contrast.
So the next album will be happy?? :-)
Probably not no (laughs) never. That will never happen!
IN SEARCH OF TRUTH is your first album on Inside Out Music.
It seems they've been doing a pretty good job of pushing the band. I've
seen the ad in a number of magazines. Are you happy with the
move to the new label?
Yeah, yeah. So far they're doing a really good job. We just
gotta wait till the end of talks and we're doing as much as we can and
we have a product that we're really proud of. Really the rest is up to
Evergrey are not quite as well known over here in North America even
though people have been reading very good reviews coming out of Europe.
I was wondering do you feel there is anything you need to do to win
audiences over from this side of the world or is it just a matter of
promotion to get your name out there?
I think it's a matter of promotion. We have a very steady
underground base here in the USA actually and we have a lot of friends
since we've been here three times. What we need to do is come here and
play. That's the only thing that will open people's eyes basically.
When you played previously was that just a one off shows like this
Prog Power festival?
Did you play at that last year?
We played the Prog Power but it was this year February.
And you're playing on the 10th of November right?
Who else have you toured with when you played your gigs in the US?
Ah….who the hell was it? Symphony X, Jag Panzer, Zero
Hour, Pain of Salvation…we played with a lot of bands. The first time
we were here in '99 playing the Power Mad. I can't ever remember who we
played with then actually.
So have you been planning or preparing for a tour or another one off
gig later this year or next year in North America?
Next year we're going on a European tour when we get home
so we only have 4 days at home and then we're leaving again for Europe.
It will have to be next year sometime.
After your US appearance as you mentioned you're going to be touring
Europe and that is with Therion. How did you land this tour?
Basically because our manager's are friends.
What do you think of the combination or the cross over fans that
there may be between the two bands?
I think it will be a really good bill basically. I think
allot of their fans will really like us and vice versa.
The last tour I remember reading about you did in Europe was with
Kamelot and Crimson Glory. And from what I read of some of the reviews
it seems that Kamelot and Evergrey seemed to steal the show allot of the
nights. Was that the case?
Yeah, it was like that every day actually. It's all good
for us. It's not often that the first opening act gets the most
Do you do much touring within your own country of Sweden?
It's starting to get there now. We actually got on the
album charts in Sweden. So we're getting quite a few gigs now.
What city or town are you based out of in Sweden?
And what is your opinion on the scene there today?
It's a very healthy scene. We have allot of bands coming
from Gothenburg that are absolute leaders of the style in Europe and we
have HammerFall and The Haunted, Dark Tranquility, parts of King Diamond
and Mercyful Fate, parts of Witchery.
I was wondering has there been any plans for your next album already
or do you only write when you are preparing an album?
Yeah we write all the time. Well, we mainly keep
ideas in our head and then bring them out whenever it's time do an
A question I usually like to ask some of the guitar players I
interview is If you would give me a run down on the types of gear you
use; in terms of guitars, amps and any effects maybe.
We use Mesa Boogie Triaxis (http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Rackmount-Preamps/TriAxis/triaxis.html)
, TC electronic key(?) makers, Peavey 50x50 power amps (http://www.peavey.com/),
and we just got our own signature models from Caparison Guitar makers in
Japan (http://www.kyowashokai.co.jp/caparison.html). And that's it
I guess you had a lot of input in the design of your signature
Absolutely. Totally our own thing. Our own wood and the
Evergrey clan mark on the neck. We don't need another guitar now that
we've done this.
That must have been cool to do
Yeah it was. If we don't ever get another guitar at least we
accomplished this one.
I assume anyone can purchase this. They're not just made exclusively
for the band are they?
Right at this time they are just made exclusively for the
band. We'll see how the album works out in Japan and see how well it
sells there. Then they will start manufacturing if all goes well.
Have you played live in Japan very much?
Any plans coming for that?
We are just releasing our new album on the 20th of November
Ok, is there any other news about the band that you'd like people to
I think we covered most of it actually. You've been very
Well that was all the questions I had anyway.
Right on man, thanks a lot!
Thanks to Ronnie for the
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