Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Evil Masquerade

Interview By Anders Sandvall

Pictures by Thomas Trane

Here we have an interview with the guitarist Henrik Flyman from Evil Masquerade who have just released their debut album “Welcome to the Show.” The band that hails from my neighbouring country, Denmark.

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In the info note it says that you met Henrik, the singer, at a nightclub in Copenhagen and later that evening you went to your studio and recorded some demos and that was the beginning of this band, is that true?

Thatīs pretty much how it came into being a band. It all started about a year earlier for me. I was in a situation where I was involved in a band with too much un-professionalism surrounding it. To get myself thinking about music again I needed something else to focus on. Therefore I locked my self in and wrote a bunch of songs with no intention what so ever. My only plan was to to what I truely enjoy. Then suddenly I bumped into Henrik Brockmann and we decided to give it a shot with his vocals on my music. When we heard the results we thought it would be a great idea to record it with a full band.



Did you knew Henrik from before?

Nope. I knew heīd been in Royal Hunt, but that was about it.



Do all of the members live in Copenhagen, Denmark?

Yes. That was also what I really wanted for this band, if it was possible. In most of the bands Iīve been involved in, the members have been spread far and wide. One thing certain is that that makes rehearsals hell. So I was truely happy when I realized that it would be possible to actually find the whole band in Copenhagen. And that without compromising on quality. Great!



How did you and Henrik found the other two members in the band? Did you knew Kasper and Dennis from before?

Kasper I knew since he was supposed to join my earlier band live on tour. We have kept in touch after that. Dennis I knew briefly. I saw him playing with his old band and I spoke to him after the show. But that was a couple of years before the songs for Evil Masquerade were coming alive. So when we needed a drummer I knew immediately who to call.


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The info note calls this band a super group, what do you think about that?

Thanks for the compliment... hahaha. The only problem with that is that many people get the wrong idea, that Evil Masquerade is just another project. And who can blame them. But just to clear everything here and now. Evil Masquerade is very much a band! We rehearse, play live and will release more records. Thatīs also why I preferred to have the band close living to begin with.



In the note your music are described as being both symphonic metal and theatrical metal, how would you describe you music?

Iīve never been particularly good in telling one style from another. When I write music I try to create it around a good melody. I never think very much about what it might be called. I like the idea of the theatre, because anything can happen there. But on the other hand itīs absolute no doubt that everything is metalized in one way or another. So perhaps Theatrical Metal is the accurate one.



Who’s written the music and lyrics on the debut?

That would be me.


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Are the lyrics about anything in particular?

Theyīre mostly bad dreams gone metal.



In which studio are the album recorded?

Drums are recorded at Media Sound in Copenhagen. Guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards are done in my studio Digital Bitch, also in Copenhagen. The guest keyboardists we recorded in their hometowns.



When was it recorded?

During 2003.



Who produced the album?

That would be me again.


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Why did you choose to call the album ”Welcome to the show”? who came up with that and who came up with the name Evil Masquerade?

That was the obvious title. One of the songs Iīd written was "Welcome to the Show" and what better title can a debut album really have? I came up with Evil Masquerade because I think it tells quite a bit about what to expect. It also sounds cool!



How has the reaction from the fans/press been on the album? Have you read any reviews so far?

The reviews Iīve seen are very good. But the most important thing is of course what the fans think. Iīm happy to see that our old fans really seem to like it. But there are also lots of new ones giving us a great welcoming. Thanks for that!



Are there any plans on going out on tour? In that case when and where?

We have some gigpromotors working on that right now. So hopefully it shouldnīt go too long before we can do that. I havenīt got any details at the moment.


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Have you done any live shows yet? If so how did that go?

The first show we did was on our release party for the European release of "Welcome to the Show". It went splendid! Everyone was very positive about the performance. We still get mails with commendations for that one. A great start.



How did you end up at Frontiers Records? Why did you choose that label?

We had some labels interested in signing Evil Masquerade. But after some research we decided to go for Frontiers. I think they are a good label for our kind of music.



How does the cooperation with you label work so far?

So far, so good... hahaha. But seriously, Iīm sure we made the right decision.



How did you get the keyboardists André from Royal Hunt, Richard (Time Requiem) and Mats (Yngwie Malmsteen) to appear on the album?

André is an old friend with Brockmann since the Royal Hunt days. When he heard the music he was happy to contribute. Richard is an old friend of mine and when I played him the songs he said yes. Mats is one of my newer acquaintances. He also jumped on board right away.



The cover of the album looks really good and it reflects you music really well, who made it and who came up with the idea of that cover?

Itīs made by the artist Katja Handberg. The idea is a collaboration between her and me.


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Are you already working on new material?

But of course! Thatīs what I normally do. Write music. I expect us to start the recordings after the summer, if everything turns out well.



Are there anything on the album that you’re minor satisfied with and that you think you could have done in another way?

Since Iīm fortunate to learn by doing, I have a couple of things I will improve on the next album. But thatīs a good thing I think. I canīt imagine a situation where Iīve run out of ideas. That would be plain terrible.



Do you have any favorite track? Are there any track that you’re not so fond of?

I often change my mind about favorite tracks. Right now it could be "Welcome to the Show", "Oh Harlequin" and "Surprises in the Dark". But who knows tomorrow?! The tracks Iīm not that fond of arenīt on the album. But if you absolutely want me to pick one, it would be the bonus track for Japan. It`s their national anthem "Kimigayo Wa Chiyoni". Itīs not the big thrill for me. But interesting for them, being a part of their history and all.



Are any of the songs being released as a single? Is there any plans of doing a video to some of the songs?

We havenīt released any singles as far as I know. There are plans for a video. But thatīs all under discussion right now. There are a couple of candidates interested in doing it. Let us see what happens.



What are the plans for Evil Masquerade during 2004?

The nearby plans are to play live and to get the next album ready. We got a great start for Evil Masquerade with our debut album. Now I will do my absolutely best together with the rest of the band to take everything to the next level.


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How is the metal/hardrock scene doing in Denmark today?

Alive and kicking! Lots of bands comes and goes. Several are doing pretty well. I think the world are starting to take notice of this little land of red and white.



Do you have any personal favorites amongst the Danish bands?

I think Royal Hunt is very good. Also bands like Cornerstone and Wuthering Heights. Another favorite is BAAL. Perhaps not to be labeled as hardrock, but still a great band.



What do you think of the metal scene in my country Sweden today?

Thatīs also my old country. Iīve been living in Copenhagen for 4 years, so Iīm some kind of hybrid... hahahaha. Sweden has always been a great land for lots of different kinds of music. That includes metal and hardrock. I think there are many good bands from Sweden. A few examples would include Richard Anderssonīs Time Requiem. An absolutely great band with fine musicians. Astral Doors with Nils Patrik Johansson on vocals. You donīt get more DIO style music than that. And of course... isnīt it great to have Europe back?



Do you have any favorite band in Sweden?

Of course those Iīve already mentioned. But one of the most important Swedish musicans is Yngwie Malmsteen. Heīs not only one of the best guitarist in the world. Heīs also created a new genre within heavy metal.



Is there any particular guitarist who has inspired you in any way?

I never sat down trying to learn what other guitarists do. Iīve listened to them. But thatīs all. The one I find most interesting is Ritchie Blackmore. A superb songwriter and he plays his guitar like no one else. I think he might have inspired me in not copying others.



For how long have you played guitar?

Iīve had a guitar for about 15 years. I donīt know long Iīve played it. The only time I practice is when I write something I canīt play.



Have you been involved in any other bands before Evil Masquerade? In that case which ones?

My first band was Moahni Moahna. We did a couple of singles and 2 albums. Then there was ZooL. We did 1 album. Iīve also been playing lead guitar on the 2 latest Wuthering Heights albums.



Can you live on the music or do you have a regular job on the side as well?

I use to ask me that same question now and again. Hahaha... I donīt have a regular job and I donīt get money from the union or the government. Since Iīm still alive and come to my studio everyday, I guess I can live from playing metal. Nothing that makes me rich though.



Have you recorded any bands in your studio? Where is it located?

My studio is located in central Copenhagen. Up until now I havenīt actually had the time to consider recording other bands. I spend a lot of time doing my own stuff. But who knows? Perhaps one day.



Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Metal-Rules.com?

You should check out Evil Masquerade. If youīre interested in metal with a theatrical twist to it, you might enjoy this. Also please drop by our website and write us a couple of lines. Itīs: www.evilmasquerade.com



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Youīre welcome.


Thanks for the help and promo pictures to Katja at Scandinavian Metal Agency.

Band Website: www.evilmasquerade.com
Label Website: www.frontiers.it / www.atenzia.com