Shawn Drover of Eidolon
Interviewed by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Lars Chriss at Escapi Music Group for setting up the interview.
Promo pictures provided by Escapi Music Group
Recently I hooked up with one of the Drover brothers, drummer Shawn Drover, to talk about their band Eidolon that just released a new album. In the interview we talk about Eidolon’s past, present, and future. Besides playing in Eidolon, both brothers are also busy members in Megadeth.
You and your brother started Eidolon back in 1993 but it took until 1996 before you released your debut album ZERO HOUR, why did it take so long?
Actually, we recorded 2 full demo tapes, the 1st in 1994, the 2nd in 1995 – both of these are now almost impossible to find, though some people do have them – so we did have 2 releases before we did Zero Hour in 1996.
Why did you form Eidolon?
Glen was building his recording studio at home and when he did have enough equipment, we started writing music and recording it – at the beginning we recorded only instrumental music, meaning music with no singing - mostly because we couldnt find a good singer at that time. Hhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Have you and your brother been involved in any famous bands or projects before Eidolon?
I was in a band called Infernal Majesty for 1 year back in 1988, but I quit that band to move to America from Toronto, Canada. I wouldnt call that band famous, but they did have a new record out when I joined the band.
Why the name Eidolon?
The name Eidolon is a name I found in a book years ago and I thought the name was different and interesting, so we decided to choose that name for our band. The basic meaning for Eidolon is a GHOST.
In 1997 you released the album SEVEN SPIRITS, that was a theme album. Why did you write the album in a theme kind of way? And what was the theme?
Yes, we intended to write that record as a concept record. To give you the very short version of the theme – it is a story of a character named Dorian who struggles with his faith in religion, and certain people try to turn his religion to become very evil.
Which labels released those two albums?
We released those 2 records ourselves through different distributers in Europe, Japan and North America.
Who owns the legal rights to your older albums?
Eidolon owns the rights to the Seven Spirits record – Metal Blade now owns the rights to Zero Hour, as they re-released it in 2003, as a limited-bonus c.d. with Apostles of Defiance.
You released albums on Metal Blade but you are now signed for Escapi Music, why did you leave MB and why did you chose to sign on for Escapi and when did you do that?
We actually released 5 records on Metal Blade between 2000-2003. I put out 1 record per year and re-released our 1st record ( Zero Hour ) as a bonus c.d. on our “Apostes Of Defiance” record back in 2003 – we had a 5 record deal with MB, so once that deal was over, we decided to take a break for a while then look for a different record label when we started our new record – Ole Bang helped us get a deal with Escapi, which is where we are right now.
Are you happy with the promotion the new label has done so far with the band?
So far yes, but it is too early to tell right now, as the record is not even released yet. We are certainly hoping for the best on this record in terms of good distribution.
A lot of members have come and gone, amongst them your first singer Brian Soulard, why did he leave the band?
We chose to get another singer after we released “Hallowed Apparition” back in 2001, as we wanted a singer with a better range and could sing in different styles. Brian did a good job on the records he sang on, but it was time to move on for us.
Brian was replaced by Pat Mulock why did you chose him as new lead singer, did you know him from before?
No, we had never met him before – we put the word out in Toronto that we were looking for a new singer, and he was 1 of the singers who applied for the job. He seemed to be the best of the choices at that time, so we picked him for the job.
What did your fans think of Pat as the new singer?
Most of the fans liked Pat very much, as he brought a bit more aggression in the vocal part to Eidolon, which let us write more heavier music when we wanted to, yet he could still sing very melodic as well, so it was a good balance at the time.
Who in Eidolon writes the main material?
Glen and I write all of the music for Eidolon, and until this new record, I also wrote all of the lyrics as well.
Do you think that Eidolon has developed musicwise through the years? If so in what way?
Of course, with each record we developed as better songwriters, musicians and performers. I think most bands do get better with each record because they learn a lot over time, we certainly did.
How would you describe the kind of metal that Eidolon plays?
Heavy Metal!!! I dont like to label music too much, but I would certainly say that Eidolon is totally 100% Metal.
Your new album is called THE PARALLEL OTHERWORLD, how long did it take to write and record it?
It took longer to write this record, because both Glen and I joined Megadeth soon after I began recording drum tracks in Sweden. Right after I got home from Sweden, I was asked to join Megadeth after Glen joined the band, so we decided to put Eidolon on hold until after the world tour was done. We continued recording and finishing the new record after that time.
Where and when did you record it?
The drums were recorded at Los Angered recording in Gothenburg, Sweden. All guitars and bass were recorded in Glens studio in Toronto, Canada. Nils recorded all of his vocals in Norway. We mixed and mastered the record at Glens studio ( Eclipse Recording )
Why did you name it THE PARALLEL OTHERWORLD? Does it mean anything special to you guys or was it just a good name?
Nils came up with the name of the record – out of mabye 10 name choices for the record that seemed to sound the best, so we decided to choose that name. It does not have any kind of special meaning, but it does sound very cool.
On the new album you have another new singer in Nils K Rue from Pagans Mind – what happened to Pat?
We decided to part ways with Pat after we played the Wacken festival back in 2003 – we decided we needed to have the best singer possible that we could find to sing on future Eidolon records, so when we found Nils, we were very happy to ask him to sing for us.
Is Nils a steady member of Eidolon now or is he only a guest singer?
Nils will sing for Eidolon as long as he would like to sing for us. We dont go on any large tours or anything like that, Because we are far too busy with Megadeth, and Nils has his band Pagans Mind, which keeps him very busy as well.
Is the current line-up a steady line up?
I would like to think so, yes – but you can never be too sure in life what may happen – at this moment I am very happy with this line-up.
You have a lot of guests on the album, can you tell us who those are and a little bit about them?
Yes, we actually have 7 different guitar players on this record – we did this just because we wanted to do something a bit different and fun. We have Michael Romeo, from Symphony X, Chris Caffery from Savatage, Hank Sherman and Michael Denner from Mercyful Fate/Force of Evil, Kim Mitchell, Frank Aresti from Fates Warning and a guy named Robert MacDonald, who we grew up with and actually used to give Glen some guitar lessons when Glen was mabye 12-14 years old. We found him and asked him to play on the new record, after we have not seen or spoken to him in 25 years, so that was very cool for us to have all of these great guitar players on this record.
You have done a cover of the Mercyful Fate song “The Oath” and both Hank Sherman and Michael Denner guest on it, how did you manage to get those guys to play lead guitar?
Eidolon played a festival in Cleveland, Ohio back in 2003, and Force of Evil were on the bill as well – Since Glen played with King Diamond for over 3 years ( 1998-2001 ) those guys knew of Glen – when we met them at the show, we asked Michael Denner if he would play a solo on our new record, so he said yes. When we actually decided to record “The Oath” we also asked Hank if he would be interested as well, so they both said yes and they did an amazing job on the song – those guys are legends, man!!!!!!!
Are Mercyful Fate one if Eidolon’s favorite bands maybe?
Yes, very much so!!!!!
Have you read any reviews on the new album yet? What have the media to say about it?
So far, there are only a bit of reviews that I have seen on the new record, because we are just doing interviews now, but what I have seen pretty much all say that this is our best record we have ever made – I have to agree with that!!
Are there any plans on going out on road now that the album is out in the stores?
No. We are so busy with Megadeth and Nils with Pagans Mind, that we decided not to tour for this record – actually, we never have toured for any Eidolon record apart from playing some festival shows in Europe and North America.
Do you have any dates on when the album is out in USA and Asia?
I am hearing that the new record will be released on June 6/2006 in North America, and June 16th for the rest of the world.
Escapi is based in Sweden, do you see any problems with that?
Not at all, we worked with Metal Blade for 4 years and they are based out of Germany, so I dont see any problems with Escapi being in Sweden at all.
What’s your main priority Europe or the States?
We dont have a priority to a certain place – we just would like to have the record available in as many places as possible for the fans to find it – that has always been a priority with us.
When can we expect to find the next album with Eidolon out in the stores, it took you 2,5 to write THE PARALLEL OTHERWORLD is it going to take so long to get out the next album?
I really dont know right now about the next record – this record deal with Escapi is for only 1 record, so we will have to see in time what we want to do in the future. Right now, we are just focusing on this new record.
Who’s done the cover artwork and what do you think of it?
Jan Meininghaus has done our last 5 records for artwork, and he is so great!!!! Jan and I always go over artwork ideas and he just always does such a great job, so we would not want to use anybody else for our artwork!!!!!
You joined Megadeth a couple of years ago, how was that?
It really took me for a big suprise, because Glen had just joined Megadeth, so I was so happy for him that I never thought in 1 million years that I would also be asked to join the band. Playing for Megadeth is so great, but it makes it even better that Glen is in the band with me – we make a great team and we always have for 25 years now.
What’s it like to be a part of Megadeth do you think?
It’s fantastic!!! I could not be more happy really – I get to play in a band that I have loved since 1986 – 20 years ago, so to be in that band and now make a new Megadeth record is a very special time for me.
Is there any plans on releasing a new album with Megadeth some time soon?
Yes!!! We are in the middle of recording it right now – I actually have my drum tracks finished for the record, so the other guys are recording their parts right now. It is going very well, I must say!!
How is it to work with Dave Mustaine, a lot of different rumors are circling around that he’s very difficult to work with..
Working with Dave is great for me, because I understand my part of this band. I dont try to take over or become a boss in making business decisions, or that kind of thing – I am only interested in playing live and in the studio the best I can and be a happy person. I get along very well with Dave – He really wants the best performance from the rest of the band, and so do I. If certain other people find that difficult, then I dont understand that.
Wasn’t it hard to learn the Megadeth songs with thought of that they are very technically played?
Some of it can be difficult at times, but thats what makes it so much fun to me. Playing easy songs in another band I would find very boring after a while, so this music keeps me on my toes for sure.
Finally I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, are, there anything you’d like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?
Thank you so much for your support – It means alot to me!!!