EVERGREY's official MySpace page has been updated with a brand new interview with the band's drummer Jonas Ekdahl featuring questions submitted by fans. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow:
Q: How is your "partnership" with fellow rhythm maestro [bassist] Jari [Kainulainen; ex-STRATOVARIUS] developing, and what do you think he has bought that is different to add to the EVERGREY sound?
Jonas: "We are complementing each other just great! He's an unbelievable bass player, and I feel that we make each other tighter as a rhythm section. He makes me want to play better. And when you have that impression on someone, it's a pretty good rating. Especially, since he's 'just a bass player' Haha. (I hope my Swedish 'irony humor' is getting through the screen. I remember when we had our first jam with him, or audition, if you want to call it that. He came in with his bass, and as soon as we started the first song we all felt that this was the guy. And I actually caught myself with having one of the biggest smiles you can have. Jari is playing amazing on our new album ['Torn'] as well! It was fun to record the album with him, because we got a chance to rehearse the songs just the two of us, and that was a really good thing for us to do."
Q: What is your favorite song (or songs) to play drum-wise?
Jonas: "I have always loved 'Obedience'. It's so dark, heavy and groovy and it really fits my style of playing. Other favorite tunes are 'Mark Of The Triangle'; that song has a lot of cool parts in it. It changes from slow and powerful to heavy and melodic. And the crowd likes that song to. It's pretty cool to see them jump up and down on the heavier parts. I like 'Monday Morning Apocalypse' because it's 'straight pipes,' as you would say in Sweden (raka rr). In other words, it is really straight-forward. 'I'm Sorry' is kind of a favourite song as well. It's so simple to play drumming-wise, and I feel that I really can play powerful instead of playing fancy technical stuff. Because that just would have ruined the whole song, in my opinion. 'Fear' is the first song we have played from 'Torn' and that's a really cool song to play live, even though we've only played it twice so far. But it's so heavy and I am playing double-bass stuff throughout the whole song, more or less. We have lots of songs on the new album that are really going to be kick-ass to play live."
Q: How much of your drum sound on EVERGREY records is acoustic drums vs. triggered sounds? Also, when you use triggers or sound replacement, do you use samples of your own acoustic drums or do you use ddrum samples or some other sample library?
Jonas: "We have used both triggers and sound replacements on the EVERGREY albums I've recorded. We like to mix the acoustic sound with sound replacement and sometimes triggers. We had some triggers on 'The Inner Circle', but not on 'Monday Morning'. On 'Torn' we have triggers just on the bass drums, but we have mixed it with the acoustic bass-drum sound. And it's divided like 70% acoustic sound and 30% trigger, I think. The trigged sound comes from my old ddrum module from '92. Old-school stuff, and it sounds great. For toms we sound-replaced them with my toms, and we divided the sounds like we did with the bass drums, 70/30. Just to give it that extra punch and attack."
Q: Double-bass drumming is a very complex and exciting part about being a talented drummer in metal. What do you recommend for amateur drummers learning double bass as far as technique and endurance is concerned?
Jonas: When you start out with learning double-bass, make sure you practice in tempo that you are comfortable with. Also, practice with a metronome, or play along to your iPod or CD player so you're not losing the tempo. Also make sure that your feet are playing equally, both in power and speed. If you want to develop your double-bass technique, a good tip is to take a lot of rudiments and just try to play them with your feet. Double strokes, paradiddles, flams etc. You can also for example do those exercises I just mentioned, but instead of just using both feet, exchange one foot to one of your hands. To develop speed and/or endurance, there are no shortcuts, you just have to practice, practice, practice. And play in a fast tempo for as long as you can. Play until your feet/legs burns, and when they do, continue until you just can't go on anymore. Take a break and crank up the tempo and play for as long as you can again. But it is really important that you warm up before you practice speed and endurance. And you should also stretch your muscles afterwards, just so you don't strain yourself.
Read the entire interview at this location.
EVERGREY "Torn" trailer - April edition: