Vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund and drummer Jonas Ekdahl of the long-running Swedish progressive metal act EVERGREY recently spoke with France's Loud TV about their forthcoming eleventh studio album, "The Atlantic". The full conversation can be viewed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the album's opening track, "A Silent Arc":
Tom: "It's a good representation of something like a turmoil, like the ocean can be — having the waves crashing down on you, and the darkness and the insecurity and the fear. I think it's a very evil, violent riff — the violence of being thrown around in the ocean, I guess... The funny thing is, today, we just received [word] from our record label that the song has been added on, like, seven or eight of the most popular playlists on Spotify, which is ridiculous because it's an eight-minute song of the most non-catchy music that we have ever written — but it proves that you [can] stay true to yourself and people fucking dig it, hopefully."
On the song's video:
Tom: "I felt — and we talked about it — that we didn't want to impress people with the visuals. We wanted to impress people with the music, and we didn't want to put a naked girl and fire and five hot guys from Gothenburg, Sweden in the video to convince you that this was a great song. We will do that in the next video. [Laughs]"
On how working on side projects affected the album's material:
Tom: "Me and Jonas especially do a lot of music outside of EVERGREY, which sort of scales out those other influences. It's an outlet for us to get rid of — well, not get rid of, but get to write music in other landscapes than what we do in EVERGREY. Therefore, what is left for this album is a lot of heaviness and a lot of aggression and a lot of dark, heavy shit."
Jonas: "I'm not saying we're having some kind of a formula with EVERGREY, but when we write other music, there are sometimes formulas you have to keep when writing. When we wrote 'The Atlantic', we felt extra-free, so we just went for it and threw ourselves out there. If the song ended at seven-and-a-half minutes, that was the song."
On choosing to record a concept album:
Tom: "I think during the writing for the 'Hymns For The Broken' album, I started writing the lyrics, and I figured that I was writing about somebody else — somebody who was transitioning from being one person, leaving something that he was feeling secure within his life and entering another world. During that album, I realized that I was pretty much writing about myself, so I would say that 'Hymns For The Broken' was about realizing that you needed to make a move, while 'The Storm Within' was about the realization and the honesty that, fuck, this isn't going to work anymore — I have to leave, and the frustration and the fears and the darkness and all of that that came with that, but also some sort of hope for the future. At the same time, it wasn't set in play, and that's where 'The Atlantic' comes in. That's when you put both feet in the water and start shoving out the ship and leaving. I'm not saying that I'm on the other side of the ocean yet, but at least I embarked on the journey. The Atlantic — or any ocean — represents so much of what life is, really — the crashing waves, the darkness and the depths and the loneliness and the big vastness and feeling small in a huge world, and not knowing what is on the other side of the ocean and how that's going to treat you, [and] who you're going to become."
On whether it's difficult to write and perform music that's so technical:
Tom: "It's different worlds — it's one world writing it; it's one world recording it; and it's one world rehearsing it. It's hard work. We're not pretending that we're John Petrucci and Mike Mangini. We struggle."
Jonas: "They fart better chops than we [have]. It's fucking hell."
Tom: "But, to credit us, we really put in the work to make sure that we're a great live band, and I honestly think that we are."
"The Atlantic" will be released on January 25 via AFM Records. EVERGREY again teamed up with Jacob Hansen, who — just like with the band's previous releases "The Storm Within" and "Hymns For The Broken" — took care of mixing and mastering.