EVERGREY Frontman On New Album, New Label, New Sound

Chad Bowar of About Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with EVERGREY frontman Tom S. Englund. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

About Heavy Metal: Since the last CD, you've had a couple different bass players. The latest is Jari Kainulainen (STRATOVARIUS). How did he come to join the band?

Tom S. Englund: "We had an audition on our homepage where we said anyone who felt the urge to send in their materials and bio and playing samples. We had 400 applications. We tried out a few guys, then I got a call from a journalist friend of mine from Norway who said he knew a guy who could handle the bass. We told him to come down and try out like all the others had done. He did, and it took like five minutes for us to decide. He's one of the best bass players I've heard ever. Add to that all his touring experience, and that made him invaluable."

About Heavy Metal: Your latest CD "Torn" has a slightly different sound than "Monday Morning Apocalypse".

Tom S. Englund: "Yes, but at the same time every album we have made so far has been different soundwise. I don't know why, but when we write music it reflects back on the life we lived at the time we wrote it. When we wrote 'Monday Morning Apocalypse' we had been touring a lot and playings songs a lot live. That affected our songwriting the most. For this album, I went through a lot of personal crap that I had to deal with, and that's why the album sounds like it does."

About Heavy Metal: Last album you brought in outside producers. This time you went back to producing yourselves. How come?

Tom S. Englund: "When we decided that for 'Monday Morning Apocalypse' we had made four or five albums in a row in the same way, basically. We used the same studios and people. We needed to make a change on every level. That was certainly one part that we needed to change. Instead of just going in and recording another album, we felt like we needed somebody to come in and stir things around a little bit. And we were curious how outside people would look at EVERGREY and what they would do with it. It was a really cool experience, and 'Torn' would never have sounded the way it does without the lessons we learned on that album. At the same time, we spent a lot of money on 'Monday Morning Apocalypse' and felt that we could have better use for it on this album. Not that we weren't satisfied with that album, but now we've done that, now we know what it's brought us. We sold more than ever. But I produce albums in my free time as well, so it felt unnecessary to spend maybe $70,000 on a producer when I am a producer."

About Heavy Metal: What's the response been so far to "Torn"?

Tom S. Englund: "It's been out there a week, and the reviews have been fantastic, except for Sweden, which is really strange. And for the first time, we have encountered some people who don't like it in Sweden. But it debuted at No. 4 on the Swedish chart today, so we are very happy. It's a personal record. We had a No. 1 DVD, but as far as albums go, this is the best we've done. The reviews didn't have any effect on the people buying it. I hope that it keeps going like that for the rest of the world as well."

About Heavy Metal: You have a new record label, SPV. What was the deciding factor in signing with them?

Tom S. Englund: "We started negotiating with many different labels, both major labels and smaller ones about two years ago. The only thing we knew we didn't want was to put ourselves in a situation where we wouldn't be satisfied two years from now. Also we knew what we were worth. All the lessons we had learned with all the different contracts we have had in the past made us realize that if we're going to sign another contract, it might be the last contract we sign. With three albums it's going to take up at least five or six years of our lives. We negotiated with SPV for eight months back and forth. They were the only ones who stepped up to our demands, and we are really grateful. And that will also force them to work their asses off."

Read the entire interview from About Heavy Metal.

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EVERGREY performing at Metal Rock festival in Lillehammer, Norway on August 16, 2008:

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