NIGHTRAGE guitarist Marios Illiopoulos recently spoke to Denmark's Antenna webzine about how former AT THE GATES singer Tomas Lindberg came to be involved with the group and their decision to use EVERGREY's Tom S. Englund and DARK TRANQUILLITY's Mikael Stanne as guest vocalists on their albums, among other topics. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:Antenna: You've stated in another interview that Tom S. Englund contributed with vocals on your debut, "Sweet Vengeance", because the decision to use him was out of your hand and that you dislike his presence. Please elaborate on that, and do tell me that you are indeed the boss in NIGHTRAGE, rather than business mongers outside your band. Marios Illiopoulos: "Yes, this is true. The situation at the time was that we have some clean parts that I had the responsibility for doing on the album. But Fredrik [Nordström, producer] and Century Media seemed to dislike them so much; they said I was sounding too romantic [laughs]. Don't forget the fact that we were not signed at the moment, so the situation was pretty tough for me and the future of NIGHTRAGE. Later Fredrik had the idea to ask Tom from EVERGREY who had the same sort of melodic touch in his voice that we needed for the album. At first I opposed to their decision but in order to finalize the recordings of the album, I decided to make a step back and get the job done. So as you can understand; even if I'm the one that is responsible for the band, I had two choices, and rather agree with that than staying at home and doing nothing. At the end of the day, I didn't want to be my own enemy, and create troubles on the NIGHTRAGE vision, and even if I didn't want Tom on the album, I think that he is a good vocalist, and what he did on the first album sounds professional, and everybody were happy it the end, including myself. I can't call myself a singer but I think that I was a kind of a messenger than a real metal singer on my attempts on the clean vocals, and Tom is a much better vocalist than me. Still, though, I don't like things like that to happen for the band in the future, and I can assure you that they won't. I will maybe trouble you with my romantic voice on the future NIGHTRAGE clean vocal parts." Antenna: Mikael Stanne from DARK TRANQUILLITY provides clean vocals on the new album. Did you choose him or was this also out of your hands? Marios Illiopoulos: "He only sang the chorus of 'Frozen', and this time it was a mutual decision between me and Century Media. We felt that we needed some sort of guest clean vocals in this song, and Mikael was the best choice. As you can see, things are starting to improve in the NIGHTRAGE camp, and I think that there won't be any guests on the next album, but sometimes you never know what the future will bring."
Antenna: How expensive was it to make Tomas Lindberg want to join NIGHTRAGE? Marios Illiopoulos: "Tomas fell in love with our stuff from the very first moment, he got in touch with our demos back in 2001; even before we get signed or got any attention from the metal community. He saw that I was really dedicated to my music and ready to make the band work properly. He liked my attitude, and we became friends quite soon. Finally, the mutual respect that we had for each other lead to our collaboration. I think that he is the perfect vocalist for my band, and if you had told me five years that one day I would have a band with him, I'd laugh, but some things happen for a reason, and now we are playing together, and he is the frontman and cult figure of the band. He is also a professional musician, and he deserves to get paid for his work. He is making a living out of it, and I don't have any problem with that; it's part of the business side of things, which I understand and respect. But on my personal philosophy, I try to see music first and then all the other, and it's the same way Tomas feels about the whole thing. He is not in the band for the money. He likes the music, and he appreciates the whole meaning of trying to have a band. He once told me that if he wanted to, he could have an AT THE GATES-type of band and make money out of it, but he doesn't want to copy and repeat himself. That's why his personal band THE GREAT DECEIVER sounds so different and out of any so-called trends. He is also into punk and hardcore, and he is actually living that on his real life. He is one of the nicest and down-to-earth guys, I've ever met in my life. It's just a pleasure to have him in the band, and he is a monster in the stage." Read Marios Illiopoulos' entire interview with Antenna at this location.