"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where any recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
SEVENTH WONDER: "The Great Escape"
SEVENTH WONDER and "The Great Escape" - These Swedes are some of the best (melodic) Prog-Metal-heads out there and surely the perfect opening act to Dream Theater??? Seriously, give these guys a break as they're merely a phonecall away from "proper" success. They even recieved a perfect 10/10 rating from Kimmo, who's no proghead to start with... I do recall the first couple of demos I received for review though (see archives) and they've certainly done a remarkable transformation from being "decent, up-and-coming" prog act to top-notch performers of the genre. Here's the SW six-string bender,: Mr. JOHAN LIEFVENDAHL...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
The feedback has been amazing. You know, to do an album after the success of "Mercy Falls" were a big challenge and after reading that people love this album too is more then amazing!
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We started the recording in April 2010 and ended it in August 2010.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We have always been struggling for a very clear sound where you can hear every instrument. Andreas Blomqvist and I use to think of some kind of Mr Big sound but since we have a keyboard player and play a little bit different type of music we have to have our "own" sound. Which is a little more heavier.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
We produced the album on our own. To have someone who tells you to throw away your favourite solo is not my kind of bag :-)
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
This is the first Seventh Wonder album with a lot of guitar. So yes I´m very pleased :-) The reason why this album sounds a little bit different from the other ones is because we worked with a new guy (Erik Mårtenson) behind the mixer and he loves guitar!! I think we have a more modern sound on this album then the previous ones.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No, we like the old traditional way!
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
We try to separate live and studio. During recording we are very focus on trying to make the best out of the song so if we want to add some extra rhythm guitar or some extra strings, we´ll do that. If we later on wants to play that song live, I guess we have to rent a extra guitar player or a orchestra :-)
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Right now, my favourite one has to be 'King of Whitewater'. I didn't like that song in the beginning because we didn't found the right way to arrange it, but the way it ended up on the album is really cool. I have to admit that I'm not so interested in lyrics but I like the story in 'King Of Whitewater'. It´s about a Swedish phenomenon called the neck.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
We always try to write songs with big melodies and great riffs. And sine we are playing some kind of prog I think it's okay for us to add almost any type of music when we write songs!
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
I have to say no, because I listen mostly to music that is made 15-30 years ago so when I write songs nowadays it's almost the same way as I wrote songs 10 years ago, Perhaps my ears have been a little bit better now. Knowing what's good or bad.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
We are very lucky to have "free hands" as long as we deliver high quality music. So on next album I think I will have a 40 minutes guitar solo :-)
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
I wish I could tell you some funny memories but when we are in the studio we work so hard so we don't have time for a lot of craziness. But now we laugh all the time :-)))
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
The sound is a very modern sound with a lot of great melodies and crazy bass/guitar/key solos.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
My biggest hero, all time has to big Nuno Bettencourt because of his way of combining rhythm and solo guitar!
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Hope you have time to check out
"The Great escape" and if you like it: Please buy it!
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,