Tom Englund: “Hymns For The Broken Is A Super Personal Album.”
Just a year ago Evergrey was almost dead due to the fact that Tom Englund felt less and less inspired after their last album Glorious Collision, released in 2011. Also the band fell apart as Henrik Danhage, Jonas Ekdale and Jari Kainulainen decide to leave Evergrey. However Englund reorganized the band and Ekdale and Danhage returned and they recorded one of the best Evergrey albums ever called: Hymns For The Broken. Let’s see what Tom has to say about all this..
So, a come back with a superb new album?
“We got an opportunity to make a new album; we were very close to giving up, so it is quite remarkable that we are still here. I would say that the two guys (Jonas and Henrik) coming back saved the band. Jonas wrote 27 tracks, so I think we have enough material for another great album. There was no time to make a double album, so we saved the rest of the tracks for a follow up for Hymns.”
Is the new album different from the other Evergrey albums?
“(silence for more than a minute) I do not think so; it is still Evergrey as my voice makes it Evergrey; it is a very recognizable voice. But it is a band album, everyone in the band does their job and Jonas is responsible for 50% of the music and I wrote the lyrics.”
What are your lyrics about on this album and where and how did you get inspiration to write them?
“It has been a very exhausting and difficult period in my life since the release date of our former album. And now I was wondering who am I, what should I do with the rest of my life; it was really a tough time. So, therefore the new album is a super personal album, ha ha…”
“That is for every listener to decide, but I do not feel the need to explain every single word. It is my story, it is my life, deal with it, or not. My heart and my soul is in the lyrics and so my nakedness is complete, it’s about me, like it or not.”
The lyrics are actually quite melancholic or even dark; are you a pessimist by nature?
“No, definitely an optimist. There is always a new dawn and there is always a new tomorrow, so, but yeah, shit happens, man, all the time. But it is not that important for me that fans understand all my lyrics, as long as they like the songs and they can relate to some of the stuff I write about. I get lots of e-mails from people about my songs, thanking me for a great track or great lyrics. They use my songs for funerals and for weddings; that is great, so my/our songs are in some way important for some people and I love that.”
So, are you still having fun in the music business?
“We are having fun AGAIN! Yep, it is cool to be back, it looks like everything is new again and it feels good to be alive as Evergrey again. We feel like we do not have to do anything, there is no pressure, we just do what we want to do; so we are happy. We try to express our passion for music and that is what Evergrey is about.”
Could you tell something about the title of the new album?
“Of course; the word broken in the title refers to the band, to us; to all the struggles in life we face and all have as human beings.”
King of Errors is the single of the album; in my opinion not an obvious choice as it is a rather long track…
“This is funny, because every journalist I spoke to suggested to bring out another track as a single. However we were sure that it had to be King of Errors although it is 8 minutes long; fuck the boundaries; remember Bohemian Rhapsody, that was our example, that was also a long track, but it reached number 1 in the charts everywhere, so. King of Errors has a great chorus, catchy, but not cheesy, so I think it will do fine as a single.”
The ballad called Missing You is not too sweet a song for Evergrey, being a metal band?
“That depends if you think that it is a love song, as it is NOT a love song, my friend. It is about missing yourself. It is a piano ballad which is typical for us and we have been doing this kind of song on every previous album so far. It adds to the diversity of the album and variety is important in music, so…”
“We have not yet decided about touring plans as we first want to see how the album works; the reviews have all been very good so far, so there is hope, ha, ha, ha… We will definitely NOT be doing 200 shows a year or more, that was really too much!”
“Yeah, but we need 100,000 Euros to make a DVD and the label will not pay that amount. Maybe we can try the crowd funding thing as we will have our 20 th anniversary next year, so that would be a good occasion for a DVD.”
Is Broken the best Evergrey album ever?
“Yep, it sounds like a fucking cliché, but it is our best album so far; I really think so. I listen to the album a lot and I still love and hear things that amaze me, so, come out there, buy or die, ha ha ha….”
Thanks again for your time and good luck with the album and tour.
“Thank you, my friend, always a pleasure to talk to you.”
Interview by: Martien Koolen