|SOM has met Evergrey during their visit to West Hollywood on October 6th, 2011 when the band was doing the “North American Collisions” tour. Check out the chat we had with the lead singer and guitar player Tom Englund (T), the bass guitar player Johan Niemann (J) and the drummer Hannes Van Dahl(H)!|Tonight you are playing in LA. This is almost the end of your 2011 North American tour. How was the tour? Are you guys happy with it?
T: Attendance wise it could have been better, honestly. I think America is going through some sort of recession, or something. There are so many bands [on this tour], there should be a lot of people.
When the economy is bad, culture, music and stuff like that are the things that people cut down on first, I guess. But, the shows we have done have been great and the audiences that have been there have been extremely happy with what we are doing. So, overall it’s been good, really good.Do you think that the fact that Evergrey didn’t tour the US for so long (over 5 years) affected the “motion” that you had here before?
T: Absolutely! Of course… especially in this country. That’s how it works, you know? You have to be here all the time, otherwise people forget. So, this is a brand new start, I would say, for touring in America.2011 has been a year of “new” for you. New album, with new band member and touring with these new band members. How has it been?
T: We’ve been very busy. We’ve been doing stuff all the time since the album came out. It hasn’t been a year yet, but 9 months [since the album came out], so it has been a very productive year and a very successful year for us.
J: Not only this year but we toured last year as well, before we recorded the album. We did a short European tour, we did festivals. So, it has been busy!How do you think that you will remember this year in the future? Will it be in a positive way?
T, J and H: Ohh yeah!
T: Only positive, I would say. We have had so much shit before, so… This year is when things sort of “turned around”.
H: We are having so much fun this year. It’s all good.Did you feel that your latest album (Glorious Collision) suffered some skepticism from fans or the media, because of the band’s new lineup? Or do you think the change encouraged people to check out the album?
T: I think both. Of course you have to question a band that exchanged 60% of what they were. On the other hand, it proved that people were curious and stuck with us. We got new fans even. The sales have been better than the albums we did before. It is strange in a way but really cool and relieving.Still talking about the band’s lineup changes: how were the first conc
erts of you all together? Was it hard to get used to each other and how everyone reacts on stage?
J: Not hard but different, you know? All of a sudden you are in a new band and don’t really know how the on stage things work. It is different for every band.
H: We got to know each other on the tour bus, it worked out good!
T: We are still learning. But now we are getting to the point that we do understand and know how the other person is doing the show. It takes maybe 100 shows to get into it.Talking about the future now: what are the plans for Evergrey after this tour is over?
J: We have a couple more shows in Europe.And after that, are you guys getting some time off?
T: We will have at least December off. I’m going to Thailand. I don’t know what these guys are going to do (laughs). We will start back up in January but we still haven’t decided what we are going to do. I know we are going to do a DVD at least and we have the “Best of” album coming out now in November. We don’t know what to do… maybe we won’t do anything anymore (laughs).For the “Best of” album: how did you choose the songs that will be on it?
T: Ohhh! Nightmare!
H: Only Glorious Collision songs (laughs).
T: Rick [Rikard Zander] and I sat down and just tried to figure it out. It was supposed to be just 10 songs per side or whatever, but now it is like 11 songs because there were so many songs that we couldn’t exclude. I think that every video [clip] song that we have done is in there and every single of course. I don’t know… I don’t really like “Best of” albums.
H: But I think that the track list turned out great.
T: Yeah, for a person who never heard of Evergrey, it is a great way to at least hear what we think is the best and what represents us the most. I think it is cool in a way.Talking about metal now: what is out there that you would tell metal fans it is worth checking out?
T: Richie Kotzen.
J: Yeah, he is a singer and guitar player.
H: I think I would say The Absence.
T: Yeah, exactly, The Absence!
H: And Gojira, it’s a French band.
T: I don’t know. We listen to the stuff that we have listened to since we were kids. There is still Iron Maiden going on or Pink Floyd. Yeah! Check out Pink Floyd and Maiden.
J: Yeah, that’s good.What about metal festivals? Any favorites?
eden Rock festival or Graspop. We never played in several festivals here in America but the Prog Power, in Atlanta, that we did this year was pretty cool.Do you prefer big festivals or smaller concerts?
H: It doesn’t matter.
J: If there are 40000 people cheering, that’s nice! But if there are 200 hundred people and they are really into it that’s also cool.
T: We played in front of 40000-45000 people this year and also to 25 people. The spread is quite wide (laughs). But we always try to make the same show, because we play music because we like to play music and that’s the first and foremost thing that we decide to do every night. Then, it really doesn’t matter how many people there is. Of course it is always great if it is a “packed” house.
J: For 25 people that showed up, they have bought their tickets. They deserve a show.
H: And that’s the thing that we often say: no matter where we are and how many people there are, just go out there and play music. Have fun and be professional.About having a band: what is for you the best and worse parts of being part of an internationally known metal band?
J: The great thing it is to get to travel all around the world, meet cool people and hang out with other bands.
T: Culture, food, all the things that we get to see for free and get paid to see it. It is fantastic. But travelling in the other hand, the actual travelling, sucks. It is fine when you are travelling on a tour bus but when you are flying…
J: Waiting at the airports… But then like yesterday, we were in San Francisco and we went out to see Alcatraz. If it wasn’t for this band, for me personally, I probably would have not been able to go there.
H: And the nice thing is that we get to see all of these things just because we like metal, which makes it really weird (laughs). We have seen basically the entire world, pretty much every country.Where do you expect to be in the next few years?
T: I don’t know. I am a person who doesn’t expect anything. I know it is a boring answer but I try to live to the fullest every day, instead of looking forward. Of course you have to have some sort of planning going on, when you have a band. But right now we don’t know what to do. We have so many different ideas. So, we have to sit down and make a schedule.Any messages you would like to send to the SOM readers?
T: If you missed us this time, make sure to come out and check us out next time.