Andromeda - Interview
Andromeda is one of those rare finds in metal; one that breaks away from labels and just sets out to make great music. They have been put into the same category as Dream Theater and other such prog-metal greats, but they have even more to offer: that undeniable Swedish knack for melody and intensity. I recently spoke with Andromeda’s guitarist Johan Reinholdz to give a little insight into this totally unique and talented band.
- Adam Block
Starting off, could you give us a little info about Andromeda? When did you guys get to get together to form the band?
Andromeda was formed in the autumn of 1999. My name is Johan Reinholdz, I play guitar. Thomas Lejon plays drums, Martin Hedin plays keyboards, Gert Daun plays bass and David Fremberg sings.
As I said, Andromeda was founded in '99, it did however exist as a solo/side-project of mine since 1998, when I played in another metal band called Widow. But in '98 the music in this project was a bit different, consisting only of insane instrumental parts and long boring solos. I recorded two demos: Maiden Voyage and Welcome To Forever. Wez, at War-music, got hold of the second demo and contacted me in may '99 and asked if I wanted to write a progressive album and release it on his label. Since I've been a fan of WAR/WrongAgain releases for quite some time and had spoken to Wez a few times before and thought he seemed to be a nice guy, I instantly said yes.
I wrote the album during the summer and then got together with the drummer Thomas Lejon. We rehearsed a few times and then Martin and Gert joined. We continued to rehearse, although we had no singer. Later on, in the winter we got a session singer from Uppsala. He was supposed to do the vocals at home to my demos of the songs, but the result was not at all what we wanted, so on a very short notice Lawrence Macrory of Forcefeed and F.KU stepped into the studio and did the vocals superbly.
This autumn we got a permant vocalist, named David Fremberg, and he is really good and fits into the band-chemistry very well. Nowadays we are a real band. Before the album was recorded we just struggled to get the songs I had written well rehearsed for the recording-session. Now all of us are involved in the creative process. Since the album was cut, we have constructed three or four new songs.
Nowadays, when bands come out of Sweden they get branded as part of the melodic death swarm, but you guys are totally unique and really distance yourselves from such names. How would you describe your music in your own words?
I guess you can call our music progressive metal, but it's a bit heavier than other bands in this genre, and I think that's because my musical roots are brutal metal like Slayer, Metallica, Sepultura... stuff like that.
As I look on your website each of your members has diverse musical interests; from Portishead to Meshuggah. Does that diversity come across in your music as well?
Yeah, I think so. We all listen to different stuff, and personally, I listen to ALL kinds of stuff from progrock, metal and death/thrash to hip-hop, jazz, classical, pop, funk, goth... whatever.
So who are the main song writers in the band?
Me and Martin and then Martin or David does the lyrics and the vocal arrangements but some stuff are created collectively at rehearsal, but most of the songs are written at home.
Do any of your members share responsibilities with other bands or is everyone pretty much focused on just this one band?
Thomas plays with A.C.T., a progressive rock band. David sings in a soul band and I have Non-Exist together with Johan Liiva (ex-Arch Enemy). It's a mix of death/thrash/heavy metal and also some more "modern metal" influences. The debut album, Deus Deceptor, will be released by WAR. It will be recorded some time this year. Matte Modin of Defleshed will maybe do the drums.
I've noticed your cover art for the new album "Extension of the Wish" and it is of striking high quality. Who did you contact to do the art for the record?
Do you think you will contact him for the next album as well?
I don't know. Maybe. He's really good and we like the artwork a lot so it's possible.
How has the response to the record been so far?
It's been really good. The reviews so far have been great. But it’s not released everywhere yet so we'll see how it goes.
How is War Music treating you guys?
I think they're doing a good job so far. They really believe in our music and it feels good.
I know this may be a little off topic but what are your opinions on Napster?
I think it's really cool that you can check out bands for free and discover new music. But it's sad if people stop buying cds because of it, but I don't think that's the case... yet.
Haha, yeah. Well great job on the new record and good luck on your career in Andromeda. Any closing comments you would like to make?
Thank you for the interest and interview!
Check out "Extension of the Wish" if you're into modern progmetal or heavy adventurous music in general. Bye for now!
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