Masquerade, (Henrik Flyman, (guitar), Apollo Papathanasio (vocals),
Thor Jeppesen (bass) and Dennis Buhl (drums) are about to release
their third album called “Third Act”. Their debut album is
called “Welcome to the Show” and was released in 2004 and was
followed by "Theatrical Madness” in 2005. Both albums are
awesome in my humble opinion, so my expectations for “Third Act”
are high… very high! So
while we wait for “Third Act” to be released I did an
interview with band leader Henrik Flyman.
first off all I just want to congratulate you on your new album
“Third Act”. Are
you satisfied with it?
Henrik - Thanks a lot Peter. We would never release an
album we weren’t satisfied with. But “Third Act” has
something special that makes it stand out from any album I’ve
done in the past. We’re all very proud of this one and I still
personally listen to it now and again, even though I’ve already
heard it thousands of times during the writing and recording
process. It still has a freshness to it that makes me want to hear
- Where do you see the main
difference between your first two albums, “Welcome to the Show”
(2004), “Theatrical Madness” (2005) and your new album?
Henrik - To begin with, as an explanatory side note, I must
say that I actually wrote music for two albums when I set out to
write “Third Act”. I decided to make one album to be released,
and one album to keep for myself that would never be released. I
was in a good song-writing period and it took some 5 months to
realize. I would say that “Third Act” is the natural progress
of the band, taking in consideration that it’s in fact the 4th
album I wrote for the band even though it’ll be our 3rd
release. Therefore I think it sounds like we have made a huge leap
from our 2nd release. We’ve gone through many changes
the last year, so we thought it was really necessary to make
something extra out of this. The most noticeable change in the
line up is of course our new singer Apollo Papathanasio. We had a
great time recording the vocals and Apollo delivers some awesome
stuff on the new album. He’s a true pro both as musician and on
a personal level.
- You wrote all the music and
lyrics for the first two albums. Did you involve the other guys
this time around?
Henrik - It’s still the same egoistic self. But I must
make it very clear that without the other guys amazing
musicianship we wouldn’t be able to perform this kind of music.
I think one of our strengths is that we have pretty defined roles
in the band. Everyone is very skilled at what they do and we have
great respect for each other’s talent. The current constellation
is still a bit fresh and I’m sure things can only go even better
from here. Let’s see what the future brings. I’ve never had
the opportunity to be in a band with such a strong line up before.
- Are there any songs on the new
album that are special to you?
Henrik - This album has only strong songs. It’s the first
album I’ve recorded where everything in the process has been
perfect. The songs are great, the arrangements are interesting and
support the music perfectly, all performers shine, the production
is crystal clear and heavy as led, and the artwork is top notch
and fits the album like a glove. Everyone involved has outdone
themselves. From an artistic point of view I could really never
ask for more. This whole album is special to me.
- How long do you need to practice
to feel comfortable with your songs before you record them?
Henrik - It all depends on the complexity of the individual
songs. But not that long I think. If I got one of our albums
dropped on my head, without ever hearing it before, I guess I
would need about a week to be comfortable enough with it to be
able to record it to my full satisfaction.
- Do you have any formal or
classical musical training in your background?
Henrik - Not really. One year of flute in the 3rd
grade and 5 years of piano between the ages of 10-14. But the
teachers sucked and I lost interest. The good thing was that I got
my ears opened to the rock ’n’ roll side of music, which
seemed a lot more appealing compared to boring classes.
- How did you get your name Evil
Henrik - The idea was to have a name that gave a clue about
our musical direction and that was easy to pronounce. It can be
seen as a purely fictional name, or related to the real world, or
both, or none of them two. There are many evil masquerades going
on right before our very eyes. It’s totally up to people to
decide what it means to them. I have my personal idea.
- In what words would you describe
the music and moods of Evil Masquerade for someone that has not
heard you yet?
Henrik - The genre is metal and the ingredients mixed by
the 4 gourmet cooks are:
- A lot of melody
- 15 heaped tablespoons of evil atmosphere
- A full plate of concentrated power.
- Sprinkle with speed, heaviness and some odd time signatures.
Put in the oven on 666 degrees for 45 minutes and… bing(!)…
the album “Third Act” comes out. Best served with a full
bottle of red wine or a good beer.
If you are hungry for well-prepared metal with a twist to it, Evil
Masquerade might be what you crave.
- Any plans to go on tour? If so,
when and where?
Henrik - We really want to do more gigs than we have before.
Let’s see if someone wants to have us. Nothing is scheduled
right now because everyone is working with the release
arrangements as we speak. Next up is to shoot a video for the song
“Black Ravens Cry”.
- Let's speculate - you have been
granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice - who would be
your ideal touring partners?
Henrik - The Pussycat Dolls or Black Sabbath.
- What are you doing besides Evil
Masquerade, job wise as well as hobbies?
Henrik - Evil Masquerade is my job and hobby. It’s
anything but profitable but this is what I focus all my time on
right now. The band has great potentials and deserves my full
attention. Occasionally I might do some session work in my studio
but it hasn’t been much of that lately.
- What albums or bands do you
believe have had the greatest impact on the history of Metal?
me personally it is bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath, DIO, Deep
Purple, Queen, Iron Maiden and a couple I probably forgot. Albums
must include the 3 first Rainbow releases, the DIO and Tony Martin
era of Black Sabbath, all DIO albums before Lock Up the Wolves,
Iron Maiden’s album between The Number of the Beast – Seventh
Son; A Night At the Opera, Innuendo (Queen), Machine Head, Perfect
Strangers (Deep Purple), Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets (Metallica),
Back in Black (ACDC), Heavy Horses, Roots to Branches (Jethro Tull).
There are many great albums out there and these are just a few of
- What albums have you been
listening to lately? Any recent releases catching your ear?
Henrik - All Blackmore’s Night album including their
latest release “The Village Lanterne”. Tony Martin has a new
album out called "Scream". Cool stuff and at times a lot
more Sabbath than what good old Iommi creates nowadays. Angra’s
latest album “
” is good. And of course Evil Masquerade’s upcoming “Third
- Thank you very much for
participating in this interview and sharing this information and
your thoughts with us! So, finally - any words of wisdom or funny
facts about the nearest future you want to share with the readers?
Henrik - You should not drink large quantities of alcohol
on an empty stomach. Neither should you download your favourite
band’s music, because that will gradually prevent them from
releasing more of the music you love. Remember those 2 simple
rules and the world will stay as metal as you want it to be.
interview Peter. CHEERS!