first off I just want to congratulate you on your new album. To
new fans could your please fill us in on the history behind it
Yan - Thank you. I met David
Ellefson a few years ago when I was working on some songs I had
written. He checked out what I was doing and liked it. We then
agreed that he would play bass on my tunes and also produce the
sessions. The whole thing started out as a solo project but very
quickly it turned into a full band situation when singer Lance
King joined in. We then had enough material for a full album and
we continued working on it with full input from me, David, and
has your new album been received by the media?
Yan - Thus far we have received
nothing but favourable remarks from not only the media but also
know artists donĻt like to put a label on their music - but a
spaceship from outer space has just landed in your backyard, and
is demanding an answer - so how would you describe your music to
an alien from another galaxy?
Yan - It has all the elements that I
enjoy from music: Melody, intelligence, beauty, passion, itís
interesting, and most of all is straight from my soul.
your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Yan - Passionate
and what inspires you when you write a song? Walk us through the
creation of a song?
Yan - Usually Iíll come up with a
cool riff and build from there. Iíll keep adding parts to it
until I feel itís complete. Then, Iíll play around with the
arrangement until it sounds good to me. I then make a demo of it
on my computer and then listen to it over and over again until I
get a song title. From there, I keep listening to it and wait for
the lyrics to jump out at me.
subjects do your lyrics refer to, and who writes them?
And what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
grew up a huge fan of Sci-fi books and movies.
lyrics reflect that both on
a conscience and sub-conscience level. Sometimes, Iíll have a
really cool idea or title and Iíll write the lyrics around that.
has produced and mixed the album? Are you pleased with the result?
Yan - David Ellefson and Lance King
both produced the cd. Lance handled the mixing and Tommy Hansen
took care of the mastering. I couldnít be happier with the
result. How can you go wrong with any of those guys? I am very
fortunate and thankful of having the honour of working with some
of the most famous and well-respected guys in metal history.
has done the artwork? And how important do you feel it is to have
a great cover?
Yan - Mattias
Noren - www.progart.com -
was chosen for these duties and he did an absolutely fantastic
job! To me, cd booklets are very important. As a fan, I always
felt ripped off when I laid down my hard earned cash for a cd, and
the booklet would be very generic and short. I told myself from
day one, that the booklet has to be top notch, and thankfully it
came out that way. Not only did Mattias create a breathtaking
cover, he also made a couple more covers that were inspired by The
Fear, and Queen of the Insane; they are in the booklet as well.
This booklet is truly a wonderful piece of art and I couldnít be
happier with the result.
you have any touring plans?
Yan - Right now we are just sitting
back while the cd is coming out and seeing what kind of response
it generates. If everything goes well, and the majority of people
that have listened to the cd like it, weíll look over the tour
offers we get and hopefully find one that makes sense for us to
speculate Ė you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your
own choice Ė who would be your ideal touring partners?
Yan - Itíd
have to be a band that I respect and enjoy listening to. Also,
they would need to have a good track record of being professionals
on the road. That being said, I would love to tour with Iron
Maiden, Judas Priest, Gamma Ray, Hammerfall, Edguy, Blind Guardian
would also love to be a part of a new band touring festival. There
are so many new and great bands out there that simply canít
afford to tour. Itíd be nice to see a package set up where some
of these bands hit the road and get some much needed exposure.
do you feel about the co-operation with your label?
Yan - Massacre is a label that has
been around for a while and has generated tons of respect in the
music business. So when we had a chance to join this label and be
a part of the family, we were very excited. Our work experience
thus far has been nothing but positive.
internet is a very important source for many metal fans Ė how do
you use the internet and how important is it for you and other
is extremely important; it allows us to reach people that
otherwise we never could. In this day and age, all of the media
outlets in the world are controlled by a handful of corporations.
The only music that is being delivered by them is shallow and
pointless; it is targeted for people that donít care enough
about music to try and find something they like. They just turn on
their radios or TVs and subject themselves to the garbage that is
being forced fed to them. The internet is great because it allows
the ones that do care the option of finding what theyíre looking
for and us to deliver it to them.
how do you feel about the metal scene in general at the moment?
Yan - The
prog-power metal scene I feel is definitely in much better shape
than it was even 5 years ago. There are a lot of young people that
have discovered this music (from the internet mostly) and it
strikes a chord with them. That inspires them to create their own
music and thatís why weíre seeing an influx of great young
bands. I feel itíll get better and better because we are no
longer slaves to the corporations. We can create our own music
without worrying about some talent-less business executive
breathing down our necks because his label canít sell a
gazillion amount of cds. Most of the prog-power labels have a
mutual understanding and respect with their artists and it is
reflected in the music. In fact, most of these labels (and
management companies) are run by either musicians themselves, or
at the very least, very knowledgeable music fans.
song do you consider to be the best one you have ever written?
Yan - The
best, I think, is "Time and Space Part I: City of
. I feel that I really hit the target on that one. It is a very
special song to me and I am very proud of how it came out. Lance
did an absolutely magical job on vocals on that one. Coincidently,
we have recently finished writing "Time and Space Part II"
and it will be on the next cd. It is a 10-minute song that is just
an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your
life Ö and why?
Yan - Iíll
name all three ;-)
Dream Theaterís "Scenes from a Memory". It is a cd
that is pure magic from start to finish. It has everything that I
love; melody, great lyrics, a captivating story line, and
outstanding musicianship. Itís interesting; I am a huge Dream
Theater and Rush fan but you donít hear it at all in my music.
Outside of my wife and parents, Iíd have to say that the late
Criss Oliva from Savatage was my greatest inspiration. I had the
honour of seeing him play many times and will always cherish those
memories. His style was so unique; he wrote the coolest guitar
Progpower USA III; that was the first time that bands like Gamma
Ray, Edguy, and Blind Guardian had ever played in the
That weekend was so unbelievably fantastic that it inspired me to
create Avian as soon as I got back home.
music do you listen to at home?
Yan - I
have about 8000 songs on my computer and mp3 player, so I have
tons of stuff to listen to ;-) Usually, Iíll have it playing on
random. Lately, Iíve been listening to Gamma Rayís Majestic a
lot. It is a great cd! Overall, I mostly listen to prog-power
stuff. Although I do enjoy listening to classics like
, Triumph, Night Ranger, Rush and others.
has had a small comeback lately Ė do you still prefer ďthe old
soundĒ or are you a CD/DVD kind of guy?
Yan - Iíve
never gotten into vinyl. I definitely love the whole mp3
revolution. I love having my entire music collection everywhere I
go. I always hear vinyl enthusiasts speaking of its superior sound
quality. I can respect that, but itís a little difficult
carrying thousands of LPís around with you ;-)
question - do you have any famous last words for our readers?
Yan - Donít
ever give up on your dreams. Life is supposed to be an enjoyable
experience. So many people put themselves in horrible positions
and suffer their entire lives. Be true to yourselves and try to do
the right things; itíll pay off in the long run!