Interview with Seventh Wonder (September 27th 2008)

Seventh Wonder has just released a very impressive 3rd album, a very strong contender for album of the year in my book. Time for Power of to ask about the album and the band.

Power of – 3rd album out, a very ambitious concept album, what kind of feelings runs through your mind now…?

Seventh Wonder – I’m too tired and exhausted to think! Ha ha!
No, really I am very proud of what we have achieved and it feels so amazingly great that people seem to love it to the extent that they do!

Power of – The album has been out a few weeks, what kind of expectations do you have for it?

Seventh Wonder – What I would really like to see happen with this album is that we get to take a big step forward and gain many new fans. See, the thing is that what we want to do is get out and play, and that seems to be what all the fans want as well, so if we get enough fans and they make enough buzz about us in forums, festivals and clubs etc –then I guess things can really start to happen!

Power of – How has the response been so far?

Seventh Wonder – Outstanding. Mind blowing really. Aside from one or two 7.5/10 or 8/10 we have almost only scored 10/10 or 9,8/10 and grades like that from the reviewers. We also get e-mails from rough metal head men in their thirties who actually cried when listening to our album. That is of course amazing and it really is a special feeling which can hardly even be described.

Power of – The album has some structural resemblance with 'Scenes from a Memory' without ever ripping it off. Which other conceptual albums inspired you in the writing process?

Seventh Wonder – Aside from that album which is an absolute masterpiece the only other I can think of is Symphony X’s V (The New Mythology Suite). Other than that I don’t know if I have heard other concept albums except for perhaps Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Maiden which has definitely influenced me as a kid, but perhaps not in the more direct sense as the other two I mentioned.

Power of – The story about the fate of a small town, a family tragedy and the beast we refer to as human nature seems very deep and thoughtful, what inspired you and what can you tell about the storyline?

Seventh Wonder – The story just came to us! Me and Tommy sat one late night in the studio and recorded the vocals for Waiting in the Wings when we started talking about a concept album. The basic outline of the story took 10 minutes to create and we just kept working on it from there. There was no really incident or something like that which inspired us to create this specific story, but I remember us talking about the duality of man and stuff like that, which kinda shines through, at least on the higher, more philosophical level of the lyrics.

Power of – What do you see as the biggest difference between this one and ‘Waiting in the Wings’? I think this album is a big step forward in every aspect, and it is more complex and mature.

Seventh Wonder – The biggest difference was the fact that this is a concept album. The musical style is, at least to me, very similar. What differs the most, I guess, was the creation process as this time we decided that ok, now we need a song like this which has to be this way and with this or that feelings and stuff. That kind of intentional writing was very new to us. I also feel that the album is far more diverse than Waiting in the wings was. The goal musically was also very clear to us this time around. We did not want to simply write like ten songs and then throw in the lyrics, with the songs being separate entities. We wanted the music to be written as part of the concept as well. There are loads of recurring themes and chord progressions and melodies throughout the album which are used to enhance the lyrics, put the focus on a certain character or a mood. That was very challenging but I am very pleased with the result.

Power of – Melodic progressive metal – is that the label you would put on the album?

Seventh Wonder – Sounds great to me!

Power of – The sound is almost setting a new standard in the genre, who is responsible? How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?

Seventh Wonder – Hm, I guess I would have to no more details of what you are referring to, but still it is something I consider as a compliment – so thanks! I guess we keep the bass much more up front than other bands do, so that is a different. People often comment on that. That you can always hear everything going on with every instrument at all times and that is indeed something very important to us. We sacrificed some of that this time around with thicker layers of rhythm guitars and a slightly “wetter” sound than on Waiting in the Wings, to get a more massive, thicker feeling which I felt the music and the theme required. I think that we perhaps compromised a bit too much in the studio, but every album is new and it would be boring if they sounded exactly the same so I guess I am pleased with the final result.

Power of - Tell us a bit about artwork… there are two versions of the same picture; a dark and a bright one. Two sides of the same story?

Seventh Wonder – Actually this idea was totally André’s, who is our cover artist. The additional slipcase cover which was only available on the limited edition version features a picture of the town Mercy Falls before the storm, and the regular cover portray the town immediately after the storm.

Power of - Seventh Wonder – any special story behind your name?

Seventh Wonder –The band name? No unfortunately there are no cool secrets to reveal there at all ha ha! It was just a name I came up with. I’m not even sure I think it’s all that good. Ha ha!

Power of - What’s the ambition for the band on a longer term?

Seventh Wonder – To create more music, better music and to hopefully be able to bring this music to all corners of the globe.

Power of – You are told that you are going to take part in an experiment where you have to live seclude for a month, and are allowed to take either 5 books or 5 albums with you. What do you choose and what would you have taken along with you and why?

Seventh Wonder – Definitely five albums! And there are many reasons for this. First of all, it takes me about a year and a half to simply read ONE book, which means I brought the rest in vain. Secondly, while listening to albums you can analyze them and get at least as much information as you would from a book and it is also something to keep you company. I bet I’d be full of inspiration when I came out!

Power of - Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?

Seventh Wonder – Yeah! We always get so many questions regarding if we’ll come and play here and there and I just want to state that everyone can make a difference! If you bug the promoters enough of every festival and rock club you know of, you will stand a greater chance to get Seventh Wonder to come to where you live and if you make that happen I can guarantee a kick ass night with music and beers!

Interviewed by: Kenn Jensen

Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls

Album available on Lion Music.