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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Astral Doors (18.04.2006)

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HH: Hello guys - congratulations to your new CD Astralism. Are you satisfied and what do you want to achieve with it?

Patrik: Thanks man! We are thrilled by the new album that's for sure. The hardest and toughest album this far in the career of Astral Doors. I hope it'll satisfy metal lovers all across the world. Our aim has always been to be one of the biggest bands in history. Rock'n'roll is supposed to kick ass, and that's what this album does.
HH: I have to admit, that at first I was a little bit shocked, because in my opinion Astralism is not nearly as catchy as Evil Is Forever. I needed more time to get into the material. Do you agree and can you perhaps describe why?

Patrik: Can you get more catchy tunes than "Black Rain", "London caves", "Oliver Twist" or "Fire In Our House"? I don't think so. The songs on this album are the best ones we've done and we wouldn't change anything even if we had the chance. Our Dio, Sabbath influences are still quite obvious, but I think we've found the Astral soul on this album.
HH: In my point of view "In Rock We Trust" is the only truly catchy tune on Astralism, which you hear only once and can sing along - on Evil Is Forever you had three of this kind right at the beginning ("Pride Of Christ", "Time To Rock" and the main title). Was it your purpose to get Astralism more complex as Evil Is Forever?

Patrik: "In Rock We Trust" is the follow up to "Time To Rock", a crowd pleaser with a football-choir-kind of chorus. A bit of Dio meets Accept. It would be a bit strange to put out an album with 13 songs with football-choruses, if you get what I mean? I don't really agree that the album is more complex than Evil Is Forever, but it contains, as you mentioned yourself, less "catchy fotball-choruses". Instead it contains more melodic choruses. If you ask me, I think this album is more catchy than Evil Is Forever. There are hooks everywhere. I'm glad if you think that the album grows the more you listen to it. That's a really good thing and will make the album last longer. The media response in the big metal press speaks for itself. Astralism is by far our most celebrated release according to the press.
HH: Apart from my opinion, how are the reactions on the album? Are your fans satisfied?

Patrik: I'm excited to go out on the road to meet the fans again and talk to them. I mean: without our fans we wouldn't even be out there playing music. The reactions so far have been fantastic. I got mails every day from happy fans that want to congratulate us.
HH: I like especially the song "Apocalypse Revealed" - it's not so typical for Astral Doors - very long and more complex than the songs before. What is this song about and what do you want to express with it?

Patrik: "Apocalypse Revealed" is in the same vein as "Path To Delirium" from the previous album, and an epic song about the end of the world and about the fact that we slowly but surly destroy our planet. It won't last much longer. A very dramatic song and one of my favourites as well: Dark, majestic and evil. It would be fun to make a full album with songs in that style. Let's see what the future brings.
HH: On Astralism are a lot critcal topics in the songs, e.g. "Black Rain", "Israel", "Vendetta" and "The Green Mile". Coincidence or purpose? And, are all songs perhaps connected by a specific main topic?

Patrik: Yes, you're right. Most of the songs deal with critical topics: corrupted politicians, religous fanatics, dictators, holy wars, death penalty etc. The songs are connected by the sense that they all tell stories about scary things, that's the red thread. This is by far our most important album in that aspect. Metal for both body and mind. Astralism for all.

HH: Who wrote the music and lyrics on Astralism?

Patrik: It usually starts with Johan Lindstedt and Joachim Nordlund or Martin Haglund making an instrumental demo. Then they hand it to me and I try to create the vocal melodies to it. It's a great way for us to work. I write all the lyrics of course.
HH: Is it difficult for you as a band to get six different individuals and their opinions together to one? Do you often have discussions and arguments or is there always sweet harmony?

Patrik: As I said: Me, Joachim Nordlund and Johan Lindstedt create most of the songs. Martin Haglund contributed with three or four as well. So, we just present the finished songs to the other members and let them do their thing. No problems what so ever. They just feel it's an honor to be a part of this hit machine, haha. To be honest: We're a god damn metal family: All for one, one for all. I've been involved in many fantastic acts in my career, but Astral Doors is by far the best bunch of people I've been working with. Make no mistake about it: My bandmates are, as instrumentalists, among the best in the business.
HH: What is the motor that drives you? What gives you the energy to write such passionate, hot rockin' music?

Patrik: When you were a kid, didn't you have like a "rock star-dream"? Our goal is, as I mentioned before, to be remembered as one of the best bands ever. That's what drives us. We want to write better and better songs and make better and better performances.
HH: Can you live from your music? Is this a dream of yours or do you just wanna have fun?

Patrik: We try as good as we can to earn our living by our music. Tough as hell, but after this record things might change. Astral Doors means everything to us and we are prepared to do what it takes.

HH: As everybody knows, you will support Blind Guardian on tour in september/octobre in Europe - what do you expect from this tour? Do you think the hardcore BG fans will accept you?

Patrik: I truly believe that Blind Guardian and Astral Doors is the perfect match: first an hour of straight forward classic hard rock from us and then the epic, symphonic metal from the heroes in Blind Guardian. To me that looks like the perfect metal night. We shall do everything to please the crowd, that's for sure.

HH: Last question: Who will be Champion at the Football World Cup in Germany this year?

Patrik: I love football. I will watch every game on TV. The Swedish team aren't as good as the last time, so it will be tough for us. Germany should have a great chance. Home turf is important in these kinds of tournaments. Italy looks very good as well. I'm pretty sure that a European team will take the cup!
HH: Thanks for your time - some last words?

Patrik: Get a hold of our records, see you on tour and keep on banging them heads! In rock we trust!


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