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Deutsche VersionInterview mit Gaia Epicus (06.04.2007)

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Logo Gaia Epicus

Thomas Hansen, the founder, master and main asset of the Norwegian Power Metal band Gaia Epicus, answered our questions about music, changes in line-up and changes of labels.

HH: Hi, how are you now after having released Victory to the world?

Thomas: Hello! I'm fine thanks and things are going great so far.

HH: Why did you decide to name the album "Victory"?

Thomas: As the title goes, this is a Victory for me, and the band in many ways. It might not be a big Victory but still a victory. For me because I had a really hard time a few years ago but I did manage to get back on my feet and
I think I came out of it pretty well. For the band it's a Victory because even though we are facing so many bad things we always manage to survive and get better.
With this album we have made our best work so far, so that's also a Victory to us.
There is also many other reasons that we wanted to call it Victory, and one of them can be seen on the cover picture.

HH: What was the nature of the difficulties with Sound Riot and the release of your 2nd album Symphony Of Glory? Why did they try to change the track list?

Thomas: Hehe good question! Why do they bother to run a record label at all is my question? These people don't know what the words TRUST, HONESTY and RESPECT mean, and when
you also don't care about your bands and screws every band, then you don't belong in this music business. Why did they change the track list? Well here is their exact words, and I quote:
"We have decided change the track list because Japanese don't enjoy too much the album, and we lost the chance to get licensing to Japan. So we were forced to change something to European public, we don't like to get similar problem! Anyway, we sent promo-CD to ten webzines we have friendship, and they helped to know what are best songs on Symphony Of Glory, so this track list was well elaborated with help other people (French, American, German), not only ours. This decision was only professional to get best "sales" to Symphony of Glory!" My response to that was "Hahaha Professional my A..".

HH: You finally reached an agreement with Sound Riot and Symphony Of Glory was released. Why did you decide to release Victory on your own label?

Thomas: After having recorded our album we sent out promos to many labels and got 5-6 offers, but none of these offers where worthy of taking. It would have been a risk and we might have ended up with the same situation again. Now we have 100% control over the music.

HH: How were the reactions on Victory so far?

Thomas: As always great :) haha... Well the reviews have been very good and the people and fans seems to like it a lot, so we are happy.

HH: In my opinion the sound on Victory is not as good as it could be. The instruments sound a little dull and the voice is not in the foreground as it could be. Was this a conscious development or were you just keen release the album regardless of the sound?

Thomas: We never do anything 50%, it's 110% or nothing. And we would never release a album if we didn't think it was good enough. Even though we recorded and mixed this album in only 14 days, we think this album has the best production, sound and playing without a doubt. So you see I can't agree to your statement, but of course we don't have the same sound as Stratovarius, Helloween or any other big bands because we don't have any budget for that. We recorded the album in July 2006 and the release was 26th January 2007, so I don't think we where looking for a fast release.

HH: When Yngwe Hanssen died 2005 in a car crash - how hard was it for you and the band to overcome the loss? To put it hard: you are quite accustomed to losing members, although not in such a final way.

Thomas: Well, it's always very terrible when someone dies in such a way and when they are young, but to be honest with you it was not so hard as you might think. Yngve was only a member of the band for one year and I didn't know him before he joined the band. During this year in the band I mostly only met him on band practice or on tours, and he was a very locked up person in the way that I really didn't get to know him very well. So even though his death made an impact on me and the band it wasn't like loosing a best friend. Gaia Epicus have changed many members during the years and that is something I hope will end soon, so that the band can have a good and final line up.

HH: Who played the bass parts on Victory? Are you near to replacing Hans Ã…ge Holmen?

Thomas: Hans played all the bass on Victory since the album was recorded in July and he didn't leave the band until October. We are still in search for a new bass player, but have plans to hire a bass player for concerts until we can find a good replacement.

HH: How long do you think the current line-up of Gaia Epicus will last? ;)

Thomas: Hopefully a long time, but you never know!

HH: Is there a mastermind behind the song writing of Gaia Epicus or does the whole band contribute?

Thomas: I have always made the songs and lyrics for this band, except for two songs on Symphony Or Glory.
I also do most of the arranging of the songs, but the other members do contribute with their own stuff and style too.

HH: What are your influences when you are writing songs for Gaia Epicus?

Thomas: For the music it's Megadeth, Gamma Ray, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Rhapsody, Stratovarius and more. And for the lyrics it can be all kinds of different things that gives me an idea.

HH: Will you play concerts out of Norway (and Sweden and USA) some day? Perhaps even in 2007?

Thomas: We hope that we can do this very soon, and are working it right now.

HH: Thank you for your time! Any last words?

Thomas: If you like melodic metal with good catchy songs that also has elements of power, speed and prog metal then check out our new album! The worst that can happen is that you find a new great band to like :)


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