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:: INTERVIEW TO CRYSTAL EYES

PRESENT YOURSELVES OUR READERS...

"Crystal Eyes has since the beginning always been about playing Heavy Metal as it was in the great eighties with bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Helloween, Accept etc. I think our sound is like a mix of those bands. We always put the music and the melodies in focus and we are pretty much the same guys on stage as we are in private. The basic line is to have fun."

WHO ARE CRYSTAL EYES AS BAND MEMBERS?

"The full time members are me Mikael Dahl on guitar, Claes Wikander on bass, Jonathan Nyberg on guitar and Stefan Svantesson on drums. Daniel Heiman is as most should now by now not a full member of the band, but he's singing on the new album and on our up-coming live performances."

WHEN DID YOU HAVE FOUNDED THE BAND?
"Crystal Eyes was formed in 1992 by me and Niclas Karlsson."

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE VERY FIRST BEGINNING OF BAND...
"Between 1992 and 1998 we crystallized :) our path with 4 official demo tapes and lots of gigs that gave us a great underground reputation. There were lots of changes in the line-up and I'm the only original member left. We started with a drum-machine but we were very lazy and didn't care to find a real drummer until the drum-machine was stolen. I remember some crazy Friday rehearsals with friends and lots of beer when we played until we passed out. In the mid 90s it seamed as if it only were us and our friends who cared about Heavy Metal here in Sweden so we just played for the fun and the love of the music. Those were great times and it surely meant a lot to what we've become."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS RECORDING-EFFORTS?

"In 1998 we got our first record deal and World Of Black And Silver was released in 1999. We released another record in 2000 called In Silence They March on the same label before a big dream came true by getting our own studio. In our own studio we recorded the third album Vengeance Descending, which was released on the new born record label Heavy Fidelity in 2003. On that record we had Daniel Heiman (ex -Lost Horizon) and Gerd Salewski (ex -Chroming Rose) as guest singers, which later lead to Daniel singing on the new album."

WHAT'S ABOUT YOUR FOLLOWING?
"We've been around for 13 years now, and we have lots of fans all over the world. As I mentioned earlier I make music firstly for myself, but when you start getting e-mails from all over the world every day from people telling you that your music has a positive impact on their lives that's just an amazing feeling. Unfortunately we've not had the opportunity to meet a lot of foreign fans live so the internet is really great for that interaction, but hopefully we'll be able make up the live part some day."

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS IN YOUR HISTORY?
"Every change in the line-up has been important to reach this point where everyone in the band has the same goal. Our first record deal was a dream come true, and the second record deal was like a release from that dream that actually wasn't what we expected. Every album has been important and so have the early demo recordings. Getting our own studio was another dream come true. Some really great gigs have been with Blind Guardian, Yngwie Malmsteen, Candlemass and at Sweden Rock Festival. Another important thing right now is that I have stepped down from the singer position."

HOW TO INTRODUCE 'CONFESSIONS OF THE MAKER'?
"I think it's our heaviest release so far, and a bit more straight forward, but still diverse since that's one of our trademarks. There are less fantasy lyrics than before and more reflections on the darker side of life. I believe this has something to do with the fact that I wrote my lyrics at my day job, and that I pretty much hate every second of my work. It sets the mood you know :) I'm very proud of the songs and the production turned out better then I expected, but the most important thing is of course Daniels vocals which are extremely good this time. Another difference in the process is that I recorded demo versions on all songs first and the rest of the members learned the songs from those recordings. This saved us a lot of time and this will definitely be the way of doing it in the future."

WHY DID YOU SIGN FOR HEAVY FIDELITY?
"My younger brother has since 1997 or something been the one who takes care of everything around Crystal Eyes, and after many years of experience he decided to start an own label. It was in the middle of the recording process of Vengeance Descending he had it all finished and we had no doubt about that this was what we all wanted. Everything runs very smoothly and we know exactly what's happening around us everyday. He has just us to take care of and it all feels better then ever."

WHAT'S ABOUT THE PRODUCTION OF ALBUM?
"We have a really huge studio, but we don't have all these expensive effects and stuff that's to be found in a real studio. Everything is recorded right into a computer through a mixing table, and then everything is mixed the same way. With this in mind I think the result is amazing, but I will never be satisfied with anything I know can get better. Our intention for the next release is to still record everything ourselves but mix it in another studio with a professional producer."

WHAT'S THE MOOD OF IT?
"The lyrics are pretty dark, but some of the melodies are really happy. I think it's hard to describe the whole album in one sentence so I prefer to talk about it song by song. The Fool's Ballet is probably almost to describe as a pop song while The Terror can be the heaviest piece of Metal I've ever written. Panic is another happy song with that traditional fast double bass drumming to be found in Helloween, while Confessions of the maker sounds like it could be a song from The Headless Cross album with Black Sabbath. I think that there should be lots of different songs on an album, and I think we've managed to keep up that diversity on all our albums."

THE SOUND IS VERY POWERFUL, RIGHT?
"It's without any doubt our heaviest production so far but it took a while to find the right sound. I don't see myself as a producer and I have to compare with other bands and try different mixes before I'm satisfied. Since we have our own studio we have the opportunity to do a mix take it home and listen and then go back and change what was wrong and this we've been doing over and over and over until we were really satisfied."

THE MOST SALIENT ASPECTS OF YOUR NEW ALBUM?
"Strong vocal and guitar melodies combined with a heavy rhythm department, great variations between the songs and of course some amazing vocals from Daniel."

WHAT'S ABOUT THE FEEDBACK?
"Great so far, but we'll get a lot more in the coming weeks. The most important now is that the fans are very positive to Daniels vocals since that was the big change to this album, and almost everyone think this is our best album so far."

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SOUND?
"I want people to have fun when listening to Crystal Eyes, and I always try to write songs that will go along well with a nice Heavy Metal party."

TOURING PLANS?
"Right now we have only the Sweden Rock Festival booked, but we'll have to wait and see what happens."

YOUR LIFE'S PHILOSOPHY?
"To try to make a living out of my music."

THE FUTURE OF THE BAND?
"Right now we're rehearsing and I'm writing songs for our next release. My only wish for the future is to leave my awful job to concentrate on what I love: Heavy Metal."

ANY LAST REMARKS?
"If you like it the way it was in the eighties when the melodies and the song writing were the most important then Confessions Of The Maker is what you're looking for. And don't forget to check out www.crystaleyes.net."

For more infos: www.crystaleyes.net.

EMANUELE GENTILE

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