With the band’s new album showcasing a heavier edge, Magnus Henriksson told RUSHONROCK editor Simon Rushworth that the focus is on breaking new ground in 2015.
RUSHONROCK: How pleased are you with the response to Armageddonize?
MAGNUS HENRIKSSON: We’ve had a great response to Armageddonize and some fantastic reviews. We weren’t quite prepared for that! We were worried that most of our fans wouldn’t like it as much as the previous album simply because we felt it was going to be hard to top that one.
RUSHONROCK: So are you saying the new record was a gamble?
MH: I wouldn’t say Armageddonize was a gamble. But we were a bit scared when we started writing it. We just didn’t know how we were going to better Bleed And Scream. That haunted us from the beginning of the songwriting process but after a while we just forgot about it and got down to business.
RUSHONROCK: What happened then?
MH: We always write to have fun and as soon as we started to lay the tracks down we realised the whole process was going quite well. The songs came quite naturally because Erik and I very much like the hard stuff. We’ve always loved heavy metal and thrash and while we wouldn’t go that far with Eclipse we did want to write some heavier stuff. We like playing Slayer and Megadeth music but Erik’s vocals just suit a more melodic sound.
RUSHONROCK: Is this the year Eclipse becomes your priority?
MH: Right now there is a 100% focus on Eclipse. I’ve been busy and Erik has been doing more and more production work. We have to take one thing at a time but we’d always planned for 2015 being the year when we threw everything into this band.
RUSHONROCK: How excited are you by the Hard Rock Hell AOR bill?
MH: There are some great bands playing at Hard Rock Hell and quite a few friends of ours will be involved over the weekend. Poodles and H.e.a.t. are great friends and from a personal point of view I can’t wait to see Night Ranger.
RUSHONROCK: It’s a bill featuring some fantastic Scandinavian bands – how healthy is the scene back home?
MH: Sweden is very healthy right now in terms of producing melodic rock and AOR bands. In 2006 Poodles had quite a lot of success and ever since then all kinds of melodic rock bands have been springing up. In Stockholm the competition is ridiculously high with great bands playing every weekend. There are a lot of great musicians based there and it’s a great scene to be a part of. There are plenty of bands playing their own music and so many classy cover bands. You’re spoilt for choice if you live in Stockholm and you love melodic rock!
RUSHONROCK: Has Sweden Rock provided a focus for everything that’s good about the Scandinavian scene?
MH: Sweden Rock has grown and grown more and more each year. It started in 1996 and back then it was just a small, obscure festival – now it’s one of the biggest in Europe. Huge bands from all over the world head here now and this summer’s bill is as strong as ever.
RUSHONROCK: Have you ever played in Wales before?
MH: This will be our first time in Wales but we love playing in the UK. We’ve played a couple of indoor festivals and we’re really excited about Hard Rock Hell AOR. I’ve never seen Night Ranger live before – both bands played at Frontiers Rock last year but unfortunately we missed them that time. This will be our chance to check them out!