First of all congratulations for the new album and of course for the good show.
You just finished your first tour outside of Sweden. What are your impressions of this tour? It was great, but on the same time very exhausting. But when you get a chance like this you just have to grab hold of it!
It was a great moment to see all three singers on stage singing “The Sceptre of Deception”.You had a lot of fun with Falconer and Doomsword, didn’t you? Yes, they are great guys. I mean you take three bands and throw them together in a bus for two weeks, if you’re not ready to compromise it’s going to be very hard to live like that!
Did you have any doubt as you were offered to tour with Falconer and these crazy Italian Vikings? Not at all! I had heard Falconer before and I thought they were a great band, so it was an honour to get the chance to go on tour with them as well as Doomsword.
Magnus, you are playing the keyboards with your back to the audience. A quite strange sight. In my opinion the songs work fine without the keys. Are you going to change that? Maybe. We’re not going to do gigs without the keys, but perhaps get a stand-in keyboard player but nothing is decided yet. The fact that I played with my back to the audience was because the lack of space on stage.
Usually I have the keyboards faced forwards but that couldn’t be done this gig.
Your next tour: Would you like to play as headliner or as a support act ? Of course it would be more fun to go as a headliner, but it’s too early for us to do that, as we’re not famous enough. There wouldn’t be so many people in the audience on a Axenstar headliner tour. Yet!!!
I think you have a good future ahead, fi you continue that good work.
Let’s enlighten the darkness around your band? Can you resume Axenstar’s history and outline the reason for changing the name from Powerage to Axenstar. Peter Johansson and Magnus Ek started a cover metal band at the end of the last century and a year or two later the bands line up was completed. At the same time we decided to change the name of the band from Powerage to Axenstar, because we realized that there were two or three bands that already had that name.
And we wanted a unique name for the band.
The name Axenstar is interesting. You also could have chosen Winterwild ;) ?
Jokes aside: What’s the meaning behind it, what do you what to express with the name? We just wanted a name that noone else had thought of before. And as far as we know no one hadn’t. There is no hidden meaning buried behind the name, it was just a cool name we thought.
The bandname sounds like a Power Metal band, but Cover artwork and lyrics are far from clichés. Where are all the warriors, dragons and the steel? That kind of stuff isn’t what Axenstar is about, it may work from several other bands but we don’t feel comfortable with it.
Your debut “Perpetual Twilight” suffers from a production, that is really far from heaven. The songs were good, but ruined by a terrible sound. You're a damn good singer, but on that album your voice was thin and lost somewhere in the background. What has happened in studio? We were beginners and we didn’t know well enough what we wanted the sound to be like. It’s too bad, but we cannot do anything about it now.
I am not only amazed at the enormous improvement in terms of production, but also of songwriting. I did not expect to find a batch of killertracks on “Far From Heaven”. Do you have any explanation for such a positive development? We all have been better as musicians and Thomas writes better and better songs, more melodic and more thought through.
What are your lyrics about? Maybe you can summarize the content of the songs from “Far From Heaven” and comment the tracks from your point of view! The Descending/Infernal Angel: The descending of an evil angel that brings hell and torture to our world.
Blind Leading The Blind: We are all to often led by the government and by the state like a blind man is led by his dog, but in this case even the dog is blind!
Don’t Hide Your Eyes: Try to deal with your problems and your life and not hide from it.
Far From Heaven: An girl with evil intentions and she sucks blood…
Abandoned: Relationship problems, when you sit at home hoping for the lost love to return.
Children Forlorn: Many children are lost and/or treated extremely bad in our world today.
Death Denied: A man who is kept alive by machines and with no possibility to decide for himself if will live or die.
Blackout: You wake up with no memory of yesterday and fear that you have killed someone during a blackout.
Northern Sky: A mans last journey in life, he is on his way to the other side.
Actually I am very fond of bands creating a very unique sound. During the last years many new bands came up. But most of them sounded similar to a famous one like Hammerfall or Helloween. Do you think Axenstar has some unique trademark or is it more important for you to have high-quality songs than inventing a unique style? It absolutely more important to write high-quality songs than strive to be a band that is unique, if you write great songs you will be considered to be unique anyways.
Question for Arise-signed bands: Isn’t it unfair for European fans that Japanese releases have an additional track? Maybe, but the Japanese record labels demand that they get something special, otherwise they won’t import the album.
Is there a chance to publish the Japanese bonus-tracks on your homepage? No, not at the moment. I don’t think the Japanese record label would appreciate.
Will the next Axenstar-CD be released on Arise, too? Yes, at least one more and then we’ll have to see if they are interested in some future albums from Axenstar.
Magnus, thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. Keep up the good work and hopefully see you again on German stages soon.The last words are for you. Be sure to check out the latest album “Far From Heaven” from the Swedish power metal band Axenstar, you won’t regret it!!!