Evergrey’s Rikard Zander took time out from a really busy Prog Power IV
here in Atlanta to talk to me. Evergrey is a progressive metal band from Sweden,
and Rikard plays keyboards for them. Here is what Rikard had to say.
MI-What is your birth date?
Rikard-September 18th, 1970.
MI-What has been the biggest influence in your life?
Rikard-I guess it was when I brought my first metal record. It
was Point of Entry by Judas Priest.
MI-Describe Evergrey’s music to me.
Rikard-It is very romantic, I think. It is quite dark. It is
very heavy and very soft. It is what we think music without limits should be.
We feel very free in our experience to write what we feel and what we want.
MI-How did you guys come up with the band’s name?
Rikard-I think it was the singer in the band-Tom. Actually he
came up with it. By the way, he is the only original member left in the band now.
He came up with it, but I am not really sure where he got it from-I think it was
some kind of vision.
MI-Who are the members of the band right now?
Rikard-Right now it is me, Rikard on keyboards. Our drummer is
Jonas. Henrik on guitar. Tom on vocals, and Michael on bass.
MI-Tell me the story about how all you guys got together.
Rikard-As I said, right now Tom is the only original member.
Michael, the bass player, is the second older band member-not by age but by who
has been in the band. Henrik came, and then I came, and then Jonas-who came not
so long ago. –The drummer that we had before, Jonas was his drum technician.
That drummer left the band and we decided to try Jonas, and that has worked fine.
Right now we feel very comfortable with the band set like it is.
MI-What would you consider Evergrey’s first big break?
Rikard-Well, I guess when the band did it’s first tour.
That is when there was a big interest for the band from a lot of people. –I
wasn’t in the band at that time, but that is what I think anyway.
MI-Well, since the band has reformed-what would you consider
the latest big break?
Rikard-The latest big break is absolutely doing an American tour.
We have been opening for Arch Enemy.
MI-What is your favorite movie of all time?
Rikard-One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
MI-If you could be a comic book hero, which one would you be?
Rikard-I would be Super Mac-he is a soccer player. I used to
be into sports a lot when I was younger-so I read comics about sports heroes.
MI-Do you believe in psychics?
Rikard-I believe that people develop a strong sense for things.
MI-Have you ever inhaled?
Rikard-Oh no no no.
MI-What is your favorite track off of the Recreation Day cd?
Rikard-Right now I think I would have to say the song, Recreation
Day. I think mostly because it is so fun to play live. When you play a song live,
you get a sense for the song when you see the crowd’s reaction. –It
is a fun song to play, and people seem to like it so right now that is my favorite.
MI-Where do you see the band in five years?
Rikard-I don’t know if I can see that long into the future,
but when we get back right now to Sweden off of this tour, we are going to do
a couple of more shows in Iceland, and a couple of shows in Europe-then we are
going to start writing. We have already started writing, but we are going to start
writing seriously for the next record. We are going to try to make that record
as good as we can. I really believe in the group right now, so I think we can
do a really great album. –Then we will see what happens.
MI-When do you expect the next album out?
Rikard-We are going to try to have something out by April of
MI-Why did you decide to become a musician?
Rikard-I don’t think it was really a decision. It was just
something that happened for me.
MI-How do your parents feel about your career?
Rikard-They are very excited.
MI-Who are your influences as a musician?
Rikard-I would say a lot of metal guitarists, because that was
really what I was in to. There wasn’t that many keyboard players-it was
more guitarists and drummers. Bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden…The
whole metal scene in the early eighties is my big influence.
MI-Who is your favorite poet?
Rikard-I would lie if I said I had one, because I don’t
really get that stuff.
MI-What would your favorite book be?
Rikard-I am not that much of a reader, actually.
MI-Other than Evergrey, who are your favorite current bands?
Rikard-I get a lot from bands in the metal scene right now. Three
of those are Arch Enemy, Hate Eternal, and Black Dahlia Murder. Right now, those
bands influence me a lot, actually.
MI-If you were stuck on a desert island, and could bring one
person, one movie, one cd, and one bottle of liquor-what would you bring?
Rikard-I would bring some red wine-a fine bottle of red wine.
I would like my girlfriend. The movie would be One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s
Nest, and the cd would be Radiohead.
MI-If you could be god for a week, what would you change?
Rikard-It seems too easy to bring out the big words about peace,
love, and understanding. –I would want people on Earth to be more aware
of themselves and what is happening around them.
MI-How has the music industry been treating you?
Rikard-I must say I haven’t had any problems with it. I
think it was harder before. I think the music industry has gotten better and more
serious. You have heard all of these examples of horror from bands from a couple
of decades ago that got bad treatment, but I don’t know.
MI-What was the worst job you ever had?
Rikard-That was when I was cleaning. I worked as a cleaner in
MI-If you were not a musician right now, what do you think you
would be doing with your life?
Rikard-I would be working with people-taking care of older people.
–It is like everything has its own time.
MI-If a movie was made about your life, what would the theme
Rikard-Heaven or Hell by Black Sabbath.
MI-If a genie came to you and granted you three wishes, what
would they be?
Rikard-I really want to progress with this band. –I want
us to feel that we can still break new territory, and I want to continue my life
with my girlfriend. I want all the best for my family and friends.
MI-Where were you when 9-11 happened, and how did it affect you?
Rikard-I was in Sweden watching TV-the first picture I saw was
of the towers burning. At first I thought it was a movie or something, and then
it came to me that it was really happening and that it was live. –I was
really scared thinking we were up to WWIII or something.
MI-What do you think about the US in the Middle East and Liberia?
Rikard-I think it is very complicated. I want to be very careful
about saying too much about it, because I am not that well informed. The only
thing if feels like right now is that every conflict doesn’t really solve
MI-Who is your hero?
Rikard-My hero is my older brother because he is a good guy that
I have always looked up to.
MI-If you could have lunch with three people, living or dead,
who would they be?
Rikard-I would like to have lunch with my band members.
MI-What do you want people to know about you?
Rikard-I want them to know that I am trying to be a nice guy
to everyone as long as I think they deserve it. When I meet a new face, I try
to be-I don’t try to be nice because I think people are going to get me
MI-Who do you think the greatest performer is of all time?
Rikard-I think Jim Carrey so far.
MI-If you have a million dollars to donate to any charity-what
charity would it be?
Rikard-I would give it to old people who don’t have relatives
to take care of them.
MI-Do you have a message for your fans?
Rikard-I hope that if they are fans to us now, I hope we don’t
disappoint them in the future, because we are really going to try as hard as we
can with the music.
MI-What is your favorite quote of all time?
Rikard-I really can’t come up with one right now. I really
like reading books with quotes and sayings though… Thank you very much
Rikard. I look forward to hearing a lot more out of Evergrey VERY soon. I hope
that genie finds you to give you those three wishes!
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