Sonata Arctica

Interview date

Aout 2009




Interview Henrik Klingenberg

Hi Henrik, thanks to answer to my questions for the French webzine How is going the promotion of "The Days of Grays"? Isn't it to absorbing?

Hi, nice to hear from you. The promotion is going quite well, we're just getting started so there's still a lot more to come, so far so good.

How did the band work for this new record?

We got together in February to check out Tony's demos and started to work on the new songs right away. We did that for about 6 weeks and then we started to record the album. Drums and bass where recorded at Ticotico studios in Kemi, Guitars at Fantom studios in Tampere and Tony and I recorded our parts at home as before. In June the album was mixed by Mikko Karmila in Helsinki at Finnvox .

There are a lot of keyboards on this album. How did you work in the studio?

We first checked Tony's demos to see what could be used from them, then I played some more stuff and re-did some of Tony's tracks as well. Also we had this guy Mikko P. Mustonen do the orchestral arrangements. As usual I record my tracks at home because that way I can work on my own schedule, record when I feel like it (mostly in the middle of the night).

Can you do a little "track by track" for us?

01. Everything Fades To Gray (Instrumental)
This is a slow intro-type piece to start off the album
02. Deathaura
Probably the best track to represent the different sides of the album, this is also the longest track we've done in a while.
03. The Last Amazing Grays
Pretty straight forward rock'n'roll , this will be released as a single in Finland.
04. Flag In The Ground
We made a video of this song, probably the most classic sonata song on the album
05. Breathing
The first ballad of the album, I played some real hammond on this one.
06. Zeroes
This one is quite different in my opinion, I still don't really know what to call this kind of rock song. 07. The Dead Skin
Some definate Unia influences in the song as well as some new interesting ideas. 08. Juliet
The next part in the story of: The end of this chapter, Don't say a word and Caleb, very dramatic.
09. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart
Probably the most "pop" song on the album
10. As If The World Wasn't Ending
The second "ballad" on the album, as a change I played a keyboard solo here instead of the traditional guitar noodling
11. The Truth Is Out There
I think this song is about aliens but I'm not least the vocal melody is kind of out of this world....or at least out of this genre.
12. Everything Fades To Gray (full version)
...and so we come a full circle....thank you and goodnight :D

The songs "Zeroes" and "Juliet" have special ambiances. How do you decide that these songs will be on the record instead of others songs?

We first decide which songs we want to record and then later when all the songs are mixed we try to make a diverse album, and then naturally some tracks will be leftover for bonus-material etc.

There is a female voice on this album. Why? And how did you work with her?

Some of the songs needed some female input and since we know this girl called Johanna Kurkela who has a beautiful voice we asked her to help us out.

The first and the last song have the same musical theme. Is it a way to say "it come full circle"?

Yes, this is exactly what it is :D

As a lot of your artworks, this one has a link with Nature. What is the importance of this element in your inspiration and life?

Nature is a really important part of our lives since most of us lives practically in the woods, and we've grown up playing in the forest. For me personally I could not live in a big city or somewhere else where I couldn't enjoy beautiful nature every day, so it's really important for me.

Two of your past album has been release again ("Ecliptica" and "Silence"). Why?

This is something the labels like to do, the albums were re-mastered and some bonus stuff added...

You will go on tour in the USA and in Canada. To your mind, what is the importance of the American audience?

For us America is a relatively new area and we're just starting to get a foothold there, all audiences are equally important to us.

Because you are a well-known band, isn't it strange to have to support others bands on tour (I think of your last tour with Nightwish for example)?

Not really, it's actually a lot of fun to be the support band, you get to play to a lot of people that don't know you from before as well as watch the headliner play every night.

Your music has change since "Unia". Were you bored of your music, did you want to explore others musical horizons or is it just a natural evolution?

It's a combination of both, the natural evolution and of course as musicians we're really interested in exploring different possibilites, rather than just do the same thing over and over again.

Do you think a new member arrival involve a new inspiration?

At least when Elias joined the band that was definately the case, he's a really inspiring guy to play with because he can play almost anything.

Because you have joined the band after its creation, do you think you can be as proud of the band and its evolution than Tony and Tommy can be?

Well from the moment I've been in the band, yes but naturally I can't take credit for anything that happened before I joined the band

What was your opinion on Sonata Arctica before being in the band, and did it change since this time?

I thought the band had interesting songs and a lot of potential, of course now when I'm in the band I'm even more into the music and getting to know the guys also changed my perspective of what Sonata Arctica is.

From 2003 to now, how do you see the evolution of your work in Sonata Arctica?

When I joined the band it took some time to learn how the band was working but nowadays we're much more comfortable, especially in the studio. It's really hard for me to try to analyze this because I do what I always my ass off and see what happends.

Finally, have you something to say to your French fans who are waiting impatiently "The Days of Grays"?

Don't worry, it will be worth the wait....and of course Cheers !!!