Genre: Power Metal
1. Hello! How are you? You will soon release your new album entitled “Pentagram”. How do you feel about it? Are you anxious to see how the metal fans will receive it?
Hi Nick. I'm doing better than ever. You're right, our fifth album is just around the corner. Actually it's been ready for quite some time but it took a while to figure out how to best release it. The reason to why it felt extra important to do everything right this time is because this album kicks ass from here to eternity. I'm not anxious about how the fans will receive it. I'm more curious about which songs turn out to be the most popular. In my book they are all favorites.
2. Three years have passed since the release of your previous album, so why did it take you so long and how have these 3 years affected you as musicians and as a band?
I have spent a lot of time figuring out how to leave the old dying music business behind and go my own way. I simply couldn't find any motivation whatsoever to release more music through the old channels. I could think of so many other, less expensive and more fun, ways to destroy CDs. I tried an axe, gasoline, a tractor, dynamite and a really angry elephant. They all worked as good as our previous labels. I have developed a lot during this period. I think the main reason is because I have done a lot of thinking. It's been very good for me as a song writer and also in my private life. But I was far from inactive during this time of soul-searching. For example; I hooked up with a German band with which I have toured the world twice during this period. I did write the upcoming album that will be released on the 21st of May - and I started my own company Dark Minstrel Music. I also recorded a couple of other albums and just recently I wrote and produced the song “Let's Unite in Rock” for Metal For Cancer. It might seem like it was a long time since you heard from me, but I have kept pretty busy as you can see.
3. From the little that I have listened to your new album, I think that it has a darker and heavier approach. Am I right? Which are the new elements that you introduced to your music with this new release?
Yes, it's a lot darker and pretty damn heavy. New elements? Well, that's a question I don't know how to answer other than abstract. I'd say we added some extra darkness and made it about 75% more evil. Then we took away most sunshine and blackened the light that remained. Basically I would say that this album is back to the roots of the metal I grew up with. The production is more analogue-like and we have avoided pushing the levels through the roof. We trusted the power and energy to come from our performance instead of a lot of studio magic. Large parts of the album are first takes by real musicians playing real music. I'm tired of hearing productions that are cut to pieces, glued together, sampled to death and then auto-tuned. Those kinds of productions might sound “perfect” in the mathematical meaning of the word, but are boring as hell. We have never used much of that stuff in the past, but it felt like the time had come to step even further away from this artificial way of making music. I mean, we have a really great band – why should we hide that? I'm very happy with the results.
4. I believe that “Pentagram” is a concept album. Can you give us an idea of what we should expect lyrically from this new release?
I'm not sure what a concept album is. But I know that it's very smart to say it is, because that sells more albums. So 'yes', this is definitely a concept album... hahaha. But seriously, I think I understand your angle. It has a clear red thread going through the album. It deals quite a bit with spiritualistic thinking - and pentagram-ish ideas are addressed more than once. I don't want to say too much because that would ruin people's own interpretation of the songs. Good lyrics have the ability to touch something personal if allowed to. That's part of the magic I think.
5. In the beginning heavy metal music had a lot to do with the devil and the pentagrams in general, but somehow lately bands seem to avoid that (even the black metal bands). Why do you think this happened?
Maybe they became parents and are afraid to scare their children.... hahaha. I don't know. And basically I don't care. I still write about the devil and pentagrams when I feel like it. The music dictates the lyrics. I have written songs that include clowns, witches, religion, humor, sorrow, hate, love and so much more. Anything goes if dressed properly for the occasion.
6. I see that almost all the members of EVIL MASQUERADE participate in other bands too. Can we say that EVIL MASQUERADE is a kind of project band?
Not at all. EVIL MASQUERADE is high priority for all of us. After all, we've been around since 2003 and the current lineup played together for the first time already back in 2005. That's 7 years this year. Dennis and I have been here since the very beginning. Apollo said it very true backstage just recently; There's something magical with this lineup.
7. What I always liked about you is this theatrical touch that you have in your sound. So, have you ever thought of making some kind of metal opera or adding some theatrical acts on stage?
I have thought about it sometimes, but not enough for it to happen. I think it feels somewhat pretentious when metal bands are doing “metal operas”. It takes more than a couple of sopranos and an orchestral sample library to make an opera. It doesn't really work for me. If I were to do it, it would need to be something never seen before. However, I actually happen to like straight forward hard rock and heavy metal and I think this is as great and exclusive as any opera. The theatrical touch you are speaking of will probably always be present one way or the other. But the music I write is pretty straight forward. I think the secret lays in good melodies, arrangements and how it is performed.
8. By the way will you have any guest musicians in your new album?
Nope. No need to.
9. Will you do any video – clip in order to promote your new album? If yes which song will you choose and why?
Yes, we will release the song “A Silhouette” both as digital single and video. This song is very memorable and certain to reach a broad audience. It was the obvious choice for the first single and video.
10. Are there any plans for live shows? Is it possible to see you for a live show here in Greece?
Yes, the first shows are already booked in May. We start in Sweden, then Denmark. We are very interested in playing in Greece and will come as soon as someone decides to book us.
11. What kind of thoughts and feelings do you think your music creates to your listeners?
That would be as many different thoughts and feelings as there are listeners. But I hope they want to hear it again and come to a show.
12. Is there a phrase you think represents EVIL MASQUERADE? If yes, what would it be?
Damn great band.
13. Thanks for your time answering my questions. I wish you the best of luck! Leave a message to the readers of our webzine…
We look forward to coming to Greece as soon as possible. In the meantime, buy a copy of the album and a couple of Mythos. Εβίβα!
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis