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Fredrik Jordanius (Egonaut): doom'n'roll Offerings

Fredrik Jordanius (Egonaut): doom'n'roll Offerings
BANDS : Egonaut

You might know Fredrik Jordanius as a member of swedish gothic/doom metal band Lake of Tears; he played at least three concerts in Romania with the band (in 2011, 2012 and 2013). Or you might know him if you read Gedi's review of The Omega, the latest Egonaut album, released last year. Gedi describes it as "creative retro rock" but Fredrik says it's, in fact, doom'n'roll. The following interview might convince you to go look for a copy of The Omega and form your own opinion about it. If you already listened to the album, keep on reading to find out more about the ones who created it. From Omega to alpha.


Metalfan: Hello and welcome to Metalfan! How are you today? What kept you busy lately?
Hi and thanks!! All is well up here in Sweden, although I’m kind of suffering from the hour that was stolen tonight when we went over to daylight savings time here in Sweden. Believe it or not but I spent most day yesterday writing and demoing new music, between that and hanging out with my family there isn’t much time to do anything else.
Metalfan: Who is Fredrik Jordanius? Why did you become a musician and not an accountant? Why a guitar player and why play heavy metal?
I decided to pick up the guitar after hearing Europe and the guitar-solo from The Final Countdown, I was 7 years old at the time and I started taking classes the next year (that also means that I’ve been playing guitar for 30 years this year, how time flies when you grow old). I’ve pretty much been in bands all my life so for me there hasn’t really been any alternatives for “other” lifestyles. Besides the guitar I’ve also played a bit of keyboards, bass guitar and drums through the year but as guitar is the best and easiest way for me to express myself musically it has remained my main instrument. 
As far as heavy metal goes it’s a bit same as to why play music in the first place, I’ve always felt drawn to the more extreme genres of guitar-based music, pop and electronica simply hasn’t appealed to me in any way, it doesn’t pose enough of a challenge for me musically.
Metalfan: Our readers have already been introduced to Egonaut, thanks to Gedi’s review of your latest album, The Omega, a highly enjoyable listening experience which we would like to take the chance to congratulate you for. For most of us, this album came out of nowhere, so could you please make a short presentation of the band’s history prior to this release?
Me and drummer Markus formed Egonaut back in 2006, originally intended to be a side project just to have a bit of fun together, so without any real goals we wrote and recorded a three-track demo together that we just for fun sent out to three magazines and two record labels. However, we ended up being approached for more music from a really big record label and one of Sweden’s premier metal magazines crowned the demo-cd “Best unsigned demo in Sweden right now”. That really caught us off guard and I think we spent like two or three years trying to catch up to that initial success.
A couple of member changes later and three EP’s we felt ready to release our first full-length album “Electric” which was released in Sweden only in 2011. Two more albums and a couple of years of frequent gigging later we felt it was ready to change things up a bit; and hence I decided to fire myself as vocalist to focus solely on songwriting and guitar-playing.
Metalfan: One of the major changes in the band’s line-up was the addition of a new lead vocalist, in the person of Emil Kyrk. Tell us a bit more about why and how that happened. What convinced you he was the right man for the job?
To make a long story short I actually just ended up singing in Egonaut out of necessity in the first place; and although I think I did a good job, especially on our second and third album I kinda felt that I wasn’t good enough to match the music (also the vocals were quite frequently the target for bad reviews so it seemed like I was not alone in thinking this). When it was time to wrap up the Deluminati touring and start planning for a new album I thought it was the right time to make the switch.
We had come across Mr Kyrk at a festival gig a year or so before, and when I found out that he wasn’t only living in the same city as the rest of us but also rehearsed with a band literally next door to our studio it was a total no brainer to ask him to audition for the band.
Metalfan: In what way did Emil’s arrival change the band’s activity and vision? How much was he involved in the making of The Omega? In fact, let’s make this a question about how this album came to life: the idea that started it all, the writing and the recording of it.
When Emil agreed to come on board we mutually decided that the worst thing we could do was to start going around playing shows where he played only the old songs, so instead we got to work on “The Omega” with the plan to announce the singer change along with a new single release etc, so we spent a year completely under the radar writing, demoing and preprodding what was to become “The Omega”.
Emil was involved; but as it takes time to “grow” into a band that has already been around for ten years I ended up writing the main bulk of the new material and he contributed where he felt he had something to add. To make things easier on us lyric-wise we decided to do the album as a concept album, basing the story around this seeker trying to find a place in life that ends up being approached by this cult led by a really sinister woman. The album was partly recorded (drums and bass) at a studio called Nordic Sound Lab, we did the synths and mellotrons at a place called Roth Handle in Stockholm and then we did the rest of the stuff (organs, guitars and vocals) down at our own place Bastard Sounds. The reason to using that many studios was to try to change up the formula from our former albums that had all been recorded in our own studio and try to get some new inspiration from other studios. For me personally I must say that it was very rewarding being able to step away from the vocalist perspective and focus solely on writing really good songs!
While we were at it we also re-recorded our album “Deluminati” with Emil on vocals, that album is available as an exclusive download if you purchase “The Omega” over at our webshop.
Metalfan: Do any of the songs have a more special story during the composing/recording sessions?
Well no special stories per se, but a bunch of stuff happened that kinda slowed down the process; I broke my ankle and was out of commission for a couple of weeks, we had problems with other members becoming burned out from too much stress at work, I became a father for the second time and so forth. So it became very much about finding time to sit down together everyone and quickly tuning in to some kind of creative state to maximize every session that we had.
Metalfan: What and who inspires you to write music? What were your sources of musical inspiration when you wrote The Omega?
I get most of my inspiration from the writing and recording itself; every time we go into the studio to record songs I always end up leaving the studio with riffs and ideas for at least one or two new songs. Musically I really did not think so much about genre and trying to fit into the sound of our older album etc, I let the songs take themselves in whatever direction they felt that they needed to go in instead and I think that It really shows on the album, all the songs have a really nice flow to them.
Metalfan: What is the best song on the album and which is the one that you would have liked to spend more time on polishing?
For me the best song is Offerings, I love the contrast between the harp and the crushing riffs. As far as songs that could have used more work; I can actually say that I really gave it 110% on this one and there is not one thing that I would like to change in hindsight. When writing the album we had a bunch of ideas that did not make the cut to the album, so I think we killed off the weaker songs already in the writing-phase.
Metalfan: Did The Omega bring significant changes in the band’s music? For example, some of the songs (Initium, The Pledge) feature a harsher vocal style that was absent on the previous albums. Were there musical adjustments you had to make in order to fit the story better? 
Actually, I wanted to go full out on growls instead of clean singing for this album but the other guys weren’t that keen on the idea. However, I felt that some songs really had a vibe suited for that kind of vocals, and since Emil is a really “complete” singer, being able to handle many styles it felt stupid not to try it. And it turned out very cool! I think the musical adjustments that we had to make were mostly about tunings and keys to fit Emil’s vocal range. We have done some LG Petroff style vocals on previous albums though, but perhaps not to this extent.
Metalfan: What are the pros and the cons of making a concept album? Like, for example, were there some really good ideas you had to leave out because they didn’t fit the main concept? Is such an album more difficult to make?
The pros were that it was really easy to know what to write about lyrically; having done all the lyrics for the band for ten years I was kind of running out of ideas. The cons were that we really had to keep check on the songs so the whole project did not turn into some kind of pompous musical or a rock opera.
We had kind of dabbed a bit on our former album “Deluminati” which circled around a theme, so going full on concept-album was not that big of a step that one might think.
Metalfan: How eager are you to do a concept album again in the future? Have you already started thinking about the next album? 
We will see; we are writing new material now, but instead of doing it the “old and proven way” where you write 10-13 songs and book two months in the studio to record we’re actually recording the songs as we write them now. That way of work kind of hinders doing a concept album as we are working without a complete picture of how a new album will be. We have about ¼ of a new album written, recorded, mixed and mastered as we speak right now, but whether or not these songs will end up on an actual album or not we don´t know yet. Our plan right now is more about writing and recording as many good new songs as possible and start thinking about how to package them sometime later this year. 
Metalfan: What is the most effective way to promote a band like Egonaut today? You are quite active on Facebook and you are preparing to film a new video, is this the shortest way to fame? 
If I knew I would surely tell you about it. Promotion and social media is a necessary hell that I sometime find as a distraction from the key purpose of the band; to write music and perform it live in front of our fans. Doing the videos is just another way for us to keep creative when we´re off the road.
What do you think is the most effective way for fans today to support their favorite band? 
Buy the music; help spread the word about your favorite bands and keep nagging the local promotors to bring the bands to your home towns!
Metalfan: How important is the feedback you receive from fans and from critics? Do you read comments and reviews? Are musical reviews still relevant in general?
I read everything I find about the band, but that does not necessarily mean that I take heed on everything I read. I think that especially with this album facing bad reviews have been much easier as I honestly feel that we gave this one 100% and made no compromises from our visions.
I have a couple of reviewers that I follow myself because every band that they’ve recommended have turned out to be awesome! We are drowning in bands and releases these days so every measure that can help finding new, great bands must be taken!
Metalfan: Fredrik, you have visited Romania in the past, as a member of Lake of Tears. Any memories from those gigs you would like to share? 
Romania has been like our second home with Lake of Tears and every show I did there was excellent in its own way but I must say playing OstFest together with WASP, Megadeth and Motorhead was a true highpoint in my musical career, it was so hot that the stage floor burned your shoes if you stood in one place for two long and the glue in my shoes actually melted from the heat but the gig was fantastic. The Romanian after parties have always been the best too!
Metalfan: Are you still playing with Lake of Tears? Is the band still active?
I really have not heard much from the other guys since our last show at 70000 tons of metal a bunch of years ago. As far as I know right now LoT is not an active band anymore.
Metalfan: The Omega has been included in Metalfan’s list of 2017’s best albums. How about your list, do you have one? Some new upcoming Swedish bands that you can recommend?
I don’t really make lists in that way because I´m really bad at keeping track on what year albums are released but some Swedish bands that I´m currently listening to a lot and that I highly recommend are Tribulation, Ghost, our friends in Nekromant and a band called Soen. As far as international acts are concerned I really like UADA, Batushka and an American band called Take over and Destroy.
Metalfan: How do you see the future of metal music and what place does Egonaut have in this future? Can you make a prediction? About Egonaut or any other band or about music in general?
As far as Egonaut are concerned I really hope that 2018 is the year that we get to leave the Swedish club-scene behind and get to tour more in Europe, especially places we have not visited before like Romania, Greece and Spain. I´m also quite sure that 2018 will bring new Egonaut-music to the world in some shape or form. Regarding metal music in general I feel that the scene is actually starting to become so strong that bands can start living off music again, and that is a really good thing!
   March 29, 2018  | 0 Comments  | 8186 Views « BACK

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