Royal Hunt

Interview date

16 Novembre 2011


Blaster of Muppets


Interview André Andersen (by mailer)

Let’s talk about DC Cooper’s return first. The way it was published on the internet (“After repeated requests from fans and concert promoters alike, Royal Hunt and their former lead singer DC Cooper mutually decided to reunite”), one could really have the feeling that it was much more a business decision than anything else, is that what it is?

Not much of a commercial strategy as it all started very simple without any “masterplan” in mind: DC and Allan started talking on Skype, I joined them later, and after a few chats decided to “test the waters” – so to speak – and do a little tour, just to make sure if we could still recreate the vibe we used to have…and it worked out beautifully. So – obviously – the next step was to try and record an album and I´m happy to inform you that the whole process went down smooth and easy.

How was the response when you gave some gigs a few months ago?

Phenomenal… we all had a great time (much more than expected), all concerts went on as smooth as possible, everybody performed great and the fans and the critics response was just overwhelming.

How did your collaboration with Mark Boals end? Did he leave the band before DC Cooper came back or did he leave because DC came back?

It ended in a very un-dramatic, straight up fashion: Mark has been informed about it all frequently and - being a real professional - understood the situation and our decision. He has always been very productive and very much in demand so we all wish him all the success in the world… he´s a great person, excellent musician and truly deserves it all.

Tell us about your new album. First, can you explain the title? Who do you address with this sentence “Show Me How To Live”?

All lyrics are quite personal and it would be impossible to try and explain it in writing (as this email interview); a personal, emotional content which fits the mood/sound of the album perfectly… including the title.

About the music and the production, what did you have in mind for this one? Did the changing of singer have an impact on the whole process?

It all came together quite easily: any change in your line-up forms – to a degree – the style of your album. DC sings/sounds in his own specific way and that kind of creates your state of mind while writing/recording… as a producer you have to accommodate each member in such a way so their strongest assets are shining through. With DC and Jonas in the band the choice was quite obvious – melodic, somehow elegant and large sounding album.

Is this album like a return to the classic Royal Hunt for you, or rather a step forward in the evolution of the band?

It´s 2011 outside and I couldn´t re-create our sound from 1996 even if I tried. No, every new album I do I´m trying to reinvent RH just a little bit: be it songwriting or production, so I see this album as a logical progression for the band.

What are your own favourite tracks on this new album? And what are the ones you’d like to play on stage?

I´d have to say “Hard Rain´s Coming” is one of the favorites at the moment, but as far as live shows… hmm, we´d like to play them all, but let´s wait and see.

Tell us about your new guitar player, Jonas Larsen.

Our ex-singer - Henrik Brockmann - had recommended Jonas Larsen; he invited me to a Highway Jam´s show and convinced me that Jonas will fit in – on a personal level – into our little “RH family”. After watching the show I invited Jonas to jam with us on a few occasions and it felt right, it felt comfortable – he understands the sound and the style we´re after and it fits his way of playing perfectly. His melodic approach to solos (as well as his tone) brought a little of that “vintage RH sound” back, I think.

Have you got plans for touring Europe in 2012? Do you know if you’ll be able to come to France this time?

It´s too early to talk about it, but I´ve heard about some touring plans for the spring of 2012… don´t worry, we´ll let you know :-)

Do you plan to play songs from other albums than those recorded with DC Cooper on the next tour? Will your fans enjoy songs from the John West or Mark Boals albums?

No idea at the moment… stuff like that usually gets figured out during the rehearsals… so we still have plenty of time to discuss it.

As Royal Hunt is labelled “symphonic”, would you like to record some songs with a symphonic orchestra some day?

Absolutely. I´m aware of the fact that a few bands have already tried to do that and – in my opinion – didn´t do a great job on it so, in case I´d decide to give it a try I´d have to figure out a more organic way to write/produce it.

What can you tell us about the DVD released simultaneously with the new album? Have you been involved in the production of this double DVD? Are you satisfied with the result?

Well, one of the things our fans were talking about for years was “1996” and “Closing the Chapter” videos which previously were released only on VHS and even in that form in very limited quantities and throughout very few territories… so we hired a company to digitalize those master tapes, improved both audio and visual parts and – on top of that – put a 50 minute documentary (filmed in 96/98) in there to complete the package.

Do you plan to release another solo album, like you did before, or is all your time taken by Royal Hunt for now?

With all that new stuff going on with Royal Hunt I´m afraid I won´t have time to any solo adventures at the moment… maybe later sometime.

Talking about solo or other projects, do you know if DC Cooper is still part of Silent Force? It’s been a long time since this band has released something…

I´m really not sure what the situation is with DC and his band.

In 2012, your first album will be twenty years old. How will you celebrate twenty years of Royal Hunt? Can we expect something special? Re-issues, special shows, a new DVD, anything else…?

There´s been a lot of talk about it; a box set, a documentary, a concert (or a few of them) with all our past and present members… somehow I think that most – if not all of it – will see the light of day in some form so yeah, we have a lot od surprises for you next year :-)

Have you got a message for your French fans?

Hi guys! We´ve got a great line-up for you, a brand new album with a double DVD out and a possible tour in the spring – so enjoy it all, hope to see all of you soon!

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