In light of their great Live album we descided to strap on our boots and talk to Sonata Arctica in the cold northen lands. Henrik, thank you for answering our questions, First there are a few personal ones.
You sing at Mental Care Foundation, don’t you miss your keyboard?
Henrik:Yeah, actually we haven't done too much in a while but we'll be putting out a new single, hopefully before christmas. During the live shows I do miss my keyboards a bit but it's not too bad now, in the beginning it felt really weird to just sing.
When touring, do you have a favorite PSP game?
Henrik: My daughter pretty much stole my PSP so I don't play it that much anymore but of all the games I've ever played the EA sports NHL series are definately my favourite, right now I'm into the NHL '12 on my PS3....it's so much fun it's uncanny.
Your musical background is very different from Sonata Arctica. Why did you go in such a different direction?
Henrik: I have no clue, I guess since I started to play I've always just went with the flow and played the type of music that seemed interesting to me at any given time, I've played classical, I've dabbled with jazz for awhile....played in musicals in the theatre, rock, pop and what have you... of course since I found out about heavy music in my early teens that has always been the main thing but I think in the interest of learning how to play your instrument and learning about music, the most important thing is to play with everyone and play any kind of music, even if it's not exactly what you're into, you will learn a lot.
When can we expect the band in Belgium?
Henrik: I'm very happy to say that the next time in Belgium will be in the beginning of April 2012 at the Prog Power & Metal Festival, see you all there :)
You have probably toured the World, which region has the wildest fans?
Henrik: Generally the warmer the country, the wilder the people but it seems that it changes from city to city sometimes as well so it's quite impossible to say. South-America in general has been really crazy for us...it's like Beatlemania on a smaller scale.
After a gig, some bands or artists make time to chat with the fans. Did you ever do that? Or do you just remain backstage to recover from a crazy performance?
Henrik: We usually try to talk with the fans after every show, in some places when you have hundreds of people waiting, it doesn't work out but when we are touring with a bus for example and there's about 20-30 people waiting outside after a show, it's no problem to stay for awhile and chat and take pictures. Of course it takes some time before we come out, after a show it's usually showers, pizza and getting changed....having drinks....but then we're outta there.
Your latest cd is a live album, where there given special instructions or things you had to keep in mind while recording the show?
Henrik: Not really, of course because we were using pyros, like flames, flashes etc... you have to stand in certain spots when they go off unless you want to get fried, but apart from that we just play and don't worry too much about where we stand at any given moment.
You love laughing, is there a comedian which you truly like?
Henrik: I could probably make a very long list but Bill Hicks is really funny, and of course Dennis Leary....and a lot of others as well...
Next year you are playing 10 years in Sonata Arctica. Any thoughts or flashbacks?
Henrik: It's been one big adventure that's for sure. There are lot of stuff that comes to mind, mainly though, I feel fortunate that I've found these guys to make music with and travel around the world, this is definately a dream come true and I wish it'll never end.
And a flash forward? Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Henrik: Hopefully someone still wants to see us play in 10 years because as long as we're somewhat healthy and kicking we have every intention to be around playing music and acting like idiots....and I'll probably be working on another solo album, my first one will be out next spring. (nice advertising, right ? )
Thanks a lot and a big cheers, we'll be back on the road in no time,