Known for his work as a producer as well as for his involvement in projects such as Nordic Union, Erik Martensson, composer and lead singer of the Eclipse, a swedish band that counts with leadership of guitar player Magnus Henriksson, spoke to World of Metal about their brand-new album titled “Paradigm”. – By Miguel Correia / Photos by Mats Vassfjord
Hi Eric, how are you? Thank you for taking the your time to talk to World Of Metal, and when I thought it would be hard to get over three big albums, like the last two, I heard “Paradigm” and I must confess that I changed this idea because I think it’s a huge, huge album… congratulations! I feel that you guys progress with each album. It will be by far the best work of the band, it’s a big step forward in trying to find your own sound, don’t you agree?
Well, I’m good and thank you for your interest in Eclipse… so, i think it is my first interview with someone from Portugal and I’m happy with that. Thank you, thank you a lot for your words… we want to have a little different approach, a quite different in the way we writing songs, you know, we want to do something to get trapped in you under your skin, to stay with you for a long time. Nothing like, oh, that’s a great song, but then you forget it quickly. We want one album that you listen to it over and over and over without getting tired of it, you know what a mean? Being catchy wasn’t the main goal of the record. I know there are a lot of catchy songs but they are straight forward too. We are very proud of it and I know it may sound as clichet but yeah, it’s a big step in our sound and maybe this is the best work…
Yeah it is true, it is a record that holds a lot in each hearing because it is full of very direct songs and at the same time it stays in our heads for a long time… At what point did you knew you had got something truly special?
Yeah, it’s quite easy when we feel it. Simple, when we enjoy listen to it (laughs). We never think about (the) others, what they think about our songs. We always think, do we like the songs? When we are writing or working in a simple demo of a song and when all is finished and it’s time to listen to it and then… well you do it once, and press “Play” again and again, in that moment you know that is something special. It’s important to enjoy listen to ourselves, that’s the point!
How do you feel your influences come out in your music?
When we started back in day, specially an album like “Are You Ready To Rock”, from 2008, every song your listen to in that record you can tell, this sounds like Rainbow, this like Whitesnake and we can go on, but early we work to take away all our influences from our compositions. The way is, we want to do rock music and we do it. People says that we have Celtic or Irish folk influences here but that’s not true, here are Swedish folk music influences it’s all about our roots. I’m leaving on the countryside where are a lot of this, all around. That’s with me since ever!
So, it’s a big step forward…
Absolutely, this is the way to have our identity in our sound! It’s important when people put on a Eclipse album they should think, its sound like Eclipse. It’s our signature in our sound, it’s simple!
And about the lyrics, what usually provides your inspiration?
I don’t write so much love lyrics. I try to write about politics or every kind of social problems, whatever. I must tell you that is the melody’s that will define the kind of lyrics. Its set the point of the direction of the lyrics should be! First came the song then the lyric part.
I must confess between all the songs, one touched me a lot, “Take Me Home”.
Let me tell one thing about this one, it was written in my kitchen. Me and Magnus with an acoustic guitar do it in a simple way, it’s a very heavy folk song with a lot of production on it. The inspiration for this one is when I back home, my father passed away five years ago and after that I left Stockholm and move back home, where I was born, it’s a hard moment and this song reflect all of it.
Let me do you a difficult question: What is your favorite track in this album?
Oh, it’s hard, very hard to answer it… well, let me see, maybe “When The Winter Ends”, this one means much to me I really like it.
There is an acoustic version on the Japanese edition, isn’t it?
Yes, there is, you must listen to it…
Eclipse, Nordic Union and WET, apart from your production work…where does one start and the other end?
Eclipse is my main band! Here is my style and we have total artistic freedom to work what we want! When i’m working in an Eclipse album all my felling’s are there, all my energy my focus is that particular moment. And It’s the same for the other projects it’s easy, because things are different. I set the mood for the kind of record.
And how do you see the future of the rock scene?
In ten years, there will be no more of what we have now. All the big bands are gone and I think we are at our peak right now and now is the time we need all the support. Since magazines to radio everyone must support new bands it’s very important for all!
What is the paradigm that has changed in you?
I think it’s the way we wrote songs, above all that’s the main change with the change of some members in the band, this album is a new start for us in many ways.
Plans for the future my friend?
At the moment we just came back from tour but we have a lot of gigs booked, Japan, Australia the calendar for next year is very busy right now and I very pleased with that. Thanks a lot once again and I hope we can meet on the road one day!
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