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M. Karlsson & M. Boals (The Codex)

Interview with M. Karlsson & M. Boals from The Codex
by Grigoris Chronis at 22 November 2007, 10:46 PM

Mark Boals is back in the ring. Meaning: The Codex CD will keep spinning in you CD player for a long long time. Charismatic songwriter/guitarist Magnus Karlsson is - again - responsible for an excellent Hard 'n' Heavy album and both where kind enough to share a some info regarding THE CODEX project, for our reader's pleasure.

Mark, it was really good news to see you back in business with THE CODEX project. What came up from the RING OF FIRE’s Lapse Of Reality days ’till now? You’ve been occupied with various things?

M.B.: I actually took 3 years off for personal reasons, but now I’m back! I actually have been working very hard this year on several projects, some of which won’t be seen until next year. The Codex is the first release and next month there is an album called Indigo Dying being released on which I sang 2 tracks which were duets. Next year there will be multiple things coming out, which I am not at liberty to discuss yet.

So, how did you come across Magnus? Had you heard his works in prior or was it a collaboration arranged (in a way) by the Frontiers label?

M.B.: Both, really. I was familiar with Magnus from his recent great work with various projects, and I was getting in touch with him to work on another project, when Frontiers contacted me about this album. I always liked his guitar playing and especially his sound, along with his great songwriting. So, I spoke with Magnus who then sent me some rough song sketches, and we began work on the album from that point.

Magnus, I guess you were in prior familiar to the voice of Mark Boals. Were you looking forward to cooperate with him for many years? I guess every songwriter wishes he’ll have a singer like Mark Boals to do the vocals parts!

M.K.: Yeah, it’s a dream to write for someone who’s got so incredible voice. I have listened a lot to the stuff Mark did with Yngwie and I think he is awesome.

THE CODEX sees the Boals/Carlsson duo spitting fire! Did you work on the songlist from the very beginning or Magnus already had ideas and you both ’polished’ things up? Normally, the composer (I guess) needs to have a clear idea of who’ll be singing what so as to make the proper arrangements. What was the case here?

M.K.: Actually Mark came in late in the project and everything was already composed. I didn’t know who was going to sing it when I wrote the songs. When I found out Mark was going to do it I change some melodies to a little higher key just because he does the high notes so good. But with a singer like Mark it doesn’t matter what music he gets. Everything sounds great!  

The Codex features a songlist in variety. We see the (so called) ’melodic Rock’ tunes, we see some (so called, too) ’neoclassical’ stuff and we even see some really Power Metal stuff going on. Is this a sign of a tendency to record an album that has general taste, so as to apply to as many fans as possible or the result is straight from the heart?

M.K.: I don’t think too much on that stuff when I write. I just try to make the songs the best I can and the rest is just luck!

The lineup is completed with the addition of Daniel Flores (MIND’S EYE) and Linus Abrahamson. We know Daniel’s deeds with MIND’S EYE but what about Linus?

M.K.: Linus plays with a band Called MR KITE.

The cover artwork of The Codex may confuse the potential listener. It is superb but is - in a way - somehow neutral. Do you feel the Frontiers logo is more of a promotional tool?

M.K.: Well, I think the artwork suits the music quite well and the logo as well. I think you can see that it is a metal album when you look at the cover. And metal it is!
M.B.: For myself, I enjoyed working with Magnus very much, and I think we both would like to continue working together, on more albums and including some live shows, but of course, good sales would help very much.

Really, what does The Codex stand for?

M.K.: That is top secret!

Is THE CODEX an one-off project or you’re planning on continuing your cooperation? Does such plans depend on sales, too?

M.K.: I would love to continue work with these great musicians. But of course if it doesn’t sell the label won’t be interested.
M.B.: This may sound strange, but this collaboration went very smooth from the start, no stress at all, as Magnus was very easy to work with and our mutual respect and cooperation made the work a lot of fun!

Magnus, did  - at any time of rehearsing/recording for this album - feel Mark Boals may not eventually fit 100% to what you had in mind? Of course, Mark is a ’top’ singer but some times it may just be a matter of ’bad chemistry’.

M.K.: I never rehearse with the band for any albums and we hardly ever work in the same studio. My plan is simple, if I work with the best it will turn out great! There is one important thing though and it is that all the involved must enjoy my songs otherwise I don’t think it would work so well.

Is there a case a special CD edition will be issued, with e.g. any bonus tracks or a video?

M.K.: Japan gets a bonus, as usually. It is an acoustic version of Raise Your Hands.

Furthermore, is there a chance for an upcoming tour to support The Codex release? Are there any plans?

M.K.: No plans but it would be great if it could happen.
M.B.: There is a chance, because we all want to do it, but as yet there are no plans which I know of.

Thanks a lot, and we hope all the best for this new excellent cooperation!

M.K.: Thanks!
M.B.: Thanks! all the best to you and all the fans!  Cheers!


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