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Perpetual Etude's Magnus Mild: "Now is the time. If you have a dream, try to reach for it. Just like I did with this album"

Interview with Magnus Mild from Perpetual Etude
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 October 2021, 9:37 PM

Passion conquers and so is what drives a person in music, that's the story of many active artists, and so is the story of a passionate musician named Magnus Mild. Being the guitarist of the Heavy Metal champions, Air Raid, opened up a taste for more, for an inner passion. Starting up Perpetual Etude made it happen for Magnus to fulfill his inspiration for 80s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, celebrating the guitar hero. Steinmetal had the chance to talk to Magnus about the album's debut, "Now Is The Time", via Black Lodge Records, and experience the past within the present

Hello Magnus, it is a pleasure of mine to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been?

Hi Lior, it's my pleasure! It's been good. Almost no gigs, so there’s been a lot of time to write music and practice guitar. I've tried to focus on the good things.

I remember you from the mighty band, Air Raid, to be honest I haven’t heard anything from the band for some time now, other than “Demon’s Eye”. Is the band still active? Is anything new going on there?

Yes, we're definitely active. Working on the new album.

When I came to know about your ongoing project / band, Perpetual Etude, which is also rather new on its own, I thought to myself whether the age of the sole guitar hero is back on track. Then again, nearly every guitarist nowadays, especially in the modern form of Metal wants to be diverse, complex and outreaching. What do you think about that?

I'm not that complex hehe. I'll write the music that feels natural to write. And in this phase of my life, this is the music that comes out naturally. Maybe it will change overtime, maybe not. My plan is never to write something that sounds like this or that. I just let the music flow. To your question about being diverse, complex and outreaching: maybe it's natural for them. Hope so, because music for me is all about feelings in some way or another.

It is clear to me that you have been a devotee, and great fan, of 80s Metal and Hard Rock in overall, but in particular such heroes that helped shape that golden decade, such as Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen. I have to ask, in your view, what is the main drive that is lashing out from such guitarists? What do you feel when you listen to their playing?

It just feels right. Don't know how to explain it on a bigger scale. From the first time I heard that kind of music, it was an eye opener or maybe "ear opener" hehe. I knew early on that this was something I wanted to do.

Other than being a fan of the music, which that point is quite clear, in such a world of Metal music where the modern version has that dominance, what is your motivation to get in line within the market with such an effort like Perpetual Etude? Would you say that people long that much for the 80s?

I never write music with hopes of becoming famous or anything like that. I'll write what feels natural for me. And because it's fun! This time it just felt right to be doing something on my own, beside my other bands.

Along the way of creating Perpetual Etude, slowly being established as a band, you were able to recruit musicians that shared your passion. One of these musicians is your vocalist, Kristian Fyhr. You actually found yourself a Jeff Scott Soto meets Ronnie Atkins kind of voice for the band. How did that relationship between you two start? How did Fyhr’s voice meet with your vision of the music for the band?

Kristian contacted me through Facebook. He wanted some guitar on his first demo songs. Then I heard his voice for the first time. Even if the songs were in a different genre I knew right away. He is the one for the job.

Your debut album, “Now Is The Time”, serves as a reflection to your long lasting fandom. Nonetheless, there is that personal touch of yours to make the record more than merely a tribute. In your view, what in your vision made the record more than an 80s driven Metal album?

It was never a plan to do a tribute to an era. Just wanted to write music that felt natural for me to write, with a lot of guitar and keyboard solos. And when people heard the songs, they thought about 80s hard rock / metal. I noticed myself that the music that comes straight from my heart is this type of music. I wanted to bring more of this genre back, at its very best! Or, well, I did my best to try anyway. All the songs are affected by how I felt when I wrote ‘em.

Perpetual Etude’s music, from my end, based itself not solely on your guitar playing, along with your immense technical abilities, yet also on how the old melodic vibe penetrated the hearts of those who listened. How do you think that these additional, important, elements set the story for the songwriting on “Now Is The Time”?

Thanks a lot! All the songs are from the heart. So, I'm happy to hear that it shines through. For me the melody will always be in focus. Then I build up the rest to support it in the best way possible. Sometimes the songs need a faster solo to peak and sometimes not. My main focus is always to try to give the song what it deserves.

From what I could understand, the lyricism within “Now Is The Time” may as well be a conceptual story of a single person, living a life with both joy and sorrow, happiness and loss. Are these characteristics also part of your own personal journey? Do the songs have a connection to your life in a way?

Yes! The songs are based on what I felt during that period of my life. Everything from finding the right one to losing someone close to you.

What is the main moral of “Now Is The Time” from your own perspective? What can the listeners learn from the experience of listening to the songs?

I think some of the listeners can relate to the story behind some songs. Maybe it could help them through some hard spot in life or make them feel happier. It all depends on what state of mind you're in when listening. Music always helps me when I'm down or boost me even more when I'm happy. One main thing is: Now is the time. If you have a dream, try to reach for it. Just like I did with this album.

Chemistry between the band members is everything, now since Perpetual Etude is formed out of musicians coming from various bands, what can you tell about the buildup of that chemistry between you guys? How did you find the fine line between yourselves, other than sharing the love for the same musical direction? How did the work on the record contribute?

I knew them all from before, except Kristian. But we got to know each other quite good in a short time. I knew that the other guys loved this kind of music, and they all are crazy good on what they're doing. So, I asked them right away. And the chemistry between us is awesome. The few times we met during these special times; we always had a good time with lots of laughs.

Right after listening to the first tune of the album, I understood where I was at, a direction of the Neo-Classical Metal kind with a heart raging Hard Rock. At first, I thought, where is that classical shredder instrumental that has always been part of the lead guitar driven albums?  Were there considerations to record such a track in the first place?

I wanted to open the album with a track that wakes you up right away. No long intros or anything. 1, 2, 3 GO! The instrumental track is on the Japan release as a bonus track.

You had everything figured out when it comes to the sound of the record, in particular your guitar sound. Even though it wasn’t the first time, it is hard to deny the depth and richness with every chord. In your view, is there a twist right there that I probably missed or was it an effort to revive that old Fender sound signature?

Maybe I'm just getting old. But I like that overdriven sound. It's easier to hear all the details with a lower amount of gain on the amp. If you strike a note hard it sings out and if you play it softly it cleans up very nice. Me and Victor Olsson (Mix Guy) worked pretty much to get the right sound.
I almost always play "Strat-like" guitars. Because of the feel of connection with the instrument and of course the sound. It never ever fails, in my ears!

Since you have been one of the songwriters for Air Raid, how did the songwriting work on Perpetual Etude changed your perception of how to approach raw material and form a song? Would you say that there was something missing up until reaching to work on “Now Is The Time”?

In Air Raid, I collaborate my songwriting with Andy. To get the right sound for the band. With Perpetual Etude, it was all up to me. Kristian did some vocal lines on two songs. The rest is written by me. I don't think something was missing, but I think I write too much stuff and too many songs hehe.

You brought in Goran Edman as guest vocalist for “Sail Away”, one of the album’s most stellar and catchy tracks. Edman has been known to release great records with both guitar heroes, Yngwie Malmsteen and John Norum. I guess that it was only suiting that he would be part of this record as well? How would you say that his participation elevated the impact of the song?

Thanks again! He's one of my fav singers, and to have him singing on one of the songs is a dream come true. Sail Away is the saddest song on the album and I really wanted it to be special. I could hear him sing it in my head when I wrote it. So I gave it a try and asked him.

When you listen to “Now Is The Time” yourself, secluded, on your own, what does it make you feel? How does it influence your state of mind? Would you say it is like taking a journey, a short one at least, on your own, by yourself?

Yes, I can almost feel how I felt when I wrote ‘em.

Is Perpetual Etude also a live band? If so, what are your plans next time around, when it comes to live action for the band?

I really hope so, and that's the plan. When everyone is ready I am!

Magnus, I wish to thank you for your time for this interview, I believe that you started something here that has everything in order to recapture old times. Well done. All the best.

Thank you so much Lior and thanks for the interview!



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