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Seven Thorns

Interview with Seven Thorns from Seven Thorns
by Jonathan Maphet at 11 February 2011, 12:02 AM

The Danish power metal band SEVEN THORNS recently released their second studio album, "Return To The Past" and we took the opportunity to talk to the whole band and discuss all the details about this release and not only.

I read your biography on your website. It seems there was a very long process from the founding of the band to the eventual release of “Return to the Past”. Could you please describe that for me?

Lars: When I started the band in 1998 I had no idea it would take so long to get to where we are today. We started out like almost every other band –searching for the right people. I don’t think we managed to have a complete line-up at any point in the first years.
However, in 2002, after a detour in another band, I decided to really get Seven Thorns up and running. I found Munk in an ad in the music pages and we had the same ideas about what kind of music we wanted to play – but again, it took until 2004 before all positions in the band were filled with, what I thought at that time, the right people. Things did go okay with the release of ‘Artificial Night/Metal Will Show You the Way’ in 2005. Mik wrote the 2 songs for the first single we released and he wrote, and sang, all the songs we played at our first gig in January 2005. And then he got fired, which was the first warning of the disaster to come…
After the first album ‘Glow of Dawn’ had been recorded some of the other 7thorns members wanted to take full control of my band. These people, whom I had considered close friends, went behind my back and tried to register the name ‘7thorns/Seven Thorns’ without my permission. That resulted in a lawsuit that took 2 years. I won! It was, and still is, my band. In the meantime Mik and I had started working together again. It took almost two years then Gabriel was recommended to apply by his guitar teacher. At that point Gabriel was still a teenager (in love)… Nicolaj replied to an ad we had put up in one of the local music stores. Around the same time as Nicolaj joined – so did Christian who Gabriel brought in.
Mik and I had talked about the vocals. Mik didn’t feel he could deliver what was needed in the studio so a search was initiated to find the new Seven Thorns voice… We searched in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden. The search was ended when I found Erik.
It doesn’t make sense to look back and say what could have been done differently. I think it has given both me and Mik a lot of useful experience. Today the band consists of better musicians, and nicer people, than ever before.

I really love your new album. I have listened to it several times. Every song is very good. How exactly did you choose what to put and what not to put on the new album? I ask this because it is not often that every single song is as good as the one before. Surely it wasn’t easy to pick from such great material?

Gabriel: Actually there weren’t that much more material to choose from. The songwriters in the band (mainly Mik and I) present new ideas for songs for the rest of the band and if everyone says ok then we’ll continue to work on the song.
Lars: I think our greatest asset is that we discard songs early on, if we don’t feel they live up to our standards.
Mik: We decided from the beginning that we wanted to write and record a killer power metal album. We actually had 10 songs, but in the end, one was dumped right before we started focusing on rehearsing for the studio.

Whatever happened to the 17 year old girl that auditioned for the band? Is she is a band now?

Lars: Her name was ‘Pil” and she was quite a good keyboardist. However, I don’t know if she still plays. I haven’t heard from her since she decided to leave in 2003… However, I do know her brothers are involved in a Danish microbrewery called “Djævlebryg” and that they make very good beer (laughs) Beer is good…

How has the media and the fans responded to “Return to the Past”?

Nicolaj: We have received so many top reviews – it has been really amazing. We have a very long list on our homepage where you can see them all. And thank you too for the review!

How is the touring going? I would like to know who you are playing with and when. Hopefully my review and this interview will alert people to your band and some will show up at that shows.

Nicolaj: The European tour starts in March (17th-27th). We’ll be a part of the Jokers Ball tour (presented by CMM GmbH and Red Lion Music). So far we know that we’ll be playing with the Greek band Persona Non Grata. A third band has not, at this point, been named.
And yes hopefully a lot of people will show up to the concerts. The tour schedule can be found on www.seventhorns.com . We will play gigs in Germany, Holland, Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland…

Is the band getting along these days? I know there have been many lineup changes. I hope you are all doing well, because I would hate to see such a great lineup fracture.

Christian: Yes, we have a very good chemistry despite our different ages and musical backgrounds. Even though Mik and Lars on paper are the older guys in the band, they are really behaving like children… Nicolaj is the grown up in the band (laughs)
Mik: Older! What are you talking about? I am, and will always be 25.
Lars: And Mik has always been three years older than me. And I have seen Helloween live before our guitarists and keyboard player were born!

Which song or songs have gotten the best reaction from “Return to the Past”?

Asger: I think ‘Through the Mirror’ has received a lot of positive feedback.
Gabriel: I agree – even people who normally don’t listen to power metal like the song.
Nicolaj: And of course ‘Liberty’. We made a video for that song…
Mik: If you take all the reviews you’ll find that all the songs on the album has been pointed out as being the highlight on the album – by different reviewers.

I have to compliment you on your website. How hard was it to find such a good webmaster?

Nicolaj: Thank you. I’ve known Emil, who is the webmaster on the site, for a long time. The lay out was our idea but he made it into what it is today.

 Is there any chance you can get a spot on a major metal festival? I would love to see that in order for you to get the exposure you deserve.

Lars: We sure hope so! As mentioned, we’ve got a European tour coming up, but when it comes to festivals nothings ready yet. We have been approached by a German festival who wants us to headline the first day of the event, this is still in the making…

The production on the new album is stellar. How long did the recording process take?

Mik: All in all it took us a good 18 months. The recording was divided into three sessions. In the first, which lasted a week, we recorded the single (Forest Majesty and Spread Your Wings). During the second session (1½ weeks) we recorded Countdown, Fires & Storms and Freedom Call. Finally we did Liberty, End of the Road, Through the Mirror and Return to the Past which took 2 weeks of hard work. Asger had just joined the band here and was not ready to record the keyboards yet.
Asger: Later on, in separate one day sessions, we added some vocals, chorus, solos and most of the keyboard stuff.

Finally, what would you wish the fans to know? Tell us anything you think will help you on your journey.

Lars: Now that the album is available all over the world, there is no excuse for not buying it (laughs) And we would really love to see as many of you as possible in the concerts on the upcoming tour. And don’t forget: Metal is your destiny!



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Edited 06 June 2020
 

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