Angry Metal Guy recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Henrik "Lance" Klingenberg of Finnish melodic metallers SONATA ARCTICA. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Angry Metal Guy: The biggest news besides you guys having a new album is that this record is being recorded with a new guitarist by the name of Elias [Viljanen]. How's that going?
Henrik: Well, it's going pretty well. I mean, he doesn't feel so new for us because he started playing on the tour with the last album and then he joined the band during the last tour. So he's been in the band now for two years, I think, even more, you know, three years. So, you know, of course it was a new experience to work with the new guy in the studio and he's just been, from day one, a really easy-going, mellow guy and it's just, I mean, he's really easy to work with. He's open-minded to whatever we can throw his way and he can actually play anything that comes into your head so that always helps.
Angry Metal Guy: Has it been weird working in the studio without Jani [Liimatainen; former guitarist] and with Elias?
Henrik: Well, the way we work nowadays is that we pretty much rehearse together and then everybody records wherever they feel like, so we usually record at different studios anyway. So, I didn't see him in the studio at all because he lives four hours south from here so he was recording in his hometown and then just sending us the files. The rehearsals were a little bit different when Jani wasn't here, but it's kind of, I think it would've been much more difficult if he had just joined the band straight at the beginning of the recording process. But we played the whole last world tour with him which was almost two years, and we spent so much time together before so it wasn't really awkward or it didn't really seem that weird at all.
Angry Metal Guy: With the writing then, since he's been touring with you guys before this, does any of that happen on the road? Or do you guys come back from tours and then go into your own separate corners and then Tony [Kakko, vocals] comes back with songs? Or, how does that work?
Henrik: Tony writes all, or most, of the music, so whenever he's home he writes stuff when he feels like it. Of course, on the road, I don't think he gets anything done. I think nobody else gets anything done either. I mean, on tour it's uh.. well, during the first days you can kind of have your energy and kind of do something reasonable but then pretty soon when you're just sitting in the bus days in and days out the only energy you have is on stage and outside of that we turn into this fucking amoebas or something and you just sit there and pick your nose and play PlayStation or something. At least for me it's really hard to get anything creative done on the road. So with this album, it was like we did the tour and then in the beginning of December last year, and then the rest of us had two months off while Tony was finishing up, he had some songs left already that he had written before. He wrote songs for a couple of months and then we got together and started rehearsing. That's pretty much how it works.
Read the entire interview from Angry Metal Guy.