RICHARD ANDERSSON is a very talented keyboardplayer/songwriter from Sweden, who played in bands like MAJESTIC, SPACE ODYSSEY and TIME REQUIEM. With the last mentioned band he released 2 new records, a studio and a live release, both a must for the fans of Neo-Classical Melodic Metal. Therefore it was to do an interview with Richard...

First of all, congratulations for the release of 2 great new TIME REQUIEM CDs!

Why are you gonna release both the live and studio CD so quickly in a short period?
Well! Basically the studio record was recorded long before the release. The Live record was not supposed to be reality until I first heard the material. So! What the heck! Why not make a live cd out of it. And so I did.

Please tell us all about the new TIME REQUIEM CD...
This time I didn’t knew if I wanted to go in a more extreme way with the music, or keep walking the melodic path of the first record. I think the end result is a mixture of both styles. It’s less neo classic and more progressive in the way of the old progressive acts when it comes to chord structures and keys.

The style is neo-classical melodic metal, so i guess you are quite popular in Japan (therefore the live CD)?
Kind of! I do not sell billions of cds but my music is quite familiar to some people.

I must say that the live CD is indeed quite a masterpiece, close to perfection, which musicians influenced you?
Thanks a lot!!! My main influences are the masters from the old days such as: J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart etc. When I grew up I used to listen to Rainbow, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Malmsteen.

I would like to go back in time, because with the band MAJESTIC you released 2 fantastic records, why did the band split up?
Well, I thought my European label did a minor promotional job on "Trinity Overture". They didn’t go for it. They just put it out and hoped it would sell with no effort, no real promotional push. It was sort of the same thing with our management and production company; they also did very little for Majestic. The whole thing got stale. We didn’t reach the next level. I wanted to move on with more dedicated people, but was stuck in all those contracts. So I decided to put Majestic on ice and locked myself away and started to write on something I’ve had in mind for a while. A bigger, more progressive and more Symphony X and Dream Theatre sort of album. It’s a sort of continuation of Majestic, even though it’s a brand new thing. That’s important to understand. I’m extremely happy with the result, as I’ve been able to decide every step on the way when it comes to use of studios and all that. Maybe it sounds like I’m a dictator. It’s one man’s vision and it’s worked out very well.

You recently also released a fantastic record under the moniker RICHARD ANDERSSON'S SPACE ODYSSEY, can you tell us more about that project?
I have known Magnus for many years and we go way back in times as musicians. We started to play together at the age of 13 and kept on for like seven or eight years. When I started with Majestic Magnus and me went separated ways. I started to develop my own style and Magnus went in to other things. Then we bumped into each other last summer at a caf. Ive always thought the metal world should be able to hear Magnus, this massive talent of a guitar player. Just listen to "A Perfect Day" on the album. Very few people can play that sort of sad vibrato with perfect timing. Magnus can do it with ease and just as good as Yngwie Malmsteen. Anyway, Magnus and me decided to jam in my studio. Soon it was clear we had the foundation for something great. "Lets do a record", we said. A different record compared to my other band, Time Requiem, as Space Odyssey is more progressive. Id say the style we have is good old Rainbow mixed with Tony Martin period Black Sabbath and some early Malmsteen. Cool music that Id personally would buy. Magnus and me are both totally autodidact and have learned how to play just by listen to the music. Nowadays it’s kind of rare musicians doing that

Can we expect more releases of Space Odyssey in the future?
Yes! I am working on the 2nd one right now. I have completed 4 very strong songs. The record will be released at the end of this year.

And any more bands/projects you are involved with?
I do only have two bands. Space Odyssey and Time Requiem. I have done a lot of guest appearances lately. I did one key solo on upcoming Karmakanic CD. I did also played a solo on Finnish band called Celesty. Lately I received the copy of Danish band Evil Masquerade were I played a speed solo. My future activities include a couple of guest appearances. At the end of this year I will do a collection CD re-recording music from all my bands. There will be loads of interesting and world known musicians involved.

How does the future look like for TIME REQUIEM? Touring plans? More CDs?
Definitely more music. I can’t stop what I love most. Compose!!! Since I haven’t received any sales or other feedback according “The inner circle of reality” CD, I do not know if we are going to hit the road yet!

Are there any stories behind the songs on your new CD?
I can give you a short explanation of some of the songs:

Its actually the last track I wrote for the album. I usually write the songs in the running order of the album, but I thought the next song, "In The Circle Of Reality", which I composed first of all songs, became to massive to open a record with. I wanted a start with a lot of energy, like tons of explosions. The title track is one of my favorite songs. It takes off where I left on the last Time Requiem album, only with a higher tempo and more extreme. It's a long one with a super massive instrumental part in the middle which is very inspired by Dream Theatre and Symphony X.

"Dreams Of Tomorrow"?
Its a very personal lyric Ive had for a long time. Its about me and how I look at myself and my musical work: "I keep on with dreams of tomorrow, feel like Im wasting all my time", as the words go. What I mean is that I keep heading for my musical dreams but they are hard to reach. You asked me if Im making too many albums. Myself, I feel like Im not doing enough. Im spending a lot of time not doing music, which I dont like. There isnt enough to do. My mood swings are extreme, its up and then down all of a sudden. A lot more down than up, if the truth shall be said. Super bad periods of anxiety and depression... I sound like a psycho now (laughter), but thats how we artist are. Were a kind of our own. When I create, there are times when I feel like Im on top of the world for three minutes because I think Ive written the best song ever, then suddenly its all down again. I dont feel pleased until I have finished the album and it lives up to the vision I had when I started it. My dreams of
tomorrow is to always be able to do this, and not having to do a day time job. Im very self-critical. Im never really happy with what Im doing. I always want to do even better.

"Attar Of Roses"
That song is super neo classical. Its a flashback almost back to the fast Majestic songs. A bit Yngwie inspired. The Attar Of Roses is what you call the very finest roses, the type you make the most exclusive and expensive perfume from. It takes ten thousand of these roses to make one drop of perfume, its five billion times more expensive than gold and dimonds. In the old days there where people working hard to find those types of flowers. The lyrics are a bit ironic about people being seduced by money that doesnt really exist, abstact things like the stock market and all that.

"Definition Of Insanity".
The crazy type of intro is a bit Dream Theatre sounding. I wrote it after the actual song was finished. Cool fusion drum playing from Zoltan. Its a cool hard rock song . You know I love the old rock stuff like Rainbow, Purple, Sabbath, Whitesnake and Yngwies 80s albums.

“Quest Of A Million Souls"
The reason Ive been a bit anti-ballad is because its always easier to make a slow song. You can always do a Stratovarius type of ballad with a few chords, a minimum of bass drum and then some vocals on top of it. I wanted to make a really beautiful ballad, not that traditional type. This one is orchestrated and has a big solo part in the middle which Im really proud of. Its a nice tune, I think a lot of people will be touch by it.

"Hidden Memories"
I like the piano intro that gets a progressive touch from the bass guitar and the drums. One of the more rocky songs. All in all this album is more progressive and the next Time Requiem album might be my equivalent to Dream Theaters "Images And Words" CD.

"Bach Prelude"
I had this idea to let Magnus Nord play this Prelude on guitar, to make it different. But Magnus made me disappionted as he was to lazy to learn this piece properly. So instead I gave it to Jonas to play it on his bass, as I thought that might almost sound like a cello. It worked out great. A good introduction for Jonas to our listeners. Its a cool break from the other more intense songs. Bach is my god. Everything he has done is brilliant.

ABBAs "Voulez Vous
This song is for people who said I stole from Abba and makes them to shut up! (Laughter)!! Actually I’ve been thinking of doing an ABBA cover for many years, that or an Elvis song. This is a metal version of "Voulez Vous" with a raging jam between keyboard, bass and guitar in the fading outro.

Thanks for answering the questions, anything to add for yourself?
Thanks for your interest! Nice questions! See you on tour!

(special thanks goed out to Daniel Regan for the contact)