Interview by Woody
Hi Ken, It’s been a long time since Alien’s previous album ‘Dark Eyes’ but I’m loving ‘Eternity’ and it was definitely worth the wait! It does sound more like early Alien in its approach and style than your previous album; was this the intention when you were song writing for this album?
“Thanks, Woody. Well, this is the original line-up back together, so no wonder that’s what it sounds like! But, yes, it was our intention to pick up where we left off, as far as type of songs and style of music. That, with the good production of today. It’s been 26 years since we made that album (s/t, 1988), but we’ve gotten enough encouragement, from fans of the original line-up, to be sure it was the right thing to do and stay true to what we did best back then.”
How long have you been working on ‘Eternity’ and has the album turned out as you hoped and originally envisioned?
“We wrote mainly during last spring, finally having decided to make the
new album. Then it was writing and arranging together during a couple of
production rehearsals, up until August 1st, when we started
recordings. Sessions were spread out a bit over the rest of the year, and final
mixes were done early this year. Sure, I’m happy with it... both song wise and production
Can you talk to us about a few of the songs on the album and any stories or meanings behind the songs that fans would like to hear?
“Well, the songs might
have different meanings to us members; it depends who you ask. Most songs were
initially written by keyboard player Jimmy Wandroph, the chord progressions
that is….. Then all members are responsible for their parts, Jim trying out his
vocal melodies, etc, before we arranged and completed the songs together. Jim
and I wrote the lyrics, but we also re-connected with our co-writers from the 1st
album - Pam Barlow and Janet Morrison Minto - who wrote lyrics based on the
feel Jim was aiming for with the vocals. That collaboration turned out great,
again I have to say!”
You have played the
Firefest festival twice in recent years as you say; what was that experience
Are there any plans for any upcoming live shows? Especially here in the UK on the back of Firefest’s success?
“Absolutely; we want to bring these new songs to the stage right now! We’ll do some outdoor shows in Sweden this summer; the ‘Sabaton Open Air’ for instance, and some club gigs as well. We’ll definitely look for ways to come to the UK. We’re invited to participate in the ‘Baltic Song Contest’ in July, and that’s filmed for a massive broadcast in the Baltic countries, so hopefully you can get to see that somehow?”
Most AOR fans agree that your debut album is one of the all-time greats. How does it feel to know one of your albums is so well loved and enjoyed?
“Feels great, of
course. It’s always stayed close to our hearts and meant a lot for our
individual continuing careers. We were reminded last year that people still
care for it, when EMI released the ‘25th Anniversary Edition’ double
album; that sold out! Plus there was another re-issue of the Scandinavian
Edition (licensed by a Greek label) prior to that... and that sold out as well.
I don’t think there has been a single review of “Eternity” that does not refer
to the 1988 debut, so it shows you how important it was.”
Alien seem more active lately and rejuvenated certainly; does this mean we should expect further albums in the not too distant future or was this intended as a farewell piece for your loyal fans?
“Neither, really. I mean, we have this new album out now, and we’re much more responsible and involved in all parts of this product than how it used to be due to the whole music business situation, but you can never tell. The great response and reviews we’re getting though, make it so much easier and fun to invest all the effort and means that it takes though, I can assure you.”
Thanks for your time Ken, is there anything else you would like to add or say to Midlands Rocks readers?