About Me

Interview with Paralydium

If you like Progressive Metal, than this album and band is for you. Why is that? Because we might be standing before the successors of Dream Theater. Metal Imperium had the pleasure to chat with two of the band members (Georg Härnsten Egg – Drums and John Berg – Guitars) about “Worlds Beyond”, released on the 12th June (Frontiers Music Srl), to know how they feel about being compared with one of the most important bands, the music video, lyrics, personal music taste and more. A new era for the band and genre has just started and gladly it has happened!

M.I. - Hi there, guys. Thanks for having me. How are you all doing and your families?

John & Georg: Thanks for having us onboard! We’re doing great, the summer is still here so nothing to complain about! (for now)

M.I. - Your first name was “The Paralydium Project”. Why the change?

J: At the very beginning it was only a project but after our successful release of the EP, we decided to go the whole nine yards, making this a band. Changing the name to “Paralydium” marked our new era so to say (and made it a little easier for people to pronounce as well )

M.I. - This project was in John’s head for quite a while. What kind of project were you idealizing? Was it difficult to make it come true?

J: To be honest, I had no idea how it would turn out from the start. I knew of course that the music would be well played since the guys in the band are killer musicians and long time friends of mine, but I think that’s one of our strengths as a band, we started this because the love of the music and for the fun of it and I think that reflects in our music as well.

M.I. - Your debut album “Worlds Beyond” was released on the 12th June, via Frontiers Music Srl and is very exciting and innovative. How was it working with them? Did they make any pressure?

J: Our relationship with Frontiers has been great, they have really contributed, pushing us out there to another level than before. They have been supportive and forthcoming in every way possible, encouraging us and letting us do our thing and that’s just how a label should work.

M.I. - We can hear hard riffs, mixed with powerful grooves, that make us feel like we are on another dimension. What ideas did you have for the lyrics? What elements were you searching for in order to make this perfect mixture?

J: Georg and I write all the lyrics together and we’re huge fans of sci-fi and fantasy so themes and stories like that come easily to our minds and it adds a great element in progressive music in my opinion. We always love to tell a story, when the music was done it was just like reading a book from page to page so making the story coherent as a journey felt just right.

M.I. - This album has a story, which follows the story of a man on his quest to find higher powers. However, what he discovers during his journey is not exactly what he had expected and, as such, he needs to rethink the purpose of his life. Who is this man and what is he seeking? Is this based on a true story? Do tell us more, please.

Georg: It's really the classic story of someone searching for power, once he has it, he realizes that it was not all that important. Like a musician who searches for fame and when he achieves it, he is still not happy, he has to realize what is truly important in his life in order to find that happiness. It's a spiritual story really, I think it's very much based on real life stories and experiences most of us have had. The man is no one in particular, he could be anybody.

M.I. - How many songs did you write and was it difficult to choose between them? Which ones were the most challenging for you?

J: I think I wrote around ten or eleven tracks for this album but we only ended up with nine tracks (ten with the Japan bonus track). The hardest part was to make everything connected in a nice way so the listener could listen from the first to the last track and feel that it just felt like one song.

M.I. - Who was the responsible for the sound, mixing and mastering?

J: I did most of the pre-production and some mixing on this album, all the guitars, synths, bass and vocals were recorded in my studio. The drums were recorded at BoomBridge Studios in Kopparberg, Sweden with Mats Ericsson (He also mixed and mastered our debut EP) who’s very responsible for making this record sound so epic and huge. He did most of the mixing and mastering on this record.

M.I. - Gustavo Sazes is the responsible for the album cover, and has worked with Dynazty, Amaranthe and many more. Was it difficult to create this one? What ideas did he have and does it have a symbolism?

J: Gustavo is the man!
He is truly a genius in what he does, I remember explaining to him the story of the album and some symbolisms that I would like to have for example, the roman figures for linking the number of the tracks and then the compass as a guidance between the worlds. It took a couple of weeks then BAM! First draft and it was pretty much done, amazing!

M.I. - “Finding The Paragon” is the first single which was released on the 17th March and it’s the beginning of the quest of the hero. How hard was it to film this video and create this universe?

J: Richard Frantzén is the man behind the curtains, the director of the video and also the creator of the universe. We have known each other for years and he is also a huge fan of progressive metal so he understood my visions and made them come true. We shot the video in a studio for a day and it went flawless really, besides some pain in the neck for all the headbanging. It’s not my area of expertise but I know that the world we created was in a program called “Unreal Engine” and then the cameras we used were connected somehow so we could watch ourselves in real-time standing in the desert headbanging, it was totally awesome.

M.I. - "Crystal Of Infinity" was released on the 19th May. Can it be a song of hope, due to the times we’re living in?

G: It sure can! In the story of the album, it is a song of hope, since the main character has just met a guide and has been informed that there is a crystal of infinite powers to be found, which could be the answer to all his questions. But, of course, it can be used as a song of hope of all kinds, it has that uplifting feeling to it.

M.I. - Will there be another video or single? Can you give a hint, please?

G: Yes! We are planning to make at least one more video. The wise choice seems to be “Synergy”, since everybody seems to love that song. I also feel that it is one of the most progressive songs, which would be a good contrast to “Crystal” which is a more straight forward song. Can't promise anything but that's what we have been talking about at least. The future will tell!

M.I. - “Synergy” is pure perfection on the progressive universe. Mikael’s voice is powerful and the guitar and bass from John and Jonathan kick ass. Not to mention that Georg and Mikael on drums and keyboards respectively are pure joy for the ears. How did you get the idea for this music, in terms of riffs, beats and keys?

J: Thank you, glad to hear that!
Being a huge fan of orchestral and film music, I always try to incorporate that vibe in the heaviness of our music. I really like to be melodic in my writing just to mediate that landscape feel where you just drift away to another dimension and I think “Synergy” has lots of those elements, especially the middle part where the dynamics are toned down and Mike does a bit of chanting and I play the nylon guitar solo. That’s just the melodic definition combined with all the heaviness Paralydium is all about.

M.I. - This album might be the best Progressive Metal of this year and fans of the genre have been waiting so long for an album like this. Do you feel the pressure of being compared with a band, like Dream Theater, with this album?

G: Thank you very much!
If someone compares us to Dream Theater, it's a great compliment. We felt a little pressure at first I think since it has been so long since the EP and people were expecting a lot from us. But now that it's out and the reception has been so good we don't feel any more pressure. We can only do what we do anyway. We make music that we would like to listen to, and hope that more people feel the same!

M.I. - What bands have you been listening to on these crazy times?

G: I have been discovering lots of music! Being home all day has been really great for that,watching concerts on Youtube etc. Phil Collins, Genesis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, the 1975, Winger, Herbie Hancock... Just a crazy mixture of pop, jazz, metal, reggae, rock, funk, everything! New and old. I feel a new love for music now that I haven't been playing so much. It was really a much-needed break for my inspiration, I think.

M.I. - Thanks so much for answering these questions. What word of advice would you like to share with our readers, your fans and Metal lovers out there?

J & G: Thank you for the interview!
To our fans: Massive thanks for your support and the great reception of our music. Please keep sharing our music and videos, buying our merchandise and spreading the word about the band! It is not a mainstream genre but progressive metal has very dedicated fans, together we can make things happen. Hope to see you all from the stage someday soon!

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Raquel Miranda