ViriAOR: Hi, guys, It’s great to see you.
It´s snowing in Madrid, It’s like to be in Sweden…
Magnus: Yeah, I was shocked, I’ve never seen snowing in Madrid. We were expecting sunshine and warm weathers, t-shirts..I’ve never seen that.
ViriAOR: Thanks for the invitation, we hope this is a great opportunity to make ViriAor, our blog, and Eclipse, even more important and greater than they were before. It´s a great honor for us to have you here.
Magnus: It´s a great honor for me as well, to talk to you, guys
ViriAOR: First of all, we would like to talk about Monumentum, your last album. We listened to it, several times of course, and we have to say that It’s a great hard rock album. It’s full of easy listening choruses, earworms and heavy guitar riffs. We love It!!!
Magnus: Thank you
ViriAOR: We feel that Monumentum sound is happier than Armageddonize.
Magnus: Yeah, I can agree on that. There is a lot of optimism, positive melodies, very melodic. And I hear all the people saying that they have good sensations after listening the album.
When we wrote the songs we had good energy. They made us happy so is nice to hear that other people get that feeling as well
ViriAOR: Monumentum has a lot of choruses that invite to sing. How did you feel while you were writing the songs? Do you think of the audience when you are writing a song?
Magnus: Yeah, we wanted to be easy to sing and very catchy because we like that kind of music. Of course we think in our audience as well, and ourselves,
ViriAOR: In several songs, you resumed the use of keyboards. Even in Black Rain, the keys sound like metal or gothic. What’s your opinion about this? Do you agree with us?
Magnus: Absolutely. It does. Yeah, it sounds heavy metal. I would say it sounds a little bit like black Sabbath, Ronnie J Dio era, Heaven and Hell. It´s the heaviest song of the album. It will be the favourite for many people. It´s one of my favourites, as well. I really enjoy that song
ViriAOR: Our favourite songs are Born To Lead and No Way Back. Born To Lead has some wonderful guitars.
Magnus: Born to Lead guitars sounds like whitesnake
ViriAOR: Do you like whitesnake?
Magnus: I love it, we both do
ViriAOR: Which guitarist of WhiteSnake do you like more?
Magnus: John Sykes
ViriAOR Wow, He is my favourite, too. He is going to make a new album
Magnus: Yeah, I heard it in the news, I´m lookin for that.
Just in that moment Erik came in…
ViriAOR: Are you tired?
Erik: Really tired. It´s been a long week, different cities, talking to people and after interviews visiting city and bars..
ViriAOR: In Madrid you have a lot of bars to visit, be careful..And this night you are going to play
Erik: Yeah, yesterday we were having a beer and we said, oh, tomorrow we will be in Madrid, and we should do a gig, a free gig just for fun. we called to Javier and forty minutes later we had a rock bar to play. It’s great, just do it.
ViriAOR: What´s your favourite songs of the album?
Erik: I like the ballad a lot. I always considered myself a bad writer. People said I do great ballads but I think that are usually boring. This one sounds as a classic power ballad without the chestnuts. It sounds fresh and modern
ViriAOR: It´s really beautiful, but I couldn´t find what you want to say?
Erik: It’s about delivering a message from someone very closer that It´s going to die. It´s not about love. I did not wanted to be so specific with the lyrics, I don´t want to say something like “…your mother has died…”
ViriAOR: Maybe, some people still think Eclipse is a melodic band, but in your last albums we have seen a great evolution toward classic hard rock. Taking into account Bleed And Scream, Armageddonize and Monumentum, can we say that Eclipse is a hard rock band?
Erik: I don’t know why people label us as AOR. WOA is AOR. The foundation of Eclipse is Heavy Metal, it’s hard rock, It´s Whitesnake, is WASP … Lot of songs have an Megadeth influence, Vertigo has an opening like Megadeth. We like the melodic side as well.
Magnus: We like to mix metal riffs with melodic vocals, and that makes the Eclipse sound.
Erik: When people say, Eclipse sounds like Journey, we say, No, We don’t sound like Journey. No bad thing about Journey, it’s a fantastic band, Eclipse is different. But, I don’t care what label of people like us.
ViriAOR: My wife loves the album, It sounds in the car every day, every hour…
Erik: That´s cool when the wife likes the album, you don’t have to fight. When I put Slayer in the car, I listen, please, turn this off… “Why? It´s Great! No…”
ViriAOR: What about Frontiers Records? Do they let you work totally free?
Érik: Yes a hundred percent. Totally freedom. They don´t touch the bands, and that’s fine.
Magnus: We don’t have any pressure
ViriAOR: Where did you produce the album?
Erik: In my Studio in Stockholm. There’s a brand new studio in my house.
ViriAOR: After talking about Monumentum, we would like to ask you about your writing music process:
Does your inspiration comes from listening to other bands? You say: “wow, this is really good, I have to do something like that,” or do you have your own idea about the things you have to do?
Erik: Sometimes you can borrow parts of other bands. Specially, in the beginning of the career everything is stolen. When you start doing music, you steal everything, you used things of Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Rainbow, but now, in every new album we do, we steal less and less. If you listen the album Ready To Rock, you see Rainbow, there´s a lot of Whitesnake, Talisman, and I think this new album sounds so much Eclipse of course with our classic rock reference. When people say this band sounds that Eclipse, is the biggest compliment.
ViriAOR: Sometimes your music seems to be melancholic or apocalyptic. The name of the band has something to do with that?
Magnus: No, our first record label showed us a list of names, like Contagious, Rabia… We thought Eclipse al least was a not bad name.
Erik: There´s long time going and there’s no other band called Eclipse, and It´s done, but now, if you google Eclipse you will find everything about Eclipse. If you google Armageddonize you will find our album in first positions. Monumentum it´s a latin word you probably found our record, but if you google Eclipse you get everything, the movie, Bonnie Tyler…
Yeah, It’s a terrible name but it’s too late. We tried to change name even when we restarted the band, with Ready To Rock, but we thought well some people know us.
ViriAOR: What´s the first thing you tackle when writing a song? Guitar riffs, melody, lyrics?
Erik: Usually guitar riffs, never lyrics first. We start with a electric guitar and when we find the melodies, we change to acoustic guitar to find the right melodies. If you can play a song in acoustic guitar and it sounds great, then you have a good song. In Monumentum we can probably play every song, more or less, in acoustic. This could be hard to Slayer.
ViriAOR: Which band members are part of the writing process?
Erik: Both. When the drummer start writing songs, the band is over. (Laughs)
VIRIAOR: Ohhh, I´m a drummer!!!
Magnus: It´s an old joke (Laughs)
ViriAOR: We would like to talk a little about the members of the band
Eclipse have a new drummer, Philip Crusner. From our point of view, it´s a difficult job to be the substitute of Robban.
Magnus: It was really hard to find replacement to Robban. The bass player remembered seen Philip in a show, years ago, and said he was very cool and a great showman. We look up in Youtube, we had an audition with him playing Eclipse Songs and we said, ok we have a drummer.
Erik: Phillip is a great drummer, a great showman, a great and funny, a team player, a perfect guy for the band. Robban is an excellent drummer, Phillip is a really good showman, and now he is one of the team.
ViriAOR: Magnus (Ulfstedt) is a drummer too, In fact, he was the drummer in the two first records of the band and he is the current drummer in Grand Design. Did you consider him to play drums?
Erik/Magnus: Yeah, we thought in him like a Plan B, is much easier to find a bass player. We talked to him, but he didn’t want do that. He is a very big drummer.
ViriAOR: We saw him, and you, Erik, playing with Ammunition.
Erik: Yeah. Yeah, that was in panic. Robban left the band, and we called John Macaluso to play in the tour, we fired him first night, he was drunk, nasty, he didn´t know the songs. We called Magnus in panic, and he learned the songs while he was flying to Spain. His first gig was in Barcelona.
ViriAOR: After the return of Magnus Ulfstedt, can we say this is the definitive line up of the band?
Erik: Yeah, you never know but…
Magnus: You never want to change the line up, we grown together over the years, and it´s like a family, so it’s hard accept a new person in the band.
ViriAOR: Anyway, the couple Magnus and Erik seems eternal.
Erik: Yeah we like to drink beer together
ViriAOR: So is Eclipse here to stay:
Erik/Magnus: Yeah of course.
Erik: Eclipse is my band, I can´t be the singer in a new band and make a new band.
ViriAOR. We really need youth bands to stay because all the bands are going older…
Erik: ...And a lot of new bands they start and they disappear. The hardest it’s to make a band work.
And one thing, many successful bands stay for the money, and the people stay because is a good business. Bon Jovi is a great band, of course, but they stay for the money.
When Eclipse started, you had to play a lot live, you have a family, outstanding wife, long way from home… So many things that some people are not willing to sacrifice everything for that.
That reason is why our keyboards don´t play alive. He’s always travelling too much and he doesn’t want to be in tour.
ViriAOR: You are a great guitarist, without a doubt, but do you feel better playing guitar riffs or playing solos? Do you prefer to play a main role or a secondary one?
Magnus: I like both, equally. Only think I liked to play like Malcolm Young Riffs, for a lot of may years, but when I was 18 years old, I said I have to learn that solo. And now I like both.
Erik: I don’t think you could be in a band just rythm guitar any more, although in several song, specially the number 12 you explode.
ViriAOR: Always with your cap. is that your good luck charm?
Magnus: Yes it is. haha
Erik: If you see the Never Look Back video, he didn’t wear a hat and everyone saying: wow. It´s so strange see Magnus without a hat.
ViriAOR: What are your favourite guitarists?
Magnus: John Sykes, Blackmoore, Malcolm Young, Angus Young, Malmsteen, John Norum is one of my favourites, and Michael Schenker
ViriAOR: What´s your equipment to play live?
Magnus: Marshal Amp and Kramer guitar
ViriAOR: Erik You have an intense job, you take part in a lot of projects. How important is Eclipse compared to the rest of your projects?
Erik: The most important. Eclipse is the reason I’m doing music. It´s my own music, it’s my own band. Of course, Eclipse is the main reason. I can do the music I love, I can do exactly what I want, without compromise. When I work with others, I compromise because I have to work with the label one, the singer one
ViriAOR: When you work with other people, Ammunition, Jimi Jamison, Ronnie Atkins, your production, the finally sound is like their band’s sound, you play with Jamison and the sound is like Survivor, Nordic Union sounds like Pretty Maids…
Erik: Fundamentally it´s because Jamison sang with Survivor and Atkins singing with Pretty Maids.
ViriAOR: That’s true, but this isn’t the only reason…
Erik: Yeah, maybe. I have to taken account what they want, and what I want to hear with him, and what want the fans, and I am a fan and I have a chance to record like the people wants, a classic rock and very melodic. I can´t make a metal record with Jimi, it will not feat and the fans will be confuse.
This is the reason why the WET project was so successful, Jeff is constantly fighting against what the fans want for him. He is doing all the music that the fans don’t want to hear, and that’s why WET was so successful, because finally they are hearing singing the music reason what they love him singing.
SOTO, the band, have a great concert, the sound is really good, but when you look at the crowd when they do WET or Talisman, the people are WOW, finally. It’s hard to make a change, but I understand him and I understand the fans.
ViriAOR: And how do you do that? See, man, my day is just 24 fucking hours!
Erik: I got a family, I got to kids, eight years old and ten years old, a family…I work very fast. The latest Eclipse album wax mixed in three days.
ViriAOR: We know about some concert dates, but when is the Monumentum Tour coming? Europe? America?
Magnus: First gig is in one week, Stockholm, Gothenburg.
Erik: We’re gonna do Oslo, Nottingham, and after, five, six dates in UK, and Berlin. In Spain, with Aerosmith, Rock Fest, Leyendas.
ViriAOR: Are you planning a fall-winter tour? Will that tour bring you back to Spain?
Erik/Magnus: Yeah, absolutely. It will happen
ViriAOR: In our opinion, we miss a rhythm guitar in your shows. Don’t you think so?
Erik: Because I think that the live show will be better with the front band. I can focus much more and I engagement better the crowd. No comparison with David Coverdale, but You think in David Coverdale still in the middle with a guitar, It isn´t whitesnake.
ViriAOR: And another person playing the rhythm guitar?
Erik: No, we don’t need it. It´s just loud, too much noise. In records you can add keyboards, guitars, backing vocals, but live…
VIRIAOR: In studio you add several guitars?
Erik: Two guitars, only two. In the speaker, left one Magnus guitars and right one, my guitars. That´s easy. Live is live, and record is record.
ViriAOR:We think that Erik has become a great singer. I still remember the first time we saw you in Madrid, and I have to say your evolution is fantastic; in fact, you reach both high and low notes so easily… What can you tell us about this?
Erik: I had never be a singer, I was a guitarist, and I never try to be a singer, but now I am a singer
ViriAOR: In all your concert setlists there aren’t any songs from your first album, Why? Do those albums not represent your current music?
Erik: 2001 Album. It’s shit. I don’t like album. It´s really bad. Don´t b
ViriAOR: What was the first concert you attended to, as an audience?
Erik: Chuck Berry, 1989.
Magnus: Europe, 1985. On The Loose Tour.
Closing we have to thank you for this interview. We wish you very good luck and hope to see you soon.
Ape Navarro and Óscar Ricoy