"Swedish Hard Rockers Eclipse are back after their critically acclaimed 2012 album Bleed & Scream. The band developed a solid fanbase and a steady following with that album which took their melodic Hard Rock roots in a more contemporary direction. Now with their new album, Armageddonize, Eclipse show once again that they are the brightest hope for Melodic Hard Rock music. Their music is not a revival, and it is not nostalgic, yet, fans of Journey, Whitesnake, Jeff Scott Soto, Europe, Def Leppard, Queen, Slash and the like will eat this up. If you love rock music with energy, great songs, and musicians who are making clear through their playing that they have the ambition to be on top of the world, then you need to do yourself a favor and check out Eclipse!"
Guitarz Forever.com > The Eclipse Interview w/ Guitarist Magnus Henriksson
Scott - Hi Magnus, thank you for agreeing to do an interview w/ my website Guitarz Forever.com.
Magnus - Hi Scott! Thanks for having me. It's an honor to talk to you.
Scott - Give our readers a short but decriptive label for your style of music.
Magnus - We're proud to just call ourselves a Hardrock band. It's plain and simple Hardrock in a new wrapping.
Scott - How did you come up with the name Eclipse?
Magnus - We didn't. I wish I had a funny story behind that but there's none. It so happened that our very first record label (not Frontiers, mind you) asked us what we called our band. We didn't have a name by then, so he had a list of names he suggested to us that he thought would suit the bands on his roster. Arabia, Eclipse, Contagious among others. We went with Eclipse and stuck with it since. We never really liked the name, or disliked it either for that matter. After a while you just accept it.
Scott - What's going on in your music world these days? Any New news we should know about?
Magnus - The biggest news right now of course is that we're awaiting the release of Eclipse's 5th album 'Armageddonize' on Feb 20th. We're in the middle of doing promotion and interviews for it as we speak. Following that is a European tour that kicks off in Stockholm, Sweden on March the 4th. We're looking forward to that very much.
Scott - Introduce the band (who's who) and where you all come from?
Magnus - Magnus Ulfstedt - bass. From Västerås. Our newest addition to the band. He was our Drummer on the 'Second to none' album. He quit the band in 2006. But now he's back as our permanent Bassist. Robban Bäck - drums. From Falun, Sweden. He joined us in 2007, replacing Magnus Ulfstedt. Also known for having been a member of Sabaton, among many other bands. Erik Mårtensson - vocals, guitar. From Sollerön, Sweden. I met him in music school in 1999. That's where we started this band. He sent a demo CD to a label and got a record deal right away. He asked me if I wanted to do solos on the album and I said yes. That's how Eclipse was born. Magnus Henriksson - guitar. From Kiruna, Sweden.
Scott - I was checking out your tune and video "Stand On Your Feet" and got hooked. What was the inspiration behind this muse?
Magnus - I really don't know. Erik and I were writing late one night and that song came about out of nowhere. It's a weird mix of pop and Hardrock that we fused together. It sounded a bit strange to us from the beginning, but we liked it. It's one of those songs that grows the more you listen to it.
Scott - Are there a lot of places to play your style of music in and around your area? If so, could you name some venues?
Magnus - We all live in Stockholm and you can find a few rock clubs that plays our kind of music. Black Carpet, Harry B James, Pub Anchor, Debaser etc. Most of these places are too small to hold bigger bands though.
Scott - What is the name of your latest album and tell us how that album came about.
Magnus - 'Armageddonize'. We started writing for that album in June. We delivered the final master to Frontiers Records at the end of Nov. We had no initial plan about how we wanted it to sound. We just wrote what we liked ourselves. I think it came out pretty good.
Scott - How did you get hooked up w/ Frontiers Records?
Magnus - It was back in 2003. Our first label had screwed us and refused to pay us one dime for the album so we went looking for a new serious label. At the time, we were playing a lot with Marcel Jacob in various cover bands and he happened to like us very much. He heard our demo so he wrote a letter to Frontiers begging them to check out our stuff. His band Talisman were signed to Frontiers back then. They liked it and signed us right away. All thanks to Marcel Jacob.
Scott - So please tell us of any new musical project that you are currently working on?
Magnus - Right now, there's nothing new going on. We're 100% focused on Eclipse now. We've just recorded a new album that we need to promote and the tour is coming soon so we couldn't possibly have time for anything else. We got our hands full with that for a while now. I'm gonna do a gig with US singer Johnny Lima though, on April 30th in San Jose CA. He's a good friend of mine and I do it as a special guest performance. I'm really looking forward to that.
Scott - How do you come up with your songs? Is it one song writer or more of a collaboration?
Magnus - Erik and I write all the music on the albums. We work very closely with that. When the music is done and 100% approved we start doing lyrics. We usually invite some guest lyricists as well. Such as Miqe Persson and Johan Becker.
Scott - How often when you start an idea for a song, does it actually get finished?
Magnus - Maybe 1 out of 5 times. It we can finish the song, it means it was a good idea from the start. If it's a bad idea we just throw it away and start working on something new rather than wasting our time with something mediocre.
Scott - I was wondering if you ever hear music in your dreams and turn them into songs?
Magnus - I've heard music in my dreams several times. But I've never been able to remember it. I forget it right away. I remember dreaming about this really good melody once. It could've made a good song. But i forgot it before I had the chance to record it.
Scott - Are you a schooled guitar player or a self-taught guitar player?
Magnus - I taught myself to play from the start. My dad helped me out with some chord progressions as well. Later on, I went to music school and learned all the theory. I'm still learning though. Always a student.
Scott - So, what type of guitars do you play and why?
Magnus - I prefer Les Paul type of guitars with humbuckers. I'm using Kramer Assaults nowadays. They're shaped like Les Pauls but they got some new cool features like 25,5 neck length, Seymour Duncan pickups, splitcoil and Floyd Rose tremolo. They're like Gibson Les Pauls with all the modern features. I'm very happy with them.
Scott - What type of amps do you use? Do you use different amps for the studio vs live shows. If so, why?
Magnus - I'm a Marshall freak. That'll always be my first choice. On the album I recorded with a Marshall JCM900 SL-X 100 W. Live it might fluctuate between JCM 800, JCM 2000, JVM, DSL, TSL. Sometimes I might even use a 5150.
Scott - Do you have any endorsement with instrument and gear companies?
Magnus - I'm lucky enough to have been working with Kramer Guitars for 3 years now. I always wanted a Les Paul with a longer neck scale. One day I got a mail from Kramer asking me if I wanted to try their stuff. I found out they had just launched their new Kramer Assault Plus series and it was bingo. Just what I had been looking for.
Check them out at: www.kramerguitars.com
Scott - How did you first get into the music business?
Magnus - I started playing guitar when I was 9 years old, but I didn't get into the business side of it until I was 21. That's when I started doing gigs and started to make some money from it. I've been a live/session guitarist since then. It's hard to make a living of it but I never gave up. I was persistent.
Scott - Who have been your main influences on your career to date?
Magnus - I was always into the old American rock'n'roll. I still am. Scotty Moore, James Burton, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry. The good old stuff. I later found Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie, Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth. The European guitar style. I'd say that my style is a mix of all these influences.
Scott - How has your guitar playing evolved over the years?
Magnus - I've always worked on improvising, phrasing and to get a good 'flow' in my playing. I don't practice technique. It comes automatically with it. I want my playing to be like when you turn on the water tap. Just let it flow.
Scott - What are you listening to these days?
Magnus - Basically the same stuff I've always been listening to. AC/DC, Elvis, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake and 50's rock'n'roll.
Scott - Do you have a dream car?
Magnus - 1968 Ford Mustang with Fastback. Same type as Steve McQueen drove in the movie BULLITT. When I become a rockstar, I'll buy me one of those.
Scott - I also don't want to forget this... Tell us about any other things you may be in involved in or any special interest besides music that is close to your heart?
Magnus - I'm a freak when it comes to downhill skiing. Been doing it since I was 7 years old. I try to ski at least once a season. I've been a lot to the alps. Badgastein, Saalbach, Engelberg. That's a passion of mine. It's become so damned expensive though. And I like to travel of course. I waste all my money on travelling. I just came home from Las Vegas a week ago. I didn't win anything though. I spent 5 $ on poker.
Scott - I would like to thank you for your time and candor with our loyal readers and keep on fighting the good fight to bring us some awesome music.
Magnus - Thanks for talking with me Scott. Check out our new album 'Armageddonize' that'll be out late Feb. Watch out for Eclipse on tour 2015.
New killer hardrock album - ARMAGEDDONIZE - Out 20th of February World Wide on Frontiers Records!
The best Hard Rock album of 2015