March 15, 2017 By now all of you readers should know that Swedish band Eclipse has a new album release set for March 24th, Monumentum, via Frontiers Music srl. I sat down and talked with the musical genius Erik Mårtensson last week to talk specifically about the new album and the upcoming tour. Guys, gals, anyone reading this who loves rock music, you really need to discover Eclipse if you haven’t yet. I am going to keep saying it until you do! But for now, enjoy some videos off the new album and read all about the process that went into making it.
Interview with Erik Mårtensson:
YesterdazeNews: Are you really proud of the new album? I’ve listened to it and it’s fantastic.
Erik Mårtensson: Thank you so much. When you do an album you always start with a tremendous amount of work. When I know I am going to start writing from the first thought to the final master there are a lot of decisions and a lot of hard work. You have a lot of doubt all the time and when you release the album it’s a lot of nervousness. I always have that feeling, “ok now I ruined everything and my career is over.”
No, no, it’s really good! You talk about the writing process, I know that you and Magnus Henriksson do most of the writing. Did Magnus Ulfstedt or Philip Crusner have any involvement in writing the songs on this album?
No, they are not involved in the writing. I am the main writer and Henriksson is of course with me, but it’s from album to album that depends how much he is involved in the writing. I always write a couple of songs by myself and I also write together with Magnus H. as well.
Ah, great. So that leads me into my next question. I know you read my review of Monumentum and I stated that I thought this album could be called the ultimate break up album from the lyrics in many of the songs. So do your lyrics come from your personal experiences or how do you come up with them?
That’s the advantage of not being a native English speaker. When I am writing the song I always sing nonsense lyrics. When I was a kid I didn’t know English and I would hum along and try to sing. It sounded like English but I had no idea and didn’t understand a word. Now I can kind of do the same thing with just nonsense words and as the song comes together the nonsense words become viable and turn into what the song is about. If that makes sense.
Haha yea, as I was listening to the first half of the album I was like, “well if this is personal, someone really blew it!” and then you have the other half that are regular rock songs, just a good time, nothing super emotional or deep in the lyrics, but just good rock out songs.
Of course. The lyrics, I have to make sense out of the nonsense and make a structure of what the song should be about. But, I think it’s really important that it’s viable, that the music and lyrics go together really well. For me, that is really important.
How long did it take you to write the new album?
The first song was written the last week of August. Then the entire album was delivered at the end of November.
How long did it take to record the album?
We did the writing, recording and mixing in 3 months.
That’s amazing. I mean, I know there are a lot of artists out there writing and trying to find their break and here is Eclipse and in just a few short months you deliver this entire fantastic album on top of 2 other amazing albums.
I almost worked myself to death doing those things (laughter). I spent ridiculous amounts of time, and during that we had 3 weeks we were out on tour. We did the Japan gig, then off to the Chicago gig in America and the short tour for almost a week in Spain. So we lost 3 weeks out of those 3 months.
Ha yea, I remember when you guys were out at Rock N Skull in Chicago you were saying you needed to get back to Sweden as soon as possible because you were in the middle of recording the album.
(Laughter) Yea…. that week was really bad timing. I was in a panic to complete the album. But, we made it. I mixed the album in 3 days and that’s almost unheard of. The whole album is kind of shoot from the hip, it’s a cowboy album (laughter) (YDN comment: he’s not being serious gang, it’s most definitely rock!).
It’s funny because I hadn’t really listened to Eclipse’s earlier stuff, the pre Bleed and Scream album kind of early. I have done that now and just hearing how your sound has evolved from the earlier stuff to now and how even just the vocals has completely transformed (deeper, raspier, more intense and in your face kind of vocals) where the older albums, pre Bleed and Scream, were like, ok these guys sound alright I might give them a listen. Then to the last two albums and now Monumentum and it’s no longer I might listen to them, but hell yea I have to listen to them. You guys just keep evolving and your sound is really locked in now and I think a lot of people are asking the same thing I was, how can Eclipse put out a 3rd album in a row that was as good or even better than the last 2 and also take it to the next level. But Monumentum does just that.
We always say that, “we are never going to beat the previous album.” When we did Bleed and Scream we said it was going to be hard to top it, but then we did. Then we did Armageddonize and thought maybe it was not as good as Bleed and Scream, but it was and we keep on doing it. I think the key is to stick to our sound of course, when we play together we have a certain sound. We also bring in new influences all the time. The listener may not pick up on that. Not all hard rock influences either, we get influences from all kinds of music. For us that makes it fresh and gives us the energy to do something new and exciting. Also, we try not to have too many influences either, we don’t want to sound like anyone else.
I get that. You don’t want your new album to come out and have fans say it sounds like AC/DC or hey they are from Sweden and they sound the band Europe.
Right, but if you listen to the album “Are You Ready to Rock”, you will notice some songs sound like Rainbow, some sound like Europe and then… they sound like Whitesnake. You can hear and it’s very obvious where the influences came from. But if you listen to Monumentum you can still hear some influences of course, but it’s harder to hear the obvious relationships.
Yea I think you are at the point where people will not be saying that Eclipse sounds like anyone else anymore, but that you sound like Eclipse and that it’s your sound. I think there are little elements from the past few albums that can be heard in the new album that fans will recognize as Eclipse’s own influence.
I think that’s the biggest compliment that someone can give is, you sound like Eclipse. I mean AC/DC sounds like AC/DC and there’s not doubt about it.
I am so pro Eclipse here in the USA, I think once people really get the chance to hear your name and then hear your music you guys are going to become a household name. Your sound is just so unique and fresh. Where other bands are putting out the same sounding albums or sounding like everyone else out there, Eclipse sounds like Eclipse. The media is picking up on you guys and we are getting more and more talk going on here about you. Hopefully we will see you guys back over here really soon.
It’s so hard to tour in North America. It’s so big and just where to start is huge to just jump in and tour. But America, if you look at Spotify, our biggest growing market is North America. The key for us getting to America will probably be opening for an American bands tour. If we did our own club tour now, we’d probably have 10 people at our shows.
Question from a fan, who is your biggest music influence?
AC/DC, when I heard “Flick of the Switch” the first time is the first time I actually “heard” the guitar. They are who made me pick up the guitar. Before that point I could tell which instrument was what. I was like 10 years old.
Eclipse starts touring at the end of March. Tell me about the plans.
Yes, we start with a couple of shows in Sweden, then we head to the UK. We also have the Frontier Music Festival in Italy. We will be opening for Aerosmith in Madrid and then have some other festivals coming up. Then there will be a second leg of the European tour after summer.
What can fans expect to hear you perform on the new tour?
It’s going to be a lot of the new songs. I think fans still consider us a pretty new band and we don’t want to fall into playing the same stuff. We are excited to play the new stuff. We are going to do some special songs from the albums too, not just the famous songs.
Well Erik, that is all I have. Really looking forward to the March 24th release date for Monumentum. I can’t wait for the fans to get their hands on this album. We are going to keep talking about Eclipse, the fans need to know you guys! And if my fellow American fans don’t pick this album up….. I will be so disappointed because it is such a great album.
I am so thankful for your support and spreading the word. That is absolutely what we need. Nice talking to you.
Erik Mårtensson – lead vocals, guitars
Magnus Henriksson – guitars
Philip Crusner – drums
Magnus Ulfstedt – bass
2. Never Look Back
3. Killing Me
4. The Downfall of Eden
7. Born To Lead
8. For Better or for Worse
9. No Way Back
10. Night Comes Crawling
11. Black Rain
Pre-orders of “Momentum” and/or streams of the first singles: