Congratulations with the release of 'Mirror Of Creation III – Project Ikaros', I liked the album a lot! How have the reactions been so far?
Martin LeMar: Thanks a lot! We are glad you like it! And the overall reactions are beyond our expectations. You know, when you are writing and producing an album and bring it on its way, you like it and you hope that people will like it as well. But after ten years of being away, we weren’t expecting it to be that overwhelming.
Oliver Schwickert: Since you have not heard from us for some years now, the reactions to 'Mirror Of Creation III' are sensational, not only in Europe but also in the US and more and more in Asia. Feedback from the fans and the reviews are great and we are very proud of how well the CD is accepted.
Your last album, ‘Tales From Serpentia’ was released in 2008, what happened in the ten years between that album and ‘Project Ikaros’?
Rainer Grund: After our last tour activities, I think it was in 2010, we started with the song writing for the 'Tales From Serpentia' successor. We had already written a lot of material, and then life hit us like a sledgehammer. Many bad things have happened, but we are still alive! Unfortunately for a couple of times we did not know how it could go on. So first everything was on hold. After all Martin, Chris and Tom started with some other projects. In between Oliver an me started with the songwriting again in 2015. Ultimately led to a very intense and creative musical process. We did not use any of the material written so far. From now it started from the beginning.
Oliver Schwickert: For this Rainer and I set up a small studio for the preproduction stuff and diligently started composing songs. When we had enough material together we presented it to Martin and he immediately began to work on a story and to write lyrics.
Do you feel that anything had changed in the sound of the album during this period?
Rainer Grund: Well, yes. No compromises, during the sessions. For the first time we could do whatever we wanted to. We didn’t need to report anything to anyone. Oliver and I composed the whole stuff together and we had only discussions between ourselves. No timeline, no release date, only creative work. This is for me the most important change, and of course this has built the ’sound’ for 'Mirror Of Creation III'. Really positive.
Oliver Schwickert: The way we compose hasn’t changed, it sounds like Tomorrow’s Eve. Add to that the excellent work of Markus Teske (Bazement Studios), who produced 'Mirror Of Creation III' fantastically.
I don’t think many people will be surprised to learn that this is a conceptual album, as it’s the third installment of the 'Mirror Of Creation' albums. Could you please explain what Project Ikaros is about?
Martin LeMar: It was a perfect plan for humanity, to achieve a world without hatred, war or crime. And just like Icarus, the more perfect everything is, the more difficult autumn becomes. It would try to reflect a way of reflecting our society, although since this adventure began, changed significantly feared that we depict the plague, for example, 'Bread And Circuses' rather than a dystopian environment, show different aspects of the world we live in.
How does this storyline connect with the previous two ‘Mirror Of Creation’ albums?
Martin LeMar: Well, the previous part of 'Mirror Of Creation' was much more connected to the first part, as if it was the second part of a book starting from where the original story ended, this time, I wanted a different approach, is located in the same universe but it’s all part of a dream of the main character. I don’t know if you have noticed. In short, 'Project Icarus' did not pick up on the story, in which the second part remained, but it would be part of it in another aspect.'
This time you’re supported by Mike LePond (Symphony X) on bass guitar and John Maculuso (Labyrinth) on drums. How did you go about asking these guys to participate on the album?
Rainer Grund: Martin informed us in the autumn of 2015 that he had previously made light contact with John Macaluso and Mike LePond. Martin and the guys knew each other from a joint project. From then on, it was very fast, both liked the material really well. John has immediately agreed to take over the drums. In February 2016 he recorded the album in the Bazement Studio's in Germany. Before in December 2016, we also got the approval from Mike LePond. Again, it was completely trouble-free despite the distance. He recorded the material in USA in a studio. Markus Teske (Bazement) then brought his parts to the production, today this is not really a problem to record in different studios. So, state of the art. For the next record we want to do that again.
Tom Diener (drums) left the band after the last album but also Chris Doerr (bass) didn’t return for this record. Can you tell why they decided to leave?
Rainer Grund: Not exactly, it was a creeping process. We had no problems with each other. Finally, I think it was the unclear future for Tomorrow’s Eve in the years 2010 to 2014. Tom and Chris were involved in their own and new projects. In my opinion (in 2014) it was also a possibility that the guys keep going on with Tomorrow’s Eve, but it was here their own decision. The other way, now we have the chance, to make music with two other extraordinary musicians.
So, what is next in your agenda? Can we expect you to play live with Tomorrow’s Eve, perhaps even in the Netherlands?
Oliver Schwickert: We will. Live concerts are planned and of course there will be, one or the other, also in the Netherlands. There are small logistical hurdles, as we want to have John and Mike with us and want to present us in the original cast if possible
Rainer Grund: We have many ideas. And we discuss with some people for shows in the future. We want to play shows around Europe. We will be present and alive. My dream for the near future are shows in which we can use some visual stuff like LED walls and some more. The idea behind it is that we have a video made for each song on Mirror Of Creation III. Live, we would like to have the videos on stage. And a little more later my dream from an evening with 'Mirror Of Creation I - III' may come true.
Do you think we’ll need to wait another ten years for a Tomorrow’s Eve album?
Oliver Schwickert: Haha, no, we have already started to come up with ideas for the next story and this time it will definitely be a lot faster.
Rainer Grund: We have to do some things for the 'Mirror Of Creation III' promotional campaign in the next weeks. After that we hope to play many shows. But like Oliver says, we have already written some guitar riffs and ideas. We will be definitely much, much faster.
A questions that I ask in all interviews is about streaming services, such as Spotify. It's not a secret that the revenue stream for the artist, through Spotify, is nearly inexistent and it begs the question if it makes sense to put your music on Spotify. There's no incentive for people to buy music when they can listen to the music for free. On the other hand, music has never been so accessible, it's much easier to get your music out there and find new fans. What do you think?
Oliver Schwickert: Yes, on the one hand, it is a pity that the value of a CD production and all the work is no longer adequately rewarded; on the other hand, you have to be present on platforms like Spotify in order to be taken seriously. Of course, as a musician, you realize the non-existent profit, which in any case makes it more difficult to produce the next CD. You can only thank those who buy a CD or download to support the band
Rajner Grund: Yes I totally agree with Oliver. And I hope this will help to reach more people, and they come to our live shows to support us.
Thank you so much for your time, anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Martin LeMar: We are thankful for everyone who remembers us, waited so long, supported us for all these years and also thankful for everyone who discovers us just now and likes what we do. Stay fuckin metal!