INTERVIEW: Tom Englund of Evergrey talks latest album, Silent Skies & influences

Interview by Andrew Massie

Evergrey
Photo credit: Anders Plassgard

Gothenburg’s finest export of darkness, EVERGREY, enters an astonishing new chapter in the band’s history with their thirteenth studio album and Napalm Records debut, A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament), to be released on May 20, 2022. This overwhelming journey through progressive heaviness and searing emotionality is repeatedly accented by sonic melancholy and gripping lyrics – leaving the listener speechless and re-cementing the Swedish five-piece at the top of the scene without a shadow of a doubt!

We talk to Tom Englund from Evergrey about the new album as well as his other project Silent Skies, how he sees his role as a musician, influences and much more.

 

On the meaning behind the title “A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)”:

Tom: I would say the title is my testament of how I sum up my lrics for the last 12 albums. It sounds a bit weird but it’s been what Evergrey has always been about, being honest and sincere and writing about the personal human aspects of life and how I see myself fitting in a world where I don’t want to fit in because I watch it every day becoming more violent and hostile. The Orphean Testament is my view on the Greek mythology where Orpheus has a chance to save his loved one from hell basically and the only thing he has to do is to keep walking, don’t turn around. But that’s what he does, he turns around and everybody says it’s such a lovely love story but he’s a fucking egotistical bastard.

On getting fans to participate on the track “Save Us”:

It just came to me when I was on a walk because I usually use my iPhone to sing in my ideas and I’m astounded by how good it sounds, the actual sound of the compression. So I figured this would work to have people just send in their voices so we gave them that in the video and told them, ‘Sing and you can be sort of the choir for a song on the album’. They got a beat to listen to in their headphones and then I sort of gave them a guiding track and they overdubbed that. Then we received 700 of them so it was quite some work to compile them together and get them straight in the studio.

On whether he chose vocals or guitars first when getting into performing music:

It was none of it, it was the songs. Because as a kid the first thing that you do hear, or at least what I hear is the vocals. That’s why at all times I listen to the vocals first because that’s the song for me. So when people ask me like 10 years ago what do you do in the band I say I’m a guitar player, but I also remember I’m the vocalist, because it’s not important for me. The importance is not the instrument, it’s the songs.

 

Check out the full interview
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/rkl6pZLQqwk
Listen on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3KiSax1
Get A Heartless Portrait here: https://lnk.to/AHP-TOT

 

Evergrey - A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)