Interview | Johan Niemann (Evergrey): There’s no ”winning formula” other than writing music that we all love and get fired up on

End of January this year saw the release of album “The Atlantic” by the band Evergrey. To support the release, they have embarked on a first leg of their European tour, first supporting Kamelot along with Visions of Atlantis. As of this April they are continuing the tour as headliners. Along their way is their concert in Zagreb (Klub Močvara), where they will play on 22nd of April along with Bloodred Hourglass, Genus Ordinis Dei and Crossing Eternity as support.

We got a chance to throw some questions at Jonah Niemann, Evergrey’s bass player.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for this interview during your (probably) chaotic tour days.

Johan Niemann: Thank you for having us!

You’ve just finished a leg of your tour playing with Kamelot and Visions of Atlantis and have embarked on the leg on which you are a headliner.

JN: Yes. The shows with Kamelot were great, got to play for people who might not have heard us before, building a bigger fanbase.

Did you get the time replenish your batteries for the new road ahead? And on that note what is your winning formula for performing great shows even though you are on the road every single day?

JN: Sort of. We had a couple of days off in Madrid, which was very nice. Rest is important. I don’t want to go out on stage tired. And you have to love what you do.Sometime ago you mentioned rehearsing and playing new songs live was tough.

Did they get any easier after a bunch of shows?

JN: Hopefully, things get better with practice. There is obviously a huge difference playing songs a hundred times vs ten times. But, the answer is yes, it gets easier! And it’s so much fun playing these new songs. People seem to like them, too!

You will take “The Atlantic” through smaller venues and festivals. Do you have any preference on playing for a larger or a smaller crowd?

JN: No, I like both. Playing in front of a big crowd is a rush. And a smaller crowd can be more in-your-face and energetic. I can’t choose, I love both.

Many people are calling “The Atlantic” one of the best albums of the year. How does that make you feel?

JN: It feels great! We write music for ourselves, first and foremost. But, of course we want people to like it and come to the shows. That enables us to continue doing what we do.

Going through the lyrics of your songs, one can see and hear they they are mostly about a person who is struggling with his inner demons. Do you reflect upon your own suffering or do you sometimes take other people’s experiences as an inspiration?

JN: That’s a Tom question, as he writes the lyrics. From what I understand, he writes about his own experiences, but sometimes puts things in a more universal setting.

If it’s your own struggles which fuel the songs and considering the new, praised, sound and energy of “The Atlantic”, did you let out your steam or did you just find a “winning formula” for the albums ahead?

JN: There’s no ”winning formula” other than writing music that we all love and get fired up on. As far as albums ahead, that is very far into the future. We’re going to tour on this album for a while and then see where we are.

Did you get time to catch an “earworm” listening to any young new bands lately?

JN: Sure, we all listen to a lot of music. Especially when touring, since there’s so much downtime. VOLA, Hang Massive, Nox Vorago, Oceans of Slumber, Guo Yue are just some of what I’ve been listening to recently. There are so many good, new bands out there it’s hard to keep up.

European Union has recently passed a new law containing the infamous “Article 11”, “Article 12” and “Article 13”. Do you think it will give artists more official airtime and hence more revenue and cut down the amount of available pirated material or is it just a step closer to Orwell’s 1984?

JN: I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you just asked me 😀

Do you have any plans for the future?

JN: Yes, we have a few festivals in the summer. We’re also working on North and South American tours. Another European tour in the fall. After that, we will see what happens.

Thank you very much for your time! It has been an honour! Good luck on the tour and see you in Zagreb

JN: Thank you again for having me!

Interview by: Nikola Medarević

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