Interview with the voice of Northtale, Christian Eriksson
By John Paul Romero
Having played with several bands including Sabaton through the years and having portrayed a triumphant hero “Chrilleon” with Twilight Force, Christian Eriksson is an undeniable force in the new era of the magical realms of power metal. Almost a year after his shocking departure with Twilight Force, Christian has revived his spark with the company of very talented musicians (lineup listed below). In this brief but not really that brief interview, (it actually took us almost a month to finish the conversation) Christian talked to us about some essentials regarding NORTHTALE, his role in the band, their upcoming debut EP, the upcoming six-month darkness in Sweden, and of course, their nasty plot of taking over the world! Ha!
Thrilled yet? You are just as thrilled as we are. And as it turns out, my opening sentence became a two-paragraph opening so I’m not making it longer. The interview is right below this paragraph so enjoy!
*heroic power metal music on background*
MHF: Greetings from Philippines, and in behalf of Metalheads Forever Magazine! How’s the day?
C: Hi, all is great here in Sweden. We’re going towards fall now and six months of darkness! [laughs]. At least that gives me time to write new music since there’s barley anything else to do here.
MHF: First of all, how did NORTHTALE begin? Who’s the mastermind behind this?
C: It was me and Bill who first started to discuss this. At first he wanted to hire me to sing on his solo album since I was still in my former band at that time. But after all that happened with my former band I remember Bill and Patrick called me and said that that they wanted us to start a band together. At first I wasn’t very in to the idea of starting something new but as time went by I thought “what the hell, let’s give this a chance”.
MHF: Who’s the standing leader of the band?
C: Well we try to make decisions that everyone in the band is happy with. But now it has been me Bill and Mike who’s been taking the major decisions so far.
MHF: How do you feel being with this new set of guys that you are working with?
C: It really feels that we got the perfect lineup, everything is working out smoothly and everyone is very dedicated [to] this band.
MHF: Do you guys have specific goals coming in?
C: Take over the world.. [laughs]. Well we’ve set the bar pretty high for NorthTale and our goal is to make the kind of music we want to play and hope that people will like it.
MHF: How’s been your activity in the studio so far?
C: It has been a lot of studio time lately. First writing, then preproduction, the record it for real.. You can almost say that we’ve been living in the studio [laughs].
MHF: You have a strong fan base, and a group of very dedicated fans – and I happened to be one of them. We are so thrilled to hear the debut EP, can you describe us how it would sound?
C: First of all I’m very happy to hear that. Actually we’re going against the market in many ways with NorthTale. A lot of bands today tend to go towards a more “fixed” product and with today’s technology you can’t even tell which instruments are programmed and which are actually played. In my personal opinion I think that is very sad ‘cause music to me is supposed to be alive and I do believe that the perfection lies in the imperfections. I want to feel the music more than just listen to it, if you know what I mean?!
With NorthTale we’re bringing in my opinion a very honest product. We got fast songs, mid tempo, a ballad. If you like “in your face” power metal I do believe you’re gonna appreciate what we do.
MHF: I love what you said that you want to feel the song more than just listening to it. As a critic and as a fan, my basis for an excellent power metal is when the songs take the listeners to a different mystical dimension.
Any hints on the songs?
C: We’re planning a few teasers here and there but for now we’re kinda locked up in a position where the paper work needs to be taken care of. But as soon as we can release something I really hope you’ll like it. And we can come and perform for you.
MHF: What are your inspirations and influences in this EP?
C: Many things actually. The daily life, dreams and thoughts around life etc.
Music wise we’re playing like “old school” power metal. Inspired by bands such as Helloween, Stratovarius, Judas Priest.
MHF: What about the song writing process? If I’m not mistaken some of the guys are from America, while the rest is from Europe. How did you do it?
C: Me and Bill wrote the songs for the Ep. Both I and him had songs and fragments from before.
MHF: Do you already have an estimated date of release of the EP?
C: Right now we’re waiting to hear from a label and for now it’s very hard to say but it will be this year, I promise.
MHF: In terms of the character and attitude in the songs, what would be the difference between Chrilleon and Christian himself if there would be any?
C: Well, Chrileon was a fictional character made to fit [with] Twilight Force. With NorthTale I appear as myself and to be honest it feels great to do this ‘cause now I’m free to do whatever, I decide what to sing and how to sing it.
It appears, when he said “now I’m free to do whatever”, that includes turning into a lego character
MHF: Going back to the band and the EP – is touring already in your mind as of the moment?
C: Yes it is and we’ve already started talking with promoters but nothing can be booked until we release something.
MHF: Are there certain festivals and/or countries you are already eyeing?
C: [Laughs] Pretty much the whole world! But yeah the promoters we’ve talked with are on 3 different continents.
MHF: Well, I do personally hope that you land here in Philippines someday! We got the longest running annual metal festival in Southeast Asia! [Laughs]
C: Me too brother!
MHF: Almost up man, now feel free to send your message to your fans and our readers.
C: Last but not least I would like to thank you for taking the time reading this interview and I hope to see you in the future.
Stay true to what is real and keep the flame alive.
MHF: Thank you so much for accepting this interview Christian. Send my greetings to other guys!
C: Thank you bro!
Christian Erikkson – Vocals
Bill Hudson – Guitars
Mikael Planefeldt – Bass
Jimmy Pitts – Keyboards
Patrick Johannson – Drums
MHF Magazine/John Paul Romero