“PYRAMAZE” INTERVIEW by David Maloney
First off I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with our publication Metalheads Forever Magazine. How are you doing? How are things in the world of Pyramaze? Can you tell us a little about the band and it’s members and their respective roles within the band?
Thank you so much for having me! I’m doing well, currently on tour filling in on keyboards for the band MindMaze, who are label mates with Pyramaze. We’re having a great time! Thing are going great in the world of Pyramaze, our new album Contingent is receiving excellent reviews and critical acclaim. Our music video for “A World Divided” just recently surpassed 200,000 views on YouTube in it’s first month, which is really exciting.
Jacob Hansen is our guitarist and producer/mixer/masterer — he makes us sound good and is very wise! He’s also a titan in the industry, which of course only helps us. Morten is the technical guru of the band who helps with a lot of the logistics behind the scenes and organizing, in addition to being a fantastic drummer of course. Toke is the goofball of the group, who is also an epic song writer and lead guitarist. And of course our singer Terje, is a quiet and brooding powerhouse, hailing from Northern Norway. And then you have me — I play keyboards.
To start things off you were originally formed by Guitarist Michael Kammeyer in 2002. You started off well fronted with Lance King on the 2004 “Melancholy Beast” and 2006’s “Legend Of The Bone Carver” The band decided to part ways with Lance in 2006. Can you tell us about this split and what led to the change? Was it a mutual decision to change directions for the band? Or more for personal reasons involving Lance?
We parted ways mutually and respectfully. We are very grateful for Lance and his contributions to Pyramaze. Those albums will forever hold a place in our hearts as being the two that really started what we know as Pyramaze today.
The band bounced back hitting the ground running and the legendary Matt Barlow took over the helm and replaced Lance. You guys must have been ecstatic to add such an experienced Frontman known all over the world with his work with Iced Earth and Ashes Of Ares? Fortunately or unfortunately Matt was only around for one album 2008’s “Immortal”and parted ways to head back to Iced Earth or as the story goes. Is this a accurate assessment of the situation? Anything you would like to add to set the record straight?
That is an accurate assessment. We love the album Immortal and it really helped put us on the map in the metal world. Matt and I are still great friends to this day and are currently working on a new project together called Sentinels. Stay tuned regarding more news about that. Matt is a great friend of the band as well, there is no bad blood whatsoever, it was simply a business decision.
To make matters worse Kammeyer decided to retire from the band, than Bassist Neils Kvist decided to part ways as well. How did you guys feel at this point in time? Did you say that’s it we are done, time to pack it in?…did ever cross your minds this might be it for the band? Needless to say that’s some heavy blows for any band to endure.
I will never let Pyramaze die and Michael was gracious enough to hand over the keys to Pyramaze to the remaining members of the band. I feel like we honor his legacy by continuing to make great albums with Pyramaze. We never thought for a second that Pyramaze would be over, but we obviously had to figure some things out at that point.
Can you tell our readers what happened next, how you managed to soldier on and kept the Legacy of Pyramaze forging on?
Our first thought was to ask our long time producer and dear friend, Jacob Hansen, to take Michael’s place. He immediately accepted. He has produced and mixed every Pyramaze album anyway, so he’s always felt like part of the family. Forging on with the “Legacy of Pyramaze” as you call it, our next step after securing Jacob was finding a new singer. Jacob ended up being the one to find Terje through his insight into the industry. The rest is, as they say, history.
Did you ever consider calling it quits or changing the band name and starting over, a new beginning so to speak?
Never. Pyramaze will never die. I will take this band to the grave with me.
This new incarnation of the band resulted in 2015’s “Disciples Of The Sun” This album was met with amazing critical acclaim. After all you have been through how rewarding was this to receive such accolades and to have reinvigorated both the band and it’s loyal fans?
It felt tremendous! I think we knew we were on to something when we were making the album as it had enough of our older sound but with an obvious freshness and reinvigoration. It felt like we had our footing again and were really ready to start moving forward.
Without a doubt Pyramaze are back and firing on all cylinders. What is the mindset of the band at this moment in time? To overcome all the diversity and struggle and to come out united and stronger than ever?
We’re always striving to do those things — overcoming adversity, struggle, to be united and strong. We are a brotherhood and contingent. See what I did there?
Fresh off the Heels of your newly released 5th studio album “Contingent” A very mature album and very well written. This album proves that Pyramaze are devoted to making music that mirrors their souls and stimulates the mind and spirit of the listeners, I feel that is a very fair and true assessment of the band and it’s will to beat all odds and to make the best music possible and deliver in spades to their devoted and loyal fans. Do you feel after everything you have matured and grown as a band and as artist as well as individuals?
Yes, absolutely. We will never stop trying to grow and mature. I think with every album we make, we are incredibly proud of what we have done but then we are always looking toward the future and putting our heads together as to how we can make an album that is even better. We aim to inspire and lead our fans and followers towards something greater, whatever that may be. There is so much positive energy in this world that can be harnessed.
What’s in store for the second half of 2017 leading into 2018 and where can your fans find you?
For starters, this summer we’re going to start writing our new album. And then we’re playing ProgPower Europe in October, with a potential warm up show still to be announced. Were not sure what 2018 holds yet, but possibly the release of a new album or at least some festivals.
In closing I would like to take the time to thank you once more for being here with us and for giving our readers and your fans new and old a inside look as to what Pyramaze is all about. Thanks and all the best with all future endeavors.
Do you have any closing words or advice for your fans all over the World?
We’re just so humbled by the amount of support and love we receive from our fans all over the world. We couldn’t continue to make music without you all. It means the world to us that people are buying our albums, ordering our merch and just showing their support in general in this world of non-physical and digital music consumption. We love you!
David Maloney/MHF Magazine