Henrik Ohlsson

Altered Aeon

Altered Aeon was formed in 2001 when Henrik Ohlsson (drums) presented a bunch of songs to Kjell Andersson (singer) though back then the band was called Thrawn. In 2002 Niklas Rehn (guitar) was added to the lineup and in 2003 the band recorded four tracks for a demo that was to be entitled Light Creates Shadows. Per Nilsson (guitar) was also recruited by Henrik and the whole thing was produced by Jonas Kjellgren - owner of Black Lounge and member of Carnal Forge, Centinex etc. This demo was the band's ticket to signing a three-album deal with Greek Black Lotus Records in 2003. Metal Temple Magazine spoke with founder Henrik Ohlsson about various issues and here's what he had to say...
By Orpheus Spiliotopoulos
April 12, 2005
Henrik Ohlsson (Altered Aeon) interview
First of all welcome to Metal-Temple.Com Magazine's featured interviews! Since we're an online Magazine, I'd like to ask you something we always ask artists. How important is the Internet in your opinion? And what's your point of view on Mp3 downloads?

Thanks, it's an honor to do this interview! Internet is really important in today's scene I think, it has enabled Metalheads to communicate easily and it has probably helped making the Metal scene more vital than it would have been without the internet. MP3-downloads is of course a problem but it is also a great tool to spread your music and enable more people to hear bands and stuff like that. The problem is when people don't buy the album even though they like the music...

''Dispiritism'' is your debut album and Black Lotus Records is your debut Record Label. How do you feel about each thing?

We feel strongly for the Dispiritism album because it sums up what the band has been doing for the past 2 ½ years, I think it's a great album with unique and brillinat songs and a sound that you can't really hear any other band bringing forth. The collaboration with Black Lotus has had its ups and downs, I think that things are improving now because they're hiring more people to their label-staff and that makes it easier to communicate with them. The promotion guy, Elias, has been really, really cool to work with. He rules!

Why did you change your band name from Thrawn to Altered Aeon?

Because of rights issues and because we wanted a bandname that was more aligned with the lyrical content of the band.

OK, I have to admit that Swedish musicians have ALWAYS impressed me with their technique. Is it - in your opinion - because of the fact that people over there get a proper musical education from a very young age in school?

Hmm, the pupils that choose to play an instrument get education, that's correct, but the music-classes in school that everyone has to attend kind of suck actually. I think it has to do more with the interest of the individual to play an instrument rather than the education itself, I think that the Metal scene helps the evolution of a musician more than the formal education to be honest! There are lots of good role models to follow and personally that was what really got me playing in the first place. I mostly found the drumming classes in school boring! It was much more rewarding for me to play in bands and evolve through that.

In my ears your music - being interesting by all means - on your debut album reminds me of bands such as Nevermore and Control Denied etc. Are you influenced by that kind of playing? Give us a little background info on how you guys came to conclude on your current sound/playing style.

We didn't try to sound like the bands you mentioned but we're definetly fans of what Chuck Schuldiner did with Death for example and Nevermore has indeed created some cool tunes, so therefore it is nothing but an honor to be compared to those guys. But anyway, the music of Altered Aeon really reflects the musical tastes of the members, I try to create music that everyone in the band will like. Since Kjell is a huge fan of thrash, Niklas is heavily into death Metal, Per is into the more progressive sides of music and Anders is sort of a proghead too, I try to write music that reflects all of those personalities - I listen to all of those genres myself. And well, the others in the band listen to a wide spectrum of music too but I do think of a certain style of music in connection with each persona of the band. It's just my personal view of their musical beings, he he.

Tell us a few things about Dispiritism. Who wrote the lyrics, the music, who chose the cover artwork and what inspires you guys to write your music.

I wrote 99% of the material on this album, both lyrically and musically. Seth of Seth Design was supposed to do the cover for the album because he more or less does all the artwork for the Black Lotus bands. Unfortunately we weren't that happy with what he came up with and he didn´t have time to make a new frontcover so therefore we decided to use Pär Johansson of PJIllustrations instead. Pär used the ideas behind the title Dispiritism and he did a terrific job with it, I think that the cover perfectly reflects the vibe of the song Dispirited Chambers actually. What inspires us to write our music? Well, I can only speak for myself and this is the kind of music that surfaces when I sit down and compose. I guess it's some sort of Metal-virus that's in my blood and it expresses itself in this way, it's hard to pin-point any particular inspirations.

Your personal favorite tracks off Dispiritism are...?

Definetly Resonance Of Form In Transition! Some other faves are Dreamscape Domain, Desensitizer and the bonus track Cellular Disorganization but I really like all the songs on the album; they're all an important part of our history.

What else do you do apart from Altered Aeon?

I work in a factory to make some money and I spend some time taking care of my family obviously. I also play drums and write lyrics for a band called Scar Symmetry. Kjell also has a family that needs its fair share of care and he works every now and then. Per studies and plays guitar with Scar Symmetry, a Zappa-cover band and World Below. Niklas works as an electrician in the same goddamn building that I work in! He also has a family to take care of. Anders studies and plays Playstation 2.

What is the worst thing in Metal...ever?

The worst thing in Metal? Narrowmindedness. It kills the scene.

Do you believe that we're living in the golden age of Metal Festivals? Is that a good thing in your opinion or is it a bad thing for individual concerts due to the fact that all these events cost a shitload of money for the average Metalhead?

I love to play at festivals, the arrangements of festivals are usually much better than club shows and you get to meet lots of other bands and loads of Metalheads and you can make some really cool connections and stuff like that. It may be negative for smaller shows, I've never really thought about that, but I personally think that the vibe at festivals rule!

What are your Live plans for 2005?

We're going to play here in Sweden in May and that's about the only concrete plans we have right now. Black Lotus has hired a new booking manager recently and we hope that he will be able to bring the band out on shows here and there, we'll see what happens in the near future.

When should people expect the second album?

We'll probably enter the studio in November or December this year, the release of the second album should occur in the beginning of 2006 in that case.

Thank you for your time! Last but not least, send out a message to all our readers, worldwide.

Cheers to you all! Remember to stop by our website (www.alteredaeon.cjb.net) for constant updates and info about the band!

I wish you all the best.

Take care!

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