|1. How did the band get started? How did you meet
and how long have you been together?
It goes all the way back to 1992, when I met Michael and Kristian
at a local rehearsal place. Usually there wasn't many people who shared
my musical view, and finally I found someone who did. We got together
to play and share musical experiences. We had then, like now, a wide
range of music that we wanted to create. So the first years we experimented
quite a lot, searching for the ultimate sound that we could be comfortable
2. How would you describe your music?
Björn Luna: It is in fact quite difficult to categorize
it. It is indeed progressive, because of all the different themes
in the music. We've been called so many things through time, that
it is rediculous. I think it is a fine line between Doom and Power
Metal, plus a mountain of other things.
Melodic and atmospheric metal. Atmosphere is very important. Sadness
and melancholy are elements that we often use to create certain atmospheres.
It's important however that the approach differ from one song to another
to maintain diversity.
3. What are your biggest influences?
Michael Stenberg: I have no big influences in
Björn Luna: In the beginning there were
of course bands that inspired us to play. Bands like Iron Maiden,
Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne etc. But nowadays there's no one who influences
us, except our own writing and development.
4. What influence
do you think your bands has in music and metal today?
Björn Luna: I'm that confident with our material today,
that I find it very hard to believe that no one will care. But how
strongly we will influence others, the future will unveil.
5. What made you want to be in the band? And if you werent
in the band what would you be doing now?
Luna: I'm in this band because it is my main interest in life.
And if, by any reason, I wasn't in it, I had been in another. It's
6. Are any band members in side projects?
If so what are they, and explain a little about them.
Björn Luna: No one in the band have any side projects.
I have been helping out some bands with the bass occationally, but
nothing that have gone across the rails of Ashes to Ashes.
7. How would you feel if a band took their sound from yours and
became very well known?
Michael Stenberg: If a
band would say they were inspired by us I would take that as a great
compliment. Ripping us off on the other hand... of course not.
Björn Luna: If someone steals from us, we kill them!
Michael Stenberg: Yep, I would sue them and get
money.... THEN Bjorn would kill them.
8. What current
bands do you like or respect?
Michael Stenberg: Sympony
X and Shadow Gallery are maybe the bands that has impressed me the
most over last 5 years. There are of course some others but the problem
is that to many are trying to sound like someone else and do not simply
play from the heart. You can hear those things right away.
Björn Luna: I have Mr. Bungle as a fave. It's just an
incredible and totally unpredictable band. It's not many parallels
to our own music, but I think, strangely enough, we have one thing
in common. And that's being unpredictable. It's very important to
surprise the listener all the time. In the Metal genre I'm found of
many different bands. Like Dimmu Borgir, DHG, Sigh, Devil Doll and
such. Basically bands that have something special and diverse attracts
9. How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about
Björn Luna: We have released two
demos. "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" ('93) and "The Temples
of Ice" ('95). These recordings were done in the establishment phase
of the band, and varies in quality, as demos usually do. There are
some parts, riffs etc. that is to be found on "Shapes of Spirits"
('00), our debut album. And the obvious way to start, to get to know
Ashes to Ashes. This album sums up the bands history in the way that
some of the parts in the songs goes way back, it also tells about
the way we wanna go. The true Ashes to Ashes spirit are established,
and now we are currently working on the continuation.
What demo/album do you like the best?
and Björn Luna: "Shapes of Spirits" obviously.
What is the meaning behind the songs?
The lyrics for "Gabriel" is based on reflections on the struggle
between good and evil in Christianity. About abandoned angels, such
as Gabriel himself, planning to conquer heaven in a "rematch" with
God. That eventually culminates in a second war in heaven. "Sacrilege"
is about ignorant humans that steps into a world they don't know.
An ancient temple with surrounding spirits guarding the forlorn sacred
Michael Stenberg: "Castle in the air"
is about believing that death is the saviour and that as soon as life
is over, "heaven" awaits. The unsolved question is: is it life or
is it death who is the castle in the air ? "The mourning" is about
standing alone with your pain and that it's only you and no one else
that can do something about it in the end. "Dying room" were directly
inspired by children who are placed to die in so called dying rooms
in China..these places exists in the third world...Romania... The
children are left to die because of physical or mental disabilities...or
just that their parents can't or will take care of them. These kids
are left with little or no care and end their life without even having
been given the chance to live. Our singer prior to Kenneth wrote the
lyrics for this song.
12. What are the bands favorite
Michael Stenberg: Each track stand out
on it`s own as well as fitting nicely in with the others. With the
risk of sounding cocky, we love all of the songs... there's a song
for every mood and it's rather impossible to choose a fave.
Björn Luna: I couldn't agree more. However, I would like
to point out "Gabriel" as a winner after all. I think we managed to
create a really special mood / atmosphere on that particular song.
Michael Stenberg: I second that too.
does the future hold for the band?
I think there's no limit to how successful this band can get.
We are 100 % confident about the music and ourselves. There are a
lot of elements that has to work together at the same time to achieve
success... things that we can't control... you have to have a real
amount of luck of course.
Björn Luna: As I mentioned,
we are working on the follow up to "Shapes of Spirits" as we speak,
and I am very excited about the result so far. We have five songs
ready, and the new album is really taking shape. I can reveal that
we are going in a more powerful direction. More up tempo stuff, and
more aggressive riffing. On the other hand, we are going the other
way to. More calm and atmospheric stuff, that surely will outstand
all of our previous recordings. The production will also be much better
and more powerful.
14. If you could play with any band
who would it be and why?
Michael Stenberg: I don't
feel like playing with any other band than AtoA.
writes the majority of the music?
I come up with 99% of the music and then Bjorn and I arrange it
together. I usually have a strong idea of the direction of the song
and I feel fortunate to have a companion like Bjorn who instantly
hear the things I hear and that makes the working process very smooth.
Most of the songs are made on my acoustical guitar.
Where did you get the band name from?
I just played around with words really. I think the name fits
17. Describe what the band is like live?
Michael Stenberg: We have earlier spent a lot
of money on fireworks, lights and so on to give the audience a visual
thrill on top of the music. It's something we would like to continue
to do but it's all a matter of finances really.
you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?
Björn Luna: Naked chicks and monsters :)
Stenberg: Naked monsters are supercool! :-)
Luna: No, seriously I think when that time comes, the most important
thing is to visualize the mood that is meant to be in the song. So
it fits nicely together. It's also important to make something original,
even though it is hard to differ in this overexposed world.
19. Are there any touring plans made; if so tell me about them?
Michael Stenberg: There are no touring plans
for moment. I guess there will be when the second album is being released.
20. Where do you think the band will be 20 years from now?
Björn Luna: Intriguing thought. I hope we
still have the same eager to play then like now. And I think either
way we go musically, we'll always stay independent, and make intelligent
and mature music. Right On!!!