Normally, I'm not one for progressive metal but upon first listen, I knew Andromeda would be an exception. I was able to contact Johan Reinholdz, founder and guitar wizard, to find out the full story behind Andromeda.
Wayfaerer-First off, could you give a brief background of the band?
Johan-Andromeda was formed in the autumn of 99. Then, me and drummer Thomas Lejon got together and started rehearsing the songs I'd written for this album. After a month or two, keyboard-player Martin Hedin and bassist Gert Daun joined in. Thomas had previously played with both of them in other projects. We rehearsed during the autumn and the winter and then went to Uppsala and recorded "Extension of the wish" at Dug-Out studios using Daniel Bergstrand as engineer. We used the brilliant Lawrence Mackrory as session vocalist. He sings in Forcefeed (Korn/Deftones-type band) and F.K.U (S.O.D-thrash) and sung on the first Darkane-album.
This autumn we got a permanent vocalist: David Fremberg. He is really good and fits well into the band. Nowadays when we have full line-up we are a real band. We write stuff together and it's not only my project anymore.
But before I started playing with Thomas, Andromeda existed as a solo/sideproject when I was playing in another band called Widow. I did two demos on my own consisting of crazy instrumental parts and endless boring solos: "Maiden Voyage" and "Welcome to forever" (both recorded 98).
Wez at War-music got a hold of the second demo and asked if I wanted to write a progressive album and release it on his label. As I´ve been a fan of War-releases for some time and had spoken to Wez a few times before and thought he was a nice guy, I said yes right away.
W-Interesting...whats the reaction been to Extension of the Wish been like so far?
J-It's been really good so far. It´s gonna be interesting to read the reviews and so forth.
W-I've seen you doing alot of self-promotion for Andromeda on message boards and such, do you feel this has helped spread the word? Hows the promotion been otherwise?
J-It has helped a lot. Otherwise the promotion hasn't really started yet.
W-Wasn't Extension released January 29 (in Europe anyways)?
J-In Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland it's gonna be released this week. Soon in UK and Korea (by Pony-Canyon). A little later in the rest of Europe and even later in the USA and Australia. - march maybe but it can be ordered right now from the warmusic-site (http://www.warmusic.se)
W-Ah, I see...I thought that it had already been released, which answers my question about promotion. Anyways, what was the story with Lawrence Mackrory on vocals? I heard that he was called in last minute to do them.
J-Yes, Bassel from Mayadome was supposed to do the vocals. I sent the demorecordings of the songs and lyrics and he was gonna do the arrangments and melodies at home and then send it back so we could hear it first and give our opinions. But he was so hard get a hold of. And he never sent any vocal-demos back. We finally got them the VERY DAY before he was gonna record them. They weren't good so we had to fire him.
W-Oh well, I think Lawrence did a stellar job on the vocals...how does the new vocalist sound compared to Mackrory?
J-I think he is just as varied in his singing as Lawrence. He has a very powerful soulful voice. There are similarities between the two but Davids voice has a different timbre. It's difficult to explain, you have to hear it I guess.
W-Do you have any type of tour plans at this point?
J-Don't know yet. We have to see how well the album does.
We have some shows booked in Sweden.
W-Cool! Do you have any new material written yet?
J-Yes. We have four or five new songs almost ready.
We are really excited by the new material. It´s better than "Extension...". There is more room for the vocals and and it's more original.
W-What do you mean by "more original"?
J-We have found our own style by now.
W-Upon listening to Extension, I think there would be alot of people that wouldn't know that Andromeda is from Sweden. What kept you from going the route of most Swedish bands?
J-Which route do you mean?
W-The In Flames/At the Gates/Dark Tranquillity style.
J-Ok, I dig those bands and all of them has influenced me a bit. But we don't play deathmetal so it's not so strange that we don't sound like them. Ok, In Flames is not really deathmetal anymore but...it's still another type of metal or concept and that wasn't what we were looking for.
W-Ah, I see...speaking of death metal, could you tell a little bit about your Non Exist project with Johan Liiva (ex-Arch Enemy)? Is this more of a death metal project?
J-There are a few deathmetal-influnces yes. Like Morbid Angel, Terrorizer, ATG, In Flames. But theres is also alot of thrash-, heavymetal and also some more modern metal influences thrown in - like Fear Factory, Pantera
W-Cool, sounds like its gonna be a great album! What have you been listening to lately?
J-Tool, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Rune Gustafsson (Swedish jazzguitarist), The Cardigans - "Gran Turismo", A Perfect Circle, Rush "Permanent Waves", Deicide - "Legion", Jaco Pastorius, Ani Difranco, Soundgarden, Genesis "The lamb lies down on broadway", The Cure, etc
W-Cool, I've got one more question for ya, how long have you been playing guitar? I was amazed by some of the stuff on Extension.
J-I started when I was nine, so that's eleven years.
W-Phew! Thats definitely a while then...any closing comments that you'd like to make?
J-Thanks for taking your time! Fans of progmetal or melodic, adventurous heavy music in general: check out "Extension of the Wish".