Many years we only occasionally heard a word or two about the magnificent Danish singer, Henrik Brockmann, who used to be a member of Royal Hunt before legendary D. C. Cooper. And here he is returning to the music scene with another long-forgotten outsider, Henrik Flyman, who was an overnight sensation in Denmark and Japan with progressive power metallers Moahni Moana. Enter Andre Andersen (Royal Hunt) and Mats Olausson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) as guest musicians you have a phenomenal line-up for recording one of the best albums of the year. Listen to the story from the man himself, Henrk Flyman, the mastermind of Evil Masquerade.
MetalKings.com: Hello, Henrik!
Henrik Flyman: Hello, Michael!
MetalKings.com: Henrik, tell me about yourself. How did you become a musician and what instruments can you play?
Henrik Flyman: Oh, it's a very long story! (laughs) I started learning to play flute when I was 9 years old and before that I was studying piano from 4 to 8 years old. Then I switched to drums at about 12 years old because I wanted to be in a rock band. I did play drums in an amateur band until 15 years old when I decided that guitar is the best instrument in the world of heavy rock music.
MetalKings.com: Unbelievable! Who influenced you as a guitar player?
Henrik Flyman: I would say Angus Young from AC/DC and Ritchie Blackmore. You know, I never really liked just heavy metal. I was always interested in many genres like pop music, rock'n'roll, blues and surely hard rock.
MetalKings.com: As far as I know your first more or less professional band with records and contracts was Moahni Moana. I heard their songs but I was always wondering what does the name mean? There's no explanation anywhere.
Henrik Flyman: Actually I don't know the exact meaning myself! (laughs)
MetalKings.com: But how did you find it?
Henrik Flyman: Well, me and a friend of mine were travelling on a train in Asia once and we met that man who from India knew a lot about religion and other stuff like that. So he was the first one to tell us about Moahni Moana. I cannot remember exactly what's the meaning but it's pretty close to the Ying-Yang thing.
MetalKings.com: What company released albums of Moahni Moana in Europe?
Henrik Flyman: The first album was released only in Sweden on the company called "SMC Records". The company went out of business soon. And the second album was released by "Rising Sun" in Germany.
MetalKings.com: By the way, you thanked Thin Lizzy in the album credits. And that "SMC Records" company released a tribute album to Thin Lizzy. Why you were not involved in it?
Henrik Flyman: Well, actually that 'thanks to Thin Lizzy' belongs to Henrik Brockmann, it was totally his idea. As for the tribute album we were not asked to participate so it didn't happen.
MetalKings.com: What about touring? Did you tour anywhere like in Japan or Germany?
Henrik Flyman: Yes, we played as a support act for Deep Purple in Sweden but that's all. We had invitations from Japan to play there but couldn't make it because it cost a lot of money.
MetalKings.com: How did the Evil Masquerade theatrical concept came together?
Henrik Flyman: You know, I'm a little bit surprised that people are so concerned about it. (laughs) Maybe it happens because of the song "Oh Harlequin"... Actually the whole story started back in 2000 when I was writing articles about theatres and plays in various magazines. That's when I thought that it could be great to create a whole concept around it in the band. I also think that rock'n'roll should be about image. You shouldn't go on stage in jeans and T-shirt, it's not interesting at all.
MetalKings.com: What about flags on the body of Harlequin?
Henrik Flyman: They represent our fans from all around the world, all united by our music.
MetalKings.com: Did you compose the songs alone or not?
Henrik Flyman: Mainly I did all the songwriting myself. Other guys joined the band when all the songs were already written and they just played them. I also have my own recording studio so I have more time to work on the music.
MetalKings.com: How did you meet Henrik Brockmann? Were you aware of his work in Royal Hunt?
Henrik Flyman: I once went to a club and Henrik was there with his band singing blues songs and I just invited him to join the band. He then heard the songs and liked them a lot so that's how we met. Of course, I heard his work in Royal Hunt and Andre Andersen is even playing keyboards on a couple of songs on the Evil Masquerade album.
MetalKings.com: What about another keyboard player Mats Olausson, who used to work with Yngwie Malmsteen?
Henrik Flyman: The story is more complicated here. Currently Mats lives in Thailand...
MetalKings.com: REALLY??? Unbelievable!!!
Henrik Flyman: Yes, that's true. He moved to Thailand several years ago and lives there permanently now. Still he is spending a lot of time in the United States working with various bands there, he also writes music for soundtracks to movies. It's interesting that he asked me when we were recording the album about becoming a member of the band but I don't know... Thailand is too far from Denmark! (laughs)
MetalKings.com: What about the Japanese bonus track "Kimigayo Wa Chiyoni"?
Henrik Flyman: When the Japanese company asked us to record a bonus track for the album I didn't even doubt that it should be the Japanese anthem. So there you have it, the Japanese anthem on the Japanese edition. (laughs)
MetalKings.com: What about a new album? When will it be released?
Henrik Flyman: Well, I already started the songwriting process for it so I guess the album will come out in the second half of 2005 or so. I hope that other members will get more involved in the working process than it was on the debut album.
MetalKings.com: Henrik, thanks a lot for the interview and we hope to see you in Russia one day!
Henrik Flyman: Thank you for your questions! We have plans to play in Russia and we are negotiating with several promoters about it. Hopefully it will happen soon! We really want to play in your country!
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