EIDOLON's history was covered in detail in issue 4 and back then I had been somewhat surprised at how good the band sounds despite the mix between some modern sounding riffs and more traditional structures. Now they have developed their style and they sound even better than before but I can't help and think that they still haven't really chose their path between really aggressive material and more progressive orientated music. This is something they obviously don't really care about as you'll see in the following interview I did with the Drover brothers.|
Since our last interview in '98 when you released "Seven Spirits" a few months before, a lot has happened in the EIDOLON camp. First you were supposed to re-issue "Zero Hour"and "Seven Spirits" with bonus tracks on Pulse records (an unknown record label to me at least) but it seems it never happened...
Shawn: "Well, actually, "Seven Spirits" WAS re-released on Pulse records in 1998 - but only in America, so you may not have ever seen it. The record had two bonus tracks on it - "Zero Hour" was never owned by Pulse records, so we chose not to have them re-release it - looking back now, I'm glad, because they did nothing for us at all!!! However, Metal Blade wants to re-release both records sometime in the near future - but we want to wait until we gain a little more popularity in Europe and such."
Following "Seven..." you got signed by Metal Blade, how did that happen? Did you have lots of interest from other companies?
Shawn: "We signed with Metal Blade at the end of 1999 - I sent them a CD copy of "Nightmare World", and within a few weeks they offered us a contract. So really we didn't send it to any other record company, because we wanted Metal Blade, and luckily, we got the deal!!!"
Since Metal Blade offered that deal a while after "Nightmare.." was recorded, were you on the verge to release it once again on your own label?
Glen: "No. With "Nightmare World" we needed a bigger label to help us get our name out to the Heavy Metal people, so when we recorded the record, we knew it would take some extra time to have it released - that's why it took a little longer, because of contracts and such."
Would you say that they're happy of the sales of the two albums done with them so far considering that there's always a risk to be dropped if the sales are low?
Glen: "We have a good relationship with Metal Blade. Our record sales are getting much better with each record, so things are looking very good for us right now."
"Nightmare World" was issued in the summer 2000 while it took about a year to be recorded between December '98 and December '99, why did it take so long to be recorded? Did the KING DIAMOND thing kinda interfered with this?
Shawn: "Actually, "Nightmare.." was recorded way before it was finally released on Metal Blade!! It just took time to get the contracts worked out and such. Also, yes, Glen had joined KING DIAMOND as well, so he had to concentrate on that for a while."
This third album looked and sounded like a new start for EIDOLON as the logo was changed and I had the feeling that more power had been injected into the songs than before, making the record a powerful one with a lot of sharp riffs all the way...
Shawn: "We just write what we want to at the time - we don't really try to do a certain kind of Metal. We never want to write the same record we did before, so it will always sound a bit different than our previous records. I must say that we have become a little more aggressive on certain songs - but we will always be melodic as well."
I detect some SACRIFICE-like riffing in some of that material like in the break of "Eye Of Illusion", that kind of ass kicking effective riffs SACRIFCE used in such a killer way, did they kind of influence you somewhat?
Shawn: "Not at all!!! Although EIDOLON and SACRIFICE are both Canadian bands, I really don't know much of their music, to be honest. I just get ideas down on tape and make songs from them - it's really that simple."
How come you had no tour support for this album in Europe? Did you play at least at that time in Canada and the States in support of this release? If not was it due to the fact that Metal Blade wanted to see how strong this album would be saleswise before injecting money into a tour?
Glen: "We just played in Germany on June 29-30 at the Bang Your Head Festival with JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH, KREATOR, etc... We were exposed to thousands of Metal fans, so it was very good exposure for EIDOLON. Right now, all tour plans are on hold, as we are now searching for a new singer. ." (Well it wasn't the sense of my question at all guys - Laurent)
What happened with Criss Bailey as you replaced him by Adrian Robichaud?
Shawn: "Criss Bailey wanted to make his own music, so he left the band - we are still great friends with him - actuallly, he is just releasing his new band BRUIZ this month. Glen and I played on the record, which was a real fun time. It is kind of a Metal/Punk/Hard Rock band, with catchy songs. Adrian was recommended by our former singer, Brian. Adrian is real great player, so we're happy to have him in our little wacky family!!"
Going back into the past for one thing Shawn, you mentioned in the previous interview we did in '98 that you had drummed for I. MAJESTY in the mid '80s and it's even mentioned in the press kit now, would you tell us when it was exactly? Was it after Rick Nemes left the band or was it at the time they had Vince replacing Chris Bailey?
Shawn: "I was in INFERNAL MAJESTY for one year in 1988. I left the band, because I moved away to Florida, but looking back now, it was a real good experience for me. I still talk to Kenny Hallman on e-mail once in a while. Chris Bailey was in the band when I was a member which was great, as he is one of the all-time best Thrash Metal singers ever!!!."
Why didn't it work out with 'em? Did it have something to do with the fact that their music was way more Thrash/Death orientated than what you were looking for?
Shawn: "No, no, not at all!!! I love their music, it was very complex Thrash Metal to play, so it was very challenging, which is something I love. At the time I was in the band, not too much was going on so it became it bit frustrating - I wanted to play more shows, but it was not so easy at the time."
From where did you get the biggest response so far for EIDOLON - Europe, USA or maybe Japan?
Glen: "EIDOLON's biggest fanbase is in Europe!!! Without doubt, the Europeans are the greatest fans of Heavy Metal."
So now that a few years have passed, do you know how many copies of the first two albums have been sold as it seems those are starting to be collectors items now?
Glen: "We don't have exact numbers of the first two records in terms of sales, really. You can still get them both on our web-site www.eidolon-nightmareworld.com. Metal Blade wants to re-release them both, but for now, we want to wait."
How did the different tours with KING DIAMOND go? Is it easy to get along and work with him and Andy Laroque? Did you have something to do with "House Of God" as I stopped following King's career?
Glen: "The whole KING DIAMOND experience was very good for me!!! I got along very well with King and Andy. I played half the solo's on "House Of God", so yes I did have something to do with that record."
Did you learn a lot from what seems to be your first real touring experience?
Glen: "SURE!! There were alot of good lessons to learn on the road - how to be a total professional - which is extremely necessary if you are a member of KING DIAMOND!!! You have to learn quickly how to get along with 15 people on a tour bus - luckily for me, all of the people in Kings's band and crew were good people."
What's your current position in KING DIAMOND right now?
Glen: "I am no longer a member of KING DIAMOND. I left the band last fall before the European tour for "House Of God". It became too difficult to be in two bands, work and have a family life, so I had to leave, but I really did not want to do that. Sometimes we have to do things you may not want to do."
Let's talk about the latest opus, "Hallowed Apparition", it was kind of suprising to see it released so soon after "Nightmare.." and I personally didn't find it as exciting as the previous album. Some of the material seemed very rushed as it didn't feature as many captivating riffs as before except for a few tracks like "De-evolution" or the absolutely mindblowing "Prelude Into Fear"...
Shawn: "Well, that is your opinion. "Hallowed..." was recorded starting in May of 2000 - so to say the record was released so soon is totally wrong!!! We released the record a few months before July because of the festival show we played in Germany - like I said before, we never copy what we have done before, so people have certain favorites - I like them all!!!"
You recently made your European debut at the Bang Your Head festival, how did yhat go exactly? Did that show live up to your expectations in terms of crowd response etc...?
Shawn: "The festival show was a great experience for us, really!!! The crowd was great, and the whole atmosphere of the show was very cool - we also made a lot of new friends with a lot of the bands on the show, so that was cool as well."
Following that festival, was there talks about you doing a full European or US tour in the future?
Glen: "We wanted to do that, but we parted ways with our singer, so now everyhing is on hold until we find another singer."
Is it somewhat hard for you to choose which songs you're gonna play at a show as you have four albums to choose from?
Glen: "Yes it was, but we were just happy to play the show, so we chose the best songs that we could fit into 40 minutes of stage time."
The last two albums have been once again produced/recorded by Glen and the result is again really convincing as you succeed in giving a somewhat unique sound to the band so I guess it means that you don't plan to use anybody else as producer in the furture, correct?
Shawn: "Correct! I don't see why we would have to have another person telling us what to do, when we know what we want. Glen is a great producer and engineer, so it is pointless to spend a ton of money on another person."
Shawn, you also still have as much input as before as nearly everthing is written and arranged by yourself, how do the other members feel about it honestly?
Glen: "Shawn writes most of the music, lyrics and melodies, but I handle all of the studio work, so I do plenty of work as well in the band. This is just the way it works out. Shawn likes to write songs - I like to do the studio work - it all works out very well for us."
Has the Canadian Metal scene changed a lot since last time we spoke or is it still the same situation?
Glen: "It is slowly getting better, but it is nowhere near as popular as the European scene at all! When we played in Germany, it was totally different. Hopefully in time, the Metal scene will get back to where it was in Canada."
Lately I saw some critics being not that hot towards the band's musical style as they found it too modern sounding, something I expressed my fears at a few years ago after hearing "Confession". Still I wouldn't agree with those critics after hearing the last two albums because you manage to come up with exciting riffs most of the time, what's your comments about this?
Shawn: "Honestly, we don't give a fuck what any critics think about us - if some critics like us, then great - if you don't like us, then don't listen to the record!!! We make music for ourselves first, then for the fans of Heavy Metal. As soon as you start listening to what some so called music critic says, the band is destined to fail. We play what we want, period!!!" (Well boys, without the critics, you guys would certainly not sell as many albums either for one thing, and critics certainly help people in some ways to not buy something they would hate, I can honestly say that because I'm a record buyer myself and constructive criticism helped me to not spend money on pieces of shit in the past - Laurent)
You recently parted ways with your singer Brian Soulard, what happened?
Glen: "We just wanted to find a different singer - we have nothing negative to say about Brian at all, we just needed to move on."
What kind of singer are you looking for to replace him now? What are your future plans also?
Shawn: "We are looking right now for the ultimate Heavy Metal singer!!! We want somebody who has power, melody, and aggression as well as being a great frontman - kind of like a Ripper Owens/Ralf Scheepers/Rob Halford kind of dude. If anybody thinks they have these qualities, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are writing for the next EIDOLON record, which we will begin to record in November, 2001!!!" (Since that interview was done, it appears that they've got a new singer, Pat Mulock and their next album "Coma Nation" should be out by early June 2002)
All pictures © Nico Wobben - Nico's PhotoPit, taken at Bang Your Head 2001.