– Hello, thanks for taking your time. What’s currently keeping ASTRAL DOORS busy?

Patrik: We are rehearsing a lot for our upcoming tour now in February/March. It will be a great live set with a lot of new tunes.

– First of all, I would like you to tell us how and why did you pick the name of «Astral Doors» for the band.

Patrik: When we started to write songs together someone in the band sent some of the songs to some kind of music forum on the web. It didn’t take more than a couple of days before we had record deal offers, and we hadn’t even a band name, haha. So; one of our first songs is called “Far Beyond the Astral Doors” and we said, hmm, Astral Doors is perhaps a cool name. There you have it: the name of the band was pure coincidence.


– Your latest album is «Jerusalem». Considering the superb final result and the mixed feelings your fans seemed to have with your previous «Requiem of Time»; how has been the feedback for this new effort?

Ptrik: I wasn’t aware of that there are mixed feelings about “Requiem of Time”. All the fans I have talked to love the album, and you can actually find some of our best songs ever on the album. For example “Power and the Glory”, “Testament of Rock” and “Blood River”. However I must say that this new album is a more solid one: the songs are heavier, the concept is right and the production is amazing. The fans seem to love it, and the media as well! I thank you all for the great response!


– And are you guys satisfied with it?

Patrik: Yes, as I just said: it’s a solid piece of work. Blood, sweat and metal from the first tune to the last!


– We could say «Jerusalem» is a concept album and, though the title is a clue itself; would you mind elaborating a bit on the concept?

Patrik: I actually had the title of the album already before we started writing the songs to the album. I wanted to build the lyrics around religion and the effects and consequences it has caused the world. The rest of the guys liked the idea. So we wrote all the music based on the fact that we were working on a concept album.


– But your lyrics have always been quite interesting, not the usual stereotypes in the genre. How important are the lyrics for ASTRAL DOORS?

Patrik: Very important. A good tune can be even better if the lyrics have something important to say. In this perspective I guess we have taken traditional heavy metal out on new paths.


– Anyway, there are some tunes that not cover the main lyrical theme on this effort, as «Child of Rock n Roll». What could you comment on this tune?

Patrik: Actually, Child of Rock’n’roll is probably the song on the album the fits best in the concept: it’s about a dude who tries to get into the world religions, but in the end realizes that the only religion he needs is rock’n’roll.


– In fact you did a video for this tune; why did you pick this one? I think is one of the most «rocker» and straight-forward songs on «Jerusalem», so maybe this helps to get more attention or attract people easily?

Patrik: Yeah, you’re right. Absolutely right: we felt that this song had the biggest hit potential. It’s a damn catchy chorus. The video is pretty crazy….we did it ourselves, just for the fun of it, and many seem to like it:)


– This being said, I think this is one of your most straight-forward albums, similar to your earlier pieces, we could say you are kind of going back to your roots. Was this something planned?

Patrik: Jepp, we’ve had enough of experiments now. We wanted to do and album in the style of our first two albums, and I think we did a pretty good job!


– I also noticed there are more epic elements, as in the great «The Battle of Jacob’s Ford». Did you have clear how you want this song to sound like? Anyway, religion has provided different battles and war, so maybe an epic approach fits this subject?

Patrik: You’re right again. Religion is a heavy subject so it fits perfect to heavy and epic tunes. The battle of Jacob’s Ford is of course based on a true story and the lyrics really marries to the music. One of my favourites!


– Cover artwork also depicts perfectly what this album deals with. Could you please tell us something about it (the artist, etc.)?

Patrik: It is made by a dear friend of us, Mr. Mattias Eriksson. He also did the first album, “Of the Son and the Father” and the best of album, “Testament of Rock”. Great guy. I had an idea of how I wanted the cover to like like, and he did it perfect!


– As always, on «Jerusalem» you are mixing different music styles as Hard Rock, Heavy and Power Metal, etc. And Hammond organ brings even a certain 70’s flavour. So, what are your main musical influences?

Patrik: Our main influences are of course the old heroes: Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Dio. We also like the 80’s Accept and Iron Maiden.


– And due to this; how could you describe this record in just a few words?

Patrik: Power, passion, guts and glory mixed with some hammond and beers.


– Though when Martin left the band you decided to keep on going as a five-piece; do you think you will ever consider the idea of having again two guitars in the band?

Patrik: Over my dead body! The sound is so much better now with one guitar. When we had 2 guitars plus a hammond our live concerts turned out to be “a wall of sound”. Now it sounds so much better!


– Finally, you will soon start an European tour; what are your expectations with it?

Patrik: To have a lot of fun from start to finish. We look forward to meet the fans again and we also look forward to team up with the dudes in Riotgod. It’s a good package that’s for sure.


– That has been everything from my side; thanks once more for your time. If you feel like adding any final words; feel free to do it.

Patrik: Thank you for the great questions. Take care every one, and remember: Stay Metal!

Tania Giménez


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