Interview with Andre Andersen - Royal Hunt

It seems like Royal Hunt has been around forever! You have several albums now, but only from 1993, with your debut. Does it feel longer to you?
I never thought about it. I have been writing/recording/performing music all my life, so it has been my natural environment for many years.

Has the music of Royal Hunt progressed in the way you set out for them to do?
All the way and we are still doing it. Every single album is a new experiment, strictly kept under the Royal Hunt roof new ways to express ourselves without loosing our signature, key elements.

I'd like to ask you about song writing.....You are the primary songwriter for Royal Hunt - do you find the pressure to come up with new music a challenge or a bit of pressure on you?
Challenge every time, pressure never (except for occasional deadlines here and there).

The music of Royal Hunt has always been ambitious - never standing still and always trying something new - how do the concepts for each album come to you?
Accidentally it could be a book, a movie or even a phrase you'll pick up at some point it will trigger something inside you that generates your interest in exploring the theme both musically and lyrically.

Let's go straight to The Mission, as I said earlier, ambitious and intricate as always.
The concept story of this album is based on the sci-fi novel by Ray Bradbury Marian Chronicles. I gather you personally are a big fan of this book?

Yes, this particular book. It has all these eternal human aspects and issues, all wrapped up in a slightly sci-fi blanket.

Can you tell those not familiar yet with the story, a little behind it?
It is about colonization of Mars as a stage set, but basically it is all about our ways and values what we possibly bring to a new, pure world if we were given a second chance to start all over.

Are you a big Sci-Fi fan in general?
No, I wouldn t say so.

What are your other favorite Sci-Fi books and TV shows?
I am watching the X-files occasionally and I like some novels by the great Sci-Fi writers like Bradbury, Azimov and Beliaev among others.

What drives you continued passion for writing music and the more complex side of it to say the least?
I don t know my background, perhaps. I grew up with classical music, straight rock bands like Deep Purple and Zeppelin and progressive ones Rush, Yes, Pink Floyd. I kind of mixed all of it in my own, twisted musical vision, and Royal Hunt is a very good example of that.

Do you ever wake up and think to yourself, I'd love to make a simple pop rock album?!!
I just did. My second solo album is like that not pop though but straight ahead hard rock album. I know that your next question would be "When it will be out?" - sometime this year.

The Bio for The Mission says "The music of Royal Hunt has been described as powerful, majestic, melodic, progressive, impressive and elegant."
I love's a great range of passions and emotions.

Reading that, does that make you feel like the messages behind your songs has been successfully received?
I hope so, but you can never be entirely sure it is up to the fans and their perception of your work.

What music/artists do you hear these days that really inspires you?
Way too many to mention, from pop to hard & heavy and mainly classical.

Is there anything that you hear that sometimes you might say to yourself, I wish I thought of that?
All the time.

And what of the upcoming release The Watchers. How do you describe it fitting into the Royal Hunt catalogue?
I see all 3 releases as one Intervention, the Mission and the Watchers. They give you every aspect of RH new material, re-recorded old songs, live and unplugged versions. Though some people calling it as the longest EP in the history of music.

Turning back the clock a little, was the departure of DC Cooper from the band a slap in the face, or a challenge to move on in the future? It was just a regular change, natural evolution happens all the time to everybody. I never saw anything dramatic in that, but I assume the press had a different point of view.

And how do you think the band has fared since his departure?
Both DC and John are excellent singers, but besides the vastly improved social climate in the band, we gained a bit more depth with John. He has a wider range, fuller voice and brought a touch of soul quality in our music.

I think John West has an awesome voice, but were there any others considered for the vocalist position at the time.
Yes it was many and John was the best choice then and he is still now.

Did you enjoy recording your own solo album?
Sure. My second one titled "Black on Black" is a thrill, but almost without prog/clever changes, just great rock songs recorded by great musicians. It has a timeless touch that some of the great bands had in the 70-ies but it comes with current sounds and up-to-date (at least, I think so).
It's very different from Changing Skin, which was a very quiet, symphonic and complicated affair. "Black on Black" is just pure strait in your face rock.

What's next up for Royal Hunt?
Touring we are rehearsing and waiting for the tour dates to come.

Anything you would like to add to any Royal Hunt fans out there Andre?
I hope you ll enjoy our current and upcoming releases and I hope you'll be able to join us at one of the concerts in your area see you soon!