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Henrik Klingenberg – Sonata Arctica Answers Your Questions

Linda – lindarctica
I once heard a rumour that Tony ‘collects’ SA fan tattoo’s (making pictures of it). Is that true? And how do. you all feel about the fact that people have SA tattoo’s?

Henrik: Yeah Tony usually takes pictures when he sees people with SA tattoos, so that is pretty much true. Personally it feels a bit weird sometimes when people have Sonata tattoos but it’s also a great honour that someone likes our band and our music so much that they want it permanently inked on themselves. So, thumbs up !!

Terry – Pheonix
I was wondering, what is that big round thing with roses in the middle of the front cover, and what does it represent?
Do roses hold a particular meaning for Sonata? They feature on the cover of Replica 2006 as well as in the lyrics of Sing in Silence..

Henrik: It’s something our cover artist came up with, I don’t know about any symbolic meaning for it, maybe I should check with him. As far as I know it just looked cool so we started to use it.

Simon – siiim
Why isn’t Tallulah on the DVD-track list from Oulu? I know you played it there and really miss it on the DVD-track list.

Henrik: We played and recorded it but the technical quality was not up to par for some reason (namely the cymbals leaked too much into the vocal mic, so we were not able to make it sound good enough), however on the Sonata Arctica Open Air 2 -cd featured in the 2DVD + 2CD package, Tallulah is there so at least you get some kinda live version of it.

For the band: So guys, since the Silence album, all gigs have started with the first track of the newest album. Weballegry, APBE, Misplaced, and In Black and White. With The Days of Grays, I was expecting Deathaura to be the opener, since is one of the best songs of the album, and comes right after Everything Fades to Gray. Some time ago, Henkka (I think…) said that the song “didn’t work” live as expected. Could you tell us a little more about that?

Henrik: We played it a couple of times on the US-tour if I remeber correctly, somehow the band didn’t get any “kick” out of it and it didn’t have that special something for us when performing it live. However that was originally the case with White Pearl, Black Oceans which later found it’s way to the set and did sound great, so don’t give up the hope just yet :)

Why do you use pre-recorded backing vocals in your live shows now? Do you feel it enhances the overall performance?

Henrik: Even since before I joined the band, Sonata has been using some backing tracks, namely backup vocals, orchestral stuff as well as some background keyboards. Some of our songs definately needs the background tapes in order to sound even close to what we’ve done on the records. For example: on some songs we have 50-70 tracks of background vocals on the album, and even though Marko, Elias and I sing it’s impossible to recreate that without tapes. Be that as it may, about 50% of the songs are performed without any background tapes when we play live depending of course on the setlist. It would be nice to have a bunch of backup singers and an orchestra with and not use any pre-recorded stuff but economically it’s impossible, at least right now.

What are the band’s thoughts on being recorded by fans on their phones/cameras?

Henrik: I’ve never quite understood the idea of that, the sound and video is usually crap and on top of that it’s hard to enjoy a show if you try to film it at the same time. Nevertheless, it doesn’t bother me at all and if that’s the way someone wants to spend their time during our show, just go ahead. When I see bands that I like, I’d rather have a beer in my hand :) I don’t know what the other guys think about this though…..

For each guy, do you believe in God, know something about him, or something like that??? It is because some lyrics reflect some influences about it….

Henrik: Again, can only speak for myself here. I’d rather not go into too many details about my personal beliefs but I do not subscribe to any form of organized religion, just to keep it short. I could probably write a book about these things but as a band we do not have a consensus on the subject of God.

Yvette – pommetje007
Tony, are there songs that you can’t sing when you got a cold? Do you change the set list of a concert when that happens, or do you change the way you sing the song?

Henrik: Well, I’d say that there are a couple of songs that have some really high notes which are hard or near impossible to pull of with a cold, Sometimes we have changed the setlist a bit if Tony’s been sick. Of course if Tony’s got a bad cold then there’s no show.

For all of you:
What have been your favourite places you have visited on tour?

Henrik: South-America is always wild and on the last tour I know we all really enjoyed Australia. We’d been wanting to go there for a long time and finally we managed to do that. Other than that there are a million places we’d like to visit, especially if someone shows up and goes: YEAAAHHH !!!

Will you be keeping the darker style of The Days of Grays in your next album or will you be going back to your more critically acclaimed styles? (Unia, the albums before it etc)

Henrik: In the past I’ve made the mistake of trying to describe new music before it’s released, and failed miserably so I won’t do it again. Making an album is an adventure and a great possibility to explore new directions, however the basic Sonata spices will always be there, the singing, solos and the new album is still heavy !! It will however not be like part 2 of the DOG, so once again we’ve come up with new exciting things….at least we think so.

For the band: I feel that since Jani left the band your sound has changed (not in a bad way and I love Elias!), how much has changing guitarists made you guys have to adjust your sound?

Henrik: I think we’re constantly moving and our sound changes from album to album so it’s quite hard to estimate how much the change of a single member has to do with any of that, as far as for us others adjusting to Elias, I think it took awhile to get to know him musically but nobody really had to make any big adjustments in the way we play.

Will you ever release the Unia documentary? I noticed it’s not listed on the DVD anymore.

Henrik: I totally forgot that we made that, I haven’t seen it in a couple of years but I’ll check through it and see if it fits somewhere…..maybe on our youtube channel if nothing else.

Since Unia, I feel like the songs are getting more symphonic and also melodic, without losing its heaviness, which is awesome! For the next album, will you guys “walk this same path”? Or do you intend to do something completely different and innovate even more this time?

Henrik: I don’t think we’ll be having too much orchestral stuff on the next album, not as far as I know. We’re doing something different now :-)

How did you decide that your mascot would be a wolf? I mean, other than the fact that wolves are awesome.

Henrik: I’m not sure how it started, I think it’s because Tony is really fashinated by wolves, then little by little it’s been creeping into our stuff, like now there HAS to be a wof-song on every album.

Even though Sonata Arctica is clearly the greatest band in the world, you always come across as very modest. It’s almost as if you aware of just how big an impact you’ve had on some of your fan’s lives.
So, on the topic of modesty:
What’s your least favourite (SA) song? And by this, I’m not expecting you to include songs that didn’t even make it to the album (there must be some of those, right?)

Henrik: Least favourite…hmm… I’d say Tallulah, it’s a great ballad but I don’t like to play it live. Some songs like Don’t say a word, you never get tired of playing but for me Tallulah hit that spot pretty quick.

Questions for everyone:
If you had to dress up for Halloween, what would you be and why?

Henrik: Since it’s only me answering I’ll dress the other guys as well:

Myself-Jimi Hendrix, I always wondered if I could get my hair to look that wild.
Tony- A Wolfman, how could he be anything else ?
Elias- The Pope, sorry I can’t explain this….
Marko- Hulk Hogan, he likes to wrestle.
Tommy- Brett Michaels, because Tommy actually has a great singing voice.

Are there any plans for a cover of “Black Diamond” from Stratovarius? I think this is a song that fits Tony’s voice so well, it’d be the best cover in the world, at least for me, and i also know that you love Stratovarius tony

Henrik: At least for now there are no plans of covering any Strato songs.We usually try to cover stuff that are a bit further away from what we do ourselves, but I’d have to agree, Tony’s voice would fit that song perfectly.

About Snake

Live music photographer and staff member of www.planetmosh.com
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