2007 saw the release of the new MIND’S EYE album, “A Gentleman’s Hurricane”. The Swedish Progressive Metal masterminds pulled out all this stops for this one; in addition to producing a fantastic CD complete with stirring orchestral arrangements, MIND’S EYE also produced a video for “Feed My Revolver” and even enlisted the likes of cover artist Matthias Norén to help write an accompanying comic book. Daniel Flores, the driving force behind the band, took the time to answer a few questions on the album, the band’s future, and…movie scores?
“A Gentleman’s Hurricane” is the most ambitious project MIND’S EYE have attempted thus far. Can you explain the storyline of the album?
It’s about an assassin who is trying to find himself and wants to stop the killing. He finds a new friend and pours his heart out to him…things that are deep secrets to all humankind. He knows who killed the president. It’s him.
How did you come up with this storyline?
It’s a mix of many different things, like the game “Hitman”, the movie “Sleepers”, the book “The Da Vinci Code”, and some of my own thoughts on our society…
While most Metal concept albums are about warriors and battles, “A Gentleman’s Hurricane” is very gritty and realistic. Was this a conscious decision, to make it stand out like that?
Didn’t know that most concept albums these days were about battles and warriors… I think we have matured beyond those kinds of topics, and I wanted something fresh, but still a little thought-provoking. This story is very political, if you will, so I wanted something that would never become dated, and real events never die. “Dragons and swords” has been done to death, so…there you have it.
Is there any message or moral that you wanted to convey in “A Gentleman’s Hurricane”, or did you just want to tell an interesting story?
Nah, it’s just good old entertainment, you know… if you do find a moral message, it wasn’t put in there by us. We’re just a couple of punk rockers making music; it’s not like we’re curing cancer here. Still, it’s fun when people tell us about these things; it just shows how well layered everything is when it comes to music and lyrics.
We know that you’re a big Progressive Rock fan, but you’re also a big fan of the movies, and it’s easy to see that “A Gentleman’s Hurricane” was developed with a cinematic feel in mind. What movies did you draw inspiration from?
Like I told you above, “Sleepers”, and maybe “The French Connection”. I also love Quentin Tarantino’s movies and scripts: movies which start with the ending, but the first time you see it, you don’t get it.
Which songs were the most difficult to complete in terms of writing and/or production?
The first song, “Praying For Confession”, because this one sets the mood for the whole album, and the last song, “Pandora’s Musical Box”, because this one has to end it well. The rest was a walk in the park—not really, but not as difficult as these two.
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: the cover art for “A Gentleman’s Hurricane” is really damn cool. Will you continue to enlist Matthias Norén for your artwork needs in the future?
Yes, he is fantastic! We will see what happens in the future. We are thinking of going for a different approach on the next disc. Let’s see.
Can you tell us a bit about the “A Gentleman’s Hurricane” graphic novel that’s being produced by Matthias Norén? That’s not something your everyday Metal band does for their fans.
Well, these days, you need to throw in much more than just a good disc. You need something for the eyes too, just like the good old days when vinyl was still selling. The best thing would be, of course, to include a snack in the booklet, but that’s just too much! [laughs] I don’t see us as a Metal band; we are just musicians who happen to play harder music on this particular disc.
How might one get their hands on said graphic novel?
If you buy the DVD box, you’ll get that and a bonus DVD with lots of extras for the interested fan.
“A Gentleman’s Hurricane” marks the first time MIND’S EYE have released a professional music video. What made you decide “Feed My Revolver” was the right song for such a video?
We needed a “poppy” assassination or a popular murder (as all songs on “A Gentleman’s Hurricane” are about someone being murdered), and I thought that John F. Kennedy’s murder was poppy enough for the public. The video was cool and our idea was saved by [video director] Fredrik Englund, who is really amazing.
Lion Music is known for giving its artists free reign over what kind of music they produce. How was working with Lion Music different from working with your previous labels?
Wow, it’s not even worth mentioning all the things that are better; that would take all day. Let’s just say it’s a happy marriage, and that’s something that is unusual in these times we live in today.
You’ve recently moved the Sound vs. Science studio to a new location in
Short film, yes, but no games yet. I think I need more practice before I move on to bigger things, but believe me, I will make score music for a big budget film in the future, mark my words! [laughs]
Are there any film composers whom you admire?
Oh yes! Great question! I love many different composers because all of them have styles which maybe don’t always work on every film, but here we go!
First off, John Williams. He has very rhythmical structure in his music and has an awful lot of key changes. Just listen to his work on “Star Wars”, “Amistad” or “Close Encounters”.
Then we have Danny Elfman, who is more of a punk rocker making score music. Very interesting chords going on all the time; lots of Lydian and lots of chromatic melodies going on. He is the master of dark score music, in my opinion. His best works, in my opinion, are the first “Batman” movie, “Sleepy Hollow”, and “The Corpse Bride”.
I also enjoy Alan Silvestri. His work is very heroic. I love the way he uses the percussion. His best works to date are “Back To The Future”, “Predator” and “Van Helsing”.
Then we have the romantic one, James Horner, who has a way of lifting up a simple melody to the clouds. His best works are “Braveheart”, “
I also want to mention Vince Dicola for his amazing “Rocky IV” soundtrack and Trevor Rabin (former YES guitarist), as he is one of the best up-and-coming score music creators of our modern time; listen to his work on “ConAir”, “Gone In Sixty Seconds”, and “National Treasure”.
In October 2000, MIND’S EYE contributed a song to the Adrenaline Records QUEENSRŸCHE tribute album. You’re a big QUEENSRŸCHE fan, huh?
Well, not anymore. I used to love them; now I just get disappointed when I hear their new stuff. It’s like two different bands…
While searching for a new singer in 1996, you auditioned the likes of Robert Forse (HEADS OR TALES) and Thomas Vikström (CANDLEMASS), as well as thirty other singers. Was it difficult to find someone perfectly suited to your vision of the band’s sound?
Singers are the worst kinds of people you can deal with. They are lazy and most of them really have no talent. It’s hard to find decent people these days, and to find a singer who is decent and a good musician is pretty much impossible. Andreas [Novak] is a perfect gentleman and has good ears when it comes to vocal parts. I respect him a lot and he is definitely one of the very best musicians I have ever met.
What’s next for MIND’S EYE? Also, what’s next for Daniel Flores, the individual?
Well, we’re trying to book gigs for next year. We’ll try to do, like, ten gigs or something around
For me, how much time you have? Well, let’s just say I’m keeping busy with other stuff too. Right now I’m producing a band called BLACK CANDLE WEDDING, which is going to be great; look for it soon. And I’m part of THE CODEX with Mark Boals and Magnus Karlsson. I’m also laying down drums on the new EVIL MASQUERADE disc.
Thanks for your time, Daniel. Best of luck in the future!
Thank you. Please visit www.roundrec.com or www.myspace.com/eyeofthemind for further info on MIND’S EYE. If you want to read about my drumming events, please go to www.danielflores.net.
Thanks for all the great questions!
1998: Into The Unknown (CD, Sensory Records)
2000: …Waiting For The Tide (CD, Round Records)
2002: A Work Of Art (CD, Rising Sun Records)
2006: Walking On H2O (CD, Lion Music)
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