1. First, can you please start with telling us about how Majestic Vanguard began and the history of the band so far.
 

First of all: Thanks for making this interview and thanks for a great fanzine!

Well, back in the early nineties, Samuel Fredén, Andreas Andersson and I were part of a band that from the beginning was founded by me and a friend. After some interesting years we were forced to split up when our keyboard player left the band…
4-5 years later Samuel, Andreas and I contacted each other again. We began to talk about the possibilities to start a new metal band. The year was now 98-99 and the following years we did some sad efforts to play. In the year of 2003 we decided to give Peter Sigfridsson a chance in the band and it all turned out very well. We did a demo tape that was a real triumph and received a label deal with Rivel Records. With this new situation, we decided to open up for a new guitar player, Johan Abelson… The Majestic Vanguard was born and in the springtime 2005 we recorded our debut album “beyond the moon”. The result was very pleasing and it was really exiting to let everyone hear this, as we felt, great material! The progress of this album has been fun to follow and we haven’t seen the end of it yet… I hope!

2006 was a really tuff year for us due to the fact that our lead singer Peter received problems with his vocal cords during our release gig in October 2005. The medical examinations were positive, but still it took over a year before Peter returned to the band. Gladly for us all Peter is now fully recovered and it feels great to have him back! Be prepared to see Majestic Vanguard back in full strength again this year…

 
2. What do you mean with the name Majestic Vanguard and why did you chose that name?
 
From the beginning our name was Divine Disciples, but when we received a label deal we felt that we were in a big need of a new fresh name. We wanted to indicate that this was the beginning of something new, therefore we decided to change. Majestic Vanguard is a very powerful name, with a great symbolic strength. For us the name indicates that we want to be our heavenly fathers “Majestic Vanguard”!
 
3. How would you describe your sound? Any comparisons?
 

From the beginning we were very progressive and almost experimental. During the time when we had no singer we had a basic line up in the band: drums, bass and guitar. But, we also played with two guitars, or guitar and keyboard. This constant changing of instruments gave us time to develop a “signature sound”.
We see ourselves as a Heavy Power metal band but we also have a lot of progressive elements in our music. I think you can define the band as a Progressive Power metal band!

Comparisons…? Hmm, I really don’t know, but a mix of Stratovarius, Royal Hunt and Veni Domine might be close enough! There are some reviewers that actually define and compare our music with the first Dream Theatre albums, but I don’t know… Buy our album and find out for yourselves! Mail me when you have a “sound”- suggestion, should be exiting to hear…He he!

 
4. Which are your musical influences?
 

Well, we have many different influences in the band. But since I am writing most of the music, maybe my influences have stamped the band a little. I really like music that is well thought out; Veni Domine, Rhapsody and Dream Theatre (the early albums) are some of my favourites… Kings X, Act and Stryper are other “metal” influence for the band! We like listening to all music in general, everything from “soul” to “death metal”. As long the music inspires, I guess you can call it an influence…

 
5. How has the response been to your album?
 

Well, the response has been fantastic! We have received reviews all over the word with great results! There are radio stations and websites that rank “Beyond the Moon” as the best album 2005 and that is pretty awesome… The whole feeling around the release and the response after has been way over our expectations!

I receive mail every week from fans all over the word that love our album and are interested in the band. I also receive mail that contains testimonies about how the album has affected people and changed there lives… Such testimonies are amazing and give us a lot of spirit to continue with what we are doing!

 
6. Have you played much live? Please tell us about some memories from the road.
 
Denna fråga väljer jag att inte svara på då vi varken spelat mycket live (på grund av Peters problem), eller hunnit få några direkta minnen från dom få konserter vi gjort!
 
7. What do you see as the goals for MV? What do you want to accomplish with the band?
 

The focus has always been to serve our heavenly father! A big challenge today is to become a good Christian example! This world provides us with so many choices and it’s hard to find the right way when you constantly are forced away from the truth. This band is a great opportunity to glorify our father's holy name and that is our main goal and mission!

I know that the situations for many Christian bands today are tuff and they are sometimes forced not to talk about God during concerts. We will try, as much as we can to present God everywhere we are, but I know that we have to deal with this situation through wisdom and prayers. The great thing is that even if you are forced not to talk about God, you can open up for the Holy Spirit to work… the way is through prayers!
I think you always must believe in the Holy spirits desire to approach to people that shows interest in God. A band that is open for God can relay and believe in that they are an instrument for God and work from there. That makes our mission so special!

Besides that, hopefully we can continue develop as a band and have a create time when playing our music together. We really love playing metal and can’t wait to meat everyone on tour… I also hope that we can continue record albums, it’s really fun! And who knows… maybe we will enter the studio again this year?

 
8. Your singer Peter Sigfridsson has had some vocal problems the past year. How has that affected the band?
 

Ye, it came as a big shock for us when Peter vocal cords got injured during our release gig. I think you can imagine; we had worked almost a year with preparations, recording sessions and rehearsals and when we were standing so close to the finish line, the voice crashed…! It was a nightmare, especially for Peter of course, but after the gig we embraced each other and tried to smile a little…
We could never imagine that Peter’s problems should continue for over a year and that fact was very difficult to deal with, being in doubt about how long this would actually continue! It was really sad to cancel those shows that were booked and the year that we have behind us has certainly not given our debut album the necessary conditions to succeed… but there’s nothing we can do about!

There are at least two sides to every story and maybe the time when Peter was out of the band also have affected the band in some positive way? We have been able to spend more time with our families and that is very important for all of us! We also have been given time to slow down a little and the whole situation has given us more experience that we have good use for. From the time when we received the label deal to the release where extremely hectic and when you have families and kids it’s impossible to deal with everything. You only live once and it’s important to make the right decisions…
Maybe this last year has been important for the band and the bands future. I think that we now have a better knowledge how to deal with the situations around an album recording and the work around a release!
The great thing is that Peter is back in the band again and we are much exited to begin play live again with the bands full strength!

 
9. MV has a strong Christcentered message, while many bands choose to tune down the Christian message. Do you think it's important to be loud'n'clear about your faith in the lyrics in the time we live?
 

I don’t think it’s just important to be straight in the lyrics. I believe that if you have a Christian approach and see yourself as a Christian band, you have a responsibility to be very clear in your message! This doesn’t always mean that every lyric that you write must be taken from John 3:16 or every concert you play be a divine service… Sometimes you have to approach with wisdom both within the lyrics, from your website and under your concerts! God never wants to throw messages into someone’s face, but he wants light up a spark in peoples dark spaces and that’s the biggest challenge for every Christian metal band today…
Unfortunate, there are “Christian” metal bands that only have there Christian believes as a mask and uses the Christian metal scene as a way of selling records! I know bands that call themselves Christian, but in the lyrics, on the websites, in interviews or during concerts never mention there believes… that is really sad!
I can’t blame anyone and I can never judge anyone, -there will be a day when we all will stand before the throne, but my question is: How is it possible to be called a Christian metal band when there is nothing in the messages, or the approaches that points on Jesus Christ??

The Christian metal scene stands very strong today and the bands have reached a very high level and are receiving much more respect then earlier. But, this can never be happening as a cost of losing our focus on the cross! We have such a little time left on this earth and we can not waste our time searching for glory, especially when we already have been given the biggest gift; Jesus Christ…
I think it’s very simple. If you do something in Gods name, you will see things that are amazing. It doesn't matter if you play gospel or rock and roll. Just focus on Jesus and you and your band will be blessed. Those band that choose to go in another direction, will enter a very difficult way…!

I really hope that both the Christian labels and bands take these issues very serious in the future! Because we have a mission to accomplish and we really need warriors with the right focus in the “white metal” army! Majestic Vanguard has already marked our stand and we want to be in the first line!

 
10. What is your favourite Bible verse and why?
 
5 Moses 6:5. It is a fantastic word of wisdom and has an exhortation to love our God with all our hearts!
 
11. What future plans do you have for the band?
 
This year we really would like to play live a lot! Last year was a real blast for us and we have much to retain. I hope that we’re not forgotten among the metal audience and I hope that we can meat our great fans on tour during this year!
For the moment I try to write new music and I must say that it feels really good … And as I mentioned before; maybe we will begin to record a new album this year…?
 
12. Last but not least, do you have any final words for the readers of Heaven's Metal?
 
I hope that if you don’t already have our album “Beyond the Moon”, hopefully you will get the chance to buy it somewhere! It is a very special album for us and we are really proud of it! You are also very welcome to visit our website; www.majesticvanguard.net Please write us a mail or sign up in the guestbook!
We also have a myspace site www.myspace.com/majesticvanguard, were you can drop by and say hello!
Stay focused on the lord!
God Bless!
/Daniel Eskilsson – www.myspace.com/eskilsson