First, can you tell me who you are (the band) and how your story started?
 
Back in the early nineties, Samuel Fredén, Andreas Andersson and I were part of a band that from the beginning was founded by myself and a friend of my. 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 founded Divine Disciples and did a demo tape. The demo tape was a real triumph and we received a label deal with Rivel Records. Majestic Vanguard was born and we began to record our debut album “beyond the moon” during the spring 2005.
 
You are a christian band, what does it really mean to you? Is it just to sing christian lyrics or does it mean something more?
 
The focus has always been and will always be, to serve our heavenly father! That is something that everybody knows in the band and that is our focus. There will never be any compromises from the band in our Christian faith. I know that the situation for many Christian bands are tuff today, they are sometimes forced not to talk about God during concerts. We will try, as much as we can to present God when we play, but I know that we have to deal with this situation through wisdom and prayers.

Even if you are forced not to speak 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…

 
Can you describe the music you play? Could you compare it to the music of other bands? Which bands did influence you?
 
Well, we have many different influences in the band. But since I have been the pushing man in the band and also are 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 favourites… Kings X, Stratovarius and Stryper are other influence sources for the band!

I my opinion we have a classic heavy metal sound as a ground to our music. We also have progressive influences and a little touch of power metal in our sound.

 
Are you searching for special places or moments to write the music?
 

Good question! I don’t search’s for special moments when I write music, I believe that the moments and feelings are coming to me. When such occasion appears it’s important to take the time and try to create something. I have many examples of this during the work and progress with “beyond the moon”. For instance; when I wrote “Tears in Neverland”, I was sitting in our apartment on the bed and were waiting for my wife. We were a little bit late to my parents in law; all of a sudden a Choir appear in my head. I said to my wife that I must bring the guitar with me and during the travel I wrote the lyrics and music. So, as I said, it is important to take the special occasions when it appears!

 
How was the recording of the album? What was difficult to do? Did you meet some problems?
 

The feeling when we began the recordings was unbelievable. Since we decided to use a studio in our hometown, almost everyone had walking distance to the studio! We walked a few hundred meters, plugged in and played… Amazing!!

We did the recordings during mars–may 2005; it was some extremely hectic weeks. We didn’t have any special problems; everything went very smoothly, except for some minor illness from some of us guys.
We mixed and mastered the album with the very talented Thomas Johansson at Panic Room studios and Criteria Mastering. The outcome turned out to be fantastic with a very clear and powerful sound.
The artwork and booklet was made by Markus Sigridsson at Tenement design. The result has been something really amazing, far beyond all our biggest expectations.

 
Which sound were you searching for? What did you especially try to do with you instrument?
 
We have worked with our sound for many years now. We relay in the sound that has been created and are comfortable with that feeling. Therefore I where not searching for a special sound in the studio. I was just trying to maintain that sound and feeling that we already had.
 
While recording, have you improvised or did you follow exactly the traced way?
 
I have been trying to produce as much as I could before we entered the studio. It was natural for me since I wrote almost all music. We also wanted to save some money, especially during the studio sessions and therefore there were no room for improvising in a bigger extension. The solo guitar is improvised together with a little vocals and keyboard that I produced during the recordings. The drums are a very special instrument and they are of course also improvised in some way.
 
Why did you choose "Beyond the moon" as title for the album? Was it your favourite song?
 

Beyond the moon was the title of our successfully demo that we recorded in 2003. Therefore we didn’t felt that a changing of the title were necessary. Beyond the moon has also a great symbolic strength within itself and indicates what the band stands for. It is also a fantasy related name that presents our power metal influenced style.
“Beyond the moon” is one of the first songs that I ever wrote. The song is about 6 years old now and are surrounding by a lot of memories and emotions for me. The favourite song; I don’t know, one of my favourites absolutely, but not the best one.

 
Are you satisfied with your album? If you could change only one thing, what would it be?
 
I am extremely satisfied with this album! The whole progress and foundation of “Beyond the moon” has been great. It has also been a fantastic opportunity and experience for me to become the producer. There are many different faces on this record, fast, slow, progressive, power influenced songs that have strengthen the multiplicity. Some songs as: Beyond the moon, as I mentioned before, Footprints, Mystic Eye and Take me home are 4-6 years old now and they were part of that period when we didn’t had any singer in the band. Some songs are extremely fresh; “Great Eternity” for instance was the last contribution to the album.
I think you can call this album a summary of this bands first years.

I had a vision and a goal with the recordings of this album and I must say that almost everyone has been confirmed. Of course there are things that I don’t like and that I would have changed if I had the opportunity, but there is nothing that is bothering me today.

 
You've epic songs, powerful songs and melodic songs, which are your favourite to play?
 
There are many great songs to play and almost everyone have there on special way. But I really like to play “Emotions of a Picture”! This is one of my absolutely favourite songs who I think have many different faces and pushes us guys to play on a high level; a great song to play! Another song that I like to play is “Great Eternity”! It is a really powerfully and heavy song. It has also great lyrics that make this song very special to play live.
 
Who had the idea of these strange keyboards effects on "Tears in neverland"? (i like them very much)
 
Well, the keyboard player Samuel Fredén and I worked with many different effects during the recordings. I remember when we discovered that particular effect and we really liked it. We even named the effect after a famous Swedish pop singer who is a really special guy; “The Thomas Di Leva sound”
 
The song "Mystic Eye" contains some death vocals, who is singing them?
 
Actually I am! I don’t think I have a future with the growl sound, but it works on “Mystic”!
 
In some songs you take some parts of other songs (I think of "I know a place where you and I...") it give some cohesion to the album, why did you do that?
 
I think it’s really a coincident, nothing that I have reflected over until now. Maybe there is impossible not to write things that already exist in your one music? After all, you are influenced by yourself when you write music. But as I said, there is nothing that I have been noticed.
 
There is cohesion as I just said, but there are many styles mixed in the album
 
As I mentioned before, this album has been written during a long period and the album is like a summary of this bands first years. That is one reason why there are different styles on this album. Another thing is that I really like to mix with different styles. It is very interesting and a big challenge. I think that this will be reflected on next coming album as well.
 
You play a kind of melodic power metal why did you choose that style of music, is it a way to give relief to your lyrics?
 
Actually I don’t know! We have worked with the sound for a long time and we like to play metal this way. We have never talked about the possibility to play a special style just to present the lyrics. We love this metal style and therefore it’s natural to play this way!
 
I know your lyrics are christian, but can you tell us the story behind every one of your songs; this one is a question I really like to ask because the lyrics are important to understand the music?
 
Generally many of my lyrics deals with the struggle and conflict between the new ages influenced society and what it stands for, contra a Christian lifestyle. The Holy Spirit has a desire to reach out to people and one problem today is that many people don’t understand there needs and longings to face God. The new age religion stands for a lifestyle without God and it is focused on a spiritual way of living without the Holy Spirit. I feel that the new way of searching for meaning in life is an opposite of that way the bible talks about. The living God has created us and he wants to become part of our lives. There is only one way to God and that way is throw Jesus Christ. That is something that really is shown in all our lyrics.
(In some weeks all our lyrics will be added to the website)
 
You are all very talented musicians, are some of you part of other bands or guest musicians? I think you all live with a regular job, no one only with music?
 
Yes, you are absolutely right, everybody has regular jobs! Johan, our guitar player, also play in a cover band. Besides that we are all focused on this band.
 
You got a record deal with Rivel Records, how did it happen? I think you are very happy to work with Christian Rivel? What do you think of his involvment in christian music?
 
We recorded a demo in 2004, the outcome was very good. We thought that it could be interesting to send the demo to some critics and record labels. In the end we sent the demo to just one record label – “Rivel records”. Christian contacted me and we began to talk about the possibilities to collaboration. Of course we decided to sign up with Rivel Records immediately.
Rivel records are a label with a lot of respect in the whole metal world. Christian Rivel is doing a wonderful job with his bands and we are very happy and proud to be part of that label. When it comes to the Christian believes, Christian has a longing and a hunger to deliver Gods word to people that is admirable. All Christians band projects are very Jesus focused and besides that they all are great, they are also a raw model of how a Christian metal band should be.
 
What do you think of the actual metal scene? And of the actual christian metal scene?
 
The metal scene stands very strong; there are many great bands and a lot of great music.
I also think that the Scandinavian melodic metal market is one of the toughest in the world. That competition definitely pushes bands to perform extremely well and that is one of the things that have developed good bands in this area. Maybe we have a special melodic vein in our metal hearts in this part of the world that just won’t leave us!

Christian metal also stands very strong for the moment. It's been a major break throw both in album releases and live performances the last years. Christian metal bands today have reached a very high level and are receiving much more respect then earlier. Should be interesting to follow the future…

 
Have you got some plans for the future? Maybe a tour or a new album?
 
For the first we just feel that it is fun to have come this far with the band. The band is very young and we feel very positively about the future. To been making this album is a dream come true and we are enjoying that for the moment. The branch is tuff and there are many bands that fight for the few buyers that are out there. Hopefully we can manage to put all financial stuffs together so we can continue playing our music. We will do a second album, when it will be released we don’t know, but we will defiantly record a follower. We will also play live as much as we can in the future!
 
What could be the greatest thing that could happen to you now?
 
That we receive many gig requests for the next coming year. We are really anxious to meet the fans and play live!
 
You are also the webmaster of Majestic Vanguard's website, does it take much time to you? You read the mails that are sent to the band, what do they say? What's the strangest one you got?
 
I have been working as the head of the band, or if you prefer, as the bands manager for some time now and it is extremely fun. Everything takes of course a lot of time and it is hard to combine this work with a regular work and also a family life. Hopefully I will have time to continue doing this in the future because it is very elevating and interesting to come this close to the fans.
I receive mails from the whole word and everyone is very satisfied with the album. Most of the mails concern the fact that it can be difficult to find our album and many asks where they can listen to our music.
 
You can now say everyting you want to our christian readers and to all people who will read this interview!
 
You are all welcome to visit our website; www.majesticvanguard.net, please writes us a mail or sign up in the guestbook… I hope you will enjoy our album “beyond the moon”, see you all on tour!! God bless you and take care…

/Daniel Eskilsson