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| 7 June 2017 | Reply


Dutch prog rock maestro AYREON (aka Arjen Anthony Lucassen) has just released his latest epic rock opera album The Source, which is a prequel to the story of ‘Planet Y’, which he started telling with the 01011001 album from 2008. Featuring singers such as Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia), James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot, Seventh Wonder), and Russell Allen (Symphony X), with each singer voicing a different character, it’s as involved a story as your favourite Sci Fi or Fantasy novel.

Ayreon was generous enough to sit down and answer a Quick Dozen for 100% ROCK MAGAZINE.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. Are there any hidden nuggets the band / you put in the material that only diehard fans might pick up on?

AYREON: Oh yes, plenty! There are a lot of links and references to previous albums for the die-hard fans to discover, as always. But since this is a prequel to the whole ‘Planet Y’ story, people who do not know the previous Ayreon albums can easily start here without knowing the back story.
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realised you wanted to be a musician?

AYREON: At first it was The Beatles in the 60’s. Then in the early 70’s I loved the whole glam rock period with Alice Cooper, David Bowie, T-Rex and Sweet. But when I first heard Ritchie Blackmore on Deep Purple’s Made In Japan, I realised that I wanted to play guitar myself. It was 1975, I was 15.
3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

AYREON: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Rainbow and Hawkwind. Damn, there’s so many great bands I had to leave out here!

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

AYREON: I would love to record Comatose with the mighty Robert Plant. And David Gilmour is allowed to play a guitar solo on it 🙂
5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

AYREON: A Rock Opera project with many guest musicians from all over the world, featuring a combination of many different music styles: prog, rock, folk, metal, industrial, electronic, classic, classical, and more.
6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

AYREON: Being creative, and being able to inspire other people. And not having to work a normal honest job of course!
7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

AYREON: Luckily I’m not in a band, I’m all alone… just the way I – the ego-maniac – like it! Yes… I do all the work… but I also get all the money, haha!
8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

AYREON: Anything creative. Maybe a painter? Unfortunately it’s too late to learn now!

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep, or you would like to be able to “do over”?

AYREON: Plenty of missteps, haha! Definitely in those damned 80’s 🙂 But no, I wouldn’t want to do them over. They were a learning process and they brought me to where I am today. I’m totally happy with what I’ve achieved so far.
10. If you were made ruler of the world, what would your first orders be?

AYREON: Buy my new Ayreon album The Source. Hell… buy my whole discography!
11. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

AYREON: I would loved to have been involved when Rainbow recorded Stargazer. I’d just want to be there though as a spectator and not ruin the recordings, it’s perfect the way it is!
12. What, for you, is the meaning of life??

AYREON: That’s an easy one, it’s my credo: The meaning of life is to give life meaning. Simple, but effective.

Category: Interviews

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