Ayreon (Arjen Anthony Lucassen)
It's always a pleasure to have with us on SpazioRock a master like Arjen Anthony Lucassen. On occasion of the come back of his most celebrated project, Ayreon, we reached him to explain us his sensations about the new record "The Theory of Everything". Enjoy it!
Article by Gaetano Loffredo - Publish on: 28/10/13

Hi Arjen, welcome back to SpazioRock! How are you?

Ciao Gaetano, I am fine, what about you?

I am fine! Finally, the new Ayreon chapter is ready. What about your expectations?

It’s weird. When I am working on  it, I think that it’s the best record I have ever done. “It’s beautiful, I can’t wait people to hear it! It’s fantastic, everyone is going to think I am a genius, everyone is going to love me”. Then, I am ready, I head to the record label, and it takes three months before its release... Then I become insecure: “My God, I hate it, it’s such a complex music, people are not going to understand it”. I feel like this, in between these two extremes.

ayreon_intervista_2013_01_01Is this the best Ayreon album so far, for you?

I can’t be objective at the moment. If I hadn’t been 100% happy about it, I would have never released it. I can only be objective on an overall point-of-view, and, yes, it can be the best.

I agree with you. “The Theory Of Everything” is a title that reminds me of something between literature, Anicent Greece and Einstein, for example. But what does that mean for you?

It’s a physic theory - and I believe the idea came to me when I was watching a documentary by Stephen Hawking, that was about the Theory Of Everything - it was so cool that I thought: “Yeah, this sounds great for an album title!”, especially for Ayreon, it sounded so magnificent, epic and a bit pretentious. It fit Ayreon. Anyway, as I told you before, the Theory Of Everything is a physics theory that tries to put together other two theories: the theory of the very small - mechanics - and the theory of the very big - the universe, gravity and electromagnetism... These two theories don’t go together, they are in contrast with each other, but the Theory Of Everything tries to find the bond between these two theories.

I see, so this is a totally new storyline?

Yes, it is a totally new storyline. It’s not sci-fi, I set aside the whole old storyline. I felt like it was time for a fresh new start, a new story with new singers.

How many chapters this saga is going to have?

I have no idea. I know this record has an open ending, so it’s possible to have a sequel, but it will all depend if people will like this story and it will depend on my inspiration for the next album. It might be possible to go deeper in the story.

Italian Ayreonauts are happy to know that Cristina Scabbia is part of the project. She is a great singer and a nice person, isn’t she?

She is a beautiful person and she is such a true one. She is alway enthusiastic, I really had a good time with her, she is very passionate, very emotional and she is a great singer. What could I ask for more?

 

ayreon_intervista_2013_02_02
 

 

It’s not the first time that in Ayreon there is an Italian artist.


Of course, there was Fabio (Lione) in “Flight Of The Migrator” and this time there was Sara Squadrani (Anicent Bards) as well. This time I had two Italian girls, very talented. There’s defintely a lot of talent in Italy.

This time around, the cast is really wonderful, perhaps the best one. What it is your opinion about that?

It’s hard to say, but, yes. This time around there are some serious big artists for me, artists that I used to listen to when I was a boy. Working with my teenagehood heroes was a dream come true.

But no Bruce Dickinson this time...

No, it’s true, but I am proud of this cast anyway.

As for your other projects: will there be other Guilt Machine, Star One or Lost In The New Real records?

I have no idea, I don’t make plans, and if I make them, they usually don’t work. I don’t know what future is going to bring me, but, all I know, is that I won’t make a copy of Ayreon. There won’t be two of them!

ayreon_intervista_2013_03_01Arjen, you have a beautiful relationship with your fans, thanks to your presence in the social networks. Is that a sacrifice for you?

Oh no, not at all, because I don’t play live anymore and I don’t meet my fans, so in this way, I keep in touch with them, I know what they are thinking. I spend two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening reading messages and emails from the fans, it’s not a sacrifice at all.

You are a nerd!

Yeah, absolutely, I am a nerd!

As for live shows, have you ever thought about an Ayreon live, just one live, like Sammett’s Avantasia?

The problem is not the concert itself, but the rehearsals. It’s a complex music and work and it would take us at least rehearsals for two months. It’s really expensive to rehearse for two months and with all ten singers, and we would have to play ten times more to get the money back - and there’s no choice, that’s it.

As you know, this would be the dream that all your fans have...

I know, but it’s a dream for them as much as it’s a nightmare for me! (laughs). I consider myself as a composer and a producer, this is what I do best, being creative in my studio.

Many journalists ask you which is your favourite singer in Ayreon, but today I would like to ask you: which is the best instrumentalist you have worked with?

It’s so hard to tell, because I worked with more than a hundred people, and I liked them all! But if I had to pick one, I’d say Ed Warby. Everytime I work with him, he is always able to surprise me.

“Dawn Of A Million Souls” is my favourite Ayreon song: is there any song you like the most?

Rather than a song, I’d say an album, “Flight Of The Migrator”, because Russell Allen is the best singer in the world. He’s fantastic and I’d work with him again, but... Anyway, for each album, I do have favourite songs. From “Into The Electric Castle”, I’d choose “Isis, Osiris”, where as in “Dream Sequencer”, I’d say “Shooting Company”. Tomorrow I might tell you other favourite songs... It depends!

I’d like to ask you what you think about Jorn Lande.

I worked with him on “01011001”, he’s a good singer!

 

ayreon_intervista_2013_04_01
 

 

Have you ever thought of writing a score for a sci-fi movie?

I don’t think I’d write for somebody else: when I write, I have to be inspired and I have to be spontaneous. I don’t think I would manage to write music for somebody who tells me: “This is the movie. Now write the music!”. I am a true ego-maniac! I think that, if I were to work with somebody e for somebody, I would drive them crazy! (laughs). I’d rather work on my own.

What can you tell me about your future plans?

As I said before, I don’t make plans. All I know is that the next album will be slightly in contrast with what I have done before. The next one, I can tell you it will be something different, maybe with less singers, but for the rest, I don’t have any idea.

For now, we can enjoy the new chapter of Ayreon saga.

Yes, I worked on it for a year, a year and a half, I am totally empty - I have put all my emotions, my creativity in it, now I have to slowly recharge my batteries and wait for inspiration to come back and we will see what happens.

Thank you for this interview, Arjen. Would you like to leave a message to SpazioRock.it readers?

Of course, I am glad and proud to have had two Italian singers on Ayreon album, check them out: you already know Cristina, but Sara is a new talent. Thanks for your support!

Thank you so much Arjen, see you on Facebook!




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