Star Shooter Supreme
CoC talks to Johan Reinholdz of Andromeda
by: Adrian Bromley
The song titled "Star Shooter Supreme", taken from Andromeda's debut album _Extension of the Wish_ on WAR Music (licensed through Century Media in North America), is such a perfect description of guitar player Johan Reinholdz. His undying love for his music and this band has sent him on a journey to reach for the stars, pushing aside any setbacks to reach stardom. Indeed he lives and breathes his music.

"By looking at the album cover I guess some people might assume that this record is a concept record. But it really isn't", clarifies Reinholdz about the themes of the new disc. "The idea of the guy extending his arm played off the album title and the galaxy picture goes along with our name, but other than that it is just the cover. This album is made up of seven very different song ideas. No concept theme runs throughout."

He adds, "People need to actually play the record to see what we are all about. The cover imagery is one thing, the music is another. People who listen to our music will experience what I mean."

Listening to the music of Andromeda -- rounded out by session vocalist Lawrence Mackrory (ex-Darkane), keyboardist Martin Hedin, drummer Thomas Lejon and bassist Gert Dunn -- it isn't that hard to hear the multiple influences that make up this band. Reinholdz reveals some of them.

"I listen to all types of music, all genres. Some of those bands you will never hear in our music, but they still inspire what I do with Andromeda. I think if I had to pinpoint music that has been a big inspiration, I'd have to say bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Megadeth. Plus numerous progressive metal bands from the '70s like Yes, Rush and Genesis. As well as modern progressive bands from the past few years like Atheist, Cynic and Dream Theater."

"Listening to as much music as I possibly can is a great thing for me", he explains. "It opens me up to all of these styles and lets me see what great music came before me, as well as keep me up to date with all of today's contemporary music."

On the topic of studio work for _Extension of the Wish_, he says, "I found the studio experience a great thing for me. I really enjoyed it. But I have to admit, while I did get a lot done in the studio, there was a lot more experimenting that I would have like to get done, but I wasn't able to do. It was very stressful at times to get this all done. I did all of the guitar work in four days. Two days for clean and rhythm guitars and two days for guitar solos. Some days I played 16 hours in a row just to make sure the guitar was done properly. Had I not had to do so much in a few days, I would surely have been able to try out new things and experiment more in the studio. But you know how it is, though. When this is your first record, you really don't get a big budget or a lot of time to get things done. Maybe next time or the third album we will be given more time and money to try things with Andromeda's production."

I think the record turned out great.

"Yeah, it is okay", states Reinholdz. "You can never make the perfect record."

Andromeda is fresh blood for sure in this ever-growing music industry. When Reinholdz is asked why we should care about their music, he answers: "I know this sounds a bit cocky <laughs>, but I don't listen to a whole lot of new progressive music out there because I don't think there are that many bands that are good. A lot of bands that play this kind of music are very hard to get into. I mean, we play some very technical stuff and like to get flashy every once in a while, but still the sounds are memorable and it is a lot heavier than what is out there. I think those two characteristics are going to help get our name out to the music scene."

There seems to be a real space rock kind of feel to the music on the debut album. Does Reinholdz agree?

"When I first started to write this record, I wrote all of the music, there really wasn't as much synthesizer on the record. The music I wrote long before we got together as a band. When we came together the keyboardist brought in his own ideas and attached them to mine. It is kind of neat how we have guitar solos and keyboard solos."

Do you like the amount of synthesizer work on the disc, though?

"Yes, it is very cool for sure. I like how the guitars and keyboards complement each other." He continues, "Even though I may have written all of the music by myself before the band came together, I am pleased that, for example, the singer and keyboardist will come in and add their own things. They'll write the lyrics and song melodies and help shape the song around my original ideas. I like that. I like that this has become more of a band that just one person doing everything. It makes it a lot easier for Andromeda to continue like this."

Some credit for the cool sound must be given to producer Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah. Strapping Young Lad) and how he helped sculpt the band's plan of attack. How was working with Bergstrand?

"It was great, but as I mentioned before, the studio work was hell. It was very difficult at times. And not only were we being rushed through the studio, but he [Bergstrand] had overbooked the studio and had three studio albums going on at once. He was very divided at times, I think. It was very weird at times because I know he is not a real big fan of this music style and guitar solos, but he made an effort to get the best out of the band."

So will you work with him again?

"Probably not", responds the guitar player. "I think next time around we will try to work with someone who like progressive music and can be more in tune with what we want. It was great to work with Daniel because he helped give us a rougher and heavier sound."

He finishes, "Next time I hope that we can get some solid studio work that will not only keep things heavy, but help enforce our progressive metal sound. I am sure things will work out for us. They always seem to do."

(article submitted 12/8/2001)

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