Interview with Seventh Wonder (Andreas Blomqvist)

Seventh Wonder have just released their superb Neo-Classical/Progressive sophmore release Waiting In The Wings. Bassist and co-founder Andreas Blomqvist sat down with Metal Express Radio to talk about this lastest project.

MER: Hey Andreas, thanks for taking the time to speak with Metal Express Radio!

Andreas: Sure! Always fun to talk about yourself, right? 🙂

MER: In 2005 the band released an impressive debut with Become. It was actually recorded in November 2004 and never released until June of 2005. Why the delay?

Andreas: Well, we started recording it in late November and were done in December. We got the album mastered in mid-January, I believe, and then we were about done. Then there was some additional time, as the artwork wasn’t finished. I don’t think we got the final version until early April or something so that was the main reason for the delay. At the same time, Lion was looking to get us released in Japan, which is why the release date was postponed until we knew how that was going to end.

MER: Around the time of releasing Become the band announced that vocalist Andi Kravljaca (who sang on Become) was no longer a member of the band. It was a harsh break-up. Has anyone spoken to Andi since?

Andreas: Yeah well, we had to deal a bit with each other immediately after the break-up to set certain things straight and there were some unresolved practical issues that we were required to attend to. But, after that was taken care of, none of us had spoken to him until I accidentally bumped into him at the Swedish Metal Expo. That was kind of weird, but we shook hands and said “Hi” and that was pretty much it I guess. It was only Tommy and I there at that time. Now, I have no problems with Andi, I actually think he is kinda cool in his own way and I wish that he finds a band where he can enjoy himself, but it was not an option for me to continue to work with him as the situation was back then. He is a very special person …

MER: Current vocalist Tommy Karevik actually tried out for the band before Become was released. He has a very melodic tone to his singing. Was it a short transition between the time Andi left and Tommy auditioned?

Andreas: That’s not entirely true … he thought about applying for the band in the time between our first and second/final demo, but he chickened out. 🙂 So, we had never met him before the real audition after Become. Well, when Andi had left, we found ourselves in the rather pleasant position of having a record deal -–something most bands looking for singers don’t have. We figured we therefore had a pretty good chance of getting someone to join our band and leave their old band, should we find a suitable person. So, we simply set about looking into every unsigned act we could find in the Stockholm area. We found two that were interesting, of which one was simply outstanding. We called Tommy up; well Kyrt (Andreas Söderin, keyboards) did, and asked if he wanted to audition. Andi left in January and I believe this was late February or early March, so no, no big time gap and we were very fortunate!

MER: On Waiting In The Wings the band managed to get the infamous Tommy Hansen to Mix and Master the release. How did this relationship come about?

Andreas: Even though I personally kind of liked the sound on Become (lots of bass ya know!), we got slammed pretty bad for it in the press. We also figured that might have been a reason for us not getting released in Japan. This is why we decided that we were going to put up the extra money ourselves to get a really professional mix this time, as an investment. Our management promised us they could hook us up with Tommy so we immediately jumped at the opportunity. I mean, we all grew up listening to Keeper Of The Seven Keys and stuff like that, at least me and Johnny did, and the guy is a legend.

MER: Waiting In The Wings is self-produced by the band. Was this intimidating knowing Tommy Hansen was in the same room?

Andreas: Ha ha. Yes it was! 🙂 Naah, really it worked out perfectly! But sure, we were of course a bit concerned that he was going to get all “-no you can’t do that” on us, but he was such a pro. Sure, sometimes he said, “I would really recommend that we don’t raise the keys any more here, but it’s your call”, so that was perfect. I mean we do in fact pay him to do his work, but the balance was never hard to find. Even though we had to fight somewhat to get the keyboard as high in the mix as we wanted to! 🙂

MER: The band also brought back Engineer Daniel Flores (drummer with Mind’s Eye). It seems like Daniel has been involved from the start. How did this relationship come about?

Andreas: I knew of Daniel previously, as I had listened to Mind’s Eye when I was younger, but had never met him. It was actually through Lion Music that this contact was set up, though. Daniel works a lot with Lion Music and the deal was great!

MER: Who did the writing for Waiting In The Wings? Was Tommy involved? If so was he involved from the start or was material already written before he joined?

Andreas: We all did –- as usual. Actually, Tommy was really involved. It was a good thing that he joined the band so quickly after Andi’s departure, so that we had the chance to get familiar with each other and how we work together. Tommy wrote the tracks “The Edge Of My Blade” and “Pieces” pretty much on his own. He also wrote all of the vocal melodies, save one line here and there. It works perfectly. Of course, Johan and I usually deliver most of the basic ideas for songs, but it is usually not until everyone has gotten so familiar with the “song-idea” that they start to expand it and add their own flavor to it that it gets really good.

MER: If you could go back in time and re-do Waiting In The Wings, is there anything you would change?

Andreas: Yes. We would have let Tommy record the vocals at his place. It took an enormous amount of time in the studio to do that and we were all very tired at that time. I think most of us got sick afterward. It was a real ordeal. We should have had more time in the studio, but there is always the money issue …

MER: The songs on Waiting In The Wings are quite powerful, and at times Neo-Classical. With apologies to Tommy, the music could certainly stand on its own (i.e., no vocals). Has there been any discussion between you, Johan, Andreas S., and Johnny about doing an all-instrumental release as perhaps a side project?

Andreas: No, not really. Johan and I have talked many, many times about writing something instrumental, but only in terms of a single song or two, not an entire album. Also, we work pretty slowly. A song can take us months to finish before we are pleased with everything. Between Become and Waiting In the Wings … we worked our asses off to make our time plan. We felt it important to get a new album out to show Tommy to the world. This is why I don’t think such a project is feasible at this point –- if we want to continue to release Seventh Wonder albums, there is simply not enough time to create something good enough to be proud of.

MER: The promo copies that Lion Music shipped were without the ninth track (“Pieces”), which is on the retail version. Was “Pieces” an afterthought add-on or was this merely a print error, etc.?

Andreas: The initial idea was to use “Pieces” as a Japanese bonus track. When the Japanese dudes declined the offer to release us, we all felt that it was too good a song to simply throw away, so we did a last minute change to include it on the retail version. Unfortunately, Lion had already printed the promos according to the first master.

MER: Who are some of the musical influences of Seventh Wonder band members?

Andreas: To me it was a two-step thing. I started out by playing songs (every song!) by Sabbath, Metallica, and first and foremost: Iron Maiden! Those bass players got me started, you know. After that, my biggest influences have been Talisman, Yngwie, Symphony X, and, of course, Dream Theater. I know Johan is from the Classic Hard Rock School. He grew up on Mr.Big, Extreme, Europe, Talisman, Deep Purple, etc. For Johnny, it was bands like Helloween who got him started. Kyrt and Tommy are different in the sense that they didn’t dig Metal/Hard Rock until quite recently. For Kyrt, it was Dream Theater that started it all, and for Tommy I believe it was Sonata Arctica. Today Kyrt also digs bands such as Pagan’s Mind and Spock’s Beard. Tommy is a huge Jorn Lande fan.

MER: What’s currently in your CD player?

Andreas: Right now I am listening a lot to Mind’s Eye’s latest release, and a new band called Venturia who are really cool.

MER: Are there any tour plans for Seventh Wonder?

Andreas: This is one question where I would love to shout YES! But, unfortunately, no, nothing is planned. We had hoped that either the label or the management could get us on the road, but so far — nothing. There is absolutely nothing else we would rather do than to go out and play. It’s like every time we get together all we do is talk about how cool it would be to go out on the road. I would like to take this opportunity to state that Seventh Wonder will jump on any chance to get out and play.

MER: Has there been any discussion for a third Seventh Wonder release?

Andreas: We have not talked with our label regarding that yet. I think it probably depends on how well the album is received and on sales figures. We have, however, already begun writing new songs and have a really cool theme to work on, so I guarantee that there will be future releases from Seventh Wonder –- one way or another.

MER: Are there any other forthcoming projects that you or the rest of the band are involved in that you can speak about?

Andreas: Not to my knowledge, no. We are very open to that too, though, and would consider it a learning experience as well as a chance to reach out to new fans. Should the opportunity arise, I am sure we’d do it.

MER: Andreas, thanks for enlightening Metal Express Radio and your fans!

Andreas: Cool – thank you!

To find out more about Seventh Wonder, visit their label’s Web site at


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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