I Recently had the chance to get an interview with what I feel is one of the best new bands in the market. Lion Music artist Mister Kite recently released their latest critically acclaimed album 'Box of Fear'. It was a Pick of the Month here at the Resource and for good reason. Guitarist Magnus Kristensson took the time to give us a little insight into the history of the band as well as their music. If you haven't checked out this band, they come highly recommended from me as I think they are really delivering the goods! This is how it went.
Heavy Metal Resource: Hi Magnus! I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. I have been singing the bands praises via my website but would like you to introduce the band to the readers. Tell us a little bit about the band.
Magnus Kristensson: Well, Anton, Alf and Mats had played together a couple of years, and in 1999 I joined them. I had played with Alf in a couple of bands before that as well. In 2000 when we started the recording process of “All In Time” Tomas joined us since we needed a keyboard player to complete the lineup.
HMR: The band really works well together and seem to have a chemistry for sure. My introduction to the band was the tribute you recently did on Lion Music for Deep Purple/Rainbow. Not hearing the first album, I was curious how you would compare the latest album ‘Box of Fear’ with the album ‘All in Time’.
MK: Personally think “Box Of Fear” is a bit darker than “All In Time” and it feels more homogenous to. The songs were written over a shorter period of time than the songs for “All In Time” – a fact that might contribute to the homogenous feel. “Box Of Fear” also has a stronger, “in your face” kind of modern sound that I think highlights the darker or rougher feeling on the album.
HMR: I'm in the process of getting a copy of the 'All In Time' album and will definitely look forward to listening and reviewing it. Looking at what I have heard to this point, I think people classify you in the progressive category although you don’t have the same feel as some of the bands that really go what some would say is overboard with the flash. Give us an idea where you feel the band fits in as far as a genre.
MK: I don’t think that we are a progressive band in the meaning of trying to play as difficult and complex music as possible, but you might call us progressive since we always seems to be expanding our musical horizons and broadening our sound. I guess that you could say that we play modern hard rock… We’re not really into the phenomena of trying to categorize everything in different genres.
HMR: I think you hit the nail on the head with what my point was. The band are definitely unique and have a refined touch, but don't delve into the over the top nature that others embrace. It's definitely fresh. I understand the new album is conceptual in nature. Can you give us some insight into what the subject of the album is and why you decided to go with this concept?
MK: The whole album is based on the thought of the human body as a box that’s containing different feelings. Every song represents a particular feeling and the body changes between different states like box of anger, box of doubt and so on.
HMR: Oh okay. Makes sense to me then after a good listen. How is the album doing? I personally named it as album of the month in March as well as giving it a very favorable review. What has the reaction been so far?
MK: We have been getting lots of great reviews on the album from all parts of the world (just as we did on the first album). The overall reaction so far has been very good and that makes us all very happy!
HMR: You guys do some great work with the music and are definitely very deserving of the praise you get with each album. With such a huge scene in your area of the world, how do you get yourself noticed?
MK: Well, that’s really tough! But it helps with all the good reviews we’re getting, and we are constantly widening our fan base. I hope that we will be able to play many festivals this summer - cause I think that’s a great way to create a buzz around the band! It would also be great to go on tour supporting a well known band.
HMR: Speaking of touring, What kind of touring are you doing at this point to back the album. Who have you been out with and are you going to get in on the major festivals this Summer?
MK: Well unfortunately we haven’t had the possibility to tour so far. We did however play the Headway Festival and we hope that we will be playing a lot more festivals this summer, but nothing is confirmed just yet.
HMR: All in time I'm sure. The fans are gonna want to see the band live. Kind of curious about influences. Who would you name if you had to name other artists that influence the bands sound and direction?
MK: Wow that’s a lot of different artists! Bands like Sevendust, Tool, Alice In Chains, NIN, Queensryche, Freak Kitchen, Depeche Mode, Anthrax, Opeth, Dizzy Mizz Lizzy and of course all the classic hard rock and metal bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin just to name a few!
HMR: Wow, some of those bands I would never have guessed. I guess one can listen though and find those influences. Like I said before the band has a great unique sound. You mentioned Deep Purple in there which leads me to a question. I absolutely loved your cover of ‘Bloodsucker’ on the Deep Purple/Rainbow tribute. Why did the band choose that particular song?
MK: It was actually my idea since I thought that I could do a nice rearrangement on that particular song. For example I changed the whole solo part and arranged the song with a more modern twist. Then of course our co-producer Christer Hermodsson made some really cool synth arrangements too. And Alf (vocals) came up with the idea of the slow part after the solo and that just completed the song.
HMR: It was my personal favorite track on that tribute album. I was wanting more at that point from the band. Being from the U.S., What do you think would be key to try to break into the U.S. market? It’s a tough one to get into, but with your sound I would think it would be possible.
MK: I think that the key to break in the States is massive airplay on the radio. I think that especially all the college radio stations are a good starting place to get established in USA. I think that a college tour might also do the trick.
HMR: So what are ya waiting for? (laughing). Radio really is the key here. That is also one of the toughest areas to conquer so your point about College radio is very valid. The stations can be a bit more experimental and some more unknown bands can see the light of day. Maybe a good starting point for Mister Kite because we would love to have you over here for a tour! Where is the bands favorite place to play live? And why?
MK: Well I don’t really know… any place that has a great audience I guess! I know that the other guys were really pleased with playing the Headway Festival, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to play that show due to illness. By the way I really enjoyed opening for DIO in Oslo when we supported him in 2002 – that was a fabulous concert!
HMR: I'll bet. Dio is a genius. I have seen him once or twice. I'd bet he liked your band as well. He has packed some great openers on tour with him through the ages. Well, in closing, Any parting thoughts you would like to leave with your fans?
MK: I would like to thank everybody that’s been supporting us, bought our CD’s and attended our shows – you are the best and we love you all!
And I would of course like to thank you Dave as well for showing interest in Mister Kite and for your great review!
HMR: Thanks Magnus! The support will continue because I love your music and believe in what you are doing. Great job and stay in touch!
Mister Kite Official Website-Click Here Lion Music Website-Click Here