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By Martin Popoff
"I think the main difference is an improvement or progression with the band working together, playing together, songwriting together, being even more close at defining what Gamma Ray is for us. So that's one thing I hear on the album. Another thing is that the album has a kind of retro feeling, back to the '80s, back to the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, back to the beginning, to the roughness, a bit away from the typical clean-shaven Euro-metal thing, less orchestral influences, or I should say the non-existing orchestra that makes many metal bands today live. As well, there are more simple song structures, simple arrangements, aggressive vocals, a kind of fresh, naive feeling."
Any changes in personal contribution this time around? Did anybody step up to the plate? Did anybody slack off?
"Well, we always take it from whoever came up with what in the first place, and then we get together as a band and figure out whether it's good and worth working on, or if it even needs working on. Maybe it's cool as it is. What we did this time, and this is what was different versus Powerplant, where the songwriting was already kind of completed on the demos, the melodies, how it should be played; with this album we said we would only do rough demos and take them to the rehearsal room and play them together as a band, let things grow in the rehearsal room. And that was very helpful, absolutely."
"Henjo is more of a 'working things out' type guy," answers Kai on the differences in style between him and six-string partner Henjo Richter, "you know, composing solos and being more thoughtful. I'm more of a 'from the belly' type. So I walk in, I don't have any idea, maybe just some chords, and I start playing. And when I come up with something that sounds good, I'll work on it and then keep it. I've developed more away from the Blackmore-ish, Malmsteen-ish way, which is more Henjo's way. I'm more into the Schenker, Tipton, Downing way (laughs), if you want to put names to it (laughs)."
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