Interview With Arjen Luccassen
MuzikMan: When did you start playing guitar Arjen?
Arjen: I was 15. Before that I played in a playback glamband, mimicking songs by Alice Cooper, Sweet, Slade and David Bowie, wearing my mother's wig and make-up ;-)
MuzikMan: What and who were some of your major influences while developing your talents?
Arjen: I grew up listening to the Beatles, they are still one of my main influences. JC Superstar was my biggest influence as far as rock operas are concerned. Later on in the 70's bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, ELP, etc. They all had a major impact on me. When I heard Ritchie Blackmore on Made in Japan, I knew I had to learn how to play guitar for real.
MuzikMan: The latest project The Human Equation is an ambitious project, how did you get all of the guests to perform on it? It must have been a logistical nightmare?
Arjen: Oh, yes absolutely. Especially with musicians of bands like Dream Theater and Opeth who are touring the world almost constantly. Luckily, I have a manager now and she took care of most the logistics. Now I'm becoming more and more known all over the world, so it becomes easier to convince musicians and they are even starting to contact *me* now.
MuzikMan: Did everyone send you their parts in files over the Internet or on CD? That seems to be a common way to do things now.
Arjen: Right, it is, but it is not my way. Because this album is about emotions, I really wanted the singers to stand next to me in the studio so we could work on the songs together, so I had them all flown over, except Devin Townsend and Mike Baker.
MuzikMan: How long did it take to complete the project from start to finish?
Arjen: About a year for 24/7, a bit faster than usual because of the help of my manager and the new computer recording possibilities. I'm also getting more experienced. Which doesn't automatically means it's getting better as well of course. However, the sales so far are very promising; the album is entering charts in various countries ;-)
MuzikMan: Do you intend on taking the album out on the road? If so, how will you be able to recreate all the various parts on stage?
Arjen: No. For one it will not be possible to get these singers together for a couple of weeks (including rehearsals) because they are all very busy in their own bands. It would also be far too expensive, with a band of about 20 musicians, rehearsals, hotels, food, airfare and all.