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Royal Hunt: Reinvent the band with every new album

Royal Hunt just faced another Line-up change. Many fans will be happy that D.C. Cooper is back in the band, and on the new record „Show me how to live“ the Danish Rockers show again what Royal Hunt was about from the very beginning. STALKER talked with mastermind André Anderson about the changes in the band, the new/old singer and their future plans.

Hey André, your new record was released on 2th December. How does it feel now more that a month afterwards? Are you happy with the responses you got so far?
I´m very pleased with the album (and it seems like fans and the press are all agreeing with me so far) as I think it came out being almost just as we wanted it to be from the start… but ask me again in a few months and I´ll tell you in great detail how much better we could have done it :-)

Your new record is named „Show me how to live“ - why did you choose that title for the album?
The term appears to me more as a rhetorical question (or a cry for help, if you wish) and it all stated pretty clear in the lyrics of the song.

What’s the matter with the cover artwork, why did you choose the knight? It is quite different to the covers you had so far.
The cover was suggested by the artist (Kai Brocksmidt) and – considering the band´s name - supposed to illustrate the type of music we´re playing… large form, very melodic, big sound… most of our fans expect to see an “elevated” image which reflects the spirit of this band and I´m sure that this cover will satisfy most of them.

In 2011 you had again a change on the vocals, Mark Boals handed the microphone back to D.C. Cooper who as been already in the band from 1995 – 1998. Why did Mark leave the band?
Our cooperation ended in a very un-dramatic, straight up fashion: Mark has been informed about recent developments frequently and – being a real professional - understood the situation and our decision. He has always been very productive and very much in demand so we all wish him all the success in the world… he´s a great person, excellent musician and truly deserves it all.

Back in 1998 your parted ways with D.C now he is back. Did you solve the problems you had back then with each other? And what made up your mind to try it again with him?
It all started very simple without any “masterplan” in mind: DC and I started talking on Skype and such and after a few chats decided to “test the waters” – so to speak – and do a little tour, just to make sure if we could still recreate the vibe we used to have…and it worked out beautifully. So – obviously – the next step was to try and record an album and I´m happy to inform you that the whole process went down smooth and easy.

In the band´s history the part of the singer has always been a bit star-crossed and you had many changes. John West was the one that lasted the longest as a singer in the band for 8 years. What do you think is the reason for this?
Working with John was a pleasure and I´m glad that we could keep going for 8-something years… but somehow it ended for various reasons. Nobody likes those changes and I´m no different but keeping a steady line-up at this stage and age is tough... all that illegal downloading is bleeding everybody dry and yes, these changes re-forcing you to work harder and slowing you down a bit. I was/am very fortunate to be able to work with such great singers in RH as Henrik Brockmann, DC Cooper, John West, Mark Boals... all very different, yet all remarkably good.

So now as D.C is back, what would you say are the main changes between the old records he has been involved with (Moving Target & Paradox) and the new one?
Any change in your line-up forms – to a degree – the style of your album. DC sings/sounds in his own specific way and that kind of creates your state of mind while writing/recording… as a producer you have to accommodate each member in such a way so their strongest assets are shining through. After experimenting with different „types“ of albums (within that „Royal Hunt universe“, of course) it just felt right to back off a bit and – in the light of DC´s re-entering the fold – to embrace that type of sound/songwriting that made the band to start with and to what it is today.

But at the same time: it´s 2012 now and I couldn´t re-create our sound from 1996 even if I tried. No, every new album I do, I´m trying to reinvent RH just a little bit: be it songwriting or production, so I see this album as a logical progression for the band.

What are your plans for 2012 and which goals do you wanna reach with the band during this year?
We have quite a bit of stuff in store for the fans this year but – at the moment – we´re concentrating on promoting the album as much as possible and preparing for the tour.

Do you already have plans for a tour?
We´re working on it as we speak – can´t tell you much detail right now, but April/May seems to be the most probable time for us to tour.

Do you have some last words for STALKER readers?
We´ve got a great line-up for you, a brand new album with a double DVD out and a tour in the spring – so enjoy it all, hope to see you all of you soon!

Author: Sandy Mahrer, photos: Band
Date: 2012-02-01

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