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Articles Home » Interviews » Section A - 2003 Interview with Torben Enevoldsen
 
Section A - 2003 Interview with Torben Enevoldsen


INTERVIEW: Section A (Jun 2003)
We talk with Torben Enevoldesen about Section A.
Great Danes! it's the A-Team! - Guitar wizard Torben Enevoldsen talks to G-DAZE's Gdazegod about Section A, and 'The Seventh Sign'

INTERVIEW WITH TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN, OF SECTION A
GLORY DAZE E-MAGAZINE (JUN 2OO3)
WRITTEN BY: Gdazegod

The transition for a renowned guitar virtuoso to succeed in a mainstream band environment is a rare one. In fact, if rarity is the appropriate word then the success rate of guitarists achieving this feat would rival the survival of the white rhinoceros! However, if bull-headedness is the prevailing attitude, then Denmark's very own guitar hero Torben Enevoldsen knows what it takes to change the course of events. Torben is the catalyst behind Lion Music's impressive new signing Section A, and their brand new album 'The Seventh Sign'.

If one refers back through recent history, the examples are far and few between. For instance, six-string heroes such as Tony MacAlpine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Kotzen, Derek Frigo and Paul Gilbert have added their considerable talents to other mainstream bands - resulting in varying levels of success. Torben Enevoldsen is the sole Danish member of the band, with Section A following in similar footsteps to bands interviewed in this issue of GLORY DAZE which have an international/multi-European flavour to their make-up, namely Alkemyst and Mystic Prophecy. Here though, Section A include both a Swede, and a German. They are: former Lions Share vocalist Andy Engberg, plus current Vanden Plas drumming backbone Andreas Lill. For a recent trip down memory lane, Torben has been involved with guitar instrumental albums, having released two prior efforts with Lion Music. Though Section A is a recent release for June 2003, the origins of the band go back two years, as Torben explains. 'I actually got the idea for this project in the beginning of 2001' he starts out. 'I began writing the material soon after and in May of 2001, Andy got involved and we started sending stuff back and forth. All the music was written by the beginning of 2002 and in April, Andreas and I started the basic recordings. Meanwhile, Andy and Conny Welin were finishing up the lyrics and by the end of 2002, the album was complete.'

Torben admits that 'The Seventh Sign' is his first real go at putting out a proper band oriented album. I refer to my earlier point about guitarists playing in mainstream bands, which in some cases doesn't work out quite that well. I recall Tony MacAlpine's 'Eyes Of The World' where he tried to go down that path, and though I liked the album a lot, it bombed big time. I asked Torben whether he was conscious of that scenario: i.e. a guitarists guitarist trying something a little bit different than what was expected from him. 'It's always a gamble when you suddenly change direction' he says, 'but I can honestly say however, that I don't worry too much about that issue. I have to make music that I like myself first and foremost. Chances are that if I like the stuff I come up with, others will too.'

'Also, and I don't know if I'm right about this' he adds, 'but I recall having heard that Tony MacAlpine was somewhat forced to do the 'Eyes Of The World' album by his label (Squawk/Mercury). This isn't really an ideal way of working. It's important that the label is working with you and not trying to control the musical direction too much. In the end, the results will be a lot better!'

We get a different take, but ultimately reach the same conclusion, as to why so many bands end up being multi-cultural. Or in the case of Section A, multi-European. Not by fluke, more by design elaborates Torben. 'In my case it's because I wanted to work with people that I really admire and respect. Denmark is a very small country and if I were to find the members here, my options would be extremely limited. With the technology available today, you can pretty much work with anybody, anywhere. And I for one definitely salute that!'

Talking of Denmark, despite its relative smallness, it does have a heap of talent coming out of that fair land. The West Coast/pop scene in particular is great. The prog and melodic metal scene though is a different landscape altogether, hence Torben looking elsewhere. Does he see the geographical challenge as a hindrance or a benefit, especially for a professional musician looking to earn a decent living there. 'I must admit that in most aspects it's more of a hindrance than help. If someone asks you what you do for a living and you reply.. 'play music', the immediate response will be 'no, I mean your real job!' Being a musician in Denmark isn't really accepted as a legitimate job. On the other hand, living in an affluent society like ours truly puts forward a lot of options that other people around the world don't have, so I am definitely not complaining!'

'The Seventh Sign' looks likely to interest many keen melodic metallers throughout Europe, and the rest of the hard rock world for that matter. What about at home in Denmark? I asked Torben whether he thought the album would garner any local support because of his direct involvement, being Danish and all. 'There's quite a few people who have been extremely helpful and supportive along the way and that's obviously a great thing. However, the hard rock/metal scene is very small in Denmark, so I don't think that it will make for a big change.'

In the Section A biography, Torben mentions that he was a big fan of both Andy and Andreas. Considering that Europe is awash with talented musicians at the moment, he could have had any number of individuals turn up to play. However, he chose these two for a reason, as he explains. 'I have been a huge fan of Andy's ever since I heard him sing on the Twilight album 'Eye For An Eye' and I was simply lucky enough to contact him at the right time. He had just left Lions Share and was immediately interested in participating. He was my # 1 choice from the word go! Andreas was among my top 5 choices and I was lucky enough to be able to work with him. When you start asking people who are this good, you will find that they're usually very busy. This means that there's a bit of chance involved as well, because you have to consider their busy schedules and what not. Fortunately, Andreas was available at the time!'.'

Well, we are happy to report that 'The Seventh Sign' gets the full thumbs up from the GLORY DAZE team! A full 100/100. An incredible record. How did you feel about it after the final mix? You weren't still tinkering around with it right up until the eleventh hour were you? 'It is hard to let go' admits Torben wryfully. 'I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but it's important to simply say 'this is it!' at some point along the way. After the final mix of any album I have made, I pretty much stop listening to it. I need the break I guess. Then when the album comes out, I listen to it with friends and family and this gives the whole procedure a different spin which is quite refreshing.' Yeah, I suppose that's when you find out who your real friends are! (lol!!)

'The Seventh Sign' despite the imagery and track titles does not carry a theme. Although Torben says that there are definite messages in some of the songs, each song stands on its own as a piece of work. While we're on the topic of themes, the artwork is pretty special too. In fact I'd go so far to say it's the best we've seen this year. The whole 'fire and ice', storms and windswept landscapes, is all part of the HM imagery, and it works a treat on 'The Seventh Sign'. 'I'm glad you like it!' enthuses Torben. 'A guy called Thomas Ewerhard did an outstanding job on the album I think. I will use his services again for sure!'

I asked Torben whether or not, from a guitarists perspective did he approach this record any differently, than say from his previous work. 'Since it's mainly instrumental music I've done before, I obviously had to have the vocal part in mind when writing the material. Even when I write instrumental stuff however, I still focus a lot on a strong melody line, and that is pretty much the same you would do when you write vocal music, so the change isn't that big really. All in all, I don't think that I have approached this album any differently' he says.

Having guys like Andy and Andreas onboard really gives 'The Seventh Sign' some backbone. I must admit I wasn't that keen on Lions Share stuff, but with Section A Andy sounds sensational. Something Torben agrees with wholeheartedly. 'Yeah I am extremely pleased with both Andy's and Andreas's performances on the album! Working with some of your favourite musicians is very inspiring indeed!'

For all the train spotters out there, Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and a chap called Gunter Werno contribute a couple of outstanding keyboard solos. Check out their chops on the tracks 'The Seventh Sign', 'Nightmare' and 'Tomorrow'. Lets not forget that Torben himself plays keyboards on the album too. I asked him how much time does he spend dabbling on the ivories, and whether he uses it more as a composing tool as opposed to the guitar. 'I don't spend that much time practicing the instrument' he says. 'When it's time to record, I work on the parts I'm supposed to play in order to get them right for the recording. I do however use the keys quite a bit in the writing process. It gives me a different perspective and it opens a few doors from a creative aspect.'

As for the melodic metal movement, we reckon it's very strong at the moment. Do you have any personal opinion or views on it? 'I am happy that the scene is doing well obviously! I listen to a lot of different music, but I have always been mainly into hard rock and metal. I don't think that this type of music will ever die and as long as bands and artists do their best to write interesting and new music, I think that the future has a lot to offer! I will certainly do my part to keep this type of music alive and well, that's for sure.'

Again like many other artists of late, Torben says that there are no immediate plans to take Section A out on the road, but given the opportunity, he would gladly take it. And that includes a stint in Japan where this album is sure to raise some heckles!

I suppose the most rewarding aspect for Torben is that he has finally been able to fulfill a dream in getting an album like 'The Seventh Sign' out to the public. A quality album, quality players, a good time putting it together, a chance to work with some talented players, and making great friendships along the way. I think for the first time in a long time, Lion Music have a got a album they can really get behind promotion wise, and to us here at GLORY DAZE, we think the plaudits are well deserving.

Thanks to Torben for the interesting interview. He also makes an appearance in our Tech Head column in this issue. Serious guitar slingers should check out what sort of gear he's using. For more details, surf on over to lionmusic.com, or torbenenevoldsen.com.





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