Ayreon (Arjen Lucassen)

"The new album is not something you listen to twice and you get sick to"
on Mon, 11/04/2013 - 12:36
Arjen Lucassen

Any new Ayreon album is like a new chapter on the book of progressive rock / metal music, as Arjen Lucassen always manages to create a fantastic story and create a unique combination of musicians and singers. But, as his fans already know, he is not only an incredibly talented musician, but also one of the most gentle and interesting persons in the music industry. "The Theory Of Everything" seems to be another highlight of his career and the conversation we had a few days before its release date is one of these chats you don’t want to end. In this detailed interview you can read a lot of awesome stories that Arjen shared with us and almost anything you need to know about the new album.

Hi Arjen. It’s nice to be talking with you again. How are you doing?
I’ m fine, thank you very much. And you?

I’m fine as well. I guess you’re relieved and anxious at the same time as the release of the new album is approaching, right?...
Not relieved at all, just anxious... (laughs). I love working on an album, but when I finish it the nerves start. It’s terrible. I call it 'my black hole period'. I’m really happy when I’m working on something and when I finish it I’m 'oh my God'... The moment when I’m working on something I think 'oh this is amazing, this is brilliant, I want the whole world to hear it and everyone is going to love me...' (laughs). But, then, I send it out to the record company and you have to wait three months. And then you hear the first reactions of people and it’s like 'Yeah, wow, it’s a lot of music and we have to get used to it'. And I’m like 'Fuck, I wanted you to love it immediately...' (laughs). Right now, it’s my nervous period, but it’s always like that, so I’m used to it...

I guess this is a symptom of a perfectionist...
Oh yes! I’m a horrible perfectionist. It’s terrible. It’s a blessing and a curse.

To be honest I was expecting that answer from you, haha...
Yeah, it’s always the same, hehe...

Before we start talking about the new album, I want to say to you that I am really glad you liked our article for progressive metal and a big thanks for your stories on your albums on it. They were great...
No problem at all...

So, I have to congratulate you for making yet another adventurous and challenging album...
Thank you!

There’s something I call the 'Ayreon quality standard' and I think it’s present throughout the music of the album and that was the most important thing in my opinion. Do you set any quality standards for an Ayreon album?
No, I don’t set any standards! Really! No, not at all. I just start and see where it takes me. I have no plans at all when I start something. I just let my inspiration guide me and I don’t think of anything really. I guess that’s how I certainly ended up with four songs of more than 20 minutes. A lot of people ask me 'Did you do that because of Yes and "Tales From Topographic Oceans"?' and I say no. I had no idea I was gonna do it when it all started. Usually, I don’t even know what project it’s gonna be, you know. Like you said, I’m a perfectionist, so whatever project I’m starting I want it to be brilliant, so I guess I always set myself the same standards, whatever project it is.

Now, I also agree that our fans are in for a good challenge. I consider myself a big fan of your music and even I was finding it hard to follow its constant changes and the amount of information in the beginning. Do you think that this might be difficult for some listeners?
Of course! Basically, it may sound arrogant, but I think the fans will accept it. The fans will know that they have to get used to my stuff and they’ll have to get it home, get this beautiful package and have all the lyrics and the artwork and they’re gonna sit down and either play it really loud on the speakers, or play it on their headphones and follow all the lyrics. Listen to it once and think 'Hmm, I might like this' (laughs) and then play it for the second time and think 'Hey, it’s getting through to me now'. Play it the third time and think 'Hey, it’s getting better'. I think my fans know that. But, to get new fans it’s going to be difficult. People are really going have to get used to it at first and they’re going to have to persist, but when they do I think it’s going to be worth it. It’s not something you listen to twice and you get sick to it. It has to grow. There are still people who like a challenge.

In my opinion, the most challenging elements of the album are firstly that it doesn’t include many conventional choruses and secondly that there’s no narration songs, but only ongoing dialogues between the singers. Even in your previous albums there were more choruses or conventional structures when in this one you can only go with the flow...
Yeah. What I wanted was to tell a story. And I don’t think that choruses fit in a story. Like in real life you’re not going to repeat the same sentence again and again... (laughs). Also, I didn’t want to use difficult words in the lyrics. I didn’t want to be cryptic. Well, the end is cryptic of course, but the whole story I wanted it to be easy to follow. That’s why I put the little stories in between the lyrics, where we explain things. I want people to understand it. That’s why I didn’t give the characters names, for instance. If you use all these names it’s hard to follow. I wanted clear characters with clear personalities. About narration, as you said, it’s people talking in singing voice of course and it’s really hard to do that. It’s really hard to make lyrics very simple and make them like you would say them in real life. And then make them sound good. That’s really-really tricky. I didn’t expect that.

Anyway, what I get from this album is that you wanted to offer something really different and if that was your goal then you’ve succeeded in it. There’s a whole new approach from you...
Yeah. Very much so. Because, with the last Ayreon album (editor: "01011001") I already said that 'If I do another Ayreon, which I will, a lot of things have to be different'. Firstly, there has to be a completely new story. Secondly I want to work with musicians I’ve never worked before - at least all singers that I’ve never worked with before. And, thirdly, I want a different way of working. You know, I want all these things different, because basically the music will be the same (laughs). Ayreon is very recognizable. You recognize the Hammond and all the singers and stuff. Ayreon has a certain sound and it will always have that sound, so I’m not going to try to change that. If I change that, I’ll give the project another name, like Star One or Guilt Machine or something else. But if I do an Ayreon it will have to sound like Ayreon, so then I’ll have to find other things to change. The way of working was very different this time. I just entered the studio and I wrote the whole album chronologically in the studio, which is why I ended up with four long tracks. So, yeah, a lot of things were different in my way of working.

Well, from all of your albums this is obviously the one made to be heard from a vinyl. It’s clearly four tracks for the four sides of a double album, as you’ve already admitted. Is this the closest that you ‘ve been to the 70’s approach in your music?
Hmm, probably yeah. Probably, because I have all my heroes from Yes, Genesis, Emerson,Lake&Palmer, King Crimson, you know… So, of course that immediately gives the 70’s feel. But, I don’t know. Apart from that, musically, it’s different from the previous albums. "01011001" was a lot darker, it was a lot heavier, it was more industrial, but I think an album like "Into The Electric Castle" was also very progressive - a very proggy album. You know, it didn’t have so much singing, as it had a lot of instrumental parts. But, yeah, this album with the combination of all these artists from the 70s, definitely has that 70s feel, which I like, you know. The very transparent music. Not a production that you have all these guitar walls and stuff. It’s more like you hear people playing. If you hear a violin, you hear one violin. If you hear a guitar, you hear one guitar. The way l liked it in the 70s.

You have divided the four tracks into 42 pieces as a tribute to "The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy", but I guess someone gets a better picture if he listens to the whole 4 songs straight away, right?
Yeah, yeah! Basically, that was a last minute decision. I had four long tracks and then I played it to people. People around me, like my brother and my ex-wife, my manager... And they all -ok, not all, but some of them- said 'It’s a mountain to climb, these four long tracks. What would you think if you subdivided them into little shorter tracks?' Also, that makes it easier for people to skip to a certain part. For example if they like a part or they want to hear the Keith Emerson solo they just skip to no.8. And I was thinking about that and said 'Yeah, maybe I’ll do that, because it won’t change anything in the music'. All the change is that if you look at your disc player, you’ll see a number change. That’s all. So, then I started subdividing it and I came to 39 tracks or something. And, suddenly, I thought 'Oh it’s very close to 42 (laughs). It would be extremely cool if I could subdivide it into 42 tracks'. I’ve been working on that and at a certain point something felt good and I thought 'It’s too cool not to do it'.

Well, you do have a thing about such nerd things, don’t you?
I am an absolute nerd. Oh, yes! (laughs). Absolutely! I can’t deny that.

There are some points that make me believe that "The Theory Of Everything" is close to "The Human Equation". Could I mention some to tell me if I’m right?
Ok!

Firstly, the cast of musicians includes persons you’ve never worked with before on Ayreon...
True!

Secondly, there is one central character and around him a girl, a friend / foe and a parent. Not to mention the issues between father and son...
(laughs) Very good!

Thirdly, it’s not a straight sci-fi story...
Yeah, that’s right.

And there is one member of Dream Theater, haha...
Ok, you got that one (laughs). I’m sure you can find more... (laughs)

Well, yeah, maybe. So, could this album be concept wise the closest to "Human Equation"?
Yeah. Of course, because you know all the other Ayreon albums are pure sci-fi. Heavy sci-fi or space. These two albums are about the human mind. The thing with "The Human Equation" is that a lot of people could identify with the story. I got so many mails from people who I really helped. People who were depressed and they heard that album and they recognized a lot of their own lives. And it really helped them. It’s so cool to get messages like that, to get mails like that and to hear that you’ve been able to help people. And, of course, I didn’t have that with "01011001". This was a giant sci-fi thing about a weird planet Y and aliens who lost their emotions, so they there were not a lot of people who could identify with someone in "01011001". So, I wanted to go back to that feel of "The Human Equation" that people could identify with the characters. Also, I wanted all the persons in the story to have a clear motivation. What they’re doing. Everything had to make sense. I think, lyrically, it definitely heads back to "The Human Equation" and I think musically it would head back to "Into The Electric Caste", because of having less singers and more instrumental parts and more proggy I guess.

Ok. Let’s go to the guests, shall we?
Sure!

No disrespect to the others but having Steve Hackett, Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman a little bit overshadows the rest guests as they’re true icons of rock music...
True...

I can see how you’ve reached out to Steve Hackett via Inside Out...
Right...

...but tell us how you’ve convinced them to be on the album...
Well, Rick Wakeman, I already knew him, because... Oh, how long ago was it? It was maybe 10 years ago and I got an award from him. I got an award from the Classic Rock site in England and I went there and he gave the award to me. It was like the master ceremony and he presented the award to me. So, next morning we had breakfast together at the hotel and he actually knew my music. He, actually, bought "Into The Electric Castle". That’s basically how we got to work with Damian Wilson, because Damian Wilson did a couple of tours with him. So, he knew my music and back then I couldn’t convince him or he didn’t find the time to play on my stuff, so I kept on trying and kept on trying. This time, again, I contacted him and said 'Well, I’ve got three parts for you. It’s a piano part, it’s a metal part for a solo and it’s a prog part for a solo. Maybe you could listen to it and maybe if you like one part you can do it for me'. I sent it to him and a couple of weeks later he sent all three of them! He did all three of them. He didn’t have to do that. This guy is just scary, he’s so amazing, he’s such a complete musician. I mean, very virtual soul playing, great melodies and great sounds. For me, he’s a complete genius. Keith Emerson I also tried and I was going to record him for "The Universal Migrator". How long ago was it? Ten years or something? And I’d flew to L.A. even to record him, but at the last moment he wasn’t able to do it. This time, another guy, the keyboard player of Sound Of Contact, Dave Kerzner, he was going to record him, to sample his synthesizers for samples he did. And he said 'Well, should I ask Keith if he wants to play something for you?'. And I said 'Yes, sure. Please play him something off my solo album, the track "Lost In The New Real", which is like a very proggy 10-minute track'. And this guy played it to him and Keith literally said 'wow, this guy is amazing' (laughs). For me to hear that, to hear my childhood hero say that is really like a dream come true. So, he agreed to play on the album, but I said that I wanted that modular moog. I want that sound you had in "Lucky Man". That huge sound. And he said 'No problem pal, I’ll give it to you'. So, that’s how I got those two.

I’m very happy that you gave the leading role to Tommy Karevik and I hope you’ve heard him on Seventh Wonder, cause in my opinion that’s where he truly shines. What led you to this decision?
A lot of fans suggested him to me, when he was in Seventh Wonder, before he was in Kamelot. I get so many suggestions every day that I just can’t find the time to listen to. But, then, at some point he joined Kamelot and I thought 'Well, let’s have a listen to this guy. He must be good if he joins Kamelot'. So, I heard the Kamelot album and I really liked what I heard and like you said I was very curious how he sounded in his own music in Seventh Wonder, where he sounds more like himself. I just loved it, so I sent him a message on Facebook and I think I got a message back in like an hour. He said 'Hey man, I know your music, I’d love to be a part of it'. So, it was no problem at all. And he came here and he’s brilliant. Of course, he plays the part of the Prodigy, which is very fitting, because he is a prodigy. Really, really! He never learnt anything. He just stands there and he hears it and he sings it perfectly with so much emotion. He’s also become a good friend, he’s just a guy, he’s so real, there’s no fake about this guy at all. I hope to work with him in the future, because this was a big success.

We’ve heard JB singing epic metal with Grand Magus and hard rock with Spiritual Beggars and it was great to hear him on some prog stuff. He stands out in my opinion...
It’s so cool, cause I heard that voice for the first time in Spiritual Beggars. I think it was the album "Demons" and especially the song "No One Heard" and I was 'Oh, my God, this voice! I got to have that voice!'. So, I asked him for the previous album and the record company told me 'No, he won’t do it, he doesn’t have time, we’re working on his new band'. And I asked him for this album and again he said no. Then, at some point, he discovered I was in a band called Bodine in the 80s - in 1981. We made a track called "Black Star Rising" and it was one of his favorite tracks ever (laughs). As a little kid he recorded it from the radio on a cassette player and that was a track that I wrote. He found out and thought it was cool. I said 'Let’s call each other'. So, I called him and I explained everything to him and he said 'It’s very different what you do and I won’t do it'. I really had to talk him into it. I had to say 'Of course it’s different, but that’s why you should do it. Because, your voice will sound so cool in a different surrounding'. At the end of the conversation he was quite quiet and at a point he said 'You asshole'. I was like 'Why? What did I do?'. 'You convinced me, you fucker!' (laughs). And then he came here. He never does something like this. It’s not his thing and he was so nervous, but there was no reason at all, because he started singing and it was goosebumps all over. And, of course, when we finished he was like 'Thanks for convincing me. I am really happy that I did this'.

Nice Story! I was also surprised by Christina Scabbia’s performance as I was skeptic in the beginning when I found out she would be on the album and also I think that Sara Squadrani has a way too similar voice to hers.  Were you also surprised or did you expect her to be that good? Also, is "Mirror Of Dreams" the new "Valley Of The Queens"?
(laughs). Firstly, to answer your second question, I hope so. Because, people love "Valley Of The Queens". Also, each album has a "Valley Of The Queens". "01011001" has "Web Of Lies" and every album has short of a "Valley Of The Queens", you know this foggy little track. This is definitely the "Valley Of The Queens" in this album. I hope people will like it as much, because it’s always one of people’s favorites. Cristina, yes, I didn’t know she was that good. I definitely didn’t know. I approached her for the first time for "The Human Equation" and I wrote the part of passion for her, actually. But, at the last moment she had to do Ozzfest. I, actually, met her on the festival. I was meeting Mikael Akefeld there. I met her and she knew about Ayreon and back then we said to work together at some time. So, "The Human Equation" unfortunately didn’t work out and I asked her again for this album, cause I needed a strong woman for the part of the mother and I really thought that she fit that part. She heard the songs and said 'Yeah, yeah it’s so different from what I do, but that’s exactly why I’m going to do this. Because, I want to show people that I can do more than I do in Lacuna Coil. And this is a way for me to show the people'. And she came here and she really-really good. Very-very fast to work with, she understood melodies very fast, very powerful singer as well, very easy to work with and very emotional too. She really became the mother, she really wanted to know what happens in the story and then she really acted it out. She was really acting. That was very important for this album. I wanted the singers almost to overact, to bring across the emotions, cause it’s a very emotional story. So, yes, I didn’t know she was that good.

Only today it was announced that Floor Jansen and Troy Donockley have joined Nightwish as permanent members of Nightwish...
Oh, I didn’t know! That’s cool!

...and as Marco is also on the album that makes you way too relative to Nightwish, doesn’t it? In my opinion, you’ve helped Floor made her name and her best performances are on your music...
Cool!

Do you feel that relative to Nightwish now?
Well, they sell like crazy, so I won’t mind... (many laughs). If I would sell the numbers they sell I’d be a happy man, so yeah sure (laughs). No... I mean, of course I’ve worked with Floor long before she was in Nightwish and I was in contact with Marco long before Floor was in Nightwish. Then, of course, you forgot that I have Troy on the album, so there’s the third link...

I mentioned that he also became a permanent member of the band...
Oh, I didn’t get it. Cool, cool! But, I got in contact with Marco about 4 or 5 years ago. Actually, a journalist told me that Marco likes my music, so I told the journalist 'Next time you talk with Marco, please tell him to contact me'. So, Marco contacted me and told me he was a big fan of my "Dream Sequencer" album, which is a surprise, because it’s my most progressive and my most soft album that I did with Ayreon. There was one moment that he was going to be on Guilt Machine, but at the last moment that didn’t work out for some reason. For this album I needed this evil guy and -of course- with his voice that was just perfect. That was type cast. He was the first singer who came around and it was very emotional to hear the story come alive, because he was the first singer to sing and suddenly it’s like 'Oh my God, there is a character and this is going to be a cool story'. Suddenly, he gets all that emotion and the story comes alive. That was a very cool moment...

Oh yes, he fit like a velvet glove to the character...
Yes, absolutely.

Last but not least, Michael Mills seems to be a great discovery. How did you get in contact with him?
I read a lot of magazines and I always write down the bands that interest me, so it is probably too much information, but I read these magazines like in the toilet (laughs) and then I make these whole lists. Then after a few weeks I got these lists of hundreds of bands and then I go to youtube and I check them out. And I checked this band Toe Hider, which was supposed to sound like old Queen, like "Queen II", my favorite period. I checked out Toe Hider when I saw it and I said 'Oh God, this is so good. I love everything about it'. Then on the right of youtube I always see these recommendations and on one of them was a weird guy, wearing a little hat, that was playing "Thick As A Brick" on an upside down bouzouki. And he did it perfect. So, I clicked on this and it brought me onto a weird guy doing an acoustic verse of "Bohemian Rhapsody" on an acoustic guitar in one take (laughs) and then I put a comment there like 'Hey man, cool stuff' and he answered me 'Big fan, thank you'. I got in contact with this guy and it turned out that this guy was actually the guy in Toe Hider. So, that was actually too much of a coincidence and I asked him 'Would you be interested in singing on my next album?'. I wasn’t even working on Ayreon yet. And he said 'Of course, whatever it is, I’ll come over'. So, he came in from Australia and he actually stayed here for a month and I only needed him for two days! But he said 'Yeah, you can choose when I come over' (laughs). So, he stayed somewhere in Amsterdam and he was working on lyrics and I was actually nervous... You know, I’ve worked with Bruce Dickinson, with Russell Allen, with all these stars and I wasn’t nervous, but this time I was nervous. Because, firstly, this weird guy from youtube is coming here and also this guy is genius and maybe he finds out that I’m a silly idiot...

Yeah, yeah, right... (laughs)
I was really like 'Oh my God' and he came over and he was completely the opposite of what I expected. He was, actually, a really shy person, really polite, really easy to work with and I think he’s one of the biggest geniuses in the world. He’s up there with Devin Townsend and Frank Zappa and Neal Morse and all these guys. He’s a real genius and the whole world should know this guy.

I admit I didn’t know him, but I’m going to search about him, as I am impressed...
Yes! His own music is very much like old Queen. It’s got a lot of humor in it, it’s not commercial music, it’s hard to describe...

Then, a question I have to ask is if you wanted or approached any singer to be a part in this album but you didn’t succeed in it...
Of course! There is my dream list, which is people I grew up listening to. It’s all these people that I could never get, like David Gilmour and Robert Plant and Ian Gillan and even people like Rob Halford. You know, the big names... David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Kate Bush and you never know, so I keep trying. But you don’t get to these people, they don’t know my music and maybe if they don’t know me they’ll google me or youtube me and they’ll see this weird guy in the silver suite and they’ll think 'Fuck you, man!' (many laughs). So, yeah, those are the ones and of course to work with your childhood heroes, like I did now with Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, that’s of course my biggest wish. So, that’s what I always try and I always fail.

I think you’re in a good way, as you’ve accomplished a good percentage of your musical heroes...
Yeah... Definitey.

One thing I adore about your approach is that you try to do it the old fashioned way, by bringing the singers in your studio to have them sing while you could just change some files via email. In a time that everyone tries to reduce costs you continue to invest in your music and I truly respect that...
You know, I have to. I have to, because I have this reputation to hold up and everyone says -like you said- that the singers sound better on my albums. Like Floor, as you said. That’s really because they are standing next to me and we work together and it’s like if something doesn’t work, you change it. Or if something gets better, it’s like 'No, do it like this! What if we do it like this?' and then I grab my guitar and 'Yeah, let’s do this'. And then you do it and it’s 'Wow!' and then it leads to something else and that leads to something else. Stuff is just happening that would never happen if someone just hears his guide vocals, sings it and sends it back to me. So, yeah, it does cost a lot, you have them over, you have to put them in hotels and it costs more time, but it’s just worth it and I’m a director and I want to direct my actors. You have to tell them 'That’s what happening in the story' and guide their emotions. I’m glad I still sell enough albums to still do shit like that, cause it is expensive...

Your fans were a bit concerned that "01011001" could be the last Ayreon album and fortunately it wasn’t. I know it’s too early, but should we expect a new album sooner this time?
Well, I can’t do two Ayreon albums in a row. That’s just too much. An Ayreon album takes a lot out of me, emotionally and creatively and I’m empty. Right now, I’m empty. There’s no inspiration left. I wouldn’t know what to do next. In the past, that really frightened me, cause it was like 'Oh my God, the well is dry, I’m never going to have any new ideas'. By now, I know that at some point new ideas come, but I definitely need one or two projects in between Ayreon albums, to charge the batteries, to just do something simpler. Like finishing my solo album, that was so much fan to do that and I didn’t have to arrange all these singers and just sit with my acoustic guitar, come up with these little songs, no expectations from the fans, just to have a little fan. I think that album really recharged my batteries to start a new Ayreon.

If you had the chance for a new project to pick up one guy at each instrument -a bass player, a drummer,  a keyboard player and a vocalist- excluding the ones you know you can’t have, because of their reputation or I don’t know what, which ones would come to your mind first?
Can they be dead? (laughs)

No!
Can’t I just choose Phil Lynott on bass, John Lennon on vocals, John Bohnam on drums and John Lord on keyboards? (laughs).

That would be more of the world peace than a band...
That’s true... (laughs). Well, because John Lennon isn’t there anymore I would say Robert Plant on vocals. Drums are hard, because both Cozy Powell and John Bohnam are gone, so I guess the drummer of Rammstein, he totally rules. He’s a very cool drummer… (laughs) Oh, it’s going to be a very interesting band. On bass I’m gonna have Geddy Lee. There you go, you have Geddy Lee playing with the drummer of Rammstein. We have to see that! On keyboards, that’s very hard. I already made my dreams come true, I have the best three keyboard players of the world, there’s nothing left there (laughs)... There’s no one left there...

Maybe Geddy Lee can play the keys as well...
He can play the synthesizers, he can do it with his feet, he can play bass pedals (laughs). On guitar, I have to say Richie Blackmore, but I also have to say David Gilmour, so there you go. This band is going to be a complete mess... (laughs)

They won’t talk to each other. Only Geddy Lee will talk with all of them...
I think so, yeah. Everyone will hate Richie Blackmore, Richie will hate everyone... (laughs)

Well, that’s how the story goes in the rock n’ roll book. I think you should give it a try again doing that album with Bruce Dickinson? He owes you one...
Yeah, I would love to, but it didn’t end so good the whole thing with Bruce. I’ve never heard from him again and all the problems with his manager and stuff, so I think that door is closed, unfortunately.

Would you like to add something more to this conversation Arjen?
Basically, it’s what we talked about before. I hope that this album gets a chance. That’s always the frustrating thing when I just finish an album and myself I don’t notice that it’s difficult. For me, it’s very natural. I mean, I can’t help with that. I have to get used to people saying “I don’t get it”. It’s like “Why? Why should you get used to it? It’s cool man!” (laughs). But, that’s always my fear. That people will like, but they don’t give it a chance. But if they do, I’m sure they’ll like it. Especially, in these days. In the old days, you would buy LPs and you would listen to the whole thing - like Led Zeppelin - and there would be two tracks you don’t like, but after heart the album ten times, those two tracks are the ones you like the most at some point. I just hope that this album will get a chance to grow on people, cause it will be satisfying...

It deserves to get this chance and the fans will love it...
I think the fans are gonna love it, but I can only imagine these journalists that have to listen to 50 albums and they see this huge double album with four 20minutes tracks, they will be like "Oh my God, no... Do I have to listen to this?'.

Maybe such journalists shouldn’t write an opinion. Because, if they don’t understand that an album like this needs time to be understood, to see what going on with its entirety, they shouldn’t write about it...
Yeah. We’ll see what happens. I’m not too worried. I think all the fans will like it. We did presale in our shop and it’s selling like crazy. All these fans will get a beautiful package and they will sit down and at some point they will like it. I’m not worried about that. It will be ok...

It will be... Maybe I should rephrase something I told earlier and say that it’s a 'Arjen's quality standards' album and your standards are always high...
Thanks Chris. Efcharisto!

Thank your Arjen. We’ll be talking again for your next project...
That’s sure.