Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund Thinks Society Needs to ‘Reset’ + Reevaluate ‘Human Morals’
Evergrey singer Tom S. Englund was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program following the release of A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament, the band's second album in as many years and 13th overall.
To help expand on the concepts of the record, the band cut multiple music videos that followed one long narrative arc, which Englund took delight in being able to pull off.
While the pandemic was a challenge for everyone, the singer found a silver lining in having such unprecedented free time and found ways to keep his brain engaged through different creative endeavors.
Read the full interview below.
It's been decades since bands releasing two albums in just over a year was commonplace. What did you appreciate most about A Heartless Portrait coming together rather quickly?
Having all the time I needed for writing was one thing we never had for a good while. The pandemic sucked, but, for us, writing and creatively, we couldn't have asked for more than that. We took the opportunity to really make use of our time.
The music videos for "Save Us" and "Midwinter Calls" are installments in a three-part storyline. How does an elaborate visual component help give the songs and the album as a whole much greater impact?
It's just fun to make something outside of music. Since we have such a great team (Patric Ullaeus and rEVOLVER Film) working with the visuals, we like to expand on our audio ideas and put them into visual ideas.
For this trilogy of videos, we wrote a script after the album was done to make it look sassy and cool. It also features our acting debut, but I don't know how seriously you should take that.
Evergrey, "Midwinter Calls"
Evergrey songs tend to observe human nature, especially within the context of society. How does narrating the ills of humanity actually replenish your hope for people?
I don't know if it does. I'm just trying to tell a story — my story — and how I see myself in a world where I don't feel like I belong or never felt like I belong that much.
Lately, the world has become more vile and hostile and brutal.
We released our first single "Save Us" which was the same day Russia went into Ukraine. That sort of just proved the point. I think we need to reset and go back to our human moral values and see what they are. That that's my main goal for this album.
Evergrey, "Save Us" Music Video
In addition to the new Evergrey album, a Silent Skies album was released earlier this year as well. Why is a constant state of creativity necessary for your personal well-being?
I'm glad that you see it that way. My ADHD brain needs to be stimulated at all times. I also think I discovered something during this pandemic — the more I use my brain, the bigger that sort of area in my brain gets. The more I write, the more creative I get in a sense and vice versa. It's just something that I need to do to feel stimulated.
Silent Skies, "Leaving"
When Evergrey returns to the road this year, you'll actually be supporting two albums. How will the dynamic of the shows change with so much new music to play?
We have a problem [to contend with] with that. This is our 13th album, but we've [amassed] our biggest fan base from the last five albums. So 70 percent of our fans consist of those people that came in from 2014 and forward. We need to base our set on the last four to five albums. We've been around for almost 30 years, so it's impossible to play everything.
Thanks to Tom S. Englund for the interview. Get your copy of Evergrey's 'A Heartless Portrait: The Orphean Testament' here and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.