A CRANNK interview with Frode Hovd about Aldaria – a metal opera!

CRANNK got a message

For some time ago, crannk.com got a message on Facebook. It was from Frode Hovd from Norway that wanted to spread the message of a new metal-opera that he is composing, and he wondered if we would like to do a thing about it.

I (Peps) am a fan of these bombastic metal-things and immediately felt that I wanted to know more about this project, so of course I answered his request.

It has taken some time to get everything in order, both from me and from Frode, but eventually I got the questions right, and Frode found the time to answer them. And now it seems that his project is about to finish, an album isn’t that far away. And Frode seems to be a nice, humble dude, and I’m looking forward to follow his journey!

Here’s my interview with Frode:

How’s it going with Aldaria?
Well, it’s beginning to reach the end. Some guitars, a bit of synthesizers and some choirs left and then it will be ready for mixing.

When do you think the album will be ready?
I hope to be done with the recordings during the summer, and then send it for mixing by Roland Grapow. After that I have to start to find a record label. I have several that are interested, pretty big names as well, so I’m very exited.

Could you try to describe it a bit, what is Aldaria?
Aldaria is a project that I dreamt of doing for a long time, and now the timing was right and when I started to write the songs I really got confirmation that it was the right time. Never thought that I would be able to work with such great names and idols on the first album, but obviously it’s a great honor to do so.

I really feel like you’ve done some heavy thinking about Aldaria, and got a pretty advanced story?
Well, I really thought the story through, been working on it in my head for many years, but regarding the concept for this first album, it doesn’t have a chronological sequence, we just see the story from different eyes, from The Lightbringers side and how the key to create harmony.

When I read the description on the Aldaria-website, I get the feeling that you’ve already planned a part 2, or am I wrong
That’s correct, I’ve already have my plans for a part 2 ready, and already one song. This album will have a tighter concept, it’s more of a concrete story that takes place. This album will also have one vocalist that continues throughout the whole album, but it will of course be spiced with exiting guest-singers in important roles.

Who is Frode? Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Well, Frode is a 36 years old guy from the town of Bjugn, a small town right outside Trondheim in Norway. I live there with



my girlfriend, dog and cats, haha! 😀 I’ve played in a couple of bands for some years, but this the first time I take the full step and going hard in on my own. The local music environment here is really good and I have a lot of local people on the album as well.

I’ve read that you’re a member of the band Memorized Dreams, but that’s not a band I’ve heard about, sorry to say. What kind of band is it
Memorized Dreams started a loong time ago. We released one record in 2004, on Sound Riot Records, where we had Olaf Hayer (ex. Dionysus, Luca Turelli, Magic Kingdom) on vocals on one song. After that album we got some live-shows, amongst others as guests for Europe. We had to do some line-up changes after that, where our songwriter and our lead guitar player disappeared, so we had to start all over again after that. We were in the studio to record our second album in 2007, but for several reasons the album never saw the light of day. After that we got an offer for a tour in Europe with UDO, but because of financial reasons we couldn’t say yes to that offer.

What’s the status of the band today?
Right now we’re a bit unsure how the band is doing. We haven’t been doing something together for some time now, and people are busy with other stuff. I hope that we can get this up and running some day.

This is “Memorized Dreams”:

Can you tell me a bit about how you got the idea for a metal opera?
As I said, I had that dream for a while, but for a lots of reasons it wasn’t possible to do it until now. It costs a lot of money, and not least you have to have some songs that are strong enough.

One thing I wonder about is this: To me you’re not that famous (sorry, but that is going to change!) and not your band either. So how were you able to get hold of all the musicians and singers for Aldaria? It must be a lot of hard work behind this?
Hehe, yeah it wasn’t easy in the beginning. I had some demo-songs ready to be heard, and then it was just to get out there and contact the people I wanted. Jimmy Hedlund from Falconer was a person I got hold of early, and that really helped after he really lifted the songs on his magic guitar. I had all along wanted to have Uli Kusch on drums, and since he lives in Norway nowadays I contacted him and luckily he said yes right away. Fabio also said yes in an early stage of the process. And when you start something with these great names, it’s much more easy to get more people on board. I like to think that I have some strong songs as well and that’s why people says yes, haha! 😀 I also contacted Michael Kiske early since he is my God for this genre, but unfortunately he was fully booked this time, but that’s something I hope to make happen in the future. To hear his vocals on my songs, it seems almost unreal. The same goes with several of the other guys on the album, it’s almost surreal to hear some of the people I’ve looked up to for so many years, on my own album.

Speaking of all this with musicians, who are the people you’re working with? Singers, musicians, people around (except from Roland Grapow, so much have I learned!)?
Yeah, it’s beginning to be a whole lot of people involved. The list so far, and counting, is: r:

On vocals:
Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire)
Rick Altzi (Masterplan)
Todd Michael Hall (Riot V)
Yannis Papadopoulos (Wardrum)
Tommy ReinXeed (ReinXeed)
Jonas Heidgert (Dragonland)
Kristoffer Göbel (ex Falconer)
David Åkesson (Qantice)
PelleK (PelleK)
Marit Børresen
Bernt Fjellestad (Guardians Of Time)
Vasilis Georgiou (Sunburst)
Sigfried Samer (Dragony)
Mayo Petranin (Signum Regis)
Konstantin Naumenko (Sunrise)
Mina Giannopoulou

Andreas Nergård, Frode Hovd, UIi Kusch

Andreas Nergård, Frode Hovd, UIi Kusch

Uli Kusch, Frode Hovd, Mike LePond, Christer Harøy, Jimmy Hedlund, Peter Danielsen, Andreas Nergård, Peter Crowley, Ronnie König, Kenneth Skarsvåg, Filip Andel, Paolo Campitelli, Linus Abrahamson, Robert Myrhaug, Filip Kolus, Mistheria & Gabriels.

Cover-art is made by Stan W Decker.

Mix & Mastring is made of Roland Grapow.

Tobias Sammet in Edguy and Avantasia managed to take Avantasia on tour. Is that something you’re looking forward to do with Aldaria, or will it be “just” a studio-project?
Well, there is no plans for that right now, but of course I would love to something like that in the future. I think that the songs will be great live, and several of the involved persons have hinted that it would be a possibility for this in the future.

If you manage to get a live – show with this project, could I get a ticket then? 🙂
Well as I said, no direct plans right now, but it is a possibility! I will put a ticket in your name the day we’re doing it! 🙂

I read an interview that a Norwegian paper did with you, where you talked a bit about the finance of the project. How is the financing of the project going? Are you getting enough money? How do you raise money
Well, I’ve got some money in, but of course it could be more, haha! The cost is insane to do all of this alone, and that’s why it has taken so much time. You have to do little by little when you have the money to do it. I have gotten great support from the city of Bjugn, which is my hometown, and also my football-team has contributed with some dollars in support, hehe.

To round it off a bit, what is the best way to stay updated about the project?
The best and most effective way to find out what’s happening in the Aldaria world is through Facebook, I update regularly when things happen. The webpage is a bit outdated, I haven’t had the time lately. But check out www.facebook.com/Aldariaband

Do you have a final thing to say to our readers or your fans?
I would like to thank for the interest in my project, and we’ve got some people that have been waiting for the album for quite some time now, but we’re getting closer, and I’m as happy as a child to present this to the world. Follow us on Facebook and please send a message if there is something you are wondering about.

This was all from Frode for this time, I hope I can return to Frode after the album release. I would like to thank Frode for making contact and answered so nicely on my questions. Frode: I hope that you will succeed with Aldaria and that it will be all you want it to be my friend! I think it’s really cool with people that have the guts to chase a dream, even if you don’t know the end-result. Good luck!

\m/ Peps

I’ll finish with a video from Aldaria (although not on the album!):

For more interviews with other bands, check out: http://www.crannk.com/interviews/
And, here you can listen to the sounds of interviews: http://www.crannk.com/the-sound-of-interviews/


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