One of this yearís striking albums is Guilt Machineís ĎOn This Perfect
Dayí. Ayreon-mastermind ArjenLucassen formed this project with three other
musicians (including his new partner Lori Lindstruth),
and made an album full of sacred soberness and beautiful intensity. According
to Arjen it had to be this way, because heís Ďguilty
Interview Arjen Lucassen
by Michel Schreijen @†
[MS]: Hi Arjen, how are you?
[AL]:† Hi Michel, Iím doing very well indeed, thanks for asking.
[MS]: What kind of reactions did you received after the
release of GUILT MACHINE?
[AL]:† We were actually very happy to get many positive reactions
from people who donít like Ayreon that much. Most Ayreon fans enjoy the album as well, unless they expect
this big over-the-top multi-singer rock opera thing :-) The limited edition was
sold out even before the release and we entered the charts here in Holland, so you could say
that is an excellent start.
[MS]: And what kind of reactions or success did you get
outside The Netherlands?
[MS]: Lori wrote all the lyrics. Werenít you involved
in writing some lyrics?
[AL]:† No, this Time Lori wrote all the lyrics.
[MS]: How did that manage? Wasnít there a moment when
her lyrics and your music did not harmonize and some adjustments were needed?
After all you always worked alone on your projects (according to writing and
[AL]:† Yes, as always this control freak had the final say. Here
and there I asked Lori to change some small details, but nothing major.
[MS]: Are all the songs based on personal experience?
[AL]:† Lori tried not to write auto-biographical lyrics, she
didnít want to bore people with our personal problems. But of course personal
experiences have influenced her in writing these lyrics. She hopes a lot of
people can identify with the lyrics. We already got many mails of people whoíve
been going through similar problems and who weíve been able to help just a bit.
[MS]: Are you more satisfied with GUILT MACHINE than AYREONís ĎZERO ONEí?
[AL]:† Yes, this album is much more consistent. Which
doesnít mean of course that itís a better album, thatís for the listeners to
decide. I guess itís hard to compare the two anyway.
[MS]: Iíve been recently listening to Ď01011001í , and in my opinion itís the perfect finale for
[AL]:† Thanks! Yes, as a finale it works perfectly. It has all the
typical Ayreon fingerprints from the previous albums.
What doesnít make you satisfied?
I definitely feel that there were too many singers. I
didn't have enough room to fit them all in. I even had to sacrifice
instrumental parts and solos. I could have gotten more out of some of the
singers if I would have had more space.
example: what do you mean by Ďconsistentí?
[AL]:† Ayreon combines many different styles of
music, singers and instruments. Guilt Machine has just one singer, three
musicians and no weird excursions to exotic, musical styles. So this time no
didgeridoos, low flutes, pan pipes, bassoons, etc :-)
[MS]: What kind of bands/artist have
inspired you during the composing and producing-
process of GUILT MACHINE?
As always my early influences like the Beatles and Pink
I will never escape that, †even if I wanted to!
And I guess
listening to newer bands who have the same roots that (=as) I have.
i'm i a black hole after
each album is finished
into another project.
[MS]: So, who are they?
[AL]:† Bands like Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Katatonia, Opeth, Phideaux, Secret Machines etc.
[MS]: There arenít many vintage synthsounds
on GUILT MACHINE. How come?
[AL]:† Iím already using a lot of vintage synthsounds
on Ayreon, and I tried to walk a different path this
time, because we wanted this album to have a more modern feel. Having said that, there is a lot of Mellotron,
Minimoog and Hammond on Guilt Machine. Just no
synth solos, but Loriís guitar soloís.
[MS]: Is there a chance of further collaborations with
singer Jasper Steverlinck? He fits
perfect with your productions!
[AL]:† †I agree! Yes, I
would love to work with Jasper again. He did make it clear he doesn't like to
sing sci-fi lyrics though.
[MS]: Whatís your meaning about the musical industry
and downloading? Did it shatter your career?
[AL]:† †Not yet, but it
will. My only income is from the sales of CDs or payed
downloads, since I don't play live. If everyone will illegally download my
music in the future, I won't be able to continue in the same way.
[MS]: Whatís up for the future Arjen?
[AL]:† †I just started
working on a new project, possible a Star One. I feel like making some noise
[MS]: Thx for your time Arjen,
see you the next time.
Michel Schreijen Nov 2009.