Well, here is an interview Thomas gave me especially for "HOLOCRON" - the Bulgarian Star Wars Fan Magazine - www.ezine.starwarsbg.org
The interview was published in Issue #2 (oh, btw Issue #3 is on its way, and it will feature some Gaia Epicus news and the lyrics of "Rise of the Empire"), but since it's all in Bulgarian and we published the translation of the interview, for music lovers and fans all over - here is the original version in English. And for exclusive Gaia Epicus photos - download "Holocron" Issue #2 (yeah, check out Thomas with a lightsaber and his Star Wars collection!)
Hi Thomas! Let's begin with a little introduction. A few words which describe best the band and its members?
Thomas C. Hansen ( guitar and vocals )
Joakim Kjelstad ( guitar )
Hans Å. Holmen ( bass )
Ole A. Myrholt ( drums )
We play melodic metal or power metal if you will, but we have some elements of prog, speed and
also just straight metal. The band was formed back in 1992 but has changed music style and members many times since then. In fact i am the only original member in the band, and I also started the band.
Thomas, after experimenting with various styles through the years in 2001 the band is officially Gaia Epicus and your style is far from the typical Black Metal with which Norway is famous for. Why so and is it difficult for you to take the stage from the rest of the metal bands in your country?
Black metal is something I don’t like so it's not so strange that we don’t play that style. hehe
Norway is as you said very famous for it's black metal, and there is many bands who plays it here. There is not too many Power Metal bands in Norway cause many don’t want to admit that they actually like it, and power metal bands should come from Germany. (so they say) hehe
So much anger, so much hate... Black Metal is from the Dark Side, don't you think?
Hehehe Good question! Well I don't think they have the same coolness about them as The Dark side have, but they sure are from somewhere dark.
But power metal is a different story. Here it's about honor, glory, epic battles, freedom, chasing dreams... Since you write the lyrics are these things close to you?
That’s the lyrics of most power metal bands yes, and some of my lyrics are about that also. I haven’t made any about dragons, wizards, and so on like many would expect. Most of my lyrics have a deeper meaning but sometimes I try to make it as a metaphor, so you have to figure it out yourself what's it about. But I also make some lyrics like "Star Wars" witch is a tribute to the best movies ever made. And I am just about to go and record our 3'rd album, and there it will be a new star wars tribute song called "Rise of the empire". My lyrics are often about freedom and keeping you dreams alive and fight for them, and that’s very important to me.
In many of your lyrics there is a comment o n the world we are living in. Like a reproach or a warning. (I especially love "Keepers of Time") Do you think that the people will hear your message?
Thanks :) yeah I try to have some deeper meaning in the lyrics even if you might think it's just another fantasy lyric. The world today is very unstable and is filled up with hate and suffering, and I don’t really see why that is. Something needs to be done about this but I am not sure what. Hopefully people will see that I have some meanings with most of the lyrics, even though it's not going to change the world for the better.
Sometimes you feel that you must to fight for a change, sometimes you want to "leave this world behind". There are a lot of ideaological and philosophical issues behind your songs. Is music your way to make people stop and think?
Thanks again for noticing :) Many reviewers don’t take the time to read the lyrics and try to find out what it's about, they just assume by the title that it's just another power metal fantasy song. If my lyrics can make people think and maybe change their way of life to the better that's great, but I make the lyrics most of all just to get some of my thought out of my head. hehe
And still, your songs are possitive. Do you believe that there will be A New Hope for all of us?
Not all the songs are positive actually. But yes I think there is "A New Hope" for the world, cause if we didn’t believe there wouldn’t be any point of going on, would there? I also sometimes try to combine a happy tune with a very serious lyric, like the song "Miracles".
Reality sucks in many ways and your music is a way to escape from it for a while, and at the same time gives new strenght for a fight when we go back to the real world. Reminds you of some movies? ;) (it's supposed to remind you about Star Wars, hehe)
Good one. hehe
Are all the Gaia Epicus members Star Wars fans or just you and Joakim?
Me and Jokke are BIG Star Wars fans, and movie fans that’s for sure. The other 2 members like star wars but they are not crazy fans like we are. hehe
When did you see Star Wars for the first time and what was your reaction, your impressions?
I can't remember what year it was but i was totally amazed by what I did see on the screen, and i was a fan right away.
So you are a big fan, aren't you? What does the Star Wars saga mean to you?
Big fan Yes! I don’t know if it has any special meaning to me other than I really enjoy watching it.
Is there any character you can identify with?
Well, yes there is but he dead know (R.I.P) but it's Darth Maul, I find him very fascinating and mysterious like me. hehe I actually dressed up like him on the Episode 1 premier and won first price for best costume.
Do you have a favourite episode?
Hard to name just one since I think everyone is great, but the 3 first movies are very special. And from the 3 last movies I have to say episode 1, even though many will not agree with me. I don’t know why that is I just feel it's very special, maybe because it had been so many years of waiting and finally it was arrived.
How do you feel about the messages and the outlook o n life, presented in the Star wars movies? Do you fallow the ways of the Jedi?
I think the way's of a Jedi and the moral of the Star wars saga is very present in the real world and I guess that in some ways follow the way of a Jedi. hehe
When did you came up with the idea for a Star Wars tribute song from your first album, "Satrap"?
Hmm... Not sure when, but i was just playing with some new riffs for a song and it came to me. maybe I had just watched some star wars movies, yeah that could have been it.
The song is not the only reference to the Saga. on the cover of your second album, "Symphony of Glory" we can see some familiar helmets and even some lightsabers... Looks like you are pretty inspired by Star Wars?
We though it would be fun to include some of our interests on the cover, and if you look close you will find things from other movies to.
I want to thank you for your permission to include your song in the "Music From A Galaxy Far Far Away..." fan-album. It's really great to have your name on the track list! (if you hear the album you can say a few words, your opinion and such)
You're welcome! The Star Wars fans should hear the song. I haven’t had time to hear this album yet.
In o ne of the letters we exchanged you told me that your third album "Victory" will feature one more Star Wars tribute song. Can you share any details?
It's a song called "Rise of the Empire", and it's basically about Anakin have become Darth Vader and trying to rule the world.
I'm curious if George Lucas have heard your sond and if he likes it. Have you ever contacted Lucasfilm to tell them about your tribute to the saga?
No I haven’t done it yet. I was thinking of doing it but never got around to it.
In "Symphony of Glory" there's an instrumental called "Chamber of Secrets", which begins with a short intro from Harry Potter's theme by John Williams. Do you like Harry Potter too?
No it's crap! hehe Yeah it's great movies and i got inspired to make that song after seeing one of the movies.
Any other particular movie or book inspirations?
Not that I can think of, and as for books goes... I don’t read books, to little pictures :) hehe
What are you planning for the future? Any tours, concerts, auditions?
Tomorrow I am leaving to record our 3'rd album as I said earlier, and in the fall we will do a Victory Tour. We hope to play everywhere in the Galaxy !!!
Maybe you should concider attendind some Star Wars convention or fan-fest. You know, next year it's the Star Wars 30 years anniversary and there will be a huge Celebration IV in Los Angelis. I think fans will love to hear your music live.
That would be exlent :)
Before we jump to hyperspace anything else you want to say to the Bulgarian Star Wars fans?
Check out our band, and you might just like it. Stay ready for our 3'rd album "Victory" !!!
more info on: http://www.gaia-epicus.com/
Thank you very much for this interview! May the Force be with Gaia Epicus!
Your welcome, and may the force be with you too !