1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
I formed the project in late February 2015, when I started writing what eventually became the "Entity" album, and I decided early on that I wanted it to be a one man project. I've been in a few bands over the years, but I've always felt more comfortable working on my own rather than in the collective of a band. When I first formed MOONSCAPE I just wanted to make the best record I possibly could, without limiting myself to just one specific genre. That way you really never know what the end result will be until you get there. Basically, MOONSCAPE is just me writing lyrics, composing and recording music, and when it comes to guitar solos and certain other instrumental work, outsourcing is the key, haha!
2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
It has a very varied expression, as you can probably tell from all the bands I mentioned as influences earlier, but I like to think it's a lush blend of melodic death metal, symphonic/progressive metal, a bit of doom, black metal and progressive rock mixed together in a nice atmosphere.
3.The lyrics on the album have a concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about the song writing?
To begin with, I actually just wrote down words that I felt fit the music, both rhythmically and phonetically, so there really was no intention of making it a concept album. After a while I realized that you really don't just write words. They have to come from somewhere, so I knew I was writing something of a personal nature, though it's not based on real events.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Moonscape'?
It was actually a word that came to me. I thought it had a nice ring to it. The same thing as with my lyrics, really, sometimes you just come up with something that fits.
5.Currently the band is a solo project, are you open to working with a full line up?
As of right now, no. I enjoy working the way I do, and it gives me the freedom to make the music I want, without having to compromise. I'm open for collaborations, but it needs to feel right.
6.On the album you had a few guests, can you tell us a little bit more about who they are and also their contributions to the recording?
Including myself there are actually 15 instrumentalists and singers on the album. I realized early on that I needed help to tackle lead and solo parts, so I got in touch with players that I felt could add something great to the music. Some of them didn't work out too well, but the ones that ended up on the album are simply magnificent. Given the fact that the concept featured three characters, I felt I had to have three different singers to give the story more credibility. I found Matthew Brown, who portrays the protagonist, Jim Brunaud who appears as the "Father" character, and Kent Are Sommerseth (Unspoken) who does the growling parts as the "Demon".
I had Andreas Jonsson (ex- Spiral Architect), John Kiernan, Leviathan (ex- Unspoken, Kvesta), Alex Campbell (Seek Irony), Simen Ådnøy Ellingsen (Shamblemaths), Noah Watts and Justin Hombach (AeoS) on guitar solos, Diego Palma and Jon Hunt on keyboards, David Russell on piano and Sean Winter on tenor saxophone.
7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
I've actually received a few offers, but none of them felt right, really. I've only been looking for a label who'd might be interested in releasing the album on vinyl, but no luck so far.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive and extreme metal?
I've actually just begun doing promotional work, but so far the reviews have been very good. I'm sure there'll be more feedback once the album is released.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I'll probably just keep on working the way I do. As I mentioned earlier, I feel very comfortable with my current situation, so I see no reason to change it. Musically I'd like to expand my expression in a bit more progressive direction, but we'll see.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Edge of Sanity's "Crimson" was a huge inspiration when I started writing "Entity", alongside In Flames, Dark Tranquillity etc. I have always wanted to make an album similar to "Crimson", because it really made an impact in my musical development when it came out in 1996. Later on I discovered 70's progressive rock acts like Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield etc. I wanted to keep the heavy, yet melodic guitars that all those Swedish melodic death metal bands did back in the 90's, and also incorporate elements and variations from the 70's prog scene.
I rarely get to sit down and listen to music anymore, since I am a single father, but when I find the time I tend to prefer older Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Deep Purple, Yes, Black Sabbath etc.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I'm a big fan of old sci-fi, especially the old Star Trek series. Otherwise I collect vinyl records and coins.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
If anyone would like to get a copy of the album, be it physical or digital, please visit my BandCamp page (moonscape.bandcamp.com) or contact me via my Facebook page (@MoonscapeNorway). At last, I'd like to thank you for the album review, and for showing interest in my project!