|1. What are you currently up
I have recorded
Doing promotion for the album. I have many phoners, face-to-face and
radio interviews every weekday for another couple of weeks and about
30 (fan)mails a day to answer ;-)
The album climbed the CD top 100 here in Holland at # 7, and #50 in the German charts! So things are really taking off
at the moment.
|2. What has been the highlight(s) and low point(s) of your career to
The low point was in 1993, when my band Vengeance couldn't get a deal
and split up, my girlfriend left me and my solo album flopped
However, this low point led to the highlight of my career: my decision to
start the Ayreon project in the same year, all on my own without
compromising to anyone, be it bandmembers, record companies, fashion
or even the fans. To my (and everyone elses) surprise it worked!
|3. Could you give us some background to the excellent new
album, 'The Human Equation' please?
Thanks for the compliment! It's about a ruthless businessman who has a
bizarre car accident (broad daylight, no other car in sight) and
slips into a coma.
The story is set in two different locations; the hospital
where his wife and best friend are sitting beside his bed, and a strange realm
inside his head, where in his dreamstate he's being confronted by his
emotions (portrayed by the singers) which take him back to his past.
Slowly we learn more about this man and why he became the man he is and had the
accident, and about the role of his wife and best friend in this
|4. How did you decide which vocalists to use on the new album and
This time I wanted to work with vocalists who have never been on
Ayreon before, to keep things fresh for myself as well as for the fans.
Because the main theme of this album is 'emotions', I was looking for very
emotional singers. The criteria were simple, I had to get goosebumps.
|5. The whole concept and musical scope of 'Human Equation' lends
itself to a stage production. Will you be touring this album at all or possibly plan to get it onto a theatre stage?
Touring won't be possible with the 11 guest singers who are all very
busy with their own bands. A theatre production would be interesting.
There are certainly possibilities in this direction, but no definite plans.
Photograph © 2004 Website
|6. Anymore plans for further material with the Star One project?
How did you view the fans and music reviewers' reception to the live album?
I definitely would like to do another Star One album some day,
because the reactions of both fans and journalists alike was overwhelming. I also
like working on this project, because I've been playing metal for 15
years in various bands from 1978 til 1993 so it's in my blood.
|7. The Ayreon backlist is being re-released by Inside Out. Why has
it been so hard (certainly in the UK) to track down Ayreon albums?
They were released by a small Dutch label who didn't have such an
extensive distribution net outside of Holland. It's a great feeling that my
music is now available all over the world. I'm already starting to
notice this from the high sales of the new album and of course the
Star One albums. My aim is to share my music with as many people as possible.
|8. What have been your favourate vocal performances across the
Ayreon/Star One albums?
It's obviously an honour to work with singers that I grew up
listening to like Bruce Dickinson, Fish, Barry Hay (Golden Earring) or Dave Brock
(Hawkwind). But I really don't want to favour any singer over the
I'm extremely proud of them all, whether they are famous or unknown,
technical or limited.
|9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I used to jog a lot, but due to serious back problems I switched to
cycling which I also enjoy. I also love watching DVDs in the privacy of my
own home cinema and listening to music.
|10. Message for your
This album looks like it will be my best-selling album. I would like
to thank all the (open-minded) people who actually bought my album,
instead of just downloading it as most people do nowadays. I think I have the
best and most loyal audience I could wish for!