Exclusive Interview | PreHistoric Animals
Guitarist Daniel Magdic talks about the new upcoming album
On September 30th, 2020, Swedish progressive/alternative rock band PreHistoric Animals released their first concept album `The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 1)’. About a year later, March 24, 2022, the second chapter of `The Magical Mystery Machine’ was released. The storyline of both albums is based on Cora and Jareths diary, written somewhere, sometime in a world not far from here. Cora is given the mission to collect humanities good and bad sides, but at one point they realize that they are part of a universal plot. Both albums are covered with beautiful and colourful artwork, made by Richard Dearing, creating a modern Science Fiction atmosphere.
The origin of PreHistoric Animals actually goes back to the year 2018, when Samuel Granath [drums and keyboards] and Stefan Altzar [guitars, vocals, keyboards] came up with the first album `Consider It A Work of Art’. Live shows seemed to be a natural follow-up and that’s when guitarist Daniel Magdic and bassist Noah Magnusson joined the band, taking PreHistoric Animals to a whole new level.
Last week I got the opportunity to meet the former Pain of Salvation guitarist Daniel Magdic and I asked him how things are going for PreHistoric Animals at the moment. Daniel tells me with a big smile that that they have been working on a new studio album lately and they have come pretty far in the process of writing and recording.
,,Five out of seven songs are recorded and mixed and ready to be released. So, there are only two more songs to be done. The total playtime will be 60 minutes. Our plan is to be totally finished with the recording and mixing process by the end of Summer or in the beginning of Autumn. Early September, we are planning to release the first video single. The album itself will be out, probably early next year. Definitely on CD and most likely also on vinyl and of course digital.’’
Daniel continues that they already picked out a specific song to be the first single.
,,It is called ,,He is number 4’’. It is a quite, straight forward song actually and more metal oriented than we usually do. The song was actually written before we recorded `The Magical Mystery Machine (Chapter 1)’. It started with our drummer Samuel who sent me a demo of the song, but it only had drums on it, and he asked me if I could do something with it. I started to write guitar parts that fitted his drum track and this was actually the first time I wrote a song in that kind of process. But as I started working on it, it all came very naturally. The way Samuel plays his drums is very distinct and song oriented. I could hear where he wanted to go. It is a great song and I think it is a really good start to promote the album. Also, all the other songs are way too long to be a first single anyway to be honest. [Laughing]’’
I wonder why the band started to work on a new album soon after the release of their latest album in 2022. Daniel has a clear explanation.
,,Well to be honest, some of the songs were already done even before the writing session of our last album. Actually, we are writing songs all the time, for us it is a constant flow. We even already have about five songs kind of half written for a next album. Also, a reason is that COVID is still lurking in the back. A lot of festivals were already fully booked because they were postponed during the pandemic. There is also a huge competition because every band wants to go out and play. That made us decide to continue to work on a new album. We are a small band and we need to stay relevant as well and we can’t afford to spend two years on writing a new album like Metallica does [laughing].’’
A NEW ADVENTURE
Since Daniel hasn’t revealed anything yet about the storyline or album title, I ask him if the new album could be Chapter 3, or is this a new adventure?
,,No, it is not a Chapter 3, but it is also a concept album though. The theme: finding love in strange places. The storylines are not about tradition love per se. For instance the song ,,He Is Number 4’’ is about a guy who works in a factory. His job is very boring but he is doing his job. Then he meets Number 10 who is working undercover and in fact is planning to sabotage this evil kind of company. The video for this song will reveal more.
So, it is not pink and bubbles but it gets dark and weird. Still there is love that is like hope in the story. In that way it connects with the theme of the former two albums, having a positive vibe to it. Stefan, who writes all our lyrics and who is the main guy behind the lyrical stories, describes it as a dystopian, Sci-Fi interpretation of the movie `Love Actually’. He felt also inspired by the Sci-Fi book `Neuromancer’ by William Gibson. I actually gave him this book for his 50th birthday. With this new album we continue on the Sci-Fi themes, but we go in a different direction.’’
And what will the album title be?
,,`Finding Love In Strange Places’.’’
Having already 3 albums out, I can imagine they are a blueprint for a next album, but it seems not the case for PreHistoric Animals.
,,We really didn’t thought about that. But one thing we felt we wanted, is to sound a bit rawer than our previous albums. Therefor the guitars are a bit heavier now. We didn’t decide it like that, it developed organically during process. So yeah, this new album will sound a little bit different, but you will definitely recognize us as PreHistoric Animals.’’
When I ask what the biggest challenge was writing this album, it seems there wasn’t any at all.
,,Well working with these guys is not a real challenge because when we are sending song ideas to each other we always feel positive about the ideas. It generates new ideas and we help each other with developing the song. It is never complicated to be creative together.’’
For music fans who are not familiar with PreHistoric Animals yet, how to describe the musical mood and sound of the band? What makes PreHistoric Animals musically stand out, especially with the new tracks? It seems to be a tough question to answer.
,,It is difficult to describe you own music and band. In some way I would think we are a progressive band, but I think we are not a progressive metal, or traditional progressive rock sounding band. It is progressive but we truly focus on the songs and the melodies. Not something that everybody does in the prog scene, if you ask me without sounding arrogant. If we write a part in an odd time signature, we don’t want it to sound complex, but our goal is you still have the feeling you can dance on it.
Personally, I like dark sounding and melancholic elements, but we also have parts that are more uplifting, poppy and with hooky melodies. We like to blend those two worlds. Samuel is a huge fan of Toto for instance and that sound is also an inspiration. Both me and Stefan like more heavy music, such as Tool and Puscifer and of course the more guitar-oriented bands, like Kings X. You can hear all the different sounds we like to listen to in our music.’’
The former two albums have a very characteristic, colourful artwork, made by the fantastic illustrator Richard Dearing. According to Daniel, the band has not decided yet what the artwork for the new album will be.
,,Now having a new theme, we probably will do something different with the artwork, but we haven’t decided yet what it will be. Stefan is not only great guitar player but he is also our guy who does the video production. Stefan is now building the scenery in Unreal Engine for the new video single. I can imagine that the artwork will be related to that.’’
LIKE A MOVIE
What do you consider as the extra mile that this band takes and which makes it so much worth for a music fan to support your music?
,,We simply love what we do so that is why we do it. We don’t earn a lot of money with this band, but we put a lot of time and effort in our videos, our artwork, to do the whole package. Present a theme like a movie. Listening to our music is like watching a Sci-Fi movie. At least that is what we hope to accomplish and we hope that people like that experience.’’
Where would you like to see the band in let’s say 5 years?
,,The main goal would be that we have come to a level where we have a fanbase which is big enough for us to continue what we do and to come out and play live more regular. World domination is fine [laughing] but at least we want the band to grow to a certain level that we can stay in business and make people happy with our music.’’
As a final, I ask Daniel how he would like to conclude this interview.
,,Like Paul Stanley always says: “This is the best album we have ever done!” [Laughing]
All promo photos are from the official PreHistoric Animals Press kit.
PreHistoric Animals is a progressive / alternative rock band from Sweden who incorporate Sci-Fi storylines in their songs.
Progressive, Alternative, Rock