Hanna Tsepesh: Hello Mikael! First of all thanks so much for accepting this interview! I would like to begin to ask you about the CRYSTAL EYES history, for the people who don’t know the band yet. If I’m not mistaken, the band started in 1992 and you were the singer since the beginning , but before the album “Confessions Of The Maker” you began to play guitar and to make the lyrics for the band (the same you do since the beginning when you formed the band with Niclas), right?

Mikael: When we started Crystal Eyes in 1992 I was the singer, guitarist and songwriter. After 12 years I felt it was time to just concentrate on the guitar and the songwriting therefore I handled over the microphone to Daniel on “Confessions of the Maker”. I actually didn’t stop singing because I’m still the singer of a Judas Priest tribute band called “Defenders of the Faith” which I’ve been since 1993. And of course I’ve done all backing vocals on Crystal Eyes 3 latest records and sung lead on 1 song of each of those records. From the beginning I shared the lyric writing with a friend to the band but now I’m completely responsible for all lyrics.

Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk a little bit about you in the past and present. Any special reason to stop singing in CRYSTAL EYES? If yes, can you tell to us why? I ask this because you have a great voice!

Mikael: It just became to much to do everything and I just had to let one thing go. When you’re a lead singer of a band you have to practice a lot and I just couldn’t find the time. A full time job, a family with kids, write songs, practice vocals, practice guitar etc….it’s not easy to find the time. But as I said before I’m still singing and if anyone is interested in hearing me in Defenders Of The Faith they can check out our site :

Hanna Tsepesh: What are your favorite bands at the moment?

Mikael: Judas Priest is my all time favorite band. Some other favorites are Iron Maiden, Accept, Black Sabbath, Manowar, Dio etc.

Hanna Tsepesh: Since what age did you start to play guitar? Any musician inspired you?

Mikael: At the age of 13 I got my first guitar, a "Fender Stratocaster" replica by the name "Space Ultra". I begin trying to play a year earlier on an acoustic guitar. All music I listened to at the time inspired me.

Hanna Tsepesh: I make the same questions before but about singing, and also in the past, did you had some singing classes or another kind of preparation?

Mikael: I never took any lessons I just practice on my own singing along to my favorite singers.

Hanna Tsepesh: What is your inspiration to create the lyrics for CRYSTAL EYES?

Mikael: In the beginning it was just fantasy lyrics which I got inspiration from movies etc. Nowadays my lyrics are reflections of life and about situations we really can’t do much about. Usually pretty dark lyrics about life.

Hanna Tsepesh: If you have to choose one big moment and a bad moment in your career at CRYSTAL EYES, what will be your answer and why?

Mikael: The biggest moment must have been when we got our first record deal and released our first record. That was just a dream come true. The bad moments are every time there’s a member change in the band and that has happened just too many times.

Hanna Tsepesh: One big fan of your work asked me to ask you: what is your favorite CRYTAL EYES album and why?

Mikael: I have to say “Chained” because it sounds just how I want Crystal Eyes to sound. All unnecessary things from the past like millions of guitar parts and harmonies, fast songs and double bass drums all the time are gone and now it’s just straight Heavy Metal. Of the older albums “Vengeance Descending” is my favorite.

Hanna Tsepesh: Let’s talk about the new album “Chained”, I already listen some songs at CRYSTAL EYES Myspace and i simply love it! I like so much all the riffs i think they have a lot of power and the voice is great and very worked!! I can’t wait to listen more songs! Can you tell us a little bit about the history of “Chained” and what is the difference between the last album and this one?

Mikael: ”Chained” is our sixth record and a natural follower to ”Dead City Dreaming”. Every record in the history of Crystal Eyes has been a step towards what we are today but we’ve always walked along the road of Heavy Metal. I think the songs on “Chained” are more direct then before and everything unnecessary is cut out. Since Nico Adamsen joined the band on vocals and we got help with the production from Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman I think Crystal Eyes now is what I always wanted it to be. The influences from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, Dio, Manowar etc maybe obvious but since our aim is to write music as it was in the good old eighties we’re just proud that people mention these bands when they listen to us.

Hanna Tsepesh: At recording studio, everything went well? Did you guys have all the songs ready to be recorded? Is the band happy with the results or do you think that something is missing?

Mikael: First I recorded demo versions of all songs with myself on vocals then we started to rehearse the songs. The songs ended up on the record exactly as I wrote them and I’m completely happy with the result.

Hanna Tsepesh: Also the cover work is great too, who was the person that create the cover? The first time when i saw the cover album i felt like the album transmitting: strength and power! What is the feeling that CRYSTAL EYES want to pass with this cover for the listeners? Was the same like my feeling?

Mikael: Carl-Andre Beckston also know as Monowasp made the cover. The title “Chained” is about how we are stuck in situations we really can’t do much about. But there’s of course a positive side to it and that’s how we are chained to Metal. I think the cover speak for it self.

Hanna Tsepesh: At the time the band was searching for a vocalist, it was difficult to find Nico? What do you think about Nico work in the band so far? It was easy the adaptation in the band?

Mikael: We announced the search for a new singer in early 2005 after Daniel Heiman let us know he couldn’t continue. We put up the song Confessions Of The Maker without vocals on our website for interested singers put down their own vocals on. Singers from all over the world sent their recordings and a lot of them were really good. In the news we also wrote something like: if you sound like Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Eric Adams, Bruce Dickinson…(+ a few more) you could be the one. This was of course more like a joke but Nico actually recorded one song with each of these singers and it sounded just great. After a couple of auditions with different singers we got Nico over from Denmark to see what he could do. We were just blown away by his loud and raw powerful voice. Just the kind of voice we were looking for and we knew right away that he would fit perfect to the new songs. Søren Nico Adamsen lives in Copenhagen in Denmark but it’s actually just a 4-5 hour travel to us here in Sweden so the distance is no problem. Another great thing is that he can put away the Danish accent and talk so we can understand him. Nico was singing in Starrats at the time he joined Crystal Eyes but left after a while.

Hanna Tsepesh: It was a difficult journey for you in CRYSTAL EYES? It is easy for a metal band to get supported in Sweden? Do you have any advice for metal bands that are starting a band?

Mikael: All I can say is that you don’t should expect too much of the music industry and all that really matters is the fun of playing together.

Hanna Tsepesh: About concerts, any date/place that you can tell? In the future CRYSTAL EYES are thinking to come to Portugal? Do you think a good idea to come to play?

Mikael: We are looking for gigs right now and we would love to come and play in Portugal.

Hanna Tsepesh: Last question, do you want to send any message to CRYSTAL EYES fans out there that never stop to support the band and to ours readers as well?

Mikael: A big thanks to all our fans who’s supported us through the years. To the ones who’s never heard Crystal Eyes I can just say: If you’re into Heavy Metal Crystal Eyes is what you’re looking for!

Hanna Tsepesh: Thanks so much for your answers Mikael! THE GATES OF METAL wish CRYSTAL EYES lots of success with your new album “Chained” and good luck for your future tours or concerts! Hope to see you guys in Portugal very soon…

Mikael: Thanks a lot and I really hope we can escape the snow here in Sweden to come down to you and play some Metal in the sun!

Hanna Tsepesh: We hope that too Mikael! Thanks so much!

By: Hanna Tsepesh

If you want to listen to CRYSTAL EYES songs or for more information go at: