In 2017 did yet a Swedish power metal band rise up. Not from the ashes, but from another Swedish power metal band called Morning Dwell. A year later the band have released their debut album and are ready for the first concert. You could call it madness, but it’s not. It’s only Mad Hatter. PowerMetal.no had a chat with drummer Alfred Fridhagen.
Mad Hatter was started by you and vocalist and guitarist Petter Hjerpe in 2017, both playing in Morning Dwell at that time (and still is). Could you tell me why you decided to create another band?
Alfred: Indeed, I can. At first it was supposed to be a third Morning Dwell album, but as the time went on, Petter and I realized that this album was destined to be something else.
So, we sat down one evening and talked about it and voila, Mad Hatter was created!
Why Mad Hatter? Is there a story behind the name?
Alfred: No, not really. We have two songs on the album about the Mad Hatter, but we just thought it was a cool and fitting name for the band.
I agree! But you mentioned that the album was supposed to be the third Morning Dwell album. How come it didn’t end up as that; what differs Mad Hatter from Morning Dwell?
Alfred: Mad Hatter is more modern in its sound, while Morning Dwell is a more straight forward «hail to the power metal gods» kind of band, like old Helloween and Freedom Call.
Your debut album was released early 2018. How long did you work on that album? It seems things have gone pretty fast?
Alfred: Haha, that’s a good question! As you said everything went really fast, but it took something like four or five months to complete.
How was the recording process?
Alfred: It was fun! Petter sent demos to me so I could write the drum parts for the songs, and then we went in to the studio. We recorded the drums first, and then Petter recorded bass, guitars and vocals.
We recorded the album in Ronny Millianowicz’s studio called Studio Seven in Örebro, Sweden. He have worked with HammerFall, Dragonforce, Angra, Kreator and many other great bands and artists, so it was fantastic to work with him.
The album has been well received, I guess you are satisfied with the respons?
Alfred: To be honest with you we are kinda overwhelmed by the positive response that people have given us, they really like it!
How is it to start a new band and try to get noticed by fans?
Alfred: Well, in this case it hasn’t been that hard to reach out to people since our record label [Art Gates Records] is very good at promoting and spreading our music. But there is a lot more that you need to do in order to grow.
Speaking about your record company: I see that they have put the whole album out on YouTube. Is that something the band is OK with, or what are your thoughts on that?
Alfred: Many labels do this, so it’s not uncommon. We are OK with that.
I haven’t bought the album yet, only listened to it on Spotify. And I must say it’s really good! It takes me back to the late 90’s early 2000, like classic power metal stuff. Is that just me, or is that an era you personally know well?
Alfred: What, you haven’t bought the album yet?! How dare you? No, but seriously, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Petter and I are very influenced by the older stuff. Petter grew up during the golden age of power metal, and I took a liking for it in 2003 at the age of ten.
And talking about buying albums: I’m waiting for the vinyl, when will it be released? And what about merchandises, do you have any plans for that?
Alfred: Yes, we do! Keep an eye on our Facebook page! The vinyl will soon be ready!
On September 29th the band is playing the first concert (Ginetarock, Spain)! That’s not bad after having the album out in only seven months or so. Are you ready?
Alfred: Hehe, it’s not bad at all. We are very ready!
And what about the future? What are your plans regarding touring and concerts? And do you have the next album already written in your mind?
Alfred: We are going to tour and play as much as we can, spreading our madness and music across the world!
Hehe, and yes: we might have something.
Check out Mad Hatter’s debut album on YouTube, and then buy the album.