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Christian Ciljegren

 

Christian Liljegren doesn't need any introduction. He is probably the most prolific and active singer of the Christian metal scene. We met him at the Elements of Rock 2014 with Mick Nordström, drummer of Modest Attraction, Flagship and Jerusalem. This is our interview.

 

Francesco: Let's start from Modest Attraction. Why this Name? What does it mean?

Mick: I think, Christian came up with the name Main Attraction, but I said "Let's be more humble and call it Modest Attraction".

Christian: But of course, we are all of it because "Modest" word lead it, of course we're proud of the band and of what we show with the music; in a good way, but in an humble way.

Francesco: What are the future purposes of this band, after the reunion?

Christian: The thing is that: we were invited to a private concert last September together with Jerusalem and Cornerstone; and we suggest we can do it, everybody was excited specially our original guitar player Stephen Molin, who joined in the band again. So then we got together in the rehearsal room and everything was perfect, the chemistry and the music where perfect. So we said "Of course we got to name the opportunities to go on". So we are doing this step as good friends who love music and who want to show the message of Jesus to our generation today.

Daniele: And maybe a new album?

Christian: I know many people asked if we are really doing new material. I don't want to say no, but right I'm focused for the big reunion with Narnia and then, Mick is occupied with Jerusalem, my brother Simeon is also occupied in a new back of  Nubian Rose, together with the guys from Veni Domine. But nothing is impossible

Mick: No doors are closed, but only on vinyl (laughs, E.n.)

Francesco: I love vinyl, so speak about Narnia, how did your collaboration with Grimmark?

Christian: The thing was that I had an idea to make neoclassical metal with bombastic Christian lyrics. I met Carl-Johan Grimmark in '94 and he was also a Modest Attraction guitar player. But in early '96 I get a vision to form a band, a project actually, because in that time it was really hard to find musicians who wanted to play that kind of music. Than Carl-Johan Grimmark joined Modest Attraction and then we did the album only me and Carl-Johan, because it was hard to meet the right musicians to do it. But then, we get a deal in Japan, an amazing dealing with Nuclear Blast and then we formed the band. So me and Carl-Johan had a good success, but we had also some hard times with the band for some musical differences, we wanted different things; so we left the band. But today it's really nice to be back.

Francesco: Why did you leave Narnia?

Christian: This was because I had some difficult times in my personal life, I didn't have the energy to be on tour and to write new material. Than of course, I've a big respect for "Cursed Generation" album, but in my opinion it's a bit different from Narnia, German is a great singer and I respect him well, but it's nice to be back and I'm sure that Narnia fans will love the reunion and looking forward for the celebration of "Long Live the King" album and the new material.

Francesco: Let's talk about the sound of Narnia. The first albums was more hard rock and neoclassical metal, then Narnia became more hard, going into a prog/power metal and sounding harder, why this sound evolution?

Christian: I think about the first album, you can hear some songs from it tonight because it contains songs from Borderline (the band I was active between '89 to '91), from Modest Attraction and from a former band called Sentinel. So that album it's like a collection of old songs, and it contains only a couple of new songs. That's the reason for "Ling Live the King" (the second album) became the real album of Narnia. "The Awakening" it's more a collection of songs from the past that we arranged in a more neoclassical way.

Francesco: Now that you are coming back with Narnia, what about the other projects you sing in? I talk about Golden Resurrection, Audiovision? Are you still active?

Christian: Golden Resurrection right now not, we're not touring because Tommy, the guitar player, has take a break both from Golden Resurrection and Reinxeed. We haven't closed down but right now my focus is on Narnia, on touring with Modest Attraction, I will do some acoustic based solo concerts.

Francesco: All this projects where you sang, I mean Flagship, Audiovision... they are very much projects, do you think they helped you to express all the sides of your artistic personality?

Christian: Yes, I'm very privileged to have made some different albums from symphonic rock like I did in Flagship, Mick here did a great job with the drums and I'm proud about that album. Modest Attraction is classic hard rock in roots of '70; Audiovision is more like a 70' and 80'; Narnia is the neoclassical side and Divine Fire have more extreme elements and hard stuff. I'm very happy to have this opportunity of doing different things and using my voice in different ways, it also developed me as a singer.

Francesco: How do you see the Christian metal scene of now and it's interaction with the secular scene.

Christian: What I see right now is very few focused Christian metal bands, I think those past are really deal to stand for the message about Christ, like Jerusalem and Narnia did. Everybody know this bands in the Scandinavian secular scene, and they are respected both from bands with satanic message like Ghost or Darkened, we've been respected from them.

Francesco: What do you suggest to the new Christian metal bands?

Christian: I think it's really important to have a goal and a mission, and do what do you believe in and also do what you love and have passion for, because without passion is really hard to reach people. The reason we do what we're doing with Modest Attraction is because we have passion for this music and also for this message, because it really touched our hearts. If you have that focus I'm sure you'll succeeded and also reach the other people, but of course you have to work hard as a musician as a vocalist to develop your gifts, you need practice. I think that the main problem today is that many bands, when they record with computer it sounds good, but when we compare it live they can't deliver it in a live version.

Francesco: One last question, will you never come in Italy?

Christian: Yes of course, we would love to came in Italy and eat your pasta...

Francesco: ...and pizza!

Christian: And pizza of course, we would love to come in Italy. I did a tour in Japan on 2005 with Skylark and Vision Divine, so we have good friends in Italy. Both with Modest Attraction or Narnia we would be happy to come to Italy, so if you want to book a concert stay in touch.

Francesco: That's great. Some last words to WhiteMetal.it readers?

Christian: Thank you very much for your wonderful support and prayers, please continue to support Christian hard rock and metal, and stay focused on Christ. God bless!

 

 

Francesco Romeggini, Daniele Fuligno

 

Italian Version

 

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