Many words like; "Extraordinaryâ€¦" "Brilliantâ€¦" "Excellentâ€¦" "The bestâ€¦" "Awesomeâ€¦", are used to describe the work of this unique intelligent-progressive hard rock band, ROYAL HUNT.
The whole concept of ROYAL HUNT starts and ends with André Andersen, the maestro himself. While carrying real Georgian Royal blood, he is a musical genius who can virtually play any instrument, compose, write lyrics and produce all at the same time. At the age of 14, André discovered a different genre of music aside from classical, by accidentally getting Deep Purple's "In Rock". From that point on, he started to combine his classical chops with the rock form in every piece of music he writes. André speaks of Mozart and Paganini's work as his biggest inspiration aside from people like Rick Wakeman and Jon Lord, who invented the "rock approach" to the keyboards.
ROYAL HUNT went through several member changes during the last ten years and though for most of the bands out there it would've been a step back, André found an enormous amount of strength out of every new situation and turned it into a big leap forward with each new studio release. As is this time when the band introduces the new lead singer, Mark Boals.
Mark was born in Youngstown, Ohio, USA. In his early years, he learned to play the piano and bass, but his forte was singing, so as a teenager he gained a lot of experience as a vocalist in local groups. He joined Ted Nugent's band and did a lot of touring throughout the U.S. A year later, he joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, however after many years of musical magic and friendship, the team of Yngwie Malmsteen and Mark Boals had decided to move in different directions. Mark formed a new band, Ring of Fire with whom he recorded one album. When ROYAL HUNT announced that they are looking for a new lead singer, Mark saw a great window of opportunity to work with such a fine group of musicians and to create a new neo-prog magic.
Well, they did it again! The new album is a masterpiece. Of course not without the help of the other members of the ROYAL HUNT family like Marcus Jidell, the first Swede who was born in Stockholm to a big family where everybody played music. It came natural to him to start playing an instrument himself, so he picked up cello at the age of 8. A bit later he had been chosen to be a member of the Stockholm Opera children's choir as well. Marcus was about 14 when he fell in love with the sound of electric guitar - after listening to albums by Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen. Since then he has been recording / touring with different artists, such as Bruce Kulik (KISS), Meja and The Ring, doing studio sessions and crafting his work. Finally he joined ROYAL HUNT. His understanding of ROYAL HUNT's complexity to play, yet simple to sing-along compositions, brings the band lavish guitar solos and solid rhythms. Together with Allan and Per they provide a concrete base for André's endless imagination that can take you from the mirror image of yourself to the galaxies far beyond our reach.
Speaking about the rhythm section, Per Schelander, the second Swede in the band, at the age of fifteen picked up the bass and very soon he was playing with people almost twice as old as himself. His friend told him about a guy named Billy Sheehan, and this became the turning point of Per's career. He decided that music was the thing and bass was the instrument. Ready for a challenge, Per saw a new opportunity to express himself when he heard that Steen had left ROYAL HUNT. Since "House of Shakira" (his former band) opened for Royal Hunt on the Paradox world tour, and the bands got along really well, Per called André and asked if there were any chance that they would tour together again - but this time in the same band! And as they say: "The rest is history!" Last but not least, Allan Sorensen, the Great Dane who is not a stranger to ROYAL HUNT, got his first drum-kit as a present at the age of 4. In the beginning he was influenced by the Danish rock and pop artists, but soon after he discovered the world of metal from bands like; AC/DC, Kiss, Saxon, Dio etc. During his teens, Allan hooked up with Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) in the rehearsal studio. Mikkey became his great teacher and an inspiration of Allan's future career. In late 1996, he joined the band to record the world acclaimed album "Paradox", followed by a world tour with the band before becoming a full time member. After several albums and tours, Allan and the band parted company in the summer of 2000 (but, as usual, in the "Hunters Tradition" - staying in touch at all times). In 2004 he was invited by André to record ROYAL HUNT's "come back" album - "Paper Blood" and due to it's success it was decided - once again - to join forces, starting with recordings of a "Paradox II" to complete the circle.
The sequel (Collision Courseâ€¦ Paradox II) takes off from the idea and atmosphere of its predecessor but - without a doubt - sounds charged to go for 2007. No ammunition's being saved for this one - 6 months of recordings in NorthPoint Studio, mix at EMI Studios, best musicianship possible (the band was there to define the term neo-prog with their first release back in 1991) and even a bunch of good friends as participants: Doogie White (Rainbow, Y. Malmsteen), Ian Parry (Elegy, Consortium Project), Kenny Lubcke (Jokers Wild, Narita), Henrik Brockmann (ex-Royal Hunt, Evil Masquerade) among others. And yes, there are female voices, real violins, cellos and woodwinds thrown in for good measure.
The lyrical concept is as controversial as the original "Paradox" - this time concentrating on a "collision course" of modern Western world and "a new breed", grown on Eastern religious movements. Musically you'll have it all - the album runs in a "non stop" fashion (all songs are chained together): there are huge epics, intricate progressive arrangements and all good things metal with killer melodiesâ€¦ and there will be videosâ€¦ and a concert tour. Combine all this with an astonishing line-up and a grand scale production, and you've got a winner: ROYAL HUNT is about to reinvent this style of music.
In addition, the band has had multiple world tours. They have sold well over a million copies of their work worldwide. Each and every one of the albums can provide enough material to write books and film scripts. ROYAL HUNT's music is used already in movies, TV serials, TV commercials, cellular phone rings and by WNO/WWF wrestlers for their theme anthems around the globe. It's not a surprise that André was just hired by a major TV network, to write a music score for a TV mini series containing seven episodes. It will air in the winter/spring of 2008.