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Christofer Johnsson


Face-to-Face-Interview with Hans


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Today is a very special day for you because of three things: the kickoff of the  Flowers Of Evil  tour, the 25th anniversary of  Therion  and last but not least the release of the new album  Les Fleurs Du Mal  (Flowers Of Evil). How do you feel now?
Excited. And because it is the first show of the tour I am also very busy with soundcheck and the merchandise-stand. I am multitasking so I can do everything at the same time.

The album contains 15 tracks. How many of the six sections of “Les Fleurs du Mal” did you use for the songs of the album?
I have to correct you: the album got 16 tracks. It is not a concept album so beside the title  Les Fleurs Du Mal  nothing has to do with the book. I know that some websites wrote that the album got anything to do with the poems but that is not correct.

Are you excited what the reactions are at this tour because the fans will get to listen to the new songs for the very first time?
To tell you the truth, it is like all the  Therion  albums: you got people that like the album and at the same time you got people that dislike the album. In the end it is all the same, it is a  Therion  album.


What are the most important inspirations for you when you are writing songs? Do you need a special mood to be creative?
I do not have to be in a special mood to write songs. It is hard to put a finger on it when to write songs and when not to write songs.

It is the band’s 25th anniversary and of course many special moments happened in these years. What were the greatest or most special moments for you?
Dynamo is a very special moment because in the early times of Dynamo... if they asked you to play there you really was a famous band, and it means much as band to play there.

Snowy Shaw was a member from Therion  for a long time. Now he left the band. Will there be the feeling of missing a family member at the first concerts without him?
I have to correct you: Snowy Shaw never was a full band member but he was a hired member for as long we both got the need to work together. Snowy got a very little contribution on  Les Fleurs du Mal  and Snowy hate opera and that is the next project: I am going to work with  Therion  on a Rock opera.


In your tour-schedule we just can find one date in Germany. This was a little disappointment for our webmistress. Why you don´t play more dates for your German fans?
Well because there do not come so many fans to the German shows. This concert is the only concert because it fits into the tour-schedule and the other places we travel, too. In the past Germany had a big fan base but lately less and less fans come to the shows. Now France got a big fan base and I wonder that so many concerts are in France but my booker told me to wait and all the shows in France are sold out.

Will there be a DVD, recorded during the upcoming concerts?
No, there will be no filming during the tour, so also no plans for a DVD.

If you would get the free hand in everything and you would have the freedom to choose: in which city, in which location and in front of/on which place of interest - worldwide seen - you would like to play a gig sometime?
In the Moulin Rouge with  Les Fleurs Du Mal. Because there is a big connection between Moulin Rouge and the for a long time forbidden book “Les Fleurs du Mal” and the album.

The Chinese Wall could be a place to do a concert but to tell you the truth, I am not a big fan to play outdoor-concerts.


I´ve read some infos about plans for an hiatus and you will come back with a Metal opera project. Do you plan to work with the well-known  Therion  line-up on this opera or is this a decision you will make later?
Yes, it will be the whole package.

How many guitars do you own, how many of them do you take with you on tour?
I got 2 Gibson Les Paul (retired), the standard and the studio version and the studio I got with me as backup-guitar. I got a custom from the 70’s. I got 2 Flying V, one I also use at the show and one is a house-made by Gibson (special handmade). These are the main guitars I use at the moment because of the endorsement with Gibson.

I got an old Ibanez Iceman from the 70’s, Rickerbacker 12 string, 2 steel-guitars, I got one bariton guitar and it is a Les Paul model, Hagstrom 12 string and a Hagstrom bariton-guitar.


What do you prefer:
- studio work or live performances?
To work only in the studio will be on longer terms boring, and for live performances it is the same, only touring is getting boring, too. So you need both to make it less boring and to have fun doing it.

- digital download or physical CD?
I only download CD’s if the CD’s are no longer to buy in shops, and they are very special or it got bonus-tracks that are not on the normal versions. But with CD’s that are just released I buy physical CD’s in the shop.

I prefer iTunes above Spotify. I also tell you why: if a person listen to a song of  Therion  every day, the whole day long and for a year long, I earn only 6 Euro credits.

- sockerdricka or wodka?
I prefer a good cognac or whiskey and just a little zipp. Maybe I will drink only one beer this evening after the show, and maybe to do it also the other shows as well... just one beer and the rest of the day I drink only water.

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
No, I got nothing to add to the interview. You really asked everything I wanted to tell and there is nothing more to tell.

Thanks for this interview. We wish you and the band all the best!

Live-Photos ©2011+2012 by Hans Clijnk





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