Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen Q&A
Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a Dutch progressive metal/rock songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer, best known for his long-running progressive opera project titled Ayreon. Ayreon: The Final Experiment established Lucassen as a notable composer of rock operas. Following Ayreon’s success, Lucassen as been involved in many other projects: he is the creator and current guitarist/keyboardist of Star One, Guilt Machine, the currently inactive band Ambeon, and the creator and former guitarist of Stream of Passion. He composes and writes most of his songs, but leaves the lyrics to his musical partners in some of his projects.
This week MetalWani and Metalholic caught up with Lucassen to discuss his latest Ayreon release,“The Theory of Everything” via Inside Out Music.
Arjen talks candidly about the vocal cast for the album, how he chose them and how he approached them. He shares who he hoped to have on the record that was unavailable, and his thoughts on Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s place in the Ayreon body of work: “”I have worked with more than 100 vocalists but having a chance to work with Bruce Dickinson is so amazing.” He also speaks on Russell Allen’s (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) appearance: “Russell Allen is amazing and is scary as well to have him in the studio nailing his parts so precisely.” Lucassen reveals his favorite song from the new record, and discusses his thoughts on “progressive metal”. He also talks of his appreciation for Transatlantic: “I dig Transatlantic.. I listen their music as a musician but not as a fan since its very close to what I do.”
The full audio interview can be heard below: