Pretty Maids vocalist, Ronnie Atkins, has been keeping quite a busy schedule of late. In between live dates with Pretty Maids, he has also been working with Tobias Sammet on the latest Avantasia album, Ghostlights. Atkins will also join Avantasia on the upcoming world tour. In the midst of all of this, Frontiers Music president, Serafino Perugino, reached out to him about working on a side project with Eclipse guitarist/vocalist Erik Martensson that came to be Nordic Union. This week, Metalholic caught up with Atkins to talk about Nordic Union, and get the latest update on the next Pretty Maids album.
Atkins is quick to assure fans, that while he is quite pleased with the outcome of the Nordic Union album, Pretty Maids is still his priority. The singer admits that he was a bit skeptical when Frontiers first approached him about doing the Nordic Union album, but the songs won him over.
“I was pretty reluctant to do it. I didn’t have any plans at all about doing anything else but Pretty Maids, and maybe Avantasia at the time. But to make a long story short, at the end of the day, I said if the songs were good and they had a certain quality, I would be keen to do it. In March of last year I had two songs from Erik Martensson. Those two songs were ‘Hypocrisy’, which is going to be the new video, and the others song is ‘When Death is Calling’. I thought these songs were a very high standard. So I said, if you can keep up that standard, then let’s do it. Let’s go for it.”
The resulting self-titled album is a fantastic blend of the edgy, melodic metal Pretty Maids is known for, and the radio friendly, riff-driven anthems that make Martensson one of heavy rocks most dynamic new songwriters. Atkins left the songwriting primarily to Martensson, though he did craft lyrics for “True Love Awaits You” and part of “Falling”.
“It’s all his songs,” Atkins said of Martensson. “I was asked to be a part of writing the stuff by Erik to begin with after the first two songs, but I kind of declined it because we were going to start writing for the new Pretty Maids album, and I didn’t want to mix things up. So at the end of the day I wrote two lyrics because he was under pressure. The only impact I had was recording the songs, vocally. Maybe I changed a melody here and there, but nothing big. More like, to put my own trademark on the stuff, you know? And my own identity into the songs.”
During the full conversation, which can be heard below, Atkins talks about the progress on the new Pretty Maids album, which he assures fans will be out this year. He also talks about his involvement with Avantasia and his thoughts on the recent rash of rock legends passing away.
Nordic Union’s self-titled debut release January 29 through Frontiers Music, srl.