Saturday, March 16, 2019

interview: Marius Danielsen

What a surprise is the power metal opera Marius Danielsen’s Legend of the Valley of Doom, Part 2. Basically, it is a must-hear album for power metal fans. This work has lots of collaborators! For instance, some singers that you already know are Ripper Owens, Blaze Bayley and Michael Kiske. The album even has Vinny Appice and Bruce Kulick contributing parts. Let’s find out more now.
How did the story of this opera begin? Did it begin in 2005 like Metal Archives says?
Yes, it all began in 2005 when I wrote the title track called “The Legend of Valley Doom”. I was very much into Lord of the Rings and wanted to create my own fantasy universe. So I imagined the place called Valley Doom and wrote a song about it. Most of the riffs and melodies from that demo was also used for the song you can find on part 1.
How is it possible to have so many good musicians?
The most important thing is to sell your product the best way possible. You need to make the guests want to be in it. The way I do that is to deliver very complete demos with my vocals as guide vocals. They can then hear for themselves the quality of the music. And decide if it is something that is interesting for them to do.
Marius, are you a full-time musician in other bands in Norway?
My full-time job is being a teacher at elementary school here in Norway. There I teach English, Music and Art. I have been playing in bands since 2004. I started playing guitar in 2003. My longest running band is Darkest Sins, which I formed with my fiancée Anniken Rasmussen in 2009.
Peter Danielsen is your reliable partner in crime. Are you blood brothers or is it a coincidence that you have the same last name? What are Peter’s responsibilities?
It is not a coincidence that we have the same last name. He is my little brother. I am 7 years older than him. We started writing songs together in 2009 when he was 14 years old. I always knew he was going to be very talented, and I have always brought him along with me in every project I have worked on since. We wrote the song “Mirror of Truth” together in 2010. That was the start of collaborating on the Legend of Valley Doom project. He often contributes with interesting chord progressions for the guitar solos and melodies. And he also comes up with some great choruses every now and then. And he is of course in charge of all the orchestrations on the albums.
The album was released on Crime Records. What has happened with the international distribution?
The album is distributed all over Europe, and also in Brazil via Hellion Records. Still I would of course wish that we got to reach even more people. Because I think the project deserves it. A dream would be to play at Wacken one day! I’ve been there once. Front row at Avantasia in 2014.
Does it look like the reviewers have really listened to the album? This is not a normal power metal album!
There have been many, many reviews. The majority of the reviewers are very positive. That makes me glad. It is not a normal Power Metal album at all. The lyrics are written just like you would read a book (with rhyming). Totally chronological and with many different characters that help drive the story forward. It is a big universe I have created, and it got even bigger when my brother started the band Eunomia. The allies of Valley Doom. So his band sings stories from the same universe.
Is there any hope that your operas can ever be performed live?
I have booked one show in Norway September 20th. You’ll find the event on my Legend of Valley Doom Facebook page. It will be glorious!
The album has lots of great guitar solos. Did you provide any guidance for the guitarists?
Most guitar solos are done in their own studios, so I have had very little to say about how their solos should sound. I only give them the backing track with my rhythm guitars on and tell them where to put the solo. Lots of amazing players. When I choose them I try to think about what would fit them. For example, Jennifer Batten got “Under the Silver Moon”, a ballad, because I wanted her fantastic feel. Jimmy Hedlund is an absolute beast shredder, so he often gets the faster songs. This time he got “Angel of Light” and “By the Dragon’s Breath”. On the first one he got “Prophecy of the Warrior King” and “Chamber of Wisdom”. He has such an ear for melodies, so I know I will get perfect stuff from him. So, all in all I try to give them solos that they would be comfortable with doing.
Making an opera, I would imagine, takes lots of money. For those fans that understand what a massive undertaking it is, how can they support your work?
It cost insanely much. And I do pay everything from my own pockets, except for the printing and distribution which Crime Records handles. If they want the CD’s or LP’s signed, then then can visit the web store.
Is there merchandise for the album, too?
No merchandise yet. But I am looking into doing t-shirts sometime.
After making two of these operas, will you try to make a third one?
All great stories are told in trilogies. Mine is no different ;) www.mariusdanielsen.com

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