Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a composer and musician from the Netherlands. He sings and plays a large variety of instruments, including guitars, flutes and synthesizers. In bands like Ayreon, he gathers a large group of musicians and records albums with them. He is often credited with having revived the rock opera genre. Read more on Last.fm.
I would like to thank Mr. Arjen on behalf of LebMetal for this interview.
Tell us about your long journey with music. How did it start? Who were you inspired by and still are?
I grew up in the 60’s, so obviously the Beatles. Later on bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The Rock Opera JC Superstar had a huge impact on me as well. I started out in a playback glam rock band in school after I’d seen Alice Cooper on TV. The first time I heard Ritchie Blackmore play I seriously wanted to play guitar for real, I was about 14 years old.
Could you tell us briefly about your Former and current projects , how they have started (and how they have ended)? (Ayreon, Ambeon, Stream of Passion, Star One and Guilt Machine)
Ayreon started in 1993, I wanted to do a progressive rock opera and to my amazement people liked it! Ambeon was an electronic project with a 14 year young female singer called Astrid. Stream of Passion is a gothic band built around female singer Marcela Bovio from Mexico, who fist sang on my Ayreon album The Human Equation. Star One is my sci-fi metal project with great singers like Russell Allen and Damian Wilson. Guilt Machine is my latest project with singer Jasper Steverlinck (Arid), drummer Chris Maitland (Porcupine Tree) and Lori Linstruth on guitar.
Can you tell us more about Guilt Machine? How was the music written for the album “On this perfect Day”? I have red that there was alot of extra material so should we expect a second album soon?
The music is more consistent than my main project Ayreon and it only features one singer as opposed to the many singers in the Ayreon rock-operas. The songs are mainly long, “epic” tracks that feature dynamic contrasts between softer, dreamy sections and powerful, heavy passages. There are intricate harmonies, complex rhythms, soaring melodies, and an eclectic selection of instruments. There is no extra material left, we put everything on the DVD that accompanies the special edition.
Would we see Guilt Machine in concert in Lebanon? Any last words for the fans?
I’m sorry, We are not planning any tours, but we definitely want to make another Guilt Machine album. In the meantime I will be working on a new, heavier album. Possible a new Star One album, but then again things never work out the way I plan them.