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Interview with Engel’s Mangan Klavborn

As with most any new band out there today, Engel are ready to take the world by storm. Hailing from the ever so famous Gothenburg, these guys have a ‘uniquely mesmerizing heavy-as-hell melodic sound’ that can only be described as their own.

Founded in 2005 by Niclas Engelin (formerly of Gardenian, In Flames, Passenger), he quickly added vocalist Mangan Klavborn, guitarist Marcus Sunesson (ex-The Crown) and drummer Mojjo (ex-Lord Belial, Runemagick). Shortly after, bassist Michael Hankinson (ex-Evergrey) joined and the band was complete.

With what is being hailed as possibly one of the best debut metal albums of 2007, ‘Absolute Design’ is an album that is not made up of yesterday’s riffs and melodies. It really needs to be placed in a class of it’s own. (I have been listening to it since the interview took place).


JH: Tell us a bit about Engel.

MK: Well, Niclas are old friends. He started up the group wanting to make music he really felt for. Just do music that he wanted to listen to himself. So he scouted out some friends and musicians and on the road, here we are.

JH: So the new album, ‘Absolute Design’ is coming out here in the states soon. Can you give us a brief rundown of it?

MK: It’s a melodic, hard album with a little bit of an industrial vibe to it. We tried to make something more than the ordinary metal. We’re all pleased and hopefully it will go well in the U.S.

JH: So is this the first full length?

MK: Yes, this is the first full length with the band. We’ve all done a lot of other releases before, just the first as Engel.

JH: What would you say it is that sets your music apart from other bands out there today?

MK: We took it up one more notch. We’ve got one more element to it. With everything it, we put the image, the design package, the cloaks on stage like one big package. Not only do you get good music, you get everything else as well.

JH: So what would you say is a good selling point for the band?

MK: Well, the music is the good selling point for us.

JH: So the U.S. release date is May 20th through SPV. You guys pretty excited about that?

MK: Oh yeah, definilty.

JH: How did you guys get hooked up with them?

MK: Well we did some demo recordings and did some shopping around with them. We got some labels interested but SPV pulled the longest straw, so to speak. We had some talks with other labels, but we got a good vibe after talking with SPV, so, and they’ve been good to us.

JH: Well I’m looking forward to hearing the album. It has not arrived yet.

MK: Oh yeah? You’ll have a good time.

JH: Are there any talks as of late about trying to get over here to do some shows?

MK: Right now, I don’t know. Hopefully we are going to go there soon. We are gonna go there for sure, just the question is when. We’ve got to find the right tour to jump on.

JH: What does the upcoming tour schedule look like for you guys?

MK: Actually, we are having a meeting with the booking agent tomorrow. So we will find everything out then.

JH: So you planning on a lot of shows?

MK: Yes, yes. We’re going to do some summer festivals here in Europe. We’re doing a big show with In Flames here in Stockholm. Then we’re hopefully do Europe again in Autumn. We hopefully going to be playing a lot. We belong on the road.

JH: So what can one expect from a live show?

MK: Energy. Oh yeah, and good music.

JH: Who are some of yours and the bands influences?

MK: It is so totally different depending on who you ask. Everything from Ratt, Accept and Dio to grind core bands to Depeche Mode and Radiohead. Really just about anything. We all basically think that if it’s a good song, it’s a good song. No matter what genre.

JH: I try to tell my wife that same thing, but she just thinks I listen to noisy, heavy metal.

MK: People would be really surprised if they had a look at my IPOD.

JH: What sort of things interest you outside of music?

MK: Me personally, I like the Martial Arts. I just started practicing mixed Martial Arts. Other than that, just music.

JH: What are you thoughts on today’s music/metal scene?

MK: Yeah, I never been to the U.S. myself so I have no clue how it is over there. Here, the metal scene is just growing and growing. It’s vibrating. There really is a lot of good music happening over here.

JH: We go through our phases here. Overall, there are a lot of good hard rock/metal bands. It’s just more of an underground thing here. It definitely needs a lot more exposure.

MK: Well, everything that goes around, comes around in it’s own cycles. Someday maybe.

JH: So besides working on a tour, what’s up next for Engel?

MK: Right now we are in the writing process for album number two. Other than that, yeah, planning the touring and new music.

JH: So ’Absolute Design’ has been around in Europe since November?

MK: Yes. We have already done some touring here for it. We are well rehearsed with it.

JH: How the fan reacting to it? Is it moving well?

MK: I think so. I don’t have any figures for it yet, but it feels good and when we are doing the shows, it looks good in the audience.

JH: Sounds great, anything else you may want to add?

MK: Not more than, you’re going to be happy when you hear the album. Buy it, because you will not regret buying it.