‘Driving Home for Christmas’, ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘ All I Want For Christmas is You’ are songs that established themselves as modern Christmas carols, while it’s the classics like ‘Silent Night’ reflecting the more traditional aspect. Also heavy metal and the Christmas season fuses once in while in the month of December and one of these fusions comes from Sweden. Melodic power metal outfit Majestica turned their sophomore album into a Christmas-longplayer, a conceptual album based on the Charles Dickens’ Christmas Story. Markus’ Heavy Music Blog reached out to Majestica bassplayer Chris David who provides a few insights into how the idea for such an album was sparked and what it might ignites also in a mid-term perspective.
Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: Chris, thanks for making some time for Markus’ Heavy Music Blog. Let me ask you first, how are you?
Chris David: I’m good. It has been a weird year that started off very busy and suddenly it all died and got quiet. Then it turned around again and we started working on this Christmas album. It has been a very busy time since August and I haven’t been sick or anything, so I’m happy!
MHMB: Let’s talk a bit about the new album ’A Christmas Carol’. Can you tell us what sparked the idea of making a ’Christmas album’?
Chris: Well, the first idea for the album started actually last Christmas. We did a one minute cover of ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’, just for fun as a Christmas treat on Facebook. We got so many great comments and fans asking for a Christmas album. It sounded fun, so we thought “yeah, maybe sometime in the future we could do something”. But then, when the whole COVID situation got going, we started thinking of what to do. I came up with the idea of making a couple of Christmas songs with recognisable Christmas melodies from the past, but still in the style of Majestica. This then evolved to Tommy, coming up with the idea of making a concept album with this style of songs based on “A Christmas Carol”.
MHMB: So the album wasn’t intitally planned and it was the current COVID situation that provided time to work on ’The Christmas Carol’?
Chris: No, it wasn’t planned. We actually had started writing some song for a follow up to ‘Above The Sky’, but it all changed when we figured out this idea and everything was cancelled. The whole album process started very late and it has been a very busy time to finish it up!
MHMB: Majestica premiered with ’Above the Sky’ last year. I can imagine that there were quite some discussions if the second album should be such a theme-based release or was it easy to convince everybody?
Chris: As we already started on something else and this idea came on the table, everybody jumped on the train right away! It was not even a discussion. We believed in it right away!
MHMB: The theme of the album is connected to Charles Dickens Christmas story. Can you share with us why you took this story as an inspiration for the album?
Chris: This was Tommy’s idea. I think he came up with the idea because he did this story as a musical back in school in his teenage. So he knew the story very well and it worked really well with the first demos we had.
MHMB: Some traditional carols are weaved into the songs but you don’t ’cover’ a Christmas carol. Why is that?
Chris: We didn’t just wanna make a regular Christmas cover album. We came up with the idea to mix traditional carols with our own original music. I think it is exciting and fresh. I remember when I brought this idea to the table. Tommy really liked it and went right home to try everything like that. We all thought it was really cool right away!
MHMB: The storyline demands different singers, helping to get the story across. Who is singing on ’A Christmas Carol’?
Chris: Yes. To make it more musical style we needed more voices. All four members of Majestica are singing different characters. I’m the Ghost of Marley and also some towns folks. Then we have guests from Veonity and Hot Beef Injection + a colleague of mine who appears in two songs.
MHMB: What’s your take on traditional Christmas carols? Are those part of how you celebrate the Holidays with your family or will it be the new Majestica album on endless loop?
Chris: The Majestica album on endless loop of course, and I hope that is the same for everyone out there! No, of course they are a part of how I’m celebrating the holidays. In Sweden we play and sing those in school from early ages and you know most of them. They are a way to feel comfortable and happy around Christmas, I think.
MHMB: As much as the album fits into the season as much it is outdated on December 27th, at least for 12 months. At this stage, are there any plans to maybe prolong the story on a yearly base? Will Majestica have some x-mas releases, or maybe Christmas shows, in the future? A bit like the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Chris: Well, we don’t know yet. To make this album into a special Christmas show is of course something we would like to try and explore in the future. But it also depends a little bit on how people will react to the album and what happens with it. Maybe there could be something more coming down the road with the style and theme. We as a band have enjoyed a lot making this album and I think we wouldn’t mind to continue with this style a little bit more!
MHMB: Chris, again, thanks for making some time and all the insights you shared. All the best for the album, stay healthy and Merry Christmas.
Photo: Cherin Nilsson