Mad Hatter Interview with Metal Gods TV

Iron Mathew caught up with Alfred Fridhagen from Mad Hatter for an email based interview:

Hi, I’m Iron Mathew, pleased to meet you. Tell me, how young were you when you first listened to Heavy Metal?

Hello, pleased to meet you too! Hmm, that’s a good question, I would guess that I was around four or five years old.

And which band/bands did you first listen to?

The first band I listened to was Kiss. My Dad had an old VHS tape with a concert that he was watching and I remembered hearing ‘Detroit Rock City’ and was like, damn, this sounds cool!

Who are the bands/artists that inspired you to become musicians?

For me, it’s Judas Priest with ‘Painkiller’, Dream Theater with images and words and Queensryche with ‘Operation Mindcrime’. The album that got Petter into metal was ‘Legacy Of Kings’ by HammerFall.

Listening to the album, there are occasions when a Helloween similarity becomes clear. Which bands/artists, if any, has influenced your musical direction

Helloween is of course a big inspiration for me and Petter, especially the “keeper” albums, but we also got inspiration from Edguy, Sonata Arctica and Freedom Call, pretty much all the big power metal bands.

And what was the latest album/albums you purchased?

‘Deliverance’ by Heart Of A Coward, really heavy stuff. The last album Petter purchased was ‘Live Insurrection’ by Halford.

Is there anything you do outside of music that contributes/inspires you, to write new songs?

For me personally, no not really. I get inspired when I hear other music, but Petter often gets inspired when he is out fishing, he travels to the unknown fields and mountains of Norrland here in Sweden to write songs.

So it might be a bit early to think about your next album, but how was the recording process for ‘Mad Hatter’, and would you do anything differently for the next one?

We already have a couple of ideas for the next album, but I’m not going to spoil anything hehe! The recording process was very straight forward, Petter recorded demos in his studio and sent them to me so I could write the drums for the songs, and when we had everything the way we wanted it, we got in touch with Ronny Milianowicz and recorded everything in his studio. He has worked with bands like Angra, HammerFall, DragonForce, Kreator, etc… He is, in my opinion, the best when it comes to recording metal, and he is also a nice guy. And last but not least, Rob Marcello recorded the solos, a fantastic guitarist.

If you could play anywhere in the world, at any venue, or at any festival – where would it be?

That is a very hard question, there is so many places we would like to play, but if we have to pick one, I would say Wacken.

So, during a live performance, should any of you make any kind of mistake, how do you handle it?

We handle it as professionally as possible, shit can and will happen, but you have to make the best of the situation when it happens. Plus, I have some killer jokes in my arsenal that I can and will use if necessary.

And what drives you to keep going, playing and performing?

Petter and I have been overwhelmed by all the positive things people say about our album. We have even been nominated on some pretty large music sites as one of the best albums so far this year, which I think is awesome. That is the reason we keep on trucking.

The new album has clear Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland references, who is the fan, and what was the idea behind the concept?

A lot of people have been asking about that, we have two songs on the album that’s about the character Mad Hatter, ‘Mad Hatter Shine’ and ‘Mad Hatter Become’, so the theme of the album isn’t just about Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. But to answer your question, Petter is the fan.

I noticed a similarity between your album cover and that of the soundtrack album to the film ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ (click here to view both album covers). Are you fans, or was the image too good not to use?

We hired a guy to make the artwork for us, I didn’t even know the movie existed at time since I’m extremely allergic to the word vampire, and you can thank the steaming pile of dog shit that’s called Twilight for that, so the artist that made it, is probably the fan.

Okay, so moving forward, what is next for Mad Hatter?

Next for Mad Hatter is rehearsal for upcoming gigs!

And finally, where can fans keep up to date with Mad Hatter news, and also purchase a copy of the new album?

Fans can visit and like our Facebook page and Instagram!

And you can get a copy at Art Gates Records

Thank you for your time.

Anytime, cheers!

Alfred Fridhagen, Mad Hatter.

Interview by Iron Mathew (reviewer, Metal Gods TV)