Interview with Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon

 

Please introduce yourself

I’m Arjen Anthony Lucassen, mainly known from my Ayreon Rock Opera project.

Who were your musical idols while you were a teenager?

Alice Cooper, Marc Bolan, John Lennon.

What are some of your favorite albums of all time(not including ones you wrote)?

Rainbow Rising, Pink Floyd – Wish you were Here, JC Superstar

Is there any relatively newer band that got your attention?

Midlake, Rammstein, Steven Wilson

What made you to pick up your first instrument?

Hearing Ritchie Blackmore on Deep Purple’s Made in Japan.

How did Ayreon start?

After years of touring in various rock bands and desperately trying to please the band members, listeners and the record company, I decided back in 1993 to finally make something for myself: a rock opera with many different styles such as prog, folk, metal, electronic, classical etc.

What was your biggest inspiration for “The Source”?

The lovely messages I receive from fans who tell me that I’ve been able to change their lives for the better.

What is your favorite Ayreon album?

Right now I would say Into The Electric Castle, because it was my breakthrough album and also a very honest, transparent album made before digital computer recordings.

Ayreon_-_Electric_Castle.jpg

Which Ayreon album was most fun to make?

They all were, I really can’t choose! The first one was most special and emotional of course, and then against all the odds it was so successful.

Out of all musicians you worked so far who was the easiest one to work with?

I’ve worked with about 200 musicians now, so that’s an impossible question! I would have to give you a HUGE list! And the unfortunate ones I didn’t mention would feel seriously left out 🙂

Which Ayreon album has your favorite lineup?

With each Ayreon album I make, I say it’s my favourite cast ever!

What do you think why Ayreon is not household name like other prog metal bands like Dream Theater for example are?

Dream Theater had a single hit, that makes all the difference. I can’t complain though, I have the most loyal fans in the world!

What Ayreon album are you most proud of?

Oh man… I really can’t answer all these questions where I have to choose! I really don’t work like that. Every Ayreon album I make is totally special for me. And as I’m making it, it’s the most important thing in my life. Most of all, I’m a total perfectionist, which means I’m proud of every Ayreon album I’ve made. Otherwise I would seriously not have released it!

What is the Ayreon song that perfectly describes Ayreon?

On my last album that would be the track The Day That The World Breaks Down. It features all the different styles of music that Ayreon is known for.

In this segment I will mention five words and you will tell me what is the first that comes to your mind

Music

My life.

Concert

I don’t enjoy playing live. My passion is composing and producing, I’m not a performer.

Croatia

I am a big science lover, and I believe Tesla was born in Croatia. Plus I love tennis, Ivanisevic and Cilic are favourites of mine!

Vacation

I haven’t been on vacation in about 15 years. Too busy with the music! And I’m also quite a recluse.

Closing thoughts

Thanks for your interest in my music, hope you will enjoy my new Ayreon album!

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