The heart of rock ‘n’ roll beats to the rhythm of new releases, and the Swedish rock band Eclipse has set pulses racing with their latest album, “Megalomania,” a title that captures the band’s expansive ambitions and artistic courage. At the helm of Eclipse is Erik Martensson, whose energy and vision have charted a course through the tumultuous waters of the music industry.
Released on September 1, “Megalomania” marks a significant milestone as the band’s 10th studio album. The arrival of this new addition to Eclipse’s discography carries with it a familiar blend of anticipation and vulnerability, as even seasoned artists like Martensson acknowledge the unpredictability of public reception.
Erik Martensson discussed the inspiration behind the album’s title, which nods to the grandeur and audacity that two years of relentless touring and songwriting instilled in the band.
“I think we all felt that we had a bit of megalomania after two years of constant touring, and we’ve been writing a lot of songs. We felt like we were willing to try new stuff and do things we maybe didn’t have the courage to do before,” Martensson remarked.
He adds, “We thought that the title summarized the last couple of years for the band, the growth that’s been happening.”
The evolution of Eclipse’s sound is an intentional journey, with each album marking a deliberate departure from its predecessor. From “Bleed & Scream” to their more recent offerings, the band has strived to avoid creative stasis.
Martensson explains, “We always change the sound of the band, and that’s deliberate. We don’t want to end up doing the same record over and over again.”
His commitment to change is not just for the sake of the fans but also a testament to the dynamic nature of the creative process itself. “It’s important to keep it fresh for ourselves, to keep our interest going. Because if we are interested, if we are passionate about it, hopefully, fans will see that too,” he emphasizes.
Reflecting on iconic bands like AC/DC, Martensson reveals a desire to dodge artistic corners that can lead to a decline in innovation. “AC/DC is my favorite band ever, but they painted themselves into a corner, and I don’t want to do that musically,” he shared, illustrating a conscious effort to balance homage with originality.
Eclipse’s experiences opening for legendary acts like the Scorpions and Aerosmith have offered lessons in the impersonal nature of such grand stages.
Yet, Martensson values these opportunities for the exposure they provide to potential fans.
“It’s inspiring because you are playing in front of a lot of people who had never heard the band before, and it’s always a challenge,” he admits. Despite the challenges, he finds such experiences rewarding, particularly when the band manages to captivate an audience unfamiliar with their music.
The communal atmosphere of music cruises is another aspect of the band’s varied experiences. Martensson finds these events to be unique, uniting artists and fans in a shared passion for music. He describes the scene vividly: “It’s like being at a soccer game, but everyone is cheering for the same team.”
When it comes to the band’s songwriting process, Martensson dispels the notion of crafting music with live performance in mind. The authenticity of their approach lies in the purity of creation, free from the constraints of how a song might resonate on stage.
“We just make a song and we try to make it as good as possible,” he states. This philosophy extends to the selection of songs for their albums, driven by the emotional resonance of each track.
The lineup of Eclipse has seen its share of changes, and Martensson acknowledges the impact of these shifts on the band’s dynamic. The current ensemble is lauded as their best yet, forging a powerful synergy.
“The people around you affect when someone walks into a room, it changes the dynamics between people in a room,” he observes, highlighting the intricate interplay between personal relationships and musical output.
Eclipse’s discography is a reflection of both their musical journey and Martensson’s evolving skills as a producer. From “Bleed and Scream” to “Armageddonize,” each album has contributed to their growing popularity and the honing of their craft. Martensson candidly addresses the daunting task of album production, yet he remains resolutely optimistic.
“I’m very naive that I think the next record is going to be the best record,” he says, indicating a forward-looking approach that fuels his creative drive.
The band’s strategy to engage their audience involves a mix of material from new and past albums, respecting fan favorites while introducing fresh tracks. Martensson takes pride in Eclipse’s ability to attract fans with their newer work, defying the common trend of bands relying solely on their old hits.
As the conversation drew to a close, Martensson recalled a defining moment during a UK performance when the crowd’s reaction to their new material was as fervent as their enthusiasm for the classics.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to see that people are as excited about the new stuff as they are about the old stuff,” Martensson expressed, his voice carrying the weight of genuine surprise and delight. “It makes you feel like you’re doing something right, that the direction you’re taking is also where the audience wants to go.”
This shared journey with their audience underscores the intricate bond between artist and listener, a dynamic that is crucial to Eclipse’s sustained relevance in a constantly evolving rock landscape.
The band’s ability to navigate their artistic evolution while retaining a faithful audience is a testament to their understanding of the delicate balance between innovation and tradition.
Looking to the future, Eclipse anticipates hitting the road again, bringing “Megalomania” to life on stage across the globe. The band members, each a maestro in their own right, are primed to deliver electrifying performances that showcase their growth and solidify their standing in the rock domain.
With the band’s finger firmly on the pulse of their artistic heartbeat, Eclipse and Martensson stand ready to write the next chapter in their rock ‘n’ roll odyssey, fueled by the unquenchable spirit that “Megalomania” embodies.
For more music or tour dates go to www.eclipsemerch.com
As seen in the November 2023 issue:
Print and Digital copies can be purchased at MagCloud.