In 2017, a new power metal band from Sweden was formed, Mad Hatter. On February 23rd, they have released their self-titled debut album through Art Gates Records. DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen recently interviewed Mad Hatter’s vocalist Petter Hjerpe.
Hey, congratulations with your debut album, Mad Hatter. I really like it!
Thank you very much!
How does it feel to have your debut album released?
Very exciting! We really wanted to release this album! We put a lot of effort on this record!
How are the reactions on it so far?
Incredible reviews and reactions all around! We feel so honored that people like what they hear and they also seem to get the idea and reason of Mad Hatter!
What makes Mad Hatter stand out in the power metal subgenre?
First of all we have not lost the roots of early power metal. We keep the songwriting in prior technical composition. Power metal-bands today have gone lost in trying to hard changing directions. There are of course great new bands but our goal is to feel fresh but still bring you back that feel you got back in late 90s/early 00s.
Your band name is (just as the title of your album) Mad Hatter. Were you inspired by Alice In Wonderland when choosing this name?
Partly. We like that crazy feverish feel of Alice in Wonderland. A strange dream. A scary one.
But Mad Hatter is a good name for the band. We are inspired by all dark fairytales. Stephen King, Tim Burton and other creators are also big inspiration.
When comparing the Mad Hatter character and your band, what are the similarities between them?
Mad Hatter is mad from our point of view. But from his point of view he would say he is sane. The music of the band want to enlighten the dark and the light side of the mind.
We show you that the darkness is a scary but beautiful place to be.
The cover of the album is very nice! Who made it and what made him/her the best person for this task?
Thank you! Yeah, it suits our music very well!
Thomas Holmstrand made it! An artist from Sweden. He has worked with other bands like Shadowquest and Dionysus.
Mad Hatter was founded in 2017, now you already have your debut album released. I assume you must have a lot of inspiration. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from almost everything. A song could pop up in my head just by trying a new guitar sound. But on this album I got a lot of inspiration by reading and painting. I have done a couple of paintings that circled around Mad Hatter. Before I knew I would later start a band named Mad Hatter. So I guess I had a flow then.
How did the writing/recording process go?
First of all I recorded some songs at home. I recorded all instruments and recorded some vocals without lyrics. Just so I didn’t forget the melody.
Later Alfred (drums) practiced to the demo.
Then we contacted Ronny Milianowicz and asked him if he could help us record. He loved the songs and so it all began. I, Petter, recorded guitars, bass, vocals and keys while Alfred recorded drums. Ronny, Alfred and I did the choirs. Ronny wanted to get really good guitar solos on the album so we contacted Rob Marcello. He did an incredible job!
During the making of this album the only band members were Petter Hjerpe and Alfred Fridhagen. After the recording, Eric Rauti and Magnus Skoog joined Mad Hatter. What made them the best for these jobs?
Eric is a skilled guitar player that have played metal since before I was born! And I knew him since before because we have played together at different cover gigs around our hometown.
Magnus is a close friend to me. We have played music together countless times. Cover gigs, shows and recorded music together. We also like to drink beer together. That’s important!
Can we expect some Mad Hatter shows soon? Maybe coming to The Netherlands?
We hope so! We are working on a budget so we can go on a smaller European tour at first.
We have just started as band and have no budget to get on the road yet. So we’ll come when we are able to get on the road!
Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
I want to thank all who supports us and gave us such a great welcome to the metal world!
I’m Tim van Velthuysen and I started DutchMetalManiac back in 2014. I’m 29 years old and I live in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Of course, I like metal, but I can also appreciate other musical styles.
In addition to DutchMetalManiac I also have a personal website on which I’ll post various things that won’t fit on DutchMetalManiac, but might be interesting for you as well. It’s in Dutch though.