Mind's Eye is a progressive band with a strong sense of melody. Although making their own blend of heavy metal and progressive rock you can still hear influences from bands like: Rush, Yes, Queensrÿche, E.L.O, Winger, Toto and Genesis.
The band started in 1992 when Johan Niemann (bass) and Daniel Flores (drums & keyboards)met Fredrik Grünberger (guitar)Before creating this new band they first called Afterglow, the three of them had played in different local bands in Stockholm while studying music in high school. When not writing music and rehearsing, Fredrik took lessons with Jan Granwick (Glory) while Daniel and Johan studied with local teachers. After playing together for about a year the band met singer German Pascual and made a self-produced, self-financed promotion CD named "Afterglow". The CD contained four of the eight songs recorded, and was very well received by the Swedish press, especially by Swedish journalist Janne Stark. The CD was also voted Demo of the Year by the Swedish magazine Backstage. Janne Stark worked with the band in trying to get labels interested. Even though some labels showed interest in signing them, the band was still without a contract in 1996. When German Pascual left the band they started to try out new singers.
Afterglow recorded a demo with two different singers. The singers where Robert Forse(Head's or Tale's) and Thomas Vikström (Candlemass), But things didn't work out the way it should and Afterglow was forced to search for a new singer. They auditioned over 30 singers, and Johan Persson was selected as a new band member. The band also changed their name to Mind's Eye since "Afterglow" already was taken by a German death metal band.
In 1997 Mind's Eye finally got a deal with a record company and recorded their first CD "Into the Unknown" for the American label, Sensory (a label of the Lasers Edge group). The album was well received in both American and German press. The CD was distributed in the States by Century Media. Meanwhile, Johan Niemann and Daniel Flores studied music production and engineering at the Stockholm Music Conservatory with teachers like Roger Krieg (Ulf Lundell, Stefan Andersson) Olle Olsson (Meja, Snoop doggy dogg, Backstreet boys) Due to musical differences the band had to change singers again. The new singer, Andreas Novak, also studied at the Stockholm Music Conservatory with teachers such as Daniel Zanger-Borsch (Alien, Crosstalk) and Johanna Nyström (The real group). Though Johan Niemann, Daniel and Andreas studied hard it never got in the way of writing music with Mind's Eye. With a singer that fitted their music, they continued to write and rehearse in the studio outside Stockholm where Yngwie Malmsteen used to rehearse when he started his career.
Their second album "… waiting for the tide" was recorded in 1999. In order to be in more control of their music, the band decided to release their second album on their own label "Round Records" with the assistance of project manager Håkan Kaneberg. The album got rave reviews, and opened several doors for Mind’s Eye, who now owned great reputation and respect in many magazines as one of Sweden’s best new progressive rock acts. Songs like “Calling (father to son)” got great radio air in both Swedish and American stations. In May 2000 Johan Niemann decided to quit Mind’s Eye in order to pursue his career with band Therion. The rest of the members wished him luck with that. In September 2000 Mind’s Eye decided to compete in the European Progpower competition. Mind’s Eye came in third place of ten bands. Most of the bands were big European names so off course that was an honor for the guys. The same month MNW records and Record Heaven had heard the album and decided to release the album in Europe. In October 2000 the band contributed to Adrenaline records “Warning: Mind’s Of Raging Empires”- A tribute to Queensrÿche, with the song “I will remember”. The song got amazing reviews waving the Mind’s Eye flag around the world, showing how strong their musical abilities are. January 2001 Johan Niemann was asked to join Mind’s Eye again, he accepted and the band continued to fulfil their third album.
During February until May Daniel Flores and some friends started to build the “Sheep Valley Studio”. The studio was completed in late May introducing Mind’s Eye into hard disk recording, a new experience for the band. With a new found studio Mind’s Eye now felt the urge to record a new full-length album again, their third album with the title “A Work Of Art” was a total new area for Mind’s Eye. Daniel Flores and Fredrik Grünberger produced, arranged and mixed the 12-song album through June until August 2001. In July 2001 Mind’s Eye singed with German label Rising Sun (Angra, Dreamscape, Black Symphony). The reviews for “a work of art” where amazing and everything was going in the right direction again for the band until the inevitable happened: the label went bankrupt and Mind’s Eye left Rising sun records. After that Mind’s Eye took a big blow and they decided to take a long break to gather their troops again. This was a good period for both Johan Niemann and Daniel Flores who recorded 10 albums (with different artists) together during the time off Mind’s Eye. Andreas Novak went on the Swedish TV show Fame Factory gaining great success and finally signing a record deal with MTM record/Germany for his first solo album called “Forever Endeavour” produced by Daniel Flores.
Having much success and being studio musicians that worked all over the world (recording with bands such as: Therion, Secret Sphere, Tears of Anger, Hubi Meisel, Novak, Xsavior, Demonoid, Zool, Chris Catena,Sha-boom, Faro) the guys of Mind’s Eye got the urge to come back and make a new album but Fredrik Grünberger, who worked as a stock broker during his time off with Mind’s Eye, couldn’t make it. So he decided to leave the band in order not to stand in their way of making a new album. The guys who worked together since they where teenagers where really broken by this but respected Fredrik’s decision. Bass player Johan Niemann, who also always had played the guitar, took Fredrik’s place and now there where three…
Note: the members of Mind’s Eye have participated in over 100 albums as both musicians and producers or engineer capacities!
Time went by and suddenly the band received great news, they found a new label which would make a re-release of their last 2 albums”…Waiting for the tide” and “A work of art” + the release of a new studio album. The label was LION MUSIC, a great label for the band.
Still with Andreas Novak on vocals and with the new label Lion Music, Mind’s Eye feels confident and stronger than ever before, to explore the boundaries of new musical territories and to confront a larger audience. Expect the unexpected: here is the new Mind’s eye album “Walking On H2O”.
After the huge success of “walking H20” (getting a huge amount 10/10 reviews) Mind’s Eye were keen to take their new sound a step further into the unknown. Daniel and Johan sat down a couple of days to write a couple of good songs and they came up with the best songs ever created by the duo. They both knew that the idea for the new album entitled “A gentleman’s hurricane” had to be taken some where else, somewhere where they haven’t been before. The result was the heaviest album ever by Mind’s Eye and another concept by Daniel Flores.
The band entered Sound vs. Science studio in late August 2006 and delivered the album again to Lion Music in March 2007. Being a big cinematic fan, Daniel wanted to give this particular album a little extra spin and he came up with an idea of having the whole story illustrated as a comic magazine (done again by Mattias Norén) as the whole story and music was totally created as a sound movie. Mattias made the whole story come alive making sure that anyone missing some points will for sure understand if having the magazine. Daniel wanted to serve the fans even more and they came up with another idea of filming the whole album just to give the fans some input on how Mind’s Eye works in the studio. No rehearsing and no pre production, all arrangements on drums, keys, guitars, bass and vocals where totally improvised in the studio. The man for the job had to off course be Lasse Niemeleä who had done excellent live film work for bands such as Therion and Talisman. This film was to show the main reason how and why Mind’s Eye comes up with that unpretentious sound the always deliver. Many secrets unveiled here as Daniel and Johan explains how they went about to record the album.
In addition Daniel wanted to give the fans was the bands first professional video. Daniel searched for the man for the job and they came up with Fredrik Englund a freelance animator who had just came back to Sweden, having success working the UK with TV series Captain Scarlet. The song chosen was “Feed My Revolver” and a great cooperation between Fredrik and Daniel was born, one which will open many doors for both artists.
During this time Daniel moved Sound vs. Science studio to a new area in Stockholm, a bit tired of the music business he has now taking his career into film and game score composing. He looks forward to having many successful years, taking a big time of the drumming (after recording over 20 albums a year the last 4 years since 2002) Daniel has proven his point and made his mark in the business being one of Europe’s leading session drummers.
In may 2006 label MTM asked the band to participate on their annual MTM ballads release. The band contributed with the song “The art of an angel” a song written by Daniel Flores dedicated to his late uncle and painter Yanko Flores.
Now Mind’s Eye sees no boundaries in the future, being given free hands by Lion Music to create whatever they like. They see many years ahead working with Lion Music and making sure that they always come up with the most exiting and best work ever created by the band, every time they go into the studio to create something new, music from their hearts.
You never know what they might come up with next so better keep an eye on them. Your Mind’s Eye.
Mind’s Eye full discography:
Into the unknown (1998)
…Waiting for the tide (2000)
Warning: Minds of a raging empire (2001)
A work of art (2002)
…A work of art + waiting for the tide (double disc) (2002)
A work of art (2005) re-release with bonus tracks
Walking on h2o (2006)
…Waiting for the tide (2006) re-release with bonus tracks
MTM ballads 11 “The art of an angel” Released in May (2007)
A gentleman’s hurricane (2007)