Anthony – Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy
Ayreon – The Final Experiment
Ayreon – Into the Electric Castle
Ayreon – Actual Fantasy: Revisited
Star One – Live on Earth
Star One – Victims of the Modern Age
Peter Vink – bass
Arjen explains: During the 60s Peter was a big star in the Netherlands with his band Q65, but I was more interested in his progressive period with the band Finch in the 70s. The first time I met Peter was when he produced my very first demo in 1978. From that time on we’ve always kept in touch and worked together in the cover band ‘The Renegades’, the 1993 Anthony CD, and the first Ayreon CD. Peter was a logical choice for me to take on the 2002 tour of Star One, where he proved that he is still my favorite bassplayer with his powerful style that is somewhere between John Entwhistle (Who) and Chris Squire (Yes) though he has his own and recognizable sound. Whenever Peter is in a group of people he is always the life of the party; it is never boring when Peter is around!
Studio Report: Actual Fantasy: Revisited
After mixing “Star Child” in dolby pro-logic and “Day Eleven: Love” in 5.1, Arjen couldn’t wait to mix an entire album 5.1. The first real opportunity came up when InsideOut began planning their release of the old Ayreon albums. He figured it would be great to give the least selling and seriously overlooked 2nd Ayreon album Actual Fantasy some new attention.
For years Arjen had wondered what Actual Fantasy would sound like with real drums, instead of the drum computer. And when Arjen began working with drummer extra-ordinaire Ed Warby on Ayreon and Star One recordings, the idea grew: wouldn’t it be great to record the album with real drums? It was a daunting task that kept Arjen from considering it seriously. However, in order to make a 5.1 mix work for the album he had to re-record a number of elements that were lost, and remaking the album by recording real drums became a serious option.
“After I was finished with ‘The Human Equation’, I took some time to think it over. I knew it would be a lot of work and would cost a lot of time, effort and money. How could I know it would be worth it? But then I talked it over with Ed, I knew I just had to do this. Of course at the time back in 1996 it was my intention to make the album completely electronic to match the themes of the songs, but what a waste when you have someone like Ed who can really make the album come alive with his drums. In fact Ed himself recently told me that when he heard Actual Fantasy for the first time (we hadn’t met yet back then) he told people he should have drummed it instead of a computer!”
“The recording process is completely different from recording a new album. Even though I could replay the guitar and the bass parts, all vocals and most of the keyboards were set in stone. Ed Warby had less room to move and the margin of error was very small, but on the other hand he could now interact with the vocals and solos that were already recorded. As we all know by now Ed is such a skilled drummer and as expected he did a great job. He found enough room to be creative and innovative. I can’t begin to describe how great it was to hear the album coming together in a new style in the recording studio.”
Arjen could have replayed the bass guitar sections that were missing himself, but (no doubt inspired by the Star One live album/tour and the re-recording of the single version of “Day Sixteen: Loser”) he thought it would be great to have Peter Vink work his magic on this new recording instead. Peter was immediately up to the task and started working on the songs. After all drums were recorded and an early mix was ready, Peter went to the Electric Castle to recorded bass.”
“For bass guitar I really wanted to take some time with Peter, trying out ideas, joking around and experimenting. He is a really funny guy and an amazing bass player, so a lot of fun to work with. He is certainly one of my favorites and as always, the end results are quite stunning.”
“All midi information and many effects and sounds were lost, so I had to rework and even reinvent those. This in turn gave me the chance to experiment with some other ideas and sounds.”
“At this point in the process, almost finished, I really believe and feel that it was all worth it. Though initially I was dreading the project because I normally hate to look back, I found myself enjoying working on it very much. It was very satisfying to hear the album coming together again, but in a much more dynamic way. And furthermore, working on the album during the infamous ‘black hole’ period (the non-creative period after an album release) also got my creative juices flowing again, and I got some really great ideas for a next project…”The Actual Fantasy Revisited album will hit the stores before the end of this year! So until then, stay tuned for samples and more info on this release.”