Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine


Interview with Mats Haugen
(Guitars - Circus Maximus)

Mats Haugen - Circus Maximus


Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: May 10th, 2005


Mats, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us. Let’s start off during your childhood. What was the first concert you attended?
In Oslo with Yngwie back in 94´... After that I thought I should really try to learn how to play the guitar...

What was the first record you bought?
I think it was “Kill em all” with Metallica...

When growing up as a child did you collect anything?
I collected a bunch of matchbox cars, action figures and video games. I am a HUGE video game fan... hehe.

What was the first band you were in?
My brother and I started a band called Total Blackout in the mid 90´s. We started off covering Metallica, Testament and Megadeth tunes. I believe this was my first real band.

When you started playing guitar who did you make believe you were?
I didn’t believe I was anyone else than myself... he-he

Did you record anything before Circus Maximus?
I recorded some demos with TB and we also joined on a couple of compilation cd´s with several of Norway’s underground bands.

What is the date of release of the debut CD “The 1st Chapter”?
The release is 6th of June in Europe and 7th of June in the US.

Were there any songs that were recorded that did not make the CD?
We had some old songs and material that we planned to use but it never happened. Maybe on a future release....

How long did the CD take to record?
We started to record the drums in June 04´. Additional recordings took place between July and November 04´.

What was the hardest song to record?
The instrumental song “Biosfear” was probably the hardest one to record.

What was you personal favorite track?
I like em all, but “Alive” and “Sin” are my favorites at the moment.

Before the new CD did the band record any demos and can fans get those?
We have some old demos that we might use for future ideas and songs. But its basically unfinished stuff.

You were invited to play the ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta, GA this year. What was the feeling knowing you would be playing there?
At first I was afraid then I was petrified....ha-ha!! I was thrilled.....I remember I was talking with the band about how cool it would be to play PPUSA. That was just the year before, and I did not picture us there yet!! Then Claus (Intromental) called me and told me the great news. So a big thanks to the great Glen Harvester of PPUSA for having us there.

Will you play other dates in the USA?
At this moment, nothing else than the gig in Atlanta is decided.

What can the American fans expect when seeing a live show from CM?
We will do our best and then some.....meaning: A kick ass show!!

I see that CM Signed a deal with Frontier Records How did that come about?
Intromental management was out fishing for a European deal and Frontiers Records liked what they heard.... so that’s it and that’s that!!

What was the wildest thing that happened on stage?
Well... that must be when I played a gig with a death metal band in Norway.... hehe

How has Intromental Management helped CM?
They have helped us a lot. Before we hooked up with Intromental we didn’t know anything about the music industry whatsoever. They got us signed with Frontiers and have done a bunch of good things for the band...

What are the plans for CM after the release?
We are planning to do a lot of gigs and keep on writing music.

What Guitars do you currently own and what is your favorite?
I own two 7 string Ibanez guitars, one 6 string Ibanez and one Jackson Flying-V. My favorite one at the moment is the Ibanez UV777pbk.

Do you have a signature guitar pick/plectrum?
Nope... I use Jim Dunlop Jazz III pick. I have always used this one.

What CD do you have in your player right now?
Beyond Twilight "Section X".... Fantastic album!!!!

Does or will CM have a rider contract on tour (What do you ask for in the dressing room)?
Something to eat and drink!! Beer would also do just fine...

If you were doing an American tour who would you like to go out with?
A support act for Queensryche, Dream Theater or Symphony x would be just fine.... hehe

If you had to compare the style of music that CM plays. Who would you be compared to?
Well...When you play progressive metal someone will always compare you to great bands such as Dream Theater. In fact we are honored if we were. We have a great variety of influences in the band so I don’t think we follow a definite path in style.

Do you read your fan mail?
Of course I do!! I really appreciate getting mail from people who like our music or have other questions about CM.

Tell us what your favorites are on the list below:

Black Metal Band - I do not listen to BM a lot. I have the latest Dimmu Borgir cd, but I don’t think they are considered as a BM band anymore.

Gothic Metal Band - I do not listen to any gothic metal bands.

Female Artist - There are a lot of great female artists out there but I don’t have a favorite.

Strings - I’ve used a lot of different types of strings through the years but lately I’ve used Ernie Ball strings.

Amp - I am currently using a Peavey 5150II for the rhythm and clean parts. For soloing I’m using a Marshall Jmp-1 preamp with a TC Electronics g-major.

80’s metal band - Lots of good Metal bands in the 80´s. I listened a lot to early Testament, Megadeth and Metallica.

New band (Not including CM) - Outworld from Texas..... Awesome band!! They have one of the greatest vocalists on the planet!! I’m sure they will be embraced by any power/progressive metal head out there...

Unsigned band - Illusion Suite from Norway

I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind.

Touring - A tour as a support act with a band of our interest would be awesome....

Recording - I can’t wait to get back in the studio to write new stuff!!!

Internet - The best and the worst promotion tool there is!!!

Favorite - My favorite thing is of course to make music. When I need a break from it I usually play video games.....

Money - If I had any, I would be happy like a little girl!!

Sleep - The most important thing for a person is to get enough rest to gain strength for what the coming day will demand.

Circus Maximus - We did not get it from the place in Rome like some people might think!! The name Circus Maximus was brought to mind when my brother Truls and I was playing a PC-game called “The Ripper”. This must be like 10 years ago or something!! So my brother thought it was a cool name and what the heck, let’s use it in a future band or something!!

A day off - Is a blessing to every hard working human being!!!

Work - Working as a guitarist in a band called Circus maximus.

In conclusion would you like to say anything?
It was a really nice doing this interview with you! Rockeyez rules!.... MEETAAALLLL!!!!! © 2005 All rights reserved. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
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