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David Garlow of the Syracuse Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with singer Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Syracuse Music Examiner: That was a cool performance of “Lola” [on the March 4 edition of “New Day Northwest” on King 5 TV to promote Tate‘s show “Rock And Vaudeville”]; loved the wig and the dancers, very cool!

Tate: Oh, thank you! It’s going to be a fun show where we try and impersonate our favorite performers. That’s the best Ray Davies that I could do! [Laughs]

Syracuse Music Examiner: You will be here next week on the “25th Anniversary Of ‘Operation: Mindcrime’” tour, can you talk about this tour and what we can expect at the show?

Tate: It’s a real honor and a pleasure to play “Operation: Mindcrime” in its entirety. It’s a fan favorite! I have some really excellent musicians playing it with me. We get to play the whole thing! “Mindcrime” is almost exactly an hour long, so we play it and hopefully the fans appreciate it and asks us out for an encore and we’ll rip into some of their favorite QUEENSRŸCHE songs!

Syracuse Music Examiner: I finally got a chance to listen to “Frequency Unknown”. Great album. Can you talk about it and will you be playing some of this next week?

Tate: Yeah, we’ll probably play some songs off of that. It was a very fun record to make. Over the years, I’ve tried to make each record very different from the previous one. Tried to put the band or the people writing and playing with me in a situation where it is conducive to a creative environment. We had a lot of people joining and collaborating on this one. It was really great hearing all of these great musicians’ interpretation and input on a song. I’m a firm believer in collaboration; I like other people’s input and really to see where a song can go, you know? I really like the record.

Syracuse Music Examiner: You also remade four iconic QUEENSRŸCHE tunes which sound awesome. Can you tell me about the decision to do those and how did you choose from so many?

Tate: Well, that was a record company deal, really. They wanted four specific QUEENSRŸCHE tracks on the record and they wanted them made as close to the original as possible. So, there wasn’t much thought process to it; it was looking back at those songs and trying to recreate them, which was difficult to do on a number of levels. Technically utilizing old recording equipment is getting harder to accomplish as it’s harder to find. [Laughs] And then performance mode as well. I didn’t realize how much I had changed the delivery of certain songs over the years, which you just kind of naturally do — at least I do, and I think probably most singers do. You change your phrasing around, you change your note choice here and there, and you augment the melody over time because typically when you write a song, you spend about a month total between writing and recording and you’re done with it. For me, I don’t typically look back too much I’m just going off memory every time I perform a song, so it just naturally starts changing and evolving. Like “Silent Lucidity”, for example, I changed the phrasing on that all around live. Listening back to the original, I had to put both tracks up and work at creating the same phrasing I did for the record. Over years of performing a song live, you just do different things to it — you know, add notes here, subtract notes there. It’s an interesting evolution that I had never really been cognizant of it before we did that record, and we had to go back and listen to the original tracks again.

Read the entire interview at Syracuse Music Examiner.

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FaceCulture recently conducted an interview with Dutch singer Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH, REVAMP, ex-AFTER FOREVER). You can now watch the chat in three parts below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On what her role in NIGHTWISH is going to be now that she has been upgraded from a touring singer to a full-time/permanent member:

Floor: “I guess that’s something that needs to be seen, how I can grow into my role within the band, because I have been a guest musician for the whole ‘Imaginaerum’ tour. So, of course, I knew I was gonna stay, but the whole concept of all that was already there. So for the upcoming album, I don’t know how that will grow. I, of course, have my experience, and so do the guys, and I can’t imagine myself, with my personality, sitting back and saying, ‘Yeah, do whatever and I’ll follow.’ But on the other hand, they know exactly what they’re doing — they’ve proven to be able to write great songs and to put out something that totally… where all the pictures match and where the whole concept is one. And I guess it’s a process to see how I can add with my creativity and how my input is gonna be there. I can imagine, I have my feelings and ideas about stage outfits, but also with the songwriting, Tuomas [Holopainen, NIGHTWISH keyboardist] is definitely the master of the writing process, he’s the guy in charge, but Marco [Hietala, NIGHTWISH bassist/vocalist] also writes and the whole band comes together and makes the puzzle work. So somewhere in that puzzle I’ll get my share.”

On whether she will be moving to Finland from The Netherlands in order to be closer to NIGHTWISH‘s home base:

Floor: “Out of practical reasons, I don’t have to move to Finland. I mean, it’s quite nearby, and you’re there always for certain periods of time, for either a show or now for the recording period and there are facilities there where I can stay. But I’m studying Finnish, and it’s one of the five most difficult languages in the world. And the more I learn, the more I realize that’s definitely true. [Laughs] So I might move to Finland, at least for a while, to learn the language a bit better, ’cause you don’t learn any language better than in the country itself.”

On why she is studying Finnish:

Floor: “Well, imagine being in a group of 25 people. There are 20 Finnish people, there’s one German, there’s one Dutchie, and there’s one… Or 20 people, let’s say… And there are only two or three people who do not speak Finnish… whether it’s a group of German people, Dutch people — wherever you’re from. You always speak the language you hear most. So if there are 20 people, and 18 of them are Finnish, most people will speak Finnish amongst each other. Regardless of how well the NIGHTWISH guys and everyone involved speaks English, and they’re very willing to translate, they still need to translate. And I feel if I wanna be part of the whole circus even more, be more involved, understand everyone better, even now that I’m studying, understanding the culture a bit better, in the long run, it’s gonna make me feel like I fit in a little bit better. Even though they have welcomed me with open arms and I already feel at home — I call them my brothers and my family — I think being able to speak the language makes the unity even bigger.”

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On September 24, Honduras rock journalist Alvaro Villatoro (a.k.a. Lemmy Simmons) of Hard Heavy conducted an interview with conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts from the chat follow.

On the next QUEENSRŸCHE video:

Scott: “A couple of weeks ago, we finished two brand new music videos for the new record. We went down to Los Angeles and shot the next two videos.

“The next single, I believe, is going to be ‘Spore’. And then the follow-up single after that is going to be ‘A World Without’.

“So what we did is we shot a 10-minute movie of the two songs put together, and it’s really great. It’s a full scripted storyline, there were actors in the videos, and it’s very conceptual. And we do appear in the video as well. But it was really fun and really different, because it’s like a movie.”

On parting ways with original singer Geoff Tate and replacing him with Todd La Torre:

Scott: “I’ve gotta be honest. We just didn’t know what to expect when we made the decision to move on last year. And Todd has been perfect; I mean, it’s absolutely just perfect. He sings so great our old, great songs. Listen, we hadn’t done ‘Queen Of The Reich’ in years, and Todd stepped in and he just sings it — he just does it — and it’s just perfect. I can’t even tell you how excited we are about what’s going on for us right now having him in the band.”

On whether the band felt any pressure to release a new studio album as quickly as possible to compete with the Geoff Tate-fronted version of QUEENSRŸCHE:

Scott: “To be honest, we actually didn’t — we never felt any pressure to get a record out as fast as possible or to do anything to sacrifice the quality that we always had wanted to keep ourselves at. This record was a great example of that. Our focus was on just writing great songs and getting them to where we felt it was at the top of our game, so to speak, and we wanted to keep our level very high and challenge ourselves. And so we were gonna get the record done when the record was gonna be done.

“We were lucky, because the chemistry amongst the five of us now is so great that we just felt that we didn’t have any pressures — we knew we were gonna have a great record and feel really good about it. And I think the response is kind of the proof. The fans and the media have embraced the new record in such a high way; I mean, we’re getting almost 10-star reviews on this record all around the world. So for what that’s worth, I think that’s just the proof that we’ve done what our fans really had wanted us to be doing for a long time. I think they’re very happy that we’re back doing what we feel good about.

“We’ve been around for 30 years as a band, and we’ve made a lot of records, and some really great ones that I’m very proud of. I think this new record is a record that I’m proud of… It’s probably a record that I’m most proud for probably the last 20 years. So, for me, it’s really special and I feel really great about it. And we’re having a great time. We haven’t had a great time for a long time, to be honest; it hasn’t been very fun. I think this is now a turning point for us and we just feel really good. We’re energized and the fans are energized.”

On whether “Queensrÿche” signals a return to the band’s classic sound:

Scott: “I think so. I really do.

“In the last year that we started playing all these shows with Todd, our setlist is a lot of just our first five records — it’s all that great QUEENSRŸCHE classic stuff that we hadn’t played for a long time. And in doing that, I think that started to put us in kind of that mindset, that energy that we had back then, and the chemistry we had together. And so I think when we started making this new record, it was almost natural that we were kind of revisiting that feel for us. And I think this record does.

“I think, to me, if somebody asked me where I would place this record in our catalog in terms of time frame, I think this record fits right back in the days of, like, ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ and ‘Empire’ and ‘Promised Land’ — kind of like in the early Nineties when we were making those records. And I think this record feels like it’s very much a part of that era. And I’m proud of that. And a lot of our fans are telling us that as well.

“So I think that we did — we grabbed a lot of the great, old chemistry, and we made a record with that energy.”

Photos below from video shoot for “Spore” and “A World Without”.

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The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Great Southern Brainfart: So I have to be honest. Aside from listening to VENOM as a kid, I was never much of a black metal fan, and then I gave you guys a listen, and I’m really intrigued with your songs and your performances.

Erik: That is really good to hear that you made that comparison. I wish I heard VENOM and WATAIN in the same sentence more often. VENOM is one of my all-time favorite bands, and I think if you have that sort of background, you might actually be able to relate to what we do as well. Musically, there might be a slight difference. VENOM are the originators of the black metal movement that we later became a part and we like carrying that torch onwards and uphold that legacy.

The Great Southern Brainfart: WATAIN seems to have more of that classic element than most of the other modern bands. Is that something that was intentional?

Erik: We never really sat down and discussed how WATAIN should sound. It’s pretty safe to say, though, that our own personal preferences, when it comes to black metal, have always been very traditional. VENOM are one of the most important bands ever to WATAIN and the same goes for bands like MERCYFUL FATE and even bands like EXCITER, RAZOR, and VOIVOD. We’ve always leaned towards bands like that in our own musical tastes when it comes to metal. I suppose our sound really comes from a mix of those bands and late-era black metal such as MAYHEM and DISSECTION and so on.

The Great Southern Brainfart: One of the things that intrigued me the most about Watain was the ritualistic approach to the live show using animal carcasses, lighting candles on a small alter and whatnot. What can you tell me about the live show and the background to this ritual?

Erik: If you play music of a diabolical nature, and the music that you perform is permeated by a sinister and infernal essence, of course, that will have to translate to the stage show as well and your appearance. It’s not a process that should be forced. It should come as a natural consequence of the music that you’re playing and the artistic work that you are doing. With WATAIN, it was very much that way and it evolved into this thing that it is. When we started playing, we already had that kind of extreme view of how a black metal live show should be like. It should look like the music sounds. That’s how it all began. The longer that WATAIN existed, the more we realized that the magical side of this band, the spiritual side began to come through and it just began to transform into a ceremonial thing rather than just a rock concert, so to say. It evolved into an event where we communicate with the forces that gave birth to this band and that have always been a part of this band. It became a time where we could let these things just come to life and be at one with them. It’s an ever-ongoing evolution and the live shows are constantly progressing. They have become something more and more severe and intense and that’s a very good thing to me. It’s a very inspiring context to work with.

The Great Southern Brainfart: When WATAIN takes this ceremony on the road, especially when touring in the southern part of the U.S., sometimes there are limits as to what you can and can’t do on the stage. When that does happen, how much of an impact does that have on the purpose of your live performance? Does it make things harder for you to do?

Erik: Yes, of course it does, but being in a band like WATAIN is always quite a challenge. When you take something as inhuman as WATAIN into the world, then, of course, things can be a bit strange. We knew since day one that we would have to face a lot of opposition because of some of the things we wanted to do. I think we’re always pretty well prepared for that to happen. Of course, it’s annoying and it makes me want to punch the living shit out of anyone who stands in our way, but we always find a way around these things. There’s always a way for the devil to come through, no matter what. It cannot be stopped. It’s just a fact and it’s been that way since the dawn of man. The devil always wins and the devil always finds his way. I think that in general, all of that opposition and all of the people who prevent us from doing what we want to do just makes us stronger. It makes us feel more proud and stronger about what we’re doing. We like to fight against the extreme and we like to go against the current. We like to be the enemy and that just fuels the fire of WATAIN and I actually appreciate that. I like touring in places especially the South because we always feel that tension and how skeptical they are but in the end we just do what the fuck we do anyway. [laughs]

Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.

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David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

DeadRhetoric.com: The band has been active on the live front since the release of “X”, but did it ever cross your mind that as a recording entity, FATES WARNING may never record another album?

Ray Alder: Yeah, it definitely crossed my mind. People were doing their side-projects all over the place, and it was never discussed or anything that “We might not get around to doing another album, it’s been so long.” It was always in the back of my mind that we would, though. Jim [Matheos, guitar] and I are pretty proud in that way and don’t want to just fade away. I knew we’d get around to do another album, it was just a matter of when. All of these fucking side-projects, but here we are now and I’m completely happy.

DeadRhetoric.com: You had a stretch where REDEMPTION was your main thing, obviously.

Alder: I think I did four albums with REDEMPTION. Jim was doing OSI, and they seemed like his main thing. It was never meant to be that way, but I had the opportunity to tour and record with REDEMPTION and I don’t want to sit around and do nothing.

DeadRhetoric.com: There’s been a lot of patience from your fanbase. You haven’t totally fallen off the map. There’s genuine interest in another FATES WARNING record. Did that help with getting the album together?

Alder: I think it’s nice and great. We never completely went away, and even if we weren’t touring the States, we were touring in Europe. We’d always go over there and do a few shows and do three-week tours — maybe subconsciously so people wouldn’t forget about us over there. [laughs] Our European fans knew that we were always around; it was American fans that probably feel a little left out. It’s nothing personal – it’s a lot harder to tour in America than in Europe. Everything is so far away and expensive, while in Europe, shows are usually no more than four or five hours away.

DeadRhetoric.com: Going back, you joined the band in ’88, so that’s 25 years. The storyline of you replacing [John] Arch is well-known at least from his vantage point, but how about yours?

Alder: I remember being completely intimidated and scared. I was a young kid. They were my favorite band in the world and I had never even left Texas and the only reason I left was to go to Connecticut to audition with those guys. I remember getting off the plane and having dinner…it was the weirdest thing ever, scary. I got through it and did a good job, and [Metal Blade‘s] Brian Slagel came in and I remember thinking, “Oh God, Brian Slagel!” Now, we’re great friends. It was exciting and new, and I had no idea where it was going to go, but I didn’t care. It’s funny because music wasn’t my dream — I was just doing it in local bands, but once I started, it was amazing.

DeadRhetoric.com: Do you remember what songs you auditioned with?

Alder: “Quietus”, a part of the from “Beyond The Ivory Gates”. I remember I recorded that on a four-track.

DeadRhetoric.com: Your voice back then was so high…

Alder: [laughs] It was so ridiculous. I was trying to do the John Arch thing, and that was the ’80s — everybody was doing it, so I thought it should do it too. As I got older, and before my voice started to change, I just didn’t want to sing high anymore. Chris Cornell, he can sing high now and he doesn’t sound silly to me. It’s not operatic; it’s screaming… I love his voice. Then you have other singers (mimics falsetto)…

DeadRhetoric.com: See, you still got it in you.

Alder: I think my voice has changed because I didn’t want to be over the top; probably because of the cigarettes and booze. [laughs]

Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.

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Bryan Reesman of Attention Deficit Delirium recently conducted an interview with guitarist John Petrucci of progressive metallers DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Your wife, Rena Sands, plays guitar in the JUDAS PRIESTESS tribute band. Is there ever a chance that you two might do a musical project together?

Petrucci: We would love to. We talk about doing that. It just depends on what the style would be and just finding the time to do that. She’s such a great guitar player. We’re celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. We just got from back from Vegas actually.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Congratulations.

Petrucci: Thank you. When we first met, music is the thing that we really connected with and has always been a big part of our lives. We now have three kids, all teenagers who play music, and this is something that we’re all really connected to. That would be unbelievable to do something together.

Attention Deficit Delirium: Artists often have a hard time handling relationships because of our crazy schedules. How have you two managed to make things work for 20 years?

Petrucci: It takes a lot of understanding. I think [due to] the fact that my wife is a musician and is in the same career, she completely knows what’s involved and is the type of person who is just unbelievably supportive. When you think about how much time I have to be away because of touring…as you said it’s an unconventional kind industry situation, and I’m in the studio for 10 to 12 hours a day. Meanwhile we had three kids, twins first, so she spent all that time raising them. I’m 100,000,000% convinced that I wouldn’t be where I am today in my life and my career without her and that level of understanding, support and strength. It’s unbelievable. It really is. The fact that she’s able to give me feedback and that we can talk about things creatively and share ideas as I’m writing is just amazing. It’s really, really cool.

Attention Deficit Delirium: I’m enjoying the new DREAM THEATER album a lot. When the band started, it was a mixture of progressive complexity along with melodic elements that made it radio friendly. The mid-period of DREAM THEATER got more into epic songs and complexity, but it seems like the last couple of releases have gotten back to mixing these off-kilter time signatures and crazy riffs with catchy choruses. I wrote that in my recent studio report, and there were some fans who were turned off that idea, but I think it’s a good thing. Was this a conscious return to that style of songwriting, or did it just come about naturally?

Petrucci: It’s definitely something that we wanted to focus on a lot. As far as the style of the band and the way that we come across, it’s important to us that that always stays intact. We’re a progressive band with a metal sound, and the musical style is very powerful. We try to push the boundaries, but having said that, the most important thing is the songwriting. At the end of the day, it’s the compositions, it’s whether or not your music reaches people. It’s communication. It’s always been an important element of our music — the melodic side that you said, the catchy chorus side but also the overall melodic content — how the vocals hit you, how the song message hits you — I think that separates the men from the boys in a lot of aspects as far as writing in a progressive style. The songs need to be catchy, they need to be relatable, they need to be strong, and we did focus more on that this time, there’s no doubt about it. We did go in saying we’re going to make a strong and bold album. It’s going to be everything that we love to do, but we’re going to take extra special attention on the compositional songwriting elements so that within that structure the songs are even that much more powerful emotionally.

Read the entire interview at Attention Deficit Delirium.

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The Great Southern Brainfart recently conducted an interview with GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

The Great Southern Brainfart: This is an exciting time to be a GWAR fan. After the passing of Flattus Maximus, it was really awesome to see the metal community pull together to support the band and his immediate family. It made me feel proud to be a fan of a band. When you saw that outpouring of love how did it make you feel?

Oderus: Well, it made us feel very proud to have such awesome fans. They weren’t going to let us fail or stop and they were going to support us every step of the way. They all came out and showed us how much they really love us and it really meant a lot to us. We couldn’t have done it without their strength and we may have never made it through that period. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t miss Flattus but somehow we’ve made it through and Pustulous Maximus is settled in his new position and he’s kicking fucking ass. Life goes on.

The Great Southern Brainfart: What can you tell us about Pustulous Maximus and what can we all expect to see from him?

Oderus: Well, he’s a little bigger than Flattus. He’s a little more obnoxious and meaner. He’s a little more rowdy on stage and he breaks more stuff. His guitar playing is a big more vicious as well. He’s a different player than Flattus. Flattus has a smoother shredding style whereas Pustulous is just all over the fucking place. He’s capable of playing the smooth shit but yet he can play incredibly vicious as well. His sound has definitely taken GWAR into a new direction musically. I’m not exactly sure what that direction is. Maybe even a little more like our old-school thrash metal kind of sound. It definitely doesn’t sound like “Bloody Pit Of Horror”, that’s for sure.

The Great Southern Brainfart: I’ve been listening to the new album, “Battle Maximus”, a good bit and I fucking love this album. It sounds more like the old-school stuff than anything GWAR‘s done in years. Was that intentional or was this brought on by the new blood, pun intended?

Oderus: [laughs] No, it just kind of happened naturally. We just kind of let it kind of rally behind Pustulous‘ playing and we didn’t try to make it go in any direction. We just let it kind of organically suggest itself. That’s the way Pustulous sounds when he plays guitar so there for GWAR followed right along with him. It’s got the sound of those old GWAR albums but it has the additional excellence of the fact that it sounds better. We’ve been in the studio longer and we know what we’re doing now. We’ve got our own studio and we know exactly how to get the best sounds out of it. It’s got that old-school GWAR sound that everyone likes, but it sounds better than all the old records.

The Great Southern Brainfart: Looking back on GWAR‘s vast catalog, is there anything you look at and say, “I wish we would’ve done that differently?”

Oderus: Nah, I wouldn’t change a fucking thing. If you change anything about GWAR, you might ruin something that was incredibly perfect. I’m not really how GWAR started to begin with, but I do know that it’s hard to change or mess around with it very much. You could ruin that balance that made it so great to begin with. I’ve been completely satisfied with everything we’ve done. I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing.

The Great Southern Brainfart: GWAR not too long ago released a great cover of ALICE COOPER‘s “School’s Out”. Are there any future covers that we can look forward to hearing GWAR unleash on us?

Oderus: Right now we are working on a cover of “Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by BILLY OCEAN for The AV Club. We did KANSAS“Carry On My Wayward Son” last year, so we’re doing this one this year. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see an entire GWAR covers album at some point.

Read the entire interview at The Great Southern Brainfart.

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Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: Does releasing a self-titled album mark some sort of new beginning for DREAM THEATER?

Rudess: I think it was more that we wanted to put the stamp of a self-titled album here because we felt very strong about it. We felt like we’re at this great point where we felt that people should take notice. We’ve been very clear — we’re all getting along so well; musically we’re having a great time together in the studio; and we felt that we’ve made a great album that we want people to know about. If you want to know what DREAM THEATER is about, check this album out, because we feel that this is one of the best albums that we’ve done.

Loud: What was it like reconvening to record this time with [new drummer] Mike Mangini a part of the band?

Rudess: He was really well behaved, so it was good. It was a lot of fun to have him there, unlike the previous album where we brought him in for the drum parts after the music was written. For this one, he was there the whole time. Some people know it, some people don’t, but Mike Mangini is a very upbeat character. He’s very funny, he’s got a very good nature, he’s lively and in front of the drums, he’s a madman. He can play things no one else can play. So him being there personally, with his upbeat personality, and him contributing to the dynamic to the music we were writing really gave the music a real spark. So we enjoyed that quite a lot. With “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, we had a good time writing that, but this time, all being together working on the album as a band was great. We had been on tour with Mike Mangini for a year, we knew that we all got along, we knew that we were a very effective unit with each other playing music. The fans had all voiced their opinions and they all loved our shows.

Loud: Tell us something about “Illumination Theory”, because that’s quite an extensive piece.

Rudess: Well, I come from a Julliard classical music background, I like pieces where motifs and ideas get developed and changed and can be allowed to breathe and that track’s certainly not any sort of standard pop song format in any way, shape or form. I just love the fact that we’re just really going for it and there’s all these kind of progressive parts where there’s interesting counterpoints and harmonic changes going on, and I’m also very fond of the fact that in the middle section of “Illumination Theory”, there’s that whole section that really is very ambient and very electronic-soundscapey which leads into a string ensemble part which was actually done with the help my young protege Eren Başbuğ, a young Turkish arranger/conductor who took what I had composed on my keyboard and fleshed it out for a string orchestra. And then the string orchestra came into the studio and he came in and conducted them. That piece just has so much to it. I love when we get deep and it all gets a bit wild, and I also love that in the midst of all that madness, we really let that middle section to really breathe and slow down and be melodic like a movie score.

Loud: There always seems to be at least one song on every album that really shows what DREAM THEATER is all about and that’s definitely the track this time around.

Rudess: I think that’s really important, because a lot of the songs on this album are a little bit more concise. Believe it or not, there are two songs in the four-minute range on this album. It’s like we managed to bring our music a little bit more to the point, but at the same time we thought, “Hey we’re DREAM THEATER! We could do, we should do a track that goes for it and is more epic,” and that’s what “Illumination Theory” was more about.

Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.

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Karl Lean of Australia’s Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with THE CULT singer Ian Astbury. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band’s heavy touring schedule:

Astbury: “It’s what we do. Since we started we’ve been live musicans, it’s always been live first. Recording, record deals, career and everything else came afterwards. It was really just about playing in bars to start with.”

“The band’s been rolling pretty consistently the past 7 or 8 years, and we just don’t want to stop. We’ve got momentum, we’ve got the album out and it’s going strong.

‘Choice Of Weapon’ did really really well. Previous to that, we did the Capsule collection, and previous to that, we did the ‘Love’ tour, which was great. That was kind of inspired by seeing Bowie do the ‘Low’ album, probably one of the first artists to go out and play an album, an iconic record in its entirety. So for us, we’re between albums right now, but we want to keep playing.”

On performing the “Electric” album in its entirety:

Astbury: “A lot these songs we’ve never played live.

“We don’t really think of this material as ‘old’; the action of playing live makes it all become fresh. It’s always like kind of an external perception of what we do; there’s memories and connections to a piece or body of work. So for us, ‘Electric 13′ is those ‘Electric’ songs brought alive again. We’re probably better musicans now than we were then; we’re at the top of our game right now. The shows have been amazing. The band’s on fire. It’s the most consistent lineup we’ve had. We’ve been playing together for 7 or 8 years, so it’s really tight.”

On offering plenty more than just a nostalgia trip for older fans:

Astbury: “We don’t identify ourselves as classic rock. To me, that term is like an old custodian. But this band is vital, it’s virile, aggressive, guttural. It can be sublime, it can be violent, it can be poetic. Within that is the essence of THE CULT. We have 9 studio albums and a history of working different genres — from hard rock to modern alternative post rock; very eclectic. We are still here.”

On the ups and downs of touring life:

Astbury: “Touring has always been a grind. It’s a tough lifestyle. It’s not like every day you get to be in Sydney, or Tokyo, or New York, or Paris.

“Touring is basically going from venue to venue. We just drove 10 hours from our last gig to here in Biloxi, Mississippi. Tomorrow we’ll do a 14-hour drive to the next show.

“The drives are really long, especially here in the States. And it’s the down times that you get into trouble. You try and keep your head together and not get into trouble.

“I much prefer driving to flying, though; all that sitting in airports. You don’t get offstage until after midnight, and you’ll have a flight at 9 in the morning. By the time you get cleaned up, you never sleep; you’re constantly tired, living on caffeine. That’s what it is.

“You chose the lifestyle and I’m not going to cry about that; it’s just the reality of touring. But once you do get on stage, it’s like catharsis, a release — that’s the time you really get to express yourself and it’s gratifying having an audience that has stayed with the band for so long.”

Read more from Heavy magazine.

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Karl Lean of Australia’s Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with THE CULT singer Ian Astbury. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band’s heavy touring schedule:

Astbury: “It’s what we do. Since we started we’ve been live musicans, it’s always been live first. Recording, record deals, career and everything else came afterwards. It was really just about playing in bars to start with.”

“The band’s been rolling pretty consistently the past 7 or 8 years, and we just don’t want to stop. We’ve got momentum, we’ve got the album out and it’s going strong.

‘Choice Of Weapon’ did really really well. Previous to that, we did the Capsule collection, and previous to that, we did the ‘Love’ tour, which was great. That was kind of inspired by seeing Bowie do the ‘Low’ album, probably one of the first artists to go out and play an album, an iconic record in its entirety. So for us, we’re between albums right now, but we want to keep playing.”

On performing the “Electric” album in its entirety:

Astbury: “A lot these songs we’ve never played live.

“We don’t really think of this material as ‘old’; the action of playing live makes it all become fresh. It’s always like kind of an external perception of what we do; there’s memories and connections to a piece or body of work. So for us, ‘Electric 13′ is those ‘Electric’ songs brought alive again. We’re probably better musicans now than we were then; we’re at the top of our game right now. The shows have been amazing. The band’s on fire. It’s the most consistent lineup we’ve had. We’ve been playing together for 7 or 8 years, so it’s really tight.”

On offering plenty more than just a nostalgia trip for older fans:

Astbury: “We don’t identify ourselves as classic rock. To me, that term is like an old custodian. But this band is vital, it’s virile, aggressive, gutteral. It can be sublime, it can be violent, it can be poetic. Within that is the essence of THE CULT. We have 9 studio albums and a history of working different genres — from hard rock to modern alternative post rock; very eclectic. We are still here.”

On the ups and downs of touring life:

Astbury: “Touring has always been a grind. It’s a tough lifestyle. It’s not like every day you get to be in Sydney, or Tokyo, or New York, or Paris.

“Touring is basically going from venue to venue. We just drove 10 hours from our last gig to here in Biloxi, Mississippi. Tomorrow we’ll do a 14-hour drive to the next show.

“The drives are really long, especially here in the States. And it’s the down times that you get into trouble. You try and keep your head together and not get into trouble.

“I much prefer driving to flying, though; all that sitting in airports. You don’t get offstage until after midnight, and you’ll have a flight at 9 in the morning. By the time you get cleaned up, you never sleep; you’re constantly tired, living on caffeine. That’s what it is.

“You chose the lifestyle and I’m not going to cry about that; it’s just the reality of touring. But once you do get on stage, it’s like catharsis, a release — that’s the time you really get to express yourself and it’s gratifying having an audience that has stayed with the band for so long.”

Read more from Heavy magazine.

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