As a lot of you might know, Benedictum just launched their second album called Seasons of Tragedy. Comparing to their debut, this is another big step forward. Awesome riffing, fierce rhytmns, strong melodies, shredding leads and delicate textures can be heard on the new record. With Veronica Freeman as singer the band has a strong vocalist in the style of Leather Leone. Time to ask Pete Wells about the new record.
- What is the biggest step forward on the new record comparing to your debut 'Uncreation"?
Pete: I would have to say the over all sound quality! The songs are a more diverse as well.
- Has the band found the key to success, I mean again there are 2 cover songs and the hierarchy of the songs on both of your albums are similar?
Pete: That would be nice to have such a discovery (HAHAHAHAHA) as for the covers, both times for our CD's our label asked for a bonus track for a digi pack at the last minute. Instead of pulling a song from the CD we would pay homage to our heroes! Unfortunately on the "Uncreation" CD, there was a mistake and both covers were left on the regular release of "Uncreation".
- Can you tell us a little more about the contacts with Craig Goldy, George Lynch and Jeff Pilson? Most of the new bands don't have such a good company.
Pete: That's very true! We have been very fortunate in who we've been able to work with! Craig Goldy is an old friend of Veronicas, Craig happened by Veronicas house and listened to some of our practice CD's and loved what he heard. He felt with some good production we could have something, so Craig introduced us to Jeff Pilson. He agreed with Craig and took us on and produced a 3 song demo to be shopped. We were lucky, Jeff had time to do both CD's! As far a George Lynch goes, Jeff and George are still really good friends and with Jeff knowing how much a fan I am of Georges, Jeff lobbed George a call to see if he wouldn't mind doing a guest appearance on the CD!
- On the new album the band plays some more mid-tempo then on the first, was this a well considered choice?
Pete: We just kind of do what we do and whatever comes out is what we work with.
- With Veronica on stage, I can imagine that she gets the most response from the audience, isn't that frustrating for the rest of the band?
Pete: Well, as with most bands, the singer gets most of the attention, but each member of the band gets received by the crowds well ! There is a lot of interaction between the band and the fans both during and after the show.
- In which bands did Veronica sing before Benedictum?
Pete: Hmmm lets see, Medusa; which at one time had Amir Derak from Rough Cutt. Malady, Evolution a tribute to Ronnie James Dio, and now of course the most important; Benedictum.
- Has Veronica ever heard of Leather Leone?
Pete: Well of course! Veronica gets compared to Leather all the time and loves her stuff! Her favorite singer however is Ronnie James DIO!!! Veronica has a very eclectic music taste, she loves Tina Turner, Rush and Dream Theater.
- How is the metal climate at the moment in California? What's hot and what's not?
Pete: Unfortunately, at least in sunny southern California, it's radio rock driven, so it's mostly new metal. So for what we do it's more of an underground movement at this time.
- I hear some Vicious Rumors influences in your music, do you agree with that?
Pete: Honestly I haven't heard much of their music. I have heard a little bit when Vinnie Moore was in the band, but that's it. So any similarities are purely coincidental.
- Can we expect the band in Europe during the summer Festivals?
Pete: Yes! Our booking agent is working on that now. Were hoping to be over at least 3 times this year which would be a blast. Keep your fingers crossed!
- What is the bands goal in the future, becoming as big as Metallica, or just making records and see what comes...
Pete: Now becoming as big as Metallica would be awesome! But the reality is that for now we just love playing and performing. One of our goals would be that we some day actually make a living at what we love doing.. and are passionate about ....and that is our music!
- What's the best record you bought the last 5 years?
Pete: The best new CD I've purchased would be Guthrie Govan's Erotic Cakes! That guy is amazing. But as far as metal goes it would be Lamb of God - Sacrament.
The third record will (not) also be produced by Pilson, because...
Pete: Oh we plan on having Jeff as much as he is willing to work with us! Jeff is like the 5th member of Benedictum! And we really couldn't see working with anyone else! We've built a great friendship together and consider Jeff and his family our family!
The last question is a multiple choice question. Without Craig Goldy, the band:
A Would have split already.
B Would be bigger than Metallica.
C Would do exactly what it is doing now.
D Would not be drinking that much.
E Would have been rich.
F Would still be playing in a swine hole.
Pete: This is a hard question to answer, but I don't think we would be as far as we are today without him!! Craig introduced us to Jeff, who in turn introduced us to the man who shopped us our record deal. So the answer would be G none of the above hahahahahaha .
Thank you Pete for the interview and hope to see you on tour in Europe!
Interviewed by Reinier de Vries