interview med Shadow Gallery

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What is the name of your band?  Brendt: Shadow Gallery

What does the name "Shadow Gallery" stand for? Brendt: It's from the comic book "V for Vendetta" from Alan Moore, which came out in the 80's.  It represented a secret hide away for the main character, which was a refuge of all the art, music and film that he could collect.  I thought it would make a fine name for a band one day and loved what it stood for.  Luckily, the rest of the guys in the band liked the name, so it stuck.

What made you call the band "Shadow Gallery"? Brendt:  I am a huge Alan Moore fan and really loved the name.

How was the band formed?   Brendt: This band actually started out as a cover band in the LeHigh valley in Pennsylvania.   I joined the band in 1989, at a time when the founding members where taking some time off from playing live, so they could work on writing music.  Luckily for me, I really liked what they were doing and decided to join up with them....and then I did my best to change the course of the band into a more progressive sound.  It worked!

What made you form the band?  Brendt: Well, as I said, they were a working cover band, playing Rush and Malmsteen and Queensryche, but stopped playing out to concentrate on writing songs.  I was lucky enough to meet them and was asked to join.

Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are?  Brendt: Gary Wehrkamp is a main song writer and producer who plays phenomenal Guitar and keyboards and is also a great drummer and generally all around great guy to hang around with.  Carl James is our bass player and principle lyricist and vocal writer.  Carl is like no one else you will ever meet.  Brian Ashland is our singer and third guitarist and also plays keys very well.  Joe Nevolo is our insane drummer.  One day the world will hear how well he plays jazz drums....one day.  and I (Brendt Allman) and also a songwriter and guitarist that plays keys and writes the occasional drum part or vocal melody.  Smash all of that together and you've got Shadow Gallery.

Where are all band-members from?  Brendt: Joe is from new Jersey, Carl, Gary and Brian are from Pennsylvania and I am from Texas.

Who does what in the band? Brendt:  I play guitar and some keyboards, Gary plays guitar and a lot of keyboards, Carl plays bass and flute, Brian sings and plays guitar and Joe bangs on things.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? Brendt:  To be rich and famous...but then we found out you can't really get rich playing progressive metal...or at least we couldn't :)

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you?  Brendt: Take equal parts Queen, Metallica, Yes and Pink Floyd and you will have someone of a blueprint for the Shadow Gallery sound.

Where was your first gig? Brendt: As Shadow Gallery, Barley Creek, PA

Where was the latest gig? Brendt:  Progpower USA in Atlanta.

Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics?  Brendt: Carl writes many of the lyrics and vocal melodies, while Gary and myself are writing most of the music.  Brian will contribute to the ext record as well.

Who has the best since of humor in the band? Brendt: I'd say Gary.  He's funny, even when he doesn't mean to be.

What's good/bad with the band? Brendt: It's all good :)  It's good that these guys are my friends and that they aren't a bunch of assholes.

What genre do you feel you are? Brendt: Progressive Metal is the closest label I'd give us, but it really doesn't apply to half of our catalog.

Why did you pick that particular style? Brendt: This is the style of music that we were all most interested in.  Now, sometimes I wished we'd picked a more lucrative music to be interested in :)

What are your songs about? Brendt: I'd say many of them are about truths that may not be popular, or love, or loss, but most of them are about hope.  I get a lot of hope out of our messages.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? Brendt: 100% original music.

Have you made any albums? Brendt: we have 6 records out since 1991

If yes what are they? Brendt: Shadow Gallery, Carved in Stone, Tyranny, Legacy, Room V, Digital Ghosts.

Do you have any clips on YouTube? Brendt: We have an official video for "Gold Dust", but other than that, there are hundreds of things on youtube from various records or shows.

How old are you? Brendt: Old enough to not want to answer that question :)

What got you started in music? Brendt: Hearing Back in Black, from AC/DC

At what age did you start playing? Brendt:  I picked up the guitar at age 12.

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? Brendt: I was 14 when I played my first gig.  I think the rest of the guys have similar starting times and stories.

What year was the band started? Brendt: I'd say the incarnation that was signed was started in 1990.

How old were you the first time you saw a liveband play? Brendt: I was 13 years old when I say my first live band.

How old were you at your first gig? Brendt: 14 years old

Best/worst gig you've played? Brendt: My favorite gig was in Athens, Greece and my worst was in Essen Germany, but only because I was very, very sick on stage and the medicine I was taking gave my the dry heaves and I was kind of hallucinating due to dehydration.  I still sang that night though :)

What places will you be playing in in the intimidate future? Brendt:  Barloo Netherlands,  Essen German, Milan Italy, Acona Italy, Switzerland, Athens greece.

Where have you played from then till now? Brendt: We did the ROSfest in Gettysburg PA and Progpower USA in Atlanta so far this year.

What songs are in your live set's? Brendt: a lot from each of our records, but we are doing a block of songs from the Tyranny record, due to the fact that it's the 15 year anniversary of that record.

Is it always the same set's live? Brendt: I think that may depend on local sound ordinances and if we have to cut anything short due to time, but most likely we will stick with the same set list on each of the new tour dates.

What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Brendt:  Well, Propower USA in Atlanta was certainly a fun time, but we had a great time in Milan and Athens and many other places as well.  Many of the fans in Bratislava where so nice to hang out with as well!

Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? Brendt: No

How big crowds do you usually play for? Brendt: I don't even know.  I mostly just want to know where I can get a shower after the show 

What are the plans for the rest of the year? Brendt:  Finish this tour and enjoy a few months off from the band and to spend time with my wife and play lots and lots of billiards upstairs in my house.  I'll be working on new music as well.

Where do you usually play? Brendt: Europe

How do you get psyched up for a gig? Brendt: I don't usually get psyched up until I'm actually playing the gig.  The rest of the time, i don;t really think about it much other than to make sure I know where my marks are and what my harmonies are.  I mostly just laugh and have a good time before a gig.

What are your goals with your music? Brendt: To stay interested.  If I'm not interested in a piece of music, I can't expect anyone else to be.  I just hope to have some effect on our listeners.

When did you decide to go all in for the music? Brendt: Well, we all practiced out asses off when we were younger and some of us still do.  It's something that sticks with you, especially when you find that there are people willing to listen to what you do and sometimes pay you for it.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? Brendt: it depends on the mood I'm in.  It get inspiration from lots of things. Movies and books are very inspirational as well.

What are your sources of inspiration?  Brendt:  a fine jazz record, a sweet melody, a rich harmony, movies, books, life.  there's so many things one can draw inspiration from.

What's the first step when making a new song? Brendt:  Taking a shower.  All my best song ideas happen when I'm in the shower and have no access to an instrument other than my voice and imagination.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Brendt: It's helped some bands become more popular while making them broke at the same time.

What would be your dreams for the band? Brendt:  To grow old playing the kind of music we love to write and play and to be paid well in the process.  More than anything, I just want the guys to have full and happy lives.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? Brendt: Jazz

What do you hold most dear? Brendt: My alone time.

What would be your greatest fears for the future? Brendt: that we actually will hit peak oil when it's predicted.  That will be very bad.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? Brendt: equipment failure.

What songs and what years were they released? Brendt: I have no fear of songs....just fear of equipment.

Have you been part of any other projects? Brendt: yes, but not nearly as many as Gary has.  Gary is a hard working man.

Have you been in any other bands? Brendt: Several, but none worth mentioning.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music? Brendt: My yard.

What would you do if there was no music? Brendt: I would find a way to bring music back.

How important are your fans? Brendt: The fans are the only reason to do this kind of music.  It's certainly not for the paychecks and the chicks :)

What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? Brendt: Someone had given us Italian football jerseys before a show...so we all wore them on stage for our encore in Milan.

How often do you rehearse? Brendt: Several months before we go on tour.

Where do you rehearse? Brendt: Various places, but mostly at Garys studio.

Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? Brendt: Alaska and Christmas Day

What do you feel is the best liveband you've seen? Brendt: Pat Metheny 

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? Brendt: The fans and the music

Do you have any webpages?Brendt: www.shadowgallery.com 

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Brendt: Don't do it for the money.  Do it because you'd die inside if you didn't.

interview med Frozen Caress

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What is the name of your band? E: Frozen Caress.
What does the name "Frozen Caress" stand for? E: It refers to our condition as a band. Since it’s mainly a studio project and we are distant, sometimes our relationship is as cold as ice because of the distance, but it can turn warm and heartening like a caress, because of the music and the art we deal with.
What made you call the band "Frozen Caress"? E: At first the band was named by Davide, pianist and vocalist, as a symbol of the lack of trust that he saw in his relatives and friends. The situation has changed, but the name still fits and makes sense!
How was the band formed? E: The band was formed in 2005 by Davide Serra, on piano, and Andrea Viola, his singer friend. In 2009 Andrea’s place was taken by Erika Martin. In 2010 Antonio Leggieri on guitar, and Marco Squillino on bass, became involved in the project, the latter remaining involved only until 2011, when both him and Erika left; in the same year I, Edoardo Giardina (bass) stepped in.
What made you form the band? E: The project was initially born as a game, when Davide played a cover of "My Immortal" by Evanescence.
Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are? E: I'm Edoardo, on bass; Davide sings, plays piano and keyboards, Antonio plays guitars and drums. Besides, he just finished mixing our upcoming album, "Introjection".
Where are all band-members from? E: I'm from Milan but I'm going to study in Rome; Davide is from Cagliari, in Sardinia and Antonio is from Taranto, in Apulia, but he has been living in China for quite some time.
Who does what in the band? E: Apart from the instruments we play, we don't have a specific role in the band. For instance, everyone can compose something and everyone is responsible for his own instrument. It's very unlikely for one of us to write a score for all the instruments of a song without consulting the other two.
What were the ambitions of the band when you started? E: The first ambition of the band was just to renew Gothic Metal as it was in the '90s, but this isn’t exactly an ambition. In this very moment we just want to express ourselves, and in addition our influences and views are constantly broadening. You can hear it by listening to our debut album, “Introjection”, which will soon be released.
Could you explain your music to someone that hasn’t heard you? E: We are rooted in Doom/Gothic Metal, as I already said. But luckily our sound is not that simple any more. Recently we added a lot of Progressive influences - Antonio is a '70s' Italian Prog Rock lover - and some Avantgarde elements - I like so much Solefald, Arcturus, Ulver, Borknagar and all those wonderful Norwegian bands, while Davide is a Björk fan. If previously our referring bands were just Paradise Lost, Anathema, Within Temptation and The Gathering, now we can add to them other acts such as Opeth, Novembre, Aarni, Agalloch and so on, but never forgetting our origins. Anyway, our greatest ambition is to create our own original music, and I think we made it with our upcoming debut album.
Where was your first gig? E: It was in Milan in early October 2011, when Davide came here to see a Within Temptation show and Antonio was still studying in Treviso (near Venice), so, for some days we were not so distant.
Where was the latest gig? E: Our first gig is also our latest one. We wanted to have another one this summer near Taranto, where Antonio lives, but we didn't manage to organize it.
Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics? E: As I've already said, everyone does everything, so everyone of us has written the lyrics or the music for at least one song.
Who has the best sense of humor in the band? E: I don't know. I think it's a difficult challenge between me and Antonio. But, in the end, I'll win!
A: I didn’t know we were on a contest, actually!
What's good/bad with the band? E: It's good that we succeed in matching the different influences that everyone of us has. It's bad that we are distant and we cannot rehearse all together, everyone is  obliged to constantly record demos and send them to the other two members.
What genre do you feel you are? E: I feel we are something like a Progressive Doom Metal band, but a hopeful and content one.
Why did you pick that particular style? E: It's simply the meeting point of our own influences that lead to that genre.
What are your songs about? E:Almost everything: death and life, music and silence, hope and despair; about betrayal. There is also a song about a dark and revengeful queen.
Do you write your own material or mainly covers? E: We write our own songs and we want to play them, but it's always amazing to play and record some covers sometimes. Especially Davide is fond of it.
Have you made any albums? E: Not many, but yes!
If yes what are they? E: So far we have released a demo, called "Demo 2009", two singles, "Hiemi Hymnus" and "De solo Corde", and an EP called "Souvenirs". But our debut full-length, titled "Introjection" is really on its way. The songs are ready, but we have just had a problem with the album artwork. Anyway, it's a matter of one or two months, I hope.
Do you have any clips on YouTube? E: Of course. Our whole gig is available on our YouTube channel along with some of our oldest songs - that, anyway, can be downloaded for free -, our rehearsing before the gig, an interview by an Italian radio and "Mr & Mrs Doe", our first single off "Introjection".
How old are you? E: I'm 19, Davide is 21 and Antonio is 26.
What got you started in music? E: I began to play the bass-guitar because I was (and still I am) a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. But also Cliff Burton's Metallica helped and then Steve DiGiorgio, Sean Malone, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Manring and Jeroen Paul Thesseling did the rest. I know, I'm too mainstream...
D: I started playing on my best friend’s keyboard. I liked it, then I’ve never stopped. The best choice of my life so far.
A: My father’s record collection, some of my relatives’record collection. Luckily I grew up in a family which attached great importance to music.
At what age did you start playing? E: I started playing at 13. 
D: I was 13 years old.
A: I started at 14.
How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? E: I don't remember exactly, but I think I was about 15 or maybe 16.
D: I was 19.
A: 15, and I was playing bass, for friendship’s sake.
What year was the band started? 2005.
How old were you the first time you saw a liveband play? E: I saw Sonata Arctica in Milan and I think I was like 15. But following concerts were surely way better: Katatonia, Alcest, Eluveitie, Sigur Rós, Obituary, Furor Gallico, Destrage...
D: I think I was ten, but I don’t remember really who was playing on stage…
A: At 19 I saw In Flames and I thought I’d just seen God. Things change…
How old were you at your first gig? E: It was two years ago, so I was 17, Davide 19 and Antonio 24.
Best/worst gig you've played? E: It was just one, unfortunately.
What places will you be playing in in the imidate future? E: We really don't even know IF we will play live again.
Where have you played from then till now? E: Everyone has been playing at his own place.
What songs are in your live set's? E: We don't have a live set.
A: If we were a “regular” band, I think our ideal set list would be the whole “Introjection” album from start to finish, then a couple of old songs, “Ye’ll Ne’er Cry For Me”, “Endless”, “Uneléanor” and a doomy psych hallucinated version of Bjork’s “Pleasure Is All Mine” as a final encore.
Is it always the same set's live? E: See above.
What has been the best/most promising gig so far? E: Like above.
Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? E: Still like above.
How big crowds do you usually play for? E: Our unique concert was quite crowded, but I couldn't say how many people there were...
What are the plans for the rest of the year? E:First of all, we want to release our debut album. After that, maybe we’ll take a little pause, and then start working on new material.
Where do you usually play? E: At home.
How do you get psyched up for a gig? E: I prefer to keep calm in order to play better, if I'm the one on the stage. If I'm among the audience, I prefer anyway to keep calm and listen to music.
A: Warming up, telling stupid jokes, shaking hands before going onstage.
What are your goals with your music? E: To be original.
A: To be inspirational. With music it’s an endless cycle: musicians inspire me to write music, and in turn I hope to inspire someone else.
When did you decide to go all in for the music? A: I think something happened to me after hearing a show of percussionists, I must have been 10 or so…
Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? E: I don't know... Surely it's better to be inspired by anyone or anything and to keep your eyes and your mind always open.
What are your sources of inspiration? E: Mine are Progressive Death Metal, Avantgade Metal and all Doom Metal's subgenres.
D: Gothic metal the most, doom metal, folk rock and electronic/techno music if it’s well done.
A: Virtually all music from the 70s, and something a bit more “unconventional”.  
What's the first step when making a new song? E: As far as I am concerned, it depends on the song. Sometimes I have the inspiration for the lyrics and then I start to compose music which matches with them. Sometimes else the process is exactly the opposite and I start from the music to get to the lyrics later.
D: I just imagine a new tune and start developing in on piano. If the other guys of the band can find inspiration on it and start adding their own parts, then it becomes a new song for the band.
A: It’s always different, I can draw inspiration by basically anything (music, readings, dialogues with people of all kinds), and then come up with a guitar riff, or a drum groove, a lyric… even a song title which pops into my mind can sometime be an interesting starting point; actually I think we’ve written, or finished, some of our best material by already having a title ready. It kind of led us where the song was meant to go.
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? E: By now music downloading is unavoidable. I think you can freely download it, but if you really want to support the band you listen to, then you should go to its gig and/or buy its CDs and its official merchandising. Nowadays it's the only way for a band to earn something from their music, I think.
D: Sometimes I think that music must be listened for free, the same as all the other arts, but I understand that the common wish of gaining by doing what we like to do the most is quite irresistible. And right too, in some way. A: You cannot beat the Internet, it’s like fighting against the windmills, really. The negative side effect is that nowadays people can give music for granted, and this inevitably leads to its depreciation.
What would be your dreams for the band? E: To be recognised as inspiration for other bands.
D: To be the icon of a new music style.
A: To have a place in the heart of music lovers.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? E: I really like Italian Prog Death, like Novembre, Edenshade, Faust and Sadist, but also the one from other countries (Opeth, Augury, Cynic, The Faceless, Edge of Sanity, In Mourning, Obscura, Persefone, Phlebotomized). Besides, I also like listening to Funeral Doom (Funeral, Evoken, Ahab, Pantheist, Ea), Death Doom (Paradise Lost, Anathema, The Gathering, Novembers Doom, Katatonia), Avantgarde Metal (Solefald, Ulver, Arcturus, Celtic Frost, Aarni, Pan.Thy.Monium) and, last but not least, something of Alternative Rock, Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Ambient, Folk Metal, Djent, Death Metal and Progressive Metal.
D: I like Within Temptation, Theatre of Tragedy, The Gathering, The Birthday Massacre, Evanescence, Matia Bazar (the 80’s chapter) the most but also love Anathema, My Dying Bride, Tristania, Leaves’ Eyes, Type 0 Negative… lots of stuff.
A: Tough question, I like it! Let’s skip the “genres” section once and for all, and I’ll skip all the bands as well. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Steven Wilson, Arvo Part, Franco Battiato, Frank Zappa, Arjen Lucassen, Devin Townsend, David Sylvian.
What do you hold most dear? E: Actually nothing. Everything is destined to decay.
D: I don’t know, really… People around me, maybe.
A: Everything that I earned, but much more than that, everything that has been presented to me.
What would be your greatest fears for the future? E: To lose inspiration, not only for music alone. To live a numb life.
D: My greatest fear is to sound boring instead of growing up as a musician.
A: To go bankrupt! No, really, musically speaking, I fear to find myself writing the same songs over and over again, just with different titles.
When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? E: Mistakes are unavoidable, hence I fear the audience noticing my mistakes.
D: I fear mistakes, everyone does.
A: Power Cuts! They kill my precious tubes! Apart from that, I fear to stand in front of an audience who couldn’t care less about what the band is playing. That’s why some sense of humour on stage is always welcome: it breaks the ice between performers and audience.
What songs and what years were they released? E: I apologize, but I don't understand this question and what you are referring to.
Have you been part of any other projects? E: Not for the moment, but I think I'm going to set up some side project.
D: I have a solo-project and a cover-project, but the second one was born just for fun and is supposed to be “for personal use only”.
A: I’ve been music manager and composer for a stage play called “Love in Shakespeare” in 2012.
Have you been in any other bands? E: Yes, but nothing serious, constant or special.
D: Not at all.
A: Yes, and as a coincidence every project disbanded after the first Demo or Promo or whatever. I think this is not going to be the case.
What do you work with outside of the band and the music? E: At the moment I'm going to study Eastern languages, but I'm also fond of writing and I plan to publish something in the future.
D. I work as a technician, but that’s not my cup of tea… I feel more like a princess or such ahahahah
A: PhD Student.
What would you do if there was no music? E: I would probably write all the time and have difficulties to express myself.
D: I’d try to invent it.
A: I’d join Davide and try to invent it.
How important are your fans? E: Since we are just a studio project, we have not so much contact with our fans, but luckily there's some of them who follow us despite all, even though we don't give concerts.
D: Don’t know really, but when I listen to compliments and appreciations by someone who likes our music, all the brightness and thankfulness goes in my eyes. I guess fans are a very important part of what we do.
A: Well, knowing that your music has got a meaning for other people besides yourself Is a great feeling, it kind of reminds me about the reason why I make music: to communicate.
What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? E: To state that we were great... (?)
D: To name a song which actually wasn’t included on the show setlist and say it was his favorite.
A: A friend of mine misspelled our band’s name, virtually turning us into a grindcore band named “Frozen Carcass”.
How often do you rehearse? E:  It happenedjust one or two times so far.
Where do you rehearse? E: We rehearsed in a studio near Milan. We don't have our own.
Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? E: "De solo Corde", not the old one that you can find on YouTube, but its new version, and "Nevermore the Sun", not available online at the moment because it’s on the new album, too.
D: I love “Nevermore the Sun” and “The Moodswing”, can’t wait to play them live on stage.
A: “Sold Out” and “Nevermore the Sun”. And I love airdrumming to the whole album.
What do you feel is the best liveband you've seen? E: Undoubtedly Sigur Rós, but Katatonia were great too.
D: Definitely Within Temptation, that’s one of my favorite bands.
A: Novembre.
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? E: I don't know just because to live of my music is not my aim, but to the second part of the question I can answer: I think that an artist is that person who has a different sensibility, who perceive the world in a different way, and I still play although I'm not famous and I don't earn anything for this reason: because I need it to express myself and what I feel.
D: People don’t need to get their music listened, famous or such, they just need to work on it. That’s why we go on anyway.
A: I think that what’s been done up to now is music for music’s sake (if you pardon my paraphrasing of Oscar Wilde). I can almost perceive that kind of driving force within me which makes me feel alive whenever I play music or get involved into any kind of musical project. For me, music is life’s most exquisite nourishment.
Do you have any webpages? E: Yes, of course! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In the near future we’ll probably also be on BandCamp.
Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? E: I'm not that experienced, unfortunately.
D: Be yourselves and go on in making this dream called music become true… Yeah, I know, I’m so dull…
A: Do not play odd tempo songs just so you can write “Prog” on your band’s Facebook profile, do not slow down a two-note bass riff just so you can write “Doom” on your band’s Facebook profile. Aim at feelings, not at genres.
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