VIDARR / LEGENDRY
💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal VIDARR of LEGENDRY!! Welcome!!
Thanks for inviting me to discuss the new album!
💿 On Nov 1st was out your third full-length, THE WIZARD AND THE TOWER KEEP (our thoughts about on line in the following days). Can you tell us somethin' about its composition process and style? You really hit us!!
The genesis of the album goes back to the novelette I wrote of the same name. I was inspired by the writing style of Neil Peart, in that he wrote prose introductions on his original lyric sheets. It was late one evening while I was watching a documentary film about Rush, when I saw these in a few shots, and paused the film to sit down and write a story of my own. As the night wore on, I wrote the first half of the story in a long session, and completed it over the following weeks. The novelette was then published in October of 2018 by Millhaven Press in their Fierce Tales anthology series (which also bears a cover which I painted, depicting our Warrior with No Name). From then, Kicker, Evil, and I set about to writing the music for the album. We wrote each song as it appears on the album, basing them on sequential segments of the story. You may note the rising complexity of the songs as the album progresses: this is a side-effect of writing in this way. When composing the riffs and rhythmic patterns, we focused on what we were trying to represent, thematically.
💿 Can you tell us somethin’ about the birth and the name of your band? Which artists or bands impressed you the most as musician in your early days?
The name of the band comes from a phrase in Robert E. Howard’s essay on Cimmeria, and refers to a body of legends surrounding a figure or time. We found it to suit our sound well, and were quite happy to find a one-word band name that had remained unclaimed! As for which bands/artists impressed me as a musician, “early days” can mean a number of things. I have been a great fan of music for as long as I can remember. As a child, my favorite bands were Dixie Dregs and Deep Purple, and as I got older, my tastes ran the scale of extremes, into Metallica and Slayer, and then finally into black metal like Bathory and Darkthrone. Beyond the metal influences, bands and musicians like King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and Rush have been long-time favorites.
💿 First platter via HIGH ROLLER RECORDS.. Can you tell us somethin' about relationships with them?
High Roller has been fantastic to work with through the whole process of creating and releasing the album. They not only gave us complete creative freedom in all aspects of the music and art, but put faith in us to film a music video for the track, Vindicator.
💿 There's a great return of format such as vinyl and cassette. What's your thinking about these classic formats, love for vintage or is it impossible a future for music outside digital?
Of course the physical formats are preferred, mainly because they contain (generally speaking) higher resolution sound, or analog sound. This being said, my preferred format is still CDs, while vinyl and cassettes are more ritualistic in general. Digital is, however, much more convenient when it comes to discovering new music. I have spent many hours and evenings working at the computer on art or otherwise while discovering obscure progressive rock albums from the 70s I may have never heard otherwise.
💿 Inside your songs what’s the role of lyrics in the composition process? Words follow music or vice versa?
With the process on this recent album, the order is prose story first, writing the music, then lyrics to follow the music, which are based on the original prose. I find that this writing method gives the music a uniquely appropriate “feeling” to the songs, and also allows me to write lyrics within the rhythm of the song. I use a rhyming dictionary and thesaurus through this process, and revise my lyrics several times before a final draft is created.
💿 Can you tell us somethin’ about your live plans?
At this time we have no scheduled live appearances. There will be a return to the stage in 2020.
💿 We love the cover of THE WIZARD…!! Can you tell us somethin'about?
Thanks! I painted the cover as we were preparing to enter the studio last year. Its size is 48”x24” and is oil on canvas.
The logo was painted on a separate 8”x10” canvas, and the slipcase was yet another painting on a 16”x20” canvas.
So, there was quite a bit to do, even before the final layout. When I paint in this style, I take a great deal of influence from the works of Frank Frazetta, and try to capture at least a fraction of the magic of his paintings.
It may not be perfect, but it is something honest and real, there is no digital tampering within the cover image (and the logo/slipcase paintings are only modified so that they fit their purposes).
💿 You come from PENNSYLVANIA..How much is alive your local metal scene?
There are a number of great heavy metal bands in the area, and we now have the Metal Immortal Festival, organized by Deb, the vocalist from Lady Beast, of Pittsburgh.
While our home town seems more keen to accept death/grind/doom hybrid bands, there is a growing scene of classic-styled heavy metal bands.
💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal!
Thanks for the interview!
Metal Immortal Festival
High Roller Records