interviuri rock

Interview with a voyager: Warrel Dane (Nevermore)

Interview with a voyager: Warrel Dane (Nevermore)
BANDS : Nevermore, Warrel Dane

"Almost eight years ago" says Warrel Dane about the date of his tour together with Soilwork (and Annihilator - at least for the show in Targu Mures where we had the pleasure to see all of them). Shouldn't he remember that, I was going to think that it was much less time. Such was the impression that all three band left upon me. But with an ascending young Soilwork and with a slightly descending Annihilator, Nevermore was definitely the star of the night. Two studio albums and hundreds of touring days later, Warrel Dane leaves an equally powerful mark on people with his opinions about poetry, music, politics, and various people. The pretext for our chat was the near release of the band's first ever DVD on the 11th of October, which Warrel was promoting from the Century Media office in Dortmund. Enjoy!


Nevermore 2008: Van Williams, Jim Sheppard, Warrel Dane, Jeff Loomis


Metalfan: First and foremost, why did it take so long for this DVD to come out? Many bands with similar experience have one or two released by now.
Warrel: We just wanted to be sure that we get it right, there was lots of thinking to be done. And I believe that the fact that we haven’t done a DVD by now actually was a good situation, because we were able to put songs from all our albums on it.

Metalfan: Ok, but in addition, the release of the DVD was postponed a couple of times and some of the fans were quite upset about it.
Warrel: We wanted it to be perfect and unfortunately it took more time than we wanted it to. There was footage that we were trying to use that a documentary filmmaker had shot with us and we were not able to use it, and the editing took a long time, but I’m really glad that we worked things out. And finally it’s worth, even if it took a long time.

Metalfan: How much were you involved in the making of the DVD. Apart from being filmed during the shows and all (haha), what were your other inputs?
Warrel: Of course it was being filmed, the selection of the songs and all that. But in the editing part we’ve came to work with a studio in Germany and they are great in making DVDs, they edited the concert after it was shot at their headquarters in Berlin. And they were involved in all aspects, we just gave them input in little details here and there, but they took over everything and did a very good job.


Jeff Loomis


Metalfan: There was another show, shot in Seattle in front of your hometown fans, and that was supposed to be included in the DVD as well. The show didn’t make the list after all, what happened?
Warrel: The person who filmed the show was not able to give us the footage. He was missing for quite some time, nobody knew what happened to him...

Metalfan: He’s still alive, right?
Warrel: Haha... I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t know. I don’t know if I will ever see that footage, so we had to move on... C’mon, man, it was not a good situation actually.

Metalfan: Sorry to hear that. I believe that you have to get that footage at some point in the future. I presume the atmosphere at that show was impressive – after all it’s your „homebase”.
Warrel: Well, it was. It was a very good show. There were lots of shots who might have been included, but well... this guy disappeared, nobody knows what’s going on with him. We made a mistake to let this guy film us there.

Metalfan: The setlist of the DVD, as you said, includes song that cover your entire career, it’s really like a best of; we even saw songs like Matricide and Garden Of Grey. How did you do the pick?
Warrel: It wasn’t easy choosing the songs, because we have a lot of records; so we made up a setlist that included something from each record, we worked together well and it took maybe two or three weeks when we rehearsed the songs and tweaking up a setlist that will probably be perfect. We argued about it quite a bit, but in the end this is what we came up with. And I think we did a good job, but you know there will probably always some songs that people would argue about if they need to be or don’t need to be... at the end of the day, still, we cannot put all our songs into the setlist.

Metalfan: Most of us know you from a very band called Sanctuary that we often used to watch during The Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. Have you even thought of including some Sanctuary stuff in the setlist? As far as I know, there was no live DVD for Sanctuary either.
Warrel: Yes, it was a very good band, haha. I thought that people might like to see some songs from them as well, but unfortunately Sony still owns the right for those songs and it would have been hard to push through all the legal bullshit to include the songs in the DVD.

Metalfan: Yes, it’s difficult to face the army of lawyers from Sony, haha.
Warrel: Something like that, haha.


Jim Sheppard


Metalfan: We were also impressed with the DVD artwork, it’s quite amazing. The cover resembles a movie poster, as a layout. How did you come up with the idea, who has drawn it?
Warrel: There is a guy named Colin Marks and he does artwork for different bands. We just came to him, told him the title, gave him the DVD to listen to and that’s what he came up with.

Metalfan: So that was it? He did the drawing and you approved? Did he came we several proposal for you to choose from?
Warrel: No, no several proposals. We gave him the title and told him we want to see what he would come up with. And the whole thing was his idea only. Of course we saw some things in the rough stages, like sketches, but we told him they are looking great and then he did everything on his own.

Metalfan: How linked is the DVD title with the song I, Voyager from The Enemies Of Reality?
Warrel: Well, there is a link with the song, but the thing is that at a certain moment we were touring for so long, that in the last day of the tour, before coming home, that we felt we don’t have a home anymore and I said to someone ”Because we’re all voyagers!”, haha. And it kind of stuck with us, you know, we had been on tour for almost a year at that moment. And then we thought we’d better call the DVD The Year of the Voyager. That’s how it happened, it was kind of an accident...




Metalfan: A fortunate accident, I would say, haha... The DVD features some songs during the Gigantour, back in 2005, if I’m not mistaken. Gigantour is organised by Dave Mustaine, who produced Sanctuary’s first album 20 years ago. Can we call Dave Mustaine „a friend of the band”, haha?
Warrel: I guess so, yeah, haha. He pretty much discovered Sanctuary, I guess. We met him and he wanted to produce our record; and that was so many years ago. So it was great when we did the Gigantour because we met him again and we became friends again... you know, he has such a bad reputation with people that don’t know him well and he is really not that kind of person when you sit down and talk with him. I think the media blows him out of proportions sometimes but he gave me my first music business so I have nothing bad to say about him.

Metalfan: In my humble opinion, just watching the media and all, he might be more of a guy with high standards, very demanding - than anything else. Is that right?
Warrel: I guess that’s probably true, right. He knows what he’s doing, he knows what he wants other people to do for him, some people might think that he’s too into control, but he just wants to get things right.

Metalfan: You probably watched the DVD on and on, hundreds of times. Do you think that there is something that you might improve?
Warrel: No, I don’t, but I have watched it way too many times. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it again, haha. I watched over and over and over and over, you know, just to make sure there are no mistakes and that everything will be ok. I think I got tired by looking at myself, so I think that everything is ok, but someone who watches it for the first time might have a different opinion.


Van Williams


Metalfan: Are you going to be a four-piece again or are you looking for a second guitarist, to replace Steve Smyth?
Warrel: Jeff and I are working at the songs first, before we do anything else. In the studio we don’t need another guitar player. When it comes to touring for our next record, that probably wouldn’t work that way, so we might look again for a second guitar player. Of course we have people in mind, but we’re not going to talk about it in this initial stage. I’ll never tell, you can’t get it out of me, hahaha!

Metalfan: Well, because you started talking about writing the songs, what’s up with the next Nevermore record?
Warrel: Well, we’re working on it right now and it will be out next year for sure.

Metalfan: Anything more specific? Apart from „2009”, I’m aware that this is the year that follows, haha?
Warrel: That’s right, hahaha. Well, we don’t have an album title yet, we don’t have the song titles yet and we’re still working hard on songs, so this is the only thing I can tell you right now.



Metalfan: Let’s talk now a bit about your solo record. How did your band mates receive this idea when your first told them?
Warrel: Well, everybody was... they never had a problem with that, with a side project. Our drummer had a side project a few years ago and they were all ok with the idea... so, it’s fine.

Metalfan: What did they think of the record? Were they honest with you or were they very very friendly and everyone said they like it a lot, haha?
Warrel: Of course they are going to tell me they like it, if you want to find an honest answer you’d have to ask them, hahaha.

Metalfan: Dave Budbill, the Sancturay drummer was initially reported to be involved in this solo project. What happened was there a change of plans?
Warrel: I talked to him and it seemed to me that it would be a good idea to have him play the drums on this record; unfortunately, things got complicated and it would have been not easy to have him play all the tracks. I’m still in contact with Dave, I talk to him all the time and maybe one day we’ll do something together.

Metalfan: Your „partner in crime” for this record was Peter Wichers. Were you familiar with his previous records? Was he the first choice as a main partner alongside you?
Warrel: About eight years ago, Nevermore was on tour with Soilwork and we became really good friends, both bands sharing tour buses and parking trailers and everything. So we were always talking about doing some kind of project.

Metalfan: Well, I don’t know if you remember that particular concert, but we had the pleasure of seeing you and Soilwork opening a show for Annihilator in Romania, in Targu Mures, a city in Transsylvania. The word „Transsylvania” may trigger some memories, haha.
Warrel: Yes, yes, I remember that show, now I remember...

Metalfan: So it was during that tour that you guys found common musical interests.
Warrel: Yes, after that we were always talking to each other, keeping in touch... When I decided to do this record, he was the first person that I called. We had a good time and a great working relationship.

Metalfan: How significant was Peter’s input in songwriting?
Warrel: We worked together on the songwriting, and of course he was coming up with the guitar parts and I was coming up with all the lyrics and the vocal lines and everything and we were helping each other to make good songs sound better and it was just working that way. Things would work out great, we never even argued about anything when we were writing all the stuff. He’s a really great writer, and I really like all the stuff that he did with Soilwork. And I think that with this record he had the opportunity to be a bit different, more of an old hard rock type and that was great, because this is something that I always wanted to do with him. And I love him more than we started, some years ago. And I think for him it was nice to do something not so technical and not so heavy as Soilwork. So what we came up with were some hard rock metal songs, I guess, haha.


Warrel Dane


Metalfan: What is the meaning of the album title. What is The War Machine, who runs it?
Warrel: I think that the title is kind of a reflection of what is going in the world right now. I think that now there’s too many people having too much power and profiteering of human suffering and war, and that’s what the title is supposed to mean.

Metalfan: You seem to be fond of Paul Simon’s music. Patterns is the second cover that’s you’ve done of him. Are you a big fan?
Warrel: Yes, on Dead Hearts In A Dead World we did a cover on one of his songs and I guess we pretty much destroyed it, haha. But I’m a big fan and of the lyrics that he wrote, especially on the old records of Simon and Garfunkel. They are filled with such beautiful dark depressive poetry, but of course we liked his newer song Patterns as well, because I think the lyrics are just outstanding.

Metalfan: If I’m not mistaken, this guy had a song with Chevy Chase at some point. What do you think of that?
Warrel: Haha, yes it was a video with Chevy Chase at some point, but this is not one of his best songs for sure, haha.

Metalfan: Will there be any tour to promote your solo record or will you ever include some of the songs in Nevermore concerts?
Warrel: Well, I’m not sure that the second thing is not going to happen, but I would like to do some touring for this record. But now I’m focused on writing the songs for the Nevermore record, so it’s not in the near future.

Metalfan: Some of the lyrics contain heavy political criticism. Do you feel obliged as an artist to take a stand, to expose society’s mistakes? Or some things in the politics just piss you off, haha?
Warrel: Of course some things in the politics piss me off and I’m glad I have the opportunity to state my opinion about it and I hope that maybe people will listen and after that they can learn more about what’s going on. We’re living very strange times right now...

Metalfan: Yes, with Merrill-Lynch being acquired and all that... How come?
Warrel: Yes, Bank Of America bought Merrill-Lynch for 50 billion dollars, imagine that! And I also saw this morning some other news that sucked. Yes, the economy in America is not doing great right now, that’s for sure. I hope we’ll get out of it when we have a new president, but I don’t know what the hell is going to happen to that either, it’s kind of scary.

Metalfan: To end in a lighter note, you and Jim Sheppard are both certified chefs. How did end up with this titles?
Warrel: You know, every musician has to have a second job. This is how we were supporting ourselves in the early days. We would work very hard, get up in the morning, go to work, come back, then go to rehearsal – day after day after day. So that’s how we paid our bills back then. And it’s good to know how to cook, because when you make someone a good meal it makes him happy.

Metalfan: We’re very curious: what’s your favourite dish to cook?
Warrel: Italian food is what I love most. I cooked Italian food for years and years and years and it will always be my favourite. Because I LOVE pasta.

Metalfan: Any last words for your fans in Romania?
Warrel: We promise to come back to play in Romania as soon as we can – maybe even next year, who knows. It’s been too long, it’s too long since we’ve last played there and we’ll work very hard for our band to be able to come to Romania!


Autor: Klawz, Tzugu
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Nevermore, Warrel Dane

   September 23, 2008  | 1 Comments  | 13927 Views « BACK

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    1. Posted by Stone | 24 Septembrie 2008 13:30

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