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Peavy Wagner: Speak of the Rage

Peavy Wagner: Speak of the Rage
BANDS : Rage

There’s not much time left until Peavy’s Rage will come upon the Romanian fans, on the 8th of September, at Arenele Romane, in Bucharest. We thought that Peavy had a lot of thoughts to share, on the brink of this event, but either he didn’t have any, or he didn’t felt like sharing too much with us. But, despite his short, admonishing answers, there are definitely some interesting things to read here, as he speaks about his time with Mekong Delta, the Ephtimiades brothers and he promises the best setlist for the coming concert:

 

Rage 2007: Andre Hilgers, Peavy Wagner, Victor Smolski

 


Metalfan: You have grown up in a musical environment dominated by classical music, but you turned to heavy metal, how did this happen? I mean usually people who love classical music do not understand those awfully loud distorted noises made by heavy metal bands, hahaha. How did you go from classical music to metal?
Peavy: Classical music and heavy metal are not so far away from each other. First, when I was a boy I loved the Beatles, later I got into Motörhead and switched over to bass...

Metalfan: In what way do you think classical music and heavy metal are related? Do you think there is a connection between them?
Peavy: It’s a similarity, just with different instruments, I’d say.

Metalfan: What are the difficulties and the joys when you mix metal with classical music, what problems does one have to deal with? 
Peavy: The band arrangements need to be lighter, to have more space for the additional (orchestral) instruments. Besides this offers a lot more possibilities for more complex arrangements. It’s just a lot of work...

Metalfan: What other bands have impressed you with their ability to combine heavy metal and classical music? What do you think about Therion, Nightwish, Yngwie Malmsteen?
Peavy: In what sense do these artists work with classical music??? Because they have some choir singers or keyboards or play some other scales than pentatonic? That doesn’t really make it, I’d say. No, Deep Purple made it first in ‘69, check this out. Or give a try to John Mclaughlins Mahavishnu Orchestra, that’s good...

Metalfan: How do feel the music of the band has evolved? The critics have their opinion about the albums in your catalogue, but how do you see it? How far is the Rage of today is from the Rage of the 80s?
Peavy: In fact we developed as musicians, now we work really professional and do a good job as players, composers and arrangers. In the eighties we were kids that liked metal and made what they could but we were quite limited in our musical expression. Today we know what we do, what we want and how to achieve it (musically, I mean). That’s especially since we have Vic in the band, he’s really an extraordinary musician that has learned music since his childhood like nearly no one else in this scene...

 

Peavy Wagner

 

 

Metalfan: You must have written how many songs by now? More than a hundred? Do you still know them all? The riffs, the chord progressions? If I asked you to play a song off your first record could you do it right away?
Peavy: Only Prayers of Steel maybe, or one or two others that I remember spontaneously but it’s no big deal to listen and remember the stuff. I think it’s several hundred songs that I wrote and published over these 23 or more years. Most are released on albums, others exist at least as demos or notes...

Metalfan: What is the biggest change you witnessed in 20 years of career on the metal scene?
Peavy: There’s so much more bands around these days, when I started it was a handful of them. The scene is more divided in different segments today but in general it’s quite similar...

Metalfan: I have some questions regarding some of the musicians you played with, during your career with Rage. Let’s start with Jörg Michael. He was a founding member of the band, back in the days when it was called Avenger, in 1984. How did you meet him and what was he like back then? How was it to work with him and why did he leave the band? Are you still friends, have you met ever since?
Peavy: Of course I meet Jörg sometimes, he works for our former booking agency and he’s one of the Wacken organizers. We have a good relationship. We found him through a magazine add that we gave up with Avenger in ‘83. He left together with the other members of the first line-up, because they wanted to change Rage into a hard rock band. I disagreed and started Rage anew with different musicians.

Metalfan: How about Manni Schmidt? How did you meet him and what does come to your mind first when you think about the times he was playing the guitar in Rage?
Peavy: Only good memories. I still have a good relation to him, too. A friend of us told us about him in ‘87 and we invited him for a session. He left because he wanted to concentrate on his family in ‘93...

Metalfan: Both Manni and Jörg went on to play with other bands, but what happened with the Eftimiadis brothers? They seemed to disappeared after they left Rage.
Peavy: These fuckers started a pop band after leaving. This bullshit fucked up after a while and they disappeared to where they belong: into the big nothing, let’s speak about something better, these guys have treated everybody, me & the fans very badly, fuck’em...

Metalfan: So what is there to tell about Mike Terrana? How did he get into the band? And why did he want out, it seemed like he was having a great time and the band had the strongest line-up ever.
Peavy: He was suggested by our management company in ‘99. We had 8 years together, it was a strong line-up, surely and we were disappointed that it ended this way. In his last year in Rage he changed drastically, became very closed and acted very aggressive. In the end he didn’t speak with us anymore. We tried to meet with him several times but he refused to come, so in last December we had no other choice than to quit him.

 

Andre Hilgers

 

 

Metalfan: Andre Hilgers replaced Mike earlier this year. How’s working with a new drummer after all these years you were used with Mike’s way of playing?
Peavy: It’s actually a lot better to work with him. Mike was always a kind of solo star, Andre is a real band worker. His style fits a bit better to us, he plays more metal while Mike did a lot of fusion stuff. We don’t miss him. Our quality level is at least the same like before, maybe it became a bit more homogeneous and we have a lot more fun...

Metalfan: The addition of Victor Smolski to the band proved to be another inspired decision from your part, how did he convince you he was up to the task? He’s such a prolific composer so I guess he is more involved in terms of songwriting than the previous guitar players? 
Peavy: Vic I learned to know as a studio professional who helped me to finish the Ghost album recordings. He’s far off as a musician and today he’s our musical supervisor. No one compares to him...

Metalfan: What changes did his arrival bring in the way the band’s works on the songs, or in the way it performs on stage?
Peavy: Since Vic we became real pros’. I learned a lot about composing and arranging, even as a singer...

 

Victor Smolski

 

 

Metalfan: With so many musicians coming and going in the Rage line-up over the years, one might think that you know every single heavy metal musician in Germany, hahaha. Seriously now, how is the scene, do you know each other, are you friends with the guys from the other bands?
Peavy: That’s simply not true! Rage exists since a very long time. We had not more than 4 different line-ups and some smaller changes, like now when Andre replaced Mike. Each line-up lasted at least 5 years, the one with Manni and the one with Mike a lot longer. There’s a lot of other bands around that have a lot more line-up changes than Rage had. And then remember, that change happens sometimes. People develop and have different views and life-plans after a couple of years, that’s a normal thing. Bands that keep a line-up over a lot longer period are mostly very successful, so the money keeps the members together, even if they hate each other meanwhile, think of that...
But in general, of course we know all the other bands and musicians and there’s some friendship between all of us, what else?

Metalfan: Most of the time Rage performed as a trio, but there were also periods when there were 4 members in the band. Which works best and why?
Peavy: A trio I like a lot more... my taste.

Metalfan: Do you consider yourself to be a bass player who sings or a singer who plays bass guitar?
Peavy: I’m simply both, see it however you like... also I’m a songwriter, don’t forget.

Metalfan: You are with the band from the beginning and since the mid ‘80s you’re the only remaining founding member. How far is Rage (or was in the past) from being your solo project?
Peavy: It’s my band and my life but it never was a solo project, otherwise I wouldn't share all income with my band mates, or?

Metalfan: What was your involvement with the progressive legend Mekong Delta? Did you write any songs or play on any of their albums? Do you know about their reunion, they’re planning to release a new album.
Peavy: Legend? You use this word very easy. I was involved as guitar player (first demo), singer and lyric writer on the first two albums (Jake Jenkins, my pseudonym), on the 3rd Ralph wanted my Gema money for himself, so I was kicked out (thank you, man, I didn’t forget that). I have their new album but I don’t like it too much...

 

 

Metalfan: Rage became popular as a straightforward power metal band and so the release of the symphonic album Lingua Mortis in 1996, followed by XIII and Ghosts, was an unexpected change of direction. What was it that resurrected your interest for classical music?
Peavy: I never lost this interest (how can you think that) and have dreamed to do something like that from the beginning. When the chance was there, I grabbed it...

Metalfan: What are the differences between recording a heavy metal album and a symphonic-oriented album, like Speak of the Dead, with a full orchestra?
Peavy: Speak Of The Dead is not oriented. It consists of two parts. The Suite is a fully orchestrated piece, the same and even better like the stuff we did on the Lingua Mortis and XIII album. The other half of Speak Of The Dead is just metal. We would have released it as two CDs but our company Nuclear Blast refused this idea...

Metalfan: Tell us about your mascot, this biomechanical creature that is the main character of Soundchaser. He has been featured on the covers of your albums long before Soundchaser, did you have a story for him since the beginning? What is his history, who created him and how did he became what he is today?
Peavy: He’s an invention of Joachim Luetke and is on our covers since ‘88, the story is explained on the Soundchaser CD booklet, you would know if you’d bought it... [I did buy the CD, Peavy. it explains about the character, not about a mascot…]

Metalfan: Speak of the Dead has the classical side and the heavy metal side, it’s unusual, it’s like at the time you recorded it you just couldn’t decide which way to go... Was it all planned since the beginning to have this kind of material?
Peavy: The 10th Anniversary of the Lingua Mortis phase, so we did something new in this direction but didn’t want to do only this, that’s all...

Metalfan: How is the new team doing in terms of songwriting? There’s one new song to be heard on the Nuclear Blast Anniversary album, is this how the next album Rage will sound like or was it just a warm up session?
Peavy: Vic & I write the songs like we always did before, no change of that...

Metalfan: What inspires you to write music?
Peavy: Life and passion for it...

Metalfan: In the end, please tell us what are your expectations regarding your show in Romania, on the 8th September, what can we expect to see from Rage on stage and also leave a message for all the people who will be there for you.
Peavy: You can expect a real ass kicking metal show with a best of setlist. Can’t wait to see you, be there, my friends!  Cheers, Peavy
Thanks!

Autor: Klawz, Nebelhexa
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Rage

   August 28, 2007  | 28 Comments  | 12531 Views « BACK

Comment on: Peavy Wagner: Speak of the Rage

  • arogant individ. As fi preferat un interviu cu smolsky, ala e muzicianul din trupa.

    1. Posted by fingers | 28 August 2007 23:29
  • pai are de ce sa fie arogant

    2. Posted by IUDA | 29 August 2007 02:06
  • O fi avand, dar e arogant intr-un mod cat se poate de neplacut.

    3. Posted by Oana | 29 August 2007 06:47
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