Out of Denmark comes WUTHERING HEIGHTS, a very sensational Melodic Prog/Power Metal band that features among others members of TIME MACHINE and TAD MOROSE. The band has just released their 2nd CD 'To travel for evermore' and leader Erik Ravn was kind enough to answer the questions I had. Let's see what he has to say...
Please introduce us
your band, when did you form WUTHERING HEIGHTS and did any of you
play in bands before WUTHERING HEIGHTS?
Itīs a long story, you know. But I started, as you do, by forming a band with some mates from school, when we had just started listening to metal, that was back in 1989. We couldnīt really play very well, but we managed to make a demotape - which I to this day believe has the worst production in music history... Anyway, we had some line-up changes, and made another demo, and based on that, we eventually got a recorddeal with German label Prophecy Productions. Then when we had finally recorded our album, the label didnīt want to release it! Luckily it wasnīt long before American label The Laserīs Edge/Sensory came in and saved the day. They bought us out of our German contract and sent us straight into the studio to record the whole album again! This time we had recruted the wellknown Swedish vocalist Kristian "Krille" Andrén as well as producer Jacob Hansen (known from Invocator amongst others). We released our debut "Within" in 1999, and now we have just released our second album called "To Travel For Evermore", and weīre soon going to record the third one. Besides "Krille", you may know our guitarist Henrik Flyman, who played with Moahni Moahna and now also plays with Zool, drummer Morten Sørensen from Aurora and our keyboardplayer Rune Brink, who has worked with Cornerstone recently. As a special guest we have Lorenzo Dehó from Time Machine on some bass parts.
Please tell us more
about your first album 'Within'...
Well, as I said it was a hard struggle to get it made. But it turned out rather good in the end. At least the response was quite phenomenal. If you only know our new album, then I would describe "Within" as not very different. It is the same style, but naturally we have improved a bit as musicians since then. We had quite a clear vision of what we wanted to do, even on our first album, so it is a rather confident debut, I would say. If you like "To Travel...", you will probably like "Within" as well.
How did you get signed
to an Amercan label (Sensory)?
Well, they had heard the first version of "Within", I guess. They contacted our management with an offer, and we accepted.
4) You changed the line-up, please tell us about the new members and whom they replaced?
The bassplayer and the drummer left. I guess they wanted more of a bar-band feeling, maybe being more commercial, just having fun, you know. But Wuthering Heights is a serious working unit with a musical vision, so we had to find some people with a more professional attitude. So we got our new drummer Morten Sørensen, who is really a genius. He joined the band two weeks before we entered the studio, and he played all the songs perfectly. He has really boosted our sound, because he has so much energy in his playing. And then we have added an extra guitarist, Henrik Flyman. Not only because of his great soloing, but also because we have a lot of guitar-harmonies, so we really need two guitarists live. In the old days we were always a twin-guitar band, so itīs nice to be able to do those things again. We didnīt have a regular bass player on "To Travel...", but we have just teamed up with Erik Grandin, who played with Mayadome, and he is gonna play on the next album.
How did you get in
touch with the TAD MOROSE and TIME MACHINE members?
Through our management, Intromental. They have a lot of contacts, so that was actually rather easy. So far Intromental has been able to get us out of all our trouble...hehe.
Can you tell us all
about your fantastic new CD 'To travel for evermore'?
We recorded it with Tommy Hansen, who is known for his work with Helloween, amongst others. That was great. He has a lot of experience, both with mixing and stuff, but he also knows about different types of guitars and amps, so I got to try a lot of stuff - very cool. And he seemed happy to make a real heavy metal record...hehehe. He really knew how to get the sounds in my head onto tape, if you know what I mean (do you have sounds in your head, Erik...do you hear voices too??? hahaha). Anyway, before we went in the studio, I had spent almost a year doing preproduction at my homestudio. So it was really a big project, and I was a little worried, if it would work out at all. Luckily, it seems it did.
I believe this new CD
is a part of trilogy, please tell us all about it?\
It is the second part of a somewhat conceptual trilogy. I wrote most of the songs for all three albums during the early nineties, so they sort of go together. The songs describe this journey through life - sort of a quest for understanding of the universe and your own place in it. So, it is definitely not a fantasy story, as some might think. Itīs all based on my own experiences. Since I write the lyrics before I write the music, the music tries to describe the various moods of the lyrics. I believe music and lyrics should really work together. I hate it, when bands make great music and the throw in some crap lyrics. But thatīs probably just me, because I wouldnīt know what music to write, if I didnīt have the lyrics.
progressive/power metal with a lot of excellent melodies, who
The first metalbands that I heard was Helloween and Iron Maiden. Also Manowar and Riot (around Thundersteel and Privilege of power) were early influences. But before I started on metal, I was into symphonic rock from the 70īs, like Styx and Supertramp - I still love that stuff a lot. Today I also listen to some of the more progressive 70īs bands, like Genesis. Then, of course, thereīs the folk music. I have always loved the celtic sound, but at some point in time I tried to blend it with the metal, and it worked. Thereīs the same energy in the folky fiddling and the metal shreddin, I think. I also have to mention inspirations that are not musical but just as important. I am a huge Tolkien fan. He really got me interested in words and language and is the reason that I put so much work into the lyrics. And also nature is a big inspiration. You will find lots of weather, trees, light and
shadows and so on in my lyrics.
How's the scene in
Denmark, how much did bands like PRETTY MAIDS and ROYAL HUNT
influenced you and the whole prog/Hardrock/Metal genre?
I canīt say, that they have influenced me. They are really bigger outside Denmark. I donīt think many people in Denmark know Royal Hunt. So thatīs not what you hear on the radio, when youīre a kid here. I like the first couple of Pretty Maids albums, though. But most Danish bands have tried to make more radiofriendly music. There hasnīt been much room for experiments. Strange really, because in the 70īs Denmark was really a progressive country with a lot of really great, innovative bands. But that has sadly changed. And as far as metal goes, the scene today is almost non-existing. So you have to look to other countries both for inspiration and to promote your own stuff.
What are the plans for
the next coming months? (any touring plans or future studio
Iīm very busy making preproduction for the next album, which we will start recording in May, again with the mighty Tommy Hansen. So far I think itīs looking to be really great. The stuff really grooves and sticks in your ears, so Iīm quite excited about it. And if that record goes reasonably well with the fans, there should be a chance that we will go out and play before long.
Finally, do you have
anything to add to our readers?
Well, I hope you will take a chance and listen to our new album, and if you do, that you like it. If you like real music played with passion, you could do a lot worse. Rock on !
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