'Unboxed: The Truth Behind The Band'
San Diego’s Benedictum, led by the outrageous Veronica Freeman, returned this past March with its second Locomotive Records album, Seasons Of Tragedy.
Freeman has one of the most extraordinary voices in all of metal. She, and the band, were widely hailed upon their 2006 Uncreation debut. Now, with Seasons Of Tragedy, Benedictum fulfills the promise it showed by transcending its Power Metal roots to achieve an across-the-board Heavy Metal totality that owes as much to Traditional Metal as it does to Prog, Thrash and Power.
With guitarist Pete Wells, bassist Jesse Wright and drummer Paul Courtois waging war behind Freeman, the band has never been stronger. Buoyed by the rush of touring with Doro, and psyched by the guest appearances on the album of some of their friends, Benedictum is ready to rock.
Benedictum has never sounded this self-assured and righteous. Seasons Of Tragedy is sure to win the band a legion of new fans.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? Veronica Freeman "Collectively we have a wide variety of influences.
For Pete it would primarily be old Ozzy with Randy Rhoads and of course Dokken, Pantera and Megadeth for Jesse, Dream Theater for Paul, and Keith Emerson for Tony."
"As far as I am concerned the more the merrier! From Rush to Dio to Tina Turner! I try to listen to as many different types of music and artists as possible so that I can always learn from a new perspective and it teaches me a lot about different approaches to music in general."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound ... and how does it differ from your debut Locomotive Records release 'Uncreation'? "It's really hard to put Benedictum in a box and say that’s our sound. Because we have such a vast diversity of influences and they all show up at some point in the music. I would say power metal that touches on old thrash and classic metal. I would say the main difference between CD’s is the diversity of the songs. Also, the over all sonic quality of the album. I think we are still finding out what we are going to be when we grow up!"
Your new album title 'Seasons Of Tragedy' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a theme to it, perhaps? "When the idea for the song “Seasons of Tragedy” was being formed we really felt strongly about the title. We thought it had a certain power to it and decided to name the album “Seasons of Tragedy” as well. The album itself is not a concept album but the song does convey the story of a journey of a soul through life as it strives for enlightenment. For me it is somewhat of a personal perspective since I am always trying to become a bit more enlightened as I travel my own personal path. Music is a great way for me to take an introspective look and express and exorcise, if you will, some of my own personal demons (I have plenty ha ha)!"
Indeed, how easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "There is no doubt that there is always pressure to create and build on what has gone before. That is something I stressed about a lot with the second album. At the “end of the day” however you just have to do what you do and feel passionate about it and hope that others will enjoy it too! You have to go with the flow of your ideas, I think it is important to grow musically and still maintain that feel you have for what you love to do."
Please tell us more about a couple of your fav songs from this new CD and what they mean to you on a more personal level? "We all have our favorites!!!! Beast in the fields is on every ones list. Others would be Seasons of Tragedy which was the type of song we wanted to do for the first album but the timing was right yet and as we bonded as musicians we had a lot of fun writing it, Bare Bones- I think we like the groove on that one, and Steel Rain- because it was such a departure from my usual aggression . We were all pretty excited about how the new CD came out, it was a cool process for all involved."
During the recording of this new CD did anything weird happen in the studio ... anything unexpected, perhaps?! "Honestly the weirdest thing that ever happens to Benedictum in the studio or out of it… is PETE…. He is a clown 24/7!!!!!!! But we love him!"
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked by a charity organization... and why that one in particular?! "OK OK I know it was already done (a live version by Nirvana I think) but “My Sharona” …. Why?? Oh who the hell knows?… fun song… very cheesy but fun…. Then we would be run out of town.. which could happen anyway but what the hell!"
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball here, but Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Penguins rock :D!!!!!! living in San Diego, we have access to Sea World and we love to go hang out there and have some fun!!! Pete has Paul have annual passes. Besides they are always dressed for formal dinner!!"
Thanx again for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future - "Thanks so much for this opportunity to share our world with you! We appreciate that you “showed us some love” :-)"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of this brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Veronica was formerly in three (3) bands: Medusa, Malady, and ... which other one?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new CDs AUTOGRAPHED by Veronica and the boys! Just send us an e:mail here before July 15th with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED BENEDICTUM CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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