Benedictum
with Veronica on Jan 06, 2008

Yoúr new album "Seasons of Tragedy" will soon be released. I’m quite impressed by the songs “Steel Rain” and the title song. Unfortunately the song “Catch the Rainbow” isn’t on the promo. I would like to ask you some questions.
  What is the main difference between Seasons of Tragedy and Uncreation?
I think that a lot of the difference is in the over all sound, the production quality and mastering, the whole package. It just “sounds” better and we are very happy with it.

The other thing that is of note is that there is a bit more of a variety of songs on this new album.. We stretched ourselves a bit more and took a few chances but I think it paid off in the over all sound of the album. Even though Seasons of Tragedy is not a concept album if you listen closely you will find some musical threads that run throughout. :)


Uncreation was quite successful, wasn’t it hard to make an album with the pressure of the success of the first album?
Oh indeed yes! I constantly had to have Pete calm me down about the whole thing. I was ecstatic for about one month after the release of “Uncreation” and the reviews that followed then one morning it hit me like a brick! “We have to come up with round two!!” I was stressing really badly about that and was so happy to be surrounded by friends during the whole process. Pete and I went to work as usual and of course we have Paul and Jesse to help us with our sound but the reality is, as I am sure that many bands will tell you, the second one is always the hardest!

Can you tell me something about the writing process?
Basically the writing process remained the same, Pete would throw down some insane riffs and I would listen to them over and over…. Then I get inspired with melodies and lyrics.

That has remained the same, it is in the song writing structure that we have learned the most. Where as with the first album we needed much more mentoring, with “Seasons” we brought most (not all ha ha ) of the songs to the table with better arrangements

Who came up the idea of Seasons of Tragedy and what does the title stand for, what does it mean?
Ok the song “Seasons of Tragedy” was an idea I had… a song about the journey of a soul through life. Each season is represented with a message and of course the music changes for each season as well. The message is to encourage the soul on its path toward enlightenment. Each season is also represented by a bird that transmits the message, the wise owl of winter, the sparrow of spring, the raven of summer and the eagle of autumn. Kind of a visual journey as well.

  the songs description the term “Seasons Theme” is mentioned. What does it mean?
Aaah… you need to listen to the album again :)...there is a recurring riff throughout the album. It pops up here and there and returns again in the song “Seasons of Tragedy”. That is the “seasons theme”

  On the song “Burn it Out” there is a great guitar duel between Pete and Manni. How does Pete perform this duel live? I thing it’s hard to play a duel on your own.
Great question!!!!!!!!!! So I will let Pete answer that----Yes that would be incredibly difficult to pull off a guitar duel with one guitar player. We may have the battle go back and fourth between guitar and keyboards. Our keyboardist Tony is an excellent soloist and I know we can do something exciting and powerful using those elements and also bring an exciting element to our live show with Pete and Tony going back and fourth!!!!!!!

  There are a lot of keyboards on the album by Chris Morgan. He isn’t part of the line up of the promo information. Who is playing the keyboards (hopefully the keyboards aren’t sampled on stage)?
We have a new keyboard player named Tony Diaz and we are working him in to the fold. I think he will be a great addition to Benedictum as we move forward.

  In my point of view the song Balls to the Wall (Accept) doesn’t fit on Seasons of Tragedy, the metal choir hasn’t anything to do with Benedictum. Why do you cover the song?
Well I guess we are all entitled to our opinions. We had a lot of fun with that song and I thought it would be cool to have a woman sing it. It was also a blast to have George Lynch on board for the solo. It was meant to be a lot of fun.

  It is obviously clear you are influenced by bands Dio and Dokken. Are there other bands of persons you are influenced by?
I love bands like Queen, and especially Rush! Some other vocalists I love are Etta James and Sarah Vaughn. I like a lot of different styles of music and try to learn from all of the different approaches I hear.

  Who came up the idea of the name Benedictum and why?
Benedictum was the name of a song that was on our first album. It was also included in our demo that we sent out during the time we were shopping for a record deal. When Locomotive picked us up they didn’t like the name we had at the time which was Bound (and there was another band with that name) and they recommended that we go with Benedictum. We weren’t too thrilled at first but we are used to it now. We cant imagine not being Benedictum.

  By what events or subjects are you inspired when you write songs?
By things that I go through in my own life mostly and at times there will just be something that pops into my head and I think damn that would be cool to write about. Writing is very cathartic for me.

  Do the songs on Seasons of Tragedy have a same subject or are the songs all apart songs?
Seasons of Tragedy is not a concept album. We did however like the flow of things

  What are the songs about?
Shell shock- about war from a soldiers perspective.

Burn it out- gotta go faster! About my motorcycle ha ha.

Bare bones- Getting down to the truth of a matter without bullshit!

Legacy- our lives are our legacy….use your time well.

Within the Solace- trying to do the right thing but still get screwed and being tired of that.

Beast in the Field- be wary of the darkness….its there!

Nobodies Victim- self explanatory :).

Steel Rain- heartache and sadness and rising from it.

Seasons of Tragedy- journey to enlightenment.

  What does the art work show, what does it express?
The artist was chosen by the label Hjules Havanscak and we are really pleased with how it turned out. He had a free hand as to what he wanted to do and then we worked at adding some more elements of the actual song, like the birds that you see owl, raven, eagle and sparrow all are from the song Seasons of Tragedy.

  The release date of Seasons of Tragedy was a lot earlier. What was the reason of that delay?
I really don’t know, I get asked this a lot lately. I am sure it had something to do with promotional reasons.

  In 2006 you played in Dynamo – Eindhoven, the sound was awful; much too hard and most of the time the mix wasn’t good. Does that influence the performance of the show? How do you deal with that?
Oh my do we remember that show! We had one problem after another. It was a struggle but we still had fun and as you know the sound off the stage is often not reflected by what we hear through the monitors on the stage. It is always disappointing to play your ass off and then find out that the sound sucked. On some occasions we can tell but you have to deal with the hand that you are given in that moment and put on the best show that you can.

  America might get its first female president or the first non blanc president. What is your opinion about that?
I think we need a change here so I am all for it…. Bring me someone from Mars I don’t care as long as they know how to run a country!

  In your point of view what is the state of the female metal in Europe or America.
Probably better than it has ever been. I get asked about it less and less which means that it is becoming more of an acceptable thing. There are a lot of talented women in the world! :)

  Suppose every band is available, with what band would you like to tour. (Maybe a tour with After Forever, in my point of view that should be a great combination)
That would be awesome, After Forever IS AWESOME…..I think that would work just fine for me dear!

  Can you make a living of Benedictum?
Benedictum is an expensive passion right now. I look forward to the day when I can make a living at it. At this point however it is something I still invest money in.:-(

  Please fill in the following sentences:
What will be your personal ultimate goal in 2008?

To secure a place for Benedictum on the map of music. To continue to have fun doing this and maybe some day make a dollar or Euro or two!


2008 is going to be the year of Benedictum because of…


People like you who spread the word out there and fans that believe in us!

  When will you tour in Holland, especially in the neighbourhood of Landgraaf?
I am still in the dark as to our touring and am awaiting word on that. If we are anywhere near there I will track you down and hope to see you in person!!

Thank you! for the interview and I wish you a lot of success with Benedictum, maybe next time we will meet and talk to eachother.

Thank you, and as i said, next time I hope to see you in person.

(Ralph Vermeere)

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