At least in Germany you are still a relatively unknown band. So please tell me a little bit of Beholder's and the members' history? Here is a detailed biography of Beholder.
Beholder saw the light in October 1998 thanks to an idea of the singer Patrick Wire, who decided to call some friends and build up a heavy metal band.
In the first months of 1999 Beholder had the chance to perform many concerts, as the band took part in a European musical competition.
Guitar player Matt Treasure and female singer Leanan Sidhe were contacted in May 1999 and the band entered the studio in July 1999 to record their first demo called A Dream Of Eternal Majesty.
Beholder went back to the studio with the new drummer Mike Sachs in February 2000 and recorded the Between Death And Glory - chapter I promotional-CD.
In April guitar player Markus Mayer joined the band and Beholder entered the studio once again in June, to record the Between Death And Glory - chapter II promotional-CD.
After this recording bass player Andy Newmann left the band and Andy McKein took his place.
In July 2000 BEHOLDER were contacted by Enrico Paoli from Dragonheart Records (Domine, Drakkar,…). He offered them an interesting deal and the band signed it in October.
BEHOLDER entered the studio in November 2000 to record their debut album called The Legend Begins.
In January 2001 keyboard player Peter Ryan and drummer Mike Sachs left the band: the new members are Marc Vikar (keyboards) and Theus Onil (drums).
On June 9th 2001 BEHOLDER performed live at the GODS OF METAL (the biggest metal festival in Italy headlined by JUDAS PRIEST and MEGADETH).
In September 2001 drummer Theus Onil left the band and Mario Giannini from NODE took his place as a session man.
The band entered the New Sin Studio (Labyrinth, Domine,…) in April 2002 to record the second album called Wish For Destruction which contains a video clip too.
The album was released in November 2002. The excellent response from press and fans led the album to the top positions in both Italian and European metal charts.
I've been looking for the "Between death and glory"-promos for almost one year. Without success. How many promos did you produce? Well, we recorded three demos called “A dream Of Eternal Majesty”, “Between Death And Glory” and “Between Death And Glory – chapter II”. However all the copies of the first one have been destroyed! …I think every band is ashamed of its first demo!
I guess, you are you satisfied with the work of your label? Oh, yes we are. They have always worked hard for Beholder. The best thing is that they always let us free to play the music we wanted; they never told us how the record should sound. This means that they believe in us. The label manager Enrico Paoli has become a real friend!
What about the promotion work. Is it completely managed by your label? No. Pulse Promotion (a division of Metal Blade) manages the promotion all over the world except Italy. In our country it’s managed by Dragonheart Records. We are very happy of working with Pulse Promotion because it’s a big agency and they always plan a lot of interviews.
What do you think of your label and especially of their bands ? As I said we are fully satisfied with Dragonheart Records. We love Domine: we’ve played with them many times as supporters. Patrick and I sang the choirs on their last album “Stormbringer Ruler” and I even sang a duet with Morby on it. They are wonderful people! Mesmerize and Doomsword are friends too. I’d like to meet Slough Feg one day. They come from the U. S. and they are said to be completely mad!
I heard Italian Metal bands have a strong company and support each other in an exemplary way... Well, you’re right. We have a lot of bands here and we try to support each other as much as possible. We are now trying to plan a mini tour in the south of Italy: we’ll be hosted by some local bands and then they will be our guests here in the north! I think the Italian scene is very good and there are many good musicians.
In my opinion most Italian bands sound very similar to Rhapsody and Labyrinth. Right now, Doomsword, Centurion and Beholder are the only bands that have a very unique sound. What most Italian bands have in common is an epic and classical touch and opulent arrangements. Do you have an explanation why ? I think it’s just because these bands were a bit tired of the Rhapsody/Labyrinth style and so they started playing something new. There are many bands here in Italy that have nothing to do with Rhapsody and Labyrinth. Think about extreme bands like Stormlord or Node or think about Lacuna Coil… we’ve been lucky because our label had the courage to release an album (Wish For Destruction) that was far away from what people expected… They ran the risk not to satisfy the old fans and there was no guarantee about the reactions of the other metal supporters… Now we can say that it was good choice!!
It was the best choice, of course. Well, I already said before, you sound quite different. Describe the difference from your point of view. The point is that we have so many different influences… From Children Of Bodom to Gamma Ray, From AC/DC to Queen,… it’s a good thing that each member of the band has a different taste: when we work on the arrangements of a song, all these influences emerge and the final result is a mix of all these different musical feelings. This time we decided to be more aggressive and powerful, and we worked a lot on the research of interesting technological sounds that could fit to the lyrics. That’s why Wish For Destruction sound very modern and very heavy at the same time.
Then I must underline the importance of the vocal duet: it’s our „trademark”! I think it makes our sound different from every other band... I cannot think of another power metal band with male and female vocals. This is a common solution for gothic metal band, but it’s quite new in the power metal field.
What kind of feedback did you receive for "The Legend begins?". Except the vocals, the music was typical Italian Metal. Well, we received “extreme” reactions: there were people who loved it and people who hated it! That’s nice, isn’t it? It means that it can’t leave you indifferent! Well, the music was quite different from what you can hear on Wish For Destruction: it was more „classic”, there were some symphonic parts and it was often compared to Running Wild and Rhapsody but I don’t think it was so “typically Italian” because we had a massive guitar working and the keyboards never covered the guitars.
Where do you gather inspirations and who are the creative forces in your band ? Patrick (the male singer) wrote all the songs for The Legend Begins. On Wish For Destruction there are also a couple of songs written by guitar player Markus Mayer. Patrick also writes the lyrics and then I always change them a little so that they fit to my voice: every album tells a whole story and Patrick is much better than me in doing this, think that he even wrote a book! His biggest source of inspiration are Stephen King’s books!
We alreday mentioned: Your new output "Wish for destruction" is different for the "Legend"-CD. Neither dragons nor heroic warriors, but more complex arrangements and no predictable structures. In one word: experienced. A gigantic step ahead. Other bands need a few outputs for such a development. You, a very young band with young members, did it within one CD. Any reasons ? …we went to church every day for 6 months praying for a good inspiration!! I’m joking, of course! Well, I think that playing live helped us a lot. We performed many shows after the release of “The Legend Begins” and this made us improve our technical skills. Then we realised that the songs were much heavier and powerful when played on stage than the album versions and we liked them that way very much. So we started working in order to reproduce that sound on the new album. I think there was a personal growth too… we’ve become more aware of our possibilities, this time we really know what we wanted to do, we had a very clear idea about how the album should sound.
…however there were no dragons on The Legend Begins… :-)
Tell me something about the lyrical concept of "Wish for Destruction". What's the story ? As you said, Wish For Destruction is a concept album. It tells the story of 7 scientists who work with genetical technologies. They discover how to create human beings that can be programmed as computers. So they make thousands of these creatures and create an „army” of slaves because they want to become the leaders of the world. Unfortunately these „half-human beings” gain consciousness and they start thinking with their own heads and they don’t obey their creators anymore. The scientists understand that everything is out of control and that there’s no way to stop the creatures from destroying the whole world so… they make the earth explode not be killed by their own creatures. The front cover shows a group of „baby clones” and it means that human race has lost its innocence and hope.
What about your status in the Italian scene? How many visitors can you expect in a concert? It depends on how big the venue is and on how much the ticket costs! :-)
Patrick says that it depends on how short my skirt is but… I always wear trousers! I really don’t agree with those girls who exploit their physical beauty to promote their music! A good image is important but your voice is what really matters!
Did you already play concerts outside of Bella Italia? No, not yet. We are looking forward to play abroad. We hope we will soon get the chance to make a European tour as supporters for some bands!
How are the chances to see you on stage in Germany? I can speak German a bit and I like the Germans because I think they are quite similar to Italians somehow… everyone could recognise an Italian tourist in Germany and everyone can recognise a German tourist in Italy… We both are able to be citizens of the world but we always keep something of our culture in us! I really like this.
Well, this was a nice way to say that I hope we will soon have the chance to play in your country!
Well, so be prepared to do the next interview on tour in Germany in German :-)
Let's have a look beyond the music. Who are the seven elements of Beholder. What do you do for living? Some of us have a job, some of us are still studying. For us, music is a job but unfortunately we still cannot “survive” only with the album incomes. Of course we hope we’ll be “full time musicians” one day!
You don't have typical Italian names.... Yes… actually we do it just for fun. As I said, every record tells a whole story and so we thought that these “artistic names” could fit better to the concept than our real names. On “Wish For Destruction” they can be considered as the names of the seven scientists.
Then your scientist is very interesting:
"Leanan Sidhe (lan-awn shee), is a Celtic muse possessing a dark unearthly beauty. On the Isle of Man, the Leanan Sidhe is a vampiric female spirit, while on in Ireland she is the muse of poetry. Those who are inspired by her usually
live a glorious, but short life."
Another source says something like:
"Fairy who lures men to her through irresistible charms. Once lured, the men exchange their souls to her for poetic inspiration. However, if the man manages to break free from her charms, the Leanan Sidhe's powers backfire as she is forced to be his slave."
Is this description describe your character ? …oh God! Where did you find this last description? Well, I’m the sweetest person on earth… I love flowers, animals and children and I swear I’m not interested in luring anyone or in exchanging men’s souls for anything… So don’t be afraid of writing me e-mails! :-)
How would your describe your music to an alien? First of all I’d try to understand if he’s got ears… If so I’d be more interested in asking him to describe it!
A few words about the following bands: Rhapsody
– I only like their first album
– Their new look is very nice
– I don’t know them very much…
– better than Manowar!
– their singer has got the greatest voice I’ve ever heard in the heavy metal field
Well done. That's all for now. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer all those questions. Hope to see you soon on tour in Germany. Maybe with a skirt :-)
The final words are your words... First of all I’d like to thank you very much for this nice interview. Then I invite everyone to visit our web site www.beholderofficial.com where you will also find many MP3s from our demos and albums.
I hope we will soon meet on the road!