Artist: Power Quest
Date: 8 April 2012
We catch up with long time favourites Power Quest after their storming performance at this years PPM Fest 2012, Mons, to find out how they felt today's set went and what's next for the band.
- How are you feeling after today's performance?
- I'm going to reverse your question, because I know you guys have
seen us perform many times before over the years, I'm interested in
hearing what you guys thought of the show.
Rich - I've seen a totally different side to things with this festival to that of the UK scene, because over in the UK the promoters and festivals don't really know how to treat people properly. Over here they really look after you. They feed you, they put you up in hotels, they even pick you up from the hotel and bring you here. There's none of that in the UK. In the UK they think they are doing you a favour by letting you play at their festival. In the UK you wouldn't even get a glass of beer off them, you get nothing.
- Well when you think of the cost of the tickets and for that you're
getting 32 bands spread over 3 days, you can't complain can you.
Colin - I got a bit of a shock when we went backstage and saw all the food laid out. I was afraid to touch it as I couldn't believe it was for us. I thought it must have been for the headline act, but they said to us, to eat whatever we wanted. I couldn't believe it, not only that but you got a dinner on top of it! (laughs). We were all pretty amazed by that. It was like that everywhere we went, even in the smaller places where they obviously didn't have very much money, but they still made a big effort to give us plenty to eat and to make us feel welcome.
- I think that has a lot to do with the promoters this side of the
water, with a lot of English promoters it seems to be all about the
money. The bands come second and the money always seems to come
first. A lot of promoters don't seem to promote the shows properly
in the UK either. When we first arrived in Mons and went for a walk
around the town, you simply couldn't move around the town without seeing
posters promoting the festival. Everywhere had a poster up, even the little
newsagents. Quite often when you go to a gig in the UK you can't
find a poster up anywhere, including quite often the venue itself!
Colin - Yes it was great to see all the happy smiley faces out there looking back at us.
Rich - It was great to finally meet some of our overseas fans in person for the first time today. The guy with the Power Quest tattoo (Kristoffer Thorsheim), that was amazing. How many people people do you see walking around with Power Quest tattooed down their arm?
Steve - Not only that but it had a really intricate design all around it and then underneath it had ... "Be aware, don't be scared, we will survive" ... It was a really intricate and beautiful design.
Rich - Yeh, total respect to Kris for having that done.
Steve - Well I can't wait to see his next tattoo. Unbelievably, his next tattoo is going to be me!
- Wow! With or without the beard?
- Following on from the Freedom Call tour, do you think you might go out
on tour with the band again?
Rich - Those last five shows were absolutely amazing. It's really brought a spark back into us as well. A previous UK thing did not necessarily work out how we'd hoped ... a certain show at the beginning of the year. (Rich is referring to the now infamous Artic Festival in London which was badly promoted and poorly attended).
- Going back slightly before that festival we had the show at the Snooty
Fox in Wakefield. Colin, I know that was your very first show with
the band, the response to the band that night was absolutely phenomenal.
There was so much energy from everyone.
- You have a video of that night, have you decided what you're going to
do with it yet?
- So you videoed a concert / concerts while you were on tour with
Freedom Call then?
Rich - The light show and everything was just captured perfectly. It was all just really, really good.
Steve - In a way I wish that last show had been the only show that had been filmed, but as I say to these guys and to anyone who will listen really, you're only ever as good as your last show. The intention being that your next show will be even better. That's what we came here to try and do. We wanted to top what we'd done three or four weeks ago. The response to today's show was really good, so now I think we'll sit back and have a drink and reflect on how we felt it went.
- Do you think you might use that footage as bonus material on an album?
When you look at the PQ back catalogue you have 'Wings', 'Neverworld' and 'Magic', which all kind of fit together as a unit in a lot of ways. Then you have 'Master of Illusions' which was quite a curve-ball for a lot of people. It had a more modern production. Then 'Blood Alliance' was a slight tangent again, with a different vocal style and the twin guitar thing. It was a completely different line-up and a completely different sound. We now have to decide do we come back to where we were before and continue with a more updated version of that, or do we just continue on from where we left off with 'Blood Alliance'. At the moment we're just writing songs and seeing what comes out, what feels natural to us.
Colin - There's a lot of different personalities in the band now as well. I think when 'Blood Alliance' was written, there was still a bit of flux with the line-up, so maybe everyone didn't have that much of an input on the songs.
Steve - Yes I think most of that album was written before most of the guys were in the band properly. Although they were in for the pre-production process. We have developed a slightly different way of working in the last couple of years. It's much more organic and natural. The emphasis is there to give everybody more ownership of things. I encourage everyone to put forward their ideas and if I don't like it, I'll tell them, but if the other guys like it then we'll discuss it. It's not a dictatorship and I fully encourage everyone to come up with ideas, even if it's just a line or a lyric here and a melody line there.
- You recently asked the fans if there were any of the older songs
they'd like you to re-record with Colin singing the vocals on.
What was the thought behind that?
Rich - Potentially we could have three albums out in the near future because there's so much material we've got ideas on.
- Last time we spoke you mentioned you were investigating the different
avenues available to the band, to release the next album through.
How are these progressing?
It would be a limited edition release for the fans and then we'd also offer some additional incentive such as producer credits or a ticket for life to the shows. I think it's a great idea. I'm not saying if you have a thousand investors you give away a thousand tickets for life, as you'd never sell any tickets to any shows again. But if you perhaps offered something like the golden ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and offered maybe five of these tickets for life, that would work. These are all ideas we're considering at the moment. We're just looking for something unique to offer the fans.
The reason we're considering doing the "best of" from the first three albums is that we own the rights to those, as well as it being quite a long time ago since they were released. Not only that, but it would be bringing in what Colin and all the rest of the guys have to offer to those songs.
Rich - I've been a Power Quest fan for years and just the thought of being able to do something like that with the old songs really excites me.
- Even now when you hear the band perform the older songs in the
shows, the songs sound different. Each member of the band has put
their own stamp on the songs and in particular when you hear the
twin guitars of Andy and Gav, it's just amazing. I really don't think
those two guys realise just how good they are and on stage seeing the
way they interact with each other is a real joy to watch.
Steve - I also think that one of the most amazing things is that both on and off stage they are inseparable. They go everywhere together, they do everything together, it's really great to see.
Colin - When we were out touring in Europe someone actually described Gav as "Sunshine Boy" because he's always smiling. People definitely responded well to seeing him coming on stage each night and smiling the whole time he was playing. They liked that individual's character they saw before them.
MM - I thought it was great to hear so many people chanting "Power Quest!, Power Quest!" at the end of your set today and wanting to hear you play more. You're the first non-headliner we've heard people do that to this weekend.
Steve - I think that there seems to be this thing these days where bands simply say "thank you very much" when they're finished their set and they just walk off stage. I prefer to get everyone involved, like we did today, getting everyone involved in the photo. I prefer to really pay attention to the people in the crowd, not just the ones at the front but also the ones right at the back and point them out. It's always a real thrill to hear the band's name being chanted after we've done a set though.
Rich - This has definitely been the best festival we've done to date.
- I thoroughly enjoyed your set today and have always thought that up on
a big stage is always where Power Quest belong. I think Colin
quite enjoyed it as well! (laughs).
Steve - Yes, I think we even had a very small circle pit at the beginning of the set at one of our other European shows.
MM - Merchandise, have
you decided which direction you'll go with that in future?
MM - What's next for
MM - Well thanks again
guys for taking the time out to chat with us today and we look
forward to seeing you all again in the Autumn.
With that we let the guys go back to meeting and greeting the fans, both old and newly acquired after theirfantastic set at the festival today. We'd like to thank Steve, Rich and Colin for taking the time out to chat with us and can't wait to hear the new material when it's ready.
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