Because POWERS COURT released their new album “The Red Mist Of Endenmore” we had some questions concerning the story behind. Read here the nice and detailed answered questions by fronter Danie. |
First of all thank you for having this interview with us!
Danie: It’s my pleasure! Thank you for so much for asking!
Could you first tell us something about you and the band?
Danie: A little history about the band then! POWERS COURT was formed in 1990 under the name EQUINOX and we released our first three-song demo in 1993. Our first full length CD was self-titled and self-financed and came out in 1996 under the name POWERS COURT. The next release was entitled “Nine Kinds Of Hell” and was released on Dragonheart Records as is our newest release, “The Red Mist Of Endenmore”.
What would you call your genre and what is your specialty compared to other bands?
Danie: That’s a difficult question! Everyone now seems to want every band categorized and if a band doesn’t easily fit into some ‘paint by numbers’ category, they are beaten up for it.
For instance, we’ve been categorized as ‘power metal’, well we obviously don’t fit into that genre, so we started saying we were ‘dark power metal’ to try show that we are different from the average power metal band. My lyrics are sometimes occult oriented, the storylines are dark, sometimes they are horror themed or what might be termed as Gothic horror type themes, you know classic horror like Edgar Allan Poe, etc., I use unique vocals harmonies based on madrigal, Gregorian chanting and choir type singing, we try to create an atmosphere to match the storyline for each song, etc., etc.,
With the newest release, “The Red Mist Of Endenmore, we’re hearing ‘progressive’ in a lot of the descriptions, so now I guess we add in progressive. I realize it probably is easier on metal fans if there is a specific genre they’re interested in to have these descriptions, but it’s very frustrating for a band like ours because we pride ourselves on being creative and original. Originality means you don’t normally fit into any one category 100% of the time, there are different elements in each song and each album has it’s own personality but if you give our CDs a few spins, I think you’ll realize that we have our own unique sound and approach to making albums. I have found that our fan base generally consists of people that are in general a lot more intelligent and like to be challenged. If someone just wants ‘flavor of the week’ metal to play as background noise, then we’re not his or her band. If someone is more cerebral and likes something with heart and soul that’s well thought out and has true meaning to it, they are generally a big fan of ours.
Our speciality? We try our very best to make our music a true experience for our listeners vs. just cranking out one after another song that’s verse-chorus-verse-chorus predictable.
When I first started writing I had an older musician say to me, “Whatever you do, try to make each song timeless. That way when your fans hear your music, they can enjoy it over and over and even years from now, they will be able to pull the CD out and still enjoy it!” I thought that was excellent advice and I really try to take that timeless factor into consideration with each song I write because something what’s ‘in’ now won’t necessarily be enjoyable to someone 10 years from now. We’re kind of aiming for what the original greats like Black Sabbath, Rush, Led Zeppelin, etc., type bands were doing when they created music. Their music has withstood the test of time in my opinion, that is what a true musician and artist should be all about I think. We do definitely take into account some modern elements, I play a seven-string guitar on some songs, I utilize different instruments, different tunings, up to date production and sound techniques, but again the storytelling needs to be timeless.
Your new album is based on a story, what is it about, where did you get the idea from and what is the concept behind your songs?
Danie: The story is about an evil landowner who fancies the daughter of the Pagan Village Chieftain. He uses black magic and sorcery to woo her, but things go awry after they are married because the magic is not strong enough to keep her and other arcane forces are involved that cause her to stray. I don’t want to ruin the companion book I’ve just written to go with the CD for the fans by giving the entire story away, but just know it’s a very exciting story that takes place in the mythological place I’ve created called, ‘Endenmore’ and it tells of this rich landowner and how he brings about the downfall of the entire region with his evil plotting, black magic and extreme violence. It is a full length novella in paperback format that will flesh out the CD and make it larger than life and more fun for the fans. The book will just enrich the CD experience for them and will be available through our website and myspace page as soon as it’s in print. If fans are interested in getting on a list to be notified when it’s available, feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The term ‘Red Mist’ came from a conversation I had with a friend of mine. She said that she was so mad she wanted to beat someone into a ‘red mist’. So I thought, “Hmm…what would it be like to write a story and concept based around something like that? About someone losing control to the point where they beat someone until there is nothing left but a red mist?” From there the rest just kind of slowly unfolded in my mind.
What is your favourite song on this album and why?
Danie: Well each one has it’s own personality and it’s kind of like asking someone to name their favorite child. *laughs* I guess the one that really stuck with me was, ‘Vain Regrets’ for some reason. I like how the guitar is so sad and expressive and the lyrics are pretty deep in my opinion.
I have to say that I am sure your album needs getting used to by many people and it is really strange especially the vocals and the big progressive influence. But all the same I really like your songs. How did you manage to do this?
Danie: Based on the reviews we’ve gotten so far, I guess I have to agree with you. Our music is more technical and involved than what the majority of listeners are being spoon-fed. Originality is something that’s not being applauded and explored right now; trends seem to have taken over metal just like pop, so apparently it’s kind of a shock to some listeners when they first hear us, we really weren’t aware we were that ‘strange’ as you say.
We’ve been compared to CONTROL DENIED and DEATH most often recently and those bands were a lot more technical than we are, but that’s the general consensus, that we’re really progressive. Others say that fans of MANILLA ROAD, BROCAS HELM, CIRITH UNGOL and OMEN will get into what we do.
The thing is, the songs are reflecting the theme of the CD. It’s about a furious rampage, a violent murderer and the story is full of the swirling chaos that’s taking place in his mind and in the lives of these people he’s involved with, therefore the music reflects that mood. It’s not stereotypical ‘happy’ power metal. I don’t write happy metal, I don’t think metal is about being happy, but that’s just my opinion.
It’s really great that you like the songs! Thank you for saying that! Again, it’s generally people that are more intelligent that seem to be open to and stimulated by our music. I have a really heavy classical background and Beethoven, Mozart and Wagner were huge influences on me. “The Red Mist Of Endenmore” is essentially a dark metal opera of sorts.
I think that people will just have to visit our myspace page and get a sampling if they’re curious about what we sound like.
How would you describe the songwriting process?
Danie: Generally when I practice guitar, I jam around and riffs come to me. I pick out the ones we all feel the most, the ones that have the most energy, etc., I write the song according to how the tune makes me feel, what mood, etc., I then add the lyrics accordingly. I present the songs to the other guys and they put their parts in, the bass and drums, and together we iron out the timing, etc., Other times I will write complete sets of lyrics and based on the mood or theme of the lyrics, I write the guitar around that. Other times a vocal line comes to me and I write the song starting with the main vocal line. So each song is different really, but that’s the gist of it.
What are your feelings concerning music?
Danie: I think that is probably the most difficult question I have ever been asked! Music has gotten me through some really horrific times in my life and actually kept me sane and at other times music has been the source of my utmost agony.
As a musician, music can be the source of the greatest joy you will ever experience in your lifetime. Songwriting especially for me has always been the most incredible high, but at other times and because of the business side of music or like in having to deal with some bandmates in the course of your career that just don’t share the same passion or dedication that I do, it is the most stressful and heart wrenching thing you can ever possibly imagine. If you’re in a metal band, you can’t do it all yourself and you need at least three people. Steve Murray (bassist) has always shared my same passion for this, unfortunately through the years it’s been really difficult to find that third member that’s willing to sacrifice everything to get this music out there and it’s just been really, really heartbreaking at times.
So I have a lot of mixed emotions about music, it’s like this cruel lover, most of the time it’s just so good you cannot let it go and even when it’s really bad you still cannot let it go. I cannot imagine myself ever not making music. Even with all the setbacks, heartaches and hassles, it’s still my life’s blood and what makes me want to continue living.
I would like to thank you very sincerely Mandragora for allowing me a chance to express my feelings and give the fans more insight into how POWERS COURT works and what the new CD, “The Red Mist of Endenmore” is all about. Your questions were very intelligent and well thought out and I appreciate very much the time you took to come up these!
Hope to meet you sometime in the future!