I heard of the Spanish band Easy Rider a few years ago for the first time. Now they are back with a new album and a new singer and they will tour in Germany later this year. More then just one reason to talk to them!
Please let's travel back in time... Tell us about the beginning of the band and who you came up with the band name!
For us the name Easy Rider is a way of life. The bike, the road and the freedom not to be tied to anything. For me personally, the name also describes the bands' lifestyle; traveling around the world only with our instruments, the road, the stages. The name was actually suggested by a friend of the band. We all liked it and what it stood for and so we decided it would be a good choice.
Your debut album was called Perfecta Creación and had Spanish lyrics. Why do started with a Spanish album? Why do you decided afterwards to continue in English?
When we were in the process of recording Perfecta Creación, the songs were entirely composed in English, but our previous record company had feared releasing in Spain a disc sung in English. This became the reason for rewriting some songs in Spanish. Ironically, the song that had the most success in Spain was Stranger (one of the English sung tunes). It was because of this that the record label gave us the freedom to record our music as we liked.
Please tell us about the following releases Lord Of The Storm and Evilution! What are the differences for you between these albums?
Lord Of The Storm was recorded in 1998 and marked the first Easy Rider album to be sung completely in English. I believe the album contains many strong songs and the ones that we play 'live' such as Seven and Savage Rage always are crowd pleasers. Evilution was released in 2000 and was a natural progression as far as musical style for the band. On certain songs there was even more of a hard edge than on the previous album but aside from that, I don't believe there was a major change in direction musically.
What inspires you musically?
Musically, we always keep an open mind to all the influences that we can absorb without style being a concern. In the writing process, it's important that our music gives off much energy but without compromising melody.
How do you choose the topics? What inspires you lyrically?
Well, the song's lyrics are varied. There are some that speak of the personal experiences that we all have and the way we view our world as well as some fictional themes or songs that speak of legends.
Who is doing the artwork? Is it based on an idea of the band?
The artwork featured on the last two albums was created by an artist named Carlos Diaz. Carlos does many of the covers for Locomotive Music. On Evilution he developed a character we nicknamed the 'Metal Angel'. On this album he is changing from good to evil... more or less. The two colors signify Heaven and Hell as well as the songs on the album deal with biblical themes of good and evil. On the Regeneration album, we, the band, thought it would be cool to use the 'angel' again and so Diaz designed the new album cover as well. Although the concept of the new art was an original idea of him, it reflected some symbolism that expressed what was happening with Easy Rider. The fact for example that the 'angel' is tied to a cross represented the pain and frustration the band was going through because of the loss of it's previous members. The name Regeneration and the subject of the song's lyrics also represented 'where the band was' at the time. New members, a new album, a new beginning.
In 2000 you toured in Spain when your singer left the band. What happened?
As much as it is always dramatic when a band loses a member, the leaving of Eugenio was rather quick and unexpected. It was at a concert on the Evilution tour. And Eugenio left the tour that evening. When we called him by telephone to discuss why he left that night, he told us he was leaving the band and gave us no warning or reason.
Afterwards your drummer left for personal reasons. Was it a surprise for you?
I suppose it was a surprise. It is unfortunate, because Tony had been with the band since the very beginning, but he felt that he needed to change his priorities at the time.
Why did it took so long to find new members? In the biography it says that you found Ron Finn due to the help of Savatage's Chris Caffery. How did you get in touch with Caffery?
Ron had met Chris when he auditioned for the vocalist slot in Savatage. After being invited to Spain to audition for us, we felt he was the logical choice. Why it took so long was because there really wasn't anyone who impressed us during that long period of auditions. We almost were starting to feel discouraged, but then we received Ron's CD and soon after that we were writing our first song together.
Was it a surprise for you that Caffery came up with Ron Finn?
Actually Ron's referral came from Savatage's management. Chris's role was inviting Ron to audition for Savatage. We all feel happy to have made the connection that brought us together.
Have you auditioned any other singers? Before or while you were talking with Ron about it?
Before Ron auditioned, we had listened to other singers, but when we auditioned Ron and we spoke to him we knew that he was our man.
Why do you re-record Stranger?
We had wanted to rerecord Stranger during the recording of Evilution. We didn't have a chance to do it then and so we felt it was an appropriate time to record it with Ron and Rafa. This was also a way to introduce the new members to the fans of the band with an older classic song.
Will you record again a track in Spanish? Somewhere in the future?
It is difficult to predict the future, but because Ron speaks English and we had chosen since the beginning to write our music with English sung lyrics, we'll most likely continue that way. Besides, it would probably be more difficult for Ron to sing in a different language.
How did Patrick Rondat become involved? Why did he just play a solo on Freedom Fighter?
We met Patrick during the recording of Regeneration, Elegy was in the same studio recording their new album and we discussed with Patrick during lunch the possibility of having him record a solo over one of our new songs. He obliged and ripped out an incredible solo over Freedom Fighter!
Why haven't you asked Chris Caffery to play a part on your album? Or didn't he has enough time?
Not a bad idea! Maybe for the next album, if our schedules permit, we could ask him!
You produced the album yourself and you did a great job. Do you think that a producer, who isn't involved like you, couldn't understand how you imagine your sound?
No, I'm sure that there are people who could do a wonderful job with our music. In the past I had always produced Easy Rider's demos, the Evilution album as well as some production work on Lord... and Perfecta. The guys and Locomotive are happy with my work.
Or do you think that it's more effective to spend the money for something else rather than for a big name producer?
Nobody has the secret that ensures success. A great name can help a band have their music heard by more people. We are really very happy with the present result, but that doesn't mean that in a future we wouldn't consider working with another producer.
I guess you already got some reactions, even if it were mainly media people. How are the reactions so far?
The reactions have been extremely positive as well as was the reaction to our first live performance together in Lugo, Spain recently! If this is a sign of things to come, we can only hope for a positive future. We are all very excited!
What about touring? A tour with Tierra Santa is planned for Germany... Any more touring plans?
For the moment all the tour dates which are confirmed are listed on our website www.easyrider.listen.to The tour consists of a couple of festivals in Spain in October and a complete Spanish tour in November that we will 'cap off' with the Germany / Austria dates. Any updates can be found at our website. We can't wait to get back out on the road and to play for the fans!
What do you expect from the shows in Germany?
I know the album has been selling fairly well in Germany, so we can only hope that the fans will give us a warm welcome!
Why should fans visit your website? What can they find there?
Aside from the tourdates, the fans can find the latest as well as previous news on the band, a band history, album reviews, music Mp3's and plenty of photos as well as links to related musical bands and topics. Once again our homepage is www.easyrider.listen.to
Many young bands say that the internet helped them a lot. You are around for several years. Did you feel a positive effect for your band?
Yes, it has also made the songwriting process much easier for us too. We trade ideas with the help of the internet using Mp3's and such and it has made life a lot simpler! I think that the intenet is a fabulous tool in which fans can discover bands such as Easy Rider and to be able to always listen to new music as well as read the latest news on their favorite artists.
There are not many bands we know from Spain... Even if there are more bands these days which come from Spain like Baron Rojo, Heroes Del Silencio, Tierra Santa and Mägo De Oz. But still not too many... Why do you think that still there are just an handful of bands who make themselves known outside Spain?
The language can be a wall. Many of the bands you speak of are well known in areas such as South America. The natural markets for Spanish bands are the countries that speak Spanish. There are not many bands from Spain that sing in English. I'm sure also that some music fans have only recently discovered Spanish bands and are appreciating them for the first time. I believe there is a lot of talent within Spain that will continue to grow.
From bands that played Spain I heard that the Spanish audience is pretty good and that there is a metal scene. Do you see that there is progress? That the scene is becoming bigger?
The audiences in Spain have always been receptive of music in general. The thing about metal is that even if it becomes slightly less popular at times, it never completely dies! As long as there will be metal fans there will be bands like Easy Rider!
What are your plans for the future of Easy Rider?
Well, to complete the tour and to get back into the studio to record the next album. We already have started putting together some ideas for the next one.
Famous last words.... Anything you want to tell your fans?
We can't wait to see you on the Regeneratour and to share the excitement and energy that makes metal concerts so special. In the meantime, play the album loud and we will see you all very soon!
I hope that you learned something about Easy Rider and that you'll take your chance to see them live. And I agree, meanwhile you should listen to the album!