Rage continue to show how positive was the change of line up. With Mike Terrana and Victor Smolski the band earn the teamwork that it's leader Peavy Wagner always tried to find. Both musicians choose to stay after helping Wagner to finish Ghosts when the old line up decide to leave the band in the middle of the production. Then came Welcome To The Other Side, one of the most complex albums on Rage's career and which has more progressive influences. One year later the band continues with Unity which sound comes back to the dark power metal roots of the band.
Let's check on this interview the opinion of all band members about how they join the band, the way they feel together right now and their impression of the last two albums.
Peavy, tell us, about how did you became a trio! What did happened in Rage?
The former band musicians decided to become 'pop stars', said they didn't wanna play metal anymore, coz this wouldn't have a future. This sounded like they were only in the band to become rich & famous and had no real interest in making this kind of music. So I was not unhappy when they left the band in the middle of the production of Ghosts. The only problem was to find musicians to finish the album, coz I had invested a lot of money meanwhile. They should have gone earlier, so I could have recorded the album already with Mike & Victor. Whatever, this was the birth of the best Rage ever.
How and when Mike Terrana and Victor Smolski met Peavy Wagner? How do you get to know each other?
I got tips from other musicians, also I knew some albums they recorded with other artists. I got their phone numbers and called them. We made a session to find out, if we could do it and the chemistry was there immediately. We agreed to give it a try and so far we didn't regret it.
How good is team work in Rage now?
It's perfect! There hasn't been a better teamwork in the band ever before. We share it all...
Welcome To The Other Side is a very complex work, many arrangements, effects and influence mixture. Which was the source of inspiration for Welcome To The Other Side?
We all have different backgrounds and influences. Victor studied classic half his life, Mike is a lot into fusion and I have a singer / songwriter background.
How was the composing process for Welcome To The Other Side
We took a lot time to work out all kind of different ideas we had, spent also a lot time and effort in arranging and recording / mixing the album. Victor and I work out our song ideas roughly before we come together. Also Mike is starting to learn piano to compose more in the future...
All tracks on Welcome To The Other Side offer something different, they all have a different air how do you do that? What did you do to make that each song sounded different?
It's in the arrangement of the instruments. Especially Victor is also a master of creating different sounds both on guitar and keys, he knows all techniques...
There are many influences in your music, I find many progressive influences in your two latest album. How do you describe the style of music of today's Rage?
High class metal at it's best!
Mike Terrana and Victor Smolski brought new influences to the band. How does this influences are reflected on Welcome To The Other Side and Unity?
The band is playing on a higher level now, musical and technical. Besides of the progressive influence it's of course also Victor's songs that haven't been there before. Check out also our newest album Unity for this!
How was the production process for Welcome To The Other Side and for Unity?
We started in August 2000 and worked till Christmas that year. We produced ourselves, something that was not so easy, coz we lost maybe a bit the eye for the main things and went too much into details. That's why we worked with producer Charlie Bauerfeind for our new CD, which is production wise a lot heavier.
I saw you at the Wacken Open Air festival and the show was remarkable, one of the best in the whole festival in my opinion. But many people are asking, if you will tour again with the orchestra. Do you have plans to make gigs with an orchestra?
Nothing to speak about at the moment. We only might do this again for certain events. As we worked this orchestra thing quite a long time, we think we don't want to overdo it, so we stopped for now.
Which are the plans of Rage for the future with the new album Unity?
Our new album Unity it's out on SPV / Steamhammer since May, 13th. We play European festivals over summer and do a co-headlining tour together with Primal Fear in September / October here in Europe.
Any plans for touring in South America?
Not now, unfortunately.
Many fans said that you are the brain of Rage, but now new band members are also involved in composition process. How do you feel with this fact?
That's what I always wanted. It's inspiring and very creative. Rage was always meant to be a band, not a solo project.
How do you feel with the new line up?
Perfect, it's a dream team.
What gave you the strength and the inspiration to make this drastic line up change?
The old guys were pulling me down, Mike & Victor are lifting me up, that's the best that could happen to me...
Which are the differences between Welcome To The Other Side / Unity and the previous albums?
Welcome spans a bow from the older power style to the orchestrated phase of the band and shows up new progressive elements for the future which is now to hear on Unity, an album that focuses on the rough and aggressive power metal face of Rage.
What do you think about today metal scene? Right now there are many bands, some of this bands are doing more of the same thing, but some other ones are trying to innovate with creative stuff. What do you think about it?
I think the scene is more alive than ever, which brings young bands to the top and young new fans to the concerts. Also the established bands get a kick for new creativity from this.
What do you think about the music that ex-Rage members are doing right now?
Do you have in mind a solo project in the future?
I want to do a solo album some when in the future , but I didn't plan anything certain. I'm collecting material for the moment.
What's you gear for bass playing?
ESP and Yamaha bass guitars, Ampeg SVT 2 & 8.10 cabinets, Tech 21 Landmark bass amp, Pyramid strings.
Mike, how do you feel with Rage right now?
I feel good playing with Rage. I really enjoy playing live with the band. It's a lot of fun and the songs cool.
How are doing to play with Rage and with your other bands and projects at the same time?
I schedule everything around the main priority, which is Rage. I make many other recording sessions and make drum clinic tours. It's nice way to keep in shape when I am not working with Rage.
How did you get along with the composition process of Welcome To The Other Side?
I was not involved very much with the composition of that CD. I co-wrote one song called Sister Demon, which consisted of the main riff, and I wrote some text for the liner notes and for some spoken word sections on the CD. I also helped with the arrangement of some of the songs, but that does not count for a song writing credit.
Which was your main contribution to Rage's new sound?
I am known for combining power and technique. So I guess that's what the fans notice or like in the sound of the new CD's. I also like to help with the CD artwork and cover concepts.
Many people said that you add a fresh air to the band because your style combines a fast and aggressive style with a progressive style. What do you think about it?
I would agree with that statement. I am just happy to play and that people can hear me and see me. I played for years in America where it was hard to get noticed.
For all your fans in Venezuela and South America please describe your drum kit?
Premier Signia Marquee Silver with Sparkle finish
2- 22" Bass Drums
1 - 14" wood snare
2- Sets of 14" Hi Hats
3- 8" Splash Cymbals with
6" bells mounted inside
DW 5000 Bass Drum Pedals
Attack Drum Heads
Vic Firth Sticks
I have heard you voice in Welcome To The Other Side and The Heretic, you have a great voice to narrate stuff, any plans to take more part of your voice?
Thanks! Yes, I have a few other projects in the works where I plan to do more narration. I really enjoy this kind of work. I would like to do more in the future. My voice is also used in the bands intro tape when we play live. I think the kids like it....me too! :-)
Victor, how do you feel with Rage right now?
I feel good with Rage. We are very happy about our new CD Unity.
Which was your main contribution to Rage's new sound?
I try to make the sound very aggressive and dry, because with dry guitar sound you listen more fingers-working. Also I made all arrangement and play keyboards.
You have to deal with the work of two guitar players and also with the keyboard playing. How do you feel about it? How are you getting along with such a task? How do you deal on stage with the songs that use to have two guitars?
For live-shows we used keyboards on mini-disk. With all songs, where many guitar tracks in studio, I make live-version with the most important parts. On the same way I worked for old songs.
Many people said that Rage now have a guitar virtuoso on board and that you are combination of guitar playing style of Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen. What do you think about it? Which are your main influences on guitar playing?
I try to create my style of playing and not make copy of Satriani or Malmsteen.
You have many skills to compose classical stuff and I understand that you studied music in Russia. Is that true? Are you into classic music? Which are your main influences?
My influences to play guitar come from all different style of music (from classic 'til jazz). When I composed, it's no different for me between heavy metal or classic.
I hope this gives you a few answers about what's going on with Rage and it won't be the last time we talk with them.