- The traditional first question for new bands, could you introduce Vox Tempus to our readers?
Eric - Well we've got Dan Reed (Millenium) on vocals, Ray Mantor (Equinox) handling all guitars, Jim Turba (Equinox) on bass, and myself, Eric Ragno (Takara) on keyboards. On drums is a close friend of the band, Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani).
- All the members of Vox Tempus were in some other Prog Metal bands before. And now, with Vox Tempus, you're again playing Prog Metal. Are you born to play this music only, or is it for you the only "Metal" that you really like to play?
Dan - As for me, I like many different styles of music. I have been in a few bands that where nothing close to Prog Metal. As long as I can feel the music and relate to what I am singing and playing then it's all good. Its all art full expression.
Eric - All of us enjoy a wide variety of music, and as long as it'?'s got some feeling and melody, we'll check it out! As for me, I've worked with folks in different genres of rock, yet they always end up sounding like me anyway. : )
- Tell us a bit about your first album "In The Eye Of Time", is it like a concept album?
Dan - There are definitely reoccurring themes. Those which represent the inner turmoil we all must face at one time or another. Yet only through the relation of growth through life is there a concept.
In The Eyes Of Time, first album of the band
- The cover of the cd, by Gilles Draw, is a conceptual drawing; can you explain it to us?
Dan - It probably means different things to different people. For me it represents the never ending journey for something new. We are always curious about the other side of the fence, or in this case the mirror. We tend to think that others have it better or easier then us just by a quick glance into their lives, but its really all just a matter of perspective. Yet we will continue to wish we had someone else's life and sometimes we are unlucky enough to find out first hand just how good our life really was.
- Vox Tempus, "In The Eye Of Time" "Voice Of Time", are you obsessed by the hours, the minutes and the seconds
Dan - (Laughing) I thought that was every ones favorite obsession of all, chasing father time. It's just how we are programmed to think through every day of our lives. We are constantly reminded of the time, the day, the year, how old we are, who has passed away, how we can fight off the aging process..... People are seriously obsessed with time. Its almost like a crack addiction, you can't live without it, and you will do absolutely anything, moral or immoral to acquire as much as you can.
Eric - Time is our most valuable asset. We need to be smart about how we spend it, and make every moment count - it won't come back.
- Gregg Bissonette is a guest on your album. How did you meet this famous drummer? Are you still looking for an "official" drummer? Or maybe cause of the success of your first release, Gregg will play with you some more time?
Eric - We had been through a lot of ups and downs with this album, even back when we were known as Equinox. We lost our original drummer along the way, and in the end we had to re-record the entire album! We met a lot of well-known folks along the way, people who believed in our music and who took an interest in our situation. We were referred to a number of high-profile drummers, all guys we had grown up listening to. I met with three candidates that we felt strongly about, and Gregg was clearly the nicest and the most professional. His performances on the album were amazing, and you can download video of this on our website at www.vox-tempus.com. It's really something to see!
Gregg is totally on board with what we're doing, and asked that we keep him apprised of live shows and the next album. From there it's all a question of scheduling! For example, in the last six months Gregg has recorded albums for Richard Marx and Brian Setzer, and was on a drum clinic tour through Russia, China and Europe, right through Thanksgiving Day! So we'll see how it goes.
Mr Gregg Bissonette
- What is the status of Vox Tempus nowadays? Do you have any label, or is "In The Eye Of Time" only an auto-production only, and are you still looking for your first signature? (maybe in that case you have some good news to give…)
Eric - We've been taking it one step at a time, starting with mass pre-orders through our website. When the album was ready, we partnered with an indy called Progman Records for a strong initial run in the U.S. The album made a nice splash at this year's ProgPower Festival, and we've received a host of great reviews from around the world. We're now in discussions with overseas labels that can take us to the next level in those other markets. If anyone out there is interested, please contact us via out website!
- Which bands have influenced you? I suppose that the American Prog Metallers like Queensryche or Dream Theater for example are very important to you…
Dan - Queensryche was the biggest influence in my singing career. Tate is so refined in his technique yet broad in his range, to me he is the epitome of a professional. There are many great bands out there that have so many different things to offer. Dream Theater has always been at the top of their class. But I have been influences by many groups though out the years. Queen, Rush, Rainbow, Dio, Randy Rhoads (Ozzy)...... the list is Hugh. But not only was I touched by all the metal bands, but I also love to listen to Bach, Motzart, Beethoven, Chopin, Paganini and many others in the classical vein.
Eric - There have been some great pioneers through the years, bands who infused strong musicianship into great melodic rock songs - folks like Rush, Kansas, Fates Warning, Queensryche…These folks all produced some great landmark albums that helped establish a standard in the genre - and you can't help but be influenced by that. We also listen to classical, jazz, and even movie and game soundtracks - there is melody everywhere, all you have to do is listen for it.
Jim [Bass] & Ray [Guitars]
- What's your opinion about Metal nowadays. Prog Metal for example is unfortunately underrated in comparison with Black Metal or Nu Metal… Do you think that Prog Metal remains a "viable" music for a band?
Dan - Prog is a tough market, probably one of the toughest markets. You just don't see many prog bands on tour in America and you most certainly don't hear them on the radio. It makes it a very tough sell when your biggest advertisement is word of mouth. However, Prog Metal fans are most definitely die-hard fans. When they like you they love you. They will fly around the world to see you, and support you in everything you do. That is a true fan! The musicianship in most Prog bands Dwarfs the talent in most commercial bands, yet the general public does not want to have to think when they listen to a song, They just want to move their feet, sing along and say " That so easy, I could do it better. I'm going to be a rock star." It's such a shame that so many talented bands are never heard by the masses. And believe me, the masses really need a wake up call.
Eric - Man, what a bitch it can be! There are so many varieties of metal out there, and each group of fans is very loyal to its own specific genre. And yet, we've brought on board Prog Metal fans, Nu Metal fans, AOR fans…I guess you never know. The important thing is that you play the kind of music you like to play, and support the music that you enjoy.
As we were shopping this record around town, one label offered us a really sweet deal if we would re-record the album to sound more like Evergrey! It was a great opportunity for us, as long as we agreed to re-record our album and change our sound! We stayed true to what we do, and our fans stayed true to us. The one thing that stays viable is integrity.
- Have you planned to tour out of the USA? Maybe we will have a chance to see you all over Europe?
Dan - We are still looking for the right opportunity.
Dan [Vocals] & Eric [Keyboards]
- - Oki the last question, a bit special. You'll have listed some bands and one of their albums, please give us your opinion about them...
- Queensryche: Operation Mindcrime
Dan - The best concept album ever written from beginning to end. Will be remembered as a pivotal moment in music history.
Eric - This was THE concept album of our generation. Let's see what they do with the sequel next year. ; )
- Dream Theater: Images And Words
Dan - My personal favorite of Dream Theater. This album was so well produced and the singing is by far the best James has ever sounded, even though he sounds great on all the albums this one stands out.
Eric - We always talk about what DT must have been going through at the time this came out. Prog certainly wasn't "viable" back then! But this was undeniably a classic.
- Nightwish: Once
Dan - I really love the style this band took. It has a theatrical feel like being at a rock opera (laughing) or something like that.
- AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
Dan - Classic AC/DC all the way. This could be where it all started...
- Metallica: St Anger
Dan - Can you say C.......R........A........P ! ! ! ! !
Eric - I've heard a phrase used a lot lately - I believe it's "lost the plot"?
- Guns N' Roses: Chinese Democracy (oki sorry for this one :p )
Dan - No Comment.
Eric - I've got some friends in that camp and heard most of the album earlier this year. Songs like Madagascar really move me. Others, not so much. I'm curious to see what makes the final cut.
- Thanks a lot for this interview, first let me say that we are proud at Metalstorm.ee to follow the beginning of your promising band… Now, if you have anything to say to our readers… That's your turn...
Dan - To all of you who have entered our world........WELCOME!
Eric - Check out our website at www.vox-tempus.com!
Jeff: Many Thx to Mr Eric, Dan and Vox Tempus. Many Thx also to my mate Wrathchild for his help on this interview... Rock on Vox Tempus !!!