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Tommy: Could you please tell us a bit about the history of Power Quest for the metal fans that sadly enough haven't heard much about you? What made it to be exactly this constellation, and what have the different members been up to earlier?

  • Steve W: Power Quest came together in early 2001. I met Steve Scott and Sam Totman while we were all playing in DragonHeart (now DragonForce). Steve and myself both left DF in December 2001 and we started working on what would become PQ. Steve S also spent 2001 playing in ShadowKeep, another UK power metal band who are more in the American power metal vein. Sam is currently in both DF and PQ.
  • Adam: Before joining PQ I was playing in a Thrash / Death band called DRS. We made quite an impact on the local Underground scene but our line-up fell apart in early 2001. I'd met Steve W. through DRS a year before and when he told me he was putting together a power metal band I jumped at the chance. As soon as I met Steve S. and Sam things just fell into place.
    I'm still keen to keep DRS a threat to the music world. I'm still good friends with two of the guys from the old line-up. We'll be back!
  • Steve S: I just wanted to play melodic power metal with a bit of UK/NZ flavour added just for good measure.

Tommy: How would you yourself describe your music to people that hasn't yet had the opportunity to hear you? Is the way you are being looked upon more or less correct to the way you see it yourself?

  • Adam: I'd describe the band as full on Power Metal with a progressive element. There's plenty of shredding but also plenty of melody and hooks. If you like technical but catchy metal check us out.
    The progressive element has been heavily emphasised in the press. In my opinion we are definitely more METAL than prog.
  • Steve W: I guess I would call the music melodic power metal with progressive/classical overtones, although we are primarily a melodic power metal band. It is interesting to see in the press that we have been referred to as "prog rock" as well.
  • Steve S: Ditto to both, but in general the rule we work to is this…. keep it catchy, uplifting, fast, and you can't go wrong. If it's in my head for more than 24hrs then its catchy.

Tommy: You are originating from Southampton, UK, which hasn't exactly been a leading force when it comes to melodic power metal before. Apart from the major names more in the veins of normal heavy metal like Saxon, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Skyclad to name a few, we are not really spoiled with well played solid power metal from your country. How does the melodic metal scene look over there in general, and how is/has your music been looked upon from critics/metal fans at home?

  • Steve W: To be honest there are very few bands playing power metal in any shape or form. There is "Intense" and "ShadowKeep" along with "DragonForce" and ourselves. Generally speaking, melodic metal is treated with very little respect by the mainstream music press in the UK. Only PowerPlay and Terrorizer magazines have any time for our style of music at all.
  • Adam: The Power Metal scene in the UK is pretty non-existent. There are very few new bands playing our style of music. Nu-Metal is very much the flavour of the season here which is a shame as Power Metal doesn't reach the younger audience. It's the "die hard" metal heads that keep the underground alive. There has been a slight resurgence in REAL METAL recently that hopefully will continue allowing a more diverse spectrum of music to be socially acceptable.
  • Steve S: It's slowly picking up, there are more bands deciding to take the risk and come over the ditch to London and to festivals, have a look at the line up for Bloodstock this year; Freedom Call, Blind Guardian and Balance of Power and hopefully we'll play that one as well in August this year.

Tommy: How does it look in the gig-area? How much do you get to play at the moment - is there an interest for your type of music back home or the nearby countries? This should attract Germany's and Italy's metal heads as well as Sweden's....... Who would be your dream partners during a longer tour across Europe in your eyes?

  • Adam: Getting small gigs isn't a problem in the UK. There are plenty of pubs and clubs that will put on a Metal night. Judging by the response we've had from European Metal Heads we could make it over to the rest of you. Unfortunately until we get a permanent vocalist gigs are unlikely. Recording the album is our priority at the moment anyway.
    My dream tour partners would be Annihilator and Judas Priest - that would be an incredible experience for us and the fans.
  • Steve W: I can't see Power Quest playing many shows in the UK in the near future. We hope to get an opening slot on the bill at the BLOODSTOCK MetalFest in Derby (UK) which takes place on August 31st and is headlined by Blind Guardian. We would love to come over and see you guys in Sweden, Germany, Italy and basically anywhere that like the PQ music! Dream tour partners would have to be Edguy, Stratovarius and Iron Maiden!

Tommy: How does the plans look for - let's say - the next 3 years? Where do you see Power Quest standing at that point, and what are you hoping of having accomplished by then? any special dreams that you want to see fulfilled - cooperation with some special artist/band perhaps?

  • Adam: In 3 years I would like to see the band with a couple of awesome albums and some big shows under our belts. I'd love to do a festival like Wacken in Germany.
  • Steve W: I totally agree with Adam there. It would be great if we can make a big splash with the debut album and follow it up with a killer second record. Incidentally, we've already got some tunes for the next album!
  • Steve S: Definitely we need to tour Europe and have some fun playing live, that's where it happens out on the road.

Tommy: Even though you are playing power metal like it's supposed to be done in it's noblest form, you still have quite a bit of individuality, but what artists/what bands have been the biggest source of inspiration to Power Quest's music over the years? And what individual artist as well as band do you personally hold for the best - both all time and at the moment?

  • Steve W: I started out listening to Iron Maiden, Motorhead, UFO etc in about 1982 and picked up on Helloween and the first wave of speed metal bands in the mid 1980's. Having been classically trained as a pianist I try and incorporate classical ideas into the arrangements of the songs too. I guess my all time favourite band would probably have to be Iron Maiden but currently it's a close call between Edguy, Stratovarius and Gamma Ray!
  • Adam: I grew up listening to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden but moved quickly towards death and thrash metal. Bands like Carcass, Annihilator and Death taught me a lot about pushing out the boundaries of music. It's all about not being afraid to stray from the path, if it sounds good it is good. The beauty of PQ is that we all have different perspectives on our music and we are all open to each others opinion. No one member dictates what the band will do, it's a democracy with total fairness.
  • Steve S: I would say Racer X got me into the metal and then all the hair bands like Ratt, Stryper, Slaughter and Cinderella are big influences.

Tommy: You still haven't anything confirmed yet when it comes to a label for the upcoming full length album, that you will start recording in June this year - but is there anything you could tell us in that area anyway? How does the thoughts go - any ideas, wishes, proposals?

  • Adam: We have had a couple of labels showing interest in us but we haven't agreed to anything yet. The spirit of the band has always been independence. No UK label would sign a Power Metal band anyway so we have always planned to go it alone. It's great that European labels have shown an interest, the dedicated support of a label would mean a lot to us. However it's not essential.
  • Steve W: I think we can say that there will be 8 or 9 songs on the album plus a short classical intro. We are not going to rush into signing a record contract…we'll wait for the deal that is right for us all.
  • Steve S: When the right deal comes along and both parties are happy then we'll reveal all….

Tommy: The sound was really good already on the 2-track demo, which contained "Glory Tonight" and "Follow your Heart", and had almost a professional touch over it - what are the plans for the coming album? Working partners, hired producers, other help from the outside?

  • Steve W: At this stage it looks like we will have 3 weeks in the studio to get the album done. Karl Groom will be overseeing proceedings again. We may mix the album somewhere else though…yet to be decided. There may be some guest appearances on the "backing vocals"
  • Adam: I was very happy with the sound of the demo. The only limiting factor on the sound was the restricted time we had for mixing. We will record the album at Thin Ice with the same team but this time we will commit more time to the final mix.
  • Steve S: The new album will be a step ahead of the promo with bigger production, big fat guitars and keyboards and new vocals.

Tommy: How does it look in the band when it comes to writing the material? Is there a main brain behind it, or are everything pretty much spread out equally among the members?

  • Adam: Steve W. has written most of our material to date. Sam has written one song and so have I. Our songs are formed in a very organic way. One of us will bring a song to the rehearsal room and play through it. Then we will all share our ideas and work through the song until the arrangement is complete. Every song undergoes a metamorphosis before it is ready for PQ.
  • Steve W: Referring to what Adam said, I think the main reason why I've written the majority of the songs is that I tend to write in phases. I think four of the songs I wrote came together in just 3 days last summer. The key to it all though is the fact that the band is well balanced both musically and personally, so the songs come together naturally in the rehearsal studio.
  • Steve S: We usually arrange the material in a way that will be most uplifting, catchy and powerful.

Tommy: What can we expect to hear more/less of on the upcoming album compared to what we have heard on the demo-taster? Will the speed increase or fall back a little, and how about the work with keyboards, choirs and equal? How much space does each of those elements get on the next release?

  • Steve W: I think we have a fine balance of material for the album. Look out for a ballad and an epic track. There will be the trademark PQ choirs and keyboards too…along with some progressive elements and some out and out power metal blasters!
  • Adam: There is a wide range of tempos on the album. Some of the songs are faster than Glory Tonight, others are slower with a groove. The Keyboards are inherent in PQ's style, Steve W. is set to impress with the new material. As a guitarist I will make sure there's even more riffing and soloing but it's all about achieving a balance. The demo showed the kind of equilibrium we hope to achieve - the album will be one step closer still.
  • Steve S: There is a good mix of fast mild, and with a killer ballad it's going to be an awesome album I can't wait for the finished product it'll be worth the wait.

Tommy: And finally - any words of wisdom or funny facts about the nearest future
you want to share with the readers?

  • Adam: Metal music is as viable a form of expression as any art medium. If you have the passion and the belief in what you do you will succeed. Buy an instrument and learn to play. Form a band and keep REAL MUSIC alive well into the 21st century.
  • Steve W: Why is it that whenever I get in a taxi the conversation always goes like this….
    Cab Driver "What's in the bag?"
    Steve W: "Some keyboards"
    Cab Driver "Oh, can you play keyboards?"
    ….dammit. Do I just carry them round for fun…hehe!
  • Steve S: Our drummer has 6 toes on each foot.

That was all I had for now, Power Quest - the staff at metalcovenant.com wish you all the very best for the future, and we sincerely want to thank you for keeping the spirit of Metal alive!

Steve W: Thanks for the interview Tommy. We all appreciate you taking the time to put these questions to us. Good luck with Metal Covenant site…I'll be checking in regularly. Don't forget…..the Quest must go on!

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