FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder recently spoke with "The Classic Metal Show" about his debut solo album, "What The Water Wants". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On "What The Water Wants":
Ray: "The whole point of the solo album is [that] I wanted to do different songs [in] different styles — some hard, some mellow... [New song] 'Crown Of Thorns' is sort of like an homage to the '70s singers like EARTH, WIND & FIRE [and] LITTLE RIVER BAND, where the focus is mainly on the melody line, and it's sort of that soothing kind of vocal and the bass line that just goes all the way through. I just want to different things. That was the main point — just do something different than what my everyday job is. I hope that comes across."
On his aspirations as a solo artist:
Ray: "I'm not really looking to go on the road or anything. I just wanted to put some music out. I had some ideas in my head that I wanted to put out, and it worked. Originally, I thought maybe I would give it a name, but it just seemed [like] the right time to do a solo album. It just didn't make sense, to me, to give it a name. I struggled with that for a while, thinking maybe if I did something with a name, people would pick it up that don't know who I am, mistakenly or just by chance and like the band. Then I thought, 'Just put [it] out. If they like it or not, that's up to them.' Hopefully some fans of FATES or some fans of mine would appreciate the album, and maybe someone who doesn't know who it is will just like it... I wanted to create. That's all I cared about, and I wanted to show a different side of what I'm capable of, so to speak."
On the fact that the album features more "accessible" songs than what FATES WARNING is best known for:
Ray: "The point was to do something different and not be lumped into one genre. There's some heavy songs on there, but there's also some mellow ones. People ask, 'What would you compare it to?' I don't really know, because every song is different. It's really hard for me to categorize what it is. For me, shorter songs just made sense because a lot of people's attention span nowadays is not so big... To me, it made no sense to make these songs go on and on. I think the longest one is a little over five minutes. [It's] that old saying — leave them wanting more."
On writing lyrics and the inspiration behind the album's title:
Ray: "For me, writing lyrics is the hardest thing to do. You're being personal, [and] either you're being too literal, or you're being too vague. There's sort of a line in between that you have to stay close to... RATT — 'You're back for more...' Then you listen to the lyrics, [and] they have nothing to do with coming back for more. I don't know what he's talking about. But I love that album — I'm just saying. For me, writing lyrics is hard. It's a fine line — as SPINAL TAP says — between stupidity and clever. The title of the album, it seemed to me in almost every song somehow I'm talking about rain or a flood or some sort of deluge. It just kept coming up for some reason. Water seemed to be this common denominator in every lyrics, so it kind of made sense."
On how his voice has changed over time:
Ray: "It's just something that happened — either a progression or a regression, I don't know. The high [range] thing was good to have. I was a kid when that was happening. I think a lot of people that had that singing style grew up after a while. You can't continue that your whole life — you just can't. You tour and your voice gets different. My voice changed, and I went along with it. I like where my voice is now. I appreciate what I have, and I've learned to use it better. I think I've become a better singer over the years. I think I've learned quite a bit more how to control a lot of the things. Now, the last three or four years, I've actually taken better care of my voice by rehearsing. I never used to rehearse. I would go on tour with FATES for a month or so, and I wouldn't rehearse — I would just go. And then I'd lose my voice. Now, before a tour, I'll go for a couple of months to a studio and rehearse through a PA, and now that I'm writing, pretty much every day, I'm singing, as [opposed] to sitting around doing nothing and then blowing it out. I think it's stronger than it has been in quite a long time."
"What The Water Wants" will be released on October 18 via InsideOut Music. The album features 10 melodic and versatile songs created with assistance from guitarists Mike Abdow (FATES WARNING touring member) and Tony Hernando (LORDS OF BLACK) as well as drummer Craig Anderson (IGNITE, CRESCENT SHIELD). The LP was mixed by Simone Mularoni (RHAPSODY, MICHAEL ROMEO, DGM).