George Dionne of Rock Is Life recently conducted an interview with FATES WARNING frontman Ray Alder. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Rock Is Life: Metal Blade recently released a three disc special edition of "Awaken the Guardian", and I know you didn't sing on it, but did anybody in the band have any involvement with this release?
Ray Alder: "It was actually an idea Brian [Slagel, Metal Blade President] brought it up to Jim [Matheos, FATES WARNING guitarist]. Jim thought it was a great idea. There is so much stuff we have archived; rehearsal tapes, songs we started to write, video footage, and stuff like that. It's material we know the hardcore fans would be interested in, especially from those days. Everybody wants to know about John Arch. I mean, he's John Arch for God's sake! It was just a great idea to have that. Jim was hard at work on that forever. It was cool because the whole band got together. Those guys are all up east and I'm way down here (Southern California). It was really cool for those guys to get together. They said they had a great time. They're actually talking about continuing on with this kind of thing and doing another one. Brian just caught up to me a couple of weeks ago and he wants to do one for 'No Exit', and then probably continue on down from there; maybe 'Parallels' after that, we'll see."
Rock Is Life: Is the band thinking about another studio album?
Ray Alder: "Actually, yes. Jim and I were talking about it today. He's working on the new OSI right now. He's really involved with it right now. They don't know what they're going to do about another drummer, they may have a guest drummer come in and do a few tracks. Jim says that he has so much music, that once he's done with the OSI thing, I think were just going to go in and do our twentieth record. It's up in the air. I think we didn't know what we wanted to do after this. We talked about it when we were in Europe. We didn't know if we were going to continue FATES WARNING. There no reason for us not to do it if we have music and if a label is interested. We're not bored with the band, and were still pretty good at what we do, so why not share it with everybody else? To answer your question, we are going to do another record."
Rock Is Life: Do you anticipate a long time before this record comes out? It was along time between the last two.
Ray Alder: "I would anticipate it's going to be long, but not as long as the other two. Again OSI is going to come out, and they're probably not going to tour for it, but it takes time for it to get together. We're all kind of broken up in different areas (geographically)."
Rock Is Life: With all the lineup changes that the band has had in the past years, was it more or less difficult when drummer Mark Zonder left the band after so many years?
Ray Alder: "I wouldn't say it was difficult, I would say it was deffinatly strange playing with somebody else after all those years. When we brought Nick [D'Virgilio, SPOCK'S BEARD] out with us, we were touring with QUEENSRŸCHE. It was a lot of fun, as he is a totally different drummer. He's more of a rock drummer; Mark is more of a jazz-oriented drummer. When we did the last record, we decided that we would have Mark do the record. He wouldn't do the tour with us, but he would do the studio record, as that's where he really feels that he shines. Right now nothing has been really difficult. When it comes time to do the next record, we just might ask Mike to come up and do it again."
Rock Is Life: As of right now there is no permanent drummer, correct?
Ray Alder: "No, there is not."
Rock Is Life: You released two albums with your own side project ENGINE; will you be doing anymore projects with them?
Ray Alder: "I don't know if I'll do any with ENGINE. At the time, that's what I wanted to do. I was totally into the DEFTONES and stuff like that. I just wanted to do something really heavy, completely off the wall, and something different than FATES WARNING. I don't want to do a solo record and come out sounding like FATES again. I tried to do different styles and explore my voice differently. It was a lot of fun, but none of the labels are interested in that anymore. Music has changed. Bernie [Versaillies] and I have been talking that we want to do something else. Vince, the bass player of BODY COUNT is interested, so we're thinking about doing some type of crushing metal thing. I don't know what we're going to do yet, but it's going to be really, really heavy. It's just something interesting and fun, we're not looking for a gold record. That would be nice, but I don't know. [ENGINE] is still under contract to Metal Blade to do another record. It doesn't really matter if it's under the ENGINE moniker, Brian and I have discussed it, and he said 'I'll sell records no matter what the name.' As long as we get the stamp of approval from Metal Blade, then it's deal. I will do another record because I'm under contract, I just don't know what it is going to sound like. It won't be reggae though (laughs)!"
Read the entire interview at www.rock-is-life.com.