Justify.... Marcos & Peavy Speak Out
German Power Metal Gods 'Rage' are no strangers to the metal scene, having formed back in 84 by founder member Peavy Wagner (vocals/ bass) when he 1st formed 'Avenger' (German) and released 1 album 'Prayers of Steel' in 84, but changed their name due to UK band under the same name. This didn't stop Peavy, only to change the bands name to 'Rage' and soon the band signed to Noise and their debut album 'Reign of Terror' was release in 86. This was followed up by 'Execution Guaranteed' in 87.
In total Rage have recorded 22 albums, now that's a hell of a lot of albums. Peavy is the founder of the band who has kept the spirit of the band alive despite the band having line up changes, they were a 4 piece in the beginning but soon stepped down to a power trio from the album 'Perfect Man' in 88. With each album the band have got more powerful and tighter as a band and their current album 'Season of the Black' just shows how great the band are.
I managed to have a chat with Marcos and a few words with Peavy about the latest album, the tour and future plans. Here is what they had to say.
Since the band was formed back in the day, is there any albums that you still enjoy listening too and why? What about classic previous line-ups do you have any favourite line ups?
(P) "Well there all my babies you know (laughing), it is hard to answer that, but we have done some classic pretty in the past. I still like albums like 'Trapped' , and there are good songs on all the albums. I would say the classic Rage line is the best from 'Perfect Man'. I don't really speak to Mike and Victor much but there are no hard feelings they are busy and so I am, there's not much contact and we are not enemies at all."
The last DVD you recorded was done at Wacken I believe, what found memories do you have from that show?
(M) "Well it was the last show that was filmed and put on the net and the next one will be filmed at 'The Monsters of Rock' DVD from Czech Republic and the last video clip 'Seasons of the Black' we recorded. We have talked about doing an official new live DVD but we have no idea when we will record this and where? We have dates that we are thinking about.
Wacken was a great experience, for me it was my 1st time there as a musician and just been there in general, I had never been to Wacken before and I lost my Virginity at Wacken (laughing). I didn't shit myself I usually do that in smaller clubs that at festivals (joking).
(P) "On this tour we are filming a lot of stuff so we are collecting a lot of stuff so we could make a new DVD that way.. Something like 'Rage around the world' a documentary."
Marcus what band was you in before joining Rage?
(M) "I had my own band called 'Sound Chaser' which is also an album from Rage, I am a Rage freak fan and I had know Peavy for more than 10 yrs. when I 1st met him I said to him my band is called 'Sound Chaser'. It is heavy stuff very much like Rage and it was released on an independent and I didn't sign with anybody. I played for many years in Tenerife and sell it there and I sold 3000 copies just playing in just one place. I toured the UK in 2012 for this album, I also did cover bands too. I joined Rage back in 2015."
What was it that Peavy thought u had some exciting about your playing?
(M) "Well 1st of all I was his friend and he knew I was a musician and the situation within the band was weird and Peavy decided to do the line-up change and he wanted to have new musicians. He knew I was his friend and secondly he knew I would fit in really well with the Rage music and he knew I would fit in really well with the song writing. Peavy is my major influence and the match was pretty much perfect for us.
(P) "We are all good friends which really does help and keep the chemistry between the band alive."
Do you all write the music together as a team?
(M) "Well Peavy takes care of the lyrics, and melody lines. Peavy and myself just do the rest together and Lucky he takes care of the management side of the band and he doesn't get too involved with the music side of writing, so it really is a 50/50 thing between Peavy and myself. Rage sound like Rage and I love that, we don't sound like any one and Peavy can make the difference on the melodies and lyrics."
Last time I saw Rage was Bloodstock, you should be due back there soon. Have you been approached to play there again?
(P) "Well it is all down to the booking situation and you need to speak to Lucky about that."
How long did it take to record the current album 'Seasons of the Black'?
(M) "Well half the album was actually written when we released the last one 'The Devil strikes Again' with this line up which was released in 2016 and half of the new album was written on that tour. It just took a little while longer with it been a concept album, a bit like 'Keep of the 7 Keys', we did a similar thing with the last 2 albums. It was done in the summer with song writing and arrangement and we then moved into the recording which took just over a month with the vocal line and mastering.
We produced it ourselves and we were pretty much in change of the recordings and talking with the engineers and the rest f the guys take care of the visual production with the covers. It was self produced by Rage. The mixing was handled by Dan Swano (Edge of Sanity/ Nightengale) he did all the mastering and mixing of the album. It didn't take us that long to record as we live close by to each other, whereas bands like 'Blind Guardian', they take 9 months to mix an album and in a month I think we did it right.
We are very clear on how we want to sound with the drums, guitars and vocals and we take our time. It will be a full metal in your face album."
Did you have any other titled for the album 'Seasons of the Black?' if so what were they?
(P) "It could be more of a depressive topic I always like to write about stuff like that, dark thing. The title of the album is about a break up of a relationship. As soon as we had this title we knew it was going to be the album title.
(M) "The name and title of the album came form the title track we knew it would be a great name for the album. Right now the world is pretty fucked up, so there is no season at all and the lyrics for the album pretty much fits the title of the album. We have a song called 'Justify' is about a killer who can they justify what they have done?? The album is pretty dark really and the song on the album is called 'Season of the Black', whereas the album title is called 'Seasons f the Black'."
Marcus do you have a favourite Rage album that you always listen too? Also what about the new album any favourite songs?
(M) "I have a special love for the album 'XIII', because I felt that this album was in my life at the right time especially with one song called 'Turn the Page', I really like that album. Well every day I like a different song but it is like saying which is your favourite child?"
Where there any song that you found difficult to record for the new album?
(M) "It was pretty hard work for our drummer Lucky, he is one hell of a drummer and this album called for a lot of psychical demand so it was hard for lucky trying to follow my guitar riffs on the drums. Every thing on the album was recorded natural and we try not to go back and use Pro-Tools. we try to record organically as we are humans and not machines."
How many promo videos have you recorded for the current album and what's the concepts?
(M) "Well we did a video for the song 'Blackened Karma' which was really well accepted from the fans and press and it is a sing along song. We found it to be the best song for a 1st single as it has a catchy chorus as well as a sing along song like I said and it also had catchy melodies from Peavy. It was recorded in Madrid (Spain) from our friends 'Sober' a band we are good friends with.
For a second video we did one for the song 'Season of the Black', the opening track of the album. We found it to be a really kick ass song, it was recorded in a old metal factory in Bochum (Germany), so we thought metal band in a metal factory, how cool is that? I don't think we are going to record another video now, but we did a lyric video for the song."
How well is the tour going so far before Lucky and Peavy got sick? How long have you also been on tour for this album now?
(M) "Well in December we did 3 shows in Greece & 1 in Germany. From 4th January up until today we have been all over Europe and here in the UK. We will go to South Korea shortly which we are really looking forward to play. We played London 'Underworld' last night which was great, and the people were into it and that's the most important thing. We have 12 more weeks of touring."
I heard your equipment was lost in Europe and arrived only yesterday in London, what happened?
(M) "Yes we had some guitars that were lost in Spain and they only arrived in London whilst we were playing, so we had to change guitars half way through our set. We survived!!"
It is a shame that Rage don't play more often and here in the UK, why is that?
(M) "Well the good new is that it is going to change in the very near future. The company that is running the Rage business is our own company. It is Lucky Bob, it is Lucky's company and in February we will be opening a UK division just for that reason and we could not do thing with other companies. We would like to play more shows here in the UK."
I know you guys are unwell, how will tonight's performance effect you? How long will you play for?
(M) "Well Peavy & Lucky are the ones that are unwell, I may get unwell later on. But we are not going to disappoint the fans tonight who have traveled to see us. We are going to play about 3-4 songs and I am going to handle the vocals and let Peavy just play the bass guitar."
Well thank you for the interview I wish you all the best for the future, thank's for doing the interview. Do you have anything to say?
(M) "Yes thank you for coming out to our shows, thanks for buying our albums. Thank you for the interview.
(P) "Thanks to the fans for their support, and thank you for the interview."
Thanks to Nuclear Blast UK for the interview & Kevin Tongue.