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13th January 2019

Jake Dreyer – Vocals

Joseph Michael  - Lead Guitar


Q: Let me preface this interview with a small confession; I hadn’t heard Nocturnes and Requiems before A Prelude to Sorrow landed in my letterbox so please forgive me if I cover a bit of old ground or stuff on your website but I want to spread your name a bit more in Japan.


JD: Perfect and thanks for the great review! That was awesome.


Q: Well hope I got it right.


JM: Oh you did. You nailed it.


A Prelude to Sorrow


Q: I think it’s important to get the story behind this album out. Could you start by telling me at what point the songs were written? Did you write them or parts of them whilst Adam was alive for example or were they all written in retrospective?


JD: Joseph already had Moment Of Silence; the chorus was played to Adam.


JM: Yeah I bought it to him when he was sick. I had the basic chord progression and the vocals and he was ‘What’s that about?’


JD: It was like ‘Oh, it’s just a song…don’t worry about it. A lot of it was written around 2017. We had bits and pieces of it – parts of Maridian’s Visitation trace back to Nocturnes…


JM: …but it didn’t have the lyrics or title; Just some melody and the chords and guitar lines.


JD: Yeah and Ode To Despair was pretty much there. That was probably one of the first ones we had complete and then the idea for Vintage was later.


JM: Communion Of The Wicked was also one of the earlier ones but the record took shape and started to gain perspective and a narrative after Adam died for sure. We had been writing the whole time he was sick after Nocturnes but the songs were not really ones yet. They were just us toying with ideas.


JD: Shadows was the last song we had.


Q: Was it a conscious decision to write the entire album about our time we have alive or did it just evolve that way and did you find yourselves individually writing about the same thing or was the idea formed together?


JM: I was fighting it the whole way! I didn’t know if it was proper but every time we sat down to write, it just happened. It was like the elephant in the room you know, what the fuck else am I going to write about? The thing is, although me and Jake were writing off and on, he had gotten the Iced Earth gig and once Nocturnes was out and Adam had died, Jake was gone a lot so we were in a little period of time when we couldn’t get together as much so we had a little brewing time to think what we were going to write about next. Then when we started to get together we realized, oh shit…


JD: Yeah because we had the idea of Sagan’s Suit as we were calling it which was five songs about Adam but then it ended up….


JM: …it was going to be half and half but then the rest of the songs took on that meaning. As I said I didn’t know if I should be writing about it but we had Meridian’s Visitation music written and I saw Adam’s Facebook post about his dead niece and I thought ‘Fuck…that’s perfect’. He had written that Meridian had visited him in the hospital and had actually written ‘Meridian’s visitation’ on the post and I literally took it and wrote that song. I did call his sister – Meridian’s mom – and ask if it was ok.


Q: How cathartic was it for you to record these songs?


JD: It was like the seven stages of grief, kind of like how the record is. There are some very pissed-off parts, others where it’s very emotional. There were times that were pretty rough and you know it hits you at random times. The first time we did the outro to Vintage was pretty tough and it’s still sometimes tough to hear that. Everything we were feeling, all of our emotions were being put into these songs so I think it was cathartic – as much as it could be.


Q: Do you mind if I ask what Adam’s message to you was with regards to the band when he was diagnosed and he knew the inevitable?


JM: Well Adam never knew the inevitable and that was part of the strangeness of the whole thing. When he went into the hospital the final time, he was having infections but he was just going for some routine treatment…


Q: …he had E.coli…


JM: …yeah and the last time he got E.coli, they did a scan and they found that cancer had spread all over his body into the major organs and then he went into a coma and he was gone so he didn’t even know. In his mind, he was 100% he was going to beat this thing.


JD: He was already talking about presenting the new stuff to Century Media…


JM: …and we weren’t even sign yet!


JD: Yeah he was saying we were going to get this tour with this band and he had everything planned out. I remember one time we were talking about doing a video and we were saying ‘Adam, you’re sick man.’ You know we couldn’t have him in the video because he was so sick and he replied ‘Well then the only guy I want the video is Van Williams of Nevermore!’


All: (laughter)


Q: You have written a very fitting legacy to Adam and I hope it has helped you move on in your own ways. One last question on it; the title is an acronym of Adam’s initials, how did that come about?


JD: It just kind of happened. Adam had named Nocturnes & Requiems when we were having Thai food for dinner the NAMM show so we both thought it would be cool if he could somehow also name the second record.


JM: I was throwing around things like Nightmares & Dreamscapes – you know, the Stephen King book – and Adam said ‘Dreams & Requiems’ and there it was – Nocturnes & Requiems and then…


JD: …I was watching a Stephen King movie at the time and came up with A Prelude to Sorrow – APS – there it is and it just fitted the whole mood of the album. I sent it over to Joseph…


JM: …and I just knew it was right.

Witherfall Interview Pt II

13th January 2019


Jake Dreyer – Vocals

Joseph Michael  - Lead Guitar

Alex Nasla - Keyboards


Q: Let’s talk about the band and music a bit …Your compositions and arrangements suggest influences beyond the normal Metal heroes; would I be right in saying a look through your CD shelves would throw up a rather eclectic collection?


JD & JM: (laugh)


JM: Yeah!


JD: Very much so; Metal is probably in the minority. The CDs we have are all over the place genre wise and styles.


JM: Also Jake and I are huge Classical music fans plus we like some of the bigger seventies bands, Queen, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin…


JD: Use Your Illusion era Guns ‘n’ Roses, Alice In Chains, Dream Theatre, King Diamond for sure…


JM: We tend to like the stranger Metalstuff. It’s not that we don’t like straight ahead Metal but we prefer the more melodic stuff and stuff that has some originality to it.


Q: How about you Alex?


AN: Very similar to Joseph and in fact we have almost identical influences. I love Power Metal maybe more than they do which is how I got into the Metal scene. I don’t listen to it much anymore but I get nostalgic for it. I listen to a lot of classical as well; I usually listen to Beethoven when I’m driving.


Q: On the Japanese release of A Prelude to Sorrow you do a couple of covers for the bonus racks namely a Tom Petty song and a Helloween song. What’s the story behind those?


JD: Joseph and I were finishing up Shadows at the studio in Vegas…


JM: …we were smoking cigars…


JD: …yeah and it was really late at night, maybe 4am and we were pretty drunk on wine and we were just fucking around with the song. We decided to change the chords to make it…


JM: …dark…


JD: …a little bit different harmonically to make it more like Witherfall.


JM: We had tinkered around with it before but in the normal way.


JD: Yeah and we knew we needed some bonus tracks for Japan so that just sort of happened and then the Helloween one was decided…


JM: …Steve decided…


JD:  …yeah Steve come up with the idea of A Tale That Wasn’t Right.


Q: You say a on your website that in White Wizzard you understood each other’s strengths and what you wanted out of a new Heavy Metal project…what was that?


JD: No boundaries.


JM: Yeah.


JD: No boundaries in songwriting. You get some bands that are traditional Heavy Metal and they feel they can only be traditional Heavy Metal but for us, whatever we want to hear and whatever suits the song best is what we are going to do. A kind of heavier version of Queen.


Q: Where did the name come from?


JM: Oh god…


JD: Oh wow…er…it came because Adam hated the original name.


All: (laugh)


JD: We had a name which was Midnight Silhouette and Adam said it reminded him of a drink at Starbucks but there was also someone else who had that name anyway so we had to come up with something new. Joseph and I threw ideas back and forth and he came up with Wither and then I think I was drinking one night and just put together a bunch of random words and Fall come up.


Q: Alex, how did you get involved with these guys?


AN: Oh man…well I’ve known Joseph for a while – ten years or something like that. I was in a band with him – actually one of my first bands – and for whatever reason it didn’t work out and then he hit me up one day to do a tour with a local band…


JM: …they were like a Classic Rock vanity project…


AN: …yeah that’s a good way to put it and they needed keyboards for a tour of Spain. I hadn’t hung out with Joseph for a while and we had good times so I thought ‘Yeah. Why not? Spain!’ So we went, the best part of the tour was hanging out with Joseph and at the time he showed me Nocturnes which wasn’t out yet.


JM: We had just got mixes from Zeuss and Jake was on tour with Iced Earth.


JD: No…I was in…


JM: No you were quitting another band.


JD: No, I…(at this point, there seems to be some confusion about exactly where Jake was so let’s continue with Alex)  


AN: Joseph showed me the album and I thought ‘Man this is awesome!’ and as we were on tour I listened to it a few times and I said to him if you need a keyboardist one day, hit me up and that day came and I recorded a bit on the new…


JD: Oh yeah! There’s another record coming out which is an acoustic EP.


JM: We do a medley of a couple of old songs and another re-recording and there’s also a couple of other songs. Alex is playing piano and keys and some background vocals. Anyway, we have this Sonata Arctica acoustic tour that we are doing coming up and I knew I didn’t want backing tracks, I wanted live keyboards and vocals and I knew Alex could play it and sing it. As fate would have it, we lost a member in Japan so we thought we’d give it a go and see if we could make it work in the electric band. We’ve had a couple of rehearsals and everything is going really well.


Q: What else of the imminent future?


JD: We’ve got the Sonata tour then the EP coming out (Vintage) which aside from the tracks mentioned above has the correct version of the Japanese bonus track from Nocturnes which is called The Long Walk Home.


JM: It’s actually a 45 minute EP.


JD: Yeah!


JM: March 22nd is the release date.


JD: Then we are doing the Keep It True festival in Germany and there are other things in the works but nothing is confirmed yet but this whole year is devoted to touring.


Q: Jake, Joseph and Alex thank you for your time. Much appreciated and I’ll catch you the next time you’re here.


JD: Sounds great Glenn.


JM: Yeah thanks.


Q: And good luck with these guys Alex, you’ve joined an excellent band.


AN: Yeah thanks!


Q: Thanks and bye.

ウィザーフォール インタビュー




JM: ジョセフ・マイケル(リード・ギター)


Q: まずインタビューの前に言っておきたいのですが、私はアルバム『Nocturnes and Requiems 』を聴いたことがなかったんです。『A Prelude to Sorrow』が私のレターボックスに投げ込まれてから気づいたんです。それであなたたちのホームページを拝見してプロフィールや楽曲を知ったというわけなんです。でも今ではこの日本であなたたちのことを広めようと努力していますよ。




JM: そうなっているよ。君がきっかけを作ってくれたんだ。


『A Prelude to Sorrow』



JD: ジョセフは既に「Moment Of Silence」を書き上げていたよ。アダムのことを想って書いたんだ。

JM: ああ。彼が闘病中に彼に聴かせたんだ。基本のコード進行とボーカルはできていた。アダムは「この曲のテーマは何だい?」って訊いてきたんだ。

JD: 僕は「・・・ああ、ただの曲さ。別に何でもないよ。」って答えた。2017年のうちに書き上げていたんだ。「Maridian’s Visitation」の一部だったんだ。それが『Nocturnes』に繋がっていった。


JD: そうだね。「Ode To Despair」もほぼ形になっていた。僕たちが最初に仕上げた曲の一つだね。その後に「Vintage」のアイデアが浮かんだんだ。

JM: 「Communion Of The Wicked」もごく初期の曲だよ。でもアダムが亡くなってから、よりイメージとストーリーがはっきりしてきたんだ。彼が闘病中、僕たちはずっと曲を書いていたし、『Nocturnes』が出てからも、僕たちはずっと曲を書き続けていた。でも仕上がってはこなかったんだ。アイデアを弄んでいた感じだったね。





JD: ああ、そうして「Sagan’s Suit」のアイデアが出てきたのさ。アダムへの思い出を込めて5曲を書こうとしていたんだけど・・・

JM: なかなか仕上がらなかった。でもそれらの曲のテーマははっきりしていたんだ。どう書けばいいのか分からないとぼやいた事もあったけど、「Meridian’s Visitation」のメロディは出来上がった。アダムがフェイスブックに亡くなった姪っ子のことを投稿していたのを見たんだ。「何だ、まさにこういうことじゃないか。」って思ったよ。彼はメリディアン(姪の名)が病院で寝ている自分の下にやって来たと書いていたんだ。それがヒントになって「Meridian’s Visitation」を書き上げることができた。僕は彼の姉さん、つまりメリディアンのママに電話して、このタイトルでいいかどうかを訊いたんだよ。






JM: いや、アダムは余命を悟ってはいなかったんだ。だからそのことですべてがおかしな具合になってしまったんだ。彼に会うために最後に病院に行った時、もう全身に転移している状態だったんだけど、ごく普通の治療を行なっていただけだった。



JM: ああ、腸の具合が悪くなって、精密検査してみたら癌が見つかったんだ。その時点ではもう全身に転移していて、主要な器官が侵されていた。それからこん睡状態に陥ってそのまま亡くなってしまった。だから彼は自分の状態に気づいてもいなかったんだよ。彼自身は病気なんてすぐに治ると思っていたんだ。







JD:たまたまだよ。僕たちがNAMMのショーに出て夕食にタイ料理を食べている時に、アダムが『Nocturnes & Requiems』と名付けたんだ。それが凄くかっこよかったから、僕たちはセカンド・アルバムのタイトルも彼に付けてもらおうと思ったんだ。

JM:僕は『Nightmares & Dreamscapes』みたいなタイトルを考えていたんだけどね。スティーヴン・キングの小説のタイトルだよ。アダムはそこから『Dreams & Requiems』と言い換えたんだ。それで結局は『Nocturnes & Requiems』になったんだよ。

JD:僕がスティーヴン・キングの映画を観ていた時に、『A Prelude to Sorrow』というタイトルが閃いたんだ。このアルバムの雰囲気にぴったりな感じがした。それをジョセフに伝えて・・・

JM: 僕も、そりゃあいいや、って思ったんだ。

ウィザーフォール インタビューパートⅡ



Jake Dreyer – Vocals

Joseph Michael  - Lead Guitar

Alex Nasla - Keyboards



JD & JM:(笑)

JM: そうだよ!


JM: ジェイクと僕は大のクラシックファンでもあるんだ。その他に70年代のバンドやクイーン、ピンク・フロイド、ツェッペリンとか・・・

JD: 『Use Your Illusion』の頃のガンズン・ローゼズ、アリス・イン・チェイン、ドリーム・シアター、キング・ダイアモンドももちろん好きだよ。






Q:アルバム『A Prelude to Sorrow』の日本盤には、ボーナストラックとしてトム・ペティやハロウィーンのカバー曲が入っています。なぜあれを入れようと思ったのですか?



JD: ああ、あれは深夜だったな。朝方の4時頃だったかな。僕たちみんなワインで酔っ払って、曲をいろいろいじっていたんだ。それでコードを変えようと決めたんだよな・・・

JM: ダークな感じにね・・





JD: うん、スティーヴが「A Tale That Wasn’t Right」を思いついたんだ。


Q:あなたたちは「White Wizzard」を演奏した時に互いの実力を確信したとホームページで言っていましたが、あなたたちが目指す新しいヘヴィメタルとは何でしょうか?







JM: 何だっけ?














JD: そうだった!アコースティックでやったEPのレコーディングだよね。

JM:以前に取り掛かっていたいくつかの曲のメロディを完成させた。レコーディングし直したものもあったよ。新しく作ったのもあった。アレックスはピアノとキーボードを弾いてくれて、バックコーラスも付けてくれた。それからソナタ・アークティカと アコースティックツアーに出た。僕はテープなんてバックに流したくなかったから、ライブのキーボードとコーラスを望んだんだ。それでアレックスにやってもらった。運命ともいう感じで、僕たちは日本にいる間にメンバーを失った。でもまだ僕たちがどこまでやれるのかを見届けようという気持ちになったんだ。何度かリハーサルをやってみたところ、すごくうまくいったんだ。



JD:ソナタ・アークティカとツアーに出る。それからEPを出す予定だ(『Vintage』)。これには先に話した曲とは別の、『Nocturnes』日本盤のボーナストラックの完成バージョンが入っている。「The Long Walk Home」という曲だよ。




JD: その後はドイツで開かれる「Keep It True」フェスティバルに出演する。予定してなかったことだけど、まだ詳細は決まっていないみたいだ。でも今年はツアーばかりになるだろうね。




JM: どうもありがとう。






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