|Gareth Vanstone - Serpentine, and Jules Millis - White Widdow - Interview Exclusives|
|Written by Dave Prince|
|Friday, 25 May 2012 03:45|
Tonight in the city of steel - (that's Sheffield just in case you don't know) three top class AOR bands play their first gig on a six date UK tour that looks set to bring the spirit of keyboard driven hard rock to a venue close to you. Well we can certainly dig that "spirit" here at URHQ, some more so than others. That's why we asked Dave Prince to dust off his Dictaphone to speak with some of the bands in question as he was so excited at the prospect of finally seeing Ten, Serpentine and White Widdow playing his local parp factory, anyone would have thought Mr Mister had just announced they had reformed.
What follows is Princey's chittle chattle with Jules Millis frontman with Australian melodic rockers White Widdow, and before that Gareth Vanstone bass player with local (as in Welsh boys 'n' girls) AOR heroes Serpentine, as we find out all about the hottest AOR ticket in town, and why any self respecting fan of the genre should be dragging his or her spare parts over broken glass to attend one of these shows.
Well Gareth here we are on the eve of your Welsh debut... Can you give us an insight on how things are at present with the band?
Hi Dave; things are really good in the Serpentine camp at the moment and just really looking forward to the tour now; about time we did a Welsh gig too! This time there will be some new introductions to the set, but you'll have to wait and see what tracks they are!! Ha! Ha!"
After your UK Tour and your European and Firefest appearances the
Yeah, world peace and a cure for the common cold is probably out of our reach, Ha! Ha! ? But, apart from that we'll just have to see what the open road has in store for us. Hard Rock Hell will be a pivotal gig for us as it gets a lot of press coverage but whenever we seem to get to a bigger gig, we seem to get asked to do something bigger than that, so who knows!"
Now for me the million-dollar question is, are there plans to release any new material with your new vocalist Matt Black? Also will you be keeping the dream team together the band, Tony Mills (as a songwriter/mentor) and producer Sheena Sear?
Work on the third album has already begun. A couple of songs are written music wise, so we'll be kicking on with that after the tour. Nothing has been set in stone (pun intended!) in terms of working with Tony again. We know, if we need him, he'll be there for us but we would definitely work with Miss Sear again and it is quite likely we will. We like to keep open minds when it comes to writing so nothing is off limits really!! Actually, I can confirm one thing - there won't be a Justin Beiber duet!!"
After such a whirlwind start for the band, what has been your highlight so far?
There's been a few! Firefest was definitely up there as the best gig, as the crowd were amazing; people staring at us when we were entering Madrid Airport was the most amusing; being accosted outside the loos by a fan in Bristol was the most unusual (it was a female fan I hasten to add!!!); and singing background vocals on 'Eye Of The Tiger' with Jimi Jamison, was another great moment!"
And the last word over to yourselves, anything you would like to say
Thanks for all the support and we look forward to rockin' your socks off soon!
Hi Jules. Can you tell me what you are looking forward to the most on this latest UK tour?
Mostly being back on tour, and being able to perform some of the songs from the last album 'Serenade' that we haven't played live before. Getting to see more of the UK than we have before, and playing to new fans over there too!
So have you heard anything about the other bands on the tour (Serpentine & Ten)?
I've been a fan of Ten since their debut came out in the 90's, so I'm really looking forward to seeing them play every night..... And we played with label mates Serpentine in Germany last year, as well as at Firefest; they are an awesome band and a great bunch of guys; we're looking forward to having a good laugh with them.
With your style of rock making a comeback - where do you believe you
I think that people like ourselves and Serpentine, along with Vega, Houston, Osukaru, Miss Behaviour and a few others, are all out there fighting the good fight for melodic rock, yes..... For sure, we are proud to be the torchbearers, even though it is, as you say, largely ignored by the mainstream; there still is and always will be a devoted, loyal fanbase out there for our style of music and we really try to embrace as many of them as possible!"
You're maybe a new name to many of the audience; how do you plan to turn
Ha! Ha! We'll do our best to tune them all into 'Widdow-ettes' before the show is done!
We will be putting everything we have into these shows and with our new drummer George Kristy, I honestly feel we've never sounded better. He brings a real drive and energy to the songs and a great feel to the band."
No grand plans for global takeover; we are happy to just keep chipping away and working towards building a solid, loyal fanbase and towards continuing to keep making the music we love. Of course we'd love to be able to tour the UK and Europe more often, it's quite an undertaking to make touring happen when we come from so far away in Australia. But I'd like to say thank you to all of our supporters; I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the shows in the UK and, for anyone new, if your a fan of big keyboards, big solos and even bigger choruses, then please check us out.
To pick up your copy of 'Living & Dying In High Definition' - CLICK HERE
To pick up your copy of 'Serenade' - CLICK HERE