America Online Chat with Jim Matheos and Ray Alder (10/04/2000)
Online Host: Fates Jim has entered the room.
Fates Jim: (Testing)
Online Host: HOST EMC Wasp has entered the room.
Fates Jim: <–Jim’s typist… Jim’s off having a smoke break
Online Host: HOST EMC Wasp has left the room.
Fates Jim: They’ll be giving you instructions on how to ask a question once things get started. (Jim’s still having a smoke break)
Online Host: HOST ECH Earl has entered the room.
Online Host: HOST EMC Wasp has entered the room.
Fates Jim: Welcome back, Wasp.
HOST EMC Wasp: Hello guys!! We’ll get started in just a few!
Fates Jim: (Jim is still on a break, he’ll be here in a few minutes.)
HOST EMC Wasp: Ok guys.. listen up… Here’s how to submit a question for the band… It’s real simple, just send an email to me, HOST EMCWasp@aol.com and put your questions in the email. I’ll throw them up here one at a time for the guys to answer! Maybe it is, but thats the way its done!
Online Host: Fates Ray has entered the room.
Fates Ray: (test)
Fates Jim: Hi, Ray.
HOST EMC Wasp: As soon as we get Jim back we’ll be good to go!
Fates Jim: Jim’s back!
HOST EMC Wasp: Welcome everyone!! Tonight we have two members of one of the premiere progressive metal groups of all time!! Fates Warning is celebrating their new release, Disconnected which I may add is an incredibly well done album. Without further delay, please welcome Ray Alder and Jim Matheos of Fates Warning!!!!
Fates Ray: Hello everybody!
Fates Jim: Hello to everybody.
Fates Jim: [waves]
HOST EMC Wasp: First question right off the bat…
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Are you still going to try to tour here in the U.S. at all?
Fates Jim: Yes.
Fates Ray: Yes, plans are underway
Fates Jim: We’re talking to a few different agencies about getting a tour together for early next year — January or February.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Are you happy with the support you’ve received for Disconnected?
Fates Ray: So far so good
Fates Jim: Yeah, I’d say so. It’s kind of hard to tell until you go out on the road and see how fans respond to it live, but certainly the press we’ve been getting has been really positive.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Will Joey Vera be returning to Saint or continue to play with Fates?
Fates Jim: I think he’ll do both and many other things at the same time as well.
Fates Jim: Joey’s a mercenary.
Fates Ray: Both I would imagine, he’s not bound with us.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Both Jim and Ray: did you graduate from college? and if so, what was your major?
Fates Jim: [laughs] Fates Jim: I am a ninth grade drop out.
Fates Ray: I majored in not graduating from college
Fates Jim: If I’d gone to college, I probably would’ve majored in Music or Philosophy.
Fates Jim: With honors, Ray!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Ray, will you be making another Engine CD? The first was phenomenal.
Fates Ray: Yes its actually somewhat underway at the moment
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim: My bass teacher’s name is Chris Matheos and he bears a striking resemblance to you. He doesn’t know if you two are related. It’s always kind of bugged me… I guess it’s kind of a weird question.
Fates Jim: There’s not too many Matheos’ around that I know of. Everyone in my family is always trying to locate other people.
Fates Jim: Where are you from?
HOST EMC Wasp: A: North Carolina
Fates Jim: I don’t know. I know of some in Florida and some in New York, but it’s a fairly uncommon name, so there’s probably some family link down there somewhere.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: The way “disconnected part 1” sets the mood and leads into “one” reminds me of the way “e5150” from Black Sabbaths’s Mob Rules album leads into that song…and since you guys covered a song from that album for the Dio tribute album, did that influence you in a subliminal way, or was it conscious?
Fates Jim: I would say that Black Sabbath has always been a huge influence on me, but I think that reference is pretty coincidental.
Fates Ray: We chose alot of different songs, and that’s the one we settled on.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Do you plan to keep using Kevin Moore on future recordings and/or shows?
Fates Jim: We’ll keep using him as long as he’s willing to keep doing it. We’d love him to play live with us, but unfortunately, that’s not a possibility, I don’t think.
Fates Ray: Absolutely in the studio, he hasn’t been interested in doing a show yet.
Fates Jim: Kevin’s a genius!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, do you have any plans to do any side projects, sort of like Dream Theater’s Portnoy did with Transatlantic?
Fates Jim: No solid plans, but I’m always open to ideas between Fates records. There’s nothing solid right now, but I’m always open to doing other projects outside of Fates.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Both Jim and Ray, what three Fates songs are you most proud of?
Fates Jim: Boy, that’s pretty hard. In no particular order: Pleasant Shade of Gray, The 11th Hour, and…[thinking] Fates Jim: [still thinking] Fates Jim: Monument.
Fates Ray: Still Remains, Guardian, and APSOG
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What inspired the lyrics for “Still Remains”? Also, I would like to add, the drumming on that song is the most tasteful I’ve ever heard.
Fates Jim: I would agree on the drums. The drumming on there is incredible.
Fates Jim: The lyrics deal with the death of my father.
Fates Ray: (turning this one over to Jim)
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: I hear John Arch is kind of a rock God in Germany. Have you heard anything about that?
Fates Jim: [laughter]
Fates Ray: I have seen the shrine!
Fates Jim: I think John has a pretty dedicated cult following in the States as well as Europe.
Fates Jim: I don’t think I’d quite classify it as “rock god.”
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How much attention do you plan on giving to Disconnected on the upcoming live shows? Its a tremendous CD.
Fates Jim: Thank you for the compliment. We’re currently in the throes of a major debate/argument when the tour was cancelled recently.
Fates Ray: We are going to try and mix a lot of old with the new, so far its been difficult deciding on a set
Fates Jim: Definitely, “Still Remains” and “One,” other than that, we never quite decided.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Are you guys surprised you don’t seem to receive the same accolades and press as Dream Theater? Is it marketing or something else?
Fates Ray: Not again
Fates Jim: Am I surprised? No. The reason–I have idea.
Fates Ray: We are two totally different bands with two totally different audiences.
Fates Ray: One big, one small
Fates Jim: Well said, Ray. /ga
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How do Ray and Jim feel about the new wave of progressive bands out there that Fates had a big influence upon such as Ice Age, Shadow Gallery, Dali’s Dilemma?
Fates Jim: I get asked that question a lot. To be honest, I haven’t really heard any of those bands.
Fates Jim: I consider it a pretty big compliment to find that any bands are influenced by us, but I can’t comment on any of those bands since I haven’t really heard them.
Fates Ray: I think its the biggest compliment that a band can receive; to have any influence at all on any type of band.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How will you deal with playing Pleasant Shade live this time around? all, some, or none?
Fates Jim: See above answer about ongoing debate/argument about set list. 🙂
Fates Jim: My feeling is that I’d rather not play any of the individual parts if we can’t play the whole thing.
Fates Jim: But then again, I didn’t want to divide it into 12 separate parts.
Fates Ray: Again comes the argument, we’re not exactly sure, we swore to ourselves that we would never break it up to play it live.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: It’s a much asked question of bands today, but how do you feel about the whole Napster controversy?
Fates Jim: [chuckles] I knew that one was coming, too.
Fates Ray: What’s that?
Fates Jim: As unpopular as it may be, I’m 100% behind Lars and 100% against Napster.
Fates Ray: I don’t agree with Napster, giving away free music, I am against it.
Fates Ray: A piece of music is fine, but when you are giving away an entire record, does anyone have to ask?
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Are you guys going to try to “replace” (and i hate to use that word) Frank and Joe with permanent players? Rather than just calling on people to tour. I think the chemistry was great with 5 ‘Members.’
Fates Jim: I agree that the chemistry was great. Recording Perfect Symmetry and Parallels was some of the greatest times we’ve had. But myself, Mark and Ray are really comfortable with the way things are working right now, and I can’t actually see getting any new players into the band anytime in the near future.
Fates Ray: No I think the chemistry between the three of us is the best its ever been. I don’t see how adding somebody else could make it better.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, Is it true that you offered “Still Remains” to Mike Portnoy for Transatlantic?
Fates Jim: Oh, boy! [chuckles] Trivia–where do you come up with it? It’s true that a very early version of that song, when it was substantially different than it is in its current form, I did say, yeah, he could us use it on Transatlantic. And as far as I knew, the only other person in the world that knew that was Mike Portnoy, hmm!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Is Metal Blade going to release a video/DVD with your old (SIlent Cries, Through Different Eyes, etc) videos on it?
Fates Ray: That too is in the works but we are looking for a special time to release it on DVD or video along with lots of other footage from the past and the present
Fates Jim: Absolutely. Not sure of the timing yet, but we definitely plan on releasing all of the early videos as well as the live bootlegs, rehearsal and studio footage, at some time in the near future.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Why didn’t you participate in the Transatlantic project?
Fates Jim: Again, with the Transatlantic! Primarily, I was working on my solo record, “A Way With Words,” and I really wanted to spend most of my time focusing on that and finishing that record.
Fates Jim: And secondly, I wasn’t really comfortable with the way they went around writing the record, which was get everyone together and jam for a week and then put the record together. If I was going to do it, I wanted to spend some time writing for the project first.
Fates Jim: Having said that, I think it’s an amazing record.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: So now we know your stance on Napster, but how do you feel about fans audio or video taping your shows?
Fates Jim: It’s kind of a double edge sword, really. I can see it from kind of a business point of view and I’m not real fond of it, but I can also see it from a fans point of view. I have numerous bootleg videos and audios of my favorite bands, so I can see it from that side as well.
Fates Ray: I don’t like it personally
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Do you think any John Arch songs will make it into the live set?
Fates Ray: This has been discussed
Fates Jim: See above answer in response to the set list. (Debate/argument.)
Fates Jim: I’m not sure, we’re going to try–if we can do something from that period that’s fun and comfortable for us to play, sure.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Will the opening bands change if you put a tour together in Jan/Feb and if not, why Planet X?
Fates Ray: So far it looks as though the plans will change because we can’t account for their whereabouts when we tour, we still think that if we could it would be a great package.
Fates Jim: The bands will definitely change. I think–but don’t know–that Planet X and Nevermore will continue with tour plans of their own.
Fates Jim: #1 – We chose Planet X because they’re a great band, and I thought that the combination of the three bands was a great package.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Ray, do you still smoke and has it affected your voice at all?
Fates Ray: Yes I do still smoke and maybe it has affected my voice, I will keep you posted
Fates Ray: But I am going to quit
Fates Jim: Come on everybody, here’s your chance, let’s all get on Ray to get him to stop smoking!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim: First, I would like to say that Fates lyrics are the deepest lyrics I’ve ever heard. What inspires you to write those deep and philosophical lyrics, like the ones from APSOG, Ivory Gate of Dreams, and Part of The Machine?
Fates Jim: It’s not one specific thing. I just try to derive all my lyrics from personal experience. I’m not a fiction writer, so it’s got to be one thing that’s moved me at some time or another, and I try to get that emotion across to the listener/reader. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but it’s important that they get the same emotions out of it, even if they don’t relate to exactly what I’m talking about.
Fates Jim: And thank you for the compliment. 🙂
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What releases have you heard in the last two years that have really excited you musically?
Fates Jim: [thinks]
Fates Jim: I think my current obsession is Porcupine Tree. It’s basically what I listen to all the time there.
Fates Jim: Other things include the Chromakey record, Transatlantic.
Fates Ray: I would say Perfect Circle ..
Fates Ray: and Deftones White Pony
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim and Ray: I know that you read Fates Warning message board once in a while. Why don’t you post more often? The people would love to hear your opinion.
Fates Jim: I don’t have a lot to say.
Fates Jim: I like to keep a real hands off position on those things. When a band member comes in and starts posting a lot, I think people start watching what they say. It’s primarily a forum for fans.
Fates Ray: I feel like a voyeur enough as it is and its your discussion not mine but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
Fates Jim: Certainly if there’s a specific question or something that’s blatantly wrong I try to answer or correct it, but generally, I like to be hands off.
Fates Ray: I feel that I would have the Big Brother complex if I responded all the time and people might start watching what they say and thats not right.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, your lyrics are very poetic—Is there a certain writer who has had a major influence on your lyrical style?
Fates Jim: Boy, there’s a long list.
Fates Jim: Probably is a poet named Conrad Aiken.
Fates Jim: (Probably first and foremost, that is.)
Fates Jim: Also T.S. Elliot, Byron, etc., etc., etc….
Fates Jim: Oh, and Thomas Wolfe.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Does Mark Zonder do any other recording that’s commercially available?
Fates Jim: Well, he’s got his stuff with Warlord, which was out in the mid 80’s.
Fates Jim: Other than that, I don’t really know if there’s anything commercially available. Not off the top of my head.
Fates Jim: Oh, he did play on the first Chromakey record.
Fates Ray: And the Radio Shack commercial 2 months ago J/K
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Would Fates consider a tour with Symphony X????
Fates Jim: I don’t know.
Fates Jim: It all depends on the package, and I’m not really familiar with their music.
Fates Ray: Sure we’d consider it, anything is possible
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Was there one band collectively that has influenced Fates Warning?
Fates Jim: It’d be impossible to pinpoint *one* band, even individually from each member.
Fates Ray: No, way too many influences
Fates Jim: Any one of us can’t pick just one band, and we probably can’t even pick just one genre of music.
Fates Ray: Lenny Kravitz can answer that question for you. 😉
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Ray, is Bernie gonna work with you again on the next Engine, or will you maybe recruit new members?
Fates Jim: I want to know the answer to that one!
Fates Jim: I think he should use Victor Arduini.
Fates Ray: yes, Bernie will be working with me and it will probably be all of the same guys
Fates Ray: Maybe a few guest members
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, are you ever going to do an “amplified” solo album?
Fates Jim: I don’t know. There’s no plans for it right now. I really enjoy doing acoustic projects when it’s time for me to get away from Fates Warning.
Fates Jim: I tend to think anything I want to do amplified or electric can be fit into the context of Fates Warning.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim: who is your favorite guitarist/influence? Do you like the tasteful guitarists (ala David Gilmore), or the shred guitarists (ala Malmsteen)?
Fates Jim: I’m not a big fan of shred players, though I can definitely appreciate their technique, and it’s something I can’t do. However, biggest influences for me are probably Gilmore for one, as you just mentioned… Michael Schenkner… Steve Rothery…
Fates Jim: People who try to focus more on melody rather than technique and speed. Although MS is quite fast.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Ray: are there any recordings available from Syrus?
Fates Ray: Yes, there are demos floating around on the internet, I’m sure you can find them, but they are absolutely awful, someone sent me one
Fates Jim: I’ve got the original demo. Look for it on eBay. 😉
Fates Ray: (he’s lying)
Fates Jim: No, I’m not! I have it. Red cover with black writing.
Fates Ray: Nooo, you are lying!!!!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Was there an intentional “techno” approach to disconnected?
Fates Jim: Certainly, industrial and techno music is something I’m interested in, and I wanted to bring some of those elements into it. The song that probably has the biggest techno/industrial feel to it is “pieces of me,” which was originally written as a straight forward metal song, and the drum loops and synth loops were brought into it later with thoughts of maybe doing that song as a B-side. But we fell in love with it and put it on the record.
Fates Ray: Not really
Fates Ray: I think it kind of worked itself out in the studio
Fates Ray: But technology sometimes is very wonderful, its always great to experiment.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Hey Jim, how much for the Syrus demo?
Fates Jim: [thinks] $29.95. Plus shipping.
Fates Ray: Nooooo
Fates Jim: Actually, I’m going to press it into a CD and release it as the first record on Matheos Records.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Why does the guitar sound different on disconnected. were they recorded direct?
Fates Jim: There was some direct sound used. It was recorded entirely differently than the last two records, in part because of the direct sound, but also instead of using my Mesa Boogie, I also added in some Sans amps, both direct and through cabinets. There was a lot of exploring with miking techniques and combinations of different amps.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How soon is Fates likely to put out yet another studio album? Will tour plans slow things ( I realize Disconnected was just released, but you can’t have too much fates)
Fates Ray: That too is being discussed
Fates Jim: That’s the plan. Like I said earlier, we’re trying to get a tour together for January or February, but before and after that I’ll be writing. The idea is to have a record out perhaps this time next year. but that’s a long ways off, and I’m not sure if we can pull it off.
Fates Jim: But I’d like to.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Do Jim and Ray intend to keep the band recording for years to come?
Fates Jim: For the immediate future, yes.
Fates Ray: Yes, as long as people want to hear our music and as long as someone will finance our venture, then yes
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, I’ve been hearing “Away with Words” songs at the mall on their Muzak, can you fill us in on this?
Fates Jim: [laughter]
Fates Jim: I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people. I honestly don’t know where that’s coming from,
Fates Jim: but I’d like to track it down.
Fates Ray: (laughing)
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Jim, I wanna say as well as writing some of the most awesome songs/lyrics ever, I love your approach to the guitar. I have an older interview with you where you say you try to listen to violinist players and such to draw inspiration to play guitar. Do you still do that, and if so, any artists worth naming??
Fates Jim: Thank you very much for the compliment.
Fates Jim: I do remember a long time ago, where I would listen to different instruments–piano, violin, and cello, too– and I’d get the sheet music and try to learn from it.
Fates Jim: I don’t really do that too much anymore. I still listen to a lot of different types of music including classical, but it’s not something I try to translate onto guitar these days.
Fates Jim: I did try a brief stint at playing cello, though. But I drove everybody crazy on the tour bus.
Fates Ray: Yeah he did!
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: If there was a song or record you could do differently in hindsight and rerecord, which would it be?
Fates Jim: For me, there’s parts of every record that I was were done differently.
Fates Jim: It’s really hard for me to let go in the studio.
Fates Jim: I pretty much have to be dragged out.
Fates Ray: Perfect Symmetry, I would love to change the sound and the vocals
Fates Jim: If I had to pick one, I’d say the production on Perfect Symmetry, particularly the guitars.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Any unreleased tracks floating around that might see the light of day one day?
Fates Jim: Not really.
Fates Ray: None that I know of
Fates Jim: We tend to just write for whatever record we’re working on.
Fates Jim: There’s a couple of things from the early days that may see the light of day in the future, but there really isn’t a lot of stuff.
Fates Jim: There *is* a lot of different versions of stuff that’s on the records, but no really unreleased songs.
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: What’s Frank Aresti up too?
Fates Ray: About 5′ 8″ LOL
Fates Jim: Very good, Ray!
Fates Jim: Frank has his own band right now called All That Is, and last I spoke to him, he was shopping a deal for them.
Fates Ray: He’s got a new band called All That Is
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: How heavy of a role does Terry Brown or Bill Meteoyer play in a Fates record? What areas does the producer flex his influence?
Fates Jim: Terry Brown had a pretty big influence on Parallels. I think that’s the one record we did where a producer came in and actually helped us with the arrangements.
Fates Jim: Outside of that, it’s always just been a question of getting the right sound in the studio and the right performance out of musicians, something I think both Terry and Bill are pretty good at.
Fates Ray: Ultimately the decision is the band’s; Terry had alot of influence over us during the Parallels recording, but now I think we’re coming up with more ideas
HOST EMC Wasp: Q” Who are some of your favorite singers Ray?
Fates Ray: The old classics..
Fates Ray: Steve Perry, Rob Halford, John Arch and Jani Lane
Fates Jim: He’s looking through his CD collection.
Fates Jim: (collection)
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Ray: What’s the deal with that sound clip at the end of Chasing Time?
Fates Jim: [chuckles]
Fates Ray: Welcome to my world
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: would you ever consider having a flute, or a sax player on a song? You know, for a really progressive sound which wouldn’t be “metal” anymore?
Fates Jim: Sure, I’d consider anything.
Fates Ray: Of course
Fates Ray: Metal IS a bastardized term
HOST EMC Wasp: Q: Not a question but a comment…. please guys, hit the road! We never get enough of live Fates Warning!!!
Fates Jim: Thank you, and thanks to everybody for joining in tonight. Sorry again for the tour F-up.
Fates Ray: We are trying, believe me we are trying!
Fates Ray: Thank you guys so much, this was fun!
Fates Jim: Goodnight, everyone!
HOST EMC Wasp: Thanks Ray, thanks Jim!!!
Fates Ray: We will try to make it up to you. Good night!
Online Host: Fates Ray has left the room.
Fates Jim: (Jim has left the building.)
HOST EMC Wasp: Thanks for coming out tonight and taking the time. We’ll have to do this again once the tour gets settled 🙂
HOST EMC Wasp: Thanks for checking out the chat guys! A log will be available in a few days!
HOST EMC Wasp: Just go to keyword Nightclub and it’ll be listed there.
HOST EMC Wasp: Thanks guys! Take care!
Online Host: HOST EMC Wasp has left the room.
Online Host: Fates Jim has left the room.
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