goupstate.com’s interview with Ray Alder (11/28/2013)
Original article: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20131128/ENT/311281007
Metal band Fates Warning releases 1st album in 9 years
By Dan Armonaitis
Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.
When Fates Warning released “Darkness in a Different Light” a couple of months ago, it had been nine years since the progressive metal band had put out its last studio effort, “FWX.”
“We’ve continued to be a band, but a lot of people thought we broke up, that we’d split,” lead vocalist Ray Alder said. “But we’ve actually been touring in Europe every now and then.”
Although Fates Warning has played a few selected gigs in the U.S. during the past few years, the band only recently launched its first full-scale North American tour in some time.
“The response has been amazing,” Alder said. “It’s been so long since we’ve toured here in America that it’s unusual getting back into the swing of things, but we’re getting through it, and I’m very happy.”
Given that Fates Warning has been on the metal scene since 1984, it should come as no surprise that its fan base has become multi-generational.
“It’s funny,” Alder said. “We’ve met a lot of parents who say, ‘I used to play this for my daughter, and she’s with us tonight’ or ‘our son, and he’s here tonight.’ ”
Unlike “FWX,” which was more electronically experimental, “Darkness in a Different Light” is a straightforward heavy metal album that hearkens back to Fates Warning’s heyday.
“We wanted to go back to our roots somewhat and just be a rock band — two guitars, a bass, drums and vocals with no keyboards or outside influences,” Alder said.
“I definitely wanted music that’s going to stick in people’s head. We could have done another prog masterpiece, which is fine, but for us to come out of the box after so much time, I think it was wiser for us to do something that’s a little catchier.”
Along with Alder, Fates Warning features Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti on guitars, Joey Vera on bass and Bobby Jarzombek on drums. For the current tour, however, veteran guitarist Mike Abdow will fill in for Aresti.
Each of the members of Fates Warning has been actively involved in various side projects over the past few years, which accounts for the band’s lengthy recording hiatus.
“It’s pretty impossible for us to actually get all of our schedules to work together, although we’ve tried,” Alder said. “But we did a tour in Europe a while back, and Jim and I talked about” making another Fates Warning studio album.
“We basically said, ‘Let’s stop everything that we’re doing and do nothing but concentrate on this next album.’ And that’s what we did. We didn’t work on anything else except for Fates, and after a year-and-a-half or so, we finished the full album.”
Even before he joined the band in 1988, Alder was a fan of Fates Warning, especially its original lead vocalist John Arch.
“When I heard the singer had left, I remember thinking, ‘I’m never going to listen to those guys again; the singer was the best part of the band,’ ” Alder said.
Of course, Alder changed his mind after passing an audition to replace Arch and debuting on the 1988 album, “No Exit.” A quarter-century later, he still enjoys being part of Fates Warning.
“Every time we get together, it’s like being able to hang out with your family but without the fighting and the yelling and the drunk uncle and all that,” Alder said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t say it’s all we know, but music is now in our blood. Without it, I don’t know what I would do.”