MetalUnderground.com interview with Ray Alder (12/06/2013)
Ray Adler Talks New Fates Warning Album “Darkness In A Different Light”
posted Dec 6 2013 at 7:15 PM by xFiruath.
Fates Warning is out now with new album “Darkness In A Different Light,” which is the first new full-length offering from the progressive metal band in nearly a decade.
Supporting this new release, Fates Warning recently wrapped up the first half of a U.S. tour with Halcyon Way and is now embarked on the second half alongside Artizan. With the band out on the road, I chatted up vocalist Ray Adler to see how the trek is progressing and what fans can expect from the Fates Warning machine in the coming new year. Check out our full interview below.
xFiruath: How has the tour been so far?
Ray: So far it’s been pretty good. Some shows are better than others. Some had a lot more people than others. It’s been nine years since we had an album out so we kind have to re-get people to come to the shows. But we’re having a great time.
xFiruath: You’ve had a couple of off-days already. Have you seen or done anything interesting in your down time during the tour?
Ray: No, nope, one off-day I slept till 9:00 PM and another one I slept till 7:00. It’s been rough, we’re doing a lot of dates in a row. We’ve done nine shows in 10 days, so pretty grueling. But it’s part of the package.
xFiruath: You mentioned how it’s been nine years since the last album. What’s been happening with Fates Warning during that time?
Ray: We never really broke up, people always think we broke up but we were still together. We were doing shows in Europe a few times a year, but we all have our different projects we work on and that gets in the way of everything. Somebody’s doing something, so I’ll do something in the mean time while you are doing your thing, and that would carry over, and then that would carry over, and it just got out of hand with everybody being in so many different bands. We’re all in two or three different bands. I talked to Jim and we decided to set aside everything we were doing and do nothing but write. We did that for about a year and finally came up with an album.
xFiruath: With so much time in-between, how was that writing process for the new Fates Warning album?
Ray: It was actually great. Normally I don’t look forward to writing music, but this time I was. It was great, Jim would give me something and I’d work on it at home. Everybody now in this day and age has Pro Tools in their house, so I would work on it and send it back to him and that’s how it went. It was pretty much every day working on something. In the middle of it was a short little tour just to get ourselves a break. We went into pre-production and heard those demos and it was just like “wow!” it was amazing, it was so good, so we were very happy with it.
xFiruath: What’s going on with the themes and lyrics for “Darkness In A Different Light?”
Ray: Jim wrote some of the lyrics and I think I wrote eight songs on the album. Basically over the last nine years I just wrote about things in my life and relationships good and bad. Some are about my travels in Europe. I try to write from the heart something I’ve experienced and not something I don’t really know about. They are stories just accumulated over the last nine years.
xFiruath: The album’s artwork is very simplistic but kind of striking. How did it come together?
Ray: We had different ideas for the cover and if you could have seen the other one, it was between the one out now and another one, and it was complete night and day. One was completely dark with an eclipsed sun. With the title “Darkness In A Different Light” we didn’t know what we wanted to do for it. So we through the eclipse was kind of clever, but then we had this one other and I loved the idea of just a white cover. Just plain white and sparse and I liked that, because I like that sort of thing in my life. The scarcity of it is kind of shocking. Then we’ve got the white swan or crane. A different idea was to have a satellite falling out of the sky to the earth. The artist came up with the idea of a black swan. It stands out and it’s a cool graphic.
xFiruath: There’s a few weeks left of touring, but what’s happening after that’s done?
Ray: We’re booking a tour now for February in Europe, then we come back. I think we’ll go back to Europe again in April or May, then we’ll do the festivals throughout the Summer. We’re trying to also do South America and Mexico next year. The point is to tour as much as possible for this record.
xFiruath: The year-end lists are popping up now: is there anything you’d like to recommend as a great addition to 2013 metal?
Ray: Actually I’ve been so busy I haven’t listened to anything, honestly. I haven’t even really broken out my iPod on this tour. One night the crew and the band each played one song we liked, and I think I played Elbow, “Audience With the Pope,” and that’s not metal at all