Thursday, March 05, 2015

Leah: New interview published.

Celtic/metal crossover artist Leah has been interviewed by Ravenheart Music. The interview was conducted by Dave Smith and an excerpt follows:

Hi LEAH, we here at Ravenheart Music are really enjoying your music, and your new album 'Kings & Queens" is totally awesome. So may I ask you, if you can tell us a little about yourself and how did you come about seeking a career within the music business?
From a young age I always wanted to be a singer. There was a time, before the internet was really a force for music, where I just hoped I would somehow get "discovered". But that didn't happen. So I continued writing music anyway, and then it wasn't until after I started a family that I had the opportunity to finally record an album. By that time I had a huge catalog of songs to choose from, which was nice, and also the internet was finally a big deal for the music industry. I didn't need to wait around to be discovered; I just made the music I wanted and put it out there.

Can you tell us more about your music and your past releases?
I released my debut album, "Of Earth & Angels" in June of 2012 which is a range of symphonic rock and metal to folk and Celtic stuff. Then shortly after I made a quick little live-styled Christmas EP called "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence". Then in October of 2013 I released a 5-song EP called "Otherworld" which featured Eric Peterson on the track "Dreamland". That EP has a softer, more ethereal vibe to the whole thing. My goal with Otherworld was to tide my fans over until the next full-length album, which I thought might happen in the next year or so. Then in the Spring of 2014 I launched a huge Indiegogo campaign, trying to raise $25,000 to fund the next full-length album. Well we succeeded and surpassed the amount ahead of time! So for the rest of 2014 I spent all my time writing and recording "Kings & Queens". It's the heaviest and most diverse of all my albums.

How would you describe your music to those music lovers who may be unfamiliar with it?
Hmm... Symphonic metal, Celtic, worldly-folk rock. Lots of ethereal sounds and vocals.

Can you tell us a little more about your latest album 'KINGS & QUEENS', that like your other releases is a very good recording?
Kings & Queens has many different things going on. From gregorian monks chanting to Celtic harp, medieval harpsichord on top of serious metal riffs and nearly power-metal drumming at times, it's an interesting mix. I wanted to showcase some of the folk and eastern flavors I am drawn to while also keeping to my Celtic roots, and at the same time I wanted to go a little heavier and more progressive. The songs are longer and I do more with my voice on this album.

Can you explain the meaning of the title of the album to our readers?
Kings & Queens was a good description of the overall theme of the album. I like to summarize albums in a nutshell if it's possible. To me, the title encases everything. The lyrical content has a lot to do with kingdoms, dystopias, dynasties and the like. And I also wanted to incorporate the chess elements into it.

Is there a lyrical theme running through the new album?
There is, though it wasn't intentional. Of Earth & Angels had that happen too, and also by accident. I just write what comes out and it often all fits together nicely. As I mentioned previously, there's a lot of themes to do with kingdoms, battles, history and even modern times, but it all fits into a "court" type of setting or my own Middle Earth, if you will.

How did you hook up with Timo Somers and Sander Zoer of DELAIN, and Barend Courbois of Blind Guardian and Vengeance?
I met them through Christian Moos of Spacelab Studios in Germany who mixed my Otherworld EP. When I was thinking of doing the next project he introduced me to Timo and we hit it off great. After that, Timo helped me find the right guys for bass and drums!

How do you keep your awesome vocals chords in trim?
Well I have kids, so I get to use my vocal chords every day just for that! It might sound funny, but when my kids are playing too far away to hear well, I practice using my "mix voice" to call them (a blend of head and chest). Not in a singing voice, but in a talking voice that pierces pretty well and they can hear it pretty far. And that's what singers usually call "belting", but this way it doesn't hurt at all. So that's one way! And besides that, when I'm not in major music mode, I just let it rest a lot. When I need to get my voice in shape for the studio, I use the Singing Success program. It's the best.

From your new album or indeed your past releases, do you have a personal fave track?
Right now I don't have any favorites, but sometimes when I go back and listen to my past releases it's like it's brand new again. From OE&A I like "Say Yes", from Otherworld I like "Shores of Your Lies", and K&Q I like "This Present Darkness". But that all changes from time to time :)

Are there any tours in the pipeline?
Not at the moment.

And if you could tour with a band/artist of your choice, who would they be?
So many to choose from. I'm sure any other bands under the same symphonic-metal umbrella would be great. If I was doing an all-metal show, I would choose Eluvietie or Lacuna Coil, Nighwish, anyone amazing like that. If I were to do more of an acoustic show, I would choose Cecile Corbel or Loreena McKennitt.

To read the full interview go here:

Xerath: Receive the approval of Steve Vai and Devin Townsend for their cover of Dirty Black Hole.

Symphonic metal Xerath have posted the following:

Steven Wilson: Talks about the chances of a Porcupine Tree reunion.

Steven Wilson insists he wouldn’t want to take the lead on writing duties in any Porcupine Tree reunion.

The frontman has never ruled out a return to the band, although in January he shot down rumours that it was set to happen in the near future.

But if they do get back together, he has no interest in bringing in a near-complete album like he used to.

Wilson tells Under The Radar: “I would have to say to the guys, ‘Look, there’s no point in me writing the material. If I were to do that I might as well do it for a solo record. Let’s try writing together, or writing in partnerships.”

He accepts that, no matter how successful his solo career becomes, he’ll always be asked about Porcupine Tree. “I think of someone like Peter Gabriel – people are still asking him when Genesis are getting back together,” says Wilson.

“It’s not a bad thing; it’s a flattering thing. When you step out of a reasonably successful band it doesn’t matter how good your solo work is. People always have a nostalgic attachment to the band identity. I’m used to it now.

“But it is frustrating sometimes that I have to explain, four albums into my solo career, that if Porcupine Tree get back together, it will be a side-project.”

Wilson just released Hand. Cannot. Erase. the follow-up to 2013’s The Raven That Refused To Sing – both of which have helped his solo career rocket.

PT drummer Gavin Harrison recently completed work on an album of the band’s music, reinterpreted in a big-band format. Wilson says of Cheating The Polygraph: “It’s brilliant – I love it! he sat me down and played me some of those tracks. I was almost the whole way through and he said, ‘Do you recognise it?’ I said, ‘No.’ And these are songs I wrote. It’s a beautifully executed piece of work.

Cheating The Polygraph is released on April 13. Hand. Cannot. Erase. is on sale now. Wilson is the cover star of the latest edition of Prog and he tours the UK later this month:

Mar 12: Cambridge Corn Exchange
Mar 13: Cardiff St David’s Hall
Mar 14: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Mar 16: Edinburgh Queens Hall
Mar 17: London Troxy
Mar 18: Wolverhampton Civic Hall

John Wetton: To release two new albums this month.

Asia and UK vocalist John Wetton is releasing two albums this month – a live set and a double-disc anthology of his solo material.

The former King Crimson man, who’s been fronting prog icons UK on their final tour, will release both titles through Cherry Red.

The first, New York Minute, sees him performing many of the tracks that inspired him – some of which have never previously been available on record. It’s topped with his solo hit Battle Lines and Asia classic Heat Of The Moment.

Then comes The Studio Recordings Anthology, containing 32 tracks from six of his solo albums and featuring guest appearances by Robert Fripp, Steve Hackett, Geoff Downes, Steve Lukather and many others.

New York Minute is out this week while The Studio Recordings Anthology follows next week.


Do It Again
What’s Going On?
God Only Knows
Can’t Find My Way Home
New York Minute
All Along The Watchtower
Lady Madonna
Heat Of The Moment
Battle Lines


The Circle Of St. Giles
The Last Thing On My Mind
Hold Me Now
Where Do We Go From Here?
Another Twist Of The Knife
I've Come To Take You Home
I Can't Lie Anymore
Lost For Words
Battle Lines
Caught In The Crossfire
Right Where I Wanted To Be
Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way
Second Best
Real World

Heart Of Darkness
Say It Ain't So
Cold In The Night
You're Not The Only One
Raised In Captivity
Steffi's Ring
Walking On Air
Take Me To The Waterline
Battle Lines (Acoustic)
I Lay Down
Rock Of Faith
Who Will Light A Candle?
You Against The World
After All

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Leah: Posts an excellent cover of Stratovarius' Unbreakable.

Celtic/metal crossover artist Leah has posted the following:

A very loyal fan who helped me with my campaign requested me to sing this Stratovarius song. It was power metal. It's been Leah-fied! Enjoy.


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