Rage has been around for over 20
years. With a lot of different lineups to be sure, but all the time with
Peter "Peavy" Wagner in the front.
It is his band. Yet they feel like a unity as a band more than ever, with
the incredible skills of guitarist Victor Smolski and drummer Mike Terrana.
We decided to have a few words with Peavy prior to their concert at Folkets
Park in Växjö, Sweden the 30th of March 2006.
entire interview in audio format (18 minutes, 4.19 Mb)
David: Hello Peavy! Can you tell us something
about Speak Of The Dead?
David: How do you compare it to the earlier
Peavy: Each record is a new thing you know
A difference is that we have an orchestra on this one, in "Suite
Lingua Mortis". We did this ten years ago on Ligua Mortis and
XIII, so maybe we can compare it with that stuff. I general
well, it is divided in two halves, the first half with the orchestra
and the second is the metal half. And I think it has some great compositions
on it, haha. Check it out and it speaks for itself, I guess.
How has it been received so far?
David: Have you read any reviews?
David: Which song is your favorite on the
David: Which old Rage song is your favorite
to play live?
Peavy: I don't know
We just put I'm Crucified,
from Welcome To The Other Side, back in the liveset. I don't really
have any favorite. You can imagine that I don't really feel to play
Don't Fear The Winter or Higher Than The Sky anymore, since we've
played them for so many years. It's like standard for us and we don't
really think about it that much anymore.
David: Rage is one of very few bands, going
on as long as you have, that still manages to renew your sound from record
to record and make it sound fresh, but still maintain what is Rage. How
do you do that?
Peavy: What a question
We just kept our
creativity. It's the driving factor we have, why we still do it. We
love to write songs. We're not trying to copy ourselves, we try to
write new songs - not just repeat the old stuff and give it a different
title, you know, haha.
What is the Rage 'sound' anyway. Can you define it?
David: You've tried a lot of different
stuff. What is your next goal as a band?
David: You are quite an 'international'
band, with members from Germany, Belarus and USA. What are the pros and
cons of that?
- Peavy: Well, here
usually all the jokes start, A German, a Russian and an American meet.
It works, you know!
David: Do you feel like a unity as a band?
Peavy: It's a
special unity in this band, although we don't think about it that
much anymore, since we have been going on for such long time. It's
seven years we have been together. It's the longest I have been with
the same band actually. And still we want to go on, because we like
to do this together.
David: What is the special chemistry?
David: Do you write songs first and then
discover that: "Hey this would sound great with an orchestra!",
or do you decide to use an orchestra first and then write songs?
Peavy: With this
new song Suite Lingua Mortis it was decided to do an orchestra suite
before. Actually this one was completely composed by Victor Smolski.
I was also coming with parts, but it was not really any use for my
stuff anymore, he had already everything completely composed, and
it sounded really good. So I just stepped back and said: "Ok,
you got your masterpiece here." I think he had an orchestra in
mind already. But you should ask him about this composition. He's
a very good composer and has studied this kind of stuff for many years.
I think he can tell you more interesting stuff about how he composed
David: What do think are the most important
ingredients when writing a metal song?
- Peavy: I write
most of the 'metal' songs in this band. Like Full Moon, Be With Me Or
Be Gone and the title track. That's my specialty, that's what I can
write best. Victor does more of this guitar oriented, progressive stuff.
I think the combination is really interesting.
David: Do you have any secret when writing
a song, to get started?
- Peavy: Not really. I don't know how other people
write, haha. Usually I just jam with myself. Let the inspiration flow,
you know. Sometimes I dream of a song also, and I wake up and have harmonies
and melodies in my head. I grab a guitar and try it on. Creativity is
something very unique and very personal. Generally it's about catching
up what is coming in you brain.
I seldom hear anyone say anything bad about Rage, everybody seems to like
you, but still you are quite a small band
- Peavy: Everybody likes it but no one buys the
haha. Is everybody downloading the stuff? It's a mystery
to myself. Things have gone as far as we have been able to live on this
music for so many years. That's a big gift I think. Not everybody can
live from this music nowadays. It has been a great life so long, being
a musician. It's not a job for me, it's a profession. It's not for granted
that you can live from this
Some band has sold more, but I don't
want to compare myself to those who have been so lucky, there are legions
of bands that just do it for a hobby. We are quite fortunate with Rage.
David: This is the fourth time I will see
Rage live, what can you offer me tonight that I haven't seen before?
Peavy: Well, we have a different live set.
We have exchanged a lot of the songs that we did on the last tour,
and play some songs that we haven't played since far ago. A different
it's still us you know! You won't
see a different band, haha.
David: How do you prepare yourself for a
- Peavy: I just warm up on the bass. I don't
warm up my voice. We select material, the combination of songs, so that
I can warm up during the show. Not the most difficult songs in the beginning
We do some massage for the hand muscles, it works really good.
David: How has your voice evolved through
- Peavy: It has actually, I think, from the first
albums until now. And for my personal taste I think it's for the better.
It's just sounding better. In the 80s, everybody had to sing like Mickey
Mouse you know, high pitch yelling
was very popular then. To be
who wants that? Who really likes that way of singing? For
my personal taste it doesn't sound heavy, it just sounds like someone
without balls, you know
I'm a man, a full-grown man, not a Mickey
Mouse, haha. Vocals should touch the heart of something. A singer should
sing in his natural voice range. Every voice has a natural range where
it sounds good. You don't have to strain or force yourself. It just
sounds good, sounds natural and that's what I've been trying to do the
What new musical influences do you pick up today?
- Peavy: Lately I've been listening to more progressive
stuff. Freak Kitchen
from Sweden! Are they popular here?
David: Actually, quite popular I think
- Peavy: A lot of good progressive bands are
from Sweden. But I don't know if I have been influenced from this. Otherwise
I still listen to classical music. Still like classic metal bands
they still do good records. I'm still not listening to techno or rap
David: Do you feel like this is the best
time in your career?
- Peavy: I don't think about this kind of stuff.
The best time is always the present time. The past is over, I don't
really live in the past and I don't live in the future. Now is the best
time to focus on.
David: That was all my questions I think.
Do you like to say something to the Metal Covenant readers?
- Peavy: That is always the last question
and I always use to thank the fans, whoever reads this and who is interested
in the band, who is supporting the band by buying the album or coming
to a show - thanks! That's what keeps us going.
Thanks for the interview, Peavy!
of the gig the same night - 2006 03 03
the last album Speak Of The Dead