Fates Warning interview

Fates Warning advertisement for "Parallels"

Originally published in ‘zine issue #3, 1991

Fates Warning’s new one, Parallels, is out in stores, and is more than a slight departure from the band’s earlier work. Vocalist Ray Alder and I spoke of how the band’s sound has changed over its long career, and other things.

D.U.: Will the lineup remain stable for the next album, do you think?

Ray: No. Never again. Just kidding. Uh, yeah, it’s not surprising that it happened this time. We’re all very compatible, musician-wise. [laughs] Personality-wise, I don’t think you’d find five different personalities in a room of 500 people. Yet we all get along. And hopefully the next album, yeah.

Would you say that you’ve taken a step back to the way the earlier phase of the band was, when the songs were more straight-ahead?

Actually, you know, you’re the first person that’s ever said that, going back to the albums, how the first ones were a lot more straight-ahead. I mean, no one’s even noticed that. Um, I don’t think we’re really going back to any roots or anything. I think we started to get a bit ahead of ourselves doing these big, long instrumental passages a lot of people didn’t understand, or didn’t even want to listen to. We’re getting back, shortening the songs a little bit, making them a bit more musical, a bit more melodious vocal-wise, chorus-wise.

When people hear the “musician’s band” tag that you get sometimes, do they think you’re some kind of techno-band or something?

Yeah, well, I think we did get a bit technical there for a while. I mean, it was one of those things to see what we could do. Being labeled a techno-band is good, because you can’t be a technical band unless you’re good musicians. I think we have some great musicians in our band. Myself, no, because I don’t play anything. But it’s not really a bad thing.

“People have to accept change, man. Nothing stays the same.”

Do you play anything live off of the first three albums?

Last tour we did. We played “Damnation,” and I think we played “Epitaph” also. We usually play something off the first three albums.

How much griping did you get from the fans when you started getting more technical and writing longer songs?

Um [pause] it wasn’t really much griping. I think everybody liked it. I think No Exit was a big turning point. It was the biggest-selling album. A lot of people wanted us to continue in that direction.

Have you gotten flak for going back to the shorter songs?

I mean, I think there’s always gonna be that. It’s not a big thing. But I think we always will, because we always change. Every album is so much more different from the last. We don’t wanna re-hash old subjects. We’ve done them already, and we want to continue and see what our limits are. People have to accept change, man. Nothing stays the same.

Do you have a last comment to throw in?

I hope everyone likes the album, gives us a good listen. See you on tour. ■


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