AHHH...the joys of coming from a metal state. In this case my joy is Jacobs Dream a band also from my home state of OHIO. They may not be the heaviest band or the most progressive band, but they blend the two elements together good enough that fans of both will enjoy the music. Plus they acually can write intelligent lyrics which is rare in these "must sing about dungeons and dragons stuff" days of metal. I can sleep abit better at night knowing that Jacobs Dream will be there in the future to challenge me mentally and give me a little whiplash for good luck. With that said I managed to track down drummer Billy Queen and pester him with my stupidity like so many before him.
Prof.ManiC: : What line up changes have happened since the last cd and the start of the new one? How will those changes effect the sound in compared to the self-titled?
Billy Queen: Both Gary Holtzman and Jon Noble have left the band. However, we have hired a new guitarist named Derek Eddleblute to replace them. The effect of this won't really be heard on this CD as Derek was hired as we were finishing the guitar tracks. 95% of what you'll hear on this CD will be John Berry. But, there are differences on this CD, just not due to the change in the line-up. This CD can only be described as leaner and meaner. heavier than the first CD and more pronounced guitar tracks with a lot more crunch. Derek's influence will definately be felt in our live shows and on our next CD though. He's a great live performer and our sound will be much less cluttered.
Prof.ManiC: what past experience do you in the metal genre? How did you end up with the drumming job? What drumming gods Do you pray to?
:Billy Queen: I've played metal most of my life, but also have branched out into some jazz and blues. I grew up on the earliest metal bands...before the term "metal" was even around. Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Grand Funk Railroad, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest when I was a little older, Alice Cooper; those were my introductions into metal. Then in 1974 I heard a band that changed my life: Rush. I've been a fan since then and have learned and grown with each of their new albums. Each new Rush release was like a new class in rhythmic changes and time signatures. Neil Peart is my foremost influence, along with Mike Portnoy, the late Cozy Powell, Tommy Aldridge, and several other jazz drummers you've probably never heard of.
Prof.ManiC: what other ohio bands do the band members enjoy seeing or playing with? How often do you guys play in Ohio? Ever gonna play in Cleveland?
Billy Queen: Actually, we've only done one gig with another Ohio band: Antithesis at the Agora in Cleveland. We're in the process of booking a bunch of local gigs and hope to meet a lot of other bands. We'll play anywhere for anyone at anytime. One problem is that we simply don't know many local venues or bands, so we're kinda hoping people will hear we're available for gigs and call us up.
Prof.ManiC: On the last cd i noticed lots of different voices layered on top of each other. Will this continue on the new cd? do you guys do all the voices live or just the dominate ones?
Billy Queen: Actually, I recall only a few overdubs. We actually do very few backup vocals live. There won't be as many layered vocal parts on this CD simply because the songs are a little more guitar oriented. David is a great singer and none of us can hold a candle to him. A lot of harmonies wouldn't do these songs justice.
Prof.ManiC: When is THEATRE OF WAR gonna be out? What can we look forward too? Same progressive style and >intelligent lyrics? Better cd cover this time? Who will produce it since rick left?
Billy Queen: First, Rick May was never actually in Jacobs Dream. He simply did the drum tracks on the CD. It should be released in the U.S. in July and in Europe in May. The style will be in the same vein, definitely Jacobs Dream, but much heavier and more intense. And yes, a much better CD cover. The first cover sucked really bad. We're also producing this one ourselves with a great amount of assistance from the chief engineer, Joe Viers.
Prof.ManiC: What are some of the issues addressed in the new cd? any surprises on the cd in general?
Billy Queen: Well, we cover the results of drinking and driving in a song called Sarah Williams; the pride of parental responsibility in Wisdom; our bombing of Japan at the end of WW II in Critical Mass; and a lot of conflict: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical.
Prof.ManiC: Whats the average age of the members? What do you guys do during the day to help pay the bills?
Billy Queen: We range from early 40s to late 20s. We do all have day jobs at this point, but music is what we hope to do full-time as soon as possible. We work at AAA, Xerox, an electronics supply company and, believe it or not, a hearing aid store! LOL!! That might come in handy some day. LOL!!
Prof.ManiC: Does all touring and recording come out of the labels pockets or do you guys find yourself digging for loose change in the cushions of the car seats?
:Billy Queen: Metal Blade fronts all money for touring and recording. If we had to be digging for loose change, we probably wouldn't be doing this. LOL!
Prof.ManiC: Where is your biggest following? Im betting its not OHIO!
Billy Queen: Actually, Ohio has some great clubs and the people know how to party and rock with the hardest of them. But no, our biggest following is in Europe. Metal is more mainstream there. You have to go underground and to the internet here to get it.
Prof.ManiC: When you guys have to practice do you rent out a place(if so how much it run ya?) or whos humble home gets to be violated? And how does the other people who>live there react to the "noise"? Including pets!?
Billy Queen: LOL!! We practice in a very nice basement. The woman who lives there works second shift, so we have the run of the place. It works out really well for us. She's the only person living there so we aren't destroying the hearing of any pets...unless they belong to the neighbors. LOL!
Prof.ManiC: The band comes off as religious but yet unlike alot of "holy rollers" you arent blind by faith and can see the hypocrisy that the church has shown in its past...does the band thinks its important to see the negative side of it all to better understand the positive teachings? or im i just reading to much into it?
:Billy Queen: Actually, I'd say you're pretty much right on the money. The church has a horrible past and much to be ashamed of. But our faith isn't in a church. Most churches have forgotten what they're supposed to be about. Not all, but I'd say most. I, personally, believe that we are supposed to be tolerant and kind and accept people...ALL people...right where they are. I also know I'm not worthy to judge anyone for any reason. I just want my life and music to express my beliefs without cramming it down someone's throat.
Prof.ManiC: "Scapegoat" and ""Crusade" I think are your strongest songs both musically and lyriclly....what came first the lyrics or the music? Who wrote the lyrics for these two songs? WHo writes most of the lyrics? What songs does the band feel are its strongest ones?
Billy Queen: Actually, most of the songs are truly a collaborative effort. The music and lyrics usually develop simultaneously. David is the main lyricist though. As far as our favorites, each of us would probably have a different answer. "Sanctuary," "Theater of War," "Traces of Grace," and "Wisdom" from our new CD are the ones I enjoy the most. But I also like "Scape Goat," "Crusade," "Kinescope," "Funambulism," and "Tail of Fears" off the first CD quite a bit. Those are songs I could play forever and never get tired of.
Prof.ManiC: I'll name an emotion/mood and you name yourfavorite cds or songs to listen when in that mood?
Billy Queen: Okay, we'll do this. But keep in mind that what I listen to depends on whether I want to wallow in my self-pity/anger/loneliness/what-have-you, or mend my head and heart and regain a foothold on a more stable emotional ground.
Prof.ManiC: depressed?
Billy Queen: Rush-"Different Strings," "Losing It," "Ghost of a Chance." Neil >Schon-"Beyond the Thunder", or Pink Floyd's "P.U.L.S.E." video
Prof.ManiC: Pissed off?
Billy Queen: Dream Theater-"Scenes from a Memory", Iron Maiden-"Powerslave", Rush-"Counterparts", Al DiMiola-"Kiss my Axe".
Prof.ManiC drunk?
Billy Queen: Usually anything sounds good! LOL!! >
Prof.ManiC Happy go lucky?
Billy Queen: Rush-"New World Man" I'm almost always a happy-go-lucky guy, so anything I listen to fills that bill. :-)
Prof.ManiC Just got lucky?
Billy Queen: LOL!! Ummmmm....what does that mean? :-P Probably too varied to mention just a few. I could say either something very mellow like David Lanz or something very heavy. It just depends. Music, itself, is very sexual. Sex is, in a way, its own music. :-P>>>
Prof.ManiC What does 2001 have in store for the band? for u?
Billy Queen: This year looks very bright for us. The anticipation for the release of our CD is growing greatly and I'm sure we'll be touring a lot more this year. We're also looking to book as many gigs as we can ourselves and hope to play more in the U.S. However, we'll play where ever we can for anyone. We're also going to start writing for our next CD as soon as possible.
Prof.ManiC final comments?
Billy Queen: We just want to thank everyone for the incredible support they've given us. We hope to play more areas so we can meet more of the people who enjoy our music. We appreciate all of you very much and hope to always please you with our efforts.