Saturday, last day of the Wacken festival, Gerrit, Century Media's man meets us outside the press tent, Nevermore are already inside, Warrel Dane is giving an interview, and Jeff Loomis has just finished a prior interview, we sit down, Jeff is holding a beer, and the interview commences:
E: Hi Jeff! You've recently canceled a UK tour, why?
Interview with: Jeff Loomis, Nevermore's guitarist.
J: We had about six or seven shows planned in the UK, but the promotion there wasn’t good, and we had to cancel the show sadly…but we are planning to set up alternate shows there.
We have a new album set for release on March 2005, and we'll probably do shows after its release.
E: I know that the band left Century Media Records, and then re-signed with them,
What were the reasons for leaving, and why did you re-sign?
J: Century media just gave us the best offer for re-signing, a three record deal which we agreed on taking on.
E: You've added Steve Smyth as a second guitarist, how did he join the band, and how are things with him?
J: We've known Steve for quite some time; he used to come to all our shows in Seattle, we knew he was a good guitarist, and so, after one of our shows, we just asked him to join,
Things are great with him, we did a lot of shows together by now, and things seem good.
E: What are the writing processes within the band?
J: Well, unlike many other bands, I actually write all the music first, and since Steve joined he writes with me, and then Warrel writes the lyrics for the tracks, I don’t have nothing to do with the lyrics, theyr'e all Warrel's, I do know that the lyrics are extremely personal for him, the subjects are things that interest and that Warrel cares about.
E: The Enemies Of Reality album has a very different sound from prior albums, almost completely devoid of treble, was the sound intended to be like that?
J: No, we just didn’t have enough of a budget!
The label weren’t sure if we were going to re-sign with them, so we took on a Seattle producer, who once played guitar for Queensryche, he actually agreed to work within this very limited budget, the recording of the album took us about three months, I wasn’t very pleased with the result, but I'd like to be optimistic, and move on, and hope that the new album will make up for that.
In any case, with the release of the new album we'll also release a re-mixed version of the Enemies album, which will have much better sound.
E: You did a song about Timothy Leary, the originator of LSD, what is your take about using LSD, and what were the reasons for writing that track?
J: I only tried LSD once or twice, and it didn’t really have an effect on my writing, I usually use some lighter substances… (gives a meaningful wink…), yet when writing I don’t even drink, but I think that Warrel had more experience with it, and it had some effect on the way he creates and writes, and the subject itself really interests him, he is fascinated with that time, the 70's and 60's as a whole, so writing such a track had a great appeal to him, but regarding lyrics you really need to ask Warrel.
At this point I look around, but cannot locate the missing vocalist.
E: I can't see him…
J: There, the guy in a hat and strange looking sun-glasses…
I spot a strange looking guy, wearing a hat, and amazingly large sun-glasses, doing an interview.
E: Did he cut his hair? I don’t see his trademark hair!
J: No, he just packs it into the hat.
E: How do you personally write the music for the band?
J: I spent a lot of time each day writing music for each album, but at a certain point, when I feel that its becoming too much, I kinda stop, you need to stop before you lose the "vibe" you need to work on it when it s natural, and the music writes itself.
The band takes up a lot of my time, in my spare time I just hang around the computer at home…
E: Any particular thing you like about the computer?
J: Yea, I do almost everything on the computer, as order stuff via internet, but it's mostly games, especially strategic and shooting games.
E: Your music seems to infuse several genres together, thrash, death and other kinds of metal, what were your influences when starting out, and what are they today?
J: The first band I have to mention would be Queen, but we take on a multitude of influences when writing, we also rely on psychedelic music, from the 60's and 70's,
E: I think that you actually have a genre of your own.
J: Thanks, that's quite a compliment for me.
At this point Gerrit comes in, telling us that the interview has stretched past its time, and we say goodbye to the friendly, red-haired guitarist.
Elad Miasnikov and Martin Gravholm.