Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to a great keyboard player and musician from England, Steve Williams. Perhaps you remember him in DragonHeart and now he is leading a great British Power Metal band, POWER QUEST who have released their fifth album, “Blood Alliance” in 2011. If you are a power hungry metalhead and if you like Pumpkinish Metal then you will perhaps like POWER QUEST as they play Metal with a powerful and loud style.
Steve also works for the IT industry and I want to wish him luck and success in both jobs. I had my chance to have an interview with him recently and ask him some questions that you may find interesting.
Hey dude! Hope you are doing great! All good here…..very busy at the moment as I’m starting a new job in Nottingham in a couple of weeks. The big news from PQ is that we have 4 shows with Freedom Call in Europe in March and then an appearance at PPM festival in Belgium in April. Can’t wait!
For my first question, I’d like know what passion made you choose learning and playing Piano and music when you were eighteen?
Well my parents actually started my piano lessons when I was 7 years old and I continued with my studies until I was 18 years old. I also studied violin for 6 years and am a self taught guitarist and bassist.
It seems your professional career as a musician began when you got a message from Herman Li to join DragonHeart (Dragonforce). And now after all of these years I’d like to know how you feel about your past career and music and what was the main factor that made you choose Metal music?
I guess DragonHeart was where people first noticed me but you have to remember that I’ve always worked a day job too. I’ve worked in the IT industry for 20 years and without that income I would not be able to afford to keep PQ active.
Let’s go forward to the POWER QUEST-Era, It seems you had some problems recruiting permanent members into the band, would you tell me about those days?
I was lucky having Alessio, Andrea, Steve and Francesco with me until 2007 and since 2009 I have had Andy, Gav, Rich and Paul….and now Colin as well. Of course we have had a few line up changes over the years but these were mainly due to people wanting to different things in their lives. The great thing of course is that almost everyone who has been in the band over the past 11 years are still my great friends.
Let’s talk about the POWER QUEST’s fifth album, “Blood Alliance”, why did you choose Chris Fielding as the producer and Felipe Machado Franco for designing the artwork? I’d also like to know more about the ideas of that artwork, especially about the portal that maybe is a way to another world.
We decided to record at a different studio for the first album with the new lineup and we chose the studio where Chris works (Foel Studio in Wales) because we had heard great things about it. I first worked with Felipe on the Master of Illusion album artwork. For Blood Alliance, we worked very closely on the concept together. The main theme being that the Master of Illusion character has traveled to the 21st century via a portal.
How has the album been received so far?
I’ve been very pleased with the feedback and reaction to the album. Of course it has been out for a year now but I was curious as to how the fans would react to a PQ album with a whole new line up. Luckily the fans and the press really liked the record and many have said its the best PQ album so far.
Right, let’s talk about the last changing line up of POWER QUEST, “We are thrilled to welcome Colin into the band. He impressed each and every one of us at his audition a couple of months back and he really understands what Power Quest is all about. His voice and personality are exactly what we have been looking for. Welcome aboard brother!” was what you commented. Would you tell me the story of how Colin came to join the band? And is he comfortable with band now?
Colin is great guy and a fantastic singer. I’ve known him for a few years as he’s been a PQ fan for a long time. He has gelled with the rest of the guys amazingly well.When we were looking for a new guy…..I played some of Colin’s band Karuna to the rest of the band. They really liked it so we flew him in from Ireland. We also checked out a handful of other singers as well and, although it was a close decision, Colin really did deserve to get the gig.
Perhaps you answered these questions a lot these days, but would you tell me what’s your and the bands plan for 2012 and 2013? And when do you think you’ll start working on some new material?
Well as I mentioned earlier, we have some shows with Freedom Call and then PPM Festival after which we will look for a few summer festivals and start working on some new material. I’ve got a lot on with my new day job as well as I’m working for a blue chip organisation so things will be quieter this year for PQ.
Have you any plan to share the stage with Helloween or Gamma Ray or Stratovarius in near future as they are the best known of the leaders of Melodic Power Metal (Europian Power Metal)? And I’d like to know if any of them have been influencial for you, let me know if there are other bands or musicians that may have influenced you too.
I love all those bands, especially Helloween who I have been a fan of since 1985. We were lucky enough to tour with them back in 2006, which was a dream come true.I guess Iron Maiden, Helloween, Dream Theater, Van Halen and Marillion are probably my biggest influences as, apart from DT, I grew up with all those bands.
We have some super-bands like Symfonia and Unisonic today that are formed by legendary musicians that Rock the flag of Power Metal, do you think this is a beginning of an age of a Super-band Era in the Power Metal music industry? And I’d like to know which musicians you feel were or are the most influencial in the whole of the power metal history?
I’m not a big fan of people being in multiple bands but very few people can make a living being in one power metal band these days, mainly due to the downturn in CD sales. I’ve had a lot of offers to work with other bands and projects over the years but one band and my day job take almost all my time.
Thanks for giving me your time mate, feel free to leave a message to your fans and our readers here.
No worries mate, thank you for the opportunity to do this interview and I hope your readers enjoy reading it. I’d like to thank you all for your support as it is you guys who keep PQ alive! Remember…….the Quest must go on !
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Interview by Mohsen Fayyazi