The BIG Über Rock Interview: Steve Williams (Power Quest) Print E-mail
Written by Linzi A   
Sunday, 02 July 2017 04:00

British power metallers Power Quest have just announced details of their sixth studio album (their first in six years), ‘Sixth Dimension’, which will be released on 13 October via Inner Wound Recordings in Europe and USA and two days earlier in Japan via Marquee/Avalon.

 

Power Quest

 

In what may seem to be a twist of fate, or karma, the band have also been confirmed as the support to Dragonforce – the band keyboard player Steve Williams left before he formed Power Quest in 2001 – on the UK leg of their ‘Reaching Into Infinity’ tour in October.

 

Hot on the heels of both announcements, I jumped on a red-hot Skype connection to catch up with Williams and garner his views on the new album and what lies on the immediate horizon for himself and the band as they prepare to re-acquaint themselves with metal audiences across the Überverse… it was our first chat since we’d caught up with each other at Hammerfest back in March…

 

Yeah, Hammerfest was back in late March, but I’ve been so damn busy since then that it only seems like a matter of a few weeks ago rather than a few months. Time flies that’s for sure.

 

Obviously, you have had a slight line up change, due to two members leaving just before Hammerfest, which meant you had to get two guys to step in to cover the festival temporarily: having just a little over 24 hours to learn the set, they did tremendously well. After this you auditioned for full time members. We are glad to see that Andy Kopczyk decided to become a full-time member of the band and you have also got Glyn Williams (ex-Triaxis) join the line-up as second guitarist. How are the guys settling in?

 

Both Glyn and Andy are excellent guitarists and musicians – but, more importantly, they are great people. Just the kind of people I want to work with and spend time with. The entire band has gelled incredibly well both musically and personally and this is just the start of course.

 

Glyn submitted a video of him playing ‘Face The Raven’ as soon as he heard that we were looking for new players - and he absolutely nailed it, 100 per cent. It was really only a case of meeting up and making sure personalities were right - and that was apparent after about five minutes to be fair.

 

After seeing the incredible work ethic that Andy has, especially working with Benjamin Ellis (Scar Symmetry) to help us save the Hammerfest show, it seemed only right and proper that we gave him the opportunity to join Glyn in the ranks.

 

Both guys have great charisma on stage and get on great as a pair as well. Seeing them running from one side of the stage to the other was really cool and enhances the visual aspect of the show immeasurably.

 

Andy was just incredible at Hammerfest: he did really well learning the set in such a short amount of time, and when he stepped out onto that stage he was like an uncaged animal. He really proved his worth. He’s incredibly talented.

 

Your first gig with the new line up was at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth: how did that go?

 

It was a really cool night, actually. A really good crowd and lots of people had travelled down from London and the Midlands, and also from mainland Europe as well. It was great to see so many familiar faces and old friends in the crowd too.

 

We had Ashley’s brother Brad standing in on bass duties that evening, as Paul is taking some time to spend with his young family at present. Brad will also be standing in at SOS as well, before Paul returns to the fold in August.

 

We see you have just finished recording the new album, and that you have sent it off to Sweden to be mastered; is this where you sent previous albums?

 

Power Quest artwork

 

It’s the first time I have used the services of Jens Bogren at Fascination Street studios, but I’ve been a big fan of his work in recent years, so, when the time came to select a mastering studio, he was top of my wish list.

 

How did the recording process go: any stories you can tell us about from behind the scenes in the studio?

 

It was a very smooth operation to be honest, with Alessio Garavello in the producer’s chair. I can’t imagine anyone else in the world with the same insight into the band from that role as Al has. Combine that with the fact that we’ve known each other for 16 years now, it was absolutely the right choice to work with him at Rogue Studios in London, which he owns. Anybody considering making a record, irrespective of genre, should give Al a shout as he’s the man in my opinion.

 

I don’t think there are actually too many stories to tell to be honest. We’re not the kind of band who do anything other than work hard when we are in the studio – so, no drunken tales of tomfoolery I’m afraid, ha ha ha.

 

One pretty cool thing that happened was when Rich went to the US embassy to secure his visa for the trip to Atlanta, he bumped into Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden. Not something that happens every day eh? We also ventured into an Italian restaurant on the Old Kent Road during the drum recording sessions and got chatting to the owner, whose son happened to be in band back home in Italy. He decided to phone his son to see if he had heard of Power Quest. Turns out he had - but he didn’t believe his dad when he said that we were eating in his restaurant, so his dad handed us the ‘phone and when I introduced myself, from the other end came “Holy Shit”! After that I thought it would be a cool thing to send him a T-shirt from the band as well.

 

Are you able to tell us about any guests that may be appearing on the album?

 

We have three special guests appearing on the new record: there will be two guest guitar solos and one guest vocal appearance on the title track. This song I co-wrote with Richard West from UK progressive metal masters Threshold.

 

Boo, you’re not giving anything away today, are you Steve? Come on we want all the juicy details…

 

Sorry, not today: keep your eyes peeled.

 

Your release date for the album is 13 October, which is a Friday: are you superstitious or are you still aiming for the date?

 

Absolutely!

 

We will be catching up with you guys for the fabulous SOS Festival here in Manchester at the end of July. What have you guys got lined up for this?

 

SOS header

 

As it is the 15th anniversary of our debut album, which we will be playing full at Sabaton Open Air in August, you can certainly expect to hear some tunes from that record at SOS - and possibly the first ever live performance of one song from that album too. Alongside that, we will be adding a nice mixture of material from the PQ back catalogue as well, of course.

 

The only downside for me is that after we play I will have to drive home to Southampton overnight so I’m ready for work on Monday morning. Needs must when the devil drives right? Ha h aha!

 

Certainly, needs must!  Can we expect a new PQ video anytime soon?

 

Yeah. We will be filming a video in late July for the single that will be released ahead of the album. This will be the song ‘Kings and Glory’. I would anticipate this being released towards the end of September.

 

What's next for the band?

 

After SOS, we head to Sweden in August for Sabaton Open Air festival and then we fly to Japan for a couple of festival shows in early September and immediately after that we fly to the US for PPUSA Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

[It’s] really exciting times to be honest - and that’s not even the end of the matter. We will be going out on tour in the UK in early October on an 1- date run as special guests of my old mates DragonForce. That’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun, and I think the UK power metal community will be really happy to finally see this bill on the road. A couple of weeks after that we then play four UK headline shows in London, Cardiff, Wolverhampton and Newcastle. I’ll need a lie down after all this activity ha ha ha!

 

To sign off, is there anything you would like to say directly to your fans/followers?

 

As always, I’d like to thank all our amazing fans around the world who have welcomed us back so warmly. It’s been a real thrill catching up with so many old friends over the past 12 months and I look forward to more of that in the months and years to come. I should say a special thank you to everyone who supported us in our crowd funding activities for the new record. Without these guys, the album would not have been able to have been made, that’s for sure. [We’re] looking forward to meeting everyone at SOS, Sabaton Open Air, Evoken Festival in Japan, PPUSA and, of course, on tour in the UK in October!

 

Dragonforce tour poster

 

As mentioned, Power Quest also play the following dates:

 

Thursday 26 October – Newcastle, Trillians
Friday 27 October - Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Saturday 28 October – Cardiff, Fuel
Sunday 29 October – Camden, Underworld

 

www.facebook.com/powerquestofficial/

 

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