the band

I got a chance to interview my long time friend from UK, the singer Rick Cartey of Brave New World. For starters here's some history about BNW: It all started in 1994 when Rick got his band then known as Passion Street signed to the Swedish label Megarock Records releasing the album "Million Miles Away". The music was more into aor and softer than what BNW is today. The album sold well in Europe and Japan and the band played shows with bands like Peter Frampton, Enuff 'z' Nuff and Aces High. The band went through some line-up changes the following years and changed their name to Brave New World. The band members today are:

DRUMS - TOMMY FOLSTADLI (formerly of Valhalla)

Now you have a chance to check out the debut album from BNW titled "Monsters", recorded and mixed in Denmark by Kim Baeckgaard (worked with Aces High) and mastered by Torben Schmidt (of Skagarack fame/produced/managed Freak Kitchen). The album will also be available through the website.

For more info check out:

Now let's get down to business then !

AOR-E: What is the history behind the guys in the band?

personalRick C: Starting with myself, I was taught piano from about the age of 7 which later developed into keyboards but I didn't actually start singing till I was 22. I joined a local rock band which I did for a few years and a few years after that had run it's course I started writing the songs which would later become the Passion Street album.

personalPat our guitarist originally started out on Bass at the age of 13 and then switched to guitar at age 15.He played in a few local thrash bands before joining Passion Street in late 1995 when he was still only 17 years old.His first show with us was when we opened for Peter Frampton in London in front of 2000 people, but he kept his cool.

personalCris (keyboards) has been playing for 25 years, longer than Pats been alive (Ha!). He's played in so many different musical genres classical, jazz, reggae, dance and of course rock. I remember he had a solo single out years ago on EMI but I don't know what it was like, he's never let us hear it. personal

Tommy (drums) has been playing since he was 9 years old, he's now 27. He's played with many Norwegian bands including the band Valhalla who released the "Rush" album back in 1997. He's the most recent member to our band joining just before the recording of the Monsters album.

personalStu (bass) originally played with us as a guitarist in Passion Street of which he is still very capable of doing, but switched to bass after playing most of it on the album (Pat played bass on two songs) as we didn't have a permanant bassist at the time.On the recent Melodica tour we tried using Pat as the single guitarist and using Stu on bass which worked out great, so that's the way we're gonna keep it. Stu's also spent a lot of time playing acoustic guitar, something that I think will prove very useful in the future.

AOR-E: Are the old members of Passion Street still playing somewhere?

Rick C: I've no idea what the other guys who played in Passion Street are doing other than Stu & Cris who of course are still playing with me. And Pat although he wasn't on the Passion Street album toured with us as a member of Passion Street.I guess we could go out playing the old songs and still be Passion Street but with a new drummer. But really we look at Brave New World as a new start for us.

AOR-E: You changed your name, why's that?

Rick C:Yeah we changed the name of the band. It had been such a long time since the first Passion Street cd and our style of music has changed quite a bit over the years,so we thought we'd make a new start with a new name.We took the name BRAVE NEW WORLD from a song Pat & I wrote in 1998,which will be on our next album. It was a coincidence that Iron Maiden later released an album with the same name. But we liked the name and stuck with it. Our music now I guess is best described as Melodic Hard Rock. Some people are saying it's progressive which I guess it is in that we're trying to do something a little different. But the songs certainly rock harder than they used to.

AOR-E: You played a few shows with Melodica. What's happening between the two bands now?

Rick C: The UK tour with Melodica was fun and it was great to be playing live again. Although we really were thinking of those as warm-up shows. Once the album is out we'll be touring a lot more. But considering they were our first gigs with this line up and as Brave New World they went really well. The heavier songs are much more fun to play live. We're gonna be working on putting a longer set together and even previewing some songs from the next album which is now all written. It was a lot of fun playing keyboards with Melodica also. They were really happy with the way I played and have invited me over to the states to play on their next project. There's also talk of Brave New World going over to the U.S to play some shows with Melodica there. Not sure when yet.

with TedAOR-E: How did you get involved with Ted Poley (Melodica)?

Rick C: That was through a music journalist friend of mine who put me in touch with Ted cause we were looking for a cool band to open up for to work on our live show before the album comes out and my friend new that Ted was interested in promoting his new album over here. So I suggested if he could get his guys over we'd arrange the shows and help with transport and accomodation. And it worked out great. It also turned out that they needed a keyboard player so I offered my services and next thing I know I'm on stage with Ted playing Danger Danger & Melodica songs, great fun.

AOR-E: You played as the live band for Hugo, is there anything happening with him now?

Rick C: Last time I spoke to Hugo he had recently got married so he didn't have any immediate musical plans. It would be a lot of fun to do something with him again sometime, we'll have to wait and see.

AOR-E: Anything happening with Freak Kitchen, you had some plans?

Rick C: Funny you should mention about Freak Kitchen (one of my favourite bands).The very same day that I got your e-mail, we got an e-mail from IA their guitarist/singer.They are still very happy to come to England and tour with us. So we are now looking into that possibility. It may be towards the end of the year of maybe early next year, we have to find a time that's best for both bands. They are touring France this month with Ark and then in October IA is off to play at a music fair in Japan. But I can honestly say there is no other band right now that I would rather tour with cause I'm such a big fan of their music.

AOR-E: What other projects do you have?

Rick C: Our guitarist Pat Heath recently played on a song for the Jason Becker tribute cd "Warmth In The Wilderness" which came out through Lion Music. He and a friend of ours did a cover of the Cacophony song "Go Off".

AOR-E: Are there any other projects other than the Jason Becker tribute cd?

Rick C: I do know that Pat is planning to continue working with guitarist Chris Green who he played with on the Becker cd under the name of Evolution and maybe put an album out under that name. But everything else is on hold till we get the "Monsters" album out.

LiveAOR-E: What kind of reaction are you expecting from the music press to "Monsters" and the new line-up?

Rick C: We can only hope the reaction to our new band and album is a possitive one. Although the album is not yet available (it will be very soon) we have started to get some favourable press in the U.K rock magazines.We had a great feature in the recent issue of Fireworks magazine and Rob Evans of Powerplay Magazine we understand really likes our album (we were number 2 on his playlist, second only to Aerosmith) he will be doing a c.d and live review for them in the next issue. So that's a great start.

AOR-E: About the album "Monsters", what are the songs about?

Rick C: The subject matter to these songs seems to deal with various types of inner demons that can come about, some fictional, some in the real world, some personal. Hence the title 'Monsters'. "Knife In My Back" deals with some of our experiences in the music buisness, "Strange Days" & "Age Of Chaos" about fears of what awaits us in the new millenium, "Walls Come Down" about that feeling of being trapped in a day job you have to do to get by, afraid of wasting precious time. "The Other Side" is actually about alien abduction, fact or fiction? Inspired by the movie Communion which apparently is based on a true story. "Arabia" asks questions of what kind of future do the children of that part of the world have born into, world of fanatical regimes. A song although written back in 1995 coming out at a very apt time after the terrible recent events in the U.S. "I Want You" although starting out like a love song takes a sinister twist, it's actually about a stalker. "All The Heroes" isn't anything as dramatic just a song about me wondering what happened to the people in all those cool bands I used to listen to years ago. And "Dreams Never Die" is just thinking back to friends I grew up with and remembering that we did'nt have it so bad. Makes a change from just writing love songs..

AOR-E: You travel a lot, does that effect your music?

Rick C: Most definitely. The more experiences you have in life and about different ways of life the more things you find to inspire you. Although I don't travel nearly as much as I would like to. I've been meaning to come back to Finland since 1993. If we can get the album out there then hopefully I can return with the whole band.

AOR-E: Do you write the lyrics?

Rick C: Yes, which is something I love doing, 'cause it's such a great outlet for your thoughts and emotions.

AOR-E: Anything interesting happen while recording "Monsters"?

Rick C: I could be here all day telling you about that experience, fortunately we've got a lot of it on film and at some point once we have some cool live footage to put with it we're planning on putting together the 'Making Monsters' video/dvd. Something to look out for in the future. Although one very cool thing I should mention about recording the album is that our good friend David Brandt from the Swedish band Aces High came over and played Hammond Organ on the song "Walls Come Down" and did a great job.

AOR-E: How did you end up including songs from years back onto the cd?

Rick C: The songs on "Monsters" span from as far back as 1994 right up until being in the studio.The older ones were favourites of ours that we wanted to have the chance to release. I finished the lyrics for "Knife In My Back" just before we went into the studio and Pat was still working on the solo for that and "Age Of Chaos" while we were in there. But none of these songs have been released before so we have to remind ourselves to everyone else they are all new.

AOR-E: What are the bands you listen to these days?

Rick C: I really haven't had a chance to listen to any new music recently, but I can tell you what I took to play on the tour bus. That consisted of a lot of Freak Kitchen, some TNT, Kings X, Dream Theater and Harem Scarem.

AOR-E: What do the other guys listen to and does it have an effect on your music?

Rick C: The musical tastes in this band cover the whole spectrum of music which is great for the band, 'cause there are always new dimensions we can explore. Stu actually listens to salsa music more than anything athough I don't think we're gonna be heading too much in that direction.

LiveAOR-E: Do you still have old fans left?

Rick C: Sure we do. It really suprises me how people still contact me about the Passion Street album, people from all over the world. I recently heard from someone in Argentina who had it, I've no idea how it got there. Even on the recent Melodica tour we came across people asking if we would play old Passion Street songs, so in the future I would definately like to try and put out another Passion Street album although my main focus now is with Brave New World.

AOR-E: What do the fans think about your new style?

Rick C: In general the reaction so far has been great. I've come across a few people who wanted us to sound like Passion Street, but then there's people who weren't into us before, but love what we're doing now. You can't please everybody so we just play what music excites us and hope other people get into it.

AOR-E: Where has your music been labelled into so far?

Rick C: The UK magazine Powerplay described us as progressive aor. I never heard of that before. When someone tries to say who we sound like it's something different every time which I like, 'cause hopefully that is a sign that we have our own sound. What's cool is that we are melodic enough that we can tour with an aor band like Melodica, but we also have songs that are heavy enough that we could tour with someone like Stratovarius.

LiveAOR-E: What about future gigs?

Rick C: We're gonna make an early start at looking at getting on as many festivals as possible for next summer. Once the album is out we plan on doing a lot more live shows especially in Europe & Scandinavia. But to start with we are looking at doing some UK shows with the Swedish band Freak Kitchen which for me would be really cool as they're one of my favourite bands. We heard back from them and we're gonna try and put something together for early in the New Year. Then hopefully they may be able to return the favour and we'll come to Sweden to play with them. If we can I shall definately suggest the possibility of getting a ferry over to Helsinki for a show or two.

AOR-E: Any last words to the fans?

Rick C: A big thankyou to all the people who've supported us over the years and to the new friends we've made on our recent tour. And to anyone who's interested in our new album "Monsters" it will be available any day now. We're looking forward to getting out and playing live again in the New Year. So come and check us out.

Interview by Satu Reunanen,