>> A NEW START? <<

When the encore of ENCHANT is finished I rush backstage to meet Ted (Leonard), to have a talk about the band and their new album “Tug Of War”(after a short while Sean (Flanegan) joins us)

Ted: : “It remarkable how different the audiences are in Europe; in The Netherlands they are always very attentive, they really listen to the music and at the end of the song they treat us to a very warm applause. In other countries, like Germany e.g., the crowd is much wilder, but I always enjoy playing in Holland, because the spectators over here really appreciate what you are doing on stage.”

Martien: : “Why did it take 5 years for you to come back to The Netherlands?”

Ted: : “Well, I am really sorry about that, but as you know the band went through some personal changes, I have two small kids at home, so…that’s the way it is. Because of these new guys in the band, Sean and Bill, the sound of Enchant changed, the strength of the band changed. I think we are much better now as a band then we have ever been before. In the past it was always Doug and me who were responsible for the song writing, but now the new guys also contribute to that part of the band. So, that makes it easier for Doug and me, and it stimulates the band feeling.”

Martien: : “What exactly does the title of the new album “Tug Of War” refer to?”

Ted: : “Well, actually it is a kind of game, two guys or more, pulling at a rope to get each other in the mud as fast as possible. But it also means, that you battle with yourself, your entire life is a struggle, your alter ego always gives you something to think about…..”

Martien: : “How do you compose your songs?”

Ted: : “The music is always there first; we brainstorm about ideas and then somebody comes up with a melody or an emotion and we start working with that, till it evolves into a real song. It is really interesting now that all the guys in the band are actually involved in that process, although there are still songs that are composed by one person only. “See No Evil” is all mine and “Tug Of War” is all Doug’s. The music and the lyrics do not always “fit” together, if you know what I mean. The music could be happy and the lyrics could be dark or sad, or the other way around.”

Sean: : “We all contributed to this new album, five people made these songs and on “Tug Of War” you can hear a real band again, the sound changed. Take e.g. “Progtology”, a song on which Bill (Jenkins) shines, a song that never would have been recorded without him.”

Martien: : “What topics do you use in your songs?”

Ted: : “Well, of course we use personal stuff or sometimes even political items, although I must say that Enchant is definitely not a political band. “Queen Of The Informed” is a song that deals with “politics”, it is about the idea that everybody has different ideas and opinions about politics or war and that some people tend to persuade you to their opinion; it is rather a sarcastic statement about for instance the war in Iraq. Everybody in the world knew how to deal with the Iraq conflict, but nobody did anything, until we(The United States) actually did something and then we were the bad guys, but I really do not want to talk about that issue too long. I rather use personal lyrics with a high emotional level; take “Sinking Sand”, for instance. I wrote that song after hearing that my brother had contracted HIV….”

Martien: : “You always get great reviews by the press and the fans are always very enthusiastic, why is it then that your albums are still poorly sold?”

Ted: : “Good question. I think it has to do with the fact that we are not easy to classify. Record companies and music lovers always want to put a label on music, they want to put musical styles into a “drawer”, like this is hard rock, that is metal, this is symphonic rock, etc. And our music is a bit of this and a bit of that; what is it really, ha ha ha…We play the music that we like, we love our music and making money is not our main goal. I mean, this job, rock musician, is not really a job to me. We still cannot pay all our bills doing this work, but we have a realistic approach, we do it for the love of music.”

Martien: : “Who are your main influences?”

Ted: : “Saga, Marillion, Rush and Dream Theater are my biggest influences and if you think of singers my “role model” is Steve Walsh and I also like Joe Lynn Turner a lot. In the past I had some singing lessons, but not any more. I think it is really important that as a vocalist you get into the song, your emotions must be real, during a live performance the audience should feel your emotions pouring from the stage.”

Martien: : “The tour is almost over, how was it?”

Ted: : “It was great, the two other bands were really awesome, shame that is almost over.”

Sean: : “For me, it was my first tour; it was a great experience, I liked Europe a lot, I liked the guys of Spock’s Beard and the audiences all around were amazing.”

Ted: : “It is bittersweet to end this tour in two days, but we will be back as on a tour with Enchant as head liner in 2004, so watch out for that one”

Martien: : “Thanks, guys.”

Interview by Martien Koolen,
(c)2003 RockUnited.Com