KHYMERA - nowadays the ambitious musical project by bassist and producer Dennis Ward (Magnum, Pink Cream 69). They have created a snarling masterpiece in their new album, "Master Of Illusions". It's a perky AOR/Melodic Rock album with a warm and nicely produced feel to it throughout and should get fans of the original American genre moist in all the right and definitely wrong places. It's four years after the release of the last album, "The Greatest Wonder" and the new album very much follows the logical progression of the musical path that was started when Dennis The Menace joined the project. Read on to find out more. Here' Mr. DENNIS WARD...
Are you the Master Of Illusions? Do you hide behind the mask of modesty?
DW: No, and no :) Someone else is.
What inspired you to write "Father To Son", the really great and sentimental/touching ballad. Personal experience or pure fiction?
DW: Thanks! It was a collaboration between myself and Eric Ragno. Actually it was both personal and fictional. Eric’s father was very ill at the time and I lost my father about 10 years ago. I wanted to write a story where a dying father is trying to comfort his son by explaining that death is only a part of life and that he should not lose track of his own life. Life is bliss yet linear. I think people live in constant denial of this. It used to be so widely understood but now everyone seems so “devastated” when facing the inevitable.
Are we living in "Paradise"? The message doesn't always ring true in my ears. What's it all about?
DW: That’s for each person to answer to themselves. Again, many of us live in denial and turn a blind eye to external pain and suffering.
Do you feel any pressure of keeping things "Khymera" and not change around the sound/style too much?
DW: No, not at all. That’s what it’s all about. AOR pure and simple. I don’t think that with the next album I’ll experiment with Black Metal influences.
When did you first consider singing the songs yourself? You sang backup vocals for Pink Cream 69.
DW: I was asked, I never planned to. I had explained that I have never sang, before the first album, that I had never sang lead vocals on a professional release. They (Frontiers) insisted that I try so I did and after hearing the results we agreed to do it.
Considering that you produced, recorded, and mixed the album. Are you the classical case of "control freak"?
DW: No, the first 2 albums I was only the singer. Ok, on the second I also played bass. Then I was confronted by the label to take care of the other duties as well and I gladly accepted because I make records for a living and feel that I now know how to get it done.
I noticed that Mr.Perugino is the executive producer. But that's not a 'proper title'? :-)
DW: An “executive producer” can made the definite last decisions as he/she please. That was his role. And he pays :)
How does the virus situation effect you personally? You were supposed to go on your first big MAGNUM tour?
DW: Yes, the tour was cancelled and it looks like I won’t be doing any live shows this year. As far as studio work is concerned I still have a few things to do and I’m hoping to finally try working on a concept to do Facetime/Skype audio training.
Do you recall the first time you heard the Magnum song/album? Are you the long-time fan?
DW: Vaguely. I remember it was the end of the 80’s. I thought it was really cool and enjoyed it but lost track during the 90’s, as I did with many bands. I rediscovered them after I had produced Bob Catley’s solo album, some time around 2007.
What about your musical activities these days? Are you keeping busy in the studio?
DW: I’m still (again) working with Helloween and I have a few jobs to take care of too. Plus I’m still building my new studio and I hope to get everything finalised and “online” very soon :) Cheers/ Dennis Ward.
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