PENDRAGON

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Contact : The Mob at toff@pndragon.demon.co.uk or if you are French-speaking contact Pendragon.France@dscom.com
1- Pendragon is now existing for more than 20 years. Having a look back to your career, can you tell us: your favorite album, song, concert that the band have made during this time?

My favourite album is always the last one we made, as this is the truest and closest one to how I feel and think now....so The Masquerade Overture. My favourite song is The Shadow.

My favourite concert, it's very difficult to say , there have been many special concerts, maybe our first headline show at The Paradiso in Amsterdam in 1987, or Zarbrze in Poland 1994.

2- In metal music, there's now a trend: there's lot of 'progressive' metal bands such as Dream Theater, Magellan, etc. Do you know these bands?

Yes I know these bands.

Do you think that Pendragon & other progressive rock bands have inspired these bands & this movement?

I would be very flattered to think that these bands have had any influence from Pendragon! It's possible I guess, I heard that one of the guys from Dream Theater was something of an IQ fan, IQ are in the same kind of area as us, and we kind of grew together through the prog rock surge of the 80's.

3- Do you reckon this trend is a chance for you to see your audience growing up (in quantity) & to make discovering where progressive music comes from ?

Very difficult, some bands like Dream Theater can get to a larger audience because their music crosses over into the Metal market, but ours doesn't really do that, Pendragon's music seems to find new fans by word of mouth and reputation rather than beeing related to a current style.

4- 'The Masquerade overture' is a fantastic production. Tell us how it was in the studio & how do you record your albums?

Thank you. I t was a lot more relaxed to make the Masquerade because we spent more time on it. Last time, on the Window Of Life album, we had to make it quite quickly, and it was the first album made in our own studio, but this time, we said let's take as long as it a takes to get the right result. This time was very enjoyable to make this album.

We programme all the basic keyboards to start with, so the drummer has a backdrop of music which to work with, then we record the bass, then guitar and vocals and then add more keyboard parts.

5- T.M.O. is a concept album . For those who don't know the band, what is it about?

The whole album is about the influences of good and bad from birth to death, and the vulnerability of us as human beings and the power we have to use those influences to change the course of ours and other peoples lives and attitudes

6- As I've noticed, Pendragon has got an incredible support from his fans (in France/French speaking countries in particularly): how do you explain that?

We have a guy called Flod who tirelessly runs the French fan club, and I think his enthusiasm and determination has had a lot to do with it. Also, French people pick up on the passion and soul of music, and this is where our music is from.

7- You have just released a video, recorded in Poland. Why did you choose these country? & tell us about this recording. Did you have stress or something like that?

Because it was cheaper than anywhere else to make!!! No, we were offered a great technical side of things, and we thought it would be good quality, plus it was a lot cheaper than to do it anywhere else. Yes, it was quite stressful, because we went on stage we obviously knew it was going to be filmed so that puts an edge on your performance.

8- You've got a very good & solid instrumental technical nature & an impressive musicianship. Is it hard sometimes to compose songs? Are you not afraid of making just something technically perfect but without soul. How do you compose your songs?

I hate things that are technically perfect, I don't ever strive to do that, I want soul, passion, feeling and melody first and foremost. We might sopmetimes seem technical, but the basis of the songs are very simple, an easy tune, with some spirit!

I don't know how I compose, I always find it very difficult, even after all these albums, it doesn't get any easier. Writing music is one thing, getting the magic in it is the difficult thing.

9- You started at the same times with Marillion. This band has got lot of 'success' but had to change its style to stay at its best. Have you created your own structure (Toff Rec.) just to avoid changing your style, your soul & your honesty for your fans?

Well, we couldn't get a record company to sing us, they weren't interested, and we didn't really want to make pop music, so we did our own label, and made our first album for our own label very uncommercial sounding [The World album], and ironically it turned out to be our most commercially successful, then all the albums we released did better than the one before, The Masquerade has sold 40,000 copies now.

Yeah, I kind of despise the bullshit that goes with the music industry, I wanna be my own person, do what I want with the rest of the band, I think if we had singed to a big record company we would have lost our honesty , and loyalty from our fans.

10- On your own opinion, what are the best quality(ies) of your last album & its worst default (if there's one)?

The best qualities, I like the melodies, the spirit, and style.

I dislike...some parts of the sound production on the drums and bass guitar, but I'm picky...

11- Maybe a last word to convince metal fans to discover Pendragon?

Our stuff isn't the sort of music to blow yer head off, but if you're feeling in a quiet mood , you might get something from it, like Pink Floyd.

12- what are your plans for the next month?

We willl tour South America, USA and Canada next year, and probably some shows in Europe and Japan.

At the moment I'm writing bits of new material, and just decorating the house!

Review : (See complete one in the other band's page & in labels page): "The masquerade Overture" is really a brilliant album. Music has got an incredible delicacy with subtle arrangements. The main part of this album is quite calm but as soon as guitar is more present, as soon as the drummer speed the tempos, Pendragon shows its powerful. The band lead us to new horizons. The influence that they have on metal prog band is evidence (see Magellan & sometimes Dream Theater) : songs are quite long with complex development showing differents ambients parts. Pendragon's musicians are fearsome technicians & affirmed composers (hear the tittle track : an opera ouverture ). this album is surely one of the best prog rock album of these last years. I think it 'll be hard for the band to make a better one. Pendragon has got its own style even if sometimes, influences of bands like Pink Floyd or Genesis are present. To complete this scheme, production & cover art work are just fantastic. Pendragon wants the best for its fans. the band has got respect for them. If 2 words could resume Pendragon i would say : honesty & faithfulness. that's why the band prefers to create its own structures (label, ...) to offer the best for its audience. A limited edition (2CD) of "The masquerade overture" is also available at the same price than the simple CD

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