PHENOMENA (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you currently up to?

In every interview I have done since the “Psychofantasy” album the question always arises when am I going to do another album in the concept spirit of “Phenomena 1”? I have been working with my songwriting partner, also Tom, for the last 2 years on a new project that incorporates the related ideas we had for the first phenomena album, a storyline that could be interpreted through live song and visual performances on a large scale more news will follow.

– You formed PHENOMENA back in the 80’s. How did the idea of forming a project as such arise? Did you have clear since the beginning how did you want it to be?

The idea came from a book I was reading at the time and at the same time my brother Mel was offered the lead guitar part in Whitesnake and we had worked on the majority of the tracks that appeared on the original phenomena 1 album with Richard Bailey because of Mel’s future commitments I developed the Phenomena project as a personal outlet for my songs and ideas.

 

– After your 3th album, “Phenomena III: Inner Invasion”, it seemed like the band would not have continuity. Did you really considered to give up or did you just take your time to release your next opus? As “Psychofantasy” was released over 10 years later.

There were various problems that came to a head during the making of Phenomena 3 some of them were: management, financial and record company issues. I lost faith in the industry as a whole and it took a long time and some persuasive arguments to get me back into the creative frame of mind.

 

– In fact “Phenomena III” didn’t get the good reviews your previous records got, and if I’m not mistaken you had some problems with your management. How did you live that period?

After the problems with Phenomena 3 I was left with a lot of outstanding financial matters that needed attention and this distracted from the musical aspect, m main mistake during this time due to finance was to sell the rights to the 3 albums to a third party who subsequently disappointed myself and the artists involved. This mad it a difficult period in my career and I prefer to look forward.

 

– Now you have recently released “Awakening” under the name of “TOM GALLEY CREATOR OF PHENOMENA”. What happened with the “Phenomena” name?

Ongoing legal issues with the aforementioned third party who bought the rights to the 3 albums prevent me from using just “Phenomena” at this point in time.

 

– How is the feedback for this new effort being so far?

The feedback has been very positive from all aspects Fans, reviews, magazines and industry people too.

 

– “Awakening” is a really inspiring and evocative title; what does it represent?

This album marks the point of a transitional re-awakening moving forward to my next project which will be more conceptualised as Phenomena 1 was.

 

– Nor “Awakening” neither your previous “Blind Faith” are conceptual pieces. Why did you take this different approach? And what do some lyrics on this new “Awakening” deal with?

Any album that tells a story audibly and visually takes a long time to develop for the songs and the story line to be cohesive so these two albums are more personal songs not conceptual in their nature.

A quick guide to the tracks and meanings:

Smash it up – represents what is happening in a large part of the world when developing countries are governed by corrupt officials.

Reality – was inspired by a radio program on alzheimers.

Homeland – a song written by Mel whilst on tour in America with Trapeze.

Going away – relationship break up.

Gotta move – this song was written in tribute to many old blues songs.

How long – infidelity and disappointment in relationships.

Shake – this was inspired by 1960’s rock and roll.

Fighter – Not just a boxing song but a parody of life.

Dancing Days – looking back at a time before marriage

Stand up for love – a relevant thought.

 

– This is your second album, unluckily, without Mel, but on “Blind Faith” there were some tunes written by him. Are all tracks on “Awakening” brand new?

There are a few previously written tracks that have been included and they have been re-worked from the originals.

 

– Once more, you’ve had several and great guest artists with you. How is the process of choosing them and decide which part will perform each musician? And do you know personally all of them?

Rob Moratti had guested on the last album “Blind Faith” and I personally think he is one of the best melodic rock singers of the present time. Ralph Scheepers who was also on “Blind Faith” bought his immeasurable talent to this album, his fellow Primal Fear band members also contributed on guitar and bass on some of the songs. I have worked with Lee Small over a number of years and watched him develop into a world class rock singer as his performances on this album and the new “Shy” album proves. Toby Hitchcock’s powerful delivery on “Reality” is a great addition to the album along with Mike Slamers contribution on Guitar. James Christian’s vocal on going away re-inforces his reputation as a great rock singer. Mike Dimeo gives a great performance on “shake” and Terry Brock is outstanding breathing life into “Fighter” giving his individual delivery alongside Steve Newman on Guitar. Coldspell do a magnificent job of “Dancing Days” and Chris Antblad delivers a superb melodic vocal on “Stand up for Love” backed by the Gothenburg Choir.

 

– I read on some editions of the album there’s a bonus track entitled “Jaguar”. For all those who may be interested; what can we find on this track?

I believe this track is only available on Japanese import.

 

– And how could you describe this new CD in just 3 words?

Personal musical statement

 

– As always, production is just great, clear and all instruments sound great. If I’ not mistaken you were involved in the production process so, would you mind to tell us how was this process like?

On this album as on the previous two all the songs are demo recorded in the first instance and then a decision is made on who we would like to appear on the tracks. The demos are sent to the main studio and are translated into a master track. All the performances are monitored by myself and by keeping in touch with the artists we can achieve a great result. The final mix and production was done in Sweden by myself and Martin.

 

– Moving to a different topic, would there be the chance of have you got the offer of taking PHENOMENA out on the road?

Having mentioned previously in this interview my new project is both an audio visual and stage performance and unlike Blind Faith and Awakening would be more suited to going on the road. I have been working on the demos for the last 2 years on a new album that hopefully will do the things we wanted to do on the first Phenomena encompassing records, artwork and live performances. Quite a lot of work has already been done on the stage presentation for this project.

 

– And finally, what does future hold to you (musically)?

The new project is taking shape and should be ready by next year 2013.

 

– That has been everything from my side, thanks you once more. If you want to add some final words; last lines are all yours.

I would like to thank all the fans for their continued support and hopefully the new project will fulfil the wishes of the fans who want to see a return to the conceptional format of the first album.

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

 

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