|Well Tim, it looks like Dungeon is in the studio now recording the follow-up to 2002's "A Rise To Power" album, called "One Step Beyond". What has been completed thus far on the record?
TIM: Pretty much everything, or at least I sure hope so because I'm mixing it tomorrow and I don't want any nasty surprises! (laughing)
I have been reading the daily studio reports you have posted at Ultimate Metal. Man, you have been extremely busy. What can you tell us about the new album thus far? How would it compare to other Dungeon records?
TIM: This is definitely our strongest album to date. I know every band says that but I genuinely think we have something special here! It's heavier than anything we've ever done before but I would also say it's more melodic and consistent too, there's less tangents that we go off on overall, but there's a lot of surprises on there as well. Confused yet?
Are you producing this album, and where is the recording taking place?
TIM: Yeah, I'm producing it and most of the recording has taken place either at R&R Recordings Studio or here at my SLS Studios.
Have you had many complications with the recording thus far? Other than trucks running over cars and countless hours waiting for trains!
TIM: Well, Dakk leaving in the middle of the recording was sort of interesting, as was the poor person who got hit by the train while I was on the way to the studio! This recording was a nightmare in a lot of ways, just the stress of making sure everything was going how it should have done was bad enough let alone equipment problems, health woes, tours in the middle of it, other projects. But it all managed to come together under budget and on time so we're pretty happy about that!
I've seen some song titles posted on the studio diary, and I would like to get a brief description of some of these. Lets start with the first Dungeon pirate song, "Taranno Del Mar". What feel does this one have, and since the lyrics are pirate-inspired, will we hear an ode to Running Wild here?
TIM: Arrrrr!! I guess you could say that! That song is huge! Over 200 tracks and 140 or so of them were backing vocal choirs! It's a sort of a slow triplet thing with recurring melodic themes and a big chorus. To me, it reminds me of those old B&W pirate movies that always seem to get re-run on Sunday afternoons or at 3am when nothing else is on! HAHA! Seriously, it's got a sort of classic feel about it and the choirs and orchestration really help flesh out the concept a lot.
"The Power Within" and the title track, "One Step Beyond" is described as fast & furious. What would these songs compare to?
TIM: "The Power Within" is sort of like sped-up and heavied-up Edguy, very melodic, huge chorus but it's a killer to play because the guitar, bass and drum parts are so damn fast! "One Step Beyond" is more like old Anthrax, just really fast, moshing kind of stuff that still has the harmonised choruses and a cool progressive section in the middle but its heavy as anything!
An epic anthem has been written called "Under The Cross". Is this going to be a slower number, or a more up-tempo song?
TIM: This is probably the most "power metal" of all the songs on the album, so if you're a fan of Helloween and Gamma Ray, you'd love this. The chorus is very anthemic, especially for all of the proud Aussies out there!
How many songs are planned for the album? Can you reveal the tracklisting yet?
TIM: There's nine songs all up plus two covers. There was gonna be an intro track but we ditched it. Out motto is sort of "no bullshit, just play" so we decided to stay true to that and just get right into it. The song list is: "The Power Within", "Against The Wind", "The Art Of War", "The Hunger", "Surface Tension", "Tarranno Del Mar", "One Step Beyond", "Under The Cross", and "Epilogue".
When is the expected release date for "One Step Beyond", and will the album be released by Limb Music as well as Modern Invasion?
TIM: I believe it's in September sometime and yes, both LMP and Metal Warriors/MIM will be releasing the album.
Has the album cover been chosen yet? Will there be two covers like the previous record?
TIM: No, just one cover this time and it's by Marc Sasso who did art for Dio, Cage, and Cryonic Temple amongst others. Very cool and very dark!
Right now you are also working on a re-recording of Dungeon's first album from 1999 entitled "Resurrection". How hard is it to work on two albums at once?
TIM: It's a killer and pretty stressful, but get this, I was also working on two albums by a band called Ilium too, plus the audio for our live DVD/CD so in effect it was five albums at once! (laughing) The good thing is that after everything is done, I can relax for a while and really concentrate on the next project I'll be working on, whatever that hell that'll be!
Why did you feel "Resurrection" needed to be recorded again?
TIM: To be painfully honest about it, "Resurrection" was a dreadful recording. There was so many things we wanted to achieve on that and it came up short in so many places, we were all terribly disappointed with it. The actual demo of "Resurrection" was about one thousand times better than the actual album! So it was always bugging us that it was like that. When LMP offered to release our back catalogue, we knew that sending such a flawed recording out into the mainstream market was a mistake so we opted to re-record it and do it right, once and for all!
What have you done differently with this reworking of the album? Will any of the songs be complete strangers to their original versions?
|"Out motto is sort of 'no bullshit, just play' so we decided to stay true to that and just get right into it.."
TIM: A few of the songs have evolved slightly over the years and some have even reverted back to how they were on the original demo version but for the most part they're very similar, which was really odd after playing them in their live arrangements for so long! We tried to keep the speed as consistent to the originals as we could and it made us realize how damn fast we play everything live these days! There'll be one completely new song on there which will replace a song that left with our (then) bassist Juz when he formed his new band, King Oath.
When will the new "Resurrection" be released, and what label will be putting it out?
TIM: It should be out on LMP sometime in 2005 if all goes to schedule.
Now as if you aren't busy enough with the new album and the new "Resurrection" recording, the band has decided to do four cover tunes. Tell us a little bit about those songs, and what album will the covers be included on?
TIM: The cover tunes are "Playing To Win" by LRB/John Farnham (awesome singer and a perfect song to do a metal version!), "The Hero" by Queen (from the Flash Gordon soundtrack), "Waiting For An Alibi" by Thin Lizzy (Stu actually sings this one, which is cool!), and "Til The Living End" by Dokken (finally we got a chance to record a song by one of my favorite bands!). The Dokken song and the Queen song will be on "One Step Beyond".
Is there any chance that the 1996 album "Demolition" will be reissued?
TIM: No, absolutely not. That was sort of the "Pre-Resurrection" Demo demo CD, as it were! (laughing) Most of that stuff was rough sketches of the songs that we were intending to do properly and somehow we were convinced it was a good idea to release it in Japan. Go figure! So yeah, I think it's safe to say we'll never be releasing that one again.
In November of last year you released your first solo album, "Lord". Will there be another solo album in the near future?
TIM: Not in the near future but there definitely will be another LORD album, in fact I've already started mapping out the structure of it and the concept, but it'll take some time to do it properly. There's no rush, there's plenty of other stuff to keep me busy in the meantime.
A few more questions before we wrap this up. I'd like to get some short thoughts on a few controversial metal subjects. These can be simple one sentence answers. I'll start with the first:
Judas Priest Reunion - For the fans, or for the money?
TIM: Good question. Whatever the answer, I'll be there! Priest with Halford = God!
The Darkness - Metal or Pop?
TIM: I've been so stuck in my own little recording world for so long I haven't actually heard them. So...yeah! Either or neither!
Van Halen Reunion - For the fans, or for the money?
TIM: Again, hard to say! Die hard fans will go nuts for this!
Dream Evil - Heavy Rock or Power Metal?
TIM: I'd say both, actually! Some bands have great crossover in different genres and they combine both really well.
New Guns N Roses Record - To Be or Not To Be?
TIM: I'd say not, and if I'm wrong, I'd like to ask "why bother?".
Downloading - Helping or Hurting Metal?
TIM: Overall, I would say hurting. If people trade one or two songs from a band, it can do wonders for promotion throughout the underground, no question! I'm absolutely all for that, in fact. But when you get people trading entire albums literally within a day of them being released and then you combine it with the oversaturated metal marketplace, it spells disaster for an up and coming band like us especially. Why would anyone buy anything from a new band when they don't even know what they do yet? Just download it instead. OK, so maybe it's good and you have the best intention of buying the album... but then the next new band has an album out and then the next one... I can definitely say it's hurt our sales enormously and doing our new albums has been extra tough without the money we would have expected to see normally from the sales from our last album.
Okay, one more question before we go. For years I thought I was the biggest Dokken fan in the world, but I think you may win that title. So I ask you, what is the best Dokken song ever, and are you looking forward to their new record this summer?
TIM: Best Dokken song ever? Agh, what a question! There's so many great songs from their classic era that I couldn't even begin to think of one! Pick a song from "Tooth And Nail", "Under Lock And Key", or "Back For The Attack" and you have your answer. I'm skeptical about their new one actually! They're a far different band to what they were back in 1988, which is fair enough, so their efforts lately have been really hit or miss with me.
Well Lord Tim, thanks so much for your time. We wish you the best of luck with your new releases!
TIM: Thanks dude! Thanks heaps for the interview and the support you're giving Dungeon, we really appreciate it!