Interviews: The Spectre Beneath

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Power Metal/Progressive Metal band, The Spectre Beneath from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Pete: It just happened one day. I’m a big Bond fan and have a hat with the Spectre logo on it which I wear every time I take my dog out and I thought the word was fairly strong but it needed something else as there are other bands called Spectre. It was the film What Lies Beneath which sealed the deal as it was on television at the time so I put the two together and voila! I thought it clicked. 

2.Why did you want to play this genre? 

Pete: I don’t think you can really choose to play metal, you feel it. I always liked the odd heavy song when I was growing up, but it wasn’t until I heard Invaders from The Number of the Beast that my life suddenly changed. I almost instantly changed from piano to guitar because I knew it was what I wanted to do.

Consta: I was introduced to the metal scene with Metallica, specifically the Black album which I think is a masterpiece, and then my influences moved to Linkin Park, Papa roach, Periphery, Korn, Tesseract, Architects, Pain of Salvation & Darkane.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Pete: Yes and No. In January 2019 I’d finished an album by my other band, ‘Plague and the Decay’, in which Consta plays. When I wrote the songs for our debut album, The Downfall of Judith King, I had initially earmarked them for other projects but the style of the songs were more melodic but quite bombastic at the same time and I felt, collectively, they would make a strong album on their own. I knew Consta had the chops for the faster and more intricate material and he agreed to come on board. However, finding a singer proved to be a challenge. I listened to a lot of singers, some of them were incredible, but I was after a particular tone. Unfortunately, I did not know what tone that was, I just knew as soon as I heard it, I would know. I initially did not set out to find a female vocalist, but I was leaning that way because I think female vocals in metal, symphonic metal aside, have a lot of unexplored potential. But after months of searching and almost giving up on the female vocal idea, I stumbled across a cover of a Japanese rock song, ‘Sweet Sweet Cendrillon Drug’ sung by L Lockser, and I instantly knew it was the tone I was looking for, rich, warm but with depth and power. Luckily for me, ‘L’ was keen to get involved.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Pete: Megadeth and Iron Maiden.

L Lockser: Sia

Consta: Metallica.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Pete: I love riffs and I love great riff writers, Dave Mustaine, Eric Peterson and Criss Oliva in particular. I would love to say something about real life, stuggles and problems in the world, but I’m not that type of person. I am on a journey to seek out and write great riffs. Also, to paraphrase Adrian Smith, I love getting a seed of an idea and developing it into a huge sounding track. I find the whole process of working it all out, trying different things, and hearing the end product inspirational in itself. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.

6. Where was your last gig?

Pete: The Spectre Beneath is in an odd position where we completed our debut album and was contemplating gigging it until Covid19 came along and quashed that idea. Instead, we did the next best thing with our time and that was to write and record our follow-up album, The New Identity of Sidney Stone.

7. Where would you like to act?

Pete: Anywhere who will have us, although, the Ritz in Manchester is one of my favorite venues to go to. It’s not too big but it has a sprung floor making the crowd bouncing/moshing more effective.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Pete: Megadeth & Iron Maiden obviously. Although, I’d love play with Love Bites as I find them to be one of the most exciting bands at the moment. Kobra and the Lotus as I’m a big Kobra fan and Savatage as I want to have a chat with Jon Oliva who’s one of my idols.

9. Whom not?

Pete: That’s a loaded question if ever there was one. Mumford and Sons...I just don’t get it.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Pete: I’ve always been very nervous before a show but I think that’s natural and healthy. I’ve never wanted to go on stage. I do recall getting shakey backstage before my very first gig when I was 19, but, myself and the other members sat in our dressing room practicing our chorus harmonies which really helped focus us.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

L Lockser: My favorite singers are, Sia, Indila, Kalafina (Yuki Kajiura) and Hitoshizuku and Neru (who are vocaloid composers), Ariana Gran., It’s very diverse, and I think that’s what makes my voice so versatile.

Pete: Iron Maiden and Megadeth are a given, but I would also say Savatage for their bombastic and theatrical quality, Helloween for their pace and command of melody and Overkill. I mention Overkill because, for me, their ‘The Years of Decay’ album is a perfect example of how to write a diverse but credible album. I always use this album as a blueprint whenever I’m writing a collection of songs because ‘The Years of Decay’ is not just one song re-written ten times. Each track has its own identity and neither of them sounds like, yet, as a whole, the album flows beautifully.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Pete: A lift home. I live in England, it’s not really that crazy a place.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Pete: They’re amazing. They’ve helped us get this far. When you read feedback saying we’re one of the most valuable discoveries on the world metal scene, it’s quite overwhelming and you learn very quickly how much music connects with people.

14. What do you think of our site?

Pete: It’s great. I like how it’s broken down into genres. Only when you see it like that, you realise how rich and diverse metal actually is and you realise how healthy it is in the underground. I think your site is superb at highlighting the quality which can be found beneath the mainstream.

15. Something add?

Pete: Due to Covid19, we’re currently in the middle of recording our next album and making the best of the time we have while we’re all in lockdown. When restrictions are lifted, we’d love to see if we can take this whole shebang on the road. On a final note, if you like power metal and progressive metal but don’t want to go too far in either direction, The Spectre Beneath maybe for you. The prog/power middle ground so to speak. As one reviewer said, “Give it time, give it listens, let it grow, let it get under your skin.”

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