Hello Jules (White Widdow), loving the new album, which if anything, is better than the debut, which is no mean feat!
“Thanks very much Jason!! We are really happy with the new album.”
What are you currently up to?
“Well, we’ve just finished up a two month long tour to support the release of the new album! The “Serenade Tour” took us through Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Greece, England and our native Australia. We are taking a break over the Christmas and New Year period and enjoying the Australian summer. But, at the same time, finishing off the editing on our first video for this record; the song “Reckless Nights”, which we hope to have online to view in January 2012?”
Could you take us through your excellent new album ‘Serenade'?
“The process for “Serenade” was quite different to our debut! With the debut, we had written the songs over a longer period of time, and most of them were tested out on the road, even going through quite a few changes as they evolved. With “Serenade”, we had a much clearer concept of what we wanted out of ourselves for a second album. I think we were very driven to make the best album we possibly could. Most of the songs were written in pairs, rather than as a group of guys jamming in the rehearsal studio. My brother Xavier (keyboards) had a much greater input to the song writing this time, which I think made for stronger melodies and bigger hooks in each song.
Songs like “Show Your Cards”, “Patiently”, “Mistake” and “Love Won’t Wait” were all written by Xavier, with myself and Enzo (Guitars) adding lyrics or guitar riffs over the top, to finish them. We still wrote some songs in the rehearsal studio as a group, adding to a riff or a chord progression and building on it from there; “Cry Wolf”, “Strangers In The Night”, “How Far I Run” and “Reckless Nights” were all written this way, but there were significant differences… The title track “Serenade” and “Do You Remember” for example, were written by our bass player Trent Wilson and I, and then brought to the band, where, as a group, some sections were refined or added.”
Did the band look to change the sound much for this new album? For instance the keyboards seem to be used even more than on the debut album.
“I made some reference to that just now with Xavier’s writing input… I don’t think there was a conscious decision to change the style of music or change the sound, but we did want to make sure the keyboards were at the forefront as much as the guitars; we are clearly not a band that wants them low in the mix; it’s part of what we want as our signature sound.”
“The only thought that we did have going into this album, in regards to changing anything, was that we wanted to represent some song types we didn’t cover on the debut, such as a mid pace rocker like “Do You Remember”, a power ballad like “Patiently”, a good time anthem like “Reckless Nights” and a poppier hi-tech AOR influenced type song, in the form of “Show Your Cards”, which is one of the favourite songs of all the members and I think an area we may expand further into on the next album?”
Was the band pleased with the fans reaction to the debut album and the reviews it received?
“We were and are still completely blown away by the reaction and reviews to the first album!! We never expected it, so it was all quite a shock; a very pleasant shock I have to say, though! So far, the reactions and reviews for the new album have far exceeded the debut and again, we are amazed and very grateful!!”
How did the band go about planning the setlist for October’s Firefest gig? It was a vital show for you was it not? What other bands/artists did you enjoy?
“It was an amazing experience performing at such an awesome event dedicated to the style of music we play, yes and I’m so glad we’ve done it. We had some sound issues on stage and in the “front of house mix”, that made the first half of our set a bit of a challenge, but things settled down around the middle of the set and we were able to find our groove. Our set was made up of half songs from the debut and half from the brand new album. Having only 40 minutes, we could only squeeze 8 songs in.”
How have White Widdow been received in your native Australia as it is not renowned for AOR bands? Is there much of a gig scene for up and coming bands like yourselves?
“For the most part, we are not really even on the radar of the mainstream Rock music community, but there is a committed fan base for hard rock, that supports the scene and ourselves. We do have a healthy music scene in Australia, but as an AOR band it can be a challenge to mesh amongst a lot of other bands in other styles. We manage to play around 10 of our own shows a year in Australia and then more, if we go out on tour as support for an International act? In the past, we’ve done this with Ted Poley (Danger Danger) and Pretty Boy Floyd.”
If you could create a fantasy band line-up who would be in it and why?
“OK. I’m guessing this would be for me to watch as a fan, right? If so, then here we go!
1. Marcie Free – Vocals – Simply the best voice in Melodic Rock.
2. Yngwie Malmsteen – Guitar – He’s the most amazing guitarist I’ve ever seen and his early albums have some amazing Melodic Rock anthems.
3. Kip Winger – Bass – Great Bass player, great as a back up vocalist and great songwriter!
4. Greg Giuffria – Keyboards – The Ivory Master! Great songwriter and great synth. sounds!
5. Robert Sweet – The drummer from Stryper; great drummer, great showman.”
What have been the live highlights so far and why?
“Performing two nights, opening for my hard rock heroes KEEL in Europe was a tour highlight for sure; as was the amazing over the top fan reaction in Athens, Greece! But that crowd reaction at the end of our set at Firefest; that took my breath away!! Simply awesome!”
Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell…
“Partying backstage with Ron Keel in Switzerland, after the show, was pretty Rock ‘N Roll; as was autographing boobs at the Heat Festival in Germany!!”
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from music?
“Away from music, I’m a huge comic book character enthusiast; collecting Marvel memorabilia and action figures, etc. Lately, the slew of Comic Book Movie adaptations has had me quite excited. But, to be honest, 90% of the time, it’s music, if not with White Widdow, then enjoying my own collection! I’m an avid collector of AOR/Melodic Rock/Hi Tech AOR/and Hard Rock and there’s always something new or undiscovered to sink my teeth into.”
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
“Yes… We really can’t say thank you enough to the fans and friends we’ve made along the way; so far, it’s been an incredible journey and their support has been amazing! You guys are awesome! Thank you!”
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
Power Plays w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)
COLLATERAL Mr Big Shot (Roulette Media Records)
BABY HUSBAND Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (indie)
OF ALLIES Off The Map (indie)
EXPLORING BIRDSONG The River (indie)
MARISA AND THE MOTHS – Slave (indie)
CATTLE AND CANE I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like I Do)
KING VOODOO Creep (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Big Blue World (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 REDLINE Gods & Monsters (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 WILDWOOD KIN (Silvertone/Sony)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)
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