PENDRAGON - A Few Words From Nick Barret

A Few Words From Nick Barret

- Tekst av Leif Neverdahl, 28. februar 2009 -

PENDRAGON has been around for 30 years, and are just about to release the brand new album "Pure" in Norway, release date March 1. I recived the album one week ago, and it has not left my cd player ever since. Front man Nick Barrett took the time to talk to us, despite his extremly busy schedule.

Hello Nick, how are you and whats going on in the world of Pendragon right now ? Well, its incredible busy at the moment, we are getting ready to release a new dvd, wich is a bit delayed, also we are still promoting "Pure", and then there is a lot of things to sort out planing for a whole load of shows, so we really got our hands full.

And speaking of "Pure", it will be out in Norway March 1 , but it has been out for a while in other parts of the world, , are you happy with the response from fans and press so far?  Im "over the moon" like they say here in England, the response has been fantastic from everyone. For a band that has been going on for 30 years it can be hard to come out with something fresh, but that is just what people are saying, it sounds fresh and youthfull, so its really good to be able to break away from the old sounding band and get this energetic sound and also get a great response, its absolutly incredible.

Can you tell us a little bit about how you work when you make music, who does the writing and come up with the new songs? Well, from the start I write everything on a keyboard, and I also write all the lyrics. Then I bring it to the other guys, and they put their own personal touch on it off course, but all in all, its me who creates the music.

Any special theme for the lyrics this time, would you call it a concept album, it certainly has that feeling ? I guess you could call it a concept album, and the theme is kids, and them growing up and trying to find their way in life. You know when you are young and have all these dreams and then suddenly reality kicks in and you get trapped in a way by some authority, your parents or a teacher. Thats also the story behind the cover picture, with the boy trapped in the box.

Your producer, Karl Groom, wich many of us knows from Threshold, how important is he for the way you sound, and would you agree if I said I can hear similarities to Threshold on some of the more heavier parts of the album? Well, the album is recorded in my own house, but having said that, the person I work closest to is Karl, so in a way I can understand what you are saying. He is just a great person and really easy to work with, really professional and he always knows exactly what im looking for.

I must admit "Pure" is the first time I hear Pendragon, but I ran out and got "Belive" after hearing it. I still have not listend to it, how would you compare these two albums ? Well, its actually kind of difficult to describe the difference, I think those albums are kind of similar, but a lot of people would probably disagree. Pure might be more agressive and heavier, but some parts of "Belive" are also like that, and both has the melodic parts in it. Its difficult to say

What about the shows you talked about earlier, what are the plans for this? Like I said, we have lots of things going on and a lot of shows are already booked. We try to be selective and do the shows we feel is good for us. We will do the Fish convention in August, The Verona prog fest in June, and there are a lot more confirmed also, the full list can be found on our home page.

What about Norway? We have tried to make it a couple of times, but it has never worked out. Last year we even talked to a promoter and everything, but nothing more happend. We really hope to make it some day, we would love to come

Do you know any Norwegian band's? And you are not allowed to say A-ha. Ha ha. well, I do actually, a band called Airbag, im pretty sure they are Norwegian.
Not quite sure how to describe their music, but you should check them out, kind of a prog rock band I guess.

What else kind of music do you listen to. And do you ever listen to your own music?
I actually listened to Pure today, in my car. Apart from that I dont listen to it much, I get really sick of it after playing it 1000 times. I always listen to music when I travel, and last time I traveled I listened to Radiohead, the "Rainbow" album, Pearl jam, Nirvana, Jeff Buckley and a American band called Trapped. Got the new Ac/Dc also, but have not listned to it yet.

What about 70 prog, any albums you think stands out, apart from the obvious ones? Genesis. I just love old Genesis. I usually say that Genesis saved my life, the music is extremly important to me. And then you have Pink Floyd and "Dark side of the moon", incredible sound, just a fantastic album that still sounds great, and also Camel, "Snowgoose" and "Moonmadness", unbelivable albums that still sounds great today.

DVD - you mentioned that you are about to release a brand new dvd, what can you tell us about it?  Well , like I said, its delayed, and will probably be out in beginning of March. The reason for the delay is me being difficult, I want it to be absolutly perfect, so im really picky on everything, from sound to picture to menus. Its called "Concerto Maximo", and it features 150 minutes of the band’s performance recorded on the 13th October 2008 in Wyspiańki Theatre, an exclusive bonus video featuring interviews with the band members and behind the scenes footage, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, photo gallery and more!

Finally, you have been around for a long time and released a lot of music. If you look back in time, is there any albums that stands out for you ,any songs or special things you are especially satisified with? Actually yes, the album "Not of this world" still stands out for me. For me this album is lyrically complete. It was done during a difficult period of my life, I had just divorced from my wife, so its a rather sad album, but also very powerful and uniqe.

Thanks to Nick for taking the time to talk to us, check out the review section for full review of 'Pure', great album!

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