MetalTalk's Roger Fauske got together with Rage Of Angels main man Ged Rylands to get all the scoop on his newest project ahead of a batch of UK dates.
RF: Of course most people will know you from your work with Ten and Tyketto. How did Rage Of Angels come about?
GR: It was unintentional to be honest... I never intended to release another album, form a band or tour again. I started recording songs for fun and my own sanity... it's only when people started hearing the songs that they gave me the courage and confidence to do something with it... accidentally on purpose I suppose you could say.
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RF: The album has a very impressive cast list, featuring Vinny Burns, Ralph Santolla, Neil Fraser and Danny Vaughn to name just a few. The use of different vocalists especially works very well - was that the plan from the start? How easy was it to get them all involved?
GR: Again, because these songs were never meant for release when I started recording them, I didn't really get as far as the practicalities of who was going to sing leads... I did some lead guitars myself but not to the degree of the guys who eventually came in... it was actually quite easy to get people involved... the hard part was accessing telephone numbers and emails. Everyone who we asked said yes, much to my delight and surprise.
RF: As well as the more household names, you have a relatively unknown vocalist, David Reed Watson, singing on the album as well, and very impressive he is too. Where did that link come from?
GR: David sent my partner a birthday message on Facebook with him singing happy birthday. I overheard this and was stunned into silence as to how good his voice was. I immediately got in touch and thankfully he didn't think I was a crazy looney... or maybe he did lol... either way he's become a very good friend; he's a great guy and his own career is on the up in a big way.
RF: What stands out on the album, to me anyway, is the variety of styles and the strong melodic content. How did the songwriting process work?
GR: I don't write with any agenda other than to write something I would want to listen to myself... very old school but with a varied musical background so I think that's why the album has an old school yet eclectic feel.
RF: You are of course playing a hatful of live shows. And for those you have Jason Morgan singing. How straightforward has it been considering the vast different vocal styles that contributed to the studio album?
GR: Very straightforward... Jason's voice blew us all away from the second he sang at his audition. He's come in, learnt the songs and sings them like he's been singing them for years. He's a pleasure to work with and I'm looking forward to recording the new album with him. And of course he will be singing the entire album this time around.
RF: Getting away from the album for a minute and playing devil's advocate, or possibly just devil... what is your take on the music industry these days, and more specifically the rock scene which is very much alive and kicking whatever certain segments of the industry would like to think.
GR: It's not the 80s anymore, pure and simple. The acts that are thriving like my other band Tyketto and other bands such as Tesla and Cinderella is that you have to keep it real and not get caught up in the whole ego game. You only have to look at the Monsters Of Rock Cruise to see how popular this whole scene is again. As long as you enjoy it for what it is then there are nice perks doing these great events. It's a different musical world out there; you don't need to be signed to Geffen to release a successful album, just have a good grasp of social media and have lots of good people willing to help you :-)
RF: You mentioned this album came about "accidentally on purpose". Are there already plans taking root in your mind for future recordings with Rage Of Angels, whether accidentally or on purpose?
GR: I've had the album written for quite some time. The very basic outline demo recordings are done on most of the 12 tracks, I just need to actually find the time to start recording the final takes and finish it off. Album two may or may be out next year, although I'm tempted to take a year off completely. I'll get the tour out of the way and see what the appetite is for another one. I don't want to spend so much time and effort for it to be forgotten about within a month... who knows...
RF : As is the necessity these days, you have an online presence and are accessible to the music loving public. What is the best way for them to find out what is going on with the band and to interact with you?
GR: Facebook and Twitter is the very best way... https://www.facebook.com/RageOfAngelsUK... or just search Rage Of Angels (Escape Music) and just follow the links on there for Twitter. Alternatively send unmarked 20 pound notes in a brown padded envelope once a month to P.O. Box 123, Dreamworld and I'll tell you personally :-)
You can see the band (and I highly recommend it) at:
River Rooms, Stourbridge 9 July
Railway Venue, Bolton 10 July
The Venue, Dumfries 11 July