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Q & A for Veronica Freeman of Benedictum

When I was given the fabulous opportunity to ask Veronica Freeman of Benedictum, one of the hottest rising female artists in the metal scene today, some questions, I naturally leapt at the chance.  Here are her answers, I hope you enjoy reading them.

 

Q Tell me a little about Benedictum, when did the band form and how you all met?
A

Well that was quite a great introduction, thank you! The guitar player Pete Wells and I have been writing music for many years together. We came to a point where we wanted to give one last shot at putting something together, have it really well produced and see what would happen if we tried to shop it. After leaving (on good terms I might add J) the project we were in, we  hooked up with a few musicians we had always admired and wanted to work with, namely Chris Morgan and Blackie Sanchez and later of course Jesse Wright who came on board right after the recording of the album. We now have a smoking new drummer by the name of Paul Courtois! A short time after that, my dear friend Craig Goldy happened to be in San Diego to hear some of what we were doing and felt this was “the one”. The project he was willing to get behind.  He introduced us to Jeff Pilson who was willing to take on the project and we just went from there. The demo came out great and we stuck with Jeff (he stuck with us really… what a phenomenal person) for the recording of the complete album. It has been quite a journey thus far!

Q

What are you currently up to?

A Right now we are really trying to wrap things up with the new album, we have one more recording session and then we need to finish with photos and all the stuff that goes with it. We are getting ready for Wacken Open Air and also Female Metal Voices festival in Belgium. Then we see how it goes when the new album is released which I believe will be sometime in January or 08
Q

Could you take me through the tracks on the new album “Uncreation” for instance, ideas behind the songs?

A

Misogyny- about serial killers --- Wicca – speaks of the tragedy of persecution of pagan religions --- Two Steps to the Sun - what it feels like to be without hope --- Ashes to Ashes - things aren’t always as they seem --- Them - About people who are always trying to tear you down --- Valkyrie Rising - Triumph of the spirit

Q

What is your view on the current rock/metal scene...e.g. gig attendances, downloading, MySpace etc?

A

First of all Myspace has been a saving grace for many a band. Since big money isn’t really behind a lot of the music out there it is an awesome way to stay connected and find a lot of brilliant talent. The system is changing so there needs to be some adaptation to the way things are going. The current metal scene here needs a shot in the arm but it is definitely getting better.

Q

Would you say interest in the band in the US is on an up-turn? The prog/metal scene has always seemed to be more vibrant and well received in Europe? How do you think the audiences differ?

A

I would say yes it is on an up-turn. The promotion for the album here in the States wasn’t too wide spread and more than a year after the album was released we are still getting people who have never heard of us and want to know more about us. That is a good feeling.

The European scene has held strong and steady and it seems as though ALL types of metal are embraced.

In the US the metal scene started to really die and is now making a come back, you just don’t hear a variety of metal on the radio anymore and people have to seek it out.

As far as audiences go, pound for pound I would say the intensity is the same it is just that the numbers are different. Look at the fact that we have toured with Doro, played a few festivals and yet have only played a few shows on US soil. However those at those shows were awesome. The European fans are a real blessing and who can complain about flying to Europe and being in front of appreciative knowledgeable fans?? But I hope to see more interest in the States as well.

Q There is a hard, raw edge to your music, and as a rule I had never liked female fronted rock bands.  However, yourself and Julie from Hydrogyn have certainly changed my views. Do you think being a female, there are more obstacles or is it an advantage?
A

No, not for me. I think it is a mixed bag. If you can bring it, then bring it. In truth if were not for the strong men along the way in what I am doing I wouldn’t be doing this interview. Of course there are many with a pre conceived idea of what a female fronted band sounds like so you have to sort of prove yourself but thus far I have been treated well and appreciate all the help I have had along the way. I don’t consider being a woman a hindrance at all (except when I have to wear those damn high heels ha ha) and there are so many women involved in metal now it is just awesome!

Q

Any other bands/artists out there who have impressed you recently and why?

A

You pegged it in the last question. I really admire Julie from Hydrogyn and would love to do some shows with them. She is beautiful and talented and I have had the pleasure of seeing her live, what a show!

Q

What would you say has been your biggest challenge so far?

A

FINANCES!! Doing this stuff where we are right now is not easy financially. When you realize that the majority of our shows and fan base is in Europe and we are here on the west coast of the states, just getting there to do a show can often offset any money we would make. Is it worth it… HELL YEAH!

Q

What are your musical career goals over the next 1-3 years?

A

To put out quality music and get ourselves on the map in a big way!

Q

 What’s in the pipeline for Benedictum?

A

Right now it is all about finishing this new album and all that goes with it. That has been a long process but I love the studio so I have had a lot of fun.

Q

You undertook a program called Destiny Bridge.  Can you explain what that is and how it has helped?

A

Basically it is a program designed to help get on the map. Because of Craig's great experience he has shared many insider secrets and lessons learned along the way. From songwriting to all the other aspects of the business. I would definitely recommend this program to everyone.. ESPECIALLY those who have been at it for quite some time with little to no results. It really opened our eyes to many things and with the help of Craig and his program I believe we have gone farther than we had expected.

Q

Do you live, eat, sleep and breathe the band or is there anything else that you like to do in your spare time?

A

My days are always so damn busy I can’t keep track of much of anything anymore. Although it is true that the band and all the related activities involved with it takes up a quite a bit of my time, I also have a business (two actually) that I am involved in: they are Wild Hair Accessories and StreetFighters Inc. The company is dedicated to bringing sport bike accessories mainly from Germany to the United States with a goal of bringing the streetfighter scene to the states. It is starting to catch on but we have a long way to go. You wonderful people in the U.K. know all about the fighter scene, it started there! You can check out our sites www.whaccessories.com   and  www.streetfightersinc.com

Q

 Ending on a light note, do girls rock harder than boys?

A

We have to!!!!!!!!! We don’t want to be left behind now do we??!!

 

To check out more about Benedictum please visit www.myspace.com/benedictum and www.benedictum.net

Also I would love to point out that a wonderful fan has started a Benedictum forum at www.benedictum.com please join up!

 

I would like to thank Veronica for taking the time to answer these Qs & As. I hope that I will be able to catch up with her and the rest of Benedictum personally for a video interview when they tour the UK in the future. I would also like to wish them the best for Wacken and the rest of 2007.

Till next time…

Keep It Loud!

ANGEL OF METAL

 

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