Cellador – Back on the Grid Part II

Friday, 31st March 2017

Read Part I HERE.

Dead Rhetoric: Now that you are in your thirties, when you look back upon your twenties, are you satisfied with everything that you accomplished with Cellador and in your personal life, or are there things that you wish in hindsight you would have handled better or differently?

Petersen: Probably more of the second. I will say I’m 33 years old now, and my thirties have been fantastic in comparison to the second half of my twenties. I have grown so much as a person, my personality has changed. I’m in a great situation in life. I feel good- with Cellador in my young twenties, we were all kids. It was just more stressful- it was exciting in the very, very beginning when we got that deal with Metal Blade and all of the subsequent touring and spotlight we were getting. Mostly because of the label- Metal Blade, for a brief moment we were one of their spotlight, favorite bands. They did their best to promote us. It was fun, but there was always strife going on in the band- clashing of personalities and a lot of that came from just immaturity. We were all young kids that had a lot of growing up to do. So, I do have a lot of fond memories, but I actually look more forward to the future.

Dead Rhetoric: You are allowed to take a time machine anywhere during the era of music and assemble your ideal all day festival – who would be on the bill, and it can be any lineup even if the musicians are no longer alive?

Petersen: Let’s see… (laughs). I’m a metal encyclopedia, so I’d probably take Helloween, as I see that they are reuniting with Michael Kiske, that would have been one of my bands. Let’s just say seeing Helloween with their classic lineup would be pretty cool. I know their drummer Ingo died, so I guess we will never see a reunion of the Keeper of the Seven Keys lineup, but that would be a definite band I would want on there.

Dead Rhetoric: Has your health and fitness lifestyle also improved your abilities and stamina as far as guitar playing and vocals? What’s a typical day look like when it comes to working out as far as weights, reps, and other routines?

Petersen: Yes, I am definitely a gym guy- I’ve been a gym guy through most of my twenties too. My diet is also tuned in. As long as music has been a part of my life, so has weightlifting and all that. It’s sort of a balancing process to incorporate those two things- there are other things in my life as well. I try to give everything the attention that it deserves. I do try to go to the gym every day- I fit it in whatever my schedule is. My routine has changed a bit over the last year- I do a lot more cardio, and I’ve found that I upped the amount of time that I’m training with my weights in the gym and I’m getting results much more in tune with what I’ve always tried to get. So that’s always cool- I’m always a student of both subjects, I teach myself more and more. I don’t feel like I’m a master either at the guitar or in lifting weights, training, and nutrition. If I have some event going on, I’m training on average six days a week for at least an hour a day. I have a four-day split- one day shoulders, one day chest, one day back, and the other day is legs- and I incorporate isolation exercises like stuff for your arms and abdominals into each one of those days. I do cardio as a supplement to my workout- I enjoy the natural high you get from jogging on a treadmill or riding a bike. There’s a million multitude of benefits you get from that outside of losing weight and staying in shape.

Dead Rhetoric: Do people hit you up for advice in terms of guitar, vocals, or weightlifting- and if so what do they want to cover?

Petersen: The gym is a second life for me. Many of my musician friends may or may not know, but these are passions I pursue. I don’t compete as a bodybuilder or anything like that, it’s for my own enjoyment. Occasionally from time to time I give advice both online and in person. I’ve never done any personal training for money, but I do get questions in person. I get questions from fans at shows. The more I think about it, I do get singing questions often. I’ve only been singing in front of an audience since 2013. I am by no means an expert in that realm, but I do think I have learned a thing or two what things worked quicker than other pieces of common advice. I’m happy to give advice on that process as well.

Dead Rhetoric: How was it going through that process of becoming strong enough to handle the vocals for the band? Given the fact that you had gone through so many different singers trying out before you gave it a go?

Petersen: That’s exactly why I took up singing, because I had been trying to find the next singer for Cellador for more or less eight years. I have never been able to find anybody- I had auditions all across the world. For whatever reason, we had one guy in Sweden actually who was amazing- he had the voice and he had the work ethic, but he lived in Sweden and he had a family. He was not going to be able to relocate and commit to the band full-time, because of his other responsibilities. That was the closest we ever got to really thinking we had found our singer. JT (James Pickett) my bassist by late 2012, the band was completely reformed and had been rehearsing new songs that whole entire year up through October. He finally just said, we want to get this band going, we want to play shows, you are already tracking vocals as demos, you just have to learn to sing live. I was very shy about singing for years, had I had a little more confidence on this I should have really started singing at the same time I was learning the guitar, because who knows where I would be nowadays. I was too shy in my twenties to pursue that. I finally said I have to do it because I didn’t think we were going to find anybody.

I had more confidence in my late twenties when I considered doing this. We got a PA system and at band rehearsal I started, from ground zero to become a singer in the band. It was frustrating and tiring at first. I didn’t realize maybe how fast our music really is, the music is intense and trying to sing at the same time while playing it, it’s a workout. I lost weight just having band practices. I was covered in sweat in the early days trying to sing and play at the same time. It was not good at first, it was frustrating as I would stop songs and scream and curse because I was so frustrated. I’m super grateful to have the kind of band members that I have back then when I was learning to sing, because if it wasn’t the right people who were impatient or laughing to themselves, I’d have been dissuaded from it and I don’t think it would have worked out. Luckily, they were very patient while I was learning to sing- I got it up to a point where it was able to be done live. We expedited the process, when we committed to me being the one to sing these songs, we were practicing every other day of the week. We were getting together and running the setlist. It is similar to working a muscle- in the early days that was a big issue with singing, I didn’t have the stamina. Everybody’s form when you are first hitting the gym for instance is kind of shaky as well. It was very much similar, going through an entire song was very draining to my voice. I used to be too dainty and prissy with my voice, oh, I need water, throat spray, or warm ups properly before I start singing in a show. I’m good to go now no problem.

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