A Sound of Thunder – New Legacy Calling Part IIThursday, 2nd October 2014
Dead Rhetoric: Nina, as a female vocalist in a particular sub-genre more well-known for strong male vocalists, do you feel like it can be an uphill climb to prove your ability and commitment to the genre because of many pre-suppositions regarding other female vocalists in gothic/symphonic oriented genres?
Osegueda: Oh yeah, absolutely. One of the things I knew I would have to do was prove that I am not just good, but as good as the guys that I love. The ones I admire, I don’t want to be compared to Tarja (ex-Nightwish vocalist) because I am a lady but more like Bruce Dickinson because I can hit those high notes and I want people to put me on that same level. I can do what the guys are doing so I don’t see why I should be set apart. I just want to do as well as I humanly possibly can, and not let the fact that I am a lady get in the way of that.
Dead Rhetoric: Has it helped performing recently on tour with other strong female vocalists like Veronica Freeman of Benedictum and Leather Leone from Chastain?
Osegueda: Yes I definitely do because I think those ladies prove we don’t all sound like Tarja and we are just as capable of being gritty and hitting those notes and doing all the things that guys do.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you approach live shows, either in your local area or away from home, in comparison to the studio?
Osegueda: Well, we are a four piece so one of the things we always have to get past is how we are going to play the material when we don’t have a permanent keyboardist or rhythm guitarist. So Josh has to figure that out.
Schwartz: Yeah, Jesse actually has blown my mind by how good he’s gotten on the bass. He works his ass off to fill up that space when I have to play a lead part without a rhythm guitar under it. About the past year to year and a half A Sound of Thunder has become a much better show to see live, I think we’ve always sounded good but I think now we’ve gotten comfortable with putting on a show. As time goes on some of the production on the albums has gotten more complicated, we like to compensate on stage by kicking maximum ass which means running around as much as we can, Chris hits his drums really hard, Jesse is putting out a ton of energy, I play my parts a little less precise and more brutal. We get a lot of ‘I can’t believe how heavy that song was’ such as with the live version of “The Night Witch”, that is because we are playing the songs with more intensity.
Dead Rhetoric: Is it an eventual goal to find a rhythm guitar player to fill up those harmony holes from the records?
Schwartz: If we go that route in the future it will be like a real turning point in the band. Especially for Chris, he’s real set on accomplishing as much as we can as a four-piece, a power trio plus vocalist. Unless you are like an Iron Maiden and have professional sound ability at that level, two guitars usually sound worse than one to me. That’s just my concert experiences because I go to see those bands and more often than not they are drowning each other out and you can’t hear the leads, the harmonies are muddy. I am okay with it, we’ve all become disciples of the band Raven over the years, and they are a three-piece and like an atom bomb when they go off on the stage, so that’s like the level of energy we aspire to. Someday I could see a keyboardist or rhythm guitarist, it may happen.
Dead Rhetoric: I’d love to know some of your favorite songs/ albums from artists that certainly influenced you through the years: let’s start with Black Sabbath, as I know you admire the Tony Martin-era in addition to the Ozzy and Dio years…?
Schwartz: Oh yeah, Iommi is my favorite guitar player and Geezer Butler is my favorite bassist. So for me, anything that they play on, or Iommi is on alone, I have pretty much all of those albums. My first concert ever was Black Sabbath on the Forbidden tour with Cozy Powell on drums. The real influential ones are Paranoid, Master of Reality from the Ozzy years, Never Say Die has great layers throughout it, Iommi is under all the riffs on that album. All the Dio stuff, everything they’ve ever done, I even like Cross Purposes and Forbidden, which are albums a lot of people don’t like from the band. All these albums came out before I was 15, so they are in my blood as a player. We have also covered “Trashed” from the Ian Gillan years, and our producer did the recording on that one for free as a favor to us. He picked it, he knew we loved that album, I think we have the best sounding version of “Trashed” on record.
Dead Rhetoric: Next would be Rainbow… any favorites beyond the RJD years?
Schwartz: Oh yeah, “Tearin’ Out My Heart” comes to the top of my mind. “Death Valley Driver”, Iommi and Blackmore and Buck Dharma, those are pretty much my axe heroes.
Dead Rhetoric: Lastly I’d love to learn which songs/albums you love from Judas Priest?
Schwartz: Sad Wings of Destiny might be my favorite. I was just playing “Run of the Mill” off Rocka Rolla for Nina the other day, one of my all-time favorites. “The Sinner” off Sin After Sin.
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