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Rage's Peter "Peavy" Wagner: "We have it now in our hands if our resurrection will turn out good for us or if we will go down in flames..."

Interview with Peter "Peavy" Wagner from Rage
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 17 September 2021, 11:26 PM

A change in a times of great changes, it sounds like a micro within the macro, nonetheless, when there are shifts, twists and turns within a band, anything can happen. For a period of time in the 90s, the German Heavy / Power Metal band, Rage, were a crew of four, armed with two string men, unleashing heavier albums with a lot of attitude. 2020 presented the opportunity once again with Peter "Peavy" Wagner recruiting two new guitarists to take on the role, which was until then for a sole member. Together as four, they released a new Rage promise, titled “Resurrection Day”. After a great talk last time, due to the previous album, Steinmetal reconvened with Peavy about the new album, the change within the band and a little Covid.

Hello Peter, once again I am highly pleased to have you for a conversation for Metal Temple online Magazine, how is everything going on your end?

It´s all fine, we´re glad to be working ;-)

Unlike the last time that we talked, which was a little less than two years ago, this time around Covid-19 gave you the option to continue working on new material, and it seems to me that you exploited all the time given. However, I wonder, this pandemic took its toll on a lot of people, and I also know that for Rage, not being able to do live shows is bad to the bone so to speak. How did you cope with that? Did working on new material do the trick?

Of course its hard for a professional Metal Band to be not able to tour, especially as we had two new boys on board that are burning to see the world´s stages, but that was a higher force! Still it was a good experience for us to write songs together and grow as a unit. The Result came out pretty nice and we´re happy that we were able to bring it out to the fans!

Ever since the release of “Winds Of Rage”, Rage went through a chance, which drove you to recruit two new guitarists in exchange to the departing Marcos Rodríguez. It is true that you are now in form that reminds of two great 90s albums of the band, but did you feel that it was a necessity to head back for a foursome crew or simply a chance that you were willing to take?

In fact, the idea to bring in a second guitar was already born when Marcos was still in. Stefan played in his side-band “Diolegacy” and we thought that he would fit in perfectly, as we had orientated musically already since a while to the 90´s phase of Rage. Unfortunately Marcos had to leave, so we brought in Jean, which is a perfect match. He and Stefan work together as a real team, without Ego shit and competition stress.

This new lineup launched a new era of Rage, with the release of your new “Resurrection Day”. It did generate a notion in my head that it does feel like a resurrection of an older period of time. How do you capture this phrase? Is this also a day when mankind will open its eyes only to find out the horrors that it has been making throughout the years? Is this a slap in the face?

Yes, the title is dealing with mankind´s failures since all his cultural evolution. We have it now in our hands if our resurrection will turn out good for us or if we will go down in flames…

Talking about slapping, while listening and noticing the lyricism, it seemed to me that you are a little more pissed off than what went on through “Winds Of Rage”. If that is the case, what triggered those strong emotions this time around? Did the pandemic have something to do with it as well?

Not really. The musical and lyrical concept I had already around the end of 2019. Looking around, I found that we brought our little earth pretty much down and that it´s time to turn around. I tried to write down my impressions in the hope, the songs might inspire some of the listeners…

Back when we covered “Winds Of Rage”, you talked about writing as a sort of self-therapy, in particular with the struggles that you have been facing. Would you say that “Resurrection Day” continued, or rather intensified the experience? Do you feel that the new record is a decent enough stress reliever?

Haha, yes, the therapy goes on ;-)

For one thing, I am glad that you haven’t given up on letting the listeners know that you care about what is going on in the world, at least from my perspective. I can only assume that you are not the kind of guy to simply give up on what he thinks? With that said, would you say that you are also stating possible solutions other than putting your fingers on problems?

That would surely be good. But the solutions to the world´s problems are not easy! In general, it would mean, that we all, as the whole human earth population, would have to reduce ourselves in all we are and all we do here! Think about what this would mean, and think about, how most of our fellow inhabitants on this planet would react to this postulation. How would you and me react? You can see easily how difficult all this is. We are all part of the problem….

Even though it turned out to be somewhat heavier than “Wings Of Rage”, the new record maintains the diversity of Rage throughout its eras. Nonetheless, I must say that I felt the 90s and early 00s on this one, rather than the spirit of the 80s. How do you find the development of the band while working on “Resurrection Day”?

Yes, that was our musical intention. Plus, we wanted to include a fresh wind pointing out to the future.

Even though you have always been the main songwriter of the band, Rage is still a collective of minds. This time around you have two new minds in the band, which musically are quite capable as it sounds. How did the new guys’ skills and experience contribute to the songwriting efforts of “Resurrection Day”?
Very good! All of the boys, including Lucky, brought in plenty of great ideas. I´m happy that it developed perfect from the beginning on. We found a way to communicate musically in a very creative way.

Maybe it is just me, but I found a lot of songs on “Resurrection Day” to be quite dramatic, atmospheric to an extent. I believe it is thanks to the classical orchestrations, which you aren’t a stranger to. What was your vision for these arrangements within the songs? What can you tell about your work with Peppe Herrero? 

Pepe has been a friend of ours since a couple of years, he conducted our Lingua Mortis Orchestra during the Festival Tour in 2019. On WOR he helped us already a bit with our Orchestrations but now, for Resurrection, I gave him free hand to orchestrate those four songs, just with all of his skills and passion that he brought in. He orientated on the XIII Material, he told me.

Your experience both as a musician, and a songwriter, are well known, and your legacy can support that of course. Nonetheless, I believe that every album is a micro experience on its own. In your opinion, what did you learn about yourself as both these roles while “Resurrection Day” was in the works?

With every Album I grow more into what I´m doing. This makes it easier for me to concentrate on the feeling , on the particular needs of the songs, how to interpret them, how to give them the right feeling.

When it comes down to challenges, this period of time we live in isn’t that easy to achieve projects, even studio related work. Would you say that you stumbled upon obstacles that made recording and production of the new record a pain in the neck? If there were, how did you overcome them?

Originally we had planned to record all in Spain together with Dani Gonzales in his Studio. Dani is our long time Live Sound man. He knows Rage the best. Due to the big lockdown we were only able to record the drums there, as we had to stay home. So we continued recording the other tracks in our home Studio. The modern digital technique makes this possible. Still we were able to enjoy the production.

It was probably obvious that I should ask, but it is a must to know. “Traveling Through Time” opened for me, as a sort of an orchestral Iron Maiden type track, until you started singing. From there on, I was a witness to a kind of folkish driven Heavy / Power Metal tune that is certainly not something that I experienced from Rage in the past. How did you come up with it? Was it merely due to that composer you mentioned? Did you feel that you are writing something different?

Yes, in the beginning I was not sure if it would fit for Rage but the longer we worked on it we all realised that it would be a good track for the Album. I knew the original inspiring theme (A renaissance theme from Giorgio Mainerio) already since my childhood. When I played my idea for the song to Jean, he misunderstood a bit the rhythm pattern and played it different, which I liked even better, so we developed it in a new direction. Together with the Orchestration it came back to its Origin.

 “The Age Of Reason” had me fooled for a moment there with the intro, only to be driven to craze with the thrashed up toughness. You managed to combine great melodic heaviness with a catchy notation that did justice for the song. What is your appreciation of the track?

That kind of contrast between to obviously opponent styles makes the attraction of many Rage songs.

When you sit down and listen to the whole album, I wonder, what does it make you feel? What surges through your veins as the songs play, one by one? What is going on in your head?

I like the album! I´m proud of the boys and me that we can still do that after so many years in the business. There are other examples were musicians have shot their load already long ago, just repeating their successful works of the past over and over….

You are about to set out on tour in November, I guess that you are excited as hell? Do you fear any sort of complications to the pandemic? Are there alternative plans when push comes to shove?

Of course we know about the possibility that we have to push the tour again into the next year. But so far we look optimistic in the future. People should know: If you want to see Concerts – get vaccinated! That's the only way out of the pandemic!

In regards to Refuge, is this band still going? If so, can you share info for future plans?

Refuge is still there but for the moment on ice, so to say. I´m busy with Rage . We´re not in a hurry, Refuge is our little side band-baby ;-)

Peavy, once again it was a sheer pleasure to have you. “Resurrection Day” is an amazing album that it was great to play over and over. I wish you all the best. Cheers.

Thanx , too! All my best greetz to the fans! Hope we see us on tour! Best, Peavy



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