Last year Fates Warning celebrated the 30th birthday of their masterpiece "Awaken The Guardian". To pay tribute to this progmetal milestone, guitarist Jim Matheos reactivated the original line-up for two festival shows in Germany and the USA. The recordings of both performances are now available as "Awaken The Guardian Live". We grabbed singer John Arch to chat about the shows. "The preparations took over a year," explains the 57-year-old, who lives just under two and a half hours by car northeast of New York.
"Jim had already asked all the other boys before me. It's well known that I have extreme stage fright, but since everyone was so enthusiastic, I didn't want to be the spoilsport. Then I really prepared myself very conscientiously, because as a singer you are something like the weakest link in the chain. A guitarist can also play a show with a fever, but if I get sick or my voice doesn't play along, it's over for everybody. About four months before the first show in Germany we rehearsed with the complete cast for the first time. Then I realized that the ravages of time had gnawed at me and my voice. Back then, in the early and mid eighties, I was able to sing 14 hours a day without any problems, but this time I had to take a break now and again."
Both shows turned out to be true triumphs with overwhelming spectator reactions. The Atlanta show started a bit irritating for the singer who was born John Maurice Archambault: "Right at the first song I suddenly could only hear my own voice on the in-ear monitor. I looked at the guy at the mixer and saw that he was sleeping over his console. A real spinal tap moment that I can laugh about in retrospect, but it was really horrible back then. In the video I don't think I see anything of it because we were able to change the camera perspective."