Who does not remember the pleasant shiver when watching old "Dracula", "Frankenstein" or Edgar Allan Poe movies? The horrifying "grimaces" of Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Vincent Price are etched in the collective memory. Now the Welsh band Magenta is dedicating an album to these eerie mimes.
While multi-instrumentalist Rob Reed, singer Christina Booth and guitarist Chris Fry had set even more modern accents on their last album "We Are Legend" (2017), the band once again falls back on the classic prog sound for the setting of the life stories of six legendary actors. In an interview with eclipsed, Magenta mastermind Reed spoke about his enthusiasm for old horror flicks and the current status of progressive rock.
eclipsed: "Hammer Horror" is the name of a song by Kate Bush. Apparently, you're inspired by old creepy hams too, Rob?
Robert Reed: Absolutely, my brother Steve and I are both huge fans of these old horror movies from Hammer and Universal Studios and their actors. They kept us up at night when we were kids. I knew that we had an album concept with that: We wanted to write one song each about six horror movie actors.
eclipsed: Name the six actors and a few details
Reed: "Bela" is of course about Bela Lugosi. The others are Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lon Chaney [junior, note], Ingrid Pitt and Vincent Price. But instead of the famous characters they portrayed, we wanted to show them as private people. They all had such interesting ups and downs in their careers. Bela Lugosi was so fixated on his Dracula image that he didn't get any other commissions for many years, which made him fall into alcoholism. [After "Dracula" (1931), Lugosi took on roles in several other scary movies. His career came to a halt at the beginning of the 40's with the end of the horror movie boom at that time, note] Or take Christopher Lee - "A Gift From God": He could easily have become a famous opera singer. The title track revolves around the great Vincent Price, who once again brought his acting skills to full bloom in my favorite horror film "Witchfinder General" from 1968.