Usually Jim Matheos is on the road in heavier realms - be it with Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos or OSI. In addition, the guitarist and composer also has a penchant for quiet, mostly instrumental soundscapes, which he lives out on his solo albums and with his project Tuesday The Sky. The latter's second album "The Blurred Horizon" was recently released, and the first two OSI albums were re-released at the end of July. Two good reasons for a conversation with the New Hampshire-based musician.
Jim Matheos checks in from home. He reveals that the pandemic has had little impact on his day-to-day work. He is not a person who goes out much or leaves the house often, so he follows his usual rhythm as far as possible. However, like many musicians, the cancelled tours have given him a lot of free time, which he has invested in the new Tuesday The Sky album.
eclipsed: When did you get the idea to record a second Tuesday The Sky album?
It is the darned 13th studio album and will be released in the darned year 2020: "Long Day Good Night" was anything but an easy birth, this becomes clear in the course of the conversation with Fates-Warning frontman Ray Alder. Since 1987 he has been at the centre of progressive metal - together with songwriter and guitarist Jim Matheos - and has helped to forge some of the gems of the genre. The new 72 minutes long and with 13 songs, which is in keeping with his status, now joins the ranks and convinces not least because of its newly opened doors.
Ray Alder is relaxed. He can be that too. A year of intensive work lies behind him and his band colleagues. Under adverse circumstances (Corona) and with a lot of pressure on the neck, "Long Day Good Night" was created. An album which the likeable musician himself - he admits in the course of the interview - has not heard for months. Nevertheless he knows a lot to tell.
"Vamos!" calls Ray Alder. 22 degrees, a lukewarm evening in Madrid, ideal for a round with his dog Sam - telephone interview back or forth. "Sorry", apologizes Alder. "I hope that's okay!" It is. The promotion for his solo album "What The Water Wants" is done by the 52-year-old, whom the progmetal fans know as the singer of Fates Warning. Because time is something the Spaniard by choice does not have much of at his disposal at the moment. Completing the album took longer than expected.
The lives of Jim Matheos and John Arch have developed very differently over the past three and a half decades. While Matheos has been touring the world and releasing albums since the mid-1980s as guitarist for the prog metal band Fates Warning, the singer Arch still works full-time as a carpenter. Both are connected by their time with Fates Warning between 1982 and 1986, which they also celebrated live in 2016 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the album "Awaken The Guardian". In addition, Arch himself has been active as a musician again since 2003. In 2011 the first album of their project Arch/Matheos was released. We talked to the singer about the successor "Winter Ethereal", his new way of singing and his life as a part-time musician.
eclipsed: Could you imagine working full-time as a musician after all, or are you happy that your life went like this?
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.
"Sometimes the circle closes," singer Ray Alder muses (in an interview that we were able to conduct in addition to the conversation with guitarist Jim Matheos printed earlier in this issue) in view of possible musical parallels between "Theories Of Flight" and the Fates albums of the early nineties. Of course this will hardly have been a conscious decision by songwriter Jim Matheos, but one can attest to the band that the positive trend of "Darkness In A Different Light" (2013) continues on "Theories Of Flight".
Just a few days ago Jim Matheos returned home from Germany to the USA. The "Awaken The Guardian" anniversary show with ex-Fates warning singer John Arch at the "Keep It True" festival was a triumphal procession. Now it's time for the promotion tour of the new album. In conversation, the descendant of Greek immigrants proves once again that he belongs to the introverted representatives of his guild, yet this time the guitarist also reveals unusual facets of his personality.
eclipsed: Jim, first let's share your impressions of the Keep It True gig.
Jim Matheos: That was a real ox tour for us. We flew out here in the USA on Wednesday evening and arrived in Germany on Thursday afternoon, rehearsed one day, played the show on Saturday and went home again on Sunday. That was pretty exhausted, but the incredibly emotional reactions of the fans were worth it. I could enjoy the show and didn't have to think too much.
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.