On The Rocks Interview with Chris Troy 2003

This interview was originally on http://www.ontherocks.de/Interviews/Interview35/Interview68/body_interview68.html

PRAYING MANTIS – Chris Troy – The Journey Goes On

Your last album “Nowhere To Hide” was released three years ago. Why did it take so long with the new record?

Chris Troy: “MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAD WITH BOTH TONY O’HORA AND BRUCE BISLAND – THE VOCALIST AND DRUMMER AT THE TIME. IT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION AND WE DID TRY OUR BEST TO KEEP THE BAND TOGETHER BECAUSE LIKE IN MOST SCENARIOS, THE LONGER TIME THAT IS SPENT TOGETHER THE MORE COHESIVE THE UNIT. I DON’T KNOW WHETHER IT IS GREED OR PURE STARDOM HEAD IN THE CLOUDS TYPE SYNDROME, BUT TONY WAS REQUESTING A SIGNIFICANT OF MONEY FOR THIS ALBUM WHICH WE COULD NOT AFFORD. BRUCE AND TONY APPEARED TO TAKE A STRANGE AND SELFISH STANCE AND IN THE END IT APPEARED AS THOUGH THE CHASM BETWEEN US WAS TOO BIG TO REPAIR. IN ADDITION SOME WHILE BACK, TONY MOVED AWAY FROM LONDON UP TO BIRMINGHAM WHICH IS A CONSIDERABLE JOURNEY. EVEN DURING THE “NOWHERE TO HIDE” ALBUM THE STRAIN CAUSED BY HIM HAVING TO TRAVEL BACK AND FORTH WAS ALREADY BEGINNING TO SHOW, SO THAT ELEMENT ITSELF DID NOT HELP MATTERS. ALL OF THESE FACTORS AS YOU CAN IMAGINE TOOK THEIR TOLL ON TIME AND CONSEQUENTLY LED TO THIS ALBUM BEING RELEASED SO LATE AFTER “NOWEHERE TO HIDE”.”

Do you know if Tony he is working on any new band or project?

“WE HAVE NOT REALLY KEPT IN TOUCH AND CONSEQUENTLY I DO NOT KNOW WHIT HE IS DOING NOW.”

The first announcement for the new album named the return of singer Colin Peel. Why didn’t work it out with him?

“COLIN WAS CONTACTED SOME WHILE BACK AND WE ASKED HIM TO COME ALONG AND TRY OUT HIS VOCALS ON A FEW TRACKS. SOMEHOW IT DID NOT SEEM TO WORK OUT, AS HIS ATTITUDES HAD CHANGED AND THEY WERE NOT VERY CONSTRUCTIVE. FOR INSTANCE WE ASKED HIM TO TRY HIS VOCALS ON THE TRACK CALLED “NAKED” AND HE ONLY WANTED TO DO IT IF IT WOULD BE AN UNPLUGGED VERSION. WE LOST PATIENCE AFTER A WHILE AND REALISED THAT THE MOMENT HAD GONE AND IT WAS NOT WORTH PURSUING THIS PATH.”

For the new album you worked with two lead singers, Doogie White and John Sloman. Why did you decide for two lead singers?

“AS PEOPLE WILL NOTICE IT WAS MORE OF A PROJECT AND THUS WE HAVE USED TWO SINGERS. JOHN HAS HIS FINGERS IN MANY PIES AND SO TOO DOES DOOGIE, SO THESE ARE LITERALLY PROJECTS FOR THEM. I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING AS IT GIVES A DIIFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO THE VARIOUS SONGS.”

Who would go on tour with you – John Sloman or Doogie White?

“WE WILL CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN WE COME TO IT, BUT I WOULD THINK IT WOULD BE MORE LIKELY THAT DOOGIE WOULD DO IT.”

Did you play with the idea asking Gary Barden to return to the band?

“I LIKED GARY’S VOICE, BUT I THINK IT IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT USED TO BE, PARTICULARLY ON THE HIGH RANGE SIDE. BOTH DOOGIE AND JOHN HAVE TREMENDOUS RANGES WHICH HELPS SO MUCH IN OUR SONGS.”

For the Japanese edition of “The Journey Goes On” you re-recorded the song “Naked” with Doogie White on vocals. Any chance for the European fans to get this song? Maybe via download from your website?

“I THINK DOOGIE’S VERSION IS TEN TIMES BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL AS IT IS SUNG WITH A LOT MORE PASSION, AND MELODY. THIS VERSION WILL BE INCLUDED ON THE EUROPEAN RELEASE AS WELL. THE VERSION WAS SO DIFFERENT TO THE PREVIOUS ONE WHERE TONY SUNG THAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD BONUS TRACK.”

On the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” you did lead vocals, and on “The Journey Goes On” you, Tino and Dennis did lead vocals. What do you think about your vocal talents? Did you play with the idea to handle lead vocals with the remaning line-up instead of searching a new lead singer?

““IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES” IS A VERY SPECIAL SONG TO ME AS IT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT MY FATHER JUST BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO. NORMALLY IN ANY CASE I DO PUT DOWN A GUIDE VOCAL FROM WHICH THE ACTUAL SINGER THEN USES IT AS A BASIC FORMAT TO LISTEN TO THE MELODIES. IT WAS TINO’S SUGGESTION THAT THE SONG WAS SO PERSONAL THAT MAYBE I SHOULD ACTUALLY SING IT. AS FOR MY VOCAL TALENTS… AVERAGE I SUPPOSE. I CERTAINLY CAN’T DO ROCK SONGS BECAUSE MY VOICE DOES NOT HAVE ANY REAL CUT TO IT. AGAIN MORE OR LESS THE SAME APPLIES FOR DENNIS AND TINO. IF WE REALLY THOUGHT WE WERE GOOD ENOUGH WE WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY SUNG IN THE PAST AS IT REALLY WOULD HAVE SORTED OUT THIS HORRIBLE SITUATION THAT WE HAVE HAD WITH VARIOUS VOCALISTS. THERE ARE NO DOUBT SOME BRILLIANT VOCALISTS OUT THERE OF WHICH YOU NEED TO AT LEAST COME UP TO PAR WITH. CERTAINLY DOOGIE AND JOHN ARE UP THERE AMONGST THE VERY BEST.”

What do you think are the main musical differences between “The Journey Goes On ” and your last efforts?

“VERY LITTLE REALLY, THE MAIN DIFFERENCE I SUPPOSE IS THE VARIATION WITH THE DIFFERENT VOCALISTS. HOWEVER THE MUSIC IS THE STANDARD BLEND OF MELODIC ROCK WITH VOCAL AND GUITAR HARMONIES.”

Your last records received some great reviews. Do you think that “The Journey Goes On” is strong enough to receive the same reactions as “Nowhere To Hide” or “Forever In Time”?

“AS WITH ANYTHING THE STRENGTH OF AN ALBUM DEPENDS ON THE LISTENER. IT IS SO EASY SOMETIMES FOR PEOPLE TO GO ALONG WITH A BELIEF PURELY BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE GIVE IT A GOOD COMMENDATION. IN EXAMPLE I THINK THE ROLLING STONES MUSIC IS TESTAMENT TO THAT FACT. THERE IS SO LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD AND GREAT SONG AND GENERALLY THIS COMES DOWN TO HOW IT IS ACCLAIMED. I PERSONALLY THINK IT IS BETTER IN MANY RESPECTS THOUGH POSSIBLY WEAKER IN A FEW CIRCUMSTANCES… I THINK THAT IS ALWAYS THE WAY. WE ALL SEARCH FOR THAT PERFECT ALBUM. TROUBLE IS ONCE YOU HAVE MADE SUCH AN ANIMAL WHERE CAN YOU POSSIBLY GO FROM THERE ?”

The history of PRAYNG MANTIS goes back to 1980 but unfortunately you did never make the final breakthrough like IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST. What keeps you making music after so many years in particularly in a time when Hard Rock and Heavy Metal isn’t very popular anymore?

“MUSIC IS A LOVE AS OPPOSED TO A CAREER… IF THAT ELEMENT IS ACCEPTED THEN MUSIC CAN CONTINUE FOR YEARS AS IT HAS DONE. TRUE THAT WE NEVER MADE IT BIG TIME, AND OBVIOUSLY WE CAN ALWAYS LOOK BACK NEVERTHELESS ON THE FLIP SIDE WE HAVE MANAGED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THICK AND THIN OVER SOME 26 YEARS!”

Many old and new bands release DVD’s nowadays. Do you have any plans for a DVD? I guess you have tons of material, haven’t you?

“STRANGELY ENOUGH IT HAS NOT BEEN CONSIDERED, BUT YES WE DO HAVE TONS OF MATERIAL GOING BACK OVER ALL THOSE YEARS… GREAT MEMORIES AS WELL.”

What are you next plans with PRAYING MANTIS?

“TIME WILL TELL… WE USE THAT WORD ALOT IN OUR SONGS! WE HOPE OBVIOUSLY THAT THE ALBUM DOES WELL AND THAT WE CAN TOUR IT DURING THE SUMMER OF THIS YEAR. HOPEFULLY WE WILL SEE YOU THEN…”

Interview by Marco Spaeth

PRAYING MANTIS – Chris Troy – The Journey Goes On

Your last album “Nowhere To Hide” was released three years ago. Why did it take so long with the new record?

Chris Troy: “MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAD WITH BOTH TONY O’HORA AND BRUCE BISLAND – THE VOCALIST AND DRUMMER AT THE TIME. IT WAS A VERY DIFFICULT SITUATION AND WE DID TRY OUR BEST TO KEEP THE BAND TOGETHER BECAUSE LIKE IN MOST SCENARIOS, THE LONGER TIME THAT IS SPENT TOGETHER THE MORE COHESIVE THE UNIT. I DON’T KNOW WHETHER IT IS GREED OR PURE STARDOM HEAD IN THE CLOUDS TYPE SYNDROME, BUT TONY WAS REQUESTING A SIGNIFICANT OF MONEY FOR THIS ALBUM WHICH WE COULD NOT AFFORD. BRUCE AND TONY APPEARED TO TAKE A STRANGE AND SELFISH STANCE AND IN THE END IT APPEARED AS THOUGH THE CHASM BETWEEN US WAS TOO BIG TO REPAIR. IN ADDITION SOME WHILE BACK, TONY MOVED AWAY FROM LONDON UP TO BIRMINGHAM WHICH IS A CONSIDERABLE JOURNEY. EVEN DURING THE “NOWHERE TO HIDE” ALBUM THE STRAIN CAUSED BY HIM HAVING TO TRAVEL BACK AND FORTH WAS ALREADY BEGINNING TO SHOW, SO THAT ELEMENT ITSELF DID NOT HELP MATTERS. ALL OF THESE FACTORS AS YOU CAN IMAGINE TOOK THEIR TOLL ON TIME AND CONSEQUENTLY LED TO THIS ALBUM BEING RELEASED SO LATE AFTER “NOWEHERE TO HIDE”.”

Do you know if Tony he is working on any new band or project?

“WE HAVE NOT REALLY KEPT IN TOUCH AND CONSEQUENTLY I DO NOT KNOW WHIT HE IS DOING NOW.”

The first announcement for the new album named the return of singer Colin Peel. Why didn’t work it out with him?

“COLIN WAS CONTACTED SOME WHILE BACK AND WE ASKED HIM TO COME ALONG AND TRY OUT HIS VOCALS ON A FEW TRACKS. SOMEHOW IT DID NOT SEEM TO WORK OUT, AS HIS ATTITUDES HAD CHANGED AND THEY WERE NOT VERY CONSTRUCTIVE. FOR INSTANCE WE ASKED HIM TO TRY HIS VOCALS ON THE TRACK CALLED “NAKED” AND HE ONLY WANTED TO DO IT IF IT WOULD BE AN UNPLUGGED VERSION. WE LOST PATIENCE AFTER A WHILE AND REALISED THAT THE MOMENT HAD GONE AND IT WAS NOT WORTH PURSUING THIS PATH.”

For the new album you worked with two lead singers, Doogie White and John Sloman. Why did you decide for two lead singers?

“AS PEOPLE WILL NOTICE IT WAS MORE OF A PROJECT AND THUS WE HAVE USED TWO SINGERS. JOHN HAS HIS FINGERS IN MANY PIES AND SO TOO DOES DOOGIE, SO THESE ARE LITERALLY PROJECTS FOR THEM. I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING AS IT GIVES A DIIFERENT PERSPECTIVE TO THE VARIOUS SONGS.”

Who would go on tour with you – John Sloman or Doogie White?

“WE WILL CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN WE COME TO IT, BUT I WOULD THINK IT WOULD BE MORE LIKELY THAT DOOGIE WOULD DO IT.”

Did you play with the idea asking Gary Barden to return to the band?

“I LIKED GARY’S VOICE, BUT I THINK IT IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT USED TO BE, PARTICULARLY ON THE HIGH RANGE SIDE. BOTH DOOGIE AND JOHN HAVE TREMENDOUS RANGES WHICH HELPS SO MUCH IN OUR SONGS.”

For the Japanese edition of “The Journey Goes On” you re-recorded the song “Naked” with Doogie White on vocals. Any chance for the European fans to get this song? Maybe via download from your website?

“I THINK DOOGIE’S VERSION IS TEN TIMES BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL AS IT IS SUNG WITH A LOT MORE PASSION, AND MELODY. THIS VERSION WILL BE INCLUDED ON THE EUROPEAN RELEASE AS WELL. THE VERSION WAS SO DIFFERENT TO THE PREVIOUS ONE WHERE TONY SUNG THAT WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD BONUS TRACK.”

On the song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” you did lead vocals, and on “The Journey Goes On” you, Tino and Dennis did lead vocals. What do you think about your vocal talents? Did you play with the idea to handle lead vocals with the remaning line-up instead of searching a new lead singer?

““IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES” IS A VERY SPECIAL SONG TO ME AS IT WAS WRITTEN ABOUT MY FATHER JUST BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO. NORMALLY IN ANY CASE I DO PUT DOWN A GUIDE VOCAL FROM WHICH THE ACTUAL SINGER THEN USES IT AS A BASIC FORMAT TO LISTEN TO THE MELODIES. IT WAS TINO’S SUGGESTION THAT THE SONG WAS SO PERSONAL THAT MAYBE I SHOULD ACTUALLY SING IT. AS FOR MY VOCAL TALENTS… AVERAGE I SUPPOSE. I CERTAINLY CAN’T DO ROCK SONGS BECAUSE MY VOICE DOES NOT HAVE ANY REAL CUT TO IT. AGAIN MORE OR LESS THE SAME APPLIES FOR DENNIS AND TINO. IF WE REALLY THOUGHT WE WERE GOOD ENOUGH WE WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY SUNG IN THE PAST AS IT REALLY WOULD HAVE SORTED OUT THIS HORRIBLE SITUATION THAT WE HAVE HAD WITH VARIOUS VOCALISTS. THERE ARE NO DOUBT SOME BRILLIANT VOCALISTS OUT THERE OF WHICH YOU NEED TO AT LEAST COME UP TO PAR WITH. CERTAINLY DOOGIE AND JOHN ARE UP THERE AMONGST THE VERY BEST.”

What do you think are the main musical differences between “The Journey Goes On ” and your last efforts?

“VERY LITTLE REALLY, THE MAIN DIFFERENCE I SUPPOSE IS THE VARIATION WITH THE DIFFERENT VOCALISTS. HOWEVER THE MUSIC IS THE STANDARD BLEND OF MELODIC ROCK WITH VOCAL AND GUITAR HARMONIES.”

Your last records received some great reviews. Do you think that “The Journey Goes On” is strong enough to receive the same reactions as “Nowhere To Hide” or “Forever In Time”?

“AS WITH ANYTHING THE STRENGTH OF AN ALBUM DEPENDS ON THE LISTENER. IT IS SO EASY SOMETIMES FOR PEOPLE TO GO ALONG WITH A BELIEF PURELY BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE GIVE IT A GOOD COMMENDATION. IN EXAMPLE I THINK THE ROLLING STONES MUSIC IS TESTAMENT TO THAT FACT. THERE IS SO LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GOOD AND GREAT SONG AND GENERALLY THIS COMES DOWN TO HOW IT IS ACCLAIMED. I PERSONALLY THINK IT IS BETTER IN MANY RESPECTS THOUGH POSSIBLY WEAKER IN A FEW CIRCUMSTANCES… I THINK THAT IS ALWAYS THE WAY. WE ALL SEARCH FOR THAT PERFECT ALBUM. TROUBLE IS ONCE YOU HAVE MADE SUCH AN ANIMAL WHERE CAN YOU POSSIBLY GO FROM THERE ?”

The history of PRAYNG MANTIS goes back to 1980 but unfortunately you did never make the final breakthrough like IRON MAIDEN or JUDAS PRIEST. What keeps you making music after so many years in particularly in a time when Hard Rock and Heavy Metal isn’t very popular anymore?

“MUSIC IS A LOVE AS OPPOSED TO A CAREER… IF THAT ELEMENT IS ACCEPTED THEN MUSIC CAN CONTINUE FOR YEARS AS IT HAS DONE. TRUE THAT WE NEVER MADE IT BIG TIME, AND OBVIOUSLY WE CAN ALWAYS LOOK BACK NEVERTHELESS ON THE FLIP SIDE WE HAVE MANAGED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THICK AND THIN OVER SOME 26 YEARS!”

Many old and new bands release DVD’s nowadays. Do you have any plans for a DVD? I guess you have tons of material, haven’t you?

“STRANGELY ENOUGH IT HAS NOT BEEN CONSIDERED, BUT YES WE DO HAVE TONS OF MATERIAL GOING BACK OVER ALL THOSE YEARS… GREAT MEMORIES AS WELL.”

What are you next plans with PRAYING MANTIS?

“TIME WILL TELL… WE USE THAT WORD ALOT IN OUR SONGS! WE HOPE OBVIOUSLY THAT THE ALBUM DOES WELL AND THAT WE CAN TOUR IT DURING THE SUMMER OF THIS YEAR. HOPEFULLY WE WILL SEE YOU THEN…”

Interview by Marco Spaeth

About

I have been a Praying Mantis fan since I first heard "Captured City" on Metal for Muthas. Time Tells No Lies has always been on of my favourite albums and I was overjoyed when I first discovered it was out on CD. I didn't know what had happened after the first album until in about 1994 I discovered "A Cry For The New World". I was worried about getting it as I thought it had to be a disappointment but I was wrong. I loved it and have followed the band and maintained this website ever since.

Posted in Interviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 96 other subscribers