interview NeverwinterNeverwinter is a band which has talent, ambition and represents a new face of the metal : more atmospheric and so much more spiritual. I had the infinite chance to meet their leader, the talented composer and guitarist Rich Shillitoe, who was one of the guitarists of the british band Mercury Rain. He decided to parted ways with his former band to create a new one, more inspired and bringing metal on a new level…Man dreams while listening to Neverwinter’s music, especially thanks to the guitars, keys and the pleasant vocals done by the delightful Izzy. Discussion with a Friend…

Rich, can you tell to the Spirits who are the members of your band and what’s the story of your band?
Well The recording line-up for the new EP is as follows

Izzy ? Vocals, Woodwind

Daryl Barret-Cross ? Bass, Vocals

Rich Shillitoe ? Lead Guitars, Keys and programming

Rich Bendall ? Guitars

Miles Jefers ? Drums

The band started out as a recording project two summers ago with me and a friend of mine who is now the bass player for Bristol based thrash band Seregon. The idea was just to write and record some ideas after I left my previous band. After a while and many style changes it was clear that something good was happening with the music so I asked my childhood friend Izzy if she wouldn’t mind singing on these ideas and she jumped at the chance. Then I met Rich B in a local bar one night and we were chatting about guitars and such and we became good friends and I finally asked him to play with us. I knew miles from studying at Music College and asked him to join. Then one of my very good friends Daryl loved the ideas so much he decided to join the band playing bass which really is he second instrument although he did play bass for punk band Mr Zippy touring Japan with them. And so the recording line up as it stands today is complete.

How would you define the music you play?
It’s kind of hard to just bring it down to simple terms and genres. On its base level I would say its kind of Power Orchestral Folk Prog Death Metal Hahahaha! There are far too many elements of different genres to just call it one thing.

You’ve already recorded two excellent songs : “Last Cry” and “The twisted truth”, the one being really atmospheric with its lead feminine vocals and the second one being really technique with its virtuoso soli. What is your composing process? Who writes the lyrics?


Oh! Good question. I think personally the way I compose music changes from song to song. Ill either get an idea for a passage and write around that or ill just have a whole idea ill try and play out as closely as possible to what’s in my head. The songs within the EP will change from different feels maybe different genres as most new bands were still finding our feet and our own style. As a band were really trying to find our own style and not sounding like another *insert generic female fronted band here!* which is actually a Very hard thing to do!. As far as lyrics within the band its kind of a free for all, Izzy writes some great stuff so does Daryl and Rich. They all write in totally different ways. Izzy pours her heart out within lyrics with past experiences and different things where Daryl would sit down and really think about what he is trying to say with the lyrics. I will also write some lyrics for the EP I have already written the lyrics to Twisted Truth which is about my own personal feelings about religion and how its Both an amazing blessing yet a curse that can be taken out of context and abused.

You’ve not released a demo or an album, so when can man hope to see one out in stores?
Well as I said before were all still finding our feet and style the process is taking its time which is my fault as I’m becoming more and more like a perfectionist every day! I think one day someone in the band has to give me a kick up the backside and tell me that enough’s enough and it’s ready to be released! I really cant put a date out yet to disappoint anyone!.

You’re one of the Neverwinter’s guitarists, with the 2nd Rich, but can you tell me who gave you the desire to be a guitarist and what are your influences? Your favourite musicians?


Well my family were never that musical but the support I get from them growing up was fantastic driving me to gigs and helping out and everything I can’t thank them enough. When I was really small my parents used to play a lot of Queen and I was really enthralled by Brian May’s harmonies and arrangements and idolised him from the age of 7 when I first picked up the guitar. Then getting into Iron Maiden when I was growing up got me into metal but my main influences guitar wise now would have to be Andy Timmons, John Petrucci from Dream Theater and Steve Vai! Typical fret abuser guitarists! The way I play though comes from an interview I read with Brian May ages ago how about he writes guitar parts as melodies more then just sticking to a scale and being restricted by the notes that appear in that scale.

Why this name : Neverwinter, for your band? Is this a tribute to the same name video game?
I used to play the game a while back and I just liked the name I guess! To me a name has always just been that some of the best bands had the most stupid names like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin its all about the music, man!

What is your view about the English metal scene and about the European scene?


Well I could write you a huge essay for this one. Basically Melodic metal in England is good as dead with only Dragon Force and Power Quest making any kind of waves in the power metal scene really. That’s why we aim to play in Europe as that is where the audience is. We do have Bloodstock festival where big European metal bands come over once a year to blow our heads off and show us how it should be done!. It’s kind of a personal aim for me to play Bloodstock with Neverwinter I suppose if I get that ill set a new bar for myself! But the European scene is amazing as far as the average British person is concerned metal is dead as our charts won’t touch any of it but in Europe you guys have metal bands charting as some pretty impressive places.

Had you already booked some dates in England?
Not yet I’m afraid, that will all be sorted out when the EP is released.

If you had the opportunity to make some tour in France, what band would you turn with?
Personally I would love to tour with Arjen Lucassen’s new band but that’s a mere dream!. There are a few English bands making some headway in France like Mercury Rain who I used to play for who have the added bonus of there lead singer Sonia being French! When were up and touring I am defiantly looking to do some French dates if its actually possible for us!

You’re also a producer. Have you already worked with some bands?
Nothing any metal heads will know. I mainly produced Drum and bass stuff around Bristol. Though most of my skills come from trial and error with my home recording equipment! Production of the EP does worry me as I never had any formal training its just a case of what sounds good to me!

What advices could you give to a band which begins its career?


I would like some advice myself! But seriously you have to truly believe in what you’re doing! Believe in it strong enough to appear arrogant if not your start doubting yourself!.

A personal question: how do you find France and French girls?


I best not answer my girlfriend will kill me! There has always been a silly rivalry with England and France there’s a lot of English rumours that I don’t believe. I have an image of French women being very cliché fashionable and elegant! Silly commercials for channel!

While talking about girls, I would like to have your point of view about female singers. What is your favourite?


Well my favourites would have to be Floor Jansen, Irene Jansen, Tarja Turunen, Heather Findlay and Loreena McKennitt.

Do you have some last words to the Spirit of Metal readers?
Yeah!, Visit Http://www.neverwinter.org.uk where we will keep everything up to date as possible. There’s a forum to chat to members of the band, song samples, merchandise etc etc. And Keep it metal! \m/

En savoir plus sur Neverwinter



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