The Fine Progressive Art of Redemption

Redemption is a progressive power metal band that is really making a name for themselves on the worldwide music arena.  Featuring the mesmerizing vocal work of Ray Adler of Fates Warning and a collection of the finest musicians the genre has to offer, the band has a show at the Whisky on February 4th and will be touring later on in the year with the mighty Primal Fear!  Here is a recent interview we conducted with guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Nicolas van Dyk to find out more about this band and their amazing new CD entitled Snowfall On Judgment Day

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Redemption, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Nick van Dyk, and I’m the bandleader, I suppose! The band has been together since around 2002, and since 2004 in its present form. I play guitars and some keyboards, and I write the music.

What are your impressions of the current local Los Angeles music scene overall?
It’s not a particularly vibrant scene, but you have to understand my point of comparison was the LA music scene of the late 1980s when I first moved down here. Still, there are a lot of shows and the Internet makes it easier to know everything that’s going on. Moshking.com is indispensible!

Is there any story or concept behind the new CD Snowfall On Judgment Day? Definitely a catchy, compelling title.
Thanks! For the previous two CDs, I had a definite connection between the title and the lyrics. For this CD, there’s no connection at all. The title was something that I liked the cadence of – just the sound of the words and how they flowed together, and it has a kind of mysterious connotation. And it’s consistent with our overall theme of combining darkness and light; our lyrics are melancholy but there is underlying hope.

Tell me about Another Day Dies and how the idea came about to have Ray Alder perform a duet with James LaBrie?
When we were touring, James was particularly gracious and told me he really liked what Redemption was doing. I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a guest appearance and he was totally fired up about it. I didn’t write that song for him, and I didn’t really even know what type of guest appearance would work, but when the songs were all finished, I knew the verses in Another Day Dies would sound great with James’ delivery, and the idea for the duet during the chorus came to me as well, and I sent him the pre-production demo and asked him what he thought. He loved the idea, and here we are.

Have you ever played the Whisky before and how did the show come about?
Nope. We have a great booking agent, Jon Finberg, I told him we wanted to play out locally, maybe at the Whisky, and here we are. Hope it will be the first of many shows there!

What could one expect from a live Redemption show?
We play our music with a lot of energy, tempo-wise. There’s a lot going on musically so we try to get into a groove up there but we can’t be running around the stage — both because there’s too many people up there and because there’s too much going on — if we take our eyes off our fretboards for more than a few seconds it would be trouble! 🙂
It’s a fun show, high energy, good song selection. People will enjoy it, for sure.

What was it like touring with Dream Theater and what were some of the highlights of the tour?
It was a highlight of our career thus far and an incredibly positive experience all around. They are great guys, they treated us well, and we had an unbelievable opportunity to get our music in front of a lot of people. I’m very thankful, personally, for that opportunity and hope we can do it again. I’ve also made a couple of friends through it and that’s a great thing as well.
As for some highlights, the four that come to mind were Montreal and Jones Beach because of the size of the venues and audiences (around 9,000 in both places), playing a few bars of YYZ on the stage in Toronto where Rush plays it in their home town, and of course dressing up like ants and staggering onto the stage during DT’s last set, being chased around by a giant can of raid. Funny stuff, and commemorated on the outtakes of our DVD, Frozen in the Moment: Live in Atlanta .

Prior to Redemption, what other bands have you played in?
No serious bands, only a couple of cover bands over the years.

Although it’s been quite a few years since Fates Warning’s last release, how interesting would it be do a Fates Warning / Redemption tour together?
It would be phenomenal, although I think it might be a bit much for Ray — that would be a lot of singing!!!

Tell me about the Frozen In The Moment: Live In Atlanta performance and what made you decide to document this show on DVD? Any other DVD projects in the works?
We had come off tour with Dream Theater a little more than a month before the Progpower festival, and we were going to play a strong set there in front of a great crowd with a multicamera shoot all ready to go, so it was a logical thing to do to capture it on DVD. The band is very tight, and we left it very true-to-life so it’s not a sterile performance. We included a lot of bonus footage from the tour with Dream Theater which is pretty damn funny if I say so myself. I think it’s a great snapshot of the band at an important point in its early history.
Right now, no other DVD projects in the works. It would be fun to do another one, though, a couple of records down the road perhaps!

You’ve recently had some health issues involving cancer. How does one stay positive and focused when battling the disease?
That’s a long story — and I’ll probably cover it in detail in the future as our next record will probably have something to do with it. I will say in my circumstances it helps being a proactive, take-charge, organized, type A personality.

Are there any plans for a full out Redemption tour or do day jobs prevent such a venture from happening?
It’s not so much day jobs (although that is an issue for me) as it is the fact that no money can really be made for touring. Touring, unless you are a very large band, is done by 21 year olds who are content to sleep in a van, shower in public restrooms, look for places to furtively take a dump, eat Mcdonalds 1 time a day for their only meal, etc. That’s the reality of it. And that’s not where any of us are in our lives. So we need to pick and choose dates that make sense, and try to build the band to a level where it begins to make more economic sense. If there are major opportunities like the DT tour, then I tend to dig deep and foot the bill for that stuff.

Any other local shows coming up in 2010?
We are playing some support shows for Primal Fear later this summer in California and potentially elsewhere outhere.

Do you have any messages for Redemption fans here in the States?
Thanks for your interest and support! We hope to see of you at these shows and to play out more as soon as we can to see the rest of you!

Redemption on Myspace

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