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The Timeless AOR Reveries of Trishula

The Timeless AOR Reveries of Trishula

Neil Fraser and Jason Morgan of TRISHULA

The Timeless AOR Reveries of Trishula

British melodic rock band TRISHULA is the brainchild of UK Guitarist Neil Fraser, accompanied by vocalist Jason Morgan, and their timeless AOR reveries are absolutely to behold. Neil has worked with bands/artists such as RAGE OF ANGELS, TEN, and Tony Mills (SHY, TNT), while Jason has appeared in Orangefall and recently recorded backing vocals for MAGNUM on their latest album The Serpent RingsTRISHULA has just unveiled Time Waits For No Man, their latest collection of rocking tunes via AOR Heaven.  In this interview with Neil Fraser, we discuss the exhilarating Time Waits For No Man, his work with the late great Tony Mills, recording with TEN on their album Stormwarning, the Rage Of Angels connection, and other topics of intrigue.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in TRISHULA, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Neil Fraser, I play lead guitar for TRISHULA, I have played or recorded with artists and bands such as TEN, Rage of Angels, Tony Mills. Trishula started out as my solo project around 2015, it was really my contingency plan when I could see that my time with Rage of Angels was coming to an end. The primary members of the band are myself and vocalist Jason Morgan, we also write all the songs, I write all the music and Jason writes the lyrics.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Trishula are a UK based band, I live in the Midlands area of England, as do the other current members Rick Benton (Keyboards, Magnum), Dan Clark (Bass, Rebecca Downes), Neil Ogden (Drums, Demon), Jason Morgan (Vocals, Rage of Angels) lives in South Wales. The music scene in both the Midlands Area and in South Wales are usually pretty active, however since the COVID-19 Pandemic the live music scene has obviously suffered terribly, so at the moment I would say the music scene is quiet due to the restrictions that are in place regarding public gatherings etc.

How did you wind up signing with AOR Heaven?
I was recommended AOR Heaven by Pete Godfrey from the band ‘Blood Red Saints’, so as soon as our debut album was complete the first label I contacted was AOR Heaven. I was so happy with my relationship with AOR Heaven when we did the first album, that I wanted to sign with them again for this new second album ‘Time Waits For No Man’, they’re a great label to be with and as long as they want our albums, I will always sign with them before any other labels.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Time Waits For No Man album title?
Well, when I purchased the album cover artwork, the artwork conjured up some ideas for the title of the album. Originally we were going to call the album ‘Fallen Hero’ because of the little man seen on the album cover, as he could perhaps be seen as a war veteran and we also have a track on the album called ‘Fallen Hero’. Then we were thinking about the mention of ‘Time’ in the song ‘Make up your mind (Take your time)’ and the fact that there’s a clock on the album cover, so after a few different ideas were discussed, we agreed on the title ‘Time Waits For No Man’ and we felt it fitted well with the album cover and also I decided that it might be good to have an album title that was not one of the songs on the album too.

Select any two songs from Time Waits For No Man and what inspired the lyrics?
It’s difficult for me to answer this question because Jason Morgan writes virtually all of the lyrics. I write all the music for the songs and the vocal melodies and usually the main hook line for the choruses, so I do have an idea or inspiration when I’m writing the songs in the beginning, but when Jason takes over with the lyric writing he obviously takes the song to a different dimension. But I’ll give you a couple of examples of where I initially started from, ‘Fallen Hero’ was originally about being another rock and roll casualty, but Jason turned that from a negative story to a positive story by using the line ‘I’m not your so called fallen hero’. The song ‘I just might’ is a story about Jason and his wife and some of the things they’ve done together over the years.

Tell me about your vocalist Jason Morgan and what is his background in music and bands?
I originally met Jason when we were both in the live version of ‘Rage of Angels’, so when it came to choosing a singer to work with in Trishula, Jason was my first choice. Jason spent many years performing in the South Wales area with his previous band ‘Orangefall’, then he joined ‘Rage of Angels’, then he joined Trishula and more recent he recorded backing vocals on the latest MAGNUM Album ‘The Serpent Rings’. Jason is a world class singer and he is attracting a lot of well deserved attention for himself through singing on these Trishula albums, so watch out for him, he’s going to go a long way!

Who did the cover art for Time Waits For No Man and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork for the new album cover was done by the same artist that did our first album, she is a lady called Alina Sliwinska, I had very little input regarding the artwork, the artwork is usually complete when I actually see it and then Alina may make some very minor adjustments, but the final version of the artwork is pretty much the same as the first version that I selected.

What has it been like to release new music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
Well in some ways its done us a favor really, it given us time to work on our music (Writing and recording), we’ve still managed to put out a lyric video in support of the album release and we’ve recently filmed a band video also in support of the album release. So apart from the fact that it’s difficult to perform live at the moment, I don’t think it has impacted too heavily on the release of the new album at all to be honest.

Any future lives shows on the horizon?
We’re booked to play at a festival in the UK in March 2021 (Hard Rock Hell), but who knows if that event will actually take place? And also I’ve applied for other UK festivals as well, but as you will know, a lot of these events have been either cancelled or postponed due to the Pandemic, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens?

Neil Fraser of TRISHULA

If TRISHULA could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We are quite friendly with the band MAGNUM, obviously Rick Benton our keyboard player plays for MAGNUM, we record our albums in the same studio that MAGNUM use and our albums are produced by MAGNUM’s producer Sheena Sear and Jason Morgan sang backing vocals on MAGNUM’s latest album ‘The Serpent Rings’, so when the time is right, we will definitely be having further talks with the MAGNUM camp with a view to getting Trishula on support with them.

When you look back on your work in the band TEN, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
I was very lucky to have been given that opportunity to play on TEN’sStormwarning’ album and it was a very nice addition to my musical portfolio, so it did me quite a big favor. The album was great, Gary Hughes is a phenomenal talent and he has written many great albums, but in terms of my playing, I think I’ve improved quite a lot since my time with TEN, I’ve played on quite a few albums since then and with every album that I play on, I learn something new about myself, my playing and how best to apply my playing to the songs in question, so I guess I’ve evolved as a player since my days with TEN, but I’m still grateful and proud of having briefly been with TEN.

What was it like working with Tony Mills and did you stay in touch with him over the years?
That opportunity came about because of a Youtube video that I posted of myself on the Internet, playing one of the guitar solos for a track from the ‘Scared to Breathe’ album (Before it was released) and Tony’s producer Pete Newdeck saw it and recommended me to Tony for a track called ‘Battleground’ on Tony’s album ‘Streets Of Chance’. It was a highlight of my musical career to play for Tony Mills, I was very proud to have been able to play on that album. Working with Tony and Pete Newdeck was a breeze, it was a very quick and pretty straightforward process and I was very pleased with the end result in terms of my guitar sound etc. I did keep in touch with Tony after working on the ‘Street Of Chance’ album, in fact he asked me to write a song for his last album ‘Beyond The Law’, but the song was rejected, so I kept the music and it has now appeared on the new Trishula album, it’s the song called ‘The Border’, so the music that I originally wrote for Tony still ended up being put to good use.

Are you still working with Rage Of Angels and will there be any new material in the future?
I’m still regularly in touch with Ged Rylands (The brains behind Rage of Angels), but I don’t do any work with Ged any more, and I don’t know what Ged’s intentions are regarding any further Rage of Angels albums.

On Dreamworld by Rage Of Angels, one of the vocalists you worked with was Ralf Scheepers of Primal Fear on the song Falling. What was that experience like?
Yes, Ralf is an amazing vocalist, it was very nice to appear on an album such as ‘Dreamworld’ that had a collection of famous artists such as Ralf Scheepers on there too. I loved the song ‘Falling’, it was all great experience for me.

Are you involved with any other bands or projects outside of TRISHULA that we haven’t mentioned?
Not really, I’ve spent many years feeling like a ‘hired hand’ or a session musician and never really felt like a permanent member of a band in some ways and you’re always having to follow other peoples orders and play how they want you to play etc. So now that I’ve basically formed my own band (Trishula), I don’t have to please anybody but myself anymore. I have been asked to play on a couple of albums and I’ve been approached to join a couple of bands, but I’m not really interested, Trishula satisfies all my needs and I’m having a great time.

What’s up next for TRISHULA?
We have already written 7 new songs for album number three, we are recording demo vocals in a few weeks time, we are hoping to have demos of all the songs for album 3 completed by the end of 2020 and we have now formally booked studio time in M2 Madhat Studios for the third album in 2021.

Any final words of wisdom?
(Laughs) Not really, we’ll just carry on ‘doing our thing’, we’re really glad that people seem to be enjoying our music and we’re grateful for all the support that has come our way, hopefully this Pandemic will at some point go away and allow us to get back to some sort of normality and we can then hopefully get out there and play some live shows for all you lovely people, but in the meantime take care and stay safe.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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