he mission for a band like CORNERS OF SANCTUARY has always been a consistent one - to keep that classic heavy metal sound within reach of the populace. In a time when rock n roll is increasingly becoming your grandpa's music, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY has found a niche for themselves as a bombastic touring band that has reliably turned out one electrifying album after another. Since the band formed in 2011, their momentum seemed unstoppable until their lead singer FRANKIE CROSS decided to step back. Losing a lead singer is a big deal for a band and finding the right replacement can be a daunting task but the fellas from CORNERS OF SANCTUARY made the finding of a vocalist with serious range their mission and their search resulted in the finding of pyrotechnic vocalist TREESE LOGAN. Since the band's announcement of their new lead singer, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY and LOGAN have made a positive impression on fans with the band's electrifying live set but listeners can get a taste of the all new CORNERS OF SANCTUARY on their new single BURN which comes months before the upcoming LP THE GALLOPING HORDES.
ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with guitarist MICK MICHAELS and bassist JAMES PERA of CORNERS OF SANCTUARY regarding their new lead singer and their forthcoming album. Here is how the interview went.
It's great to be in touch with you guys again! So much has happened since the last time I spoke with you guys. Now you all have a new lead singer in TREESE LOGAN and you've got a new single with BURN. Is this a teaser for a new album or is this single a standalone thing?
MICK: It is a standalone release but we do have a new album that is in the can and ready to go. We finished it up with TREESE the new singer. At the moment we're shopping for a new label right now so there will probably be a month or two delay in it's release but that is what we're working towards. We've got a brand new album coming.
CHECK OUT THE NEW SINGLE BURN!!!
And who are you all working with for this new album?
MICK: The album is called THE GALLOPING HORDES and we recorded it locally here in Philadelphia at MAGIC EAR STUDIO. We have BILL MITOYER mastering it and he has worked with SLAYER and WASP and BODY COUNT. The list with him goes on and on. He engineered the HELL AWAITS album from SLAYER back in the late eighties so he's got some cred to him. We met him while we were out in L.A. and we hit it off. He really liked our music and we knew that he was the guy that we wanted to put the polishing touches ont he album. We're very excited about that.
What do you all feel that TREESE LOGAN brings to the table as a songer and frontwoman?
MICK: I think going from a male singer to a female singer has brought a pop element to the band for sure. She has more of a soulful type voice. It's rich and she has a variety of octaves. She can go pretty high but she also has this really deep sound to her. It's so deep that when people heard some of the initial recordings from her, they weren't sure if it was a man or a woman and that's kind of cool because it creates some extra dynamics that we can use while we're writing and creating this sound. We're keeping th CORNERS OF SANCTUARY sound that we've had going all of these years, but we're starting to flip it on it's side a little bit and come up with something a little different. There is defintiely some more depth and more musicality to her singing than we've had before.
How did the band and TREESE come to cross paths?
MICK: The old fashioned way. We came to know her through BANDMIX.COM. She had some tracks out there that defintiely caught our attention. She was doing some STEVIE NICKS covers and she had this soulful sound. A ballsy type sound. We reached out to her and started talking and one thing lead to another. We had her in for an audition. We auditioned about seventeen singers, both male and female. We were trying a couple of different approaches but we defintiely centered in on TREECE's sound and how it related to our music.
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Auditioning seventeen singers sounds challenging. I can imagine that would give you guys a lot of things to discuss.
MICK: I'll tell you what. It's not a party. It's definitely a nightmare especially when you already have things working and then you have to stop and pull the breaks on it and change gears. It's very time consuming. We took advantage of modern technology and with alot of these singers we did a lot of mp3 swapping where the singers would lay their vocals over our tracks. There were about a dozen of those that came through. The reason that we were in heightened state was because we were scheduled to do a California tour in November so we definitely had to keep the engines turning to find somebody before that time.
What has been the reaction to TREESE as the new lead singer form you fanbase?
MICK: We definitely had the creepy male response. When we first announced that we had a female singer, there was a mixed response and we had gotten some private messages and people calling us and they weren't too sure but after people had seen her live for some warm up shows that we did before the California tour, people were impressed. A lot of these people still had FRANKIE on the brain and that's understandable. This was something that was going to take time to accept but this gives us a chance to expand our fanbase and draw new pwople in. It's like with other bands when they change lead singers. They manage to keep going.
What was the reason for FRANKIE leaving the band?
MICK: Both of us, the band and FRANKIE got to the point where we were having different goals and different priorities and things of that nature. With this band, we think it's importantt to share the same vision otherwise it's not going ot work. we have to have similar goals. We just made the mutual decision that it was time to move one.
JAMES: Yeah, FRANKIE came out to the initial shows where TREESE was our lead singer and he was very supportive.
MICK: Yeah he gave us his blessing.
And how is the rest of the band holding up?
JAMES: We're holding up. ll of the shows that we're doing now are largely prior material form the band and TREESE is doing a great job of bringing these songs to life on stage. She is giving these songs her own twist. Right now, we're really looking forward to getting this album out to our fanbase. We do play one song on the set from THE GALLOPING HORDES but the rest of the songs are our older songs.
MICK: Yeah, we're really eager to get this new album out ther but you know what the situation is. You can't release stuff too soon becasue then you run the risk of not being able to move your album. We're working on everything that we need to so that when we're ready, the new material will be integrated seamlessly into the set.
JAMES: We do a lot of shows in the Midwest so when we went out to L.A. we got a really great response.
MICK: Like I said, having TREESE aboard has given the band more a pop appeal and when I say pop I mean inthe way of aesthetics. She's got bright red hair which is a plus I guess. It definitely eye-catching. She is also holding her own. It's not like she can't do the material. Not only does she look good. She sounds good.
And what inspired the songs on this upcoming release? Did TREESE have any input into t any of these new songs?
JAMES: All of the songs on THE GALLOPING HORDES were completed prior to her coming on board. FRANKIE had some guide tracks so TREESE had a good road map to work with.
MICK: Because of that road map, it gave her some liberties in terms of putting her own twist on things. We're definitely promoting that. We didn't want to stray too far from the original intent but we wanted to have enough room for her to add her to put her stamp on it. This album for us is definitely more musical. I don't mean that we're going show tunes or anything like that. What I mean is that we've created more room for singing rather than going "Here's a part that has some words and here is a part that has some guitar." There is a lot more singing involved and we've worked on more of our choruses in terms of creating more musicality. I think we've hit that. We've maintianed our old school, traditional metal, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY sound but on this upcoming album, we got some songs on there that are probably a but progressive sounding even for us. There are a couple of songs that go beyond the five minute mark but we felt that those are what the songs needed. Like JAMES said, we're really excited to get this album out. We started recording it at the end of 2016 right before the Christmas break. The album was originally wrapped up in June and then we had the departure of FRANKIE and there was this debate over what we were going to do with it. And then in November we just hit it hard with re-recording the vocals whcih afforded us th chance to work with BILL MITOYER, which we didn't get to do the first time around. So everything has it's reasons.
So what kind of roll out can people expect for THE GALLOPING HORDES?
MICK: We're looking at the second quarter of this year for sure.
And touring plans?
JAMES: There is a always a tour with us.
MICK: We've got a hand ful of shows already. We've got some shows with ROUGHHOUSE which was formerly TEASE and we're doing an appearance with DON JAMESON on THAT METAL SHOW. In February we're doing the DEAD OF WINTER STORM FEST and there's one out side of herein Philly and another on Scranton three weeks later. I think we're heading back to California in late Spring for a festival. We've got some festivals for the summer. There is even some talk about us going to Germany in October. We';ll know more about that come mid-February but that's all being negotiated right now. We're very excited about that.
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