Interview with guitarist Chris Bennett
Interview conducted by MetalMike
Date online: March 14, 2012
MetalMike: Hi Chris, congratulations on Life's Blood and thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions. How has the album been received so far?
Chris: Hey MetalMike! Thanks a lot man! The album has been received amazing man, by fans and critics both. It's been the best reaction we've ever had to any of our albums. I am so thrilled about it man! We worked really, really hard on this one, and it feels great to have so many people enjoying it!
MetalMike: Tell us about the album's artwork. It isn't what you might say is "typical" for a Power Metal album. Considering the image on the cover, what is the significance of the album's title?
Chris: Well, I knew that we really wanted something different this time. We have always been on the cover of our albums in one way or another. It isn't as obvious with Nightlife, but we are on top of the buildings on that one! So, with Life's Blood, we wanted something totally different because we felt the music was different, and way better than ever before. I wanted a cover to match that. We had a concept of a woman who was very innocent, with an evil side emerging from the good. Timo Wuerz from Germany did the cover, and he really captured what we wanted! That guy is awesome!
MetalMike: Who writes the songs? Where do you draw your lyrical inspiration, favorite books, movies, personal experiences?
Chris: I write all the music and lyrics for Widow. In the past, I really created short horror stories that I just made up. They were inspired by movies that I love. With the last album, it was more about partying and hanging out in the night, which we love to do. This one still has some of that, but also more of my personal thoughts and feelings. It comes from experiences I have had, plus me expressing my thoughts on life and death and such. It really felt great to expose my own thoughts; it's something I've never done in the past. I was nervous about it, because it is a big change for us. But people have responded so great to it, better than ever! That's really cool! I'm proud that we went with what came out naturally. I feel honesty is the key to a great album!
MetalMike: Who are your influences? Who or what inspired you to pick up the guitar and ultimately form a Heavy Metal band?
Chris: My main influences in the beginning were bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Slayer, Judas Priest, Ozzy and Dio! And they are still huge influences. But I'm inspired by a lot of different bands, such as Mercyful Fate, Motorhead, Crimson Glory, Leatherwolf, Venom, Rainbow, Saxon, and Thin Lizzy. I also love thrash and death metal, plus punk bands like the Ramones, Black Flag and the Misfits! I love Skynyrd, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Dokken, Van Halen and KISS too! All these bands really inspire Widow! I think when you have a lot of different influences that can certainly help you have an original sound. If all I listened to was Maiden, we would probably sound just like them haha!
MetalMike: Are you able to find places to play in the U.S.? I saw on your website that you've played in Germany. How was the band received there?
Chris: Oh yeah, we're planning a full North American tour for this year. We've played all over the US and Canada too! Oh, Germany was absolutely amazing! The fans there were incredible and we had a blast! It was awesome to be treated so well and to see people singing along, they really live the metal lifestyle in Germany and it rules! We are talking about coming back to Europe too and I can't wait! We are a live band, so we want to play everywhere we can!
MetalMike: Which songs from Life's Blood work the best live? What can someone new to the band expect to see and hear at a Widow show?
Chris: We have always tried to play songs from every album. That does get harder the more albums you have! But I know what it feels like to be the guy at a show hoping for a song from a band's first album, you know! We do play several songs now from Life's Blood, "Take Hold of the Night" comes across really great in a live situation. "Lady Twilight" does too. "Embrace It" is a song we've only played once so far, but it was really fun too! But we'll always do "American Werewolf in Raleigh" from On Fire, "Angel Sin" from our debut Midnight Strikes, and the song "Nightlife." Those are the hits hahahaha!
MetalMike: How have things changed in the time since Widow formed in 2000? What has gotten easier and what has gotten harder?
Chris: We've gone from being a five piece to a three piece for one thing! Believe it or not, being a three piece has made us actually sound better than we ever have live. Johnny had always written bass lines for the band, so it was really natural for him to switch to bass. I've always had a more spontaneous style anyway, being inspired by guys like Rhoads and Van Halen, so this has worked so great! We are touring a lot more now, so in some ways that can be hard, but we love it so much that keeps us going! We love doing this so much, I really don't see Widow ever stopping! We have too much fun to ever give up!
MetalMike: There are more and more U.S. Heavy Metal bands every day but the genre remains firmly underground. What are the challenges Widow faces? Would you consider relocating the band to Europe for more opportunity to play?
Chris: I love Europe and it would be awesome to live there. But we have always lived in North Carolina, I don't really see us moving anywhere. We have been very lucky to get some great opportunities with Widow, to make albums and play live. And it seems that we are getting more as we go along. I'm really grateful, because we have been doing this a long time. We do this because we love it, it really doesn't matter to me if metal is "popular" or underground or whatever. I hate it when people say things like "Oh, metal was dead in the 90's". I don't know where they were, but I heard many amazing bands come along then. If I love metal then it's alive, and I don't care what ANYBODY else thinks! I'm in this for life!!!!
MetalMike: What was your most "metal" moment prior to being in a band?
Chris: Well that's tough because I've been playing in a band since I was 13! Maybe hearing Metal Health by Quiet Riot when I was a small child and rocking out to it haha!
MetalMike: What is the best show you've seen? Is there any particular band you'd like to go back in time and see?
Chris: One that definitely comes to mind is the Clash of the Titans tour, with Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. All of those bands were supporting great albums, and to see them together on the same bill was mind blowing for me! I still have my ticket stub! I've been fortunate to see almost all of my heroes in concert. If I could go back in time I would probably want to see Ozzy with Randy Rhoads, The Ramones at CBGB's, or Metallica with Mustaine!
MetalMike: What do the guys in Widow do in their time away from the band?
Chris: Uh, we really don't have time away from the band hahaha! Seriously, I'm pretty much always doing something for Widow. When I'm not I love to sit down, sleep or eat a nice meal! Other than that, It's pretty much rocking all the time!
MetalMike: Priest or Maiden?
Chris: Sabbath! Haha, I don't know man, that's such a tough question for me. I truly love Maiden and Priest equally. I would almost give you a different answer depending on what day you asked me that! Both bands have been such an enormous influence, I don't think I can pick between them!!!!
MetalMike: What else would you like us to know about Widow and Life's Blood that we haven't covered?
Chris: I'd like for you to know that we have worked very hard for years to make this album happen. We truly have put our Life's Blood into it, and that's where the title comes from. We wanted to make the best album we have ever made, and I do feel we have done it! So I hope that everyone that lives metal as a lifestyle will listen to Life's Blood and rock out with it! Have a good time, because it's alright!
MetalMike: Thanks again, Chris, for taking some time to answer these questions and good luck with Life's Blood!
Chris: Thanks to you my friend, and thanks to all the fans of Widow that keep us going! Cheers everybody, see you in the night . . .
|Other information about Widow on this site|
|Review: Life's Blood|
|Review: Life's Blood|
|Review: Carved in Stone|
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