Now on album number five, Australia's Teremaze are set to take the progressive metal world by storm with Her Halo. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Butch Jones recently caught up with the bands lead guitarist & chief songwriter Dean Wells to talk about the upcoming album, their new singer, guitar gear, and Teramaze's desire to expose the world to their exciting brand of metal.
SoT: Dean, a lot has changed since 2014's great Teramaze release, Esoteric Symbolism; you've got a new singer, a new record label and a slightly different musical approach on Her Halo. That's a bunch of new beginnings, how did this all come about?
Dean: Well I think its just a natural progression really, when your pushing towards a goal things tend to evolve and change , and that's basically what has happened over the last 12 months.
I went through losing my dad through the process of the album and I think that made me re-evaluate what I wanted to do with Teramaze.
It still just still feels very much like Teramaze to me, but with a new singer Nathan Peachey.
Nathan has brought a really exciting vibe into the band and he fit so well with where we wanted to take the music, it was really amazing actually.
SoT: Her Halois quite a riveting album and a bit more melodic and song oriented, was there a conscious effort to do this?
Dean: Yes, for sure.
I wanted to make something a lot more of a cinematic experience musically than just a heap of individual songs.
When you have a lot more room in your music it can be a lot harder to fill up with the really good stuff, like melodies etc.
It was a challenge to keep the whole album and story together and flowing, but at the same time it was the most exciting music we have written to date.
SoT: How is Her Halo being received?
Dean: Well its not out yet, only the press has heard it and the "Out of Subconscious" video, but from what we can tell the response has been really great, but we will have to see what the fans think when it comes out October 30th, that's the true test
SoT: How has new vocalist, Nathan Peachey and the updated version of Teramaze working out?
Dean: To be honest , I've never felt better about the band .
Everyone is on their A game and we are super focused together as a unit, which in the past its always felt like I was pushing for this, but never actually got to this point.
Its really exciting time in the Teramaze camp at the moment, and we just cant wait to get out and tour this new album.
SoT: What are Teramaze's plans for touring outside of your native Australia?
Dean: Well to be honest touring outside of Australia is our number 1 priority at the moment, Australia is just too small of a country to maintain a career in music .
We are looking into Europe/USA/Japan at the moment and seeing our best options.
SoT: I've been a fan of your guitar playing for a while now, who are some of your musical influences?
Dean: My musical influences range from people like James Hetfield, John Petrucci to people like Michael Jackson, Alice in Chains etc the list goes on.
I like all types of music, if it's a great song that touches the soul , I will always gravitate towards that, over just sheer technical abilities.
Don't get me wrong, I love some technical music aswell but if the song doesn't shine through then its just wankery to me and I lose interest very quickly.
SoT: I know that you've been a part of the Ernie Ball Guitars family, what models are you currently playing and what does your latest amps and effects rig consist of?
Dean: Yep I love that guitar company, such great people!
Well I have been using my Custom Reflex models on almost everything lately.
On Her Halo I used my reflex with a jb in the bridge for the rhythm guitars, then for leads I basically used all types of configurations to suit the songs tone, its rare I use only 1 guitar with 1 style of tone on an album.
The amp sound you hear on the album is my original Fractal Axe fx Ultra with a 50/50 setting of Mark4 and recto mesa boogie.
We tried re amping the di's with Jacob Hansen, but in the end the axe fx just sounded perfect.
SoT: Are you still doing Guitar clinics for Ernie Ball?
Dean: Yes I do them occasionally when I get asked, it's a really cool experience and take me out of my comfort zone, but I can talk about these guitars for days (laughs).
SoT: Besides being the mastermind behind Teramaze, I know that you are quite an in-demand producer. What bands have you been producing lately?
Dean: I just finished with a thrash band called Bane of Bedlam and now I am mid way through the 2nd Damnations Day album who is our drummer Dean Kennedy's other band.
Theres a few other bands in the works like Vanishing Point and Bane of Winterstorm as well so I keep pretty busy, and love my job for sure..
SoT: For someone that might be new to Teramaze, how would you describe the band?
Dean: Hmm well we are a progressive metal band that really set no boundaries musically what we want to sound like, we have been told that we sound like a cross between Dream Theater, Karnivool, Symphony X and Tool all in bed together haha, that's probably the best description I can think of , but we very much have our own sound.
(Click here to read our review of Her Halo)