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Brazil Under Ice interviews Freddie Vidales

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Joined: 11 Sep 2007
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Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:12 pm    Post subject: Brazil Under Ice interviews Freddie Vidales  Reply with quote

posted on Brazil Under Ice

Hey Johnny,

Here's my answers. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks again!


01- Tell us about your life and career; when did you start to play bass and what bands did you play with?

I started playing bass in 1992. I had been playing guitar for a few years before that when my band lost our bass player. We searched, but couldnít find a good replacement for him, so I took the bass position. My main band before Iced Earth was called Infusion. It was a death metal band in which I did the bass and vocals. We started in Phoenix, Arizona in 1993 and played our last show in 2005. I was also playing guitar in an Iron Maiden tribute band called Powerslave and doing bass/vocals for a Slayer tribute band called Raining Blood. I also stepped in for some local Phoenix bands such as St. Madness, Motive and Exiled when they would lose members until they found replacements. I was in the middle of getting another project off the ground here in Texas called Killing Children when I got the chance to join Iced Earth.

02- Did you have any previous recordings, such as albums, singles, EPS or even something recorded as a guest musician?

Infusion put out two self-produced albums along with being featured on several compilation CDs. Killing Children recorded a demo.

03- What are your hobbies? What do you do when youíre not playing music?

Itís not often that Iím not playing music. Even when weíre not playing shows, Iím always home practicing or writing material. I like to study other languages (havenít learned any Portuguese yet). I recently started that, so I have not become fluent in anything yet.

04- What are you projects, both in music or not?

Iced Earth is the only music project Iím involved with. The only nonĖmusic projects I have are getting things done around the house.

05- What are your influences as a bassist and as a good old metalhead?

As a bassist my main influences are Steve Harris and Steve DiGiorgio. Other bass influences are Alex Webster, Les Claypool and Flea. As an all-around musician my influences are Chuck Schuldiner, Andy LaRocque, Ralph Santolla, Phil Fasciana and Nergal to name a few. As a good old metal head Iím really influenced by Iron Maiden, Death, King Diamond, Mettalica and death metal in general.

06- What are you favorite bands and albums?

Powerslave by Iron Maiden is my all-time favorite album ever. A close second for me is Individual Thought Patterns by Death. All of King Diamondís albums to me are masterpieces. Zos Kia Cultus by Behemoth is another favorite. There are really too many other favorites to list.

07- How did you join Iced Earth? Youíll be a full member or you was just hired to play live? We hope you become a full member, cause your style of playing fits perfectly with the bandís profile.

I saw a notice that Iced Earth was holding open auditions for a bass player. I had never sent audition material to any other band in my life, but I felt like this was a chance I couldnít pass up. I sent in a DVD of me playing some Iced Earth and Iron Maiden songs along with some clips of my live performances with Infusion. About a month later I got an email from Jon asking me to go up to Indiana and try out in person. We got along well and he seemed to like my playing, so here I am. As far as me being a full member, thatís really a question for Jon.

08- What was your reaction when Jon Schaffer got interested in your work? What was like to become famous in the whole world as the new bass player, and what are your expectations for the future?

I was quite excited. I was in Los Angeles and had just gotten back to my hotel room after seeing Iron Maiden play at the Forum. I was already in a great mood, then after checking my email I was in an even better mood. It was a dream I had been chasing since I first picked up a guitar at age 12, now realized. I am definitely not famous, but my expectations for the future are that Iced Earth will continue to gain new fans and spread further across the world. If my style and past experiences can help that in any way, then Iím more than happy.

09- What is like to live and work with Jon Schaffer?

Itís really like working with a far more-experienced version of myself. I know the pressures and hassles of running a band that he knows, albeit on a much smaller scale. Jon is a very fair and honest guy, and for me heís very easy to get along with because Iím the same way.

10- Whatís your opinion on Jon Schafferís work in Iced Earth? You previously knew the band before you join it?

Jonís work is obviously amazing. I have been playing death metal for most of my life, mostly because of the technical challenges of playing that style. So much of Jonís material is intricate and very technical music, so that appealed to me right away. Add to that the slower and more melodic songs and you get a wide range of styles wrapped up in one band. Not everyone can write songs with such a large mix of styles like Jon can. And yes I had known of Iced Earth before joining.

11- In your opinion, whatís the best Iced Earthís album and song?

My favorite album is Something Wicked This Way Comes. To me itís just a perfect album. My favorite song, mostly because itís one I love playing live, is Pure Evil.

12- How was your first gigs with the band? How the band is feeling right now, with this line-up?

The first gigs were better than I expected. We had practiced so much before them that everything went smoothly once it was time to hit the stage. It was a bit surreal for me though to one day be practicing in my drummerís bedroom in Texas while trying to get our band off the ground, then two months later Iím in Germany playing in front of thousands of people. The line-up Iím a part of now is like a second family to me. We all chat on the phone when weíre home, and when weíre on the road we know each otherís little quirks. It really feels like I have been in the band for several years. I donít mean that the time drags, rather that I feel like I have known these guys longer than I actually have.

13- Which songs Ė that you havenít played yet - would you like to play live with Iced Earth?

Eventually it would be great to have played all of them at some point, but there are a few songs from The Crucible of Man that we had practiced, but just wouldnít fit into the set lists on previous shows. Divide Devour was one of those. Also the songs from Alive in Athens that I havenít played live yet.

14- Tell us about the equipment that you use to play live.

I play through Jonís Ampeg bass rig. I have an Ashdown rig at home, but there was no point in moving it all the way up there from here. I had been playing Ibanez and Dean basses live so far, but I just got a Music Man Stingray bass that Iíll be taking out with me for the next run.

15- How is it going the relationship of the band with its current record label SPV? Is it true that the box, which would contain the Something Wicked saga, might not be released anymore?

I donít really follow the relationship too much. Jon and our manager deal with that. Things could be one way on one day, then the opposite the next. Until somethingís finalized, thereís no telling what the end result will be. I just wait and see what happens like everyone else, and I prefer it that way.

16- Is there any chance of a new videoclip for a song from "The Crucible Of Man"? If yes, which one?

As far as I know, there are no plans to do a video.

17- Do you know which songs will be added to the concert in the February tour, with Saxon? Or the set-list wont have any changes?

Yes I do know Wink

18- The fact that Jon Schaffer is the leader of the band and guides it in his own way bothers you or you donít care about it at all? Would you like to contribute in the writing process for the next album?

Iím glad Jon runs things the way he does. Thatís why the band has lasted so long. Jon has a vision of what he wants Iced Earth to be and he sticks with it. Of course I would like to contribute on the next album, but I understand that if my ideas donít fit within that vision, then they wonít be used. I have no problems with that because thatís the same way I ran my own bands.

19- Whats your favorite Iced Earth song for playing live?

Pure Evil because of the many different time signature and tempo changes, plus itís just pure evil.

20- For you, what is like to play in Iced Earth? Whats the difference from the other bands you played?

The core of it is no different. By that I mean I still practice a lot on my own before I meet with the guys to have a group rehearsal. I still strive for perfection in my live performances, whether I achieve it or not. But the main difference is the scale of things is so much bigger. The stages, the travel, the time away from home, and everything else are exponentially bigger than being in a local band. Itís also more physically demanding than playing once a week in a local club. If you get a cold or other illness with another week of shows to go, it can be a challenge to consistently put out the same level of energy to give the crowds the lively performances they deserve. Also not having to move my own equipment was an adjustment, a nice one though. I was going to help one of our crew guys move my amp and he told me not to because he didnít want to chance me getting injured before the show. That was very different from my local band days.

21- What was the hardest Iced Earth song for you to learn how to play?

I think the song I spent the most time learning was The Clouding, even though I havenít played it live yet. It just has so many subtle bass lines going on in the background throughout the song. They arenít necessarily difficult, but trying to pick them out by ear and getting the order of them right took some extra effort.

22- Where did the band have the warmest and loudest reception from the crowd, in this last tour?

Itís hard to pick out one city, but the ones that stand out are New York, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Chicago and Calgary, but most every show had a great crowd that we had to compete with to even hear ourselves.

23- Whats your best memory from the last tour?

Playing in Tempe, Arizona at a venue that I had gone to several times to watch other bands over the years. Also seeing old friends, band mates and the people in the Phoenix music scene that I had the honor of being a part of. It was great to play with Iced Earth in the city that I began my music career in.

24- How is your relationship with the rest of the members of the band?

We get along great. Weíre always laughing and joking with each other. We help each other out when anyone needs it, and we watch each otherís backs. It really is like a family on the road.

25- For you, whats the best album and why? "Framing Armageddon" or "The Crucible Of Man"?

Thatís hard to say since they were written and recorded at the same time and are both parts of the same story. If I really had to pick I would say The Crucible of Man because I got to see the album in several stages of development before it was released. It just sticks in my head more.

26 - Which songs from the new album are sounding better live? How are the fans reacting to them?

When the crowd hears the intro In Sacred Flames they start getting really loud, then once Jon hits the first note in Behold the Wicked Child, the crowd gets off to a rowdy start. I Walk Alone also gets a good reaction since the crowd is more familiar with it after the single was released.

27 - Iced Earth is known for its frequent line-up changes. The current line-up seems to be solid and its working together for a year now. Whats your opinion on the frequent line-up changes?

That happens with bands period, especially bands that have been around this long. I wasnít around to witness what happened with any other membersí departures, but I do know that if Jon makes a decision about a member, itís for the betterment of Iced Earth, not because he enjoys letting people go.

28- Is there any chance for Iced Earth playing in Brazil this year? We, the brazilian fans, are very sad cause weíve never seen the band playing here. What Jon and the band can say about that?

We would like to play everywhere really, but I donít know the status of any shows past our European tour with Saxon right now.

29- What would you say for those who are beginning to play bass and dream about playing in a great band like Iced Earth?

I know it sounds like a clichť and an unoriginal answer but practice, practice, practice. Learn as many styles of playing as you can. If your school offers any kinds of music programs, enroll in them. Also learn other instruments if you have the opportunity. It helps band members communicate their musical ideas better when they all understand the same instruments.

30- Please, leave a message for your Brazilian fans at Brazil Under Ice.

I hope Iíll have the chance to meet you and play in front of you soon. Until then, thanks to all who have already welcomed me in.

Best viewed with open eyes and a human brain ver. 1.0c or above.---
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Setian Ruler

Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 1074

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yay Freddie!
Thanks Johnny!
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The Wicked One
Bad Ass Mofo!

Joined: 12 Sep 2007
Posts: 1181

Location: Howell, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like how Freddie thinks.

Play Divide And Devour live DAMMIT!!!

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