Line Of Fire
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In 2005 I discovered the American band Line Of Fire at MySpace. I listened to their songs in the player and I was impressed, most of all by Shawn Pelata's voice! It was a must to buy their first CD Line Of Fire – I really love this album. And now – 7 years later – I´m happy about the chance to make the following interview with this great singer.
Shawn, first I would like to say thank you very much for this interview. Here we go:
Thanks for having me.
Could you please introduce your band mates, describe each of them in two-three words, and tell our readers a bit about the history of the band?
Line Of Fire was started in 2003 by myself, Nikki Dimage and Ed Darst. Ed was later replaced by Thomas Clark. Nikki is my best friend and a really strong songwriter. Ed & Thomas are both brilliant guitarists as well as really good engineers. We play Melodic Hard Rock in the vein of Journey, Def Leppard, Boston & Dokken.
You released two CDs so far: Line Of Fire in 2005 and Momentum in 2010. How were the reactions? Are you contented with the feedback?
The reactions have been very positive. We received a lot of very positive feedback and reviews from press and fans. Online Radio really picked up on it. Social Media has been good to us as well. We were very surprised with the amount of love and support we received. We were happy with the album, but to hear and read how much so many other people around the world liked our music was a very nice surprise.
How much of the plannings/prearrangements for the next album did you get done up to now?
We have several songs in various stages of completion. Sadly, we have no concrete recording plans at the moment. Hopefully sometime in 2013 Nikki and I can get together and discuss our plans for the future.
How would you describe your music in own words?
Like I said above, Melodic Hard Rock. Our influences range from 70s acts like Journey & Boston, to 80s acts like Def Leppard, Dokken & TNT. We really focus on the choruses, like a lot of bands in our scene do. We love vocal harmonies and lots of melody.
What are they about in the lyrics, what are the most important inspirations for you when you are writing songs?
We try and stay very positive and relatable. We want people to take something positive away from our lyrics. We’re not out to drag anybody down. We focus on love, hope, and perseverance... those kinds of things.
Do you have to be in a special mood and/or do you need special ambience to be creative?
Not really. I write all the time. The only thing the mood affects is possibly the lyrics and that will determine whether or not it’s a Line Of Fire song. What’s difficult is getting an idea when I’m driving or at work and can’t do anything about it. Ha!
Which bands/musicians/singers would you name as your greatest influences?
Personally, the two singers that made me want to become a singer were Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Michael Sweet (Stryper). Those guys just blew my mind back in high school. Of course, Steve Perry is an influence. Singers I took influence from later would be Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Steve Walsh and John Elefante (both of Kansas).
Do we have a chance to find Germany listed in your tour-schedule sometime, too?
We would love to come play for the fans in Germany. Maybe one day we will get the opportunity.
What were your personal very special moments respectively your highlights in your career with Line Of Fire until now?
One cool one for me was being interviewed on ARfm by Steve Price about Line Of Fire. We’ve done that now twice (once for each album). Also, just seeing the great reviews and being ranked on different website’s Year-End lists is always awesome.
You was and you are still pretty busy - beside Line Of Fire you worked in the past e.g. with Killwhitneydead, Talon, Liberty N Justice. Are there any news about your other projects, old or new ones?
Killwhitneydead is releasing a new album in 2013. I am heavily involved in it, singing on 6 of the songs this time. I usually only sing on one per album. This time, there was lots of room for more melodic metal vocals, so we had a lot of fun in the studio. This new album will be the most focused, intense, and melodic Killwhitneydead album ever. As for Liberty N Justice and Talon, I really have no idea. My involvement with both was minimal and on a “long-distance guest” basis.
What is on your plan for the future - short term and long term?
Short-term, just living life and moving forward in my personal life. Musically, just gathering my thoughts and deciding what I want to do now. Long term, I’d like to record some more Metal music. It’s been 12 years now since my last Metal album... it’s long overdue.
Do you often find time to see live-performances from other bands/musician? Which concerts have you visited as a spectator in recent months?
The last show I went to was in Summer. I went to see Iron Maiden w/ Alice Cooper... it was fantastic!!!
For many European bands is the success and a tour in America the main goal. But I also know, that many American bands put a premium on the European market, especially Germany. How do you generally see the development in the music business and the chances for new or not yet well-known bands nowadays?
The way I see it, new bands have good and bad things to look forward to. The good thing is distribution and independent life on the internet. They don’t need a label if they make good decisions. They can record and put their music online for the world to hear! The bad is that, because of this, there is a LOT of competition. They’ll have to be really, really hard working and lucky to get noticed beyond their region.
What are your personal Top 3 CDs at the moment?
At this very moment, I am listening to Metal Church – Blessing In Disguise, Jimi Jamison – Never Too Late, and King Diamond – The Graveyard... but not all at the same time :-) I don’t really rank new releases because it takes me so long to get around to them.
What was the first album you ever bought and what CD have you bought recently?
I’ve been filling in holes in my Beatles and Beatles-related collection, so I’ve picked up George Harrison – Brainwashed and Paul McCartney – Chaos & Creation In The Backyard. I also have holes in my David Bowie collection so I recently picked up Ziggy Stardust as well. I have plans to get the first 3 Dio albums in the deluxe, 2CD packages after Christmas.
What do you prefer: digital download or physical CD?
These days, it honestly depends on the band. My all-time, super favourite music I will always want in physical format. But for most of my music, a high bit-rate digital version is fine. Amazon and iTunes are both good for that. It’s also very convenient.
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Just a big THANK YOU to everyone reading, and everyone who has supported Line Of Fire or any of my other musical projects!! You guys are the best!!!
Thanks for your time. We wish you and the band all the best!
Thank you too, Marion!!
Photos: No.1 © by Shawn Pelata / No. 2 © by Line Of Fire