Today, I am with Neil Rego whose (actually, solo) project, Enthrall, has released worldwide their album “Throes of Fire” in December 2011.
Neil is a composer and a singer – he also plays different instruments! – hailing from Bangalore.
We had a quick chat and I asked him about his band, music, plans and ambitions… Here are his answers!
Lady Obscure: Hi Neil! You have relased your second album last December from a worldwide label based in Greece. Could you tell us what have you been doing before that?
Neil Rego: ENTHRALL’s inception took place at a high school Music confluence program in 1995. I was in Senior High school and had a solo act. Well, fate had shown the way, when I got to meet four prodigious junior high musicians, (Naveen-Drums, Vishal-Guitars- Vinodh-Guitars Timothy-Bass).We performed together and after a quick round of intros, we discovered that we all had a fondness for Heavy Metal. From 1995-2000, albeit with a couple of line-up changes, the line-up consisting of Neil-Vocals, Guitars, Naveen-Drums, Vishal-Bass Vinodh-Guitars, continued to perform in the college Rock-Metal circuit .within the city . After a brief hiatus(due to academic and career pursuit), ENTHRALL (Neil-Vocals, Guitars, Naveen-Drums, Vishal-Bass, Pranav-Guitars, Arjun-Keyboards), reunited and identifying our sound with Progressive Metal, the band’s originals and performances were lapped up by many Metal fans. We soon progressed to cut our first demo and subsequently our first album, ”Infernal Horizon” (2005-2006). Excluding me, the rest of the band members decided to call it a day, due to family and academic priorities.However, a reunion in the future has not been ruled out.
LO: So what bands do you draw your inspiration from?
NR: As a kid growing up, songs performed by Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Queen, opened my eyes to the nuances of Pop- Rock music. As my taste in music shifted towards Heavy Metal in the late 80-s to 90’s, I drew inspiration from Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Dream Theater, Sepultura, Rush. However, the band that had a major influence and had confirmed my soul belongs to Metal is Pantera. I miss the band very much. RIP Dime!
LO: Basically, heavy metal drives you!
NR: Heavy Metal is an expression of a being’s soul. The characteristics of Heavy Metal include a raw, aggressive, dark and inspirational sound.There is a melodic logic that synchronizes with my emotions when I listen/ to perform this genre of music. I just cannot fathom what my life would be like without Heavy Metal being an integral part of my life.
LO: So, musical inspirations covered… How about your themes?
NR: Around 2006-2007, I revisited a song I composed way back in the 90’s as a 13-year old, entitled “Throes Of Fire”. The subject of the lyrics was a character I called ‘Raven’, who is a victim of a despised and troubled life. I was looking to compose an entire concept album;hence, I visited composing songs which highlighted the significant lows, at each stage of his life.
LO: What about the lyrics? Setting, let’s say…
NR: Pertaining to lyrical themes/concepts. I derive inspiration from sci-fi novels, other fiction novels and movies. Depending on the vibe of the composition, I will analyze the ‘inputs ‘ and accordingly brainstorm a theme, to align with the composition.
LO: Are you happy with Throes of Fire? You composed and produced it yourself, right? Lyrics, concepts, themes, all you…
NR: ENTHRALL’s first album was “Infernal Horizon” and was composed and performed when the band comprised of members. “Throes Of Fire” is the sophomore album;however, all songs and lyrics were composed and penned by me. I had help nailing the instrumental sections, courtesy by certain stellar musicians, I share a great rapport with. All songs are really unique and strong;containing the Metal elements such as Progressive, Power, Thrash, Death,Alternative, etc..I wish the overall production would have been better;however, given that there was no ‘seeding capital’ to fund my album. I had to produce the album with the maximum budget that was within my reach at that point of time.
LO: How has the overall reception been?
NR: Album “Throes Of Fire” has garnered great reviews from several zines across the globe;truly remarkable for a Heavy Metal solo artist hailing from India (smiles). There have been Metal fans who have requested certain songs from the album to be given airplay on Internet radio stations. Unfortunately, I wish I could do more to reach out to the Metal fans. The poor state of the global economy has had an impact on my label and they are not in a position to carry out any promotion that could help make the album visible to Metal fans. CD sales are really low.
LO: How about your future plans? Tours? International tours maybe?
NR: Due to constraints related to my day job, availability of personal financial resources and a commitment to my other band, JAGGED SURGE, it is difficult for me to do an international tour. The only tool at my disposal, that helps me to connect and share my music and update with fans, is via my official website and Facebook.However, I’m working towards financing a video for one of the songs taken from the album; to be released as a single.
Over the last few years, I have made friends within the musician communities in India and in other countries. In the future, I envision to work with an amazing array of musicians, who will help me to realize each album composed, is deemed to be a masterpiece. ENTHRALL will continue to release unique music and perhaps one day, the rewards will be reaped big time (smiles)
The music industry is going through an evolution. There are several doors that open, leading to great opportunities. I would definitely like to carve out a name for myself in this phase of music evolution.
LO: So, your job won’t let you tour internationally but don’t you like touring? Or, do you prefer studio work better?
NR: I probably would say both. Although, I do not have much experience touring and have more experience being in the studio; I believe, in an ideal world, that yearning to excel would drive me to give performances that match the expectation of my fans.
LO: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
NR: Its very rare than an artist hailing from India, especially one that performs Heavy Metal, garners recognition in other countries;let alone secure a record label deal. After waiting patiently for fourteen years, I was glad that my efforts paid off and I finally achieved the goal of securing a record label deal.
LO: Thanks Neil!
Enjoy boys and girls!