BENEDICTUM is a relatively new band that is going places in a hurry. Their debut record Uncreation is a powerful affair, impressive enough to secure them a spot on several high-profile European festivals this summer. antiMUSIC’s Morley Seaver spoke with the band’s vocalist, Veronica Freeman, recently to find out about the history of their band and how it was working with Jeff Pilson and some DIO alumni. Here’s a sample:
antiMusic: Hi Veronica. The record is amazing. It’s exactly the kind of metal I like — heavy but not sludgy and you can actually make out the vocals. And speaking of that, you have a fantastic voice.
Veronica Freeman: Well gee. Can I put this on tape? This sounds like a great way to start this conversation. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
antiMusic: It sounds like you don’t need a PA most of the time.
Veronica Freeman: Yeah I know. Some people have complained about that. (laughs) We did a backyard party one time and the p.a went out and I said well screw it, just put the mike down and started singing and there wasn’t a problem! (laughs)
antiMusic: How did the involvement of Craig Goldy and Jimmy Bain happen?
Veronica Freeman: With Craig, he’d been a friend of mine for a number of years. I would say he’s very responsible for pushing me to continue singing and doing this stuff. He’s also from San Diego just like me and when he was visiting family like at the end of 2004 somewhere around there he was listening to some of our rehearsal tape, he was like, “Wow this is finally the line-up, I really want to help you.” So he took some of his…we threw something together real quick and he took it to some of the people he knew. And they said this shows some promise, but it needs a little better production so that’s when he introduced us to Jeff Pilson. I love this. I call it a fortuitous series of events. From that point, Jeff said yes, and then Jeff just before we were wrapping things up, he said you know what if you need to do this bonus track we think we can contact Jimmy. I just got finished working with him on another project. So that’s how Jimmy came about. So it’s like one thing led to another. It’s wonderful …I’m very, very grateful.
antiMusic: You’ve already touched on it a bit but how was it working with Jeff Pilson and what affect did he have on your sound?
Veronica Freeman: He had an effect on like on everything. Working with Jeff, for me personally was a big turning point for me. There were a lot of things that I did vocally that I hadn’t done before, that I did on this album. Like a lot of the high pitch…I never thought I could do that, on the high pitch screams and everything. So now it’s like it’s become part of my repertoire. But before that you never would have heard anything like that out of me. So absolutely. He is such an intense person to work with. We call him the sixth member of Benedictum. We consider him a friend as well as to watch him work is incredible. He gets so intense that I think his house could be on fire and he wouldn’t know. You could actually see him firing off the ideas, firing off in his head as he getting an idea for something. He’s just great to work with. He’s not easy to work with as far as…he’ll definitely take you to another level and he expects it to be well done and if it’s not he’ll let you know (laughs) but not in a bad way, you know. It’s like he’ll storm out and like “That’s not it, you can do better.” I’ve learned a lot. We all did, I think we became better musicians all the way around after working with him.
Read the whole interview here.