Jeff Lords, bass player and co-founding member of Crimson Glory talked to Metalzone about several things, regarding the past, the present and the future of the band.
Hello Jeff. It‘s been quite a while since we last heard from Crimson Glory. Can you give us an update?
Jeff: Hello. To be honest, I haven’t been in contact with the rest of the guys recently. Based on what limited information I have, such things as school, families, and various musical side-projects are being pursued at the present. Strangely enough, aside from CG, we don’t have all that much in common. But who knows, perhaps that fact actually contributes to the chemistry.
I think we are running a “silence era”, after Black Lotus Records disbanded. Are you currently looking for a record deal or working on new material?
Jeff: As you and others may know, we had some momentum back when we had the deal with BLR, and we had every intention of following through with the plans in the press release as seen on the official website. However, when BLR lost it’s alleged investors that momentum came crashing to a halt. Being as it is that we aren’t currently obligated to any label to record a new record, if it happens at all, it won’t likely be until we decide, simultaneously, and collectively, to make it happen.
What will the criteria be in order to sign a contract?
Jeff: Well, first and foremost, the above-mentioned scenario would have to happen. Aside from that----and if I understand the question correctly----there would have to be face-to-face meetings with the label providing the contract, and I would have to leave those meetings with an over-all feeling that they’d honor said contract in good faith. This would include such things as being accounted to accurately and according to schedule, as well as mechanical and artist royalties getting paid when/if due. The BLR deal seemed very promising, it’s a shame they folded.
After the reunion was announced, you did only one show with Midnight. In a very short time the line-up changed and a very few gigs followed back in the States with Wade Black on vocals. Does that mean we won’t see the much anticipated reunion album with the original line-up sometime in the near future?
Jeff: Yes, that’s pretty much what that means.... at least, as far as I’m concerned. It seems that in the very brief time spent resurrecting the old line-up, some of the old issues resurfaced a little too quickly for comfort. As far as the line-up with Wade, yes, we did some shows in our own area, and then "BARfest" out in San Fran., which was very well-received, despite some minor technical problems.
Knowing how much perfectionists you are, I have to admit that it took me by surprise when you decided to play in Greece only after rehearsing for only 20 times more or less, while you hadn’t played together for almost 2 decades. On the other hand, claiming that it was only for financial purposes, i.e. for the money, wouldn’t make sense as no band ever got rich out of one and only show. I‘d like your thoughts on this.
Jeff: It took me by surprise, too. I had a few reservations soon into it. Yet, the fact that some of our group had their hearts set on taking the trip---but mostly, the fact that it was an opportunity to give the fans precisely what they asked for..i.e., the original line-up---made me opt for it. In the short of it, it might’ve been interpreted as career suicide. In the long run, however, it was a good business move. I’m not sure where the rumor that we "did it for the money" started...yet, no matter how much I insist it’s simply not true, ridiculous rumors seem to have a life of their own.
In a short review, a very big part of your fans keeps asking for an album, by all means, even if it’s not with the original line-up, while on the other hand another very big part insists that it has to be with Midnight, or nothing. So, there are two totally opposite sides, neither seems to be willing to “compromise”, and, sadly, this goes on for years. How would you comment on this?
Jeff: It’s a tough call. It could be that the position of the latter group of fans changed a bit after Rockwave.... at least, according to a good percentage of the feedback from that show. It’s hard to say for sure, though. In any event, I like to level with the fans, much in the same way they are honest with us. That said, to the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to do the intended original line-up reunion as delineated in the press release. Either way, if something changes, you’ll likely hear about it first on the official website, and/or, the official Myspace page.
Recently, Wade announced he will work with Midnight for an upcoming release, which would definitely be interesting to be seen. What is your opinion about it?
Jeff: Interesting, yes. Perhaps while in the studio they’ll figure out which of the two of them is the more powerful singer, because I know at one time there was some controversy over it. And of course, controversy sells. Perhaps they know this? It’s not a stretch of the imagination, IMO.
Several names have been brought up from time to time, regarding the singer’s place. Daniel Heiman, John K, Lance King, Mark Vanderbilt to name a few. Which one would fit better in your opinion and why?
Jeff: I couldn’t make that determination until/unless I heard them sing the old stuff, and/or, something new. I’ll say this---not many established singers are keen on the idea of filling some other guy’s shoes. From what I see in this business, such people are quick to become restless, and they don’t feel a bond with the rest of the band---kind of a take it, or leave it, type of attitude. We considered those factors when we chose Wade. He wasn’t really all that established at the time, and he graciously accepted our offer and guidance... not to mention, he can pick up a mic’ at pretty much any given time, and belt it out....no excuses; come rain or shine. That is invaluble as a live performer, IMO. Yes, there will always be those who want the original vocalist, however, many bands have gone on to be successful after replacing their original vocalist.....’Sabbath, AC/DC, ’Maiden, just to name a few.
There’s a DVD which includes a live performance of yours back from the Transcendence era and it was supposed to be on the market for a long time now, however, due to Black Lotus disbanding, it never saw the light of day. Have you thought of selling it via Internet, for instance, via your website? I ‘m asking cause many people often ask about its official release in your forum and, obviously, would be interested in having it.
Jeff: I think you refer to the performance at Manatee Civic Center in the late 80’s. Yes, we’ve considered transferring it, packaging it, and releasing it. In fact, it was supposed to be part of the box set, or at least coincide with it. But of course, that has been postponed, due to the reasons I explained. As for self-releasing it, it would still need to be transferred to the proper format, have the artwork designed, packaged, etc., etc. In other words, financed.
Some people say that you missed the chance of becoming a “big name”, right after your success with the Transcendence album. Do you agree with that?
Jeff: I think the term "big name" is relative. Maybe in terms of the underground/progressive world at the time, yes....a "big name". Many people like to employ the "everything happens for reason" motif, so I think I’ll use that card at this point. lol
What’s the best thing you remember out of all these years?
Jeff: Hands down, the traveling abroad. Many people work their entire lives to be able to retire and travel the world. Fortunately, we are/were in a business that affords us the opportunity to travel, expenses paid.... and even better, it all started when we were young enough to cut loose and really live it up. It was a blast, that’s for sure
What’s the worst?
Jeff: I guess, reflecting on the times when I thought, rather credulously, that Crimson Glory would sustain my livelihood for life. Boy, was I naive. lol!
Can you remember your best gig so far and address the reasons why?
Jeff: Janus Landing, St. Pete., Fl. It was in the late 80’s and we had just toured Europe for about 3-4 weeks, so we were seasoned, had fire in our eyes...and thus, kicked ass in front of our home crowd. People in our hometown still talk about that show to this day
What do you think about music industry nowadays?
Jeff: The advent of digital formatting is a bitter/sweet concept. Good for recording records; bad because of pirating and bootlegging. Good because even the neighborhood kids can make a CD; bad because the neighborhood kids aren’t necessarily musically inclined.
What does Jeff Lords listen to?
Jeff: Well, I don’t listen to much metal anymore. If I’m in the mood for something with attitude, I’ll throw on some Hed PE, DMX, or Stuck Mojo. Otherwise, I’m big into Lewis Taylor, a British multi-instrumentalist who is a favorite bass player of mine. Honestly, most "progressive" bands bore me to death, and I know that seems odd, it’s just that there’s an over-flux of up and coming operatic-style singers, and I’ve grown weary of it all, epsecially after 2.5 decades of it. As far as prog-metal vocalists, I like John K., from Biomechanical, and Tom Englund from Evergrey, both of whom seem to forego that very over-done "crooning" style. Come on guys, even Tom Jones occasionally uses grit in his voice! lol
Can you name a few favorite bands you like the most and tell me the reasons why?
Jeff: I like Hed PE, Sevendust, Stuck Mojo, middle era Rush, Pink Floyd, to name a few. Basically, anything that conveys emotion, and/or, is unique. I’m not opposed to technical stuff, or even self-indulgence, as long as it speaks to me in some way, shape, or form.
Have you ever taken lessons or are you self-taught?
Jeff: Self-taught. And a little trivia---I started on bass; I’m not a guitar flunky. lol
A few years back you released an album with G-Lock, going to a different musical direction than CG. Are you currently working on any personal stuff again?
Jeff: The fact that G-Lock was a departure from CG was no accident. It was merely me and some old friends writing and recording some songs together. I never set out for that project, or any side project I’ve ever done, to be a derivative of CG. There’d be no point in it. In other words, if one wants to hear CG, then listening to CG is their safest bet. As for currently, I’m taking a leave of absence from CG’s leave of absence. Like I said, if we, CG, collectively decide to take the band to the next level, I’m here, and confident that I can deliver the kind of bass-driven melodies that CG fans are accustomed to hearing. Meanwhile, I’m content composing bass-inspired ideas in my home studio, snippets of which can be heard on my Myspace profile. Perhaps I’ll do a whole album of that type of material in the future, if for nothing else, for a creative outlet and also the recording experience.
What are the future plans, or the next step if you will, for Crimson Glory?
Jeff: The only answer I can give definitively is there is not a definitive answer. As I said, unless/until there’s mutual agreement and motivation to precede, things are at a standstill. The reality is that there’s even a chance it may never happen. I know that’s a very unsatisfactory answer, yet, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
The last words are yours.
Jeff: Thank you Greece, and the fans around the world who have supported us through thick and thin! It’s been an honor to come blasting out of your speakers for the last two decades. Thank you Metalzone for the interview. Keep it real!