1.7.2013 JOSH MORTENSEN – It’s a pleasure to be speaking with the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter of Spelled Moon. Andy, tell me where the idea for Spelled Moon started and how it has transformed.
It started in 2007 when I parted ways with my old band Wolff Pack in Florida. I wanted to do music without boundaries and useless opinions from people that never helped with anything.
So, I started working to produce this album with Tony Bongiovi’s Power Station’s chief engineer, David Levy. I wanted to make something special, and he joined me in this endeavor. We put everything we had in it.
I’ve been working very hard since then to get the songs to sound like they do today. Later, I was very lucky to cross paths with such amazing musicians who are a part of this project and are by my side now.
We mixed Forsaken Spells with Dave Jenkins at The Wine Cellar Studio (Uli John Roth, Joe Lynn Turner, Matt Sorum, etc.) It was a great experience. Then we mastered with Brad Vance at Red Mastering (Ritchie Blackmore’s Night, Cannibal Corpse, etc.)
My main priority was that all the people involved would love the project. It’s amazing to see people working like crazy to get things to sound the way they wanted. We rolled every stone three or four times when necessary—that makes all the difference. When you are proud of your work, it shows. Little details make everything happen.
I noticed some very notable names in the list of band members on your website. Can you tell me about them and what background they are coming from? How did you meet?
I’m honored to be playing with such great people and amazing pro musicians as these guys. Aside the accolades they have, we are friends and music partners in this project.
Patrick Johansson, drums (Yngwie Malmsteen, WASP)
Ralph Rieckermann, bass (ex-Scorpions bassist, movie score composer)
Claudio Pesavento, keyboards (Dokken studio keyboardist, Jeff Beck Group.)
I met Patrick around five years ago when I was just starting to put this together. Around 2010, I asked him to listen to the demos, and that was it. We started recording right away.
I met Claudio in 2004 when we came on tour to Cali. Actually, I met him at the Rainbow on Sunset Blvd., and we’ve kept in touch since then.
Finally, I started recording with Ralph on “A War of Shadows” and became friends with him. We started talking about writing together and became a part of this. He offered me to do an unreleased song from the band Scorpions, now called “Hidden in the Winds,” coming out on this EP.
Andy, please tell me what you contribute to the band. Are you the major songwriter?
Well, I created Spelled Moon. I am the major songwriter and captain of this ship. I write and compose everything in my studio—Black Gates in California.
What bands have been major influences for the sound of Spelled Moon?
Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Scorpions, Dokken, and David Gilmour, just to name some. It all comes from totally complete different directions and styles from each one of us. I could say that this is a melting pot and a big one. Even Jenkins has a lot to do with all this and David Levy as well. It has become a big team of people working together for a greater good.
We are very excited for your upcoming EP Forsaken Spells, please tell me a little about it, for instance the name, the story behind it, and when and where fans can find it.
Forsaken Spells is a compilation of legends and everyday situations masked in fantasy tales. Some of them immersed on real life characters from centuries ago. Every song has and is based on a story that each one of you will find a different meaning to. All of that is the idea.
It will be available on I-tunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and on our web page once it is finished.
Is Forsaken Spells going to be on a record label?
No label yet, we want to make sure it comes out the way we wanted it to be out. We’ll see what happens in the future
What are your hopes for the future of Spelled Moon?
Keep working hard. Keep writing honest music. There are lots of ideas and lots of inspiration. We want to keep it that way.
Are there any plans for live shows, at least in California?
Yes, we want to and have talked about it, but one thing at a time. We want to finish the whole album first, and then we’ll start playing live shows.
Is there anything you would like to share with people watching this video right now that I haven’t addressed?
Yes, fight for your dreams. Music is always an amazing journey. Don’t allow anybody to put down your hopes
Andy, thanks for giving Power Metal USA the time to do this interview.
Thank you guys! It’s been my pleasure. Keep rocking hard.