Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: February 2011
Brian Rademacher: Hello Veronica and welcome to RockEyez. You have a new release coming in March called "Dominion", first thing I want to say is I loved the cover artwork. Can you tell us anything about it?
Veronica Freeman: I am really glad you like it, thanks! We had a few versions but at the end of the day I sort of had an idea with a scepter and the artist Jobert Mello of Sledgehammer graphics took it from there.
Brian Rademacher: "Dominion" seems a bit heavier than your previous releases "Uncreation" and "Seasons of Tragedy". Tell us how has the band grown from those releases?
Veronica Freeman: I think it is a natural progression but also the factors of collaborating with different band members during this album and a new producer as well.
Brian Rademacher: Also loved the press photo youíre looking HOT! Do you feel having sexy front women helps a band?
Veronica Freeman: Thanks so much for the compliment! I really do believe at the end of the day, itís about the music and being able to offer something different. As long as we can bring it, I am happy!
Brian Rademacher: The opening track "Dominion" is a heavy hitter and the next track "At The Gates" mixes a bit of melodic metal with some shredding. I loved the guitar work on "Gates". When you went into record "Dominion" do you learn things from past releases or is it just a natural progression for the band?
Veronica Freeman: Yes! Itís a little of both. Pete really stepped up to the plate on the new CD. In my personal opinion it is some of his best work. His playing is incredible! "Dominion" was the first song we wrote and recorded together for the new CD. It was a group effort that set things in motion for how we were going to do the new CD.
Brian Rademacher: What do you feel is the biggest achievement for the band so far?
Veronica Freeman: I would say to survive in these tough times. We havenít done as much touring lately but have weathered the storm, so to speak, and still have people that are getting to know us. We have put out some albums that we are really proud of and play music we are passionate about.
Brian Rademacher: "Seer" is another killer track off "Dominion" and really highlights your vocal range. Can you ever see BENEDICTUM going in a different musical direction?
Veronica Freeman: We kind of do that now! We always do a track or two that follow another path musically. Good examples would be "Steel Rain" from "Seasons of Tragedy" or "Sanctuary" on "Dominion". Itís not that we sit there and plan it, it just seems to turn out that way. Things evolve all the time but I personally love Metal so I donít plan on straying off the path too much.
Brian Rademacher: Many say your vocals are in comparison to Grace Slick. How do you feel about that? I can see a slight resemblance in sound but not in style of course.
Veronica Freeman: I have heard that about 3 or 4 times but many of my interviewers donít feel that way either. I really donít get it but Iíll take it, hell yeah!
Brian Rademacher: You worked with many artists in the past but if there is someone you havenít worked with but would like to, whom would that be?
Veronica Freeman: Obviously for me it would have been Ronnie James Dio. I was fortunate enough to have met him, but in the back of my mind I always had a plan to sing with him and was so hoping that would happen someday. I carry him with me all the time though, as I know so many of us do.
Brian Rademacher: "Beautiful Pain" is a great amazing instrumental track. Iím not a person for instrumentals but that track is on fire. Are you happy adding an instrumental to a release?
Veronica Freeman: Oh God YES! I love being able to showcase the talent in this band. Pete has been playing stuff like that for years and I finally got him to share that side of his playing with the world. I remember Ryan Greene heard this track at a production meeting and feel in love with it on the spot!
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel there is diversity on "Dominion" to bring fans in from other genreís? For instance, "Bang" sure goes in a different direction. The song also had the additional guests Jeff Pilson, Craig Goldy and Rudy Sarzo. How was it working with Rudy in particular, and any funny stories you can tell us from working with these three rock legends?
Veronica Freeman: Well actually only Rudy played on "Bang". Jeff played the acoustic guitar and sang with me on "Sanctuary". And Craig traded guitars with Pete on "Epsilon". "Bang" is another example of a different song style. Rudy is great to work with and very professional. His tracks turned out great. As far as stories, we could be here for days discussing those! Both Craig and Jeff are very dear friends of mine and the band.
To answer the question though, again, it is the way things came together, not as planned and prepared as the prior two albums. The diversity comes from all of those factors of the journey which was "Dominion". I mean it was rough at times but we got so much out of it. I had to stretch and bend a bit.
Brian Rademacher: I would say my favorite track on "Dominion" has to be "Loud Silence". itís more of a mild rock tune and I feel you can reach out to many fans with this track. Were there any tracks that were challenging to record in the studio?
Veronica Freeman: I like that track as well. I commandeered that song from Pete. Chris Morgan (ex BENEDICTUM, STORM HAMMER) had sent a rough demo of that song to Pete to add guitar and to assist in writing and development for a future project. Well I happened to hear what they had done and was blown away and got melody and lyric ideas instantly. As far as any challenges, the biggest one for me was figuring out exactly what I wanted to do in certain spots. I really try and shy away from being generic and predictable. Hopefully Iím doing a good job. What the hell, I try my best!
Brian Rademacher: The track "Sanctuary" I feel has a bit of a country rock feel. Are there some hidden feelings behind this song? Maybe Veronica Freeman goes country????
Veronica Freeman: No not at all but after I read this question I did listen to it again and I do hear it. (Itís) cool with me! I like all sorts of music anyways so itís all good!
Brian Rademacher: "Overture/The Temples of Syrinx"? RUSH fans will love this! Why did you decided to cover this track and were there others in consideration?
Veronica Freeman: Well aside from loving anything Dio I grew up a big RUSH fan. Having done Dio songs in the past as bonus tracks, I wanted to do something completely different. So I spoke with Ryan (our producer Ryan Greene) and we settled in on "2112". Ryan wanted to do an accurate rendition of this classic so he along with our bass player Chris mapped it out and Ryan set all the tempo maps. He really was great to work with and Ryanís talent is a force in and of itself.
Brian Rademacher: Well Veronica RockEyez would like to congratulate you on the new amazing release "Dominion". There are lots of twists and turns and I feel fans will be delighted with the album. Would you like to say anything in closing?
Veronica Freeman: I would like to say if you have been a fan of BENEDICTUM, thank you, if you have never heard of us then check us out. Become a "Victim of Benedictum"! We do appreciate your support and thanks for the interview!