“It was a crazy time,” says Dean Wells, Teramaze’s guitarist. “We had a new singer, my dad was sick, and then we got signed to Mascot by Jim Pitulski who managed Dream Theater and signed Symphony X. It was mayhem and an emotional roller coaster.”
The past year or so has been significant for Australian prog metallers Teramaze, to say the least. In the midst of writing their new album, they got picked up by Pitulski. It should have been a period of celebration but at the same time, founding member Dean Wells suffered some heartbreaking news.
“I found out my dad was dying,” he explains, “so I hit something too hard and broke bones in my hand. They put plaster on my arm and I actually freaked out as I walked out of the hospital and broke it off and threw it in the bin. I ended up writing probably 90 per cent of the songs with a broken hand, which is probably why it’s not so technical.”
The ‘it’ is Her Halo, Teramaze’s fifth album and the follow-up to the densely technical Esoteric Symbolism. It’s true that the new album eschews the rapid-fire epic sounds of its predecessor, but in its place is a thoughtful, cinematic collection of songs. Featuring their new singer Nathan Peachey, the record recounts the tale of a trapeze artist who gets caught in a love triangle.
“The more I think about it, it’s like Moulin Rouge,” Wells reflects. “She’s an amazing artist but behind the scenes she’s an absolute mess.”
Parallels could be drawn between the protagonist and Wells. A prodigious guitarist, he regularly posts YouTube videos of his exceptionally fast and technical playing, and some of the performances, including a metal cover of Lady Gaga’s Applause, might surprise you.
John Petrucci, Steve Morse and Paul Gilbert were all there watching me. I thought I was going to shit myself!
“Before I reignited Teramaze I was writing songs for Australian Idol and The X Factor, so I’ve got that background. It was literally a bit of fun. I actually thought I would get more shit for it than I did.”
Teramaze and YouTube are not the only platforms showcasing his talent. On a recent trip to a trade show in Anaheim, California, Wells unexpectedly played for some prestigious guests.
“I played in the Music Man booth at NAMM while John Petrucci, Steve Morse and Paul Gilbert were all there watching me. I thought I was going to shit myself! I had sweat pouring down my back and halfway through I dropped my pick. But afterwards I had a chat with Petrucci and Morse because they knew we were working with Jim Pitulski now. It was pretty cool.”
With the backing of a respected label and one of prog’s seminal figures, it’s surely only a matter of time before the band from Down Under bring their music our way.
“It’s hard being Australian and knowing who actually knows about us. The UK’s always been a mystery, like, does anyone know who we are?”
Well, they do now.
|line-up||**Dean Wells **(lead/rhythm guitar), **Nathan Peachey (vocals), Dean Kennedy **(drums), **Luis Eguren **(bass)||sounds like||Circus Maximus drowning their sorrows to Anathema’s Distant Satellites||current release||Her Halo is out now on Music Theories Recordings||website||www.teramaze.com.au|
|**Dean Wells **(lead/rhythm guitar), **Nathan Peachey (vocals), Dean Kennedy **(drums), **Luis Eguren **(bass)|
|Circus Maximus drowning their sorrows to Anathema’s Distant Satellites|
|Her Halo is out now on Music Theories Recordings|