Extensive travel is a fact of life for any successful band. When the act in question is a veteran group like Fates Warning, that means it has probably logged a few million miles during its 30-plus-year career. Come January 2017, the progressive metal quartet will rack up some more frequent flyer miles when it embarks on a European tour in support of Theories of Flight, its 12th studio album, which arrived July 1 on InsideOut Music.
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Singer Ray Alder isn't bothered about having to fly thousands of miles across the ocean to play the 16-date tour, which includes seven gigs in Germany due to the band's strong popularity in that country. Embarking on the trip, though, is another story.
"Airports. Hands down. Airports," says Alder when asked what he dislikes about traveling. "The whole ritual of getting to the plane is a big annoyance to me. But I love traveling, so it's a necessary evil."
He also finds the experience worthwhile since he loves being with his bandmates, who, he says, "are essentially my family," as well of course visiting new countries. "Even the old ones!" he jokes. "But I most enjoy playing live. It's a great feeling."
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Travel is also the theme in the video for "Seven Stars," the new focus track from Theories of Flight. The clip features images of a trip Alder took from New York to Madrid after shooting performance footage for the video in Connecticut. Billboard is exclusively premiering it today; watch it below:
"We felt that shooting the trip back to Madrid would be perfect for the video," explains Alder. "All of the shots were filmed by my wife, who was the inspiration for the song, and I actually live here in the city. So I guess you could say [the footage has] special meaning." (The city's flag -- which contains seven white stars -- also inspired the song's title.)
The band didn't intentionally set out to give Theories of Flight a loose theme about being away from home, "it just turned out that way," says Alder. Guitarist Jim Matheos was writing lyrics to the track "Ghosts of Home" about his childhood and moving from one place to another while Alder was writing about leaving his life in Los Angeles and "drastically changing everything that I knew as the norm. At the time I was writing lyrics I didn't know that Jim's subject was somewhat similar. It's all a bit serendipitous."
Fates Warnings' Theories of Flight Tour dates:
Jan. 1: Hamburg, Germany @ Logo
Jan. 25: Cologne, Germany @ Underground
Jan. 27: Essen, Germany @ Turock
Jan. 28: Uden, the Netherlands @ De Pul
Jan. 29: Haarlem, the Netherlands @ Patronaat
Jan. 30: Aschaffenburg, Germany @ Colossaal
Feb. 1: Brno, Czech Republic @ Metro Music Bar
Feb. 2: Budapest, Hungary @ A38
Feb. 3: Bratislava, Slovakia @ Majestic Music Club
Feb. 4: Munich @ Backstage Halle
Feb. 5: Stuttgart, Germany @ Universum
Feb. 7: Nuermberg, Germany @ Hirsch
Feb. 8: Aarau, Switzerland @ Kiff
Feb. 9: Bologna, Italy @ Zona Roveri
Feb. 10: Brescia, Italy @ Circolo Colony
Feb. 12: Athens, Greece @ Gagarin205