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Veronica Freeman Interview 20-12-2006
Benedictum is a fairly new name in the world of metal that seems to have emerged from out of nowhere. This San Diego band combines thrashing riffs with strong melodies and forge it into their own unique brand of US power metal on their debut album Uncreation. Influences range from early Crimson Glory to Black Sabbath and Savatage. The band was formed by vocalist Veronica Freeman and guitarist and long time friend Pete Wells. With her powerful, almost ferocious vocals Veronica brings back memories of Leather Leone, once one of the main attractions on David Chastains albums way back in the early 80s. Benedictums first born came to be as a result of what Veronica calls her series of fortunate events, for one day good old friend Craig Goldy stopped by to listen to some of the recordings of rehearsal that Pete and she had made. He liked what he heard, encouraged them to record a demo and introduced them to Jeff Pilson. With him in the role of producer and with the assistance of former Warlock bassist Tommy Henriksen they recorded a 3-track demo that eventually ended up at Locomotive Records that shortly after signed the band and gave them the opportunity to track the rest of the songs needed to complete the debut album.
Veronica comes across as a very down-to-earth person who has an outspoken opinion on almost any subject one could think of. Over the years she was influenced by a lot of different people with whom she would love to share the stage. Theres about 50 of them I would say. People like Dio and Doro. Id never seen her live and during our recent tour I just sat there every night to watch her show in awe, surprised by all the energy she projects. Shes got this certain aura about her. And then, if I ever had the chance, Tina Turner would be another option. I think she should have gone metal a long time ago. Wouldnt that be ultimate with her voice and that presence? She would have kicked the shit out of the metal. And, of course, not to forget, Craig Goldy. I have yet to share the stage with him on a professional level. Maybe some time next year when we do some festivals, hell come out to play. Other than that, I dont know, theres so many good musicians out there, so much good music.I like everything across the spectrum, because I appreciate it all.I listen to it all and try to extrapolate what I can from everything to find my own voice. But basically it all stems from other stuff. Everything is all from the root of something else, so that being the case, why not study all different forms of music? I mean, its not like Im going to re-invent the wheel.
When Veronica puts down her lyrics, she doesnt hold back. Theres not really any straight path method that she uses, but her life is so full of experiences that she could easily write a book about it. It just depends on what hits me. I believe that any life worth living is a life worth writing about. In an altruistic way, its like when you release some of your own stuff, you are automatically helping someone else that doesnt know how. I would like my life to be about something, cause were not guaranteed tomorrow. So, I would like to leave some kind of legacy of something positive. Take the song Two Steps To The Sun for example. When I wrote that, I was literally on my couch, crying my eyes out, feeling so depressed. That song was the only thing that kept me going and its very special to me; it has probably saved my life. But that was about one particular thing. These days Im writing about all sorts of stuff, not gut-wrenching, just want to take my writing to a different level. It depends on my mood really what I write about. The usual process is that Pete or any of the others will lay down their riffs and I will listen to it over and over again until I come up with fitting lyrics and melodies. After that we rearrange things and take it all to Jeff Pilson in the studio. And thats when it all starts over again, for Jeff is very creative and will go like Wait, wait, wait. Lets try this instead, change this, do that. He brings out the best in all of us and we love it. The studio really is a great environment to work in. Not that I dont like to peform on stage its a great outlet but theres just something about the precision needed in the studio, the skills and all that. To see everything fall into place. Just great.
Given the chance theres a lot of things Veronica would do differently. Still she doesnt look back on her life with regrets, simply because she believes it wouldnt do her any good. Everything that has happened in my past, has brought me to this point in life. The lament in anything just takes my energy and doesnt get me anywhere. I want to learn what I can and just keep moving forward. Theres still some goals Id like to reach. Make some money for a change with this band. She laughs loud. And for me personally, Id like to live in a place where I could have my own horse. I just love horses. And secondly, I would like to become a practitioner of NLP again at some time in the future. I once took classes in that, but set it aside a while back and I miss it. Its a special program, very buddhist in nature, all about helping people to realize their full potential. In short its just a certain technique of how you hold things in your mind. Like when you think of a person you have a certain vision or feeling that you get and its all about working with that to help and change some things in your life that you would like to change or get rid off. I think that if I wasnt in a band, I would probably be doing that.