After a brief hiatus, Amps and Green Screens is back with another piece of the WHITE EMPRESS puzzle. For Part IV of our special feature we caught up with keyboard player Will Graney. A very hardworking man, Will is not only a loyal servant of THE EMPRESS but he’s also hard at work on finishing the next DAMNATION ANGELS record. And of course, when pressed for any dirt he gave up nothing. Check it out:
Will: It all started for me when I was 13 years old when I watched METALLICA Live in Seattle 1989 at a friend’s house. From then on all I wanted to be was a guitarist; it was only later on in my career that I actually began playing Keyboards. I kind of fell into that role writing orchestra for DAMNATION ANGELS and consequently fell in love with it. Because of this I’ve had the pleasure of working with CRADLE OF FILTH, DIVINE CHAOS among others and also some independent film companies.
Amps: How did you come to be involved in WHITE EMPRESS?
Will: Paul (Allender, guitar) was working with a producer from the UK who I’m friends with and he recommended that me and Paul work together on a new project. Obviously knowing what Paul is capable off I jumped at the chance.
Amps: What was it about the concept and songs that appealed to you?
Will: What appealed to me was doing something different to what I’d usually do. Being able to explore a different genre and I knew that me and Paul could create something original. Paul sent me some tracks and everything just came together relatively easily. It was instantly dark, unusual and original. It had a great energy about it, we knew we had something.
Amps: What does the WHITE EMPRESS mean to you?
Will: The WHITE EMPRESS is bigger than any of us can imagine. She’s given me the freedom in which to express myself and for that I’m eternally grateful! I’m just pleased to be one of her most loyal servants!! Put it this way you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her (laughs)!
Amps: What’s happening with DAMNATION ANGELS in terms of new music and a tour?
Will: We’re currently finishing off our new album The Valiant Fire which is due out in a few months. It’s been a pretty busy last few months with both WHITE EMPRESS and D.A. coming out at a similar time. But it is fun going between the bands because they are so different. If I tire while working on D.A. I go do a bit of WHITE EMPRESS or vice versa and it’s actually quite refreshing.
Amps: How ready are you to bring the WHITE EMPRESS show out to everyone?
Will: I’m very ready, we’ve been brewing this and grafting on this a bloody long time. Fine tuning and quietly improving as a band. The timing is perfect and we can’t wait to release THE EMPRESS upon everyone!! Believe you me, the show is going to be something to behold!!
Will: I knew we were onto something very early on after a few rough demos went back and forth. I always thought it would be special and hearing it now in its finished version confirmed my thoughts. It’s original which is almost impossible to be nowadays but we found our own sound and that’s an achievement in itself. I’m very proud of what we’ve created and everything else that comes with it is a bonus!
Amps: What do you like to do and/or listen to away from your own musical projects?
Will: It’s rare I listen to much other than what I’m working on (laughs). 12 hours a day of working on music puts you off a bit you know. So when I do get the chance which is normally at the gym, I listen to a lot more soft stuff like Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Lana Del Rey, with a bit of metal and classic rock thrown in here and there if I need a little bit of extra help on a tough set. When I’m not working on music I like travelling quite a bit and I’m quite a bit of a gaming nerd! You know, headsets, friends, a few beers and gaming until 3 a.m. It doesn’t get much better.
Amps: Say something to all the WHITE EMPRESS faithful out there.
Will: Well firstly thanks for their patience and massive dedication since early on. It’s already been quite a journey and I’m glad we have you with us to share in it. When we’re working hard and doing our thing behind the scenes you guys give us a reason to keep going, in this now crooked industry you guys are the saving grace. So thank you, from 9/29/14 it’s all kicking off and I hope you’ll be there with me to witness the Rise of the Empress!!
Can you feel that? It’s getting closer. WHITE EMPRESS debut album Rise of the Empress will be unleashed upon you all on September 29 via Peaceville Records. Fall in line, OBEY, and get your copy…THE EMPRESS commands you.
(The first wave of live destruction can be found HERE)