Neonfly interview

Rising Stars with Frederick Thunder of Neonfly…

What are you currently up to?

FT: Right now I’m having breakfast!

Brief history of Neonfly…

FT: I formed the band in 2008, we released our first EP “Clever Disguise” and started playing live, that EP featured Tony Mills from TNT and SHY on guest vocals actually. But we had a different drummer and singer at the time, in fact we went trough a few drummers… I guess it happens to most bands: spontaneous combustion onstage, bizarre gardening accidents…
But anyway we did a lot of shows in Europe at first actually, played a few festivals abroad and did quite a few headline shows over there. It wasn’t till 2010 that we started seriously touring the UK, we did a tour with H.E.A.T. in May 2010, then played Bloodstock (that was when our new singer WIlly joined the band) and toured with Freedom Call in November. At the start of this year we travelled to Italy to record our debut album with producer Nick Savio (PowerQuest, Arthemis, Raintime). The album is called “Outshine The Sun” and we are really proud of it! It will be released this fall.

Now we are getting ready to tour the UK again supporting Pagan’s Mind, and then we are going to Ibiza for Hard Rock Hell Roadtrip. Then we got a festival in Czech republic and SOS festival in Manchester! And I think that’s about it for now!

How do you go about promoting your music? Do sites like MySpace, Facebook etc. bring you in new fans and potentially sales? Or is it a case of having lots of ‘friends’ many of whom never bother with the music?

FT: I think playing live is still the best thing to do, that’s when you get to form a real connection with the fans, you can promote all you want behind your computer screen but if people don’t see you live then they’ll forget you… cause there’s 98749826498 more bands doing the same thing. As far as I’m concerned nobody seems to go on myspace anymore. Facebook is great, and I think it’s more authentic because people have to like your page, you can’t send invites to anyone, they actually have to go and look for it.

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Who are your musical influences?

FT: As far as I’m concerned there are too many to mention, so I’ll just fire some random names in various different styles: Iron Maiden, Edguy, Styx, John WIlliams, Scorpions, Michael Jackson, Strapping Young Lad, Dimmu Borgir, Mussorgsky, Helloween, Sonata Arctica, Rush, Toto… it’s quite varied as you can see!

How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

FT: The truth is I can’t really remember, I was just trying to push the band as hard as I could and one thing led to another, met people, who knew other people who knew other people and I ended up basically managing the band, and doing a lot of concert bookings, promotions… I always look for new opportunities, if I hear of a festival I’ll go and apply for it, try to find who books the bands… If I hear of a good band that’s touring the UK I try to get I touch with them or their management etc…
You just gotta work hard, and believe in what you are doing! And hopefully have the music to back it up!

How do you view the current rock/metal music scene? Why do you think power/melodic metal has not become as big in the UK as Europe?

FT: I think there just hasn’t been enough exposure. But things seem to be changing, a lot of Power/melodic metal bands from Europe are starting to come more and more often and play bigger venues. There are people who listen to this kind of music here and they are very dedicated fans. That being said I don’t see our music as being strictly Power Metal, it is obviously a big part of our sound but I think there’s a lot of 70’s and 80’s there too, a lot of stadium and pomp rock etc…

How have the recent couple of dates with Power Quest been like? What have been the band’s live highlights to date and why? Any other bands out there that you would recommend?

FT: They were great! We had a lot of fun… especially in Manchester! Every time we play there it’s really crazy, we love it!

Personally I have very fond memories of playing Raismesfest in France n 2009, also Campus Rock festival in Austria and the tour we did after that was great! In the UK Bloodstock and the Freedom Call tour were awesome!

I would recommend Pagan’s Mind, we are touring with them in a couple of weeks an they are an amazing band, you really have to come see them live!

Also from London check out A New Tomorrow, the new band of Alessio Garavello (ex-Power Quest singer). Great alternative rock!

Any good rock ‘n’ roll tales to tell?

FT: Willy about to rip off the TV of our room in Wakefield… Looking for Paul all over Raismesfest in France to find out he had been sleeping in the toilet because he was too drunk… Crazy psycho women in Estonia… We are all actually very calm and friendly but after the show when we start to drink it’s another story. :p

What ideally would you like to achieve by this time next year?

FT: Having toured in as many countries as possible. Nothing beats touring for me. Hopefully we’ll also be close to releasing album number 2. We don’t want to wait 2 or 3 years between albums, we want to do it the old school way: one album a year. We have a lot of material already.

What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?

FT: Chasing girls.

Message for your fans…

FT: I’m not the father…

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