Immediately after typing up my review for Benedictum’s Dominion album, I typed up some questions for their guitarist Pete Wells. Here they are, complete with his answers.
To start off, Benedictum is not your first band with Veronica. Could you talk about your first projects and what brought about the forming of Benedictum?
Yes, the 1st project we were involved in was called Medusa. That band was a melodic power metal band. After Medusa, we formed Malady which was more of a melodic metal band. Malaldy was one of the top acts in the San Diego scene but could never quite get over the hump. Malady came to an end and Veronica and I decided to give it one last chance. Malady had shown a lot of promise and had some label interest but didn’t materialize. Veronica was playing part time in a dio tribute band with original Benedictum drummer Blackie Sanchez and keyboardist Chris Morgan. We later added bassist Jessie Wright.
Did you release anything from these other bands?
Nothing on a global level. We did record a CD for Malady but was only released independently.
How long have you been playing guitar? Are you self-taught, or did you get lessons?
I’ve been playing now for about 25 years. I’m mostly self-taught. Playing guitar came naturally for me. I took lessons for about 3 months to figure out what I was doing and get some theory so I could communicate musically.
When did you begin writing your own music?
I started writing my own songs after about 6 months of playing when I joined my 1st band. We played mostly Judas Priest and Scorpions songs and some Crüe hahahhaaaa
What brought you to the allegiance of metal?
My introduction to metal came late. I was given Kiss Alive on LP and was hooked. I started playing guitar after seeing Randy Rhoads on the Diary of a Mad Man tour. I came home from the show and the next day I talked my mom into buying me a guitar.
Are there any other genres of music you’re into? How about genres of metal, any in particular that you’re a follower of?
I like all kinds of different genres. Anything from country to classical. If it’s good and sparks something with me I’ll listen. I love 80’s and 90’s thrash and bands that are heavy and progressive like Symphony X.
What are you finding to be the most difficult part of the music industry?
I would say the business side of things. It’s hard to know who to trust, and who’s really behind you.
How about the easiest?
The easiest for me is the song writing. I love the creative process
And what is the most rewarding part for you?
The most rewarding is a toss up, hahahaaa. I love hearing the final results of the writing process when you get to sit down and listen to how the new songs came out. But performing live and touring is my favorite and most rewarding aspect of being in a band.
What kind of guitars are you using, and through what pedals and amps? Is there any kind of particular pedal-to-pedal set-up you’re using that you’re finding is the best way to get your tone? Or is your tone in your amps?
For my live setup I use my Wullfson custom shop star body shape guitars through a 1st generation line 6 flextone head that has an artist endorsers chip that head is amazing I recorded all of the solos on the new CD with that amp. For a pedal, I use the boss ME-50. In the studio it’s a toss -up. For each song we would go through all the amps to see which amp sounded the best in the track and the style of the song. We used a mesa mark 3 c, a mesa modified tremo-verb head and an old blackface dual rec head. I believe I get my sounds more from the way I play than anything. Also the way I use reverb and delay.
Do you plan on doing any extensive North American touring for Dominion, or are you going to keep it in the US for now?
To be honest were not limiting us to just 1 region. We would love to play in Canada this year or early next as well as Mexico central America and south America. Our management and booking agents are working hard to put some things together for us that make sense.
And finally, thank you for being willing to subject yourself to my questions Pete. Is there anything else you’d like to add to this?
Yes, please support your favorite bands by buying their CD’s. it cost money for the artists and record companies to make music. The illegal downloading or copying of your favorite bands music is only going to hurt you the listener as it may become impossible for those bands to continue making music. So please support your favorite band and buy a copy of their CD. Thanks for this opportunity to chat. Horns UP High!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!