Ben- Basically ASE is a project put together by myself and 2 old friends. Kenny, James and i were in the power metal band Sentinel about 8 years ago and James was also an original member of my main band Neverworld when we first started. He actually co wrote a few of the songs on that album too. The idea with ASE is to make music with no limitations or boundaries. We like to blend styles and mix stuff up. Something i don't think has been done too much before
2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Ben- To me it's very much a mixture of progressive, power and traditional metal but merged with hard rock. The things that are very important to us are melody and emotion. Music is about telling stories and capturing the feel of what you are trying to say. All the songs on this album are different. I think we have our own sound but we try very hard not to repeat ourselves
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Ben- The song topics vary quite a bit. I tend to write about stuff that's happened to me or stuff that is happening in the world. There's a few songs on the album about the power of love and what it can do to you. They were written about one person and are really very personal. The other tracks cover numerous elements of government manipulation. The message is quite clear within these songs to wake up to what's around you and what really is. Don't be a sheep! Don't believe half of what they tell you!
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'All Seeing Eyes' and is this name connected to any occult, conspiracy theory or Illuminati themes?
Ben- Yeah pretty much. We are all quite big on what's really happening in the world and the name really fitted well with our message. Open your mind, use your eyes and you'll see!
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Ben- Right now we are not a live band unfortunately. My main band is Neverworld and we are very active but ASE was initially set up as a recording project. It all came about because Neverworld was busy playing shows all the time and the little spare time we had was being spent recording the album that was already written. I had this real creative surge but couldn't use it on Neverworld so i hooked up with James and Kenny again to write something completely different. It was a lot of fun doing this album because they are both 2 of my oldest friends now and musically we know each other inside out
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Ben- What it really comes down to now is timing and how well the album does. I'm currently back in the studio writing and recording the new Neverworld album so that will take up a lot of my time in the near future. But if there is a demand for ASE to get out there and play i guess we will have no choice but to do just that! However that would mean finding 2-3 new members. I know a lot of people within the industry and it could be done, just not over night. It would take a lot of planning
7.On the new album you have a good amount of quests, can you tell us a little bit more about them and their contributions to the album?
Ben- Yeah all the guests were absolutely amazing. They've all done a fantastic job and didn't ask for a penny in return. My kinda people! All 3 of us are huge Crimson Glory fans so to have Ben Jackson guest and co-write a track was a dream come true. If you'd told me 10 years ago that would happen one day i would have laughed in your face! Ben's a great guy and it's just such an honour to have him on the album. My band Neverworld toured with Wardrum last year in England and this year in Greece so that's how i know Kosta. He is quite simply one of the very best guitar players on earth and a lovely guy too. Anyone who has seen him in action will know just how amazing he is. He also plays without a pick! Personally i think he sold his soul! Danae Saree is the ex wife of Crimson Glory's Jon Drenning so there's another CG connection. I saw a video of her singing and just thought wow! She has a brilliant and unique voice and she co wrote the track too from thousands of miles away! Michalis Rinakakis i met when Neverworld played with his old band Air Raid. He's the real deal. So glad he's on this album and a track like Demons. It really suits him. I'm very friendly with another band called Neuronspoiler. They are such a good band. Great musicians. At the time we recorded 'Hunted' Dave Shirman was still in the band. David Del Cid still is. Those dudes can really shred and really went to town for us. The duet with Venetia came about because i met her in Greece. She is actually the girlfriend of Kosta Vreto. She sent me one of her bands songs and i just fell in love with her voice. She has this bluesy thing going on. Very soulful. So yeah very happy and very grateful with everyone's contribution to this album. They are the icing on the cake!
8.The new album was released on No World Order, can you tell us a little bit more about the label?
Ben- It's just a label we set up ourselves. We have our own studio and now we have our own label! Not much else to say on it at the moment as we set it up specifically for this album and any future releases
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive and power metal?
Ben- So far i've been really surprised by how much people seem to like our stuff. We've been blessed with some amazing reviews the reaction from the fans has been great. Right now i couldn't have asked for more!
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Ben- In all honesty i don't know. We have written a few more songs and we like them a lot. I'm thinking possibly a mini album out next year but only if the debut does well enough. We will have to see. Music wise we will continue trying to progress and do stuff that's a little bit different
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Ben- Well for myself i grew up on the old school. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Manowar, Thin Lizzy, WASP, Helloween, Guns N Roses were pretty much the soundtrack to my youth up to the age of about 13. Then Grunge/Alternative rock happened. Alice In Chains, Candlebox, Muthas Day Out, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden etc really had my heart when i was a young teenager. It wasn't until i was about 19/20 that my horizons started to broaden and i fell in love with lot's of stuff that had evaded me in earlier years. I became a huge Crimson Glory, Fates Warning, King Diamond and Queensryche fan. In the last 10 years i've soaked up as much good music as i can. I guess you could say at this point in my life the bands that are really doing it for me are Winger, Circus Maximus, Redemption, Hibria, Dan Reed Network, Ratt, Nelson, Mr Big etc Basically i just love great music. My CD collection is huge and all of it has influenced me in some way or another. As for Kenny he's big on the power metal stuff like Gamma Ray, Lost Horizon. Pantera also turn him on immensely! James being a keyboard player has a pretty eclectic taste in music but i know Dream Theater and Lost Horizon have certainly played their part in shaping his skills.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Ben- I'm a huge wrestling fan. I trained to be a pro wrestler when i was 19/20 and would have loved to do that too. Very hard though. I'm into good films, working out, martial arts, the paranormal, all sorts of stuff really. I love to hang out with friends and family too. They mean the world to me
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Ben- For those of you reading this who haven't heard of ASE before please get on YouTube and have a listen! For those of you who have and support us we thank you from the bottom of our metal hearts! We've literally just made an official music video that will be out about a week after the album so look out for that too! Don't forget to like our Facebook page, subscribe to our YouTube channel and tell your friends all about us! We really appreciate it. Word of mouth is king in this business! And thank you guys too for taking the time to talk to me