Excalibur IV, ‘The Dark Age of The Dragon’, of the Rock Opera Series, has just been released and will be touring with its magnificent show in 2018. Penned by Alan Simon, the journey continues and follows the mythical sword, the legend that is Merlin along with King Arthur and his knights.
Mr. Simon took time recently to discuss the Excalibur series and what lies ahead…
What was the inspiration to begin the Rock Opera series?
I’m from Bretagne. In this area the myths of King Arthur, Merlin’s forest and legends around the quest are very famous. I was always intrigued by this story. Then in early 80’s the great Borman movie “Excalibur” was a shock. Ah, the great Helen Mirren as Morgane…Today I walk every day on the wild landscape of Bretagne. It’s inspired my melodies. Step by step Excalibur became a musical saga.
You have some amazing collaborations/appearances with so many talented artists on this album, was that easy to organise?
Not so easy but not so difficult. Just request big energy and time of course. All these famous people are, like me, fascinated by this legend! Some of them became very good friends. We have built a kind of musical round table ;)
There is such a mythical feel to the content of the album, do you find it easy to write music and lyrics for that genre?
I don’t know…I have never thought about it. I do this naturally …I feel very comfortable in this genre and I just love it :)
How did you find the recording process of this album?
I always work on the same process. First, I spend months alone, writing and searching for melodies & lyrics. Then I start in the studio to build some demos with the band. Then I digest it all. I spend few weeks to think about new ideas, colours…
It’s like working in the Sistine Chapel…Excalibur is a big painting. So, you need to take your time and to have the right vision, if not it can become an indigestible cake ;)
You completed a 12-arena tour in Germany in 2016 which must have been incredible, are you looking forward to next year’s tour?
Yes, we are preparing a special 20th birthday tour for 2019. That’s will be an overview of the best of the 4 albums. I look to enjoy the music with a great super band. No theatrical dimension only music!
I hope to be in Europe, USA, Japan, Asia, Russia and who knows maybe South America and South Africa. There is some contact. It can be really amazing.
Do you hope to continue on with this series of Rock Opera in the future? Can we anticipate more in years to come?
Well…Yes, I did a rock opera about Tristan & Yseult in 2014 which is very successful in Russia and Belarus (100 shows), also Anne de Bretagne in 2009, and “Chouans” (French revolution) for May 2018.
Excalibur may well get a part V if the Gods give me half the energy needed ;)
I’ve a little idea about the content of this next chapter… :)
To purchase EXCALIBUR IV:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/Excal4