Wizards Of Winter Founder Scott Kelly Talks ‘The Christmas Dream’ With Phil’s Picks

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Wizards of Winter’s tour in support of its new album The Christmas Dream has made headlines nationwide ever since its launch last month. The tour rolls into Roanoke Rapids next Saturday with lots of music planned for the intimate venue.

With the band’s stop in Halifax County, North Carolina’s hub, founding member and Musical Director Scott Kelly took a moment to talk with Phil’s Picks about the band’s upcoming show and the band’s new album Tuesday.  His conversation is transcribed in full below.

PP: Wizards of Winter is an extremely popular band, to say the least. The band has developed fans around the world with just three albums. To that end, the band could have its pick of performance venues, so what was it about the Roanoke Rapids Theatre that attracted the group to the venue?

SK: The Wizards have only performed in North Carolina once before. Despite the large number of venues in the State, few are the right size for a band like ours. They are either arenas or smaller. The RRT provides the exact mix that works best for our show. Intimate, yet large enough to allow us to do our whole production.

PP: Was the writing process for your latest album any different from that of your previous two albums?  If so, what made it different?  Was it easier or harder this time around?

SK: Our writing process usually takes the same path. Scott develops the melodies and lyrics. He then brings them to Fred and Sharon for review and tweaking. Fred provides the powerful guitar components to all the arrangements at the point. Then the rest of the band comes into the studio and we build the actual song that people get to hear.  The recording process was a little different this time having both Greg Smith and John O’Reilly in the band. They are a powerful rhythm section that made things flow very smoothly.


PP:All three of the band’s have received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Keeping that in mind, what does that support mean to you and to the rest of the band’s members?

SK: The Wizards don’t have a record label or corporate sponsors behind them. The group started as small idea to help others in need and have blossomed from there.  Building what has become a national legion of fans along with acclaim from critics across the globe has been very heartwarming for everyone involved. It just goes to show that if you work hard and keep dreams alive, wonderful things can happen.

PP: Which song from The Christmas Dream is your favorite and why?

SK: There are actually two songs that are most important to me. The first is Secrets of the Snow Globe. I wrote that with Sharon’s voice in mind to totally showcase her magnificent vocal range. She absolutely delivers on it and it makes me proud. Also the guitar work that Fred Gorhau provides is nothing short of stellar.

The second song is A Toast to Time. It is a simple reflection on life, the search for happiness and relationships. It closes our show every evening and always draws a wonderful reaction from the audience.

PP: Was it difficult establishing a set list for the show, what with not only the band’s own catalog, but that of the band’s members, some being from Trans Siberian Orchestra, others from the Irish Tenors and others being from Blue Oyster Cult?

SK: Since the storyline is an original Holiday rock opera defining the set list is relatively easy. We board the Arctic Flyer and journey inside a snow globe in search of the true meaning of Christmas  The story is told through our original compositions.. The story changes a little every year, depending on where the Arctic Flyer journeys but still easy for us to create.

PP:Staying on the note of the set list, can audiences expect to hear mainly music from WOW’s three albums, or perhaps some music from TSO?

SK: There isn’t music from the other mentioned groups in the show other than a small section of one cover song.

PP:What are some of your personal favorite bands/groups?  I know it has to get tiresome to play the same stuff night after night, day after day, so when you’re not on stage, what do you listen to?

SK:  My personal favorite bands of all time are Styx, Queen, ELP , Deep Purple, and Kansas.  Lately I listen to a lot of Nightwish.


PP:  What is your personal favorite part of Christmas?

SK:  Christmas at our house has changed over the years as the band and tour have grown. Anyone that follows us knows that our family is very closely knit.  We are always together and truly enjoy it. Spending time relaxing after coming off  the road and just “ being” is my personal favorite part.  As we all know, life is short and it moments like that that mean the most and should be treasured.

Anyone who is interested in coming to the Roanoke Rapids Theatre Dec. 21 to experience Wizards of Winter live can go online to the band’s website wizardsofwinter.com and to rrtlive.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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