Balance Of Power Biography
Last updated: 03/14/2003 06:46:12 PM
The Story So Far……
A biography of British melodic metal band Balance of Power
The story begins in Brighton, England in 1995, Keyboardist IVAN GUNN put together a band of excellent London Rockers and BALANCE OF POWER was born. The band suffered line up changes before solidifying their band. Original members from the first album; Guitarist Paul Curtis, Singer Tony Ritchie, were replaced at the labels request as stylistic changes were made that didn’t fit those members talents. American Lead Vocalist Lance King and British Guitarist Pete Southern, were the replacements that all were very happy with. Keyboardist Ivan Gunn has recently left as his company Anthem Records was going so well that he did not have enough time to dedicate to the group. The band has created three full albums, the first two, “WHEN THE WORLD FALLS DOWN” & “BOOK OF SECRETS” respectively were released in Japan and Europe with little push however have garnered rave reviews and have sold in excess of 100,000 copies. The new release “TEN MORE TALES OF GRAND ILLUSION” was released to Japan on October 20th, and has done very well. European and North American releases are scheduled for November 22nd and November 23rd respectively.
The first BALANCE OF POWER album, "When the World Falls Down" was started in October of 1996. Lionel had just finished studying music engineering at a prestigious school for the arts and had built a studio that he later named POD Studios. It was here that recording started, engineered and produced by Paul and Lionel. This album received Major air play on the 11 huge metal syndicated shows in Japan,with famous radio personalities Captain Wada & Masa Itoh playing it in hot rotation. After the first album the band were put under pressure by their Japanese label “Pony Canyon” to produce a second, so work was started straight away. That was when the first bombshell hit the band. Paul had become increasingly fed up with life in London and had become disillusioned with the music business. He announced that he was retiring from it all and moving to Cumbria in northern England. Since then he has disappeared completely. It was only natural that Pete Southern was asked if he wanted to join the band, he accepted. After hearing the new direction of the new songs written with Pete, Pony Canyon put a lot of pressure on us about Tony's vocal style saying we needed a vocalist with more dynamics and a higher range for the new sound. This was a huge blow to us and after much discussion and soul searching we agreed that we would look to see if we could find someone. Tony would continue to fulfill the role of songwriter within the band. This was a very hard decision to make for all concerned. The band auditioned 50 or so singers from the UK, but was unsuccessful in finding the right person. Ivan was working on some licensing deals with Lance King in the USA, at the time, and asked him if he knew of a suitable vocalist over there. Lance said he did, and that he might be interested as well. Ivan was familiar with all the singers that Lance referred him to, but was most interested in Lance. Lance was sent digital demo's that he recorded his idea on and sent back to us. After the first listen there was no decision to be made, he was perfect and he was in. Lance had formerly put out 2 releases with “Gemini”and one with “The Kings Machine”, both based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
BALANCE OF POWER second release "Book of Secrets" is an album with a theme, or a "Concept album". Based on The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin. It was this that inspired the theme that seemed to link all the songs on the album together. The album received rave reviews all over Europe and Japan and was welcomed to the radio again with songs “Seven Days into Nevermore” & “Miracles and Dreams” getting heavy rotation again on all syndicated metal shows. Bruce Dickenson highlighted the album on the European underground network in which he played the entire album and talked about how much he loved it.
Lionel again engineered in his POD studio’s and Lance flew over from the United States to record the vocals in “The Vocal Suite” in Soho ( downtown London). While there, Lionel and Lance hit it off so well that once recording was complete Lionel flew over and stayed with Lance in Minneapolis where they both mixed and mastered the album with the help of Brian Bart at Logic Studios. It was completed during the summer of 1998. Both record companies loved it and subsequently released it in Japan and Europe. It gained excellent reviews in the rock press and capitalized on the attention gained by the debut album. By this time, the band was eager to play "live". Pressure was put on both record companies to organize a tour. Unfortunately the economy in Japan had experienced a hard blow and even the largest bands were not drawing good attendance. Combined with the fact that our European record company didn't cement a tour, so we stayed home and focused back on making new music.
Disappointed, but not broken the band returned to the studio and found inspiration for the forthcoming album "Ten More Tales of Grand Illusion". The album saw Tony and Lance working closely together on the vocal front and Pete stretching to greater heights with some phenomenal lead work. Using the same recording formula, this time Tony and Lance had put together compatible digital studios along with Lionels. All was brought together at POD. Again the band chose to Mix and Master in Minneapolis, with the guidance of Lionel and Lance, this time at OARFIN studios with engineer Todd Fitzgerald. More changes seemed imminent. Keyboardist Ivan had become increasingly busy with his label Anthem, so much so that he never ended up contributing anything to the new album "Ten More Tales….". It was agreed mutually that Ivan would leave the group and endeavor to build his record company. After which publishing, management and promotion deals were struck with Brainstorm in Germany for Europe. Nightmare Records signed the band for North America. And due to bad record keeping and communication the group decided to leave their European label "Point" and signed with "Massacre Records" in Germany for all of Europe.
"TEN MORE TALES OF GRAND ILLUSION" Was released in Japan October 20th, in Europe on November 21 and in the USA on January 15th 2000 to a barrage of fantastic press worldwide. Ten more tales received many nominations for album of the month and even album of the year againfrom magazines. Finally we were asked to tour mysteriously after our Keyboardist had left the business helm, and we went to Germany for a month with PINK CREAM 69 & AXXIS and played 19 shows in 21 days, the band was finally able to put rest to the rumous that they were just a studio band. Shortly before our Tour began we parted ways with CHRIS DALE, our bassist, and reinstated our continued lyricist, former vocalist Tony Ritchie to the ranks as our new bassist. The tour was deamed the most successful metal tour in the last 2-3 years in Germany. Venues across the country were sold out to capacity.
Final Line up: Members
Lead Vocalist LANCE KING
Guitarist/ vocals PETE SOUTHERN
Guitarist BILL YATES
Bassist / Vocalist TONY RITCHIE
Drummer LIONEL HICKS