Refuge, the new project featuring current and former Rage members Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt, and Christos Efthimiadis have released their debut album Solitary Men on June 8th via Frontiers. The trio reunited back in 2014, and what started to be a secret one-off show in their German hometown under the name of “Tres Hombres,” more than 1200 fans found a way to attend, which led to the ultimate birth of Refuge. We were lucky to speak with Peavy to hear more about the reunion, how the new album started, and more.
What was it like when you first reunited?
It was awesome! When we met for a first rehearsal, the old magic was right back, we haven’t played together for 25 years or so but it was just right back…
When did you decide to make it more of a serious project than a for-fun return?
Actually we never decided to make it “serious”. We still do it for the fun and our friendship. We don’t need to prove anything to anyone, that feels good…
Can you explain more about your first reunited “Tres Hombres” show back in 2014?
In the 80 ́s/90 ́s we had rehearsed in a local house in our home place that’s run by a musicians club, that’s where I met with Chris in Summer 14 to re animate our friendship and bury the hatchet about our issues we had since the split in 1999. Coincidentally, some of the guys from that club asked us if we ́d like to play some of our old songs again together with Manni on the annual festival of this musicians club. We agreed and that led to this “Tres hombres” gig that was the beginning of our little fun band. It caused a lot of attention that led to many invitations on international festivals…now, here we are.
Aside from signing a record deal, what inspired you to create a new album?
In the beginning, we couldn’t ́t imagine doing a new album but then we started jamming on some leftover ideas we had back then in our “Rage” time. We were surprised how good it worked out and it became a lot of joy for us to write new songs. After a while, we changed our mind and did the album.
What was the recording process like for ‘Solitary Men’?
It was different as when I would work with Rage on an album. As we work non professional with Manni & Chris, as both are busy with their jobs and families. It took a lot more time to work out the songs and later to record them. All in all it happened over a time period of two years. But we had the OK from Frontiers to take as much time as we need.
Can you discuss some of the lyrics on the album?
Lots of different themes like an asteroid collision (Summer ́s winter), reincarnation (From the ashes), terrorism (Living on the edge of time) and also some very personal feelings about loneliness (The man in the ivory tower) or inner fears (Waterfalls).
How do you feel about the album compared to say Rage’s 1993’s The Missing Link?
There ́s a lot of parallels to our old albums. Nowadays, we just sound maybe a bit more mature and relaxed. We’ve made lots of experiences over the years that let us grow as musicians…
Do you have any Worldwide touring plans?
There’s not really plans for Touring as this wouldn’t ́t fit in the boys ́schedules. But, we will play a couple of festivals and shows over here in Europe. There’s plenty of offers coming in and we pick out what we can do.
Are there any plans for Refuge that you can reveal to us?
We don’́t plan a longer strategy for Refuge. This shall stay as our fun band, so we keep it all very relaxed. It’s great that the fans like what we do and we hope to have some good times with them, wherever its possible! Thank for your support!