1. Skullbanger: Sir Christopher, I first want to extend my personal thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for my website Skullbanger.net it is very much appreciated. ‘The Omens of Death’ marks your second full length album for your band Charlemagne. It’s a fantastic album. What can you tell everyone out there about the continuing metal saga of Charlemagne?
LEE: Not at all, thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions.
“The Omens of Death” apart from being the continuation to the first album, “By Sword and the Cross”, no longer makes use of the introductions to the songs, or has symphonic elements. This creates a different atmosphere which shapes the story. Throughout Charlemagne’s life, there had been key events which could have taken various turns, and these have shaped the world in which we live today. He was the “Father of Europe” and responsible for carving the map as it is today.
As Charlemagne recounts his life, he focuses on these key elements which represent omens, hence the title “The Omens of Death”. By attempting to unify the people of Europe and take them out of the dark ages of ignorance and chaos, he also created death and destruction.
2. Skullbanger: ‘The Omens of Death’ is obviously a very historically themed album and I feel very very educational. How would you feel if a teacher ever used the Charlemagne albums to teach their students about Charlemagne and his impact on history?
LEE: I think it would be a fun way of learning what is arguably one of the most important times in history, as long of course that the children are of a certain age.
The album is based entirely on the historical events that happened during the life of Charlemagne. We tried to keep any creative license to a bare minimum. So yes, it will be a good way to introduce the story to the younger generations, who hopefully will enjoy the music.
3. Skullbanger: You have obviously been a major influence to metal musicians through your film work, with Tony Iommi giving you credit for helping create the metal genre. How does it feel be credited as being such an influence on the metal genre and now being part of the genre itself?
LEE: Going back to the early stages of my career. My work, my acting has always been influenced by the German composer Wagner. Now that I have been able to listen to many metal albums, I realise that the genre is a direct evolution of the world and the sounds that Wagner imagined. I am of course very pleased and honoured to have been able to carry these themes through.
4. Skullbanger: You have worked with Rhapsody and Manowar and now it seems you have awakened the heavy metal beast inside of you and are doing your own metal albums with Charlemagne. Are there any other heavy metal artists out there you would be interested in collaborating with?
LEE: It’s fair to say that since the early 1970’s I had been asked to do collaborations with metal bands and even now I receive offers from various bands. I guess that the difference between then and now is that I have more time to explore projects that are different and new to me. I take the same approach as when a movie offer comes through, I look at the story and the character that I am asked to portray and if it appeals to me, I will do it.
As things stand now, I am already committed into participating in several projects, one of which will be announced fairly soon.
5. Skullbanger: This is one question I try to ask all the bands I interview and would love to hear your answer. I am originally from Tennessee and Elvis Presley is very popular there. If King Charlemagne were to cover one of the King of Rock and Roll’s songs, which Elvis song would you cover?
LEE: In the 1990’s, I collaborated with Gary Curtis on the song “It’s Now or Never” (O Sole Mio). Gary sung the English part and I sung it in Italian. It was a single released for the charity “Save the Children”, but if Charlemagne was to sing an Elvis song, it would have to be “Surrender”.
You can find out more about Sir Christopher’s new album, ‘The Omens of Death’ HERE