about many years ago from the mind of Ron Langford. The fascination
with the Dragons has been with Ron since 1982 when he and his brother Dave
first met Gary Gygax's cousin in the hills of North San Juan. Gary
Gygax is the creator of TSR and Dungeons & Dragons. When Gary's
cousin first introduced the game, they were extremely interested.
They played all night long and later Ron re-created the game to play with
his friends at school. The fascination turned into an obsession when
Ron discovered Dragons. The creative combined with power, strength,
and intelligence appealed to the very core of Ron. He quickly
studied everything there was on Dragons and found that he was forever
transformed by their existence. Ron became the keyboard Dragon in
1986 and soon created the identity of KeyDragon, keyboardist and screamer
for hire. Many years later, KeyDragon came to the realization that
he would have to create his own band in order to write songs about
Dragons. In 1998, KeyDragon was formed and their first album was
released on Halloween in the year 2000. Below is a current interview
with the publisher of Neo-Zine and Ron Langford.
Neo-zine: Please introduce the members of the band, and
tell us how each contributes to your unique sound?
KeyDragon: The band is constantly changing members and
sound. Currently, we are moving to a more female driven lead vocal sound.
Ron Langford, otherwise known as KeyDragon, writes all of the songs, plays
bass and rhythm keyboards, programs the drums, and records everyone else
in the band. Ron Langford also acts as the leads screamer of the band and
will play less of a role in singing vocals. The vocals will be left to the
Bobby Blackmon has been with the band from the beginning as rhythm guitar
player. He writes all of his guitar parts and influences the band towards
power metal. He also adds black metal guitar parts from time to time.
VSL (Venus, Starlaiit, and Laughter Medicine) are three tribal vocalists
that added onto KeyDragon near the completion of KeyDragons fourth album –
Uncontrollable Forces. Venus will do most of the lead vocals on the 5th
album and will be backed by Starlaiit and Laughter. They bring a
gothic/tribal feel to KeyDragon as well as increasing the vocal sound of
Dan Marshall is a bass vocalist that has worked on previous songs for
KeyDragon. He will be the bass vocalist for the band. His bass vocals are
lower and stronger than KeyDragon. He will also improve the vocals for
Mississippi Bud and Lily White have been released from the band. They have
been part of KeyDragon for the first 4 albums. They have always disagreed
with many of the styles that KeyDragon plays and have put little effort
into learning the material. One of our biggest complaints is about the Sax
playing and the off-tune vocals of Lily White. This major problem will be
eliminated from the fifth KeyDragon album.
The Future Warrior (Dave Baxley) is one of the most important members in
the band. He provides free form synthesis, lead synthesis, and masters the
final product. He has perfect pitch and a great ear for sound.
Neo-zine: Who’s the guy on the cover insert with the
keyboard? He looks big. Can he press a small car?
KeyDragon: The guy on the cover is Ron Langford (KeyDragon).
He’s big. He’s 250 pounds and can bench press over 300 lbs. He has picked
up the back end of a colt and moved it 3 feet so that he could get his car
out of the lot. The CD has a picture of all the band members. The insert
is an 8 page color booklet. Let me know if you want to get it and I’ll
send it to you right away.
Neo-zine: Tell us why you chose to call the band
KeyDragon: When I (Ron Langford) was 14 years old, I came up
with a Keyboard Dragon. Over time, this turned into KeyDragon. I
eventually took the name for myself as a stage name. When I broke off from
my last project (Dry Rot), I formed KeyDragon. I dedicated myself to the
project and whatever happens to other members, KeyDragon remains at the
heart of the project.
Neo-zine: Who does the song writing? What is the writing
process like for you?
KeyDragon: KeyDragon writes all of the songs. I come up with
songs often and easily. The motives usually pop into my head and then I
work them out on the Keyboard.
Neo-zine: How would you explain your sound to those who
have not heard your music?
KeyDragon: Our sound is original. It is what I call
Gothic/Power/Doom metal. I have gothic or dark influences in my song
writing and my thoughts. I often use power or doom metal styled
progressions and guitar riffs. I use female vocals for lead (as of now).
It’s hard to compare us to others. I often put in names of our influences
but I don’t think I’ve properly identified who we really sound like.
Neo-zine: What really separates your music from that of
other people playing similar styles? Have you even heard anyone playing
music that sounds like yours?
KeyDragon: There are lots of things that separate us from
others. I’ve never heard the vocal diversity that we have from any other
band. The bass is done with several keyboards, which makes it a little
thicker than most bass sounds. Both keyboarders use the Korg Prophecy to
produce a moving feel to the sounds. We have three female vocalists and 2
male vocalists that help to create different moods and emotions within the
Neo-zine: Tell us about the new CD “Uncontrollable Forces”
KeyDragon: The CD was named this for two reasons. First, the
songs are all about forces that exist within and around us that we can'’
control. Second, it was the band members influences within the band that
became uncontrollable. This is why Mississippi Bud and Lily White are no
longer with us. A band must be united to succeed. With all of our loose
ends tied up, we can now proceed with a more unified band and sound.
Neo-zine: Are you satisfied with the recording, or are
there things that you would change now that it is done?
KeyDragon: Now that those loose ends are gone, it would have
been nice to complete the album without them. Also, given more time, I
would have liked to train the three female vocalists to the level of
performance that they now possess.
Neo-zine: Is “Uncontrollable Forces” a completely DIY
KeyDragon: All of our albums have been completed by
KeyDragon and members within KeyDragon Studios. Final mixing is done at
the Future Warriors studio.
Neo-zine: What sorts of things do you like to write about?
Any lyric examples you’d care to share?
KeyDragon: Dragons, Dragons, DRAGONS!!!!
I love Dragons and all they represent. To me, a Dragon is a giant beast
that is incredibly strong and intelligent. Strength combined with
intelligence is a powerful combination. Dragons also represent creativity.
Like a Dragon, I try to be strong, intelligent, and creative. I also like
to write about perception. What one person sees as the truth, another
person can see as a lie. No one sees everything the same way.
Neo-zine: Since a lot of your work is “fantasy” related,
any of the band members ever into the fantasy games, movies, literature
that they care to talk about?
KeyDragon: KeyDragon was and is interested in all things
fantasy related. Back in 1982, Ron Langford met Gary Gygax's (inventor of
TSR – makers of D&D) cousin, who had an early version of D&D. I’ve played
this game and many others ever since.
Neo-zine: Who does your cover art?
KeyDragon: A number of people work on the art. I (Ron
Langford) usually do the front cover. I have some of my students compete
for the right to do the back cover. I have also had some of my tattoo
artists work on the CD tops and logos. We just got a new KeyDragon logo
that we’ll put in place soon.
Neo-zine: How have the reviewers been treating the new CD?
Any best/ worst reviews?
KeyDragon: I always get mixed reviews. Many have reviewed
this album as well as previous albums. Some rave about the diversity,
others doom us for it. We write diverse songs, which has also given us
Neo-zine: Do you play much live? What’s the show like?
KeyDragon: We only play a few shows a year. The shows are
well organized and have a lot going on. All of KeyDragons members have
other projects that open up for KeyDragon. At our last show, we had a
guest from the audience receive a tattoo on stage while we performed.
Neo-zine: Are you a very image conscious band?
KeyDragon: Not really. We want to be better accepted in the
Gothic metal genre. We make our image to suite this purpose. Otherwise, we
are all very different than each other. We are alike in that we are all
creative and productive.
Neo-zine: Are you getting some radio play?
KeyDragon: Yes. There are several stations locally and
nationwide (and world wide) that play our music. What’s most amazing is
all of the coverage that we have on the internet. Type in “KeyDragon” into
any search engine and you’ll get page after page of links back to
KeyDragon. We are Everywhere!!!