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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Sorry, pals, but if you are searching for some operatic stuff you’re in the wrong place - what WildeStarr lead singer London Wilde propose is “straight for the jugular, full on metal, more akin to the likes of Rob Halford, Ripper Owens or Ronnie James Dio” stuff.. in few words some good damn power/heavy metal. Taking inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s works, “A Tell Tale Heart” is an utterly impressive” album that features, on the double duty of guitarist and bassist, former Vicious Rumors member Dave Starr that impresses with “his riffs that are huge and heavy as hell” and the latest addition of the drummer Josh Foster. Enjoy this tale @ (via WildeStarr – “A Tell Tale Heart” (2012) « Femme Metal Webzine)
As tradition wants, you cannot call Christmas without a release and tour by extravaganza band Trans-Siberian Orchestra – “Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)” EP (2012) « Femme Metal Webzine)so Tony (our reviewer) have had the tough task to review the latest TSO release “Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)” out now on Universal Republic Records and seems that he liked it very much- he has rated this EP 80 out of 100, read below a few words : “This really isn’t a radical departure musically; it is simply the classic TSO sound. Listening to TSO will always put you in the holiday spirit and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out their Christmas tour – it is quite a spectacular experience.” For continue to read this review check @ (via
We’re a little borderline here at Femme Metal Webzine, we like a bit of everything, so here below we propose a nice interview done a few months ago in Milan during their press tour with singer and mastermind Aaron Stainthorpe and bassist Lena Abé from the UK doomsters My Dying Bride while presenting to the press their last album “A Map of All Failures” out on Peaceville Records.
Hmmm a funny fact, Aaron totally hates the business and what concerns the accountant, want to know more? Continue @ (via Interview : Aaron Stainthorpe & Lena Abé – My Dying Bride « Femme Metal Webzine)
Interview by Ed MacLaren
Denver’s Glass Delirium is a seamless amalgamation of musical influences. Jazz, swing, metal and straight-ahead prog rock all find a place to jam on their fantastic debut album, “Thanks to a Monster’s Many Heads”. Add male/female lead vocals to the mix and Glass Delirium creates a unique musical style and musical approach that doesn’t fail to impress. Vocalist Cassi Mergo took some time from the Glass Delirium summer tour of the southwestern United States to talk to Femme Metal about how to get retro, the benefits of a good education and why it’s good to thank a monster.
OK. Let’s get straight to the point of this entire interview! Who’s the Monster and why are you thanking his many heads?
There are two meanings behind the monster’s many heads. The title of the album actually came from a lyric in our song “Transfixation”. In Revelation 12, a beast with seven heads is talked about (Satan). The lyrics leading up to “thanks to a monster’s many heads” are about (for me anyway) what life is like without Jesus. By “thanking” the “monster”, I am being sarcastic. Kind of like when you say “thanks for nothing”… does that make sense? The second meaning, and the reason we named the album after it, is because all six (sometimes seven, sometimes even eight!) of us are a wee-bit crazy. We have mood swings and disagreements, so we are all kind of the “monsters”, if you will. So, we are thanking ourselves for putting up with one another and making beautiful music together. I hope all of this makes sense!
Seriously though, “Thanks to a Monster’s Many Heads” is a great debut album. It’s full of fantastic proggy arrangements that twist and turn all over. It makes for a very “active” listen; you want to pay close attention to what’s happening musically. Were you satisfied with the final product?
The final product? Overall, yes. Unfortunately, we can’t all be there for the entire process of making an album so I did miss out on some recording and mixing sessions. There are certainly things I would have done differently, but it is more on a performance level than on a technical level. We had one of the best engineers in the state, JP Manza, track and mix our record for us, and he did an amazing job. The reason it sounds so good is because of his hard work and the hard work of Colorado Sound’s mastering engineer, Tom Capek.
How did Glass Delirium develop their sound? Did it evolve gradually or did it just suddenly rear its “many heads” when the band started playing together?
Funny that you should ask! It definitely evolved gradually. Before Glass Delirium, we were Forgotten Serenade and things have certainly changed since those days. As we all became more comfortable with each other, as well as more confident in our capabilities as individual musicians and as a band, I think we began to develop our unique sound.
The album is also a lot of fun! There aren’t too many “fun” prog rock bands out there but with the unique approach the band takes and the little twists – musical (“Transfixation”) and vocal (“Seeing Double”) – you can really feel the band’s enjoyment of creating music. Is that a fair assumption?
No, to be honest, we all hate music. We are just doing it to hopefully be billionaires one day… Just kidding! ;) Yes, we enjoy making music and we enjoy each other. I think we could progress even more and enjoy our time together even more if we got to know each other better on a personal level. But yes, we certainly love the music and all that comes with it!
When the band is writing, is there a lot of jamming involved or does everyone come to the table with their own ideas and then you retool and combine the different elements to fit and work together? What’s the Glass Delirium compositional process?
Hmm… it seems to change. Usually David or Scott will come forward with a riff or melody, and then Matt will add his drums and Robi his bass parts, and vocals are last. It can take months or more to complete a song because we switch things up so much. Vocals are definitely the trickiest part, being that there are two of us.
Every song on TTAMMH has a totally unique vibe playing with different vocal and musical styles. The end product still feels like a very unified album. Did you write the music to tie together or does the album celebrate – track by track – the musical diversity of the band?
Interesting question, I’ve never really thought about that to be completely truthful. We knew we wanted to record an album, so we picked the songs we felt were strongest, and trashed the rest. I suppose it inevitably unites itself; the songs, however, were not written to “connect” per se.
Your “theme” song, “Glass Delirium” is a crazy swing-metal mashup complete with horn section. “An Enigma” also has some jump bluesy influences elements. How does a 21st century progressive rock band get that retro?
Easy answer: study jazz! I am a vocal major at CU Denver, Scott just graduated with a music business degree, Robi is a music education major at Metro and David has taken tons of piano classes and currently studies music at Community College of Denver. All four of us have been exposed to jazz and the way it works. So, we thought it’d be fun to take those elements and apply them to a metal song. I think we pulled it off!
With that said, TTAMMH is definitely progressive but stylistically hard to pin down. What music do you and the other band members use to inspire your own creativity?
Sooo many different kinds! David listens to a lot of electronic pop kind of stuff (think Madonna), Matt likes metal (August Burns Red, Killswitch Engage, etc.), Vince likes progressive and experimental stuff (Mike Patton, for instance) and Scott and I like progressive rock/metal (Tool, Fair to Midland). To be honest, I’m not sure what Robi draws his inspiration from, but I think he likes jazz and classical. We all use bits and pieces of our favorite artists’/bands’ music to help make our own.
The vocals on TTAMMH are fantastic but “The Clearing” is a true vocal showcase for you. You have a wonderful Anneke Van Giersbergen-esque vocal style – clear, strong and powerful, with sweet emotional undertones. How did you develop your vocal style to match Glass Delirium’s musical gymnastics?
Well thank you! I think I just got lucky. I’ve always been a strong belter and that just happened to be what the band was looking for. I was somewhat “grandfathered” in as well, if you will, because Scott and I had been playing music together a couple months prior to the band’s formation. But, like I said before, I study music in college and my instructor knows Glass Delirium and how we sound, so she has helped me develop a stronger foundation for the kind of singing I want to do.
How do you and Vincent Nunez do the vocal arrangements? There are a lot of layering and intersecting melodies between the two of you – it’s not just “OK – You sing, then I’ll sing” kind of stuff. It must have been a blast figuring your parts out!
Well, when Glass Delirium was new, Vince and I didn’t really sit down and talk through the vocals together. It was kind of just like, “I sing what I want to sing, you sing what you want to sing and hopefully it sounds good”. It works sometimes, depending on the melodies and styles we are both singing. A place where it really works is in “Glass Delirium”, over the chorus. We have made it a goal of ours to harmonize in every song and sing the same words (just not in unison), rather than do our own thing. We need to be a team and we can’t make good music if we are only thinking about our own parts.
Denver seems like a bit of a strange place for a band like Glass Delirium to originate. How did you all find each other? Is your sound unique to the area or are there other bands like yours hovering under the radar?
Scott and I started the band. I met him when he was playing in his old band. We found a bass player on campus (our former bass player) who was looking for a band and she started jamming with us. Then we found Matt on Craigslist, I believe, and he stuck. We used to have a different male vocalist, who we found on MySpace, but he was only with us for a short time. David actually came to one of our shows and we announced that we were looking for a keyboardist and he emailed us the next day! As far as being unique to the area, I think we are in a lot of ways, yes. Female vocalists are more and more common these days, but it’s not often that you see a female and a male, both as lead singers, so that helps us out. Also, the fact that 2/3rds of the band has a musical background and can read and understand music helps a LOT! There are lots of great bands in Denver though; we just happen to add some other elements into our music (i.e. jazz), which helps add to our individualistic type sound.
How would you describe the Glass Delirium concert experience? It must be organized chaos on stage… or maybe not so organized? It is organized in the sense that we play from memory! :) But other than that, it is kind of crazy. We all move around a lot and walk all over the stage. I always find myself thinking, “Wow I must look like such an idiot”, but I goof off anyways. We have a lot of fun and we just try to keep the vibes positive and enjoy the music and the audience. We would LOVE to do an East Coast tour, but the time and money it would take to get out there are just not feasible right now. Three of us are in school full time and two of us have jobs that we have obligations to. I think if we ever get signed, we’ll definitely tour the rest of the continental US and hopefully Europe, too! Check us out! If you don’t like us, that’s OK, but if you do, tell your friends! Links Latest Multimedia
It is organized in the sense that we play from memory! :) But other than that, it is kind of crazy. We all move around a lot and walk all over the stage. I always find myself thinking, “Wow I must look like such an idiot”, but I goof off anyways. We have a lot of fun and we just try to keep the vibes positive and enjoy the music and the audience.You’re touring mostly in the south western United States at the moment. Do you have any plans to expand your touring area? Your music would find an audience anywhere in the US or in Europe and South America for that matter.
We would LOVE to do an East Coast tour, but the time and money it would take to get out there are just not feasible right now. Three of us are in school full time and two of us have jobs that we have obligations to. I think if we ever get signed, we’ll definitely tour the rest of the continental US and hopefully Europe, too!(Famous) last words?
Check us out! If you don’t like us, that’s OK, but if you do, tell your friends!
Label : UDR/EMI
Review by Luisa Mercier
Blackmore’s Night on 30th September 2011 held a show in York, England at the Grand Opera House. The Medieval setting of the city provided the right atmosphere for the performance of the duo, famous for its Celtic/faitytale mood. Candice and Ritchie and their band of minstrels entertained the audience with songs from their latest two releases and great classics like “Fires at Midnight”. The costumes, the stage, the instruments, all is set to conjure up the image of a wood off a fairytales book or some Renaissance fair. Candice crystal clear vocals create a magic mood that, in addition to the music, is positive, lively, playful, sometimes melancholic but never too sad. In some songs like “The Circle” the rock roots of Blackmore come alive and the acoustic experience turns into an amazing display of his guitar skills with a prog flavour. A beautiful keyboards solo introduces the instrumental cover of “O Fortuna” off Carmina Burana by Carl Orff and introduces to “Journeyman”. The rest of the tracks alternate old and new in a journy through the different ages of the band and of history. The dvd is clearly for Blackmore’s fans, but I think that also a wider audience might enjoy it goven the quality and the beauty of the music that is close to our own shared history.
Rating - 80/100
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
The first question: Can you tell us something about La-Ventura because the bio on your website isn’t exactly full of details.
La-Ventura started with an advertisement on the internet. Erwin was looking for musicians to form a new band and I responded to his add. We decided to work together and started to write material. After a year we went on looking for other band members and asked Mike and Sascha to join in. From the first moment we played it was chemistry and things went on like a whirlwind. A half year after the formation we recorded our first song “Trefoil” and placed it on MySpace. The reactions we received from all over the world, were (and still are!!!) very positive and two weeks later an American record label showed interest, which resulted in a contract. We were then offered to record a full length album and managed to write and record all the songs in only five months time. Unfortunately the record company was not able to release our album in the right timeline and didn’t come up with a finished (mixed and mastered) product for over half a year. That’s when we decided to pull out the plug and took over the whole production process ourselves. A couple of months later another American Label: Renaissance Records showed up and this time we are very confident that this is the right company for us. Our album will now be released in The US, Canada and Mexico on March 18th and will be distributed worldwide through Koch.
And, why did you choose the name La–Ventura?
La-Ventura is a combination of letters from the words Ventilator and Venturi, the name of an Italian physicist. Both words stand for dynamics which represents our music and show on stage. Later on, we discovered to our surprise that it meant ‘luck’ in Spanish. It has proven to be a very fortunate name for us, because we have had our share of luck already!
You have sung in other bands in the past but those were not really gothic oriented. Are you different in La–Ventura?
During the years of singing, my voice has grown and developed in a mature way. Due to the experience on stage and singing lessons, I now have more power at the higher range of my voice. It helps and challenges me to fully express my passion for this style of Metal orientated music.
What made you decide to become a singer and do you have any role models in the music scene?
It was always a dream to become a singer and I was very lucky to get the opportunity to do so. What first started as a hobby has now grown into a job on a professional level. It was a long way of improving my vocal skills as much as getting enough confidence in myself to be a front lady. Someone who inspired me a lot is Alanis Morissette. Her creative freedom in both composing and lyrics has been a real eye-opener for me.
La–Ventura is not the first Female Fronted Metal band in Holland and most likely not the last. What makes La–Ventura different from all those others that have followed The Gathering since 1993?
I think that the success of band or project lies within the strength of the combination of musicians, each with a different musical and personal background, but with the same passion, ambition, motivation and high level of playing. Then the journey begins but as you point out: nowadays the female fronted metal is overcrowded with good bands and female singers. Therefore we are driven to make the right moves. Thanks to a wonderful management we can make sure that everything is in place. Never the less we will need that little bit of (la ventura) luck….
And, do you think there is a reason behind the fact that female fronted metal or rock bands from Holland have a worldwide succes while traditional male fronted band like Kane to name one have only success in Holland?
All I know is that this type of Metal we play is luckily gaining in popularity all over the world. At this moment the market outside Holland is wide open for this style of music. There is the right attention from the industry and most important the support from the fans for female fronted (Dutch) bands. We are nowhere without the support from those who support us in our work, buying our cd’s, seeing us live and letting us know what they think of the music and all. They make things happen!
Some people might know Erwin Polderman from his years with Orphanage. Who are the other members of La–Ventura? And what can you tell us about them?
We all participated in several bands and projects to name a few: Mike and Sascha spend most of their time with their band Badly Preserved and I joined in bands called Red Alert and DV-us besides other great projects some with big choir and full orchestra. It has certainly helped and devolved us to become the musicians we are today.
La–Ventura’s debut album will be released at 03.18.2008 and is called “A New Beginning”. What can you tell us about this album? Who wrote the lyrics and the music? Is there a musical mastermind in the band or was the writing of the songs teamwork?
I wrote all the lyrics on the album myself. The writing was definitely a band process. We worked with blueprints based on a riff or let’s say a 60% finished idea from one of the band members. We all worked out our own ideas and contributions at home and passed it on through email. This way it was build up piece by piece and later we talked it over to decide its definite form and structure.
What are La–Ventura’s plans for the near future? Are there more gigs to come like the one with Stream of Passion?
Yes, there are some great things in progress. Our US tour is now scheduled for September this year and we are waiting for the exact dates to be confirmed. In the meantime bookers in Belgium, France, UK and Holland are working hard to get us out there. I am sure that in the near future we’ll share the stage with more big names. Keep checking our websites!
Are there things the reader should know that I haven’t ask?
We are very happy with the opportunity to do interviews like this. Thanks to the support of many dedicated people there is now a lot of information to be found on the internet. And of course people are always welcome to meet us live at our gigs so we can answer their questions personally.
Interview by Robin Stryker
As Halloween creeps closer on stealthy black-cat feet, my musical taste shifts gears towards darker fare, and you can’t get much darker than “A New Dawn…”, the sophomore album by German doom blues/dark rock band, Reactive Black. It’s like a triple-shot of espresso… dark and delicious but the bitter after-taste lingers. Femme Metal caught up with Sassy Skeleton and Rotten, the masterminds behind Reactive Black for a shockingly candid discussion about their music and their views on politics and religion. Read on, if you dare.
Interview by Scott Johnson
We are ready to enmbrace the loneliness of the sinner? Apperently yes, so we took contact with the French lady Maud Hernequet to explain and discover more about this progressive metal reality. Take a seat and greet with open arms Céphée Lyra’s world.
Hi Maud and welcome to Femme Metal.net. How are you doing, at the moment?
Pretty well actually, with the holidays and the New Year, it’s a good moment to make new projects and take good resolutions!
You are the lead singer of Céphée Lyra, a progressive metal band from Chambéry (France), that mixes progressive music with lyrical singing in its sound. What could you tell us about this mix?
We have always been huge fans of progressive metal bands, such as Symphony X, Dream Theater etc. on the one hand and lyric metal bands on the other hand, like Nightwish, Therion (even though we’re not actually listening to them anymore, but that’s another story!). We wanted our music to bring something new and spontaneously we started to compose those strong progressive instrumental lines with my classic singing. When the band started in 2009, it was pretty innovating!
You have one EP, called “Dawn of Revelation”, that has been released in 2010 and your debut full-length album, “A Sinner’s Loneliness”, that has been released last year in your discography. How was composing and producing an entire album, unlike composing an EP?
We never actually composed FOR the EP or FOR the album… in both cases, we already had existing songs which we were sure to add on the list, and as we went along and decided to make that or that project, next songs in process would follow the tone given by the former ones. The record process however is very different from one case to the other one. It took us little less than 3 months between the moment when we started to record DOR and the release date; as for ASL, the same process lasted almost a year and a half! Of course, for our album everything was home-made so that automatically takes a longer period of time, but we were exhausted at the end!
The artwork of the album is quite mysterious and well done. What does it represent? What’s the real meaning behind it?
The album cover is the Sinner pointed out by the album’s title: “A Sinner’s Loneliness”. It is neither a woman nor a man, it could be you, could be me and could you reader… any body because everyone once has committed a fault in their life. It is a universal figure which everyone could identify to. The setting could be the chaotic background of every single song of the album. The booklet illustrations are also taking the listener deeper into each parts meanings… we were very happy with what our friend Natacha did, however we were disappointed with the quality of the paper cover, which ended up a lot darker than the original illustrations that she made on the computer. This is probably a mistake that we won’t make on our next productions.
Taking a listen to the album, I’ve noticed on the intro, “Daysof Wrath”, a little similarity (or maybe it’s a whole arrangement) with Mozart, which is one of the biggest composer from the Classical Era. What could you tell about it? Was this choice due to your classical singing or was it something previously decided?
You’re right; it is our own version of Mozart’s “Dies Irae” from the Requiem! First of all yes, it comes from my personal taste in classic music and Mozart especially but also because Sylvain, our composer, is also a huge fan of classic music. We had been thinking about a classic piece metal cover and this is what we first thought about! We’re very proud to have given it our personal touch, in two very different genres, with the first and also very last tracks of the album.
In this album we find a lot of good elements, like symphonic and progressive ones (used, for example, in the song “Horsemen of the Apocalypse” or “Deeper into Rage”), and classical singing as I’ve said before, but we also find male voices. What do you think of this opera style mixed with some other genres? Did you want to experiment lot of things inside this band, just to end up in a good result?
We wanted to deliver a universal message about fault and loneliness. And because we wanted everyone to recognize him/herself in our songs characters, we found it was important to have different voices. Therefore you’ll find my lyric voice but also heavy one (which simply has nothing to do with the first one!), heavy male singing as well as grunting but also a choir made of four more singers (two women and two men, working with me on classic projects). Everybody can identify to a voice according to his personal past experience and present feelings. It also makes the whole listening more pleasant because of huge variety of voices and singing.
Your voice, at a certain point, reminded me of Tarja Turunen (ex vocalist from Nightwish) in her “early” ages. Is there a connection in it/with her? I mean: is she a person from whom you get your own inspiration?
The comparison always pleases me and “annoys” me at the same time! We both are sopranos so of course the tone of voice is quite alike but I don’t see why should it be more similar than all those clear-singers whose voices always sound the same but who are never compared to one another! But like I say it pleases me at the same time because she is a very talented singer with a great technique and she is the reason why a lot of young singers started to find interest in classic singing and opera in general. Personally, I was already into my classic singing process, but she helped me realize that singing opera could be possible in a metal band
In the track called “A Destructive Victory” we find a new element: the grunt vocals. Why have you chosen of putting this ‘detail’ into a song of a band whose style defines itself as “progressive music meets lyrical/opera singing”?
Once more, this has to do with the message we wanted to get across and because we thought it was the right song for that as it deals with chaos and Evil, therefore embodied by his voice. One more important thing is that we definitely didn’t want people to think that Céphée Lyra is just about lyric singing. That pisses a lot of people off, including us! So that was a choice we made within our constant will of variety.
What can you tell us about the lyrics and the writing/mixing process? How much of yourself do you put in the writing process or in the total work of the band?
I write almost all CL’s lyrics. Sylvain wrote two texts in the past, one on the EP and one on ASL. I never ask myself where to find inspiration… sometimes it can come from the feeling I have when I listen to the demo of the song and as I start to compose my vocal lines; sometimes from a temporary title that would be given to the song, or sometimes when the guys talk to me a feeling, or sometimes even just a word! When I start writing, it’s usually very quick, a few hours maximum. Once you get the engine started, there’s no way you can stop it until the road comes to an end! I write my vocal lines myself, alone where no one can hear me, and I wait until I’m satisfied with the result before trying it in a rehearsal session.
You’re an opera singer, so your voice needs lot of training, I assume. How much time do you dedicate yourself to train your voice?
It actually depends on the time I have and the quantity of stuff I have to work on! I’m still a student at the conservatory (National Music Academy) and apart from that and CL, I’m a solo singer in a lyric company, so in general I have a lot of pieces to prepare and I work on my technique when preparing them. But I try not to sing 100% of my voice each time I work on something. We are our own instrument, so we must learn how to save it sometimes!
Is there any particular person/singer/band who has been an inspirational source for you? What are the bands or music that it influences you the most?
Tarja Turunen convinced me that my project with metal music could be possible. Floor Jansen is a great model concerning her way of mastering both classic and heavy singing without boring anyone. Natalie Dessay, Diana Damrau and my own singing teacher at the conservatory are models for my classic career. Concerning bands, I think Therion and Ayreon have made an incredible path since their very beginning and I’d love if CL could have the same kind of career!
Female fronted metal bands from France are not that known in Europe. What do you think about this? I know that the metal business in France is pretty hard and not every band is able to reach the “fame”…
You’re absolutely right! But I think it’s even more than that. French metal bands in general are having a very hard time to make themselves an international name. It took years for Adagio to get famous (even in France) and now only a few bands are starting to emerge, like Whyzdom or Kells and still they had to get signed abroad or create their own label… I can’t really explain why because I don’t really know how metal albums actually sell in France if we compare to Italy, GB or Scandinavian countries. Metal festivals, like Hellfest, are also struggling with authorities and region councils to renew each year. But like I say, this is something I notice but simply can’t explain!
Is there a band, maybe a French one, you would like to cooperate with?
How could I give you just one?! Let’s give you a top 5, that will make my task easier! Arjen Lucassen with Ayreon and Star One, Symphony X, Therion, Adagio, Eilera… OK that’s 6, but I can’t help it!
Currently, you haven’t a deal record with any label. Is there a label you would like to work with nowadays or maybe in the future?
Ascendance Records and Inside Out are two great labels that we’d be honoured to be signed to.
What do you think the future might bring to Céphée Lyra? Is there something that you have wished for so long and that you wasn’t able to satisfy? Like a tour, or a collaboration with a particular band? A deal record?
We just got our drummer back from 6 months in Scotland, so at the moment we’ll just be more than happy to get the rehearsals started again! We’re planning to book a few concerts dates, and we’ve working on many new songs that we’re planning to record on an EP. A record deal would be a great thing but we’re not actually looking for any at the moment. We’ll probably wait for a better quality EP to offer the labels,and then consider a second album after being signed.
Ok, thanks so much for this nice chat. Would you like to tell something to Femme Metal readers and/or Céphée Lyra fans?
Thanks very Scott for this interview. Happy Heavy New Year to Femme Metal and CL fans!
Interview by Miriam NocturnalConcerto
Transcription by Robin Stryker
I cannot tell you how excited I was to doing this interview with Danny Cavanagh, Anathema singer and guitarist, for a lot of causes, take it because was my first phoner interview, take it because I was worried that something gone wrong. The interview has started with a delay of 30 minutes preview by the slot I was very nervous but in the end I’m happy to share with you this interview, hope like it!
Since are passed 7 years from your last album “A Natural Disaster”, why it passed so much time?
Well, mainly it is because we didn’t have a manager. We didn’t have a record company, and one or two of our band members had family commitments they had to attend to. Different things were happening in their lives. You know, at the time, you don’t realise… one month becomes another month, becomes another month. It was just one of those things. Without a record company, it was just something that happened, and it will never happen again.
And also we must add that is your first album under KScope Music (excluding the semi acoustic album “Hindsights”), why have you chosen this label?
Why did we choose KScope Records? Well, they are very good and they believe in us very much and they wanted it more than anybody else did. They were really keen to have our record, and they wanted it for many years. We saw that, with the work they did on “Hindsight”, they are actually quite good. They do things properly and they don’t spend a fortune. They don’t spend quite a lot of money wastefully. Our manager — we have a manager now — he recommends we take this and we did. We were not the kind of band at that time that could attract a much bigger label, so we went with that one. We are happy and I am happy that we did.
I make a question about the title of the new album - it sound like a statement, who came up with title and why?
Well it’s not very very important and it’s not very meaningful. It is the title that we all liked. It’s the only title that everybody in the band liked. We couldn’t find another one where six people agreed. That’s the only one that six people agreed on. For me personally, it doesn’t have the greatest meaning for the songs. It does though, however, suggest the bond that we have as a band together… the family, the friendships, the caring that we have for each other. It is suggested in that title because we are here for each other, so I like it for that reason. I like it because it suggests “being there for each other” to me. It’s not a great statement, it’s not a spiritual statement or an anti-religious statement, or anything. It is just the fact that we all like it. Also, the fact is, it comes from a very moving story from the First World War in Europe when many, many millions of men and women died for no real reason. That was one of the most extreme situations that humanity has ever seen. And, during that war, young men in England used to sing this song, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. You can actually hear a very small selection of that song… as the song “Hindsight” is tuning into the radio, you can hear it there. They used to sing that song in defiance of the situation that they were in. They were in an impossible situation, and there was no reason for them to be there, so they used to sing that song, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. We like that story. And we like the meaning behind it and the memory of those men, so we chose it.
A question about the cover - How’s your interpretation and in some manner, is it related to the lyrics of the album?
Yes and no, really. The front cover and all of the artwork is related to Anathema, to the people and to our childhood, our story, and to our personalities. They are childhood memories of everyone… an old school, an old playing field, an old street that we lived in. The beach with the man in the distance is actually Liverpool Beach in the north of Liverpool. The mountains in the distance are the Welsh Mountains, the mountains of Wales where we spent many, many years on holiday as kids. So, what I love about the artwork and title is not that it relates very, very, very closely to the meaning of the songs. It relates to the meaning of the band and to the people in the band and the personalities and the family and the heritage and the love and the memories that we have together. And that’s why I like it.
I’ve listened to album like I said before and my favourite album song is “Everything” with the duet of Lee. What your favourite track?
My favourite track is “Dreaming Light” because it is probably the most personal one to me, and it is the one I am most proud of it. That’s my favourite one, but I love them all really. I think it’s the first record that … okay, well maybe not … I would say that it’s a consistently good album. All the songs are very good, and (for me) one or two are truly great. Those two would probably be “Dreaming Light” and “Universal”. What I like about “Dreaming Light” is the optimism in the melody and the emotion in the melody. I remember the day it was written, I remember how it came through me and I remember how I felt after it was written. It was just a special time. It was a special feeling to have that feeling come through. To feel that tune and feel those words. I do think it’s a gift. That song is a gift.
So now I have three curiosity to satisfy: How’s born the collaboration with HIM singer Ville Valo, how’s working with Steven Wilson and who sang the spoken words on “Presence”?
Ville Valo is a lovely guy. He is a very nice person, and I like him very much. He is a good friend. And that is the only reason, really, that we asked him to do it. He’s been very kind to Anathema and he’s been a loyal fan, if you like, of the band. He likes the band very much and he’s been supportive of Anathema very much. I wanted in a way to say “thanks” to Ville Valo because he’s been such a gentleman and a kind person to us that it felt appropriate for me to ask him. And he said yes. It was simple and he has added something very good to the song. It’s a background, but it works for me. He adds something to the song “Angels” and doesn’t take anything away. I like it very much. And that was really just a matter of friendship, he’s a good friend. Second question, Steve Wilson. Well, that was much more involved because we worked together for two weeks to mix the record, or maybe longer. It was a great pleasure working with him because he is very very very good at what he does. So I would go to his house, sit on the couch and drink tea and listen to his work and comment and work on the collaboration and he would suggest some things. He would try to make us think carefully about all the choices that we’re making, and he would try to encourage more simplicity in the record. I had a clear vision, almost, of how it should sound. What I appreciated about Steve was his willingness to allow us to follow that vision and to only speak up when he really felt that something was a little bit wrong. We worked well together. There was no real difficulty and I like him very much. So that was a great pleasure and I am delighted we did that collaboration with him. I think it makes a difference in the impact of the record also, because people are talking about this record because of it. The final question was the spoken word on “Presence”. That is an interview I made with a gentleman in Liverpool , England where I was living at the time. A gentleman called Stan Ambrose. He is a very beautiful person, he’s a musician and a radio presenter. He was involved in counselling for a long time and he is a local activist. Just a gentleman who many people like… many people like this man. He is very humble, very kind and we became friends. We started to talk about spiritual things and the essence of life and these things. He’s always been interested in those things, interested in mediation and all that stuff. So I interviewed him actually in the Cathedral — in Liverpool Cathedral I interviewed him – and he began talking about a book by Eckhart Tolle, who is a spiritual writer, a very successful spiritual writer whose message of stillness is making an impact around the world. Stan is a person who is very much interested in these things and very sincere. When he spoke to me about this, he almost had a tear in his eye. I made the interview with him, and it just seemed to fit with the song, “Presence”. Also, the fact is that he is talking a little bit about the possibility of life beyond death and I know that he was thinking about that. And that relates directly to “Angels Walk Among Us”, which is also asking that question. Just the same as “Are You There?” was asking that question: “Is there something beyond?”
With this album you have confirmed Lee Douglas like a full member in Anathema. Can you give more infos about her and say something about the decision to confirm her in the line up.
Lee is family, and a very good friend, and a very very good singer. She was always there… she sang on all the records since “Judgement”. Ever since “A Natural Disaster”, she became more involved because she sang the lead vocal on that song. It just, you know, developed. When she came to the studio to record, she did say that she would like to be more present at the live concerts because she has to balance it with work and stuff. She has always been there, really. If I’m honest, she’s always been there, so it’s okay. We are very glad about it because she is one of us. She does fit very well — a very good singer, easy-going and easy to be around, fun. So, no problem there, really. We’re happy about it.
So, now some advices for the new fans, what Anathema album to advise to start from?
I would advise to begin with the new album, “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. That’s what I would advise. And the reason is because that is the best one, and also it’s the picture of who Anathema really is right now. I would start with this record. I would suggest that it is just open-minded music. A powerful rock band, it’s emotional and it’s honest and it’s real … from the heart.
I would say that you have similitaries with The Gathering, you know, you first started like a doom metal band after you came through with an alternative rock band.
I understand what you’re saying. They really developed and changed and grew into much more of an alternative rock band. And I suppose we did the same. But, I’m looking at the interview schedule and it’s still Metal webzine, it’s in Metal Maniac, it’s in Metal Hammer (Germany). Those are our roots. The band is much more than metal and has not been a metal band for many years. Real musicians — like Radiohead or The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, U2, band like this – the real musicians, they do evolve. We are of that stock. I love Iron Maiden and their music has evolved a little bit. Our heritage is much more in the Radiohead, the Pink Floyd, the Led Zeppelin and the Sabbath and that area of evolution, which is much more expansive and open-minded. That’s just our style. And if they don’t like it, that’s tough shit.
What are the next band planes (talking about tours ecc.)?
We are in between playing Turkey and Russia right now. In three days we’re going to Russia, and then there is a show in London. Then I’m touring with Anneke van Giersbergen in South America. It’s just one or two festivals over the summer and a time over the summer to collect ourselves, to relax, to gather our strength and to do some new writing. Then, in the autumn, a natural machine will start, and a long tour will happen. I look forward to that, actually.
We know that you do acoustic tours with Anneke van Giersbergen andnow I make you a question, do you think that in the future there will be a project or a collaboration with Anathema? I mean not only with your solo project…
We have talked about that, and she would be welcome because she is such a great person and such a great singer. So, she would be welcome. But, the fact is, we have a female vocalist in the band. You know what I mean? Lee has the voice for our style, so she’s in the band. I did have ideas for Anneke to sing on the new record and she would have sounded beautiful. But Lee Douglas is there and she’s committed and it wouldn’t really be appropriate. But we certainly love Anneke very much. She has sung live with Anathema. We love her very much. I think she is a wonderful person and a really wonderful singer and a really good professional. Of course, it’s a possibility.
So we’re at end greet as you want our readers.
Thank you, my dear. Ciao and grazie.
Interview by Si Smith
Alchemy Room are a Italian progressive rock band born on 2007 and have already on their discography 2 EP that, now thanks to Nomadism, are out. The first one is a re-release of the first EP called “Origin of Fears” released in 2009 and the brand new EP “A Matter of Time”. While waiting for a uncoming full lenght, we have spoken with Irene, the singer for unveil us more about the history’s band.
First of all thank you for talking to us, and a warm welcome from all at Femme Metal Webzine. Fabio La Manna started the project in January 2007, how did you get involved in the beginning, and what were you expecting or hoping at the time?
I met Fabio at the beginning of 2009; I was in a Europe cover band and was looking for something more interesting and challenging to put my voice to the test. So I answered Fabio’s announcement and met him, Andy and Tommy to listen to “Origin of Fears” songs that were already written and ready to be registered. I loved the vocal lines as soon as I heard them and decided to join Alchemy Room. My expectation was to make music with someone who could appreciate my vocal skills and at the same time make me grow as a singer and I’m happy with my choice because I also found good friends.
The ideas and visions for the band seem to have originally come from Fabio’s head. What is it like inside his head? Have you guys managed to work him out yet?
He is impossible to understand what’s going on in Fabio ‘cause he’s totally crazy. Anyway we are focusing on what we.re doing together as a band and we’re following the same path knowing where we want to go.
The name “Alchemy Room” suggets a place where different elements are brought together to create something new and unique. How well does this describe the band itself?
From our biography I could say: Alchemy Room Is a place where everything can happen,when different elements united.sometimes we feel this happens in our hearts, in our minds. Art is usually created by a single, in a chamber or in his personal studio. Everybody’s got his personal place that is very important, more important than any other place of the world, ‘cause a strange alchemy exists thereIn alchemy every part has its proper place, what would you say are the essential parts that go into creating an Alchemy Room song? The original album “Origin of Fears” (2009) seems to have had an impact on some reviewers who were expecting Alchemy Room to be the average female-fronted symphonic prog-metal band. It is clear that the band is more than that. Has the new material advanced the band in any way? Is there anything new in there for us to discover?
“Origin of Fears” is a wonderful work entirely conceived and written by Fabio, so it belongs more to his way of composing instrumental structures and of writing lyrics even though the rest of the band put something personal in the execution. The new material is the attempt for us to write something as Alchemy Room, an experimentation in a way trying to find Alchemy Room’s sound.
On the first album there was quite a focus on Fabio’s guitar solos. Did you ever feel you wanted more singing and less guitar soloing?
I would lie if I said that I’m happy to sing for the first 3 or 4 minutes of a song that lasts 15 minutes! “Origin of Fears” songs are the result of the development of Fabio’s creative path and I think it.s more natural for a guitarist to explain himself in songs through instrumental parts than by singing. And it sounds much more natural also when you don’t know if you will
find someone able to sing those songs.
Dream Theater and Pink Floyd are both names that seem to crop up in comparison to Alchemy Room. Do you think these are fair comparisons? Are there any bands YOU like to listen to?
I’m really pleased to hear that someone compared us to Dream Theater and Pink
Floyd. Surely these bands inspired us and are points of reference as for the goals we want to reach. I started thinking that I could sing when I was 6, listening to music with my brothers; I became more convinced when I discovered Queen at the age of 12. Freddie Mercury was for several years a sort of vocal coach. So Queen is the band I love the most and that I listen to often. I also like listening to Joan Baez, Carole King, Johny Mitchell and all the classic bands of the 60-70s, but also Tool, Nightwish, Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson is something powerful).For me “Waking the Child” was one of the highlights from the first CD. Is there a particular concept in mind when you sing this song?
Both “Waking the Child I & II” are among my favourites “Origin of Fears” songs. I feel a real pleasure in singing them. “Waking the Child I” grows from a grey, sad and delicate atmosphere into a powerful one. When I sing “Waking the Child II” I feel a real sense of tenderness and peace.And so onto “A Matter of Time”, which has no extended songs over 13 minutes, but shorter songs apparently making just as much impact. Have you any favourite among the new material?
I’m affectionate to all the songs of “A Matter of Time”, but my favourite is “Into the Deep” because is my first attempt to write a song.
“Into the Deep” seems to be much more like a classic song structure than some of your progressive epics. Was this a deliberate attempt to write a more “straightforward” song? Or to include less of the musical meanderings?
The explanation is much more simple. Into the deep reflects my way of writing and my way of being; I like to be linear, both as for the structure as well as for the content of a song. Also in life I go straight to the point.
“Indigo” starts with a slow minimal backing over which you begin to sing. How does a song like this end up in its final form? Do the words come first or the music?
Fabio wrote first the lyrics, then he brought them in studio with a draft of the instrumental line that was developed with Andy and me. We wanted to express a dreamlike atmosphere as the lyrics inspire. Andy came in studio one day with the initial baking and Fabio and I liked it. The rest of the song came alone.The longest of the new songs is “A Matter of Time”, which has quite philosophical lyrics. Are these philosophical thinkings Fabio’s territory alone, or do you all share in the motivation behind the lyrics?
“A Matter of Time” deals with the consciousness of the existence of other life forms (maybe alien populations) besides humanity. I do not completely share this position, but I believe that there can be a contact with other entities (maybe the departed) who send signals to us in the everyday life. There must be something more than humanity and its madness!
Finally, it is very clear that you fit well into the band - but what would you be doing if you were not in this band? Any other dreams you have?
I would be surely singing in another band because it’s part of me. Thanks so much for talking to us, we wish the album success in the future. Thank u for all! Hope u enjoy our album and keep in touch with us!