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Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
After a successful European tour supporting Lacuna Coil, American electronic rock trio This Is She are just enjoying some relax, so Ary R, our collaborator, took the occasion to ask some questions to Alana Grace, the singer, about the band’s origin, the new EP “Nobody Is Ok” and rainsing awareness. Alana says about this matter :”It’s a big deal when musicians give back to the community that has given them so much and part of that is speaking out against what is wrong and helping to inspire others to do the same.”. Have you had the fortune is see them during a LC gig? Or simply your are intrigued ‘cause you have heard about the drummer’s former project, After Midnight? The only thing that remains to do is click below and read this extensive interview. (via INTERVIEW: Alana Grace – This Is She « Femme Metal Webzine)
Interview by Vard Aman
We are all familiar with the big names of female fronted Metal: Nightwish; Within Temptation; Lacuna Coil; etc. These are the names that dominate the scene and these are the names that dominate conversations when the topic turns to female fronted Metal. We may say, and correctly so, that this is deserved because they are all really good bands, but there is another reason too; and that reason is simply that these are the names that we have all gotten to know, one way or another. Beyond these big names, there are numerous bands that are much less well known. Some of these bands, it is probably true to say, are mediocre at best; but some of them we will find are very good bands indeed! We just have to look for them. And if we do, every now and then, we may find a band that is of truly outstanding quality – an overall package of both artistry and professionalism that easily rivals, and even surpasses many of the best and the biggest that the scene has to offer. I believe that I have found just such a band! They’re called Delia, and they come from Kiev, Ukraine. Delia present a highly professional and complete package, excelling in all aspects of what they do: their creativity; their songwriting; their performance; their live shows; the quality of their productions; and their music videos. They have very quickly become one of my favorite bands! Fronting Delia is Anastasia Sverkunova – a vocalist with a truly immense voice. She is highly versatile and possesses a huge range. She is capable of both raw power and intricate subtlety, and she sings with real feeling and emotion. Her voice dominates, yet blends with the music simultaneously. She has very quickly become one of my favorite singers! And I got the chance to interview her!
Hi Anastasia! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, it’s a great pleasure to have the chance to talk to you! First of all, could you introduce us to the members of Delia?
Hi Vard! I’m very glad to talk to you too. Here we are: me, Anastasia Sverkunova – vocals, Sergey Sirko – guitars, Michael Gudzenko – bass-guitars and Vitaliy Tolkachev – drums.
How did you all meet and how did the band start?
One night of August 2005 I was reading some topics on the music forum and found some ads about needed vocalists to different bands. I had already had experience in playing and singing in bands before and decided to try again. So I called to the first phone number I saw on the first ad and Sergey replied me. The next weekend was our first rehearsal.
How did you choose the name Delia? Does it have any special meaning?
When we just started to play together we still didn’t have a name. All of us offered different variants but we couldn’t find the best one. And one day I was reading psychological vocabulary and found the word “delia” (which means “illusion” in Greek) and it was the right choice! But the meaning of the name according to our music is the issue for long thinking and discussions – everyone can explain it as he likes.
How would you describe Delia’s music?
Mmm… it’s the most FAQ, that we have no clear answer. Mostly our style is described as “symphonic metal”, earlier it used to be described as “gothic metal”. But each new song has a bit different sound than previous, and we don’t like to put our music in “style framework”. So… let it be metal, just not ordinary Ukrainian metal.
What would you say are the main influences for you music?
There are lots of bands we like, and they are really very different as every member of Delia has absolutely different music preferences. But in common, they are Lacuna Coil, Rammstein, Evanescence, Korn, Within Temptation and from non-metal – Bjork, Lara Fabian, even Skrillex and many many others.
Tell us a little about your releases so far.
Our first serious release was in February 2010, it was our CD “Spogad” (“Recollection”). We have 2 versions of the album – Ukrainian and English. Ukrainian version we released at ЯОК Music company – Ukrainian label and English one we didn’t release officially yet as we are still looking for a good label abroad to cooperate with. The CD consists of 13 songs and 2 bonus-tracks, one of which is in Spanish. In autumn 2011 we also released EP “Vogon” (“Fire”), also in 2 versions – 1 for our Ukrainian and Russian fans, and 2 – for our fans abroad. You can download both versions for free on our official website.
Do you have any personal favorites from your releases and/or songs that have a special meaning for you?
Every song is special for me, ‘cause every song is kind of the description of a period of my life - not only real events that happened to me, but my thoughts, worries, doubts, memories, hopes, impressions etc. And each 2-3 months I have my new favorites. Previous one was “Sprobuy” (“Try”) form the EP, now it’s the new song that will be released soon (I hope).
You were born in Pripyat just before the Chernobyl disaster and the song “Dead City” is about Pripyat and dedicated to its memory. Many of the scenes for the video were shot on location in Pripyat. What was it like going back there and filming there?
It wasn’t my first trip to Pripyat after Chernobyl disaster. I have already visited my native city before making the video. But each time I come back to that place I feel mix of emotions – from despair, sadness and even fear to enchantment, unreality… Absolutely empty city… just huge trees through the buildings and total silence… It’s very hard to explain – you should visit that place.
What are your plans for the future and what can we expect from your next album?
The nearest upcoming event is the release of our new video to the song “Vogon” (“Fire”) – both in Ukrainian and English versions. Hopefully we all can enjoy it in February. Next album is a difficult question, because now Delia has a period of experiments and all our new songs are in different styles and mixed languages and there are still many things we want to try and to use in our new tracks. I hope that this year we will have some releases but it’s the question if it’s gonna be an album or some different singles. Anyway we will try our best to surprise our fans and extend our capabilities!
Do you have plans to get a permanent keyboardist?
We don’t have a plan to find a permanent keyboardist, but we are open for cooperation and will be happy if one more good person will join our “family” – whether keyboardist, DJ, violinist etc.
One of the many things I really like about Delia is the amount of creative attention to detail in all aspects of what you do – from your songwriting and playing, to your videos and your live shows. A good example for me is some of the subtleties in the storyline (and in the editing) of the video for “Zabutiy Krai” (“Forgotten Land”) that I only picked up after watching it several times, and the overall product certainly made me want to watch it on repeat. Is this a dedicated effort or is it just the natural way you do things? Or both?
We really pay much attention to the details because the details are the least visible but the most important part of the product. But we don’t make any special effort, we just work like we do and hope that our fans enjoy the results.
What is the metal scene like in Ukraine? Do you get a lot of support at your shows?
Unfortunately Ukrainian metal bands are not very demanded among Ukrainians. When world metal stars come to Ukraine – there are thousands of fans who come to their shows. But when Ukrainian bands perform we can hardly see more than 300 people in a hall. Of course everything depends on organization, how popular is the band and how many shows are the same day. But it’s strange that even our band, who is popular enough in Ukraine and not very popular outside the country, receives more requests for CD purchase from abroad than from our native country. Ukrainians are very special people, if you want them to love you, you should firstly become popular somewhere abroad. But those people who come to our shows give us really as much support as we expect and to play for them is a real pleasure!
Have you played any shows outside Ukraine?
No, unfortunately we haven’t yet. Honestly, before previous year we didn’t try hard to become well-known abroad but now we have changed our approach and hopefully will perform somewhere outside Ukraine very soon.
What parts of playing in a band do you like the most?
At rehearsals I like when we play new songs and make new covers to our favorite bands. But all of us like the most the live shows, especially if it is recital or themed concert. And, of course, the process of songwriting is also one of my favorite part of work!
And what parts, if any, don’t you like so much?
Hmm… as for me, it’s the time of the last editing of a song at the studio. All the time I find something that I’d like to change and can not stop! I always need someone to stop me or we would never finish this process.
Outside of Delia do you have any special interests and things you like doing?
OMG, there are soooooo many things… I like travelling, learning languages, dancing (each term different style), roller skating, playing the violin and the piano, snowboarding, kart racing, translating poetry, kayaking, horse riding and lots of other things… Honestly it’s a problem for me because I want to try everything but at the end I’m not good enough in anything… But it’s who I am.
I hear Michael is an avid rally driver. Does he race often?
Michael is really very interested in racing, he participates in some local rallies and hopefully we will see him on the pedestal of WRC soon!
Thank you very much for the interview Anastasia! We’re hoping to hear and see much more of you in the future, and I am certainly going to be following Delia very closely!
Thank you very much! We will be happy to inform you and all our fans about all our news and upcoming events!
Label : Century Media Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Italy’s greatest metal export Lacuna Coil returns with their 6th album. It’s been almost 3-years since they released “Shallow Life” to mixed reviews. Their new album “Dark Adrenaline” sees the band getting back to basics and rocking out, with their trademark vocal duels between Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro and the band has never sounded better. With all due respect to their more recent outputs, my favorite Lacuna Coil albums have always been their first EP and “In a Reverie” and I always found it strange that the band never plays (or even acknowledges) any songs from those albums these days. Don’t get me wrong, I have liked – for the most part – what came after, there has certainly been much, much more good than bad in regards to their music. Having said that, in my opinion “Dark Adrenaline” is the best and most consistent Lacuna Coil album since “In a Reverie”. The proof is in the material, like the album opener “Trip the Darkness”. This is a great opener that just screams ‘we’re back’. “Against You”, “Upside Down” and “End of Time” are all potent tracks, especially “End of Time”. This would make a great second video in my opinion. This is just a great, melodic mid-tempo song, which reminded me why I fell in love with this band in the first place. “I Don’t Believe in Tomorrow” brings back the power and heavy riffs. “Intoxicated” is a fist pumping, head banger of a track that really gets the blood pumping, which the next track “The Army Inside” is more than happy to continue with that style and even includes a great guitar solo. There is even a cover of the REM track “Losing My Religion”, done in Lacuna Coil style, if I may say so; I think this leaves the original in the dust. “Dark Adrenaline” is an impressive return to form by Lacuna Coil and it made me a huge fan once again. 2012 is off to a great start!
Rating - 90/100
Label : Femme Metal Records
Review by Tony Cannella
Here we are again. This is the latest compilation album put out by Femme Metal Records and like the ones before it, this is as comprehensive a look into the Femme Metal scene that you are going to find anywhere. “Melody and Malice” features 32-songs and over two hours worth of music spread out over two discs, in short, this compilation is packed to capacity with some great music. The beauty of compilations such as this is that it displays how wide and varied the Femme Metal genre is. All styles are well represented here, from power metal to symphonic metal to goth metal to prog metal to thrash metal, well you get the point. CD 1 begins with the modernized metal warfare of Deadlock with the track “Virus Jones”. Exoterik is next with the great track “Revive”, another modern metal song with some great moments of melody. Kittie is ferocious as ever with “Cut Throat” and In This Moment are on hand with the ultra melodic “A Star Crossed Wasteland”. Mongrel contributes the chugging, marching vibe of “Zombie War”. This compilation does a great job in mixing the well known bands such as Kittie, Lacuna Coil and Arch Enemy with some of the more obscure acts like Regardless of Me, Katra and Alerion and it all flows together quite nicely. The first disc is completed by the raucous hard rock of Jaggedy Anne (who also gets my vote for the best band name). It would be difficult to go track-by-track (not to mention long), but suffice it to say there is something for everyone here. Some other highlights that can be found on disc one are: the great classic metal outfit from Poland, Crystal Viper with “Blood of the Heroes”, “And Their Eulogies Sang Me to Sleep” by the Canadian metalcore troupe The Agonist and the UK’s Sarah Jezebel Deva with “The Corruption of Mercy”. Disc 2 begins with the Romanian Power Metal band Magica with “Wait for Me”, which is one of their very best songs (in my opinion). With compilations such as this, it is possible to find those gems that otherwise you might not be privy to. One such band for me, would have to be Witchburn from the U.S. I was completely blown away by this band and their down tuned contribution “Bleed the Stone”, just excellent. After that, we get the more familiar with Austria’s Edenbridge and The Mariana Hollow. Luna Mortis contributes “Ash”, sadly this band is no longer with us, but “Ash” is a pretty good representation of what this band from Wisconsin had to offer, which is a lot. Two of my current favorites Triosphere (with “The Anger and the Silent Remorse”) and Solsikk (“Relish in Nervous Delights”) are two more highlights. Other highlights that can be found on the second disc are: Achilla (another revelation as I had never heard them before), Amberian Dawn, Evil’s Desire and Rising Dream. I can’t imagine the work that goes into compiling a compilation such as this. It must be a daunting task, but the end result is a resounding success. Like the compilations before it, this is a great place to start if you would like to investigate some great Femme Metal bands.
Rating - 95/100
Interview by Si Smith
Oh, finally after so much time we’re able to unveil this little musical jewel. Here we present you a special interview with Farrah West, the singer of this melodic rock supergroup/project that features members of Within Temptation, Fates Warning and Threshold. People we’re not talking about some random débutants, you got me?
First of all, thank you for this interview and welcome to the Femme Metal webzine.
Thanks, it’s lovely to meet you!
At first glance League of Lights is quite an eclectic mix of characters, featuring as it does members and ex members of Threshold, Fates Warning and Within Temptation. How on earth did this remarkable cast of characters come together?
We just picked the people who felt right for the project! Rich already knew Ruud Jolie from Within Temptation through his work with Threshold and they got on really well so it was an easy choice, and we knew of Mark Zonder from his drumming on Fates Warning and Chroma Key records and loved his unique sound.
When you set out to record this debut record, what specific sound did you have in mind for the band? Are there any direct influences you would quote?
We intended to make a melodic rock album, combining the best of both of us. We’re both really into bands like Shinedown, Nickelback, Evanescence and Lacuna Coil but also love mellower artists like Chroma Key and Lene Marlin, so we wanted to find some middle ground between those artists where we’d belong.
The lyrics of the album all seem to be very positive in their outlook. Are you all positive people in general or is there a darker side to the band? What kind of things get you down, for example?
We are pretty positive people and we like to look at things in their best light. What gets me down? I’d say bad manners and bad weather are a bit of a downer. I’m a big fan of sunshine and happy people!
Your first official review back in April said “This ought to do well”. How much do you consider reviews of your album by the press? What kind of fan feedback do you get for the band?
We are always really interested to hear press and fan feedback. We’ve been so pleased at the response to our debut, it would’ve been awful if nobody liked it! A lot of fans of the bands that Rich, Ruud and Mark are in have enjoyed hearing a different side to their playing, and a lot of people have appreciated the positive lyrics. We’ve had some lovely comments about those.
Ruud also released his debut solo album at the same time as yours. How has he found it splitting his time between all of his musical ventures?
I think he manages amazingly. Within Temptation are still touring, they tour in bursts though so it gives him time to work on other projects in between.
As a band it sounds like you have really got your sound together for the recording. Is the line-up a permanent one, or is this a more fluid and dynamic band based around you and Richard?
We’re hoping to keep on working with the amazing musicians that featured on our debut, but we’ve also started including more artists for the second album. We’re not ready to announce who yet, but the recordings are sounding great.
Given that the other musicians have their own commitments will we see any live performances of this material?
We hope so, we did have a support tour lined up for the end of last year but unfortunately it didn’t work out. We’re hoping that this year we’ll get out on the road & start to play the songs live.
The album begins in upbeat fashion with your longest song “I’m Alive”. The initial impact is that your voice is very clear in its prononciations and intonations. How did your own singing career begin?
I started singing when I was really tiny - my parents have an embarrassing picture of me singing my heart out while sitting on the potty! When I was in my teens I started singing in church and after I met Rich began singing in the studio.
The ideas such as “eternity” and “my spirit will carry on” imply a spiritual worldview, especially the quote from a hymn “my chains fell off, my heart was free”. How deep are the spiritual beliefs of the band influencing the music?
Our spiritual beliefs are deep held & I imagine will always influence what we write and sing about. I think you write best when you express what is most dear to you and I love to sing songs that are positive and life giving.
Many of the songs rely heavily on keyboard melodies and textures. How easy was it to decide how “heavy” you wanted the band to be, and did you all agree?
It wasn’t easy at all! We actually were aiming for a heavier sounding album, but for some reason it took us a while before we found our sound. The tracks for our new album are already a lot heavier than before and we’re really excited about them!
“Last Sunset” sings out “I don’t want to go without fulfilling my purpose here”. What would you say is the “purpose” of League of Lights? What are your plans for the future of the band?
I’d say our purpose for League of Lights is to make powerful and beautiful music with a message of faith, hope and love. I hope we’ve managed to achieve that! Our plans for the rest of this year are to record our second album and to get a record deal. We self-released the first album which was a good experience, but now we’re talking to some labels to take everything to a much greater level. We’re hoping to get out on the road and start doing some live shows, hopefully some summer festivals.
“Ambertown” doesn’t seem to represent a real town in the song. Could you explain the concept to us?
“Ambertown”’s a song about being in a place where you have to make a choice about which way to go, how the direction you choose can define your whole destiny and who you are.
“Heaven Sent a Star” is definitely my favourite song on the album. It speaks to those who have been crushed, captive and broken. Your emotional performance suggests there may be some personal experience here?
LOL, you sing about what you know right! We wanted to convey that whatever the circumstances look like you are loved.
Finally, may I thank you for making such an uplifting album! Have you a final message for any potential fans out there?
We hope you love the album, we’ve put the opening track up on our website. We hope to bring you more music soon and see you on the road. We’re look forward to sharing our exciting news about upcoming collaborations and announcing about the new album soon too. Thanks again for the interview!
Interview by Ed MacLaren
Lacuna Coil has made a career of pushing the sonic boundaries of darkness and melody. Growing from an Italian goth rock phenomenon to a truly international success, the quintet have done it without compromising their musical instinct or their artistic commitment. With the new album, “Dark Adrenaline”, setting new sales and chart records for the band across the globe, lead singer Cristina Scabbia could be taking time to enjoy the album’s success but after two months touring with metal icons Megadeth and Motorhead along with Denmark’s Volbeat as part of Gigantour, her focus is ramping up for the band’s upcoming Dark Legacy tour.
Forthright and insightful, Cristina spent some time backstage with Femme Metal Webzine hours before Lacuna Coil’s final show on Gigantour in Austin, Texas. Despite nagging back pain, we got a change to talking about touring with Megadeth and Motorhead, Lacuna Coil’s upcoming tour plans and the secrets to the band’s ongoing success. How’s your back doing?
It’s actually pretty bad. Better than two days ago. But I think I have an inflamed muscle that kind of touches a nerve so every once in a while I kind of jump. And it’s so painful for a few seconds then it stops and then it starts again. But I’m going to home in a couple of days so I’m going to rest at least a week!
So you’re just going to muscle through it for this show?
I was just talking a few minutes ago with the wife of Volbeat’s singer Michael (Poulsen) and there is always this mixed up feeling of happiness because you’re going to be going home but there is also this sadness because it’s the end of the cycle and you know that you’re going to miss all the people from the bands and crew. And you know that you’re going to see each other again because I know that we’re going to play some dates together especially with Megadeth for the Megadeth/Rob Zombie tour. We’re going to see Volbeat at the Rock on the Range Fest. But there is always this weird feeling and weird day where everyone is wandering around like zombies because you know that it’s over but it’s not over yet. It’s just like a weird feeling.
That’s why I appreciate you taking some time to talk to me because I know it’s the last day and you’re all ready to go home.
Oh, no problem because all I have to do during the day is promo and relax.
Being on Gigantour you get to hang out with two metal icons Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and Lemmy of Motorhead. How is it hanging with those guys for a tour?
Oh yes! I’m so bummed out because we were talking about me going up on stage at the last gig to do “Kill by Death”! And I was so bummed out that they had to cancel. Mainly because he has laryngitis and it sucks! I know it very well being a singer so it’s going to need some rest. But I’m very happy that we met each other.
And anything that you pick up as a musician from just watching these guys perform? They’ve been around for so long.
More than a musician, I think that what you can get from them is the fact that if you really have a big passion for what you’re doing it can go on forever. Sometimes I hear a lot of musicians that are saying, “Oh you never know how long we’re going to make this job for. You never know when it will end.” And then you see bands like Megadeth and Motorhead and it’s like it will never end if you really want to make your life out of it. I know that I want sing and I know that I want to sing forever so I know that I will be here. (Laughs) If I’m going to be alive, I’m going to be here for a lot of years to come. That’s what you get from bands like these that are still here after some many years and kicking ass!It’s the last show for this part of the tour. Do you guys have a big end-of-tour blowout planned?
We have three weeks home and then we’re going to rest a little bit and I’m going to go on with the charity project – Rezophonic – that I have back home. So I’m going to play some gigs with them around Italy and in three weeks we’ll going to be in South America for a few gigs with Lamb of God and Hatebreed. And then we’re going to play our headliner tour and we’re going to post those dates very soon. They’re just locking them up and we’re going to have a list in the next few days. We’re going to come back to North America for a headliner tour and it’s going to be something special. We’re going to play a lot of old stuff as well so the fans will be happy. We’re going to play a mixture – probably the longest set we’ve ever had, with an acoustic part in it. We’re going to talk more about it as soon as we can release the list of the dates. Then we’re going to play summer festivals. We’re going to be at Rock on the Range for the first time and this is going to be amazing. We’re going to play Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, Florida. And the summer festivals in Europe and I think a possible European headliner. But that will happen after September, I guess.So after doing two months as a support act and then you have to switch gears and go headline and you have the longer sets. Do you have to change anything musically or get your mindset in order?
Your mindset just changes because, of course, you have to play every night a longer set so it’s more tiring for your body, for your voice, so you have to be extra careful about your body, your voice, your fingers if you play guitar or your energy if you’re a drummer. So definitely we’re going to be able to take care of ourselves and our bodies during that tour because I know we’re going to push the energy to the limit every night. As I said, even if you tried to take it easy once you’re up there, it’s impossible. It’s just impossible. We give everything we have onstage.
Sacrificing your body for the good of the show?
It’s more of a mindset that changes because on this tour we had two off-dates – one in Baltimore and the other one in Des Moines, Iowa. And you can feel it but it’s different – you need a sort of a rhythm every night. If you know you’re going to have a headliner then you know what you have to do every night. But if you switch from support – half an hour playing – to an hour and a half, it’s like,”Uhhhhhhhh!” Sometimes your body feels it! (Laughs)
Absolutely! I guess you have to keep yourself in shape while you’re on tour.
Yes it’s really hard. It’s really hard to eat healthy – in a healthy way. The mattresses on the bus – just living on a bus is tough. It’s not easy. Driving around, sleeping while the bus is going. That’s probably why my back is kind of messed up! (Laughs)
Are there any benefits to playing more support shows to doing a headline show?
When you play a headliner show you know that the people coming to see you are fans so they know your music already. When you play as a support band you have a chance to grab and to win over new people that in the future will come to your headliner shows. So any support tour is useful to spread the word and let more people know about Lacuna Coil. Actually, this tour really surprised me because we never had problems to fit with any lineup and any band because we have such a special sound ourselves. We have a specific Lacuna Coil thing going on that we pretty much fit with every band we played with from Rob Zombie to Anthrax to Type O Negative to P.O.D. Diverse bands and nobody has ever said anything but on this tour it was more like there’s going to be a lot of old school fans. You know, Motorhead and Megadeth, die-hard fans that are going to look at us like “Oh my God, who’s this girl on stage? Why do they even have a female singer? Why aren’t they doing this?” And the reaction was magnificent! It was amazing! Everybody was rocking out! They loved the show. We would leave the stage every night with hands up in the air and people cheering us and going for it. It was amazing because when you’re the opener, you don’t really know. It’s like you have to warm up the crowd and you never know how they’re going to react most of the time – they will be like having a beer somewhere getting interested in the show. And it wasn’t like that. We got the attention of pretty much everybody. And that was amazing. It’s a big challenge. It’s exciting.Good music transcends everything…
I think despite of the fact that you like the music or not, if you keep the energy up and you let the crowd understand that you’re having a great time and you’re having fun onstage you will connect no matter what. I’m not saying that they’re going to buy the records right away but at least they will go away saying, “You know what? They can kick ass! They seriously rock onstage!” And that’s all I want. I want people to have fun at our concerts.
It’s cool that you guys are actually touring the States right now. Your album just got released here in the States and its right at the top of the charts. Setting personal records on the charts as far as album and single, so it must be cool to be touring a place like the States with the album coming out.
It’s the perfect moment now because we did a pre-tour in October in the UK and some parts of Europe so we presented the new singles because we knew we were going to be here in the States at the precise moment where the album was out. It’s more difficult to tour the States because it’s such a big territory. When you tour in Europe, you maybe do one gig in Belgium, one in Holland, one in France and then you go to Italy and you play two. And then you go to Germany and play one or two. It’s like a few gigs in different places. If you play in America you have at least to tour for a month and a half. If you want to cover the main cities – not even all the cities you would like to play in – it’s definitely more difficult and we’re trying to keep a balance between Europe and America but it’s not always easy.
You’re one of the few bands that are able to do that…
To work both ways – I know! (Laughs) But sometimes our fans are complaining but it’s not up to us. They’re like you never play to Europe and then we go Europe. Why don’t you come here to the States? Come on! (Laughs) We can’t be in two places at the same time! Just be patient! We’ll be there as well!
With the new album – great album by the way – been listening to it non-stop. Do you think that you’ve been doing anything different with this album than the previous stuff or are you just doing what you do well better?
I think that it came out different but without us thinking about making it sound different because what we always do with every album is that we don’t think. We just go with the flow which is let the inspiration go and do everything for us. It’s not that we sit around a table and we say OK the last album went this way. Why don’t we try to do this? It’s not like that – the process is completely different because we collect the ideas and whatever we like, we keep it. We don’t care about clichés, we don’t think about what people might think about the album because it’s a representation of art so it has to describe who we are. It has to be who we are. It doesn’t have to be what fans want from us and I personally think that that’s why we kept it – for such a long time – interesting to a lot of people. We might have lost some fans but we won over a lot of people. And then maybe the new people didn’t like the album after and the old school fans came back. I think it’s refreshing. It’s refreshing to just evolve and not to get stuck in the same thing over and over. And this album definitely the most obscure, the heaviest one we’ve ever done but it’s not that we thought about it before we started songwritin
It’s heavier but you still have the underlying melodies and hooks.
Always! It’s still us. I mean it’s still us writing the songs so you cannot really change. It’s just like a little evolution here and there.
When you look from the first EP to “Dark Adrenaline” – you were talking about evolution – can you see a common thread that you can see how you’ve evolved from album to album?
The common thread is that we’ve always mixed up melody and heaviness in every album. And the fact that we’ve never really used our voices – Andreas and my voice – in the “beauty and the beast” context. We’ve always sung the same way – so I wasn’t always singing the melodic, nice parts. Sometimes I’m doing the aggressive ones and sometimes he sings clear so there is always this interaction between us that not a lot of bands are using the same way we do. And this is present in every album.
I wanted to ask you about the way you and Andrea do you vocals. You’ve been doing it for a number of albums now and it always sounds fresh and unexpected – the way that you guys do your arrangements. It doesn’t feel like, “OK you sing this part, I’ll sing that part”.
No, because it doesn’t happen this way.
What’s the process that you guys do to do that?
It’s not a real process. We simply don’t sit and decide to split 50% of vocal lines. Sometimes I write parts that he ends up singing because it sounds better. Or vise versa. Or I come up with an idea for lyrics and he likes it because we share the same tastes. It’s surprising we never really clashed. We never really said, “Oh no I will never do this or no I don’t like it”. Because you can feel it if you’re honest and you don’t let the ego get over you. You realize that it sounds good if it’s sung this way or it sounds better if it’s sung this way. So we keep it the way we feel more comfortable with.So it’s a real collaboration.
I can’t really tell you about that because what happens is that we come up with a lot of ideas when we’re home – when we’re separately at home. Because now you can exchange files, you can go with a USB key or your computer and say, “Hey! I found this idea”. So the vocal line for “Intoxicated”totally happened – I just listened to the music and I was like (sings melody line) and came up with this melody and was like, “This sounds cool!” and then I recorded it. But it was nothing planned because I didn’t take any specific lessons or something that inspired me in this way. It was simply fitting with the music. And I realize that I’m using my voice in a different way but I don’t know what happened because I’m definitely learning how to use my voice by myself. I’m not taking any lessons because I want to keep it personal. It might not be perfect, it might not be super technical but it’s me and me only. I don’t want to change my voice because it has to be sounding like someone else.
You’re going to be playing the Metal Female Voices Festival this year and you haven’t been there in seven or eight years. Are you looking forward to having a few more women around – at least for the weekend?
Absolutely! I really like it when I see a lot of women in the crowd actually – more than the other bands. I’m sure that I’m going to have a great time and it’s going to be good to see some friends because I have female friends in the music business. It’s going to be great to see a lot of females coming to the shows because as Lacuna Coil we get a lot of female fans and the guys in the crowds are very happy. (Laughs) Because it doesn’t really happen a lot – at a metal concert you see a lot of guys not a lot of girls. I just love it – there is always a very cool vibe. I’m definitely excited about it.You were saying before that Lacuna Coil – even though you’re a female in the band – you’ve really sort of shed that “there’s that metal band with the chick singer kind of thing” label. You guys are considered Lacuna Coil and you tour when you want with who you want. It’s not like you’re being pushed in a certain direction.
At least, that’s what we’re trying to do. Because, I mean, I can understand that. If someone doesn’t know the band you kind of have to tell them they’re sounding kind of like this or that. But every time I got somebody – who didn’t know the band – that came to the show was like very impressed. Like it wasn’t what I was expecting. I listened to them on the radio or just reading the articles. I wasn’t expecting them to be rocking out that much. So I get a lot of positive comments from people who saw us for the first time.
Every festival is important and I think it’s interesting because a lot of people listen to music where female singers are in the lineup. Sometimes it’s a little overrated to put too much attention on females in the scene because a lot of newcomers might think that this is the secret for the success – which it’s not. Some new bands might think, “Ok I’m going to have a female in the lineup and I’m going to be successful right away because we’re getting a lot of attention”. And it’s not like that because there is a lot of hard work behind everything and behind success and most of all there is not a recipe for success. So there is a natural selection in which if you’re not talented or if you don’t have the right potential, it’s not going to work. So a lot of bands are going to disappear in one year or even less.
That’s true it was different. It was something special back then.Do you think that the success of Lacuna Coil has had some kind of an impact on opening doors?
So you can go back to a festival like MFVF and see how things have changed. One of my favorite YouTube videos is an old grainy one of you and The Gathering back in 1998.
Oh my God. “Shrink”! (Laughs)
You guys are starting out and you’re doing the European circuit and then you fast forward 14 years and where you’re at now. Do you ever look back at the success you’ve had and think how you can keep challenging yourselves? Because back then you had a certain set of goals at that time. And now you’re selling millions of albums and touring the world. What do you do now to challenge yourselves?
We challenge ourselves being honest every time with a new album. It’s not even that we’re challenging ourselves – it’s like if you’re a painter, you don’t make a new painting because you want to make it better than the previous one you did. If you’re being creative and you’re an artist you just want to push out everything you have inside and you try to translate it with your heart. And that’s what happens with us. We have so many influences from our lives. We’re living such a hectic and crazy life that there’s so much inspiration for a lot of material to come that it’s impossible not to keep it fresh. It’s impossible to (be) stagnant – with every album we added something, we did something slightly different and that’s what keeps it fresh. It’s not that we’re doing the same cover, the same artwork, the same colors, the same clothes. We just like to keep it alive and change it. As life changes, we are evolving as well with life.
I guess then that you guys wouldn’t say that you’re not even close to peaking as a band yet.
Ahhh! I hope so! (Laughs)
You still have a long way to go before you run out of ideas.
It’s really hard now-a-days because the life of a musician is even harder. Because everyone seems to only see the sparkling side. They see the covers, they see the duets, they see the costumes. And they think that you’re a millionaire and have three swimming pools in your house. And that’s absolutely not close to reality at all. I live in an apartment that I’m finishing to pay in 30 years. We’re regular. We have regular lives. The rock star life doesn’t really exist anymore unless you’re a super huge band and with the illegal downloads it’s kind of killing the bands. It’s really hard now-a-days because there’s a lot of competition and a lot of new bands. We’re lucky because we have a large base of fans. The fact that we’ve been around for quite a long time makes us an established band and it’s probably easier for the fans to look at our albums like,”Oh they have a history. They’re not like the material that’s going to disappear next year”. So it’s kind of cool on our side.
Do you think that to have a career as long as you have and that people have responded to your music for such a long time – you’d think there was a certain element of it that hooks people and brings them in.
Really the fun factor and the fact – I’m going to say it again and it might sound boring – but the fact that we’re honest. The fact that I can feel that people see Lacuna Coil for what they are. They got closer because they got to know ourselves a little more personally because we’re really exposed to our fans. We’re constantly trying to find the interaction with them so they look at us as a band who’s very genuine but is rocking at the same time. There is this confidence and powerful factor that’s coming out of the band that made us grow through the years and made a lot of people come closer to us. This is kind of cool – I love the fact that we’ve had a career. I would hate it if we would have come out with the first album – super successful, millions of copies sold and then boom, gone. Who are they? I don’t know who they are. Because all the artists that I admire, they had a career. They started from zero, they started touring, they started to do promotion. And that’s why they got so big because even when they got really big, they still remember how it started. They still remember where they’re coming from and this is what’s happening to us.
You have a career. You can actually look at your shelf with your CDs on there.
I have so many memories that even if it would finish tomorrow and I certainly hope I’m not finished tomorrow (laughs), I have so memories and so many cool things that I did in my life that a regular person could only dream of. Because I did what I really wanted to do. How many people can say I made a job out of my biggest passion in life?
I appreciate the time. It was a pleasure talking to you!
My pleasure! Sorry for being for being so “papapa”* but I’m Italian! (Miriam) will know!
* papapa in a very familiar way in Italian means that you are so talkative/loquacious
Review by Tony Cannella
From Spain the band Masque of Death play good melodic metal. The band have only been in existence since 2008 and despite their relatively short time together they have managed to record a debut EP that would give many longer running, more established acts a run for their money. Even though Masque of Death lists only three members in their line-up, bass was played by Sergio Rabanal who has since left the band prior to the release of “Ivory Cities”. “Ivory Cities” features only 6-tracks and a playing time of about 35-minutes, but it is the quality not the quantity that makes this such an enjoyable listen. The band combine pounding metal rhythms, great riffs and solos with the self-assured vocal prowess of Sofia Ruiz to create a solid piece of work. Sofia Ruiz provides her strong passionate vocals that she also combines with an extreme vocal style on many of the songs - it is pretty impressive how she manages to employ two vastly different vocal styles throughout the course of “Ivory Cities” and she does it quite well. It is that style that drives such songs as “Abeyance”, “Numedak”, “Alive” and “Darkest Eyes”. The final track “The Shape of Things To Come” is probably my favorite, with a cool acoustic intro that quickly gives way to a galloping metal riff that is unrelenting and quite addicting. The songs on “Ivory Cities” are pounding, relentless and sometimes fierce, with some great melodicism, while still maintaining an undeniable heaviness throughout. Sofia Ruiz’s style is somewhat reminiscent of Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil and - at times - she also reminded me a bit Amy Lee from Evanescence. Masque of Death are not currently signed, but after listening to “Ivory Cities”, I have a feeling that will change soon enough. A very professional and satisfying debut from this Spanish band.
Rating - 90/100
Label : On Fire Records/Roadrunner Records
Review By Danny Robertson
Here we have “My Fatal Kiss”, the latest album from Roadrunner Records act Krypteria. Hailing from Germany, this goth-metal quartet (who have also been described by some quarters as being power metal and symphonic metal by others) waste no time in hitting you with heavy riffs, right from the very moment first track ‘Ignition’ begins. This heaviness however, is in direct contrast to frontwoman Ji-In Cho’s vocals, providing a more melodic element. Delve further into the album and you’ll find operatic and gothic elements, the occasional air of classic/stadium rock, and even dashes of pop, making for an interesting mix that could even potentially allow for a crossover to mainstream appeal. “Why Did You Stop the World from Turning” has ‘radio hit’ stamped all over it, showcasing everything that’s good about this band, from Ji-In Cho’s vocal range to Chris Siemons’ guitar work, and “For You I’ll Bring the Devil Down” (for which the band have made a video) should easily appeal to fans of Lacuna Coil or Nightwish’s more recent material, without sounding like a mere copycat band. Elsewhere on the album, there’s very little filler, with “Never Say Die” ably demonstrating the band’s ear for a good melody, whilst penultimate track “God I Need Someone” is a string-led ballad which slows the pace a little. Album closer “Now (Start Spreading the Word)” acts as another example of everything you’ll find on this album, marrying a cool riff to strings with an operatic backing. “My Fatal Kiss” has the potential to appeal to a wide range of metal/heavy rock fans, given its effortless mix of a wide range of sub-genres, from goth to symphonic with a pop nous, without sounding laboured or contrived. If Krypteria can continue to produce material of this calibre and deliver in the live environment, this band should easily continue to rise. Would appeal to fans of Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Doro and Luca Turilli.
Rating - 90/100
Review by Erwin van Dijk
Ismini, named after singer Ismini Sakellaropoulou is a female fronted gothic metal band from Greece. If you are looking for Within Tempation style gothic metal with helium voiced singers and Walt Disney style bombastic music this is not your kind of music. Besides, does the world need yet another Within Tempation clone? Ismini’s music is much darker and groovier. More like the older Lacuna Coil or On Thorns I Lay (also from Greece) without becoming too depressive. And like the “Draconian Time” from Paradise Lost or “Irreligious” from Moonspell the songs are well written without trying to break the sound barrier every time. Another positive point (for me at least) is that singer Ismini does not dominate every song which gives the other musicians enough room. Conclusion: While “Black Swan” is only the debut of Ismini it is also a very promising one. About the songs: “Klebsiella”: Instrumental intro of the album with a very classical sound. Piano / synthezizer driven. ”Black Swan” : The first half a minute continues where “Klebsiella” ends and then the band kicks in. Contains all the elements of Ismini. “Need to Know”, “Another Winter” & “Cruel World”: The three mid tempo songs of the album. “In Hell We’ll Stay”: Very catchy and could be a higlight at live gigs.“The Hopes We Have Lost”: The first ‘slow’ song on the album. Not a true ballad but very groovy. “Don’t Care”: Like “In Hell We’ll Stay” a real live song on which Ismini sounds really angry. “Cry”: The grand finale. “Brain Aneurysm”: The instrumental finale of “Black Swan” . Like “Klebsiella”, “Brain Aneurysm” sounds more like the soundtrack of a movie. Overal feeling: a good album for a band’s debute but maybe a bit to short when it comes to playing time.