INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
In 2 years can change a lot of things, so for a little update and to promote thier debut plus the EP “Bless From the Heaven” we interviewed in 2011 the Russians Yaroslav Smirnoff and Tatiana Moskalenko, the new LATELESS singer. Another good pearl from our archive @
A mix of old (all re-recorded) and new plus a couple of covers : is this way that we sum up the brand new album “From the Vault Vol 1” out now on Season of Mist by Georgia’s stoners KYLESA. Ah, there’s always to right time to discover a new band as our reviewer Davide teach us, read his excellent review @
Interview by Matteo Bussotti
As soon as their new album, “Power Dive”, came out, we had to ask Voices of Destiny’s singer, Maike, what’s behind this album, the creative process behind it. She was very nice and answered politely to all our question, making Voices’ style and history clearer. So, let’s take a “Power Dive” into their new album and this interview!
First of all, have you ever been to Italy? And if you have, what differences have you found from your homeland?
Yes I’ve been to Italy many times but only on holidays with my family when I was a child. Of course a big difference is the climate, the beach and the sea Italy has. I also liked the temper of Italian people a lot.
What was, in your opinion, the best country you’ve ever been, especially while touring with Voices? How one country differs from the others?
Well, that’s very difficult for me. We’ve just been on tour through some countries in eastern Europe by now and we had great experiences everywhere. I liked it very much to play in Budapest (Hungary), where the people were remarkable friendly and generous. We could visit the city as well and it was a great day there. Besides touring I love Ireland and Wales a lot. There the people are so hospitably and the landscape is beautiful.
Let’s talk about “Power Dive”: what do you think is the strongest point of your second album?
I like to listen to the album as a whole artwork, but there are some songs I listen to more often. For me that’s “Power Dive”, “The Untouchable” and “Your Hands” at the moment. I like the structure of these songs, the way I could interpret the lyrics and the heavy parts in it.
How do you think you’ve changed, as a band, but also you as a solo, from your first album “From the Ashes”?
All in all the album is much more aggressive and there are more strong feelings to be found I’d say. We decided to reduce the orchestral elements a little bit and give more room to the guitar and the growls. For my person I think I improved in expressing the feelings that I have about the songs.
Looking at the future, in what ways you think you can evolve, what do you think you can improve?
I’m still young and I think I can improve in many ways. I’d like to get even more volume and hope to improve my breathing technique as well. As band I hope we can play some more live shows to get more confident on stage.
There are bands which really struggle themselves to give the best during concerts, making every one of them a unique experience. On the other hand, there are bands which see concerts only as a “showcase” of their songs, like “These are our songs, we are great and powerful. Now go buy our cds.”. What’s your point of view? What do you think about concerts? Do you try to give your fans a unique experience, maybe delivering some sort of message?
That’s a very good question, thank you for that. Well, we’ve just been on tour and for me it should always be the goal to make the audience happy and give them a good time during your show. We always have a great time on stage and I hope the people realize that. I feel happy when the audience seems to like the performance or when I see people singing along. But what I like most about concerts is to get in touch with the fans afterwards. I really enjoyed talking to different people from several cities and get to know them. For me it’s very important to keep in touch with the fans and not just think of them as (potential) consumers.
Is there any crazy thing you’ve done, or you’d like to do, during a concert?
Not until now. But you never know what the future brings ;-)
You are very into social networks, in fact, on your band’s website are linked you facebook, twitter and youtube pages. What’s your opinion about them, and the opportunity they give the fans to interact with the artists?
For us it’s a great opportunity to stay in touch with our fans and to spread our music all over the world. We all like it to get to know bands we listen to and therefore we want to enable our fans to get to know us and our music as well.
If you had to describe the other members of Voices in…let’s say 30 words, how’d you describe them?
Chris is our idealist and organizer, Jens is the critical one and cares for the finances and Lukas is the genial musician. All of them are very crazy and funny and some of my best friends. (Sorry, now there are 36 words ;-))
Who you usually writes the lyrics in the band?
Most of the songs and therefore the lyrics are written by Lukas, two songs on “Power Dive” were written by Chris.
Is there some particular theme you’d like to sing about in your songs? What’s your favorite song you’ve written so far?
No there is no special theme that occurs over and over again, but most of the songs deal with daily problems and often the lyrics are about interpersonal relations.
Last but not least…is there something special you’re looking forward to in the next few months?
Yes we will start to work on new material in summer. We all are very excited about what comes next.
Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi
Gone Til Winter is a melodic metal band from Manchester (UK) with some progressive and power melodies embodied in the sound. Still “unknown” to many people, this band is trying to enlarge their music and trying to get a name all over Europe. With a new album that will come out this year, Gone Til Winter is proudly spread the word and for this reason, we met Talena Cuthbert, the vocalist of the band, who kindly presented the band and said something about her future goal. Check it out!
Hi Talena, today you’re our guest on Femme Metal. First of all, how are you doing? Would you like to introduce yourself and the band, saying something about your biography, how were this project born for those people who haven’t had the chance to get in touch with your music?
Hi Femme Metal! We are: Talena Cuthbert (Voice), Jonathan Gruzelier (Guitar), Rosie Smith (Keyboard), Shirezy (Bass) & Ollie (Drums), collectively known as Gone Til Winter. Jonathan & I started this band about 10 years ago now. I have always been in bands from about the age of 13…It is totally in my blood to perform so I don’t think I’ll ever be stopping! If you are searching an in-depth biography, check our site :)
Gone ‘Til Winter comes from Manchester and that mainly plays melodic metal, but your influences also involve the most various genres like progressive, power and gothic. What were your biggest influences?
Gone Til Winter has evolved quite a bit since the beginning, seeing many lineup changes as well as a darker, heavier sound wash over us. We now like to describe ourselves as UK Dark Melodic Power Metal. We have so many influences from many different genres, I guess because we all are in to slightly different things. Some examples are Iron Maiden, Katatonia, Led Zepplin, Heart, Skunk Anansie, Kamalot, The Mission, Opeth, Warlock and so many more!
“Deconstruct The Season” was the first EP and it got lots of positive reviews. Did you get the same “treatment” with the self-titled EP and with the record “The First Season”?
Yes. Both have had mixed feeling but generally people are very positive…even people that aren’t it to metal have said they like it!
From “Gone Til Winter” you’ve published the single “Hear Me” and it has been recorded a video clip for it. How have you lived this experience?
We all really enjoyed making the music video for “Hear Me”. It was something that none of us had ever done before so we were quite nervous but it was so much fun too!
A new record is scheduled to be out this year and it will be called “Hiding from the Sun”. What can you tell about it?
This new album is what we have all been waiting to do! It is a dark, powerful heavy moody album, full of great riffs melodies and an atmosphere that will leave you with goose bumps. We are all so excited about his as we are doing it all on our own – no record company telling us what we can and can’t do – so it is exactly who we are!
Along with the official release of the new record, it is also schedule a tour in the UK. Would you like to tell us something?
We are hoping to put together a UK tour for May 2013 and then maybe get a few shows in Europe too.
Your sound is quite influenced by bands like Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Evanescence, just to name a few. What did cause this choice? They are so famous bands in the metal panorama scene…
We don’t ‘choose’ what we are going to sound like as our song writing process is very embryonic. We are all individually influenced by many different bands and we write the songs all together. I hope that each listener finds themselves hearing many influences of their liking.
Listening to “The First Season”, I’ve noticed a few influences related to prog and medieval melodies, especially in “Distant Places”… but I’ve also seen that that are some softer songs as well. What could you say about the recording process of this album and what about the music and lyrics instead?
“The First Season” is a mixture of earlier Gone Til Winter songs…something for the fans. The first two tracks (“Solemnise” and “Heat Signal”) are the most recent, both being recorded as demos in 2006. We were hoping to put these two songs on to our self titled EP but they never made it on there. They are probably the most heavy songs on the album and defiantly leading toward the sound that we now create. The next three songs (“Kill Me”, “Utopia” & “Deep Sleep”) were all recorded in 2004. They were the first three songs that we ever recorded! It was with the original members of the band. The last three songs, the acoustic tracks (“Distant Places”, “Release –Acoustic” & “Constant Retreat – Acoustic”) were recorded around 2005. Jonathan & I went through some pretty tough times and ended up writing “Distant Places”. We decided after a while that we would like for our fans to hear this as it was such an emotional thing for us to do, so we recorded all three acoustic tracks.
Inspiration is something that is quite “difficult to get”. How do the music and lyrics branded “Gone Til Winter” come to life? Do you also make that so-called team work or does each band member do his own work?
To start off with, one of us will come up with an idea – a riff, a beat, a lyric – and then we throw it at the rest of the band. Sometimes we’ll go away and work on parts on our own but mainly all the music is jammed out. Lyric wise, I do like to take myself away from everyone else and write. The lyrics are sometimes quite personal so I need to get myself in to the right frame of mind to get the creative flow.
The artwork of the album is very curious. I don’t know the reason why but in a first moment, it reminded me the artwork of the movie “The Silence of the Lambs” :) Who has taken care of the cover of this record? What is the concept that is behind that image?
Actually for “The First Season” we ran a competition in schools and colleges across the UK for someone to come up with the artwork. We thought it would give up coming artists a chance to showcase their work!
In this record your potential is clearly visible and I assume that we will hear from you soon in future. Have you already decided your next goals? I know that you’ll play somewhere in the summer season…
We are all taking things one step at a time. We are really looking forward to the summer show across the UK before we take a break to get our new album finished off.
As I mentioned before, you’ll play at Bloodstock on August 11th. What can you tell about this gig? I know that lots of your fans are waiting for this moment for so long…
We are so excited! We are playing on the New Blood Stage (unsigned artists). Because of the buzz that always seems to surround the New Blood Stage there is always going to be an element of pressure to deliver the best you can. I’m so looking forward to it though, hoping to release our sound to a much wider audience!
If I’m not mistaken, you’ve also signed a deal record with Headroom Records. Are you still working with this label at the moment or are you searching for something else?
We signed a licensing deal with Headroom back in 2008. They were very good with us, getting our music video made and getting our first release out there. We are no longer with Headroom Records. Everything we do, we do on our own so it does take a lot of time, but I am so proud of where we have got too.
Ok, let’s change the topic for a while. Along with Rosie Smith, your keyboard player, you’re the only woman inside the band. How do you face this situation? Do you manage to assert your own opinion among the guys?
Always…I am the boss! Haha! The guys in the band are great. We all have equal opinions and we are all equal in the decision making too. It is very difficult being in a male dominated industry so even the guys in Gone Til Winter feel the frustration that us ladies get when confronted with discrimination. We are like a family really. All best friends with no egos, it’s great!.
Talking about fronted female bands: is there any band you would like to start a collaboration with or would you like to work with?
I would love to collaborate with Heart. Ann & Nancy Wilson are amazing!
Thanks so much for your willingness. You have carte blanche to share some words with our readers and your fans. See you soon :)
And thank you!
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Michelle Loose from Brave. On June 1st the compilation double cd “Demonic and Divine” is released by Femme Metal Records.. The cd is to support the Macmillan Cancer support and Cancer research UK. Brave appears with the song “Driven”. This song originally appeared on the album “Monuments”. Brave is a Progressive rock/metal band from Washington DC (United States). This interview is with Michelle Loose, who is responsible for the keys and vocals.
For starters: How was the gig with Cynic in Springfield?
It was amazing! Definitely a dream come true to play with Cynic. We’ve been huge fans of theirs since the early ‘90’s. They put on a great show. They are so good live, so talented.
Did you always wanted to become a singer?
I’ve always loved music and singing but I never dreamed that I would actually be a singer. I’m a pretty shy person so I never imagined that I would actually sing in front of people. I was really forced into singing for the band – but I’m so glad that I was!
Who are your favourite singers and musicians?
Tori Amos probably tops my list. Other singers/musicians include Lisa Gerrard, Ann Wilson, Geoff Tate, Ray Alder.
And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?
I’ve really been on a proggy metal kick lately. I listen to a lot of different bands but right now I’m really digging Dream Theater, Cynic, Fates Warning, Metallica. I also frequently listen to The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, Genesis, Faith No More, Tori Amos.
Did you sing in any other bands before Brave and do you any other bands right now?
We were previously known as Arise From Thorns which includes the same core lineup of myself, my brother Scott Loose on guitar and drummer Trevor Schrotz. I did a brief part on a demo before joining AFT for another band but that’s really it. I’ve done a few recordings here and there for other artists including Power of Omens, David Gallegos, While Heaven Wept and Project Failing Flesh.
You also play piano. What do you prefer, singing or playing piano?
I probably prefer singing. I feel more confident singing rather than playing piano.
You have been active in Brave (and Arise From Thorns as the band was called in the early days) since 1997. What are the highlights for you so far?
We’ve had some really great live performances opening for bands that I’ve longed admired like Fates Warning, Cynic, Lacuna Coil, Opeth and others and that has been amazing. We’ve been so fortunate to get on these gigs. I’d also say that meeting and working with so many other music lovers has been wonderful. I never would have had these experiences without being in the band. We’ve truly met a lot of great people, fans and professionals.
And did you have any negative experiences?
We have had some not so good live performances, nothing terrible but some nasty club experiences. Overall we’ve been extremely lucky and fortunate not to have too many negative experiences.
Why did you choose Brave as the name for your band?
We decided to change the name from Arise From Thorns back in 2000 because we wanted a less dramatic and more memorable name. There were a few serendipitous events that took place with the word “Brave” and it’s always had personal meaning for me. I have to remind myself to be ‘brave’ daily whether it be in my regular day to day life or when singing in front of people. I try to be brave and grow personally and professionally all of the time. It’s a strong word with powerful meaning.
How would you describe Brave’s music? Because Progressive Rock/Metal covers a lot of music these days, from Stratovarius to Epica.
We’ve always been somewhat difficult to pigeon hole in terms of labelling a specific style. We have our moments when we are more on the prog/metal side of the spectrum but we also have songs that would be considered slightly more contemporary or commercial sounding. We try to really vary up our style and sound. We don’t think about what kind of music we want to write, it just comes out the way it is and we keep it that way. For us the joy in writing music is writing whatever we want and not creating any musical boundaries.
And what makes Brave different compared to all the other female fronted bands in the world?
I would say that our sound is unique, passionate and dynamic.There are definitely a lot of female fronted bands out there so we stand out amongst all of the bands with our own sound.
Can you introduce us to the other members of Brave?
Scott Loose: Guitars, founding member of Arise From Thorns and Brave - Matt Kozar: Guitars, joined Brave in 2007 and has been a wonderful addition to the family both personally and musically. -Trevor Schrotz: Drums, founding member or Arise From Thorns and Brave. - Ben Kelly: Bass, joined Brave in 2003 and has been a long time friend of ours and a great addition to the band - Suvo Sur: Violin/Keys, joined Brave in 2003 and has really defined our style with the added instrumentation of violin. Suvo is an amazing musician and we’ve so enjoyed working with him.
You and Scott are brother and sister. Does this make things easier in the band or not?
Fortunately we get along pretty well so there are no dramatic family fights or anything like that. I find that we are both really on the same page musically so I think that helps to have that connection. I’m also married to our drummer Trevor so it’s definitely been a family affair for a long time.
Why did Brave choose the song “Driven” for the “Demonic and Divine” album?
That’s one of our favourite songs from our recent CD “Monuments”. It’s fun, heavy and uplifting so we wanted to include this on the compilation.
And how did you (the band) got in touch with Femme Metal?
I believe my brother Scott actually started talking with them. Caz and everyone at Femme Metal have been wonderful to work with. We were honoured that they wanted to release a 10 year anniversary CD for us.
Is song writing teamwork in Brave or is there a mastermind behind the music?
Mostly it’s a team effort, we all add our own spices to the mix if you will. Most of the main riffs and ideas are written by Scott but we all get to add our own styles to each song. It’s definitely a collaborative effort.
Washington D.C.’s progressive/rock band Brave signs deal for a 10 year anniversary album with Femme Metal Records from England. The album, entitled “Lost in Retrospect” ,will feature selected tracks from all of the Brave and Arise From Thorns (former band name) albums, including some songs that are long out of print. “Lost in Retrospect” was released February 20, 2009. Brave’s singer Michelle Loose said about the album: “We are very excited about this collaboration for a 10 year anniversary CD with the new record label, Femme Metal Records. We can’t believe we’ve been making music together for 10 years now and are glad to be able to re-release some of the older songs that have been long out of print. We are so happy to be working with Femme Metal Records and thank you for your support with this collaboration.” Can you tell us something about the songs on “Lost in Retrospect” ?
It was a hard decision to select songs from the last 10 years. We really just picked out our favourite and most meaningful songs to us and narrowed the selection down to what we could use with the time that is allotted for CD. We then picked songs that we though would flow well together and this is what we came up with. It’s a good overview of AFT/Brave over the last 10 years.
What is the idea behind the title of the album?
The title is actually from the song “Lost in Retrospect” which was on our CD “Waist Deep in Dark Waters”. That song was written by a dear friend of ours who was also in our band at the time, Tom Phillips from While Heaven Wept. The title seemed to work perfectly for what we were creating.
And what is your favourite song on “Lost in Retrospect” ?
Probably “Candle in the Dark”.
What are Brave’s plans for the future?
We have a few live performances coming up so we are focused on those for now. Eventually we’ll probably write again and go from there.
And the last question: Is there anything the reader should know that I have not asked?
Please feel free to check out our music samples at www.myspace.com/braveband if you’d like to check us out. Thank you so much for the interview!!
Interview by Si Smith
It was clear from their early days that Benighted Soul were no average French symphonic metal band. From the Greek lettering on their 2005 bonus DVD demo “Catharsis” to their themes of mythology and history, Benighted Soul trod a unique path among the female fronted bands of the time. With their 2008 EP “Anesidora” we were introduced to a character who would now become the central focus of the band’s repertoire. I spoke to vocalist Geraldine Gadaut to discover more about this mysterious character…..First, may I welcome you to Femme Metal and thank you for talking to us. Also congratulations to Jeyms and we hope that little Eleonore is doing well and is in good health.
Thank you very much, it’s my pleasure ! Little Eleonore is fine. She’s beautiful. She’s a very calm and quiet baby.
Beginning in around 2002, that is quite a long life for any band already! How did you guys come up with the theme and style of the band?
It is clear from a brief listen that despite the “symphonic” tag, there is no denying that there are some heavy riffs lurking in the mix there (for example at the beginning of “Wrong Reflection”)! What are your influences as a singer and are there any specific bands that inspire you?We don’t see Benighted Soul only as a symphonic metal band anymore. As you said, there are other aspects in our music : rock, progressive metal, even pop music ! As a singer, my influences changed. When I start singing, I was a big fan of Tarja Turunen and Floor Jansen although they are really different singers. I’m still fond of their works today but I have also new influences : Pain of Salvation, Ram-Zet… bands that are not inevitably considered as “symphonic metal”.Although this album is more rooted in the “real” world, there are still traces of the old Greek mythological themes (eg the last song “No Warning Signs” speaks of the Fates and the thread of life they weave and cut). Will we see more from the Greek themes in the future, or do you think that with this album the band has really “turned a corner” into a new direction? As you said, the band has really turned a corner. On our old demo “Catharsis”, our music was really rooted in epic metal. The way I sang was very lyrical. The mythological themes suited very well then. But “Start from Scratch” brought more rock in our music and I felt the need to write something more real, maybe more personal and stop hiding behind mythological character. It doesn’t mean there won’t be hints about mythology anymore. I like this subject and I think it suits very well the choir’s parts.
Interview by Connie Bach
What is the expression people have? Where they feel they’ve heard a song before, and it has a flavour all its own. While some elements are reminiscent of Tarja, others stand out as different from all others. Being both familiar and fresh shows quite a bit of talent.
Hi, Dianne. What’s going on with Ex Libris at the moment?
We’re very busy planning new gigs, writing songs for the new “Medea” album and rehearsing the songs we’ve already completed. We’ve set ourselves a deadline at which all of the writing should be finished but there’s still loads to be done. We want the music on our new album to be a challenge for us as musicians, an inspiration for the listeners and a feast for the crowd. The “Amygdala” album already gave us a great start but there’s more to come in the epic album that “Medea” will be.
I looked up the Latin translation, recognizing Ex Libris as a Latin phrase. It translates to “from the books”. How does the actual meaning relate to the band’s choice of name?
Yes, if you translate the word Ex Libris you will find that it means “from the books” but an Ex Libris is also an object (like a seal, stamp or a brand) which is used to indicate ownership of products of a guild. You could say that by naming the band Ex Libris we would like to brand our products as our own.
If you envision the future, what would be the dream venue for Ex Libris? What other bands would appear in the same show?
I don’t think that there is one dream venue for us. There are too many awesome stages, concert-halls and festivals where we wish to perform one day. This also goes for the bands with whom we would like to share the stage but we surely wouldn’t say no to performing with Opeth, Devin Townsend, UnExpect or Freak Kitchen.
If the members of Ex Libris could all agree on three influential artists, who would they be? Why?
We all have very different backgrounds and our taste in (metal) music is not always identical either. For example: the bands I would often listen to when I was 16 years old were Skunk Anansie, Nightwish and Muse. For me all three singers of these bands were a great inspiration for the vocal styles and techniques I now use with Ex Libris. Peter tells me that he was influenced especially by Symphony X and the older music of Stratovarius and Metallica. And Paul says: “It’s impossible to name just three bands. Let alone name three bands only within the metal genre. As I was thinking about this question my music player randomly picked Coldplay, Nevermore and Toxic!”. With Ex Libris we compose music that has a good feel for us, without thinking about bands it may sound like. It is as Paul also said: “It’s up to the listeners to decide which other bands come close”.Out of all the awesome tracks on “Amygdala”, why did Ex Libris decide to contribute “Destined” to Femme Metal’s upcoming release?
I really like the feel of the song: it’s fast-paced yet eerie. Sometimes it is hard to do both. Ex Libris pulls it off quite well. Thanks, I like the song very much myself. It’s a funny piece of music that could resemble a strong ballad when looking at the lyric vocal lines but doesn’t reveal itself like that because of the guys playing fast riffs and solos. It’s a song with two faces that really connects with the lyrics and amplifies them. The lyrics to “Destined” are written by our drummer Joost van de Pas and tell us about the inner struggle to overcome grief and move on to better times.
If there is one track in particular that has a personal story behind it, what is that song and what is the story behind it?
All the songs on the “Amygdala” album represent a different aspect of me growing up and reaching adulthood. The lyrics on the album are about problems I have been dealing with, thoughts I had and statements I wanted to make.
“Dawn Of Sugars”, the first song on the album, is about me becoming an individual. Getting rid of all the ideas that are pressed upon you by the government, religion and others. In the song I also try to encourage other people to start thinking for themselves and dare to be different.
“Love Is thy Sin”, is my “sorry for dumping you” song in which I try to explain to my former girlfriend that she and I were not able to survive together. The lyrics say that it would have been better for us to never have loved each other so that I didn’t have to hurt her by breaking up.
“Breathe With Me”, the third song on the album, is about a power play between two people who feel attracted to one another and the emotions you feel when someone is yearning for your body.
The songs “Sail…”, “… Out to Farewell” and “Death Becomes Us All” are combined into one epic and resemble the end of my 3.5 year relationship with our drummer Joost van de Pas.
In the song “Sail…” a fisherman’s wife watches her husband set out to sea, knowing that this is their goodbye. “… Out to Farewell” tells the tale of death who’s coming to get the fisherman. During these two songs you’ll hear the fisherman (spoken by Koen) writing his goodbyes in a letter to his wife. “Death Becomes Us All” is an instrumental song which is the closing piece of the epic. The last song on the album “The Day Our Paths End” is about me becoming an atheist.
“Amygdala” is an intriguing album name. How does the name represent the collective strength of all the songs together?
The Amygdala are almond-shaped groups of nuclei located deep within the medial temporal lobes of the brain. They perform a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions. Since every song on our debut album is a memory or emotion set to music, we could not think of a better name.
Turning to your own personal career, tell me a little about your background as a vocalist.
Well, I had my first singing lesson when I was four years old – a birthday present from my parents, who had noticed my interest in music and singing. At the age of 7 I sang my first solo with the Concordia Fanfare during a Christmas concert. Over time I was taught by several teachers and joined various choirs. When I was 17 I sang at a prom concert with the Gildenbonds Harmonie Orchestra where I met conductor and vocal coach Sef Pijpers senior who offered to help me enter the auditions at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, School of Music in Arnhem where I was accepted. During my bachelor years at ArtEz I was taught by soprano Elena Vink, did a short internship at the Nationale Reisopera and received master classes from Barbara Hannigan, Barbara Schlick, Claudia Patacca, Lodewijk Meeuwsen, Riekje Bakker en Felix Schonenbaum. After completing the bachelor programme I auditioned for the master programme and was accepted. Currently I am in the second year of the master program where I specialize in classical music written between 1850 and today. I receive my singing lessons from Elena Vink, Wiebke Goetjes and Constantin Nica. Apart from this I also take composition classes, write poetry for other composers and I’m chairman of the New Artez Student Association, a group of master students who organize interdisciplinary classical music concerts. I hope to sing my final exam in June 2011.
Opera and metal contrast very well. Is this where you saw yourself in the long-run?
I don’t know. I’ve always known that my future lies in music but which direction my path will take I don’t know yet. For now I am very happy with the way my career and Ex Libris can develop side by side. I love both and need both musical styles to complete me as a singer.
I firmly believe that mastering different styles of music enriches you as a musician.
What do you want to achieve in the future, as a metal vocalist?
Mastering many more different styles of singing but always with a healthy voice. I wish to be an inspiration to many young singers out there and want to let them know that you can sing (almost) anything as long as you keep your voice in good condition and be aware of the fact that a good voice comes with a good support of breath.
Part of the beauty of the metal genre is that bands and fans are so connected, so genuine. So what would all of the members of Ex Libris like to tell your followers?
It’s so very true that metal fans are deeply connected to the music! I’ve done concerts in many different music genres but never were the people in the audience more devoted to the music than those I’ve greeted at an Ex Libris concert. It really is the biggest thrill ever when the audience is right there in the music with you! This being said I can only say that we would like to invite all our fans and followers to visit our concerts, experience our music and propose a toast to metal with us.
Interview by Miriam “NocturnalConcerto”
Talking via Skype with a legend of the heavy metal is not one of your regular day, believe me but we’re able to track down Federica “Sister” De Boni, the legendary singer of the Italian defenders White Skull share with us some infos about the new album “Under This Flag” and a small chit chat about coming back in Italy and personal tastes. Hail on!
First of all Federica, welcome back in Italy!
Thank you dear!
How’s coming back in Italy after so much time and what’s the thing that you missed so much when you were in America?
It is amazing. Me and my family loved it here and were missing the Italian life. I think I missed my friends and metal the most. We lived in a State where country music rules.
A curiosity, what state?
I was saying Tennessee I was close hahah
Yeah …. just southern where the bible belt runs the place.
I totally got it.. I’m just wondering now one of those places with a wood bar all drinking beer and dancing country songs.. how you endure this, I mean your’re a real defender in the midst of some lousy rockers…
Ha ha ha I felt just like you said… just staying in my porch with hubby and kids listening to “House of Hair” (Dee Snider Heavy Metal Radio Show) part.
Well, I must say that it was a great choice for endure all that stuff, something to clutch on hahaha…
Yeah, pretty muche THE ONLY choice and a few occasional concerts of local metal bands but very few oh and also we used to watch “That Metal Show” on TV so well we had some choice.
Luckily you have had that too, in Italy (I mean nowadays) except maybe for Virgin Radio we haven’t nothing like that.. you’re away 10 years but from that point of view nothing changed unfortunatly…
I realized that when I came back but we can still go online and look for those shows, we need to be flexible and get what we can find, right?
Exactly.. the Italian TV and the radio are only good for commercial music sadly. There are so many HM bands here in Italy and deserve to be recognized, we need to go to concerts and support them.
It’s totally a good thing to do, support italian metal underground, in this case the HM genre.You know if the media is not supporting HM in Italy we have to stand up and support our way.
And I’m not to saying pleasentries now, I prefer to support underground instead of the big acts I mean the big big acts has already the right following of fans sometimes we need to look inside our country and give our support to this little bands but way back to us andif you are back in Italy, it’s natural that you’re back in White Skull. How’s was the first meeting with the guys, how’s after so much years (I remember to the readers that you left the band in 2000) being back in the White Skull squad?
I agree. I love big bands myself but just love to listen to what local (italian) bands come up with. It was just like it wasn’t that long… I mean, since the first rehearsal we connected immediatly. We wrote the new album in no time. That really blew my mind how simple and natural the return has been.
You know, for the startest when I have read the news that you were back in WS I was really happy and yes kind of surprised I must admit it, yesterday that I was nailing down some questions I was thinking about it “Damn, after 10 years that she didn’t record anything, would very hard for her” instead you tell me it easy maybe after all those years you still have had the “fire” burning inside you..
It comes natural for me. First I have known metal for 20 years or more, then I do have experience in song writing and most of all I do live Metal as my life style.
Everything helps.. well I’ve listened a little bit to the album congratulations.. it’s very clear and an HQ production, what you can tell me about its genesis? Despite the fact as you have stated before that come out in a natural way…
WS is known for the concept albums. This time we wanted to get away from the past and talk about something modern and close to us. Therefore we had close experience with the wars around us and wrote about it. I’ve been a soldier wife and had a lot to say about the warfare and here comes “Under This Flag”… fight for everything you care for.
And for this is reason that the cover album, if we compare to “Public Glory, Secret Agony” or “Tales from the North”, is more straight-in-your-face and very simply? Probably more direct but very powerful maybe means also “if we reunite us under a flag we can fight this wars (or evil) together”.. when I saw I thought this interpretation, can be right?
Damn right. We want to get the Metal headbanger to join us and fight for Metal. We will say it as loud as we can and for as long as we can. WS flag is really a stand to reunite what is left of metal…
Well, talking about gather around and female solidarity I’m curious to know how was being a woman singing in a heavy metal band in the 90s? It was difficult or haven’t had a model to follow? For what I know closest rode model that you have had at the times were Doro, Girlschool and Sabine Classen.
I was really lucky Tony believed I could do the job, in 1990 a woman singing Metal was sort of a “odd thing” even if Doro and Girlschool, Lita Ford and so on was around.
Maybe if we go deep deep in the italian underground we have Morgana, I don’t know if you know her she was singing in the 80s/first 90s.
I do know Morgana and she did really challanged the Metal scene, I am really proud of having been around since the 90s and back now.
You are a national heritage, I mean also if the media won’t promote the scene you’re one of the Italian precursor female singer..comes really hard to think (at least for me) a closest singer to confront with you.
Thank you. I feel I am just one of many that are here living what they believe.
Many CDs of your discography are sold out since ages, there are any planes to re-released them without spending a lot of money on eBay? I know that the Polish Metal Minds Production has re-released years ago (in 2008 to be precise) in a limited number of copies “Tales From The North” and “Public Glory, Secret Agony” but the stocks are gone, really really gone and for the young fans that are trying to collect and buy the first albums is a problem, are really hard to find and it’s kinda become utopistic have your entire discography.
I heard about it but this is the market and WS is unable to have a say about it. Sad but true YouTube helps this out by publishing the songs for free.
But if you face the truth you cannot earn anything from that…it’s not fair! I mean is disrespectful towards you, the musicians.
I know but as far as WS music is broadcasted we will be all right.
So you count that all that people that listen WS on YouTube will support at live concerts and buying the last releases?
YouTube will spread the word, get us more opportunities and maybe some CDs sold but as we said Metal is not the TREND right now but who cares, we will get our message through.
Maybe I’m talking the wrong person (I’m imagine that you collect a lot of vinyls/CDs) but do you think about the digital music stores like Itunes?
Sure Itunes can sell the music. But this will be our label sale policy to decide it.
But now I put the question in a more personal way, as music lover what do you prefer the CD format or the digital one?
Right now in a digital world it would make more sense to get it out via internet I just do love the CD with pictures and lyrics.
Because you can “feel” them right? I mean when I see my collection I still cannot believe it have it and collect them everytime I listen to them and have the booklet in my hand I feel very proud of myself..
Yes, it does become a personal matter, you have it and can ask the musician to autograph it just like your own treasure, so much worth it \m/
Hahahah that’s true!! Well, we’re near the end what are the next planes talking live gigs and promotions? I hope you come again near where I live ‘cause some years ago with the old band members WS played a gig!!
We have a lot of gigs on schedule and I do really hope we will have the chance to play in your area as well…I am sure we will meet someday! Keep the Metal on and since then … if it ain’ t Metal, well it’s crap!!!!!!!
That’s for true! As a final question I’ll asking you to greet freely you fans and our readers and thanks for this awesome interview, Sister!
To all the metal heads: have a blast !!! WS is back and ready to kick ass just come out and play!!! Thank you for this opportunity I’ve really enjoyed the interview.
Review by Tony Cannella
From New Jersey comes the Symphonic Goth Metal trio Luminis. Luminis began as a Symphonic Metal tribute band, playing songs from their favorite bands of the genre before embarking on their current path of writing and performing original material. Their initial work is called “From Within” and features a playing time of 4-songs, 21-minutes. Their sound is melancholic, moody music with symphonic elements and the operatic at times vocals of Tara. Piano signals the opening of the laid back first track “Into My Sin”. This has a mournful, somber quality to it. “Nightfall Child” begins with piano once again and has a slower tempo to begin things and follows the same musical path as the previous song. The songs are mostly taking on a down tempo pace, and I don’t think anyone would say that this is happy sounding music; still it is obvious that the band put a lot of their heart and souls into the crafting of these songs. The 3rd track “Falling Away From Me” begins with an acoustic guitar and orchestral opening which pretty much dominates throughout the duration of this ballad, which has a sad quality to it. The final song, “The Other Side of the Mirror”, is one of the heavier tracks featured here and quickly became my favorite, thanks to some excellent vocal work by Tara, changes in tempo and a cool choir-like chorus. For a first try, Luminis has delivered a pretty good introduction with “From Within”. The band could probably be helped with a better production, but despite the weak production, the quality of the music shines through.
Rating - 72/100
Review by Tony Cannella
After two EP’s and a full-length, the Russian Gothic Metal band Lateless has returned with a new 4-song, 16-minute EP titled, “Bless from the Heaven”. The band returns with a more hungry sound, better production and songs that are just plain killer. The heavy opener “Grief and Ashes” is a good first song, with some great vocals from Tatiana and some cool, heavy guitar. “Of Your Memory” is next and starts off with a slower tempo, before the band joins in all guns blazing. “Secret Garden” is probably my favorite track as Tatiana turns in another amazing vocal performance; this song also displays the bands ability to write a great big melodic song. “Bless From Heaven” is a great closer that is just a pounding heavy song with a straight forward and steady guitar riff. When you compare “Bless from the Heaven” with their 2009 debut EP, you really see how far Lateless has come in a few short years. Alas, at only 16-minutes long, “Bless from the Heaven” is all too short, but if this is where Lateless is headed musically speaking, than I anxiously await their next full-length. Soon please.
Rating - 88/100