Sophia Sama – Season of Ghosts

Interview by Naomi Rigley

Transcription by Miriam C.

 Season of Ghosts, conceived by ex-Blood Stain Child vocalist Sophia Aslanidou came together during October 2013. The newly established band combines a mixture of extreme rock and metal with electronics and sci-fi/horror elements. Well-known in the Japanese music industry, Sophia‘s quirkiness comes across in not only her fashion style but also in Season Of Ghosts.
 
And with the release of their debut album “The Human Paradox” being announce at MFVF XII, Femme Metal Webzine had the pleasure of talking to the vocalist about her career.
 
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us here at Metal Female Voices Festival.

Thank you very much!

How do you think of the show?

Actually it was the very first show with Season of Ghosts, as a solo artist, and you know, it was very intense, very… I was kinda shaking, if I have to admit! I thought I would break down, but the audience was really warm and I was very, very thankful about that! It was a warm welcome for Season of Ghosts.

You’ve mentioned the album that is coming out in December!

Yes!

How excited are you about that?

Well, actually, I didn’t even have time, you know, to experience the excitement or any other kind of emotion, you know, because I’ve been working non-stop since… I don’t know, a couple of years now? And then it just comes out, it’s in my hands! I don’t even have time to open my own copy of the album and I’m like: “Ah, okay, it came. Now I have to run for the festival!”. Now that you’ve asked me, it’s really amazing ‘cuz you know all the compositions are mine, the co-production is mine, so basically it’s a very, very personal and honest album! I don’t know if it’s excitement actually, but I’m very thankful. That’s it! I’m very thankful more than excited!

On the Season of Ghosts‘ website, you mentioned that your influences come from horror and sci-fi. How does this go into the album?

Actually, you know, it’s a concept album that talks about the circle of life through the eyes of the wanderer, which would be me… I’m very, very heavily influenced by X-Files, you know I’m reading a lot of paranormal books and… I don’t know! I just like to see the world from a very spiritual point of view. It’s all in the album, if you read the lyrics it’s just all in the album. I like to live my life based on different kind of perceptions, that go beyond widely accepted beliefs. That’s it!

You’re a woman in metal. How does it feel?

It feels normal actually, because I’ve always been a tomboy, I’ve always hanged out with boys. I have two brothers, and my activities were always kinda boy-ish, I’ve never been very girlish, you know? I was actually fighting my female side that I didn’t really like it, until very, very recently, a couple of years ago. Yeah, it feels natural to have boys around, to be with the boys, to be one of the boys! I feel comfortable, the most comfortable thing ever, I love it!

How this genre has changed in time? The whole female fronted metal… What do you think of it?

Uhm. Actually it’s not only the female fronted metal, but the metal in general! You know, it’s kinda becoming gradually more broad-minded, which is fine with me. I, for example, love bands that blend electronic or pop elements with metal; it’s all cool, as long as it’s done tastefully and although I’d been far from the western scene for ten years, listening to Japanese music almost exclusively, recently I noticed that metal, in the wide meaning of, not only female- fronted, is moving towards the same direction, at least the commercial part of it. Lots of experimentation going on.

On your website you also said that you grew up in Greece and then you moved to Japan. What made you decide to do that?

Actually I’ve always loved anime, martial arts and Asian cuisine, so it was a natural consequence that I moved to Japan. I moved in 2010, but I’ve been coming and going since 2007, but I’d been traveling back and forth since 2007. Now I am between the two countries, Greece and Japan, because I’m still working with Japanese people. So that’s it! I just love Japan, it’s my second home!

In your childhood, what did you want to do in your artistic career?

I have a very bad memory, but one of the jobs that I wanted to teach music, but apart from that, I don’t remember what I wanted to be. Definitely I’m not one of those people that always said: “I’ve always wanted to be a singer” or stuff like that. Actually, I’m a lawyer, I’ve studied law and I’ve studied translations, and if you like foreign languages… I don’t know… Definitely I didn’t dream of being a singer. What I’ve always wanted to do in life, though, was to help people, I think and I hope I’m helping out somehow directly or indirectly with what I’m doing. So this is the driving force, you know, behind Season of Ghosts and behind Sophia. That’s it, that’s me!

How did you get into the metal sound? Who was the first band in influencing you?

Actually when I was in the elementary school, I just randomly switch on the TV and Iron Maiden‘s “Fear of the Dark”  was on and Bruce Dickinson… I don’t know… He made a huge impact on me, I’ve thought: “This melody is amazing, these guys are amazing”. That was the first time that I came in contact with metal and then, you know, it just happened naturally. I’ve got into bands, like The Kovenants and Sepultura when they’d just released “Roots”, and I said: “Okay, this is good! This is something beyond mainstream, you know?”.That’s how it happened, I guess.

Ok, let’s talk about your outfit. It’s very unique.

It is!

Are you inspired by Japanese culture for your outfits?

Yep, actually I buy all my clothes from Japan and I really love Japanese fashion, because it’s all unique. Of course it’s inspired by European fashion, but you know they kind of blend everything, they throw everything in the mix in a very unique way to the point that you have to credit them for it. . Japanese fashion can be very quirky, detailed, dramatic, theatrical and emotional; that’s why I love it so much.

You actually played a song from your old band. Have you brought any old …. Into the new album with Season of Ghosts?

Not, actually, mostly my experience! Ehehe, but everything else just poured out of me. I didn’t really try to sound like anyone or to imitate anyone. I said “That’s my solo album, I can do whatever the hell that I want, so I just sit on my electric piano, with my guitar and I do whatever I want”. That’s and that’s how it happened.

What do you see in female fronted bands going into the future?

Not only in the music business, but I think the female energy is the future! Until now, the world has been governed by male energy, you know, war, lots of disasters, and the future belongs to the female energy! If you know what I mean, the positive, the uniting, the family atmosphere, the love! I think that, right now, we’re on a turning  period so the future is gonna be better. So, eventually, female energy, is gonna rule the world. That’s what I believe!

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.

Thank you very much!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Uhm. I just want to tell everyone to be honest, first of all with themselves, and then with anybody else and that the knowledge is power, so study as much as you can. Whatever, you know, it doesn’t matter if it’s books or life itself, just study! It’s a powerful weapon! Thank you very much, I love you all!

 

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