Interview by Michelle HenriquezThere are many hidden treasures in the Netherlands and ReSolve is definitely one of them. The progressive metal band originated in The Hague has been on the hunt for a new singer for a long while now and finally stumbled upon a very special lady with an extraordinary voice; her name is Radina Dimcheva. Her deep, sullen and powerful voice captivated both the members of ReSolve and the recruiters for Epic Rock Choir. There is no doubt that Arjen A. Lucassen always finds a place for unique talent that is out of this world. Shortly after the Bulgarian singer Radina entered the project for The Theatre Equation, she joined ReSolve. At the moment ReSolve is in the recording process of a debut album and on the 20th of February 2015 Femme Metal Webzine took the opportunity to interview both Radina Dimcheva and founding member Lennert Kemper. Can you please give an introduction of the band for our readers who are not familiar with ReSolve?
Lennert: We are ReSolve and we are situated in The Hague. Officially, we started in 2010. It was founded by me and Gregory, the drummer. The idea was pretty much to play music that sounded like Dream Theater. We are both big fans of rock and metal and we wanted to combine the two. At that time, both of our own bands broke up so we just said to each other: “Let’s do this!”. So this is how ReSolve started. We had several line-up changes and the latest one was Radina who joined the band half a year ago.Nice! Congratulations for that!
Lennert: Thank you!Can you tell us how the process of finding her was? Knowing your background myself, I’ve read that this was very frustrating for you.
Lennert: Very frustrating! Yeah, I mean we pretty much – and it’s a personal view of mine, that’s what I like about the social media these days – it’s that things travel pretty fast. So we basically made a flyer, actually our producer who is also the owner (Tom de Wit) of our label Layered Reality Productions made the flyer. We pretty much spread it via social media as much as we could and it got us a lot of replies! One of the last ones was Radina’s, she was actually the one who emailed us. I didn’t know about her at first and then I figured out that she was a member of the Epic Rock Choir and I was like “Whoo! Damn! This is promising, this might be really good, you know?”. I mean obviously someone might be really good, but that doesn’t mean that that person would be a good fit. So we send Radina an example of a song of ours, which was recorded by our former singer and asked her to sing the song. She made some recordings and we thought: “Wow, this might actually work!”. Then we invited her over for an audition and we chose her!How did you experience this process Radina?
Radina: Well, to be honest I was very surprised, because I myself don’t have that much experience. Before the Epic Rock Choir I was mainly self-taught. So my experience was listening to a lot of music, songs that I really love and just singing them over and over again. When I saw the flyer of ReSolve, I thought: “First of all, I love the name, because I am a psychologist and it sounds like ReSolved”, so it clicked with me. Then I asked them for some examples of their music and the first one I listened to was “December”. The name struck a chord for me, because I was born in December.
Lennert: Me too, I was born in December too and in the same year by the way.
Radina: (laughter) Yes and it was a bid odd for me, because I really loved the melody and the intro of “December” is just amazing in my opinion. So I asked myself “Wow. Can I do this?”. And I did, I sent him some recordings and he said ok, “I pretty much like this”, so they invited me for an audition and everything else just fell into place.
On the Layered Reality Production’s site, it is stated that you are working on an EP. What can you tell us about this?
Lennert: First of all, it is not going to be an EP, but a full-length album. It’s just not updated on the site yet. At first it was going to be and EP with our former singer, but she left the band. Things changed around a lot. We decided before we had a new vocalist that we should have a debut album. We had more material to work on and we really wanted to use that as well. So it’s going to be a debut album and we hope to release that soon. And we are going to plan a release show. For now we just did a first show today to introduce Radina.It’s a good start, because it’s a small and intimate setting.
Lennert: Yeah! We actually have like sort of a fan-base. In 2013 with our former singer, we played a lot of gigs, which got us a name in The Hague area. The gig today was a treat in between for the fans and for us, but from now on, we are going to be recording and recording, especially Radina. (laughs) It’s a lot of fun.
Radina: I have to say that I am the last one to record. Basically the vocals are what we are going to do right now. The other guys have already done their jobs. It’s amazing. Usually Fabian, our keyboard player and I discuss a lot about melody lines, because he is classically trained. So he has a good ear for melody lines.That’s really nice to have another band member to help you with that.
Radina: Yeah it’s really helpful. And of course I’m really excited about this.Can you tell us more about the lyrics and if you have a concept for the album?
Lennert: Well, we don’t, at least for this debut record, we don’t have a concept. First of all, we all write lyrics. If we all have something to say we write it on paper and we turn it into something nice and try to make it as good as possible. For this record I’ve written a large part of the lyrics, but in terms of themes it’s really all about the human mind mostly and dealing with the everyday grime pretty much and how the everyday grime can affect you. For example, there is a track we haven’t played live yet and that is coming on the record. It’s called “These Voices” which is a song I composed and wrote the lyrics for and it is about a personal victory. But from the point of view that sometimes you need a person in your life to change your view of things and help you break out certain bad habits you have. Another song that is powerful and we play really often live is “Unchained” and that is really about living your life.Creating your own destiny.
Lennert: Yeah! Being a master of your destiny. It’s really philosophical here.
Radina: It is about the predetermined ways – Is life that predetermined or is it mostly what you make out of it?
Lennert: The message that we are trying to communicate with that song is: don’t always listen to what others have to say, because no matter how well people know you, you know yourself the best. That’s pretty much what the song is about and live for yourself and make the best out of it. All in all, it is about how the human mind deals with society, not necessarily from a political point of view but more from a psychological point of view.Can you tell us how you experienced the live show tonight? Especially for you Radina, since it was the first time you performed with your band.
Radina: Well, I was actually pretty inspired before coming here. I was really too nervous to begin with, but the moment I walked on stage all the nervousness disappeared and I felt as though I was one with the band, which is something I couldn’t really predict. I was thinking like “Wow! What will happen now when I go on stage? Will I feel like we are really a band?” and I actually felt really great. The dynamics we have in the band I think is exactly what we need in order to function and express ourselves the way we want to. I just don’t have words to explain how much I love it.So besides being in ReSolve you are a part of Epic Rock Choir. How did you get involved in this project?
Radina: (laughter) Well, it’s a funny story again, because social media triumphs yet again. I saw the announcement that they are looking for members for the Epic Rock Choir on the official Facebook page of Arjen Lucassen himself. It really felt like a calling for me. Because it would be a dream come true to even to be able to audition for something that has the involvement of Arjen, because I am a big fan of Arjen Lucassen.
Lennert: All of us are.
Radina: Yes, all of us in the band are. Years ago I had this dream of meeting him, but not really singing with him in a production. So that was a big thing for me. I decided to send a video of myself performing. I did that with no expectations. I was just so happy to have this opportunity. To my surprise they actually liked me and invited me to the audition. Then, I got to meet everybody, the other candidates. In the end, it was a matter whether your voice fits in the choir, because many voices are lead singer voices and can’t blend in the choir. I have the advantage that my voice can be both lead voice and a choir voice in a way. Of course, a lot of other singers could have taken my place, but another plus of my voice is that it is a bit lower compared to the usual female voices. So that gave me another advantage and there weren’t a lot of women with that type of voice, so I got in!Thank you for your time and I hope you have enjoyed this interview. I wish you all the best with your debut album. Femme Metal Webzine can’t wait to share your music.
Radina: Thank you too. We have really enjoyed this interview.