Interview by Connie Bach
Virus IV is pure, solid, razor-sharp metal. No axes, just swords for this band; and it is an excellent sound. “Frightening Lanes” from the album “Dark Sun” is featured on the upcoming compilation, “Beauty and Brutality”.
Hi, Magali. We appreciate the contribution Virus IV had made to the compilation.It’s our pleasure, thanks to Femme Metal for asking us to be part it !
Can you tell me a little about your history, with Beautiful Sin and other musical projects? I got my first band when I was about 15 years old playing keyboards. One of my biggest musical meetings has been Samuel Arkan because he’s the one who encouraged me to start singing! We’ve had lots of different projects together in the past and still are a powerteam with our band Virus IV or more recently on our work for his concept album Samuel Arkan’s Origins (www.origins-nation.com). Beside of this, Ayreon or Beautiful Sin have been both wonderful experience too, just to name a few. I’m very honnored that I could work with such talents as Arjen Lucassen or Uli Kusch.
How did you become a vocal coach? What kind of instruction do you ofer and what kind of students come to you?I started to give voice lessons about 8 years ago, actually because people asked me to… I enjoyed to help them improve and quickly felt the need to study vocal theory myself to keep on becoming a good teacher.With time and experience I’ve specialized in strengthening the voice, working on power and vocal timbre. Most of my students are into rock or metal music and very often have their own band which makes it even more interesting. I mostly give private individual lessons in Belgium and for those who live too far, we meet on Skype, works great ! Would you consider your current path as a vocalist a career, a hobby, a calling, etc? It’s a career and a hobby all at once to me. Not sure about the calling.. who am I to say it… But I believe there’s something magical about reaching people with a music or voice. It’s a quiet intimate relationship that we share with the listeners…. priceless feeling actually !
What about the stories behind the other band members? We all have roots and start from somewhere. Sam wrote and recorded with different bands. He actually contributed on the Beautiful Sin album for the bonus tracks of Europe and Japan. We’ve been working together for a long time. As I mentionned before, he’s recently recorded his concept album Origins with Kristoffer Gildenlow (Dial, Pain of Salvation), Kelly Sundown (Beyond Twilight, Outworld), Rick Altzi (At Vance, Thunderstone)… big time… but more about it soon… Renaut has been involved in bands like Vhan, Virtual or Spirittales. We’ve had played together in the past too, before we decided to gather again in Virus IV. Sam and Renaut are really complentary in their guitarplaying, when one goes rhytmic, the other becomes melodic and vice versa… François (Boom) was a member of Dyslesia for over 15 years. He toured with bands like Stratovarius, Rage, Elegy, Iron Maiden, Helloween or Symphony X… And last but not least, Christophe joined us a bit later. He and Boom are such a powerful rythm section. Chris is also member of Headline & Eradicate. Actually it’s hard to resume their each of their story… you can imagine it holds much more than that…!! We all have metal in common but with very different tastes beside of it… which makes our music quiet interesting I think…
How did Virus IV come into existence and what has the band’s path to success been like? How did“Dark Sun” and the public’s response, feed into the band’s future goals?Turning to “Dark Sun” itself, how was the album “born” and did it grow into what you intended?
Sam is the investigator of Virus IV and as we already were a team, I naturally joined him to become its leadsinger. After we had played in a progressive power metal band, we just wanted to do a more straight kind of music. Renaut joined at first on bass and François on the drums. We wanted to avoide all complicated structures or rythms with the album ”Dark Sun” as a result. We’ve played a couple of gigs and realized how much we wanted to have a second guitar on stage. That’s how we’ve found Christophe and how Renaut could exchange his place from being bassplayer to guitarist again. We ended up with the best formula ever wanted for Virus IV. The album has been gently welcomed by our fans and highly reviewed. The next album deserves a much better production though. We also intend to go back to our progressive power metal roots on the new compositions…
The corus of “Frightening Lanes” runs “…let me be your eyes at night. Let us just be one for a moment, for a while”; impressive lyrics. Where did the idea behind “Frightening Lanes” come from? Why did the band choose to offer that song in particular?
Well… imagine that fear could talk to you… it would let you know how powerful it can be when you make it our ally through life. We’ve chosen “Frightening Lanes” to be on Femme Metal Compilation, as this song represents most what Virus IV‘s music is all about.
I don’t mean in the physical sense, although that is part of it. What power can these things hold? This is all very personal… It really depends on our sensibility and life experiences. Music is borderless. It can be understood by everyone around the world and is a healer of the mind.
Magali, thanks for your time. I have to say, I was watching online and you offer one powerful show. I look forward to more.Thank you Connie, I loved your questions. We hope to come overboard for a Virus IV show in the UK in a near future ! We could have a little beer together after the show, looking forward to it
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