Interview by Connie Bach
Bel o Kan has an interesting combination of elements. There is the romance of symphony, an eighties flare created by the guitars, and a folk element Over it all.
Hello!! I’m happy to answer this interview.
Sarah, what is the story behind “Birth of a Queen”? How do you relate to it?
This album includes songs written a long time ago (“Dark and Light”, “Utopia”, “Salem”) and the other composites a little bit before the recording (“Children Call”, “Blowin’”, “Ten Thousand Milliard”). The band is created in 2001, so when I took the singer place in 2005, some songs were already composed, we chose our 11 favorite song between the 18 we had. There are different songs in this album, for example, “Blowin’ the Wind” is very different from “Six Men” or “Too Late”. I wrote the lyrics of “Too Late” and it was easier to record it because it’s my words and my feelings I sung. It was difficult for me to record this album because it was my first time in a studio, I was afraid and I think you can hear it when you listen to the album.
Can you tell me, with some detail, how the album came together?
We recored guitars, drums, bass and keyboard in a different studio than the voices. The voices were recorded in Dedy studio with André Bermudez who made the mix and we made the mastering in Alto studio…a funny detail when I recorded voices it that André was always hurting me for fun with a little paper book when I told him that I couldn’t sing anything or anything else…
The name Bel o Kan seems to have something to do with ant society, according to your Myspace. Can you elaborate?
Bel o Kan is the name of the ant hill in the book “Les Fourmis” (ants) of Bernard Werber.
Our first drummer Lionel who created the band chose this name because “Les Fourmis” is one of his favorite books. Bernard Werber has our album and he likes “Too Late”.
Different people describe an artist’s sound different ways. How would your perception, as Bel o Kan’s singer, differ from mine (introduction) ? It is interesting to compare perceptions, and the reasons why they differ.
Each person has his perception of our music, I could read that we played, symphonic metal, heavy, prog, power, celtic…. in my opinion, we play heavy metal melodic. Denis (bass), Fox and Khrys (guitars) like Iron Maiden, I love Epica, After Forever, Doro…even in the band we’ve many different sources of inspiration. So we compose a music varied of our different style.
Where does your musical experience come from, (I.e. your background as a singer)?
Marion was the singer of another band before enter in Bel O Kan, when she left this band we called her to sing with us. We don’t want a similar voice in choir, we would that everyone can here two voices, it’s better for the music we play! Marion left the band 6-8 months ago because of her school, she hasn’t enough time to continue the band. Carole took her place in the band 6 monthes ago, you could hear her voice on the future album!
Fox: We start every show with the symphonic introduction “Birth of a Queen” from the album, while we wait to get on stage. I think this particular moment is my favorite. There is so much tension, the anxiety and desire to go on stage mixed altogether… Of course, I also love when the public is going mad, full of energy and headbanging to what we play but I guess it is a common feeling for every Bel o Kan members so my personal choice is this climax just before going on stage.
Sarah : My favorite moment is just when I feel that the spectators are receptive at our music, when they come to see us after the shows to tell us it was great… I want to play music to give fun and enjoy people!
Bruno : The second part of set-list, when we play the faster songs (“Run Away”, “Ten Thousand Billions”) and when the public and the group give themselves completely for the final highlight!
Sarah, what goes into coming up with the costume, or outfit, you will wear for a show?
Bruno : I choose my most beautiful socks, the whitest (what? this question is not for me??) Everyone in the band has different techniques, and brings his or her own element. This is one for individual answers from everyone. Who is the strongest influence in the musical path, style, and goal of each band member?
Bruno : I think that the musician who influences me most would be Daniel Zimmermann, a drummer of Gamma Ray and Freedom Call
Sarah : Simone Simons, Floor Jansen and Doro, are my main influences, I try to mix différents styles and I try to have my own character
Carole : Floor Jansen, Anneke van Giersbergen and Sharon Den Adel
Nico : Tuomas Holopainen and Tony Kakko
What is one story you can tell me Sarah, regarding your fans?
What is the next step for the band, since the release of “Birth of A Queen”?
The next step for us is preparing shows in France or in foreign coutries, it’s important to make shows if you want that more people know our music, if you record an album to stay in your studio all day it’s not very interesting. We want to be on stage often that it’s possible. People say a band is like a family. What (besides music) gives all of you a connection to one another,and brings everyone together?
Thanks to you ! I wish a long life to Femme Metal Webzine !! And thanks to all people who like our music and who give us the strength to go on !!!
Label : Brennus Music
Review by Tony Cannella
Bel O Kan are a symphonic metal band from France. They first came into existence in 2001 and are just now releasing their debut “Birth of a Queen”. Bel O Kan are fronted by the powerfully expressive vocals of Sarah Liodenot. The big symphony driven intro “Birth of a Queen” builds anticipation for the symphonic classic metal sound of “Children Call”. This is a mid-tempo number that boasts some bursts of power and speed around the chorus. At first I was a bit underwhelmed by the understated vocals of Sarah Liodenot by the end of the CD I grew to love her singing. “Dark and Light”, “Utopia” and “Six Men” continues on with heavier material. The ballad “Too Late” brings the tempo down a bit. Probably my favorite track was the Celtic influenced “Blowin’ the Wind”, this song offers something a little different than the rest of the material but it certainly works quite well. “Fire on Ice” is a straight-forward, energetic up-tempo metal tune and another highlight. Bel O Kan shows off their sensitive side on the final track, a piano version of the ballad “Too Late”. I think I prefer the other version but I am sure that there are those who will prefer this one. “Birth of a Queen” features 12-songs and over an hour’s worth of pure Symphonic Metal bliss. Although Bel O Kan has been together for almost 10-years, it is good to see that perseverance has paid off and the proof is in “Birth of a Queen”.
Rating – 80/100
- Birth of a Queen
- Children Call
- Dark and Light
- Six Man
- Too Late
- Ten Thousand Milliard
- Blowing the Wind
- Fire on Ice
- Too Late (Piano Version)
- Sarah Liodenot – Lead Vocals
- Marion Gibello – Backing Vocals
- Krystov Ferrari – Rhythm, Lead and Acoustic Guitars
- Fox Brunet – Rhythm and Lead Guitars
- Nico Deplanche – Keyboards
- Denis Nicolo – Bass
- Lionel Pedrini – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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