Interview by Miriam C.Soon I’ve have heard that Maltese Gothic Doom Metal Weeping Silence band have had a major line up change I’ve contacted the band and write down like hell this interview. I’m proud to offer the first exclusive interview the new singer Diane Camenzuli but beside this I’ve haven’t forgotten to investigate more about the third album “For the Unsung” that sees the guest starring of Draconian singer Anders Jacobsson. To know more simply scroll down. Enjoy! Hi Sean, first of all welcome to Femme Metal Webzine, how are you?
Thank you for the interview Miriam. I’m fine, hope the same for you and the reader of Femme Metal webzine.Sean, would you mind giving me some biography infos for the users that don’t know Weeping Silence?
Weeping Silence was formed in the late 90s and developed from a slow tempo doom female fronted band with the release of “End of an Era” (2008), then symphonic/gothic metal with the release of “Theatre of Life” to a present gothic/doom metal band with the latest full length album “For the Unsung”. As is expected with a band that has been around for some time, we have gone through some line-up changes, the latest being a vocal replacement. Weeping Silence is currently signed to Ravenheart Music Records and operates with Limelight Productions for non-exclusive concert booking in Europe.So, your third album is out on Ravenheart Music and is called “For the Unsung”. Can you tell us more its genesis?
The album is a reflection of the members’ thirst to play gothic/doom with an aggressive edge. The insertion of male growling is an obvious indicator, but the riffs just sound heavier and more powerful, with several slow tempo passages. We wanted to do something that hits the core of the music we like and at the same time sounds modern.“For the Unsung”, it gives me an impression like something obscure and unfinished. What does the title mean for you, what did the band want to express?
The album is dedicated to all contemporary heroes that go unnoticed in the world. They do not have monuments erected in their honour or wear medals. They are the everyday people who comes to a cross roads and chooses the path they feel is right with courage. This idea can be transposed to many life situations, and the idea is for everyone to see it from their own perspective.
Also what infos can you reveal about the album cover? It’s enigmatic…..
The artwork captures the theme of “For the Unsung” in the form of the Greek myth of the Coronides who in self-sacrifice saved the people from their doom. The Coronides are the two comets on the artwork, who are the daughters of the god Orion. They offered their lives in sacrifice to save their people from the plague. The gods were so touched with their humanity that they transformed them into comets to shed their eternal light. It is not a very popular myth when compared to others but it is a good representation of ‘the unsung’. This artwork was done by Jan of Darkgrove, and we feel it looks very nice, especially on the digi-pack edition.
On “Love Lies Bleeding” Draconian‘s Anders Jacobsson participates as a guest star, when was the first contact with him and how’s working with him?
Anders appears as guest singer on “Love Lies Bleeding” and “The Search Within”. Joe knew him through Facebook, then I got to know him over the internet. He’s a great guy really. To be honest, he could have easily said no to our request for him to feature, but he chose to do it even though we are not as famous as Draconian. This shows he loves the metal scene and is not a big-headed person. We respect him a lot. He did his vocal parts at Dead Dog Farm Studio in Sweden.Also for “Love Lies Bleeding” you have shot your first videoclip, can you tell us more about it? How’s was this experience?
This was a great experience. We did not have a great budget, and between us and the label we thought of shooting this video because we know how powerful YouTube has become. The experience was a blast! It was shot in summer, so you can imagine the heat. As a band, it really brought us together, and individually we realised how far we want to go in this scene. It was an eye-opener as well as a good experience.
Between “Theatre of Life” and “For the Unsung” passed only 1 year from the publication, do you notice (or better) are you able to notice any differences?
The difference is noticeable to anyone who has both albums. It is true that the release dates are close, but “Theatre of Life” was recorded in 2006 and released in 2011. So the music is much older than the release date. “For the Unsung” was composed between 2007 and 2011, and released in 2012. So the difference in composition time is more obvious to us!Joseph and Rachel have recently left the band. And on Facebook you have already announced that you have found a new female singer, mind you give the honours and present her?
We wish Rachel and Joe all the best with their future projects. The new female vocalist is Diane Camenzuli. She is 24 years old and ready for your questions!
Diane, welcome, I assume that this is your first interview that you ever made, how do you feel? Excited? Do you have any curiosity to share about yourself rather you prefer doing a detailed presentation of yourself?
Hi Miriam, thank you for the interview. Actually, I had some interviews about my music career in general, but this is my first interview regarding Weeping Silence. Yes, I am very excited about this new phase in my life. I have been into rock and metal for many years but never managed to settle down, the main reason being the difficulty to find musicians who are truly into the genre. Joining Weeping Silence is a challenge that has energized me like never before. All the band mates are on the same wavelength as I am, and I can feel a lot of positive energy between us – something I haven’t felt for a very long time since my involvements in bands. The teamwork is fantastic and I can already sense the need & the will to create music & performing on stage with such great people.How do you feel replacing Rachel after so many years that she was in the band? Do you feel any pressure?
I know how much Rachel is loved and have only respect for her achievements. At first it was overwhelming and I cannot deny that it took me sometime to absorb what just happened to me. I had to make several adjustments to my new life such as cutting down on working hours. Having said all this, I can finally say that now, I have summoned the strength and courage to deliver at this new level of me.A little bird told me that you have musical training, can you tell us more about your musical background?
To become a band member of a gothic metal band was a plan that had been in my mind for many years. Whilst awaiting the right opportunity to come my way, I used the time I had to learn more about music in general, to take piano and voice lessons, find my natural voice timbre and write a lot of lyrics. This was crucial and it is how I got to know myself better musically. It was the many rehearsals, auditions, live showcases, music courses and music lessons I attended, that helped me develop my voice & that thought me how to take care of it as much as possible.
How did you come across Weeping Silence? Did you know before someone from the band or did you simply apply for the position?
Being a fan of Weeping Silence myself, I saw their post on facebook and thus applied for the position.
I am getting along extremely well with them. I had never experienced such teamwork. They are all committed, hard-working and open-minded. Their support has also been very encouraging. I feel that my life is finally falling into place.
Instead let’s talk about your personal tastes, what are your private passions?
I have always been interested in make-up and costumes. I love dark photography and gothic culture. Having said this, my greatest passion still remains that of being a singer-songwriter. It is a great way of expressing my feelings to the extent I want to, without harming anyone or anything.
Sean, what are the future project for Weeping Silence?
The future projects are definately composing a new album, that we hope will see the light of day in 2014. Between then and now, we will also be playing as many concerts and festivals as we can! All this should keep us busy!
So, Sean & Diane, we’re at the end of the interview, please greet freely our user on Femme Metal Webzine and speak you soon!
We would like to thank the fans, Femme Metal Webzine and its readers who have always been behind the band giving us much support. We will be hitting the stage in 2013 and maybe we’ll get the opportunity to meet some of you. Until then, visit our FB page, see what’s brewing, and hit the like button: www.facebook.com/weepingsilence
The new album and earlier releases are available from the band’s e-store on the website www.weepingsilence.com . Thank you for the support!Thank you very much Femme Metal readers, fans of female-fronted metal and metalheads in general all over the world! Keep it metal and hope to see you around someday! Thanks Miriam for this interview – Cheers to all!! Sean & Diane
Interview by Alessandro Narcissus
First it was Danny on the phone, now it’s Vinny : Alessandro, in the second Anathema interview that we publish, took the chance to ask some question about the newcomer milestone “Weather Systems” during the Italian promo day in Milan.
Hello, Danny! Welcome to Femme Metal Webzine
First of all, let’s introduce “Weather Systems”. Looking at the title of both the album and the songs and then reading the lyrics, it’s easy to figure out that the album is not really about weather and landscapes, but those are metaphores for different moments and feelings in life.
Yeah. When you dig a little bit more you can see the metaphor is very clearly connected to the internal landscapes that we have to go through, the storms that we have to wade through as people. You know, everybody has to go through these things, so it’s a matter of how you confront it, if you want to: a lot of people do, a lot of people don’t. Some people go to therapy and some people put it into music.
How did you come up with the idea of writing a whole album with this concept?
It grew out of four songs that came up around the same time as “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. Those song titled “The Gathering of Clouds”, “Lightning Storm”, “Sunlight” and “The Storm Before the Calm”, obviously based upon this theme, they could not really be separeted. They had to stay together but it was too much to go on the last album, so we said “Okay, this is the foundation of the next thing that we do” and we took them into the studio for the next album. The first thing we did after that was “Internal Landscapes”, which is connected with that as well, but more directly confronting mortality and, you know, the effects of one’s own contemplation on one’s own mortality and the realisation of what that means to you. Ultimately it’s about people. And then the rest of the album grew from that: we had those songs that are linked and then the final song in the puzzle, so all we had to do was to put a couple of songs in between and we had the perfect flow on the album. So it actually happened quite easily, quite naturally.
What about the sound? “We’re Here Because We’re Here” is a very atmospheric album, and after the beautiful orchestral moment of “Falling Deeper” one could have expected an even mellower album. However, “Weather Systems” is much more layered, with diverse influences that make it sound generally more rock-driven. How did your sound happen to go into that direction, this time?
It seems to us that especially in this album each song had to reach a certain level of intensity before we would let it out. So it depends on how fast you reach the crescendo and how quickly you get to that build, the way you get to the climax, or in fact if there’s more than one climax in one song. I think with the last album being orchestral and this one being what it is, you should really realise that anything that we do is not really an accurate indication of what we’re gonna do next, but in some ways I do feel that “Weather Systems” and “We’re Here Because We’re Here” are connected, there’s something similar about those two. Well, given the fact that a few songs were born around the same time, so it’s something to be expected. But the next thing could be ranging further forward. “Weather Systems” is not just an album you listen with your ears only: a great deal you listen with your heart. The emotional impact of this album is immense, I literally can’t go past the first two tracks without crying and the rest are no less intense.
Oh, wow! Yeah, there’s a genuine emotion flow. How could you, as songwriters and musicians, bear such an emotional pressure?
Well, people have different ways of dealing with it. There’s no pressure, to begin with. The emotional intensity in our music is a component, it’s something we have to do, we have to go to those levels. Now, whether there’s always some cathartic element, sometimes I don’t think it goes away just because you wrote the song, you’re not necessarily healed of this thing, you’re just kind of addressing it. Now, how do we cope with things. I personally have a very intense relationship with these songs, but at the same time I kind of “keep myself to myself” as well, so I can have the same kind of experience as you might when I listen to our music, but it depends on which song it is of course. Danny, who writes a lof of these lyrics, on the other hand, he would probably tell you that he’s always kind of dealing with this, everyday anyway, and he’s always that kind of open person to talk about that, if you do know him, so his musical side is natural just like having a cup of tea in the morning, it’s just part of who he is, part of what he does. So, the dealing thing: it takes more than just writing a song to deal with some things, but it’s just natural to write songs about that.
Aren’t you afraid of exposure of your feelings so much to the rest of the world?
Me personally, it would depend. I think, for me personally, yeah. I would say I would keep some things private, some things that I wouldn’t want to say. Similarly, Danny, there also got to be something he would not want to say, but he puts a lot of himself into everything he does. It kind of leaves you open, but that’s the way it is. You’ve got to ask him, you know.
If I get the chance!
Yeah! I don’t know, I imagine he would say that sharing things helps him, that’s the way.
In “Storm Before the Calm” you can clearly hear massive electronic influences. I have noticed that many rock and even metal artists, lately, are drawing from electronica to add a flavour to their work, much more than in the past decade when such experiments were carried out only by the most pioneering bands. What’s your opinion about this massive blend of electronica into rock and metal? And how did it work for Anathema‘s sound?
I’m not concerned with the scene. I don’t really listen to metal music, or whatever makes the connection with that, Linkin Park or this kind of things. But I do listen to electronic music. I’ve done that all my life, expecially since I discovered Aphex Twin when I was seventeen. Anyway, sometimes it’s just right for a given song. I mean, that song particularly, it’s kind of like building a psychosis, that’s how it feels. And certain things get across these feelings better than normal things would do, you know what I mean? So that kind of psychedelic-drawn, hypnotic part in the middle is there to illustrate this building of madness, a second wave building and eventually crashing on you, and what you’re left with after that is yourself on the shore, and that first breath that you take aftermaths is that first chord. That’s all you have left at that point. After all, anything that we do has got to be meant. It’s the same for the orchestra too, we only have use for it if the song is calling for it.
So basically it must just suit it.
Yeah, I do think it’s important to remember the fact that you can get across a lot more emotion with a single note played in the right way. It could be on the guitar, it could be from the human voice, it could be on the piano, it could be on the violin, anything, but those kind of emotions are right there in the expression. You don’t need all of this trickery to get across that.
That’s perhaps why the record sounds so genuine. Actually Anathema is one of those bands that managed to stay true to themselves the best. You always sound like yourself, but each release is fresh and unique. You keep your identity while going further in your experimentation journey, each album being a new step forward.
Yeah, I think it’s a step forward down our own evolution, but at the same time I think, musically, if we analyse how it sounds, it seems like being expanding.
It’s not getting different, it’s just getting weird.
And what do you feel you have achieved with “Weather Systems” on your evolution path?
I think we’ve made probably the most cohesive record that we’ve done. It’s one of those reords that passes quicker than you think. It’s fifty-five minute long, but if you listen to it in one go, it doesn’t feel like fifty-five minutes. Just kind of, “wow, what happened?”. So… that’s interesting! That’s true! Okay, it’s enough of a positive step in our own direction. I’d call it the successor of “We’re Here Because We’re Here” and something that sets up things for the next time, the next thing we’ll do. Something that we’re very happy with.
Is there some nice anecdote that occourred while recording or mixing “Weather Systems” that you would like to share?
Oh, all kinds of stuff happened, you know! The entire fact sounds like a funny anecdote. On the third session we were booked on this place that was converted from a nuclear bunker. It’s a building that’s built to withstand bomb blasts. It has six-feet concrete walls, no daylight, no windows, no concept of time. We just worked in the middle of the night, constantly. I had a studio set up in my own bedroom, which was bizarre because I could get up not knowing what time it was and just get to work. Sometimes I woke up and it was before four in the morning, and then was like, “Okay, why am I tired now? I thought it was about twelve o’ clock but no, it’s actually eight!”.
Yeah. There was another time during “We’re Here Because We’re Here”. Danny actually woke up in the middle of the night. He just had this dream and he said: “Fuck, I’ve got to tell you about this dream. This tune was being sung to me and… I need to remember this tune, I need to remember this dream!”. So I was half asleep, I was like, “Ok, well, I get up”, then we switched on the studio to record the music, to record right down this dream, and that became “The Lost Child”.
So that’s the reason why it’s so dream-like, it’s very evocative and onyric!
Yeah! Another story is Joe Geraci, who does the narration before “Internal Landscapes”. He’s still alive. That interview was conducted in 1991. Danny got in touh with the documentary film-maker [Dr. Kenneth Ring ed.], who got in touch with Joe. Joe got in touch with us and we exchanged some correspondance, and the next thing, you know, when we finished the song he was on the phone and I could not believe I had the chanche to say thank you to this guy for this amazing story that he went through, which inspired the song and in time became one of the catalists for making a full record. So, that’s a beautiful thing, it’s almost like it was meant to be, like a collaboration.
“Weather Systems” is going to be released on the 16th April. What are the plans about its promotion? Will you embark a tour, release singles or videos?
There are different formats the record is coming out. There’s a 5.1, there’s a different huge digibook with a 24-page full colour booklet with all the lyris and everything else, and there’s a double vinyl. Of course we’re doing a tour, in which we’ll be performing at the Alcatraz on the 30th of April.
And I’ll be there!
Cool! I think that this time it makes more sense to make a mix of songs from all the album. The tour is coming up about a week or two after the album, so it seems more natural to give people more time to absorb it, to get used to it. And then in the autumn we’re going to come back with a full European tour, probably we’ll get to play in more places in Italy at that point, and I think we can do something more conceptual, like playing the whole album start to finish.
That would be a priceless experience!
I think so, yeah. But I think it makes more sense to do it then. Now of course we gotta go to the rehearsal studio and we’ll have two weeks from now, so if we choose to do it quickly, then right, but I don’t know, it kind of makes more sense to do it at the end of the year
Is there any interesting bonus material that would make up good b-sides?
Yes, there’s a couple of things knocking around, but at this point we’ll see. We’ll put that out.
What about the front cover of the album? Of course, it’s really connected to the weather metaphore.
Yes, but it’s a little bit more surreal and a little bit more like a dream or something. ‘Cause for instance it does look like a seed.
Actually I thought more of a planet…
Also like a planet, but then it’s within a different atmosphere, so is that just hovering, or is it moving, or what? There’s something interesting about this image. And I think that sometimes you have to see the image and the title together, because we may have called this album “Internal Landscapes”, which would have worked just as well, but when I saw the cover with this title, with “Weather Systems”, it made it. It’s more cryptic and I prefere things to be less on the surface, so people have to think about it.
Were you involved with the creation of the cover?
Yeah! It’s myself with my girlfriend Sarah. And the rest of the artwork too.
Can you spoil us something about the booklet, the interior of the album.
Yeah, it’s more directly connected to the metaphore, and it’s based more upon aesthetics and feelings behind it rather than someting kind of conceptual. A lot of the aesthetics in our music is kind of emotional, specifically talking about the story, having a picture describing it. It’s something that feels the same way as the music, as the lyrics. It’s a bit more, you know…
Part of the same artistic experience?
Yes, it’s a bit synaesthetic, in a way.
Actually, one thing I really love about this album is how it gives vivid images in your head. You can relate to with also depending on what you see, like, I was listening to it yesterday on the train on the coast at sunset, and with that music and those colours and hues I kind of got goosebumps all over, I was like, “Oh my God, this is bliss”.
Ah, that’s amazing, yeah! There’s this imagery that is right all through the album in a way, I can say there’s something just in the feeling that evokes these images. Specifically the song “The Lost Child” because it’s written about that dream and it all kind of goes hand in hand, like the imagery is right there in the lyrics, like it’s painting a picture.
Yet, the first time I listened to it without the lyrics, I initially thought of a forest rather than the sea. So it’s kind open to different interpretations as well…
Yeah, similarly if you think of the cover for “We’re Here Because We’re Here”, I’d see that the guy isn’t really there, this is kind of a visual representation of how he is or where he’s at, so the horizon represents the completely open mind, and the colours similarly, and then… yeah, he’s not really there, it’s not a snapshot.
Changing subject, I know this may sound a bit early, but what are your future plans in terms of songwriting and composing new music? Is there any clue about the musical directions you are going to take?
I would say there’s less of a clue in this album, really. The last two albums feel connected, but the next one will be disconneted. Sometimes you have to do things in pairs, but the next thing is going to be different.
Last question: With the benefit of hindsight, would you change anything in your career?
Oh, all kinds of things, yeah! But you learn from these things. One thing about mistakes is that they’re there to teach you something. Or regrets: you’re there to learn from them, just don’t make them twice.
Do you regret anything in particular?
All kind of things, yep. But I have no real time for it, because more importantly it’s a lesson, I think. In my personal life I don’t make mistakes anymore. It’s something that we have to go through in our youth, and sometimes it can be useful. There’s always something to learn, we’re always progressing in some way. But I think I find some kind of contentment now with who I am in my place, in my life, in the world, what I have done. I can be positive and live it the best I can… I can try!
Band photo by Rod Maurice (Le Hiboo)
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