Dutch Symphonic Rock superstars WITHIN TEMPTATION issued a new statement about the upcoming album, read below :
We have been, and we are still hiding in our studios since winter started. With every writing session new things are happening. We are experimenting a lot and are trying to hold on to this magical feeling. We are looking forward to the moment that we can share with you where this journey has taken us. Continue reading »
Interview by Ed MacLarenItaly’s My Black Light is a band with a plan. Since its inception in 2008, the band has clawed and grabbed its way through the ranks starting as a cover band to performing original songs in music contests and to industry reps. In the final phase, the band steadily sharpened its skills and music into the razor-edged gothic prog metal tracks on their debut album “Human Maze”. Lead vocalist Monica Primo took some time to talk to Femme Metal Webzine about the debut album, its musical style and its deal with Massacre Records. Hi Monica! Thanks for joining Femme Metal for this interview!
Thanks to you!“Human Maze” is a strong debut with a positive response from fans and critics alike. Were you and the band happy with the end product?
Of course we are! We couldn’t imagine such a great enthusiasm and interest in our music and when we signed with Massacre Records it was so surprising we couldn’t believe it.When you and the band got together you started off playing cover songs. What songs did My Black Light cut its teeth on?
We were born as a Within Temptation cover band. This first step helped us play together and know each other better and grow up together. But we had so much more to say and show, so after a while we decided to write and play our own music. And you don’t come back when you start!Why did you start with cover songs instead of starting to write original material?
Well, like I said before we didn’t know each other, either as musicians or as persons, so we just wanted to see what playing together was like. Some of us were very young and I think we just wanted to test the band.
Gig Review & Photos by Erwin Van Dijk
It is a Within Temptation reunion day at the city of Haarlem tonight. Delain and Kingfisher Sky are both spin offs from Within Temptation, the biggest of all Gothic and female fronted bands in Holland. Sadly Delain has an unpredictable photo policy at their gigs. Sometimes you are allowed (or tolerated) to shoot a Delain gig but often you are not. Epica has a similar behaviour towards this. Goth knows why. Maybe their ego? That is why I try to avoid these bands but Kingfisher Sky will be a good opener today so I took the gamble. The Patronaat started in an old shabby building held together with gaffer tape but somewhere around 2005 it was replaced by the new building with much better facilities. As a consequence the venue can book now a lot of bands that used to play in Amsterdam like Dimmu Borgir or the upcoming Pagan Festival in September with Unleashed and Korpiklaani. Just a few days ago The Patronaat won the “Best Dutch Venue” award. The reason is quite easy for me: good facilities, friendly staff and more important: a well oiled organisation. The only disadvantage of the Patronaat you will find when you stand at the edge of the stage in the main hall. There is a small electric cable pit for all the equipment which has never been cleaned since the opening of the venue. After four years it is the most disgusting place in the entire city. To quote Bones from Star Trek “It’s life Jim, but not as we know it!”. As with the album release party at De Melkweg (Amsterdam) the two video screens did not add much to the gig because they are to small and located at the far left and right of the stage. With the Cradle of Filth & Moonspell gig last week in the city or Rotterdam there was one large stage filling video screen that functioned as a nice back drop. The mayor difference between Epica and Delain is that with Epica the visual part of the show and the special effects outweighs the musical performance live. With Delain it is still more about the music and less about how it looks on stage. I hope it will stay that way. But Delain still wanted to do something special so they had to improvise. Unlike Within Temptation or Epica the Delain crew still has no pyro license so we have a bubble machine as visual effect. WOW! The set consisted of songs from the debut album and “April Rain”. Personally I like the songs from “Lucidity” more than the new work and judged how the audience reacted I am not alone in this. The “April Rain” songs lacks the varity “Lucidity” had. I know Delain wants to sound like a real band but “Lucidity” was a one time kick in the face because it was never meant to be a ‘band’ but a project.
With “April Rain” all the ‘Youthfull Enthusiasm’ is gone and replaced by solid assambly line work. Currently Delain is sponsored by Jägermeister but thank Goth there were no Jägermeister wallpapers in sight today. Or the Jägermeister promo team which consists of (very predictable) good looking girls (The Jäger Mädel in good German) who always appear to be a little lost during metal gigs – like at the Melkweg gig. Those chicks are most likely plucked from the pages of some modelling agency. And because money is money Charlotte is sponsored by an Italian fashion make – up brand called PUPA. Not that Charlotte needs to be covered in thick layers of plaster (unless she is going to be a Kiss tribute band singer or will start a black metal band!) One more thing: Delain showed some footage of a violin cello on screen while playing a sample.N ice, but I thought it was also a bit cheap because Kingfisher has a real violin cello on stage. If I was the boss of Delain I would have asked Maaike to do that part because all the cello stuff was already in place that day. Opener Kingfisher Sky only had about 30 minutes for a show and that was more than enough to convince the audience. Although I would not have minded to see them a bit longer than half an hour. Their take on this genre is much different than most other bands these days. Judith has a voice which does not sound like another ‘Kate Bush on helium clone’. More rock and soul. Same goes for the music. Kingfisher Sky is closer to bands like Autumn, The Gathering and Stream of Passion than Delain and Epica. Since bands like Autumn, Cardamon and Skytah are also going this way with their music you can almost see this as the next step of the Gothic genre. In short: like their die hard fans these musicians have grown up, leaving Delain for the younger generation. Conclusion: Kingfisher Sky did a good gig but lacked the time to get the audience with them. Delain gave a solid performance but they should watch out for Stream of Passion who are also about to release their newest album.
Interview by Marcy Bell
The lovely and talented Charlotte speaks with Femme Metal about the new Delain‘s album “April Rain” during their tour with Sonata Arctica and more… read all the interview and you will discover more about Charlotte and Delain.
Hi Charlotte, tell us about “April Rain” Delain‘s new album. What are the differences between this new work and “Lucidity”?
The main difference between “April Rain” and our debut album “Lucidity” is the fact that “Lucidity” was recorded as a project and “April Rain” is a real band album. Back when “Lucidity” was written and recorded Martijn and I didn’t have the expectation of Delain becoming a live band yet, mainly because of Martijn‘s health problems which withheld him from playing live. When the album was done however things got much better and we felt the urge to continue this thing as a proper live band. “April Rain”, however still mainly written by Martijn, Guus and me, was also composed with this live band. Every member had their influence on the sound of this album and some really contributed a lot in the writing process.
Mainly all the lyrics are written by you and the music by Martijn and Guus Eikens. Where do you get the inspiration for the writing process? Can you describe it?
Life is the best inspiration. I experience exciting things, good and bad situations, I’m surrounded by interesting people, so I’m nowhere near a writer’s block yet! Sometimes I really sit down with pen and paper thinking “I really want to write something now” and pick a topic and go. But more often the words or melodies come spontaneously when I’m in a train or walking through my town or when I’m lying in bed. When I think of something I try to record it (on my voicemail if there’s no computer around) because I tend to have a lot of idea’s and forget half of them by the time I’m home.
How long did it take to record “April Rain”? Did you recorded it in the Nederlands?
I don’t recall how long it took for all the stuff to be recorded, because we all recorded separately at different times and places. Guitars for example we recorded at home, Vocals, drums and base were recorded at different locations in Germany and the Cello was actually recorded in the USA!
Now you are going on tour with Sonata Arctica? What are your expectations?
I had high expectations of touring with Sonata. It’s a band I’ve been listening to a lot when I was about 15 years old so I feel a lot of sweet nostalgia listening to their music. As I’m writing this we’re already halfway through the tour and the experience has been awesome so far. The three bands; Winterborn, Delain and Sonata Arctica are a great match I think. We get lovely responses from the audience and I’ve been singing Sonata’s song “Last Drop Falls” with them at several occasions. We’re enjoying ourselves!
Recently Delain were headliner at the Metal Female Voices Fest. It was your first time at this festival, wasn’t it? How was it?
Actually it was already our third time playing at this festival, it was very nice to be headlining this time. This festival is always good for meeting the colleagues and lots of fans of female fronted bands.
Do you feel that Delain popularity is growing and growing?
I hope so.
Charlotte, what is you music background? Did you take any vocal lessons? Do you play any instrument?
I play the clarinet, a beautiful instrument but not of much use when it comes to songwriting, accompanying your own singing (singing and playing the clarinet at the same time is physically impossible, I can tell.. I tried) or playing in a metal band. So I’m trying to also learn some basics on piano and guitar but I should practice more. I had two years of jazz singing lessons and two years of classical lessons and then quit for a few years. I’m now seeing a vocal coach again to keep my voice in shape for the long touring. I’ve lost my voice one time on tour and I don’t want that happening again, so I’m learning how to use my voice properly instead of just screaming my lungs out every night in a row.
How do you combine your private life with life on tour? Is it difficult? Positive and negative sides?
For me right now everything is still fresh and new enough to be very excited when we’re on tour and not miss my own home too much. I do have my moments of missing my love, my family, my cats or just my own bed, but that doesn’t get to me too much. Maybe these things will change in time, probably it will get more difficult if you’ve been touring for a longer time, but I don’t know. Time will tell.
What are your biggest heros or models?
Probably the bands I really like myself. I hope I can mean as much to some people with our music, as my favorite music means to me.
How is your relationship with your female colleagues in other bands?
Just fine! They always say that metal is a men’s sport so I think we girls should stick together!
You are from the Nederlands, so how is your relationship with bands such Epica, The Gathering and Within Temptation?
You run into each other a lot, so it feels like we’re colleagues. There were members from both Epica and Within Temptation on our first album. With Within Temptation it’s a special relationship of course because of Martijn‘s background as a Within Temptation member and the family he has in the band.
You are so young and so talented. Give some advices to young girls who would like to follow your steps.
You’re making me shy.. haha. Uhm, well I don’t know, I don’t think I did anything special except for taking every possibility that came to me when it comes to bands and music. But maybe that’s a good advice. Of course it might mean that at one point you’re in three bands and a project at the same time, but it’s a great way to gain experience.
How is your relationship with internet? Do you stay in touch with your fans and friends with any of the new social network such as MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Pfff, It’s awful, when entering a venue the first thing everybody does is looking for wifi. You can see everybody wandering around with their laptop in their hands searching for the best connection while screaming “What’s the key? What’s the key?” in panic. We have a lot of social networks, Myspace, Facebook, Hyves (Dutch thing) but personally I like Twitter the best. I’ve become a real twitter addict lately.
Future plans for Delain?
Making a kick-ass third album!
Interview By Andy Axworthy
A band unafraid to liberally sprinkle some synth and associated electronica into the mix, Amiens’ C-Rom are an intriguing mélange of styles, ranging from the mellifluous and melancholic through dance and darkwave to martial metal, all dusted with a soaring, soulful vocal. With second album “Flames of Knowledge” now safely under their belt, Femme Metal caught up with vocalist Christelle to talk about the latest release, styles and themes, opera and amongst other things, a penchant for of tea and cakes.
Hi Christelle, welcome to the Femme Metal experience. Let’s start, if we may, with a little of the story so far. How did you come to join C-Rom and could you introduce us to, and tell us a little about your fellow band members?
I started with C-ROM in 2001. At that time, the band had only begun rehearsals for a few months, and had only 3 members: François (keyboards and programming), Cédric (guitar) and Laurent (bass). They were looking for a clear female voice and my first tries were conclusive as they wanted something contrasting with C-ROM’s first songs. After 2 demos, Christian (guitar) and Axel (percussions) joined the band and gave C-ROM a new dimension on stage.
What about the band’s name? How did you all decide and settle on C-Rom?
The founder members wanted something short, without any “real” sense. The only connotations that can be found suited C-ROM quite well: the similarity with the terms “cd-rom” and “serum”.
We have not played live that much in 2010 but “Flames of Knowledge” received a lot of good reviews in magazines, fanzines or on the web. We are proud of that album, because it looks like we wanted it to become since the first songs were written by François.
“Flames of Knowledge” plays as a rock opera with its theme based upon the myths of Prometheus and Pandora. How were you drawn to this idea and do the tracks play out as episodes from the original stories or is there a more contemporary message within the songwriting?
Most of the structures are composed by François as I told you above. Then everybody works on them and gives his/her ideas in rehearsals, but the main structures generally remain the same. Some songs were composed by Cédric too. As for the lyrics, we really tried to work as a group. François and I, as well as one of our close friends who already worked with us for “The Winding Star” worked together on the lyrics. The Prometheus/Fire theme is also represented in the album cover. What can you tell us about the idea and design for the artwork? Fire had to be represented on the cover and booklet as every song is linked to it. We also wanted technology or science to be on the cover. These were our only criteria and wet let our new designer Flo work on the subject. Her first drafts were mainly the cover and elements people can see on the cd. She immediately understood what we wanted, and is really professional. Like for “The Winding Star” we also wanted a symbol representing the album…Christian who had designed the “Star” for our first album, started to design the “atomic fire” (as we call it) and Flo improved it in order to include it in her project. Then it could be used for our tee shirts and sweatshirts too!!!
I’ve seen the band’s sound described as electro-metal but that does not really begin to sum up the range of styles to be heard, be it from plainsong to gothic, choral to industrial, sometimes all in the space of one track. Who or what are the band’s main influences and if you had to pick a word or phrase that best represents your sound, what would that be? Yes, all these styles can be stuck on C-ROM’s songs. As we always have to put labels on bands or albums, we kept “electro metal”. Speaking of style, is “Flames of Knowledge” still a metal album?? Some people or reviews speak of “darkwave”, “pop” or “electro pop” with catchy melodies, and sometimes even “disco industrial” and “dance floor”…We invite people to make their own idea of our music, by listening to “Flames of Knowledge”.
Your voice easily switches from light and lyrical to strong and sustained during the songs. How did you get into singing and how do you warm up when signing either in the studio or for a live concert?
I’ve got a good song teacher (who is the choir master of my lyrical group). With her, I practice many vocal exercises and learn many things. I need to work/warm up my voice before singing, and I need to be alone to do that. It helps me to be more relaxed. Before the studio, it’s easier: I can sing in my car, I’ve all the time to get prepared! Before a live concert, I try to isolate myself while guys drink some beer!
I understand that you also sing opera. Can you tell us a little about that part of your life? What is your favourite opera, part or aria?
I sing in a lyrical group called “Les Mezzos Sopranos”. Currently, we play Jacques Offenbach’s “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” which is funny, fairy and really interesting.
I play the role of a man who collects women: “Le Prince Qui Passe Par Là” (the role was rewritten for soprano voice). I sing alone (very impressive!) and sometimes sing together with the choir. I like operas because it’s a complete art: I can be a singer, an actor and share many good moments. At the moment, I work (during my lessons) on a beautiful aria extracted from “Il Re Pastore” from Mozart. Otherwise, I like “La Traviata” from Verdi, Puccini’s opera: “Turandot”, “Madame Butterfly” (very sad but beautiful), “Carmen” from Bizet…
What a good idea! If we decided to write this kind of album, I would like it to be an opera that opens on different horizons. “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” could be this opera. It talks about love (and many other feelings), about women’s place in the society, new experiences. It stimulates imagination. We could use our electronic, industrial and symphonic sounds…why not?
As beautiful as your voice is, do you ever get the urge to grab a guitar (or any other musical instrument) and let rip during any song or when you are in the studio? : ) I’m unable to play the guitar or any other instrument. The only thing I can do is using my little keyboard when I read a part!
“Temptation” is a good lead out video for “Flames of Knowledge”, introducing the fire theme and setting the stage for the rest of the album. What can you tell us about the video shoot? “Temptation” was shot by our usual director Xavier Labarre. He is a friend of ours, and is very receptive and open-minded and works hard on all his projects. As a non-professional director, and with our “no or low budget” he always manages to create something we can be proud of. He really works well.
Both “Temptation” and the video to “Doubt” (from first album “The Winding Star”) feature a motif and use symbolism to help illuminate the songs and their themes. What is the story behind this? Does it represent a common thread within each album and can we look forward to this continuing with future C-Rom videos?Yes, the symbol used on the albums should be used in the video clips….and the flames can also be found somewhere on our third video clip (“Narthex”, which has just been released…this is a scoop: cf. link below). In a way it is a graphic summary of the albums’ themes. Our third album would probably have one too. But it is too early to say…
What is your favourite C-Rom song, and how or why does it inspire you?
It is very difficult to choose… It depends on my temper! In “Flames of knowledge”, if I had to choose one song (and only one), I would say “Mercy of the Gods” because it’s dark and full of great emotions. Every time I listen to it, I’m carried away (even if I know it by heart). I could easily cry on this song!
When you are touring is there any venue that you really look forward to playing? Also, if you could play a show/festival anywhere, where would you choose and why would that be?Touring in Europe with bands like Samael or Pain would be great. Their public and ours is sensible to the same things and we would enjoy to meet another public which would be more electro and “darker” than the one of female singing voices bands.
How about having 24 hours to call your own and to do what you want. What would be your perfect day?
First, I would wake up with no alarm clock. I would like to go to Axel‘s studio, to work on a new album with a lot of “cups of tea and cakes”… I would go to the swimming pool too…and walk in the nature. Then in the evening, I would cook dinner for my friends….
It could be a very good day…
Finally, I’ve read that Laurent has hinted you might already be working on new material. Can you tell us anything about that and C-Rom‘s plans going into 2011?
We are currently looking for shows but nowadays in France, it is hard to find places to play. And when we find some, we have to accept to play for nothing or on stage with bad conditions. But we always enjoy playing live and meeting public. We are OK to play in any kind of festival: contact us !!! We are also thinking of our next album. Some songs have started to “grow” in François’s head. We just know that it will be more un-organic with more machines.
Thanks so much for speaking to us Christelle. Is there anything you would like to add for our readers as a finale?
It was a real pleasure to answer your questions (even if you had to wait a lot… very sorry). It was a very complete and detailed interview. Thanks for your support.
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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