Interview by Miriam C.
Personally and right now, I’m clearly not objective about Malta’s Weeping Silence and you know what, I don’t care because when there are excellent bands to be supported, I put myself in first person and I do what I can for help out. And this was the case. Back in March, Diane exclusively for FMW replied to a couple of question about the making of “Opus IV Oblivion” and the Massacre Records deal here: so, with the release, I thought it was past time for an update about this new fantastic album. Check out what Diane told us about the upcoming WS‘s plans and “Opus IV Oblivion”.
Hello dear Diane, welcome back to Femme Metal Webzine, how are you?
Hello Miriam! I’m fine thanks, hope you are too. It has been some time since we spoke a little bit.
In March, in our exclusive interview, for what I recall, we did comment about WS‘s recent signing with Massacre Records and the announcement about your brand new album “Opus IV Oblivion”: how do you feel to have achieved such a milestone in your career?
Yes, we signed with the German record label Massacre Records in 2015 and it was a milestone for Weeping Silence. The label has many respectful artists so it is an honor to be on their roster. With the new album I now feel that I have given something to the world. The band is where I express my feelings in an artistic way. It helps me keep my balance in life. “Opus IV Oblivion” is being given attention by various reviewers and I am very happy about its reception. Most of the reviewers get the gist of what we had in mind and what we wanted to express both lyrically and musically.
Also, now that your 3rd full-length was released, would you like to say a couple of words about the complete genesis of the album? Probably, it’s better that each listener should interpret “Opus IV Oblivion” on his/her own but would you like to delve into and introduce us the treated themes in “Opus IV Oblivion”‘s lyrics?
The album’s central theme is death, in the form of oblivion. The band tries to approach this from a personal and a worldly perspective and one can see this in the lyrics of various songs. For example “Eyes of the Monolith” addresses mass oblivion and “Stormbringer” focuses on a more personal or individual theme. Each song takes a specific direction and the listener is meant to feel the cold approach of oblivion as she/he is transported in the song. The lyrics were mostly written by Sean, so you can see the trend in his penning of the lyrics. However, I too wrote some lyrics. I wrote two songs – “Bury My Fairytale” and “In Exile”. These two songs bring in an element of human issues, apart from death, that are life-changing also, such as crossing into new life chapters and personal re-birth.
Does “Opus IV Oblivion” have to be considered a sort of concept album?
“Opus IV Oblivion” has a running theme and can be considered a concept-centred album but it is not the classic focused concept album like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” for example. Every song is related to the album’s title in many ways, however, every track stands on its own.
The cover album was created by Darkgrove‘s Jan Yrlund and it depicts a skeleton that has in its hands a crown and a sceptre while in the meantime is opening a clock; ok, that’s official, my description sucks but I’m curious to know more about and which way it relates to “Opus IV Oblivion”‘s lyrics?
That was not too bad Miriam!! OK, the skeleton is not opening the clock – it is breaking it. This symbolizes the stopping of time. Death, personified here as a skeleton, has power over time, over life. The artwork is based and inspired on the tomb art of St John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta. The original is a masterpiece of funerary art and what Jan did here was to extract the central theme of the funerary art and edit it to suit a gothic-doom metal album cover. Personally, I think it suits the album very well.
The press release about “Opus IV Oblivion” states “Heavy and melodic, dark and full of ambience and doom-laden riffs”. I’m aware that during “For The Unsung” both you and Dario weren’t part of the band but in hindsight, since you have to play those songs during the gigs, how, from your point of you, has WS managed to re-create and improve themselves?
The band has definitely changed its direction, to some extent, in “Opus IV Oblivion”. Being part of the composition, doing the vocal patterns and melodies, Dario and I had the opportunity to express ourselves. Our different musical backgrounds were definitely expressed in the album. Although Weeping Silence has kept many elements we see in previous albums, some things such as orchestrations have been toned down to give more space for other things. The band is also more aggressive now and tuned on Drop-A, which makes a difference. We used different vocal pitching and dynamics to try to give every song its own uniqueness. We did not want our album to sound the same from beginning to end – it would have killed my passion with boredom.
Back in 2012, you’ve joined (along Dario) WS. How this changed (improved) your life? Has it become hard to balance your everyday life with the band?
Yes, Weeping Silence is the band I was looking for. I was for a long time looking for a committed band with members with the same attitude towards music. Malta is a very small island and Gothic Doom Metal a small genre, so it was almost impossible to embark on a journey with band members that are on the same wavelength. At a point, I had nearly given up and started playing piano and carrying out musical courses on voice and choir, with the sole intention of emerging as a solo artist. But then, it happened! I can very proudly say that I am in a band that I have always wanted to be in – committed and cool members and loyal fans that supported me and Dario from the start. It is not easy to juggle between my personal life and my music career for many reasons, including time, money, and other priorities in life. We all work our normal jobs, all of us having a lot of responsibilities at work and sometimes we are tired at rehearsals. Music writing and shows give us a lot of hype and thus we re-charge regularly. My life has definitely become more complete after joining the band.
It’s a question that usually I don’t ask to the artist because I don’t want to bore him/her and because I find it very predictable but this time it’s different. Since Weeping Silence comes from Malta, a little country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea I’d like to learn more about the local metal scene/festival. What you can tell us about it?
Malta has seen times where rock and metal were given a higher priority in people’s leisure time. Although the hype was stronger many years ago, there are still a good number of metalheads that attend a few or many events, including the local festivals and the international ones: Malta Doom Metal Festival and Metal over Malta Festival, the latter being a festival Weeping Silence hosts. Metal over Malta will hold its second edition in mid-March. SepticFlesh will headline and we’ll have two Italian bands: The Foreshadowing and Shores of Null, among several others. It is a good opportunity for Italians to take a cheap flight (or a catamaran from Sicily) and spend some days in Malta and enjoy the festival also! All the information can be found on the festival website and official Facebook.
What are your next tour plans? Where your fans can catch you in the next days? Do you have any plans for a full EU tour?
2016 should be very busy, at least we hope so! In mid-January we shall play three shows in France, The Netherlands and Belgium playing concerts with atmospheric metal heavy-weights Thurisaz. After that, we will play and host Metal over Malta Festival, which is on two-days and as you can imagine will take up a lot of our time. We are also confirmed for a number of summer festivals including Gothoom Open Air Fest in Slovakia, Metaldays in Slovenia and a new Maltese festival called Voices of the Succubi (a female-fronted event with Italian horror legend Cadaveria headlining) in September. Hopefully we’ll add an Italian date soon. One can keep updated with the latest news about Weeping Silence shows by following our social media and website.
So, Diane, it’s time for your parting words – I really thank you for your time – please greet freely our readers and your fans. Thanks again!
Thank you Miriam for the continuous support you have been giving us. I would also like to thank the readers of Femme Metal Webzine and our fans, for being there for us! I hope to see you again somewhere soon! All the best to everyone for this New Year!!
Band Photo by Steven Muliett