Interview by Lindz Riot
And finally after some trouble, including a split and a brand new line up, Crysalys are ready to present their first opera “The Awakening of Gaia” and we can truly conferm that the pheonix is rising again.
Hello Chiara of Crysalys! Thank you so much for doing this Interview with us here at Femme Metal, How are you today?
Hello sweet Lindz ! Thank you for this interview, I’ve been following this webzine for years and I love it! It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. Today I feel fine, despite the fact that I’ve been literally roasted by the Italian sun! I’m not that much into summer, I have to say… and I have to confess you that I’m anxiously waiting for autumn, when my psyco-physic strengths will come back to life…Hey I hear that too! So how excited are you for the release of your first album “The Awakening of Gaia” this September?
Definitely! Being this our debut album I’m even more excited! I truly hope that Crysalys will be appreciated by all the female fronted metal fans out there. I can’t wait for the release day, the recording sessions ended in September 2010, we really can’t wait anymore!
Please tell how this album came to be, who recorded it and anything else that is special about its production.
The recording sessions of “The Awakening of Gaia” ended on September 13th, 2010. It happened almost one year ago, but the production involved big names and took a little longer. The album was recorded in Langhirano (here in Italy), at Real Sound Studios. The mixing, instead, was done by Chris Donaldson (The Agonist, Cryptopsy, Beneath the Massacre) in Canada, then the CD moved to Finland and was mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila. Travis Smith (Opeth, Katatonia, Anathema and many more..) is the author of the artwork and you’ll agree with us when we say that he has done a wonderful work! Composition-wise, the most interesting thing about this album is probably the fact that we wrote it almost without the support of any guitarist. Most of the harmonies were written by Fabio, then Alessandro wrote the guitars and the drums. Less frequently we procedeed vice versa. Fabio and I are definitely the dreamers of the group and it was up to us to think about the concept and write the lyrics. There are some recurrent themes in our lyrics, those we are fond of and those that left their own mark on our life: opera, nature, magic…So the theme of the album is very nature based, why did you choose this theme?
Since I was a child, I’ve always felt a strong connection with Mother Earth. Nature is the biggest magic on this planet. The name Crysalys itself is obviously inspired by the chrysalis, a symbol of evolution, birth and freedom. Themes related to Earth and magic will always be part of our concepts. Now just let me read you the plot of the apocalyptic fairy tale which our concept album is based on: “The end or the beginning, according to your own point of view, will come under the hits of the loyal first-borns, the Elements. Mankind, deceiving itself to pave the way for its own future and choosing for Mother Earth’s destiny, will turn back to dust to become food for a new flourishing nature. The innocence of a little child, Angelica, will quench the Mother’s thirst for revenge and purification, and show her that a sparkle of hope and uniqueness is still left in mankind. Eventually men, following their own nature, will certainly miss this new opportunity, and will perpetrate injustice and destruction caused by their greed and their intrinsic need for power and control. However, all these events will make sense if, as a sprouting seed, man will grow the awareness of the beauty of this world, of all the creatures and entities living on the surface and in the depths of the planet. Sometimes we feel attracted by these entities and we even get in touch with them. The Earth itself is a living being and it is even more alive than we all are.”
This is a very powerful theme indeed! Now I know this is a very generic question, but how do you describe your band’s sound since it is two completely extreme genres?
If the listeners are not really eager to go into it, they could normally define our sound as “symphonic metal”, nevertheless we decided to give it a new name: “Post Opera”. Opera is a glorious cultural heritage in Italy, it has been part of our cultural and our artistic development since its very beginning. This is one of the greatest influences on this album, especially because of my voice, characterized by the same dramatic nature of the Old Italian operatic school, the verist repertoire in particular. Our sound is actually changing, as we’re including characteristic peculiar operatic elements in our musical structures. Therefore the label we chose to describe our genre will be better explained by the next Crysalys full length that we started writing in the last days.
The band was already known for two self-produced EPs, “White Lotus On Acheron’ Shores” and “…And Let the Innocence Dream”. In 2009 we went through a big line-up change that allowed us to shuffle the cards, understand our strong points and our peculiarities, in order to create something that we could really define “ours” and that could reach a certain kind of audience. A few days later we signed a deal with WormHoleDeath-Dreamcell11/Aural Music to release our debut album.
Since the release of your video “The Awakening of Gaia” you have had quite the response, how do you feel about it?
We’re so happy that many people liked our work and already noticed that we can offer something that is really ours with “The Awakening of Gaia”. We perfectly understand that our music can be misinterpreted at first, since it sounds a bit excessive and nonstandard for the genre. However, I feel totally tranquil to say that whoever is going to listen to the album will experience something new, he’ll get in touch with an extremely varied music, perhaps even different from the atmospheres of the first single, but he’ll definitely never get bored!As a singer Chiara, obviously your voice didn’t happen overnight, what kind of vocal training have you had? How did your vocal journey start and when?
Since I was a child, I’ve always loved singing, but actually I only started studying modern singing at the age of 18, in a private school. A few years later, encouraged by my vocal coach and some experts who discovered a natural talent in me, I started studying opera. To be honest, I started taking it seriously in autumn 2008, when I met my current teacher in Florence, the capital of the Italian melodrama and the city that gave birth to the genre of opera. I made my debut on April 10th 2011 with Gluck’s “Orpheus and Eurydice”, playing the role of Eurydice. Last year I enrolled at the music academy. I would like to underline the fact that, only when I started singing and experimenting vocals with Crysalys I realized that my operatic voice was kind of natural. I followed the opposite path compared to common opera singers…I have to say you have such a strong and beautiful voice! I’m sure you make your teachers and your country’s heritage proud 😉 So how have been some of your vocal influences from classical and main stream?
You’re always so nice with me Lindsay… you’re really making me blush! My teacher always pushes me to study, even for the sake of my band, she encourages me to have no limits, which is something rare among young students and opera singers. The female voices that influenced my life in a way or another were (in chronological order): Christina Aguilera (I’m not going to hide the fact that she was my very first inspiration, I was 16 and I couldn’t do anything but singing her songs along, I started studying modern singing afterwards), Tori Amos (who’s still my favourite artist and muse). Then came Tarja Turunen and it was thanks to her and Nightwish that I discovered my real voice. My favourite opera singers are the divine Maria Callas (my guardian angel and the one who always moves me to tears) and other talented sopranos that I take as models such as Ghena Dimotrova, Monsterrat Caballé and, among the younger ladies, Anna Netrebko and Diana Damrau.
Speaking of influences, are there any bands in particular that inspire Crysalys as a whole?
As you can imagine, each one of us has a different taste and we don’t have that much in common. Fabio could be Michael Jackson’s number one fan, Alessandro has always been a big fan of Nevermore and Dark Tranquillity, Giuseppe even loves 30 Seconds To Mars! I grew up with Tori Amos, Cradle of Filth and Nightwish… It might happen, while listening to our music that you don’t find anything of these bands, and this is the point: every influence or inspiration always gets filtered through our rules and must be coherent with the style and the message of our bandSo after your release, what do you and Crysalys have planned for the next while? The first step to promote the album will be the organization of a tour. I think our music gives much more impact when played live. The naturalness of expressions, passion and body language are fundamental elements to communicate with myself through singing. At the moment we’re already considering a few places to perform, and all I can say is that Italy is not the most popular country on our list. We’re also writing material for the new album and I’m already excited for the direction we’re taking, as well for the musical and graphic concept that is coming out… What is your ultimate dream for the band? Do you guys have an ultimate goal you are planning to aim for in the long run?
Being a dreamer, I would like Crysalys to become and remain an important name in the genre, one of those groups that the new generations still appreciate and listen to. For the time being, going on day by day, I hope that this adventure can last as long as possible, since we have to face a lot of difficulties, renounces and sacrifices along the way. Well after listening to your album I have no doubts at all in regards to that! So for my last question: Outside of singing and music, what do you do for fun or as hobbies?
I love cinema and literature, I like fantasy, medieval-inspired and occult books. I like relaxing at night (when it is possible), while reading enchanted tales under the stars, smelling incense and having my boyfriend by my side. Even though it’s been a long time since my last trip, I like travelling, especially in Northern countries, among haunted castles, star-crossed lovers, secret forests and magical legends…Well thanks so much for your time Chiara, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and we at Femme Metal wish you all the best with “The Awakening of Gaia” ? Thank you dear “Apple Sister” Lindz (http://www.facebook.com/evesapple), it was a really nice interview, both because I have a soft spot for this webzine and because I had the pleasure to be interviewed by you! I take the chance to say hello to all Femme Metal readers and Female Fronted Metal lovers, don’t forget that our debut album “The Awakening of Gaia” is coming out on September 23rd via Wormholedeath-Dreamcell11/Aural Music!
Chiara’s photo by Daniele Tedeschi
Band Photo by Osea Costantini