Interview by Danny Robertson
We spoke to Cristina Moreno, frontwoman for Spanish gothic metal act Alchemists of Darkness, to see how everything first came together for this group.
How and when did the band first get together? Who started it initially?
Truth is we can’t consider ourselves a band until the first rehearsal we did together, and that happened after recording the “Laments” EP. We were just a musical project, not really a band. The first time we all met together was at the photo session, back in January 2009, after having recorded and released the EP. It was strange, as we had recorded it together without knowing or having met each other at all, hahaha. I was the last one to join the (by then) musical project, and Manu started it all, as he had already tried it during mid-2006 but seems things didn’t work fine with the people he gathered. He tried it again some time later, and here we are now.
Who first influenced you to become a vocalist? Were there other vocalists you looked up to?
I had been singing for many years, you know, I started growing in this field since I was very young, and the dream of my life was, from the beginning, being able to reach anywhere related to music. There were many vocalists that I admired, but they were always faces on magazine covers and, eventually more music to listen. There are no vocalists that really influenced me in entering the world of music, only the people who supported (and support) me to achieve my dream.
Who/what are the band’s main influences as a whole?
One of the things I really enjoy of being in this band is diversity and variety in terms of influences. When Manu gathered us all, I was surprised of how open-minded we were in musical influences. We all listen to every kind of music: rock, metal, jazz, blues, swing, progressive, pop, electronic, etc. As an act, we can say our influences are bands like: Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Dark Tranquillity, Dream Theater, Anathema, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, Fields of the Nephilim…
What’s your local scene like? Was it difficult to get noticed in the beginning?
There aren’t many gothic bands in the regional scene. Just one band or two… Most of bands around here are metalcore, indie/alternative rock, and spanish heavy metal bands.Not many bands are well-known at their start. Even though, we have a small group of people (mainly people who are closer to us) from the beginning that are always there at every gig, supporting us and enjoying our music. The best thing is that, as time passed by, more people joined that group, so I think we’re on the right way.
What would you say has been your biggest non-musical influence?
My family, but specially my father. He has been a very important person in every music aspect of my life. He has taken care personally of distributing my recordings apart from the band, and showing everybody how proud he was of her daughter. He is the one who supports me more and is the one that’s moved every time he listens to me singing.
What are your future aims and ambitions?
I have to admit that my ambitions and future expectations have always been related to music. I struck up a very special union with music some years ago, and I feel I want nothing else but to keep playing with my band, sharing with them the good and the bad moments, and doing my best to make people enjoy what we do, filled with feelings. That’s my dream, in the end, and achieving it is another dream. However, as a teenager, I see it necessary to study a university career. Who knows what fate holds in store for us?
What’s next for the band? Any tours or releases in the pipeline?
We’re still writing new stuff for a future full-length album, to be recorded around 2011, though some of those songs will appear on the future setlists for sure. Meanwhile, we’ll release our latest single “The Light Ends” (You can check it now at our MySpace) during 2010, and we’ll try to do it as soon as possible, but studies may keep us very busy during the following months. The CD single will feature the full track, the radio cut, a remix by electronic band Com.Pulsion (whose vocalist, Luis Alcázar, has produced the single – http://www.myspace.com/compulsionband), and a little acoustic surprise. We hope you’ll enjoy the whole CD, we’ve devoted a lot of time on it.
Are there any other new acts back in Spain you’d like to recommend to people?
I haven’t gone deeply into the Spanish scene, I’m not good at it. My influences are American and British rather than Spanish. However there are very good Spanish metal acts like Forever Slave, Helevorn, Embellish, Goddamn, No:Code, or the pop band Vetusta Morla.
Any last messages for people?
I’d like to say (we’re) proud for the whole band to share our music and feelings with all of you. We thank everyone that keeps supporting us, we’re making possible a dream we never thought we’d be able to, we are lucky that life has offered us the chance to be together. We’ve clung to this hope and we won’t let it go. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.