Interview by Andy Axworthy

 

 Based out of Nice in France, Kerion are a symphonic metal band intent on putting their own brand of Heroic Fantasy back into the genre. With one album “Holy Creatures Quest” under their belt, Femme Metal caught up with singer Flora Spinelli to talk about the band and their new release, “The Origins”

Hi Flora and welcome to Femme Metal.
Kerion has been together since 2002 – can you introduce the band members to us?  

Everything started in Nice with a teenage instrumental band of progressive metal called Kirlian, formed by guitarists Rémi and Sylvain, bass player Stephane and drum player Sam, whom were all childhood friends. After high school, the band split because of moving to other cities by most of the members. But Rémi, who composed all the songs, didn’t give up and decided to form a band of symphonic metal. In 2002, lyrics writer Christophe and I joined him to form Kerion. After some years of hard working, it appears that we had a concept album ready to be recorded. Rémi then made contact back with his old friends. Sylvain and Sam who were back in Nice accepted to join. Stephane was still living in Paris but visited us as often as possible during six months before moving back definitively. In 2007, we were all together and “Holy Creatures Quest” was released.
In the very beginning of 2010, Sam, our drummer, moved away and left the band. Since then, Antoine joined us. So, now we are: Remi: Guitar – Sylvain: Guitar – Stephane: Bass – Antoine: Drums and Me: )

How did you end up becoming the group’s vocalist?

I was a high school friend of Rémi and he asked me to participate to the choirs on the firsts songs (demo) and then finally singer’s position was released and he asked me to take it.
Although back then I had no experience in singing, I accepted because we had a lot fun and I always liked his compositions.

You already have one album, “Holy Creatures Quest”, under your belt. How would you describe the band’s sound to someone who had never heard you before?

To give a short description of the sound, I’d say that it’s very eclectic: it can go from very soft piano ballads to very fast guitar saturated marches. Otherwise, we try as possible to avoid repetitive munchkin instrumental parts. I think that when you listen to our music, if you close your eyes it’s easy to feel as if you were in a fantasy movie. We are big fans of Heroic Fantasy and even if some people say that it’s “a simple concept”, we don’t care. Some bands are talking about politics issues, war and love and do it very well. We are talking about war, courage and friendship but with elves and monsters ^^

You have just released your second album, “The Origins”. How was the launch and how do you think it has been received by your fans?

As we were negotiating with labels since falls of 2009, we were quiet well prepared. All promotion pictures, websites and CD cover were ready far before we sign with Metalodic Records, so it wasn’t a big rush. Concerning the sales, pre-ordering was quiet successful and now the distribution is getting better and better (some people don’t buy online). And last but not least, former fans seem to like it (as far as we can know) and some new fans join our forum or Facebook page, mainly to share positive feelings!

The new album is based around your previous demos, “Conspiracy of Darkness” and “The Last Sunset”. How did it feel to revisit this earlier material once again?

For myself, I was a little afraid in the first time because I wasn’t the singer on the first demo and I feared not being able to assure. Then, I just did it my own way. About the old “Last Sunset’s songs”, I was really happy to sing them once again. Furthermore, except for “Time of Fantasy” lyrics were different, the story was changed and it sounded far more professional than in 2005! I think that it was almost the same for Remi, who was excited to play again his first compositions with an actual sound.

How difficult was it to decide which songs from the demos were included and/or rearranged for “The Origins”?

Humm… In fact, the idea to rearrange our first demos is not very old. Rémi asked me once which songs I would like to include if one day we made an album with our first demos. And except for “Dwarf Quest” I totally agreed with all of his choices (Dwarfs are great!!! :p) 

Both albums are based upon the heroic fantasy “Staraxis” trilogy by Chris Barberi who also wrote the lyrics. How does Chris fit into the Kerion family?

Christophe is one of Remi best friends, so it was pretty easy !;) 

Rémi has joked that there is a touch of George Lucas about releasing “The Origins” (the first two parts of “Staraxis”) after “Holy Creatures Quest” (the final part). How did that come about?

Many books or movies uses this kind non-chronological order but for Rémi, the absolute reference is Star Wars, so any way of comparing his work with the masterpiece of George Lucas is good. May the force be with us!!

On “The Origins” you have once again enlisted the help of Phil Giordana (Fairyland) with arranging the choruses, Yann Baresi as a guest vocalist and Will Lievin behind the mixing desk at Harkam Studio. How important to the band is this continuity and stability during the writing and recording process?

Phil is a friend of the group for a long time now and he has a lot of quality, and experience, quite as Will who made a great work on “Holy Creatures Quest”. Then it is quite naturally that we still appealed to them. In France we say: We don’t change a team that wins! 😀
We know each other, we know what kind of result can be expected!

Not just a new album but also a new label. What does it mean to Kerion to be signed to Canada’s Metalodic?

It means a lot because Maxence from Metalodic Records gave us a chance and he believes in us. We see almost every day new results of the good job he does for us, he’s always available and thanks to him Kerion can be listened all over the world!!

You are playing some acoustic shows in France in October. What are your touring plans beyond that and can the rest of Europe or the world expect a full tour at some point?

As I explained earlier, we didn’t have a drummer for months and we had to refuse some invitations but now, Antoine is ready! We’d like really to play in the other cities more often but it’s sometimes rather difficult financially. So we try to target really and then sometimes it is the dates that don’t suit to our work or our family life…. Grrr… but for “The Origins”, we all planned to go to meet more our public and to make more concerts. We are in connection with several other groups and try to organize some shows (Paris, Marseille, Nancy). But If the transport can be taken, be sure we are ready to go where you want:) (if somebody hears my call ^^) But of course, if we are asked to play in a festival or something like this, be sure that we will be there, because we know it’s a chance to play with other bands who have more experience!

Talking of playing live, what would be your dream line-up for a Kerion gig?

I would like so much to sing with Floor Jansen, yes I know it’s arrogant and it will never happen but I can dream ^^ Or, I’d like to sing with Daniel Gildenlow!! The best singer in the world! And there are so many bands I would like to play with that I cannot number all of them.

What interests or hobbies do you have outside of the band?

Well, in the daily life, I’m rather commonplace, I grumble about anything like other girls I suppose (I am told in the ear that I grumble more than the other girls…), I like going to the cinema, watching series (fan of HIMYM, Scrubs etc.) listening to a lot of music obviously, seeing my friends, be with my husband, sport, remains hours on internet and gardening. Yes, Rémi and the boys call me “hippy” all the time because in the daily life, I am rather “peace and love” and more “flowers” than “Gothic depressive”. ^^

If you were not Kerion‘s singer, what would you be doing instead?

It’s a very good question because when I wonder: if Rémi never asked me to sing, well, maybe I shall never have tried to sing, I do (because we do not live on the music) and the good that music makes to me, I thought that I would not have stopped Tai Jitsu and I would be black belt by now 😀
No, actually I don’t know. I would have continued my life as usual. When we don’t know what we could have done, we don’t miss that, do we?

You have already provided a guest vocal on Fairyland’s “Score to a New Beginning”. Do you or the band have any other collaborations or side-projects in the pipeline?

At this time we don’t have any collaboration to other’s project planned, but we have some ideas about guest singers for our next album… but shhh it is a secret ^^

Thanks for taking the time to talk to Femme Metal, Flora – any last words or thoughts for your readers?

First, thank you very much, it was a very interesting interview!!!! I hope my English is understandable :p and I hope that by reading me, some people will be curious and buy our album.

 

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