Interview : Julie Kiss – To-Mera (2009)




Interview by Gabriella Chiodo

We have reached Julie Kiss, singer of UK Prog Metallers To-Mera, for let you know to our readers all the latest news in the house.

For who don’t know yet, what is the meaning and the origin of the bandname To-Mera? Where do the idea comes from?

Well, according to some sources it is how the Ancient Egyptians used to call Egypt. I found it in a book I read about the association of sophisticated technology with magic in Egypt.

Could you describe the band briefly? Could you describe the style of the band? Could you quickly present what his To-Mera music?

That’s not as easy task partly because To-Mera’s music has never been too easily definable and partly because it has evolved a lot through the years. Perhaps you could say that from a mixture of goth-prog-symphonic-thrash-death it evolved into something a lot more heavy, melodic and rhythmically complex with some slight jazzy overtones…

Which music genres influencing the composing work of music and lyrics?

Musically it really depends on what Tom’s been listening to, which has recently been a lot of jazz & classical music as well as bands like Textures, Pain of Salvation…lyrically it’s a mixture of personal thoughts/feelings/events entwined with deeper philosophical and more recently socio-political content. In the beginning there was also an influence of dark gothic literature such as Poe and Lovecraft.

Most of the tracks are long around 8 minutes. Is it a choice or is it a spontaneus event?

It’s spontaneous in that Tom will develop a song until he feels like it’s complete. This apparently seems to happen around 8 minutes. 😉

How do you see yourself compare to the others female fronted metal bands?

Well, I like to think the music of To-Mera is a fairly unique concoction within the metal scene in general be that female or male fronted bands. Going from our experiences at the Metal Female Voices festival, we’ve certainly raised a few eyebrows while impressed others. That’s just how we are – an odd bunch I suppose.

Let’s talk about the new EP “Earthbound”: what’s the evolution on To-Mera music from the first album?

Arguably it is still the same band, however the style has changed quite a bit. The song writing is much more polished and the music a lot more homogenous in a way. Influences from in and outside the metal scene are still present but are a lot more subtle. So interestingly although the music in a way is more accessible from a song writing point of view, from the opinions around it seems the EP is one of those records that need a few spins before they reveal their true selves.

Could you tell which themes are present on the songs of the EP? How would you describe the general feeling and atmosphere of “Earthbound”?

I think it’s a lot more ‘laid back’ and confident but with a sinister duality – it’s passionate and uplifting yet it also slightly subdued and disillusioned, which perhaps is not surprising considering the last couple of years…The lyrical themes, as usual, are a mixture: The starting song “Mesmerized” is basically about the blindness of society which has integrated in itself a system of consumerism which it follows with an almost animalistic determination. Everything is fair game, everyone’s disposable, all that matters is profit. It knows that it’s not making it happy/happier yet it blindly follows anyway even if it eventually leads itself towards self-destruction. The 2nd song “Arcane Solace” is then quite a contrast. It’s plainly and simply about being terrified of falling in love…In the face of a ‘mystery too great to deny’ however, there is no other choice but to give in and let yourself burn whether it elevates or consumes you. “Earthbound” was literally inspired by my extreme difficulties in getting out of bed in the mornings!;) Of course there is a lot more to it and in fact it’s probably my favourite set of lyrics on the EP. It’s about waking up and realising that your dreams have changed that you as a person have changed…that things that you dreamt of are just not important in the same sense anymore and yet it still hurts to let them go. The final song “Another World” then sort of runs along similar lines as “Mesmerized” but on a lot more personal level. It’s about realizing that you’re not powerless as an individual and wanting to take an active part in changing the world or..well, just to live as you feel is right as opposed to what’s expected by society.

The last question : why, after 2 full lenght, you have decided to split from Candelight Records?

It’s simply that we couldn’t agree on the particulars of the new deal so we decided to just go and do our thing…a bit of an experiment if you like. 😉



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