Elysion interview (12/2009)
|With:||Johnny Zero, Christianna|
|Conducted by:||Jason W. (e-mail)|
Elysion has just released their debut album, "Silent Scr3am" to the world via Massacre Records, a band I found by doing some of my own searching for new bands to watch a few months back. After some casual messages back and forth, as well as receiving their debut in the mail in the interim, Johnny and Christianna had the chance tell me a bit about their album and display their enthusiasm as a new band in the female-fronted metal scene.
Hello Elysion, it's great to get a chance to interview you for Metalstorm! Massacre Records will be releasing your debut album, "Silent Scream" on December 18th, so you could you tell everyone about the new album? How do you describe the type of music you play?
Christianna and Johnny: Hallo to everyone and a big thanks to you for having us! At the moment we are pretty happy and excited about "Silent Scr3am" coming out! We believe we are letting out a strong, powerful and very up-to-date album, a mixture of metal, gothic, electro and rock elements. Elysion's sound is clean and simple but at the same time strong and alluring. One our favorite things about "Silent Scr3am" is the fact that it can relate to a great variety of different musical backgrounds, since we feel we have freely expressed ourselves throughout our many influences and haven't been tied down to a specific music label. Our working with Ted Jensen for the album's mastering has definitely been one of our most highlighted moments, together with having Mark Adrian as our producer is our guarantee to the listener of a high quality production. "Silent Scr3am" to us is a fluid ray of light sneaking into a dark room…
I've become very familiar with the songs that everyone can hear on your Myspace page. I like all of them, particularly "Never Forever" and "Killing My Dreams." I have also heard some samples of "Walk Away" and "Erase Me," which also sounded great. What are your favorite songs on the new album?
Christianna: Thank you for all your kind words, and for checking out our Myspace page! I seem to be going through phases... I love all songs in "Silent Scr3am" but tend to listen to a specific song more according to my mood. When feeling quite melancholic I usually put "Erase Me" on repeat and just sink into its depression, while listening to "Killing My Dreams" always gets me in the highest mood possible! It's rather hard for us to choose a favorite among all songs because we are quite emotionally attached to each of them for different reasons.
Who writes the lyrics on the album, and who does the musical writings?
Johnny: In "Silent Scr3am" I was the main composer, with a great help of Elysion's ex-singer Maxi Nil in some songs, who also came up with some wonderful lyrics. However, it is important to point out our sound as an outcome is the result of the contribution of all Elysion, each of us blending our ideas and musical personalities with the rest. This is why I think that this album contains the very best of all of us!
What are your inspirations for the music and for the lyrics? Any musicians or writers or movies that are important for you?
Johnny: Anything might give an urge for an inspiration...a personal experience, an attitude towards life in general or just the mood we are in would be enough for us to get up in the middle of the night and start working on a new song. Usually, the more emotional we feel at a specific moment and the more we manage to let ourselves sink into our feelings the more beautiful the outcome turns out to be.
Originally, Maxi Nil was your lead singer until 2008. After she left, Christianna joined Elysion. Could you tell us about the first time that Christianna sang with Elysion, and how did you meet?
Johnny: Actually, we were no strangers with Christianna since we had shared the same stage several times in the past, not belonging in the same band of course. So when the time came for our very first rehearsal altogether, her voice and character as a singer was something we were familiar with. We surely had been anticipating seeing how she would fit in with our whole atmosphere and luckily she was very quickly adjusted, so we began the vocal recordings for "Silent Scr3am" right away.
Your biography also says that Elysion was founded by Johnny Zero as well. Could you give us a time line for the band, such as when Petros joined, or when Fxf joined, etc....?
Christianna: Like you said, the band was formed back in 2006 by Johnny and Maxi urged by the need to create something beautiful and communicate it through music. Both FxF and Petros were invited on board right away, because the need to follow the dream was quite intense, so Elysion had to get down to business immediately...and they did. It is the same wish that we share today, only it has grown much more powerful over time: we wish to follow our dream, all the way to the end.
Have any of you played in any other musical projects in the past, or are any of you working outside of Elysion now as well?
Christianna: We have all been involved with quite a few bands and projects over the years, I think Johnny's most recent band before Elysion were "Sudden Death". As for me, perhaps you might have heard of "Bare Infinity", an atmospheric power metal band. Luckily, all of us have degrees in music and sound engineering so even our everyday jobs have to do with what we love...there are always side projects each of us is taking part in, but due to Elysion's increasing needs for our full time and energy right now every extra activity has been limited to a minimum. At this point we wish to give Elysion the 100% of our attention, make sure we do whatever possible to make this work!
Some musicians are happiest in the studio, while others are happiest when they are playing live. What is your favorite? How important is playing live for Elysion?
Christianna: Well studio sessions and live performances are both superb ways for us to express our love for music, I myself find both procedures thrilling for different reasons: studio time contains a great force of inspiration and creativity, it is the place where feelings are being put down to notes and therefore it is a time of birth to me...still nothing can be compared to playing live, and I think I speak for all Elysion in this one. The energy of a live show is what makes all efforts musicians make worth [it], it is the people I see when I am up on the stage who make the magic happen, it is in their eyes that we find our true reward for what we do and I cannot explain how thankful Elysion are for this reward. Right now we are all full of energy and ready to make everyone scream, not silently, but really really loud!
I noticed that you are interested in doing some future international touring. When do you think a tour may start? I noticed you would be interested in traveling to America?
Johnny: Touring is Elysion's top priority at this point, and a very good reason for us to feel overly excited for what's about to begin! We are now at the terms of planning all details of our touring and trying to make it possible to visit as many countries as possible, starting from Europe and hopefully America right after. This all is probably not going to start before the second half of 2010, as in these first months we have planned to tour Greece and thereby honor our homeland for all the great support before we make our moves outside the borders. We expect our full schedule to be announced soon...there is nothing we would rather say than make a promise to meet everyone from stage soon, this is probably going to be Elysion's New Year's Resolution!
In October, I attended the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium for the first time, and found it an excellent place for female fronted bands. What do you think of festivals like this that promote women in metal? Would you ever be interested in playing there or a similar type of festival?
Christianna: Definitely! Elysion seize all chances we are given to play live, this is what we live for! MFVF is one of the greatest festivals supporting female fronted metal and one hell of a festival in general! Female vocaling is growing and growing in the metal industry and I feel I must constantly improve to be competitive, but this is what I am here for! We keep our fingers crossed that in the time to come we will get to play in as many festivals as possible, we always feel blessed to be able to share something with the people regardless of where we play or how big the crowd is.
I'd love to visit Greece someday. What is the metal scene like there, and how has the local scene reacted to your music? What are your favorite clubs to play at and why?
Johnny: I think that the scenery in the Greek metal scene is no different than in many countries working their way up to producing some good metal material and earn a place in the international scene. Lately it has been very promising to see the standards getting higher and higher, and it is very pleasant to see that the number of Greek bands exceeding the borders is rising. Of course, this all maximizes the competition and makes it very difficult for a band to stand out. Elysion see this all as a challenge, we always try to improve in all ways possible. Gladly all feedback we are getting has been excellent so far, and we feel grateful for all the support we have received, it certainly gave us all the strength we needed to overcome all obstacles. As for our favorite clubs...I guess we don't have any. Elysion play anywhere we can be heard, and what makes a club great is not the facilities but the people. Any club providing us with the chance to communicate our music is a cherished and favorite place!
I found you through the Massacre Records website a few months ago. How has working with Massacre been for the band? Why did you choose them?
Johnny: It has all been amazing! I feel we were very blessed in all aspects concerning this debut album… the material we had to work with appeared very promising from the beginning, so we were lucky enough to sign up with Massacre Records, achieving a very important deal with one of the leader labels in this industry. Having all the support such a label can provide was definitely a big advantage to us, and we feel extremely lucky that this deal was made in regard to our very first album. Being able to aim to a top of the field label like Massacre is a dream for all upcoming bands in the industry so once this was achieved, we worked as hard as we could to justify Massacre's support and trust upon us. We feel grateful for this wonderful opportunity we were given and we will surely make the most out of it.
You've got a great Myspace page. How important do you think the internet is for Elysion?
Johnny: Glad you liked our page! ...Internet has grown huge over the years and is still growing bigger and bigger...MySpace has become the fastest, easiest and most effective way for bands to communicate their work worldwide, an incredible opportunity for us to have an everyday feedback with no border limitations...it is very important for Elysion, in the sense that this all is the modern way music travels. However the traveling though, music has to be good to stay in one place, or in someone's heart, so our main goal is to always play good music and hope that the rest will come.
The artwork for your album "Silent Scream" is beautiful and dark. I noticed you've listed Natalie Shau and Seth Siro Anton as the two people who worked on your album. How did you meet them and did you give them ideas first, or did they approach you with ideas?
Christianna: We have actually been following Natalie Shau's work for several years and loving it…she is an extremely talented artist and she has worked miracles with so many bands, among them "Poisonblack" and "Lacuna Coil". She was the first to come to mind when it was time for us to decide upon our cover. Seth Siro Anton was also no stranger to us, we have always been huge admirers of him and our very own Septicflesh, and apart from his exceptional musical talent he is also a very important artist, having done amazing artwork for Paradise Lost, Moonspell and so many others. We couldn't have made a wiser choice than to absolutely trust them. We needed the outside to match the inside…we wanted Elysion's simplicity and beauty to be captured on the cover and be just what the title says: a silent scream is quiet but loud at the same time. Natalie took this all to the next level: she managed to come up with something so pretty, inviting and eye-catching but at the same time dark and weird, we knew from the moment we saw it that this was it. The girl on the cover is so still and silent, but yet breathtaking and intense, it couldn't have worked any better!
What impressed me about Elysion immediately was how professional and polished the recordings sound, and that you worked with Ted Jensen, who has worked with Iron Maiden and Evanescence. Why did you choose him and how did it help with the final product?
Christianna: Working with one of the top sound engineers of the industry was a huge honor and opportunity, to begin with. Over the years we have been very impressed by Jensen's work, since it has contributed so much to the sound of many of our favorite bands and artists, all this placing him among top in the field producers in the entire world. We were given a chance to work with him and we would be stupid not to take it, so we totally trusted him to do whatever he thought best with our music and, of course, he did. We should at this point give great credit to our producer Mark Adrian who did an amazing job recording and mixing the album, and therefore "feeding'' Ted Jensen with a very high standard material so he had a wonderful platform to work on and master "Silent Scr3am". For all these reasons, we consider ourselves extremely lucky, especially because "Silent Scr3am" is our very first album and it was very important to us that production brings out the best of our music.
Anything else about Elysion you would like to tell the Metalstorm readers? Anything about Greece I should know about when I visit in the future?
Christianna and Johnny: ...one thing you should keep in mind in case you ever visit Greece is to give us a call and we promise to take you to all special places Oh, and always pack a swimming suit with you, you are probably gonna need it!
A huge thanks to everyone for reading, we are counting the days to see all of you guys in a show and hope this day comes soon! Hope our "Silent Scr3am" reaches out to your hearts!
Thank you for your interest in Metalstorm and for the chance to do this interview. I hope to meet you during the future and see you live hopefully Best wishes with the new album!
Christianna and Johnny: Thank you for giving us this chance to talk about Elysion and for all your support, we sincerely appreciate it! Wish to meet you in person soon, we'll be honored to see you in a gig! Best wishes and enjoy your Christmas holidays!
||Posted on 28.12.2009 by Music and the written word are two of my passions in life, so I figured, why not combine the two?|
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