Archive for Nico Davidson

Interview with Alexander Krull [Atrocity]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 29th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 026

Nico got settled down in Manchester earlier this month for a chat with Alexander Krull, the voice of Germany’s death metal powerhouse Atrocity.

Nico: Nice to meet you Alex, how are you doing?

Alex: Nice to meet you. I’m fine. Fantastic tour in the UK. We’re happy to be back.

Nico: It’s been a while since Atrocity last played the UK. Has the Atrocity fanbase changed since you last were here or is it pretty much still the same?

Alex: The people we met before appeared at the show, so they are pretty much the same. I think they all liked the new album, the Okkult album. We got some really good feedbacks so we are happy that we were able to do this tour. On the other side we have been touring through many countries with both bands, Atrocity and Leaves’ Eyes, like 40 countries or more. It’s a little bit of a pity if you have a circle consisting of studio, album, touring. But maybe one tour is not happening and you go on tour with the next album, so there can be a long time in between.

Nico: If you were booked to play a festival and you get to play only one Atrocity album, which one would it be and why?

Alex: At the moment, the Okkult album. Obviously because it’s the brand new album and the songs are doing very well, so that would be the choice of the moment.

Nico: Speaking of festivals, does Atrocity have any festival plans for this year?

Alex: Yeah, it’s still in the making, but bring us back to the UK if possible!

Nico: I’m sure something can be arranged, maybe Bloodstock?

Alex: Yeah that would be awesome! We’ve played there with Leaves’ Eyes, it was amazing, it was really good. Yes maybe somebody wants to bring us back with Leaves’ Eyes or Atrocity, I don’t care!

Nico: Let’s hope so.

Alex: I mean, there are festivals coming up but I can’t tell which ones. Two new ones are coming up soon on Facebook or the page, you will see.

Nico: Okkult was released last year like you said, and it’s the first part of a trilogy. Have you started on the second part of the trilogy?

Alex: Yes, actually we recorded one song before we left for the UK. But it will take a while. I mean, we will play after this tour in North America and Puerto Rico for four weeks. That’s the situation we are in now : we are touring and playing festivals. After North America we are going back to Europe so there will be time to write and record songs. But it’s also cool to grab the energy from the shows, the experiences that we have, to write new songs.

Nico: I imagine it’s still a bit early to be talking about the second part of the trilogy, but what can fans expect from the second part?

Alex: I think you ask this question is because we have had a lot of changes within the bands history and diversity in music. But the Okkult concept is based on this epic backstory let’s say, like we have on the first album. I think we are going to keep that style which is already quite diverse. I’ve heard from some press people that they were a little bit afraid that people would not understand everything on the album. They were a little bit like ‘what?’. It’s up to the fans and I think it’s good to have a diverse album. So we are going to follow in the footsteps of the first one and develop the style. There will probably be some changes, we don’t want to be a boring band. We’re always looking for new challenges.

Nico: Are there any releases by other bands that you are looking forward to this year?

Alex: Let me think..there are a few but the thing is, I’m not sure if they are going to release next year or this year. Who’s releasing something?

Nico: There are a few bands, it’s hard to keep track of it all to be honest.

Alex: You know, who announced they were going on tour with a new record.. Was it Live or whoever? Not a metal band but I would love to see a new album of them too.

Nico: From previous interviews with Liv, I understand that you are a Game of Thrones fan. If you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would it be and why?

Alex: Wow. Okay, I think the character is dead already! Ned Stark.

Nico: Good choice! Apart from the fact he’s dead…

Alex: I didn’t read the books but yeah, that was not like in other movies… [makes chopping movement with hand] over-out!

Nico: That was one of the most impressive moments for me in the Game of Thrones universe, apart from the Red Wedding.

Alex: Yeah, the Red Wedding, I saw some reactions to that on the internet.., It was quite heavy.

Nico: It was brilliant how they did it on TV especially if you read the books as well. Because I knew it was coming so I was like “no no, not this season, not this episode! Do it another time! Please for the love of God!”

Alex: [laughs] Yeah it was quite interesting to see some reactions when they cursed the directors: “ how can they do that, the characters die!”. It’s written in the books, so..

Nico: Some fans take it a bit overboard so..,

Alex: Yeah I’m looking forward to watch the new season. I think it starts in april? Yesi *two thumbs up*

Nico: Thanks for you time Alex, I hope you have a good show tonight.

Alex: Thank you!

Nico: You’re welcome.

Alex: See you guys!

Atrocity online:

http://facebook.com/AtrocityOfficial
http://twitter.com/atrocitypage

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Continents w/Support – Bridlington, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20th November 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Continents, Aveira Skies, Sea Of Giants and more
Shades Nightclub, Bridlington
16th November 2013

Down To A Deathmatch - Photo by Nico Davidson

Following their UK tour earlier this year, Welsh hardcore titans Continents hit the road once again this month to tour in support in their new album Idle Hands. The UK tour took to them to the sunny seaside resort town of Bridlington. Opening up the show were Hull band Down To A Deathmatch. Bringing about a sharp, fierce guitar assault accompanied by an overwhelming use of screams and thundering bass and drums which led to a devastating attack on the eardrums. Proving to be active on-stage (and in the case of the vocalist, off-stage as well), DTAD performed a truly exciting set that combined a heavy use of lights and a blistering mixture of hardcore and metal elements.

[4/5]

An Act Of treason - Photo by Nico DavidsonUp next were Hull post-hardcore monsters An Act Of Treason. Their set featured an interesting use of clean vocals and screams, as well as a few bland riffs here and there but these were pushed out of the way by the heavier, more violent riffs which led to some intense pitting from the crowd. Unfortunately there were some technical issues throughout the band’s set but this didn’t stop them from unleashing proverbial hell with their anxiety-provoking drums and volcanic guitar passages. The light accompanied An Act Of Treason with pure precision (though this was the last time the lights came into play throughout the whole show) as they ploughed rather viciously throughout their set.

[3.5/5]

Sea Of Giants - Photo by Nico Davidson

Local deathcore boys Sea Of Giants were the next band to pave a path of destruction and broken bodies at the show. While they started sounding on the weak side, they soon gained the strength needed to deliver a punch to the face with a wall of sound made up from the hellish vocals, gritty bass and snarling guitar passages as well as the crushing use of percussion. The whole set, despite one or two technical issues, sounded like a bus colliding head-on with a train at high speed.

[3.5/5]

 

Aveira Skies - Photo by Nico DavidsonThe main support came in the form of Aveira Skies, who were the touring support for Continents. While they’re talented musicians and were active on stage, their set proved to be uninteresting, making use of uninspiring riffs and mediocre vocals. The music itself sounded like one long song split into several parts, becoming repetitive and inane. Aveira Skies do have the talent and potential but it felt like the songs they wrote were intended to play it safe, so to speak.

[2/5]

And finally, the main event of the night made their way on stage: Welsh hardcore titans Continents. From beginning to end, they unsheathed brutal riffs sharper than valyrian steel and a use of manic and crazed screams. Proving to be as active as the other bands on the bill, Continents really did unleash hell. The use of bass and drums were particularly catalysmic, laying the groundwork for the titanic amount of guitar segments and baneful vocals. Continents certainly represented the Welsh scene with venomous effect and if you’ve not seen them yet, you better prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride of a show when you do.

[5/5]

Continents - Photo by Nico Davidson

Nico Davidson

Interview with Liv Kristine [Leaves’ Eyes]

Posted in Featured, Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 17th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Liv Kristine is best known for her work as the vocalist for Leaves’ Eyes and former singer for Theatre of Tragedy. As well as fronting one of the most iconic symphonic metal bands on the scene, Liv is also a solo artist and has collaborated with a number of different bands including Cradle Of FilthAtrocityDelain and most recently she appeared on the track The Lay Of Our Love, which is featured on Tyr‘s new album Valkyrja.

With the release of Symphonies Of The Night just around the corner and a UK tour confirmed for January 2014, Nico catches up Liv Kristine to discuss all things Leaves’ Eyes as well as popular TV series Game Of Thrones, her solo project and rumours about Leaves’ Eyes appearing at the next Dames of Darkness Festival…

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you doing?

Liv: I’m good thank you. It’s been a busy day, but in a positive way, you know. Lots of interviews and we’re rehearsing because we’ll be playing the Metal Female Voices Festival in Belgium in a couple of days. I’ll be there with my solo band on Friday and with Leaves’ Eyes on Saturday so yes, we’re busy!

Nico: Sounds like you’ll be having fun though. Is there a meaning behind the title of the new album Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: Um, a meaning or the concept in general?

Nico: A bit of both really.

Liv: Okay, well we came up with the title pretty late in the recording process. I actually had a song called Carmilla from Sheridan Le Fanu’s horror novel from 1871. So the song, which came to be titled Symphony of the Night, was originally titled Carmilla. But we were discussing the title within the band and we weren’t really sure. What happened was pure luck: I was typing an interview and the journalist was asking me about my influences and I mentioned Tchaikovsky, who wrote the Symphony of the Swan Lake and I thought that’s it! This is an album of eleven symphonies of the night, so there we go! So Carmilla is still the main character in the title song, but the title got changed. Things happen, we are a very creative band.

Nico: I was listening to the previews of Symphonies of the Night that Napalm uploaded to YouTube earlier. There is a definite evolution in the band’s sound, changing direction compared to previous Leaves’ Eyes albums. Is this what you were aiming for with this album, and will this be a future direction you will be taking for future releases?

Liv: Well, I’d rather put it this way: Leaves’ Eyes isn’t a planned thing when we start composing. We throw everything into pre-production and what was already there, were two songs: Eileens Ardency and Saint Cecilia. They just didn’t fit on the Meredead [released in 2011] album when it comes to atmosphere. So they weren’t leftovers but they were on no album after the release of Mededead,  so we decided to start working on them. And then we realised that this was a good point to start from. You know, this year we have the anniversary of 10 years of Leaves’ Eyes so we have experienced a lot of being on the road, and all these albums we released and we’ve gathered a lot of experiences. For most of the band members Leaves’ Eyes is twenty, twenty five years of experience. Everything is there on this album, you won’t miss anything. It’s a very powerful album, I agree on that.

Nico: On previous Leaves’ Eyes albums the use of different languages made an appearance on the tracks. Will this be the same with Symphonies of the Night?

Liv: On Symphonies of the Night we’ll have modern English of course, Shakespearean English, some Norwegian, a little bit of French and a little bit of Irish. That’s five languages, I think on the Njord album we had eight languages and on Meredead six languages. I just love languages and I studied linguistics for years so it’s something I really like doing.

Nico: What would you say is the track that stands out on the new album?

Liv: Well that’s the most tricky question you could’ve asked me. Right, um.. This morning in my car I was listening to Ophelia, which is the final track of the album. Of course it’s Shakespeare’s Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, in Hamlet. That’s my main character, and Ophelia is a quite straightforward and rocky song. It might sound like it doesn’t have a complicated structure like for example Saint Cecilia or Nightshade but Ophelia was the second to last song we recorded. We needed quite a lot of time for Ophelia to finish it in the way we wanted it. All of us: Alex, my husband, our producer, Thorsten my red-haired guitar player and myself are perfectionists. It’s great to have our own studio because then we can keep working until the three of us are satisfied. Ophelia was a tough one but I think it turned out great and at the moment it’s my favourite, if I’m allowed to have one.

Nico: You recently featured on The Lay of Our Love which is on Týr’s latest album Valkyrja. What was it like, recording that track with Týr?

Liv: Actually, I recorded my vocals here in our studio in Germany. But every time I think about doing a duet it’s always the music itself which decides. If I like the song I’ll do it. Heri from Týr helped me out in Wacken last year when Leaves’ Eyes headlined Wacken Open Air. He helped me out on Solemn Sea, one of our tracks. So when Heri asked me ‘Liv would you mind? I have a duet and you would fit very well on it’. I just loved the song and I have good news because we’ll be shooting a video clip for that track in a month! I’m really looking forward to that, it will be in Belgrade.

Nico: Ooh, excellent! I’m looking forward to that. With the recent collarboration with Týr, do you think it will help expose Leaves’ Eyes to Týr fans and Týr fans to Leaves’ Eyes?

Liv: I hope so, I really hope so! If Heri wouldn’t mind, we should tour together some day cause I think we have a potential common fanbase. The thing is, Leaves’ Eyes hasn’t toured a lot in Scandinavia. We should to that very soon, especially in my homeland. Týr is very well known in Scandinavia so that would be an absolutely amazing package.

Nico: I completely agree. A Leaves’ Eyes/Tyr tour would be amazing.

Liv: Thank you. We now have told the universe.

Nico: Speaking of touring, Leaves’ Eyes is scheduled to return to the UK next year in January with Atrocity and Pythia. Are you looking forward to the tour? Which cities are you excited about?

Liv: Absolutely! We toured the UK and Northern Ireland last year with Firewind and that was absolutely amazing. We played at places where Leaves’ Eyes had never played before and for Firewind as well it was absolutely amazing. I remember Cardiff very well because I spent a couple of months there when I was an exchange student. So Cardiff is pretty well-known to me. But of course Manchester is always packed, London is always packed. We will play in some of the venues we played with Firewind as well. We’re building up a fanbase in those places so I’m really looking forward to be back over there in the UK. We have an amazing fanbase in the UK and Northern Ireland. I was really surprised to see that there are so many fans who know about our music in the UK, and many journalists as well. I’ve had quite a few UK interviews this week so that’s good.

Nico: Last time I interviewed you, which was in Manchester last year, when Leaves’ Eyes was there with Firewind, you mentioned that you were a fan of Game of Thrones. So, if you could be any character from the Game of Thrones universe, who would you be and why?

Liv: That’s an even trickier question than the one you asked me before! Oh dear, oh dear… I’m not really sure. It must be Daenerys. Well okay, she’s blonde so it should be her.

Nico: She’s a good, strong character.

Liv: She’s great, she’s amazing yes.

Nico: Going back to touring, are there any future plans for you to tour your solo project around the UK?

Liv: I hope and pray that there will be next year because it’s certainly time to play some solo shows in the UK as well. The only shows I have this year for Liv Kristine, for my solo project, is Nagold in Germany and Pratteln in Switzerland. So those are the two gigs, but they are exclusive gigs. Leaves’ Eyes and Atrocity will be touring most of the rest of the year so we will be very busy. China, Taiwan, Thailand, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Belgium. Lot of things happening! The end of December is the right time for exclusive solo shows but the UK, 2014..let’s cross our fingers.

Nico: That’s what I’m hoping for.

Liv: Me too.

Nico: Speaking of shows. I’ve heard a few whipserings around the internet from associates of mine that Leaves’ Eyes might be playing the Dames of Darkness festival in the UK next year. I was wondering if there is any truth to this?

Liv: Wauw, I mean that would be absolutely killer! It would be fantastic. Well you know, bookers know things before the rest of the band does so..let’s make it happen.

Nico: I hope it does happen because Dames of Darkness this year was phenomenal and it would be so much better if Leaves’ Eyes was playing it.

Liv: Thank you, thank you very much! I’d love to be there.

Nico: Last question. This is a fan question, asked by April Mccaffrey: if you could have a superpower, which one would it be and why?

Liv: A superpower… Okay, you took me by surprise there! When I was a kid I always thought it would be fantastic to be able to look into the future, to know what is going to happen. But I’m not sure if I need that anymore. It’s a very good question actually. Sometimes I wish I could change things for the better of it. Sometimes, especially when it comes to children and children suffering on this planet, it feels like we are just sitting here being comfortable and warm while on the other side of the planet children are dying because of hunger. That’s when I think I would just like to be able to beam myself to that place and do something. Maybe that’s a project for the future. If I ever get tired of playing gigs and singing that would be something I would like to do, to be part of helping projects concerning children who are suffering on the other side of the world.

Nico: I wasn’t expecting that answer. You’re certainly a kind and caring individual. Thank you for your time Liv, I hope you have a good night.

Liv: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you again. Take good care and hope to see you in Manchester in January.

Nico: You too, Liv! Have a good night!

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.com
http://facebook.com/leaveseyesofficial

Damnation 2013: Bands you must see!

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

The days are counting down until Damnation Festival once again lays waste to the city of Leeds with a truly heavy, dark and spectacular line-up. Here’s our list of bands you must go see at this year’s Damnation…

Rotting Christ

Chosen by Iza Raittila.

For those who are fed up with all the gimmicks present in today’s black and death metal scenes, be sure to check out Rotting Christ at this year’s Damnation Festival. These guys prove once and for all that there’s really no need for corpse-paint or fancy, “evil” looking stage-props to put on a great show. They rely solely on their energy and skills as musicians to win over the crowds. You won’t be disappointed.

Carcass

Chosen by Alex Cook.

The legendary Carcass are due to headline this year’s Damnation festival and I have heard from many people that they are the ONLY band that they are bothered about seeing. This in many ways is a shame, but such is the power of a band that so many metal fans grew up listening to. Carcass are easily one of the more accessibly Death metal bands, although suitably graphic in their lyrics, their real strength lies in the accessibility of their riffs and the urge they produce in us to bang our heads with complete abandon. I was listening to my copy of Heartwork recently (on cassette no less) and was struck by the fact that despite it being 10 years old, it still sounds fresh and heavy without being over-bearing. It is an album that leaves on imprint on your musical memory, so that when anyone mentions the band or you hear a snippet of No Love Lost, Embodiment or Doctrinal Expletives to name but a few, you are reminded why you first fell in love with the genre in the first place. That, and Carcass’s new album Surgical Steel is something of a quiet masterpiece. Unpretentious and all-encompassing, it delivers on everything we expect from Carcass which is solid, accessible and memorable material. If you’re still not sure about the merits of Carcass, let them entertain you at Damnation festival. I am certain that even if you just stick your head around the door, you will be enchanted and undoubtedly end up in the pit that ensues whenever Carcass play live.

God Seed

Chosen by Hannah O’Flanagan.

If you’re asking me why you should go and see God Seed, I’ll ask you why you’re attending Damnation at all. Made from the fall out of the Gorgoroth name dispute saga, God Seed is Gaahl and King ov Hell‘s new project that delivers insanely atmospheric black metal as only Gaahl and KoH can. They’ve triumphantly appeared at Wacken and supported Cradle of Filth on their Manticore tour, and I can guarantee the experience of watching God Seed perform will be like no other. Their 2012 debut I Begin is a good place to start if you still don’t believe me. But stand before the infernal glory of God Seed and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Vallenfyre

Chosen by Alex Cook.

Vallenfyre are also a band to look out for at Damnation. They are something of a super-group for those whose hearts belong to early 90’s Doom and Death metal, and they do not disappoint. Featuring Gregor Mackintosh from Paradise Lost, Hamish Glencross from My Dying Bride and Adrian Erlandsson of At the Gates, you get the impression from their releases that it is just a bit of fun and that the members are stretching their wings and proving they have a capacity for a genre separate from how they have made their names. Their album A Fragile King’is engrossing and infectious and just pure, crushing, dirty death metal. Tracks such as Desecration, Cathedrals of Dread and A Thousand Martyrs reek of the infamous Boss HM2 pedal which makes any Entombed fan salivate at the mouth and it is used to spectacular effect. Expect nothing but great things if you catch them at Damnation and be sure to pick up a copy of A Fragile King beforehand so your appetite for the old school is suitably whetted.

Dyscarnate

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

No Damnation line-up would be complete without a slab of face-crushing, ear-splitting death metal and that’s exactly what Dyscarnate offer. Be it recorded or live, Dyscarnate‘s crushing use of riffs will utterly abuse you and leaving you begging for more like a glutton for punishment. Having already devastated venues across the UK and toured with bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse and most recently Psycroptic and Hour Of PenanceDyscarnate are at the front of the UK’s death metal and represent everything good about it!

Katatonia

Chosen by Lauren Gowdy.

Although their songs aren’t as fast as a majority of the bands playing Damnation Festival, Katatonia is one band that everyone should check out. Their playing is heavy and slow but filled with so much emotion that it literally will suck you into their set. Not to mention that their stage presence is captivating, and you may either find yourself headbanging slowly along with the riffs or just standing and observing the sheer awesomeness of their set. Anyone who is a fan of Opeth should definitely check out Katatonia because both bands are very similar only difference being that Katatonia does not have as many heavy songs as Opeth. They will be worth sticking around to see towards the end of the day, and I guarantee you will remember their set!

Iron Witch

Chosen by Nico Davidson.

Liverpudlian doom noise mongers Iron Witch are definitely one to keep an eye out for at Damnation this year. Straying from the classic doom sound, the Scouser quintet incorporate hardcore punk vibes and gritty riffs with their doomesque connoction that has helped put themselves on a map. Being relatively young compared to the vast majority of the Damnation line-up and other bands on the British doom scene, Iron Witch have had their fair share of success and I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t reach the same level as Liverpudlian doom overlords Anathema.

Twilight Of The Gods

Chosen by Ian Foster.

One of the many band who will be appearing at the Damnation Festival 2013 are Twilight Of The Gods, a five piece band who were initially formed with the intent of paying tribute to the legendary Bathory and writing music inspired by them. The band have just released their debut album Fire On The Mountain. The band includes members of Primordial, Lock Up, Einherjer, Thyrfing and Aura Noir so there’s some real pedigree involved here and there’s far more than Bathory worship going on. You can definitely hear a lot of influence from the classic metal bands on the Fire On The Mountain album, but after all it’s what the band set out to do. Definitely a band for fans of old school heavy metal to check out at the festival.

[Editor’s note: If you didn’t see Primordial at last year’s Damnation, TOTG are the next best thing]

Damnation Festival will take palce on 2nd November at Leeds University Union. Tickets are available from this location.

Visions of Atlantis – Ethera

Posted in CD, Featured, Metal with tags , , , , , on 8th March 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Visions of Atlantis
Ethera
Symphonic Metal
Released 22nd March
Released via Napalm Records

I’ve been following Visions of Atlantis on and off for five or so years now, so when Ethera landed in my office, my interested was immediately piqued though I will admit, I’m not familiar with the vocal stylings of the current VOA vocalist, Maxi Nil.

The album kicks off with a powerful start through the first two tracks, demonstrating the band’s domineering symphonic-tinted sounds though the third track, Avatara, calls up more of a synth-orientated sonancy that plays along well enough with the vocals and guitar sections. Vicious Circle is one of the more emotive pieces on the album, featuring a heavy use of emotional piano medleys before the driving use of riffs domineer select parts of the song. The pianos and the soulful use of vocals are what help the track stand out prominently, above the other tracks on the album – both before and after.

Some of the tracks throughout the album display a truly dramatic and theatrical sound, conjuring up an electrifying atmosphere. Burden of Divinity is definitely one of the songs that achieves that, with its melodic guitar work and poignant keyboard passages. The vocals are on top form throughout the song as well, helping contribute to its status as one of the memorable parts of the album. One of my other favourite songs on the album would have to be the expressive and esoteric track Cave Behind The Waterfall due to the soothing acoustic introduction and gentle sailing of the vocals.

There are a few tracks on the album that are bland in comparison to the rest of the album but the sound that Visions of Atlantis are pursing with this album appears to be working just fine for them and is a reconstruction of the band’s sound but enjoyable none the less.

4/5

Nico Davidson

 

Interview with David Homer [Apparition]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Created 16 years ago by David Homer, Apparition have sailed through the UK’s underground scene, supporting more well-known acts such as ReVamp, Delain and Sarah Jezebel Deva.

With a performance coming up at The Dames of Darkness Festival and their recent album released through Ravenheart Music, David Homer, bassist for Apparition has a chat with Valkyrian Music’s Nico Davidson.

Nico: Your album For Vengeance… And For Love… was released recently, what are the main concepts on the album?

David: They are just different stories sang to music. No real concept except maybe ‘freedom’.

Nico: How does For Vengeance… And For Love… differ from previous Apparition releases?

David: Well, I was the only person on this album that was on the debut Drowned in Questions. The songs on For Vengeance are a lot heavier, better production because we took more time and I did the keyboards on all but two of the songs. I visited this keyboard player called Adam a few years ago and by watching him picked up tips on how to be creative with the keys instead of just playing simple chords. Thankfully, he is in the band now.

Nico: You’re playing the Dames of Darkness Festival in May. How are you feeling about that?

David: As we are hosting the show I am just hoping it all works out and that the bands and fans leave happy with good memories. If it is a success we might do others.

Nico: I understand you’ve shared the stage with Delain in the past. Are you looking forward to sharing the stage with them again at Dames of Darkness?

David: Yes because when we played with them the first time I didn’t really know them or their music. When I watch them this time it means the day is nearly over and I can relax.

Nico: How would you say that Apparition differs from the other “female-fronted” bands on the scene?

David: We are classed as symphonic metal and goth metal and we use live keyboards and not backing tracks like most bands both big and small. I feel there is enough creativity in the band to show that we don’t need orchestras or choirs. Not to say I don’t like bands that do have these parts because I do but it’s just not for us.

Nico: How would you describe your music to a potential fan?

David: If we jammed without vocals and keyboards we could be seen as a Metallica type band. By adding Sakara’s [Apparition‘s new frontwoman] wonderful singing and Adams keyboards we give the music atmosphere and feeling.

Nico: Apparition have played a number of different shows, some of which have been in support of acts like Sarah Jezebel Deva, ReVamp and Tarja Turunen. Which show would you say was the best one you’ve played?

David: My favourite show by far was with Sarah Jezebel Deva in Liverpool. We were really tight and had so much energy that night. The Tarja show was good because we played in front of many people and it was good to meet the lady herself.

Nico: Aside from the aforementioned Dames of Darkness Festival, what other plans do the band have for 2013?

David: We’re going overseas to play again. Last year we played at Angels Rock festival in Belgium with Azylya and ExLibris which was very cool. Before that we need to work hard at practices with new guitarist Nick and hopefully new drummer Alex.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Apparition?

David: There isn’t one, it just sounds right for a gothic kind of metal or rock band.

Nico: Excluding yourselves, which band from the UK would you say are the best on the current British metal scene?

David: I am not saying this because we toured with them but I really love Sarah Jezebel Deva‘s band because they have great songs. Each night after we played I would still enjoy watching them even after ex amount of shows. Also Saturnian, a symphonic black metal band we played with at the Liverpool show were amazing. Everyone who knows our then guitarist Owen will tell you he never shuts up  BUT he was quiet for about the 30 minutes that they played. At first we thought he had gone to the lap dancing club next door but nope, he was transfixed!

Nico: Thanks for your time, David. I look forward to seeing you all at Dames of Darkness in May.

You can follow Apparition at these locations:

https://www.facebook.com/apparitionband
http://www.myspace.com/apparitionworld

 

Interview with Stuart McLeod [Storm of Embers]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Scottish power trio Storm of Embers are hot on the tail of the release of their new EP, I. With a string of shows coming up throughout the year, Nico grabs Storm of Embers bassist Stuart McLeod for a chat.

Nico: What’s the meaning behind the band’s name, Storm of Embers?

Stuart: When Al and I were coming up with the band name we wanted it to represent the musical ideas we had in mind and nearly all of the other names we were kicking around didn’t seem to suit the music. In our last band the music was very much thrash metal, so the name of that band kind of reflected that. To us, Storm of Embers suits our music perfectly. We don’t really have a meaning behind it, but if you listen to the music then it seems to be the only way to describe what we do.

Nico: Storm of Embers recently released the EP; I. What are the main themes that run through the EP?

Stuart: The main themes with the I EP, aside from giving a glimpse at what we are all about, lyrically speaking the main themes are life, change and the trials one goes through. Musically speaking this comes over as sometimes rather melancholic but with moments of, we like to think, beauty in amongst the melody and metal elements. Already we are working on the rest of the material for the upcoming full length release and it’s taking a pretty dark shape!

Nico: Describe Storm of Embers sound in five words or less.

Stuart: Dark, melodic, progressive music.

 

Nico: Are there any bands you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Stuart: Rather than recommend individual bands, we would like to encourage everyone to check out a new movement in Scottish music. There are so many amazing bands coming from Scotland we would be here all day if I were to try and name them all! We are part of the Hollow Earth Collective. This is a group of musicians and fans who are interested in all music progressive, post and experimental. Already there are plans for setting up a Hollow Earth Collective tour, I strongly recommend people to check this group out and listen to the bands, there are so many talented musicians and bands in Scotland, so that alone is a reason to check out any band from Scotland!

Nico: Where do you think the band will be in five years?

Stuart: In five years my hope for the band is to be working with a label to help further our career and help us get the music to as many people as possible. We are in this for the love of it, but having a 400 million pound contract wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Nico: When it comes to writing new material, where does the band draw inspiration from?

Stuart: Inspiration behind our music really depends on whoever the main writer of that particular song is. For me, when I write a song usually all it takes is an idea for a melody or feeling, then let the song write itself. Al is very much the lyric man of the band. So I present the music to the guys and we then flesh it out in funereal and develop the song into what it wants to be, and Al puts a message behind the song with his lyrics. So what may inspire the music may not necessarily be the same feeling that inspires the lyrics. Other times we jam riffs or melodies out in the studio and write it as a band jamming things out. I usually get nervous when Al comes in with songs as it usually means playing some sort of crazy riff in an even crazier time signature! But it’s all good, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who wrote what because once the three of us start playing, it’s Storm of Embers.

Nico: As the Scottish metal scene in rarely spoke of, let alone mentioned much by the press, outside of Scotland, what can you tell us about the Scottish metal scene?

Stuart: The Scottish metal scene is great! There are so many amazing bands, so many different styles. You can pretty much find a metal gig any night of the week, especially in Glasgow where we are from. All scenes have their good and bad points, but overall its good. Again I urge you to check out the Hollow Earth Collective.

Nico: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Stuart: To your readers all I can say a massive thank you for the support, it means the world to us for people to check us out, or buy our merch or come to our shows, and above all else enjoy the music and we hope to play near you soon! Stay inspired, support underground music because that’s where its at!

You can check out Storm of Embers at this location.