Without discarding the qualities of the other two singers in the band, it is without a doubt Rachel who claims a prominent place in the limelight with her angelic voice that has won her the title of Best Female Singer in the annual Classic Rock Society awards for fours years in a row. Along with Dylan and Gareth she's responsible for most of the lyrics that deal with a wide variety of subjects. When asked about this, she sits up straight and starts talking with admirable enthusiasm. With my former band Karnataka I used to write a lot of autobiographical stuff, but now it turns out to be a mixture of personal stuff and fantasy with a lot of different topics I find interesting. There's always something around to write about. You just have to keep your eyes open and be perceptive. For the rest, use your imagination to fill in the blank parts. But you have to see for yourself. I don't want to give away too much details. That would spoil the surprise.
Having a band with three different vocalists on board doesn't come as an exception, although it's not a common thing either. According to Matt it was a well-conceived idea, intended right from the start. It was just something that we have always wanted. Gareth, Dylan and Rachel have very distinctive voices, each with a different range, suitable for different styles. And the best part: None of them is the lead vocalist; we have three! And because they differ so much from each other, it's easy to pick out who's singing what. I think this adds to our sound and gives it a lot of depth.
Originally The Reasoning started out under the name of Beyond Reason, but it wasn't before long when it came to everyone's attention that there already was another band in existence carrying the same name. Therefore, to avoid confusion and the possible threat of a lawsuit, it was dropped and changed to the current one.
Once, in a time long covered by dust and cobwebs, Keith Caputo made himself a name as the front man of the New York hardcore formation Life Of Agony. What distinguished himself from the rest of the lot, was the aggressive, almost maniacal way in which he would spit his frustration drenched lyrics into the microphone. It would grant him and his band a well-deserved place in the archives of the heavy scene. How ever sad it may be, this was mainly due to the legendary status of 1993's 'River Runs Red', a début that's still considered the blueprint for the ultimate hardcore record by hordes of adepts. When first looked upon, this seems like a jolly achievement, but musical wise Keith and his motley crue signed their own death warrant with the release of their little cutie, for their fan base would measure future efforts against it. The consequence of this conception was Keith turning his back on his former band in 1997 in favour of a solo career that would allow him to evolve to a higher level as a musician.
As a solo artist Caputo comes across as a stilled version of himself with poppy tunes that, however, stand witness to the artistic growth he was aiming for and even though he only tends to go wild on occasion, his voice still possesses that touch of charisma that once made its owner rise so high above those who looked up to him.
On his most recent effort -'A Fondness For Hometown Scars'- Caputo carries his message across through means of a bunch of songs, pure in their simplicity and cast upon a plate of dark lyrics dealing with the downside of society which is portrayed as a rather gloomy place, susceptible of improvement. The overall setting of the album -with the exception of the biting 'Troubles Down'- is mellow and gives in a fragile manner insight to the psyche of an almost troubled soul.
Fondness For Hometown Scars' is yet another extraordinary
title for an album. What's the story behind this one?
The story behind 'A Fondness For Hometown Scars' is a representation of the wounds, the burns, the sores etc, society has left upon me. Also as a people what we all go through. The effect of grief & fear & trauma, the point of separation I've experienced is what is. Somehow I have this talent for turning it all around.
Your lyrics still deal with dark subjects, a reflection of your deepest thoughts and emotions? Is there still as much anger inside of you as back in the beginning when you started out?
In life, lyrically, poetically etc, I deal with mystery & secrecy. Not unhappiness or distress esp with 'Hometown Scars'. Lyrically it is not a reflection of what is inside of me, but what is outside of me. This society lacks spiritual intellect. As a community we are ignorant. I'm not angry, I never was, I sometimes experience heartache, that is all. Low spirits are all around. It's time for change. The only constant thing in this life.
Although the overall setting of A Fondness For Hometown Scars is dark, there seems to be a shimmering light at the end of the tunnel in the form of 'Silver Candy', a somewhat happy tune. Any particular reason for that?
To me every song gleams with brilliance and luminosity. I would take a deeper listen if I were you!
strange fish in the pond is 'Troubles Down',
which seems to go back to your Life Of Agony
days. Was this just a coincidence or an attempt to show your former
fans that stood at the base of the decline of Life Of Agony, that you
still have the same passion as before you went solo?
You have a funny choice of words, sir. 'Troubles Down' is deliberate. If you listen carefully LOA couldn't write or perform a song like 'Troubles down'. They do a different thing, expressing themselves in a much different way and I'm not writing for anyone. My true fans know this about me, they are also just as outlaw as I am. The real ones. I still enjoy an elegant edge once in a while. It's no fluke, trust me and my passion is burning hotter with every passing breath.
did Flea get involved?
We sent him the song 'Bleed For Something Beautiful'. He loved it. He was perfect for it. Flea has many strokes of genius, heart, tenderness, humanity, nerve, understanding (unlike most musicians out there) and when he played his bit, I swore I could see the shadow of Chet Baker. I froze upon meeting him. He took a genuine interest in my being and spoke with me. He is a real inspiration.
have been quite a few problems on the American leg of your current
tour. What did exactly happen with that one particular show that got
cancelled due to promoters not sticking to their promises?
Most promoters didn't do their job and that's promoting the show, spending $$ to get people out. There was a lack of communication as well. Some promoters did a great job, guess what people showed up and we all had an amazing experience.
What's the deal with this rumour that was circling around a while ago that you would join Velvet Revolver as their new lead singer?
I don't know, you tell me. It's just a rumour, you know, gossip, hearsay, word on the streets, scuttlebutt, maybe all the loose lips out there. I guess people think I'm fit for the job and that's cool. I would love to work with Slash, Duff and Matt, they're amazing people and musicians. I'd give the 3 of them more heart then Axel or Scott ever imagined they could.
are your future plans concerning your solo career and Life
To me what I do isn't a career. It's my way of life. I will continue to make music for as long as my mind can keep up with my imagination.
If you could change the world, how would you go about it and what exactly would you change?
James Christian is known as the voice of House Of Lords. Formed in the mid eighties in a time when musicians were being judged by the length of their hair and the ability to make it look like it had just been tangled up in a non-romantic affair with an exploded hair dryer, this rock act stood out from their musical counterparts such as Poison, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd through means of a much less mellow sound that would focus on melody rather than strictly radio friendly tunes, digestible to all those ballsy enough to take a bite.
though the ranks of House
Of Lords were
being populated on numerous occasions by outstanding musicians (Gregg
Giuffria, Chuck Wright, Tommy Aldridge)
who have surely left their musical marks here and there, it was
undoubtedly the voice of James
heavily to the instant success of the band. His sometimes
high-pitched notes added flavour to the meal being served and gave it
that little bit of extra needed to make it suitable for the crème
de la crème of the heavy scene. But, as usually is the case,
the road leading up to the top of the hill turned out to be a long
and winding one.
Symphony X-Interview Russell Allen
On its latest effort Symphony X goes all the way back to its very roots, rediscovering the music that once inspired its single members to go out and form a band of their own. The songs are raw and intense, cast in a gloomy atmosphere that sits well amidst lyrics roughly based on the epic poem 'Paradise Lost', written by John Milton in 1667 in blank verse and originally published in ten books. In this poem Milton describes the revolt of Lucifer against God, how he wages war against heaven, his subsequent fall to hell, his reappearance in the form of a treacherous snake in paradise to drive a wig between Adam and Eve with an apple and their ultimate fall from paradise.
Milton's dark tale provided the perfect background for a musical journey that not surprisingly consists of ten parts. But although the poem is used as a reference by Symphony X, its very own 'Paradise Lost' should not be considered a concept album. In fact, the only song that refers directly to the poem is the title track. Other than that there's no direct link but the use of the poem's main theme about fundamental human emotions and the personification of evil, subjects that are being dealt with in each and every song in a rather metaphoric way.
On 'Paradise Lost' the balance shifts more towards the metal side of the band, rather than its symphonic counterpart. The music is quite heavy with an aggressive touch to it, best illustrated by the sometimes biting vocals of Russell. The reason for this aggressiveness will be revealed in the following interview.
Alter Bridge-Interview Mark and Myles 29-01-2008
By now it should no longer be considered a secret that three quarters of this formation once formed the post grunge band Creed, which was in essence a promising young act that failed to live beyond the release of a couple of albums due to the sudden mood swings of front man Scott Stapp. However, after their falling apart, guitarist Mark Tremonti, bassist Brian Marshall and drummer Scott Phillips didn't want to throw in the towel. Instead they decided to step up to the plate again somewhere in 2003 to take another shot at musical immortality by starting Alter Bridge. Since it was out of the question that 'enfant terrible' Scott Stapp would be brought on board for his second tour of duty, it was evident to find someone willing to take his place behind the microphone. This someone came along in the person of Myles Kennedy, who not only proved himself to be a great vocalist, but also a skilled guitar player.
Myles used to be a member of the Mayfield Four and got in touch with the guys with whom he would ultimately form Alter Bridge after his band was taken on as a support act for Creed. But by the time he joined in the material for the debut album 'One Day Remains' had already been written. Therefore his participation remained rather limited, this in sheer contrast to follow-up album 'Blackbird' on which he was offered plenty of room to lay down his creative eagerness in more than a hand full of songs.
Prior to the release of the self-financed 'Blackbird' Alter Bridge started looking for a new label as it turned out that the old one (Wind-Up) was just set on a reunion with Scott Stapp and on top of that wanted to push the music into a more pop orientated direction. This being the case the band had no other option than to buy off its contract for the sweet sum of 4 million dollars! After this refuge was found under the wings of Republic/Universal. Some of the facts leading up to this can be found in the lyrics of the song 'The Ties That Bind'.
On the aforementioned album opener Alter Bridge really lays down some extreme heavy riffing and continues to do so throughout the entire album. Compared to the debut a rebirth seems to be what we're dealing with here. The music is delivered with a hard as nails attitude with neck-wrenching riffs that would perfectly fit any Machinehead release and for the first time Mark Tremonti showcases his talents as a shredder. His heavy laden metallic riffs contrast harmonically with the more bluesy sound of his counterpart Myles Kennedy, which adds a lot of depth to the album.
On this second effort Alter Bridge manifests itself as a multi-talented rock act. Freed from the ties laid upon it by Wind-Up the band goes full throttle, delivering its goodies through means of memorable song structures. Especially the epic tearjerker and title track 'Blackbird' leaves deep emotional marks in the steel hardened carcass of any true rocker. About this and all sorts of other stuff Mark and Myles were more than willing to share their thoughts.
Holy Moses-Interview Sabina Classen 04-01-2008
Consider it a cliché or not, but it's a common fact that sooner or later every living being is in one way or another presented with the opportunity to do something that at least temporarily makes them stand apart from the rest of their breed. However, most of the time, these opportunities are either overlooked or simply discarded as not interesting enough to devote any precious time to. So, contrary to what Andy Warhol once said, not everyone's allowed their '15 minutes of fame'. But in the case of Sabina Classen his statement became almost larger than life. Although she didn't realize it at the time, her moment of truth came along when she was asked to step up to the microphone by the members of Holy Moses to take the place of the singer who had been sacked mere seconds before the question was popped. Funny enough this was not what Sabina had in mind, for it was her belief that she could not sing at all. But there were also other reasons involved and even though more than 25 years have passed since then, Sabina still gets worked up in a nice way about what took place in the rehearsal room of Holy Moses such a long time ago. Back in those days, she says in a wicked way, I was playing bass in a band called Disaster, which I had formed together with my boyfriend Andy in '78. It was my very first band and I was quite pleased with it. Then all of a sudden Andy was asked by Holy Moses to join them as their new guitarist. That pissed me off big time, because the way I saw it they were stealing my guitar player. Still, in spite of the way I felt about all of this, I went with Andy to the rehearsal room one time and there I witnessed how they fired their male singer. Since I was there everyone but me thought it would be a good idea if I gave it a shot. To prove this was not a wise decision, but also to piss everyone off, I just let out a deep, dark growl, not knowing that this was exactly what they were looking for. And so I became their new singer.
Sabina got introduced to music at a fairly young age by her uncle who played her songs by Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. The latter, however, didn't appeal much to this rebellious youngster. The memory of her younger days brings a smile to Sabina's face. Whenever he would put on something by The Beatles, I would always say something like 'Uncle Karl, please give me the other one.' He never understood why, but I just had a thing for the harder stuff and to me Jimi sounded bad ass. From there on I moved to Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and all the other classic rock music. She pauses for a moment while emptying a bottle of beer. You know, even though my uncle didn't always appreciate my taste in music, I am very grateful to him for playing me all these cool tunes and for buying me my first guitar. I had asked my parents to get me one, but they refused to do that, saying I would only put it in a corner once I had gone past the thrill of playing this exciting new instrument. Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't have been a musician if my uncle hadn't bought me that guitar, for music has always been a passion of mine, but it certainly set the wheels in motion a whole lot faster than it would have if he hadn't done so.
On that first guitar Sabina learned how to play 'Smoke On The Water', but since it was an acoustic guitar it somehow didn't quite sound like it was supposed to. Therefore Sabina asked her father to hook it up to an amplifier to pump up the volume. He's really great with electronics and somehow he managed to get it all connected. After that my guitar produced a wicked sound. My mom didn't like it because it was too loud, but I thought it was pretty cool. And even though everyone told me my playing was crappy, it felt like something I had to do. Later, much later, I turned to the bass.
At that time Sabina was a journalist as well, doing interviews for RTL Radio. Amongst others she got to meet Franz Beckenbauer and Pele when they were playing in New York towards the end of their careers. These meetings made a big impression on this yet to be rock star, who already pictured herself playing in the same big stadiums as these guys. So, she decided to go for it, but then Cupid, overcome by a momentary lapse of reason, got all mushy and instead of letting nature take its course he sent Andy along her way, unintentionally putting an end to what might have been a promising sports career. Come to think of it, Sabina mesmerises as she gets hold of another beer, it is strange how things turned out. Back then it really looked as if I was going to make it as a professional football player, but after Andy became my boyfriend our mutual love for music got the upper hand and I quitted football totally. Now I only play it when I'm on tour. But I have to be much more careful now because I'm just a tiny bit older now. Ha ha.
In spite of the fact that she's originally from AachenSabina has a platonic liaison with Holland and its national football team. Knowing she has lived for quite a while in Kerkrade this may not come as a total surprise. When reminded of the '74 world cup finalbetween Germany and Holland Sabina can't help but laugh out loud. That final really put me in an awkward situation. Being German but living in Holland I kind of favoured both teams, especially since I knew some of the players personally. But strange as it was, I enjoyed watching it.
Holy Moses actually got signed accidental as the Belgium fan club had sent some home made recordings to several record companies without the band knowing anything about it. One of them called up with a contract offer, which resulted in the release of Queen Of Siam, an album that had almost been made without Sabina, for prior to its recording she took a leave of absence due to personal reasons. I was going through a little crises at the time, believing I wasn't good enough for the band. You have to understand that there was no one I could compare my voice to since I was the first to sing in that kind of way as a woman. I wanted to sound like Ozzy, but all I could do was growl. Therefore I decided to quit, allowing my brother to step in. He had just come by with a guy who would audition as a drummer. There are still some recordings around of him singing, but he made me promise never to go public with them, because he says he sounded like a German schlager singer, something like Peter Maffay trying to sing metal music. Ha ha. Everyone said it would be better if I got back in and that's what I did. No hard feelings between me and my brother though.
After the release of the debut album Holy Moses got bigger and bigger, which ultimately led to the release of yet another thrash classic called Finished With The Dogs. Warner Brothers Records picked up the band after this and The New Machine Of Lichtenstein was born. But the deal with Warner wasn't meant to last very long. The reason why remains hidden somewhere in time because Sabina isn't very keen on talking about it. Let's just say there were some disagreements about this and that and that is was better to go our separate ways.
While Sabina's career as a tv host was rapidly gaining momentum, the success of Holy Moses was slowly decaying. Part of this was due to the ever changing moods of the music industry, but it also had a lot to do with the musical differences between the individual members and so, slowly but surely, the walls surrounding this metal institution began to crumble down until they had completely gone up into thin air. Sabina sighs when this rather dark period of her life is brought up. Officially we split in '94, but the process had already started years before then. Me and Andy had broken up as a couple and gradually the sound of the band had drifted further and further away from its metal roots as hardcore influences had been brought in. Furthermore our drummer wanted to focus more on his family while the bass player was living in New York, which made it very hard to get together as a band. In the end there really was no other option than to call it a day.
Although the splitting up of Holy Moses surprised both friends and foes, it was something they could have already gathered from the fact that Sabina had started a solo project called Temple Of The Absurd two years prior to Holy Moses demise. I just had some ideas lying around that I couldn't put into my own band because of the hardcore direction it was heading into. At first Temple Of The Absurd was intended to be just a solo project of mine, but then I met this guy from Warpath and together with him and Cronos from Venom I did the song 'Black Metal' and then all of a sudden a new band was born. And if you don't believe that, I still have the original band logo that says 'Sabina', which was then changed to Temple Of The Absurd, the original working title of the album.
Temple Of The Absurd didn't have the same impact as Holy Moses had had almost a decade before that, but it gave Sabina the chance to continue along the musical path she had chosen. In the meantime she kept the dream of bringing the old Holy Moses back to life alive. I never considered the break a definite one; I have always thought of it as a moment of silence, even though it lasted for years. The idea to start again occurred to me while I was in hospital after a motorcycle accident I was in. I had been in a coma for almost half a day and when I regained consciousness I did see things in a whole different perspective. I decided to get back in touch with Andy as soon as I was released from the hospital to talk about getting Holy Moses back on track. Andy liked the idea, even though he wanted to remain in the background as much as he could.
The rebirth of Holy Moses finally took place in 2001 and since then epic releases such as Master Of Disaster and Strength, Power, Will, Passion have been cooked up for everyone's delight. At the moment the band is working on its latest effort Bloodbound, which will feature Atomic Steif on the bass. We already worked with him more than 20 years ago, but him and Andy didn't get along very well. Just recently I was going through all the ex band members we had had as I was looking for a bass player and he came out best for the part of bass player. And now that Andy is no longer with us in the band, there was no reason not to contact him. Funny enough Steif had a dream he would get a call from one of his former bands to join forces again. And then he heard my voice on his answering machine. I hadn't told him what I wanted, but when I called back the next day he just said yes before I had the chance to say anything but my name. That took me by surprise and I was like 'but you don't even know what I want to ask you.' And he replied with something like 'but I do, because I had a dream.' I guess it was destined to be.
Bloodbound should be out somewhere in spring.
Scarlet Sins- Interview
After this divine intervention Cris started to search the internet for fellow musicians willing to participate in her all-female band and amongst others she found vocalist Sylvya NuVynska with whom she connected extremely well right from the start. The memory of that first encounter is still edged deeply into her mind. There was a sort of chemistry between us, Cris explains in a soft tone. Its difficult to grasp if you have never experienced something like that yourself, but we understand each other completely and know exactly what we want musical wise.
But John was not the only one who gave Scarlet Sins a more than welcome hand. Another big contribution to the debut album was made by producer Rich Chycki - known for his work with Rush, Aerosmith and Mick Jagger through means of a killer sound that hits you like a ton of bricks. Rich got introduced to the sinners by Ray Wallace, a mutual friend who sadly passed away shortly after this interview was taken. It was a surprise that Rich wanted to work with us, Tanya says. You see, at first he wasnt interested at all. He and Ray knew each other since the 80s when Rich had his own band. Ray told him about us and played him our demo, which he didnt like one bit. But Ray kept on him and finally persuaded him to come with him to one of our rehearsals. Then all of a sudden Rich changed his mind, because it became clear to him that the demo he had heard didnt quite capture our live sound too well. Somehow he must have seen our potential.
Scarlet Sins debut offers a somewhat unique mix
of each members personal influences, ranging from industrial induced beats to
more straight-in your-face hard rock. With the thundering bass of Tanya in charge, the rhythm section lays
down a solid stone brick base that paves the way for the electrifying escapades
of Cris. Add to this the powerful,
hard as nails vocals of Sylvya and
the picture of a modern sounding rock album is complete. The melodies bring back memories of Alice In Chains and are both catchy and groovy whereas the riffs
are laden with such heaviness that it almost seems as if Machineheads Robb Flynn is
jamming along with Jo Bench of Bolt Thrower on most of the songs. Due
to Chyckis production the overall
sound is full and rich and leaves you almost breathless. Drown for instance is a hard hitting track that thrives on a
pondering bass line, aimed directly at the centre of your metal heart. The same
goes for the cover of Depeche Modes Strangelove, not really a logical pick
if you dont know the reasons behind it. Cris
sheds some light on the matter. Even
before we picked this song we had already been thinking of doing a cover that
we could modify completely. We had no ideas yet which song to take, although we
were pretty sure it wasnt going to be a hard rock one, simply because it would
be too hard to turn it into something new. Then, out of the blue, as Tanya and
I were driving to
Elie Bertrand comes from the Montreal area and has been playing drums since she was five years old, learning the ropes from the likes of Ange Curcio and Maurice Metayer. In order to stand out as a female drummer she was taught to hit the drums hard. As a woman you are mostly judged by your looks and not your skills, she sighs. Its sad but true. So, basically I was told that if I wanted to compete with my male competition on an equal level, I would have to hit the drums really hard. It may seem unusual, but fortunately for me this kind of playing was exactly what Scarlet Sins was looking for and Im very proud to be part of the family.
Just after Elie had joined in she was put to the test when the band had to play at the Powerbox Festival in front of a crowd gone wild. Present were amongst others big names such as Doro, Kittie and Girlschool. Playing this festival seemed like a dream come true, a stroke of luck or was it a stroke of genius? A bit of both I guess, ha ha, Cris rips out a ringing laughter. I picked up on the festival on the internet, liked what I saw and decided to send the promoter an e-mail telling him how great his festival was and how he could even make it better by taking us on. And then I just gave him our name. Evidently it worked, because he put us on the bill. It was an amazing experience and a big step forward for us. Funny enough we even got to play for two nights in a row as one of the bands that was scheduled for the second night cancelled because they were not able to make it across the border. Of course we didnt mind that at all.
talking to the girls it becomes very clear that they are all very passionate
about their music and that it should be loud. Sylvya even gets passionate just thinking about it. In this line of business passion is a
requirement. In spite of the fact that we all like different kinds of music,
our passion for it comes together in Scarlet Sins. We love it loud, so, if
youre not into the heavy stuff, we cant be friends. Ha ha. Her laughter
still lingers in the air when Elie says
teasingly: But I also like country
music! For a moment you can hear a pin drop, then Cris comes with some breaking news: Ok, you are fired! Girls, Elie just got fired for liking country
music. As the subject of Criss
mockery pretends to cry her eyes out, they all break down in laughter and when
this finally subsides Tanya adds: Of course shes just kidding. We are very
happy to have Elie with us. We have a steady line-up now and the future looks
so bright its almost blinding. For the moment we are concentrating on our
part of the world, but it wont be long before we will be looking across the
And thats exactly what we will do.
As Draconian this Swedish lot released a first offering early 96. This little something called Shades Of A Lost Moon revealed a band still in search of their own unique style. More releases were to follow, but none of them could quite capture the bands full potential. That didnt happen till after Lisa Johansson came on board to add her enchanting vocals to those of Anders on the 2002 demo Dark Oceans We Cry. It was this particular effort that caught the intention of Napalm Records who then offered the band a long-awaited record deal that helped to lift the shroud of darkness enveloping their music.
From there on things got slightly easier as debut album Where Lovers Mourn hit the streets shortly afterwards in 2003. The album received good reviews and paved the way for successor Arcane Rain Fell two years later which would gain the band a well deserved spot in the still lower regions of the doom sector. Last years The Burning Halo, a combination of rerecorded material mixed with some new stuff and a couple of cover songs, only ensured this position and with the upcoming release of Turning Season Within it is the bands desire to make it all the way to the top this time.
Turning Season Within was recorded at the Fascination Street Studios in Örebro with the assistance of producers Jens Bogren and David Castillo (Opeth, Katatonia) and differs slightly from previous recordings through means of a more diverse sound that has gained depth due to the use of heavier riffs and a bigger participation of Lisa on the vocal parts. The album features vocalist Paul Kuhr of Novembers Doom, taking care of the narrative intermissions, and is due for February 29th.
Why was the name Kerberos dropped
and why the switch from a bit black metal orientated sound to a more dark and
Johan: Simply because we found out there was another band with the same name. Besides it was time for a change anyway since our music didnt quite sound like it used to compared to when we first started out. Dont really know how it happened; it just did. And to be honest, Kerberos was actually just an experimental band without any particular style. So, it seemed only appropriate to change the name.
How exactly did Lisa join in?
Anders: Well, we heard her sing in her previous band and we immediately liked her voice, thought it would fit well with our music and since we were in need of a female vocalist
How did the deal with Napalm
Records come around?
Johan: We just send them one of our demos, which was in fact surprisingly. You see, before that we were really kind of lazy. But then at a certain moment we realised we needed to get more focused in order to get anywhere. Thats when we decided to contact some labels. Napalm responded. Nothing more, nothing less.
Most of the time the lyrics on the albums are almost poetic, referring
to the romantic period in literature when
people such as Lord Byron and William
Blake were in the heyday of their careers. Why the fascination with this
Anders: I cant speak for the rest of course, but I guess I like this period so much because the old language appeals to me and people like Byron were so gifted that they could create a certain atmosphere with just one word. It is simply fascinating. Still Im not stuck with this kind of writing. For the new album I have tried to be a bit more down-to-earth, writing about subjects people can relate to more easily than before.
Over the years the band has gone through a lot of line-up changes. Is
the current one strong enough to last a while?
Johan: I think so, yeah. You never know for sure, but right now it looks stable and it feels good. Were all friends, coming from the same small village, and thats a solid base to start from. We dont really want to bring in people from the outside, because we are really stuck to ourselves.
Whats the most important lesson the music business has taught you so
Anders: That you should follow your own path. Dont let others decide what it is you should do. Stay true to your own principals and never pretend to be someone youre not. In the end you are being judged by the things you have done and theres no escaping that.
On the album Arcane Rain Fell Ryan
Henry participated through means of a spoken verse. What was the idea
behind that and why did you pick him?
Johan: Weve known him for quite a while. Just prior to the recording of the album we found out he has a great narrative voice, the kind we were looking for. We asked him if he was interested and as it turned out, he was up to the challenge.
Live or studio?
Anders: Definitely live, although we havent actually done that too often yet. Up to now it seems like we are jinxed or something when it comes done to that, because every tour we got invited to, has been cancelled for various reasons. But we keep our spirits up and with the new album on the way the future looks promising. So, no worries, well be out there somewhere.
Do you have a funny anecdote to share?
Anders: I dont know if its a funny anecdote, but one time during a show a couple of panties were thrown on stage and even though I was just a little drunk, I could tell they had been worn just recently
What a nice way to brighten your day.
Distorted were brought to life somewhere in 1996, when long time friends Raffael Mor and Benny Zohar decided it would be cool to have a band of their own. Their first feeble attempts to create what would later on become one of Israels most exported metal products, however, did not really cause a stir in the local music scene, let alone in the metal community outside of the Israeli borders. Things actually didnt start to happen until Miri Milman was asked to join the ranks as a vocalist. This young woman from Bat-Yam really added fuel to the flickering fire with her powerful, enchanting vocals that truly do more than enough justice to the direct translation of the name of her hometown: daughter of the sea.
After Miri had stepped forward as their leading lady, Distorted found themselves back in a maelstrom of events that subsequently led to several line-up changes and the recording of a 3-track demo. Unfortunately, just prior to this recording, the original bass player decided to call it a day and just when everything seemed lost Guy Shalom, also a student of the same high school, presented himself as an angel in disguise. Within an awfully short period of time he learned the chords to the songs and thanks to this Distorteds first offering became a documented fact.
It was the start of a bright future which wheels were set in further motion by the release of debut album Memorial in May 2006 by fellow countrymen from NMC Records in close collaboration with French label Bad Reputation. But even before this a second demo had been put out as well as a single called Is It The Wind, recorded in the winter of 2003.
recording of Memorial Distorted headed out to
On their debut Distorted offer a diverse mix of death, gothic and doom metal, intertwined perfectly with mid-eastern elements coming courtesy of the bands cultural heritage. These elements are all around, Miri says, and very hard to ignore as you come in contact with them almost every day. They are part of our personal lives, just as the threat of war is. Each day we spent in fear of an attack that could change the course of our lives forever. Most of us have already experienced the consequences of living in a war-devastated country as friends and loved ones were taken from us by brutal force. Thats why most of the lyrics deal with the subject of personal loss. I realise it is quite a heavy subject, but we dont want to hold back on our emotions and let people know exactly how we feel. In my opinion this gives them a chance to relate to our music on a more personal base.
of Memorial shows a clearly
disorientated man amidst a bunch of photographs. Miri lifts up the veil of mystery that surrounds this image. Since the main theme of the album is about
grief and pain, we tried to find the best way of visualising this. The person
you see, is being torn apart by sadness and has lost his human appearance due
to that. Through some old pictures he is desperately trying to become the
person he once was, so hell be able again to feel some other emotions than
just pain. I came up with the general idea and designed the booklet. It was
hard work, but it helped that Im a graphics designer in real life. For the
cover design I worked closely with Adam Nishma, a very talented guy whos just
as us from