Interview: Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite)

Phantom Elite are back and promise to be bigger than ever. This time they were signed to Frontiers Music for a multi album deal. We were delighted to chat with Marina La Torraca, the powerhouse fronting Phantom Elite.

Teen Art Out: Hi, Marina. Great to hear from you again.First of all, congrats on being signed to Frontiers Music. This is exciting! How long have you been working on this?

Marina La Torraca: Great to be here again! 🙂 Having a label support has been on our minds since Wasteland and the opportunity with Frontiers came up a few months ago, during the writing process of our new album.

Teen Art Out: For those not as familiar with the music industry, what does it mean today to be on a record label’s roster? More specifically, what does it mean for Phantom Elite?

Marina: Although the music industry is changing, it still means a lot! A label (in combination with a booking and management team) can offer a lot of support, be it financial, or in terms of work force/expertise and network. An artist nowadays has the possibility of distributing and advertising their music independently, but unless one is in a very privileged financial and networking situation, it will definitely be harder to expand one’s fan base.

What it means for Phantom Elite right now is exactly that we’ll get to increase the amount of people working together to bring the band further. And with that, ultimately the chance of reaching more people with our music is always wonderful.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, cloud, sky, mountain, text and outdoor

Teen Art Out: You’ve briefly mentioned that you’ve been working on a second album. We know you cannot give away that much, but we still have to ask about it. What would you say has been the main creative force or idea driving this album?

Marina: Well! I would say this album is an ode to persistence, hard work, fighting and triumphing over the big and small struggles life may bring. Lyrically and musically it is very heavy, personal (quite dark at times!), and will certainly put listeners through a roller coaster of emotions.

Teen Art Out: What attracts you to music or performances by others? There is definitely so much good music and so many great shows, but only so much time (and money).

Marina: You are right! Haha. But I’d say I’m personally very attracted to technical quality of a performer or an act, in combination (and this is the most important thing for me) with interpretation. An artist has to make me FEEL things in his/her music and performance, he/she should show me who he/she is, otherwise I’m out. I guess in short: I love artists who know their shit, who know who they are, and go all in.

Teen Art Out: Is the artistic life lonely by definition or is that a myth? What do you do to counteract it?

Marina: Hmmmm, good question! I think it can be quite lonely in the sense of, you have different work schedules then “most people” in society, and you go out to dinner with a couple of friends who work at a bank and you find yourself having nothing to do with their routines and topics. So you tend to bond more with people in the same bubble, so you end up in a bubble, haha. But it’s okay. I actually always seek a little bit of alone time on tour, for example. I’m quite a big introvert and being around people all the time wears me out. So I’d say I have to counteract the social part of being an artist with a lot of meditation, Netflix and lonely walks, haha.

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Teen Art Out: If there was any skill you could learn instantly, what would you like to learn?

Marina: Oh man, I’d love to improvise crazy vocal riffs and runs, haha. But I’m working on that, maybe some time soon.

Teen Art Out: Would you rather take a trip to outer space or bottom of the ocean?

Marina: Definitely outer space. Bottom of the ocean creeps me out.

Teen Art Out: As the winter holidays are approaching, do you have any special traditions surrounding them you’d be willing to share with us?

Marina: I’m not a very keen on tradition and don’t come from a very tradition oriented family. I just love to spend some quality time with the people I love who are very close to me, that’s it. Oh, and guilty pleasure: I also tend to watch “Home Alone” sometimes.

Teen Art Out: Last time we talked, you mentioned that happiness is “fighting the good fight”. What does that mean to you now?

Marina: Oh, I still agree with that, haha. That to me means being and acting in alignment with your values, always watching if you’re choosing to do something for the right reason or not. And I believe these daily experiences and choices bring one true joy, not only temporary ecstasy.

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Interview by Simona Mihalca

Interview: Dominic Ruiz (Remember the Monsters)

There is nothing quite like finding a new song to be enthralled by. Or even better, discovering a band that is exciting and fresh. One of those bands is Remember the Monsters, the fresh rock band out of Los Angeles.

You have just released a new single, “Close Encounters”. Tell us a bit about this “out of this world” material.
“Close Encounters” has been in the making for a while – even before our previous release, “Sink.” We originally wrote it with our previous singer, but Julian (current singer) honestly brought it to a whole new level! We worked with producer Matt Good (Asking Alexadria, Sleeping With Sirens, Hollywood Undead) and we’re thrilled with how it came out!


> What attracted you to the style of music you are playing?
We like music with energy that’s easily accessible – Stuff that’s gets you moving, or gets you feeling. 


> What song of yours are you most proud of? Why?
Our previous release, “Sink,” took a lot of work. Getting it produced then shooting an awesome music video took a lot of time and coordination. We’re still an independent band so we put together and paid for everything. We’re definitely proud of that one!


> How is the songwriting process for you?
It’s a group effort. Lyrics and instrument arrangements get bounced around and pieced together. Then it gets run by the whole band and we make changes to it until we’re ready to get it produced. We try to make each song the best that it can be. 


> You have released a few videos and lyric videos. What is for you the visual identity of “Remember the Monsters” and how should it tie in with the rest?
We want videos that are energetic, well produced, and visually engaging. We want to show that we’re having fun with what we’re doing, but we’re also serious and put time and effort into the quality.  Some really cool video ideas for future releases and we’re looking forward to getting more out there.


> What’s the coolest thing to have happen so far for you related to the band?
Shooting a professional music video and see it come out really well was pretty awesome. We were also featured in a video by Jared Dines on his YouTube channel, which drew in a lot of new fans!


> What is next for “Remember the Monsters”?
We’re working on new material and have some big things coming up. We don’t want to spoil any surprises, but we’re definitely hard at work!


> How was the first ever Remember the Monsters show? What became different as you continued to play?
The first show we played was a fun one. It was at a local music venue that’s seen some pretty big acts come through. Someone proposed during our first show, so congratulations to them! As we continued to play we always try to turn up the energy and get the crowd more involved. You get better the more you do it!


> What are some of the best shows you have been to? What makes them memorable for you? 
I’ve been to all kinds of shows! I love the high energy of rock acts like AFI and Coheed & Cambria, I’ve also seen Lindsey Stirling live and that show was an experience. There’s a band from Denmark called Mew that I’ve been a fan of for a while that played in the states and that one was amazing!


> What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
I actually love The Smashing Pumpkins. Gish and Siamese Dream are my jams.


> Lastly, what is something you want to say to our readers?
We want to thank everyone for all the support, you guys are rad and are the reason we do what we do! Check us out on all the social medias and stay tuned for much more from Remember The Monsters!

Apocalyptica in Bucharest – or how live music is the closest we get to magic

Apocalyptica descended upon Bucharest in a show we will surely remember. They have been celebrating their 20th anniversary for a few years, so we were glad to see them return with Apocalyptica plays Metallica by 4 cellos.

First of all, we all know Apocalyptica, the world famous metal cello band. I had seen them last year in a festival so I already knew just how incredible their live show was. That being said, we were not ready for what came. It was an incredible night of emotional music, that left us all wondering how they can do all of that with just cellos. But more than that, their stage presence, their charisma, their wit, all made for a great evening.

The show had two parts, the first seeing the 4 celloists in front of panels, creating such a powerful image. Would have been much appreciated if the stage was not so low, and most of us could have actually seen that. The magic of a cello show is that the audience can be heard so much louder, somehow making a 1700 people show seem so intimate and special. Though you’d expect the public to singalong a bit more loudly to well known Metallica songs.

They started strong with bangers like Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets, continuing to play songs from their first ever album (obviously Metallica cover album). It was really magical from beginning to end. Even for those who knew the band, myself included, it was surprising and incredible to hear it all and know it’s being done just with 4 cellos. The sound and atmosphere was just so intense.

Photo credits: Adelina Sahlean

The second part of the show was heavier, with the appearance of drummer Mikko Sirén and hist very interesting drum set. They took us through well known songs, but also included some gems such as Orion or Escape. And for a little snippet for those who paid attention, during Seek & Destroy, they also gave us some tunes from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.

Photo credits: Adelina Sahlean

What I must definitely mention is that I have rarely seen better interaction with the public. Eicca and Perttu took turns engaging the crowd, sharing anecdotes, being funny and very charming. Kudos to Perttu for being quick silver on stage, running all around while playing a cello. And a huge bow to Eicca, who clearly fought through fever and illness to still give us one hell of a show.

It’s been a couple of days and I am still thinking of how great the show was. We all knew they are great musicians, but seeing them on stage is something else. The whole show is just something else, pure magic. I am so glad we were able to see them in Bucharest once again, and let’s hope we do this again soon.

Myrath revine în România pentru două concerte memorabile!​

Iată că în 2020 încheiem iarna cu două concerte călduroase: MYRATH revine în România pentru a susține două concerte memorabile în București și Brașov alături de un invitat special: Eleine.

Pe data de 28 februarie 2020 ne vedem în clubul Quantic din București, iar pe 29 februarie, în clubul Rockstadt din Brașov, unde vom întâmpina primăvara cu una dintre cele mai călduroase formații metal.

Cu un stil propriu de progressive metal îmbinat cu influențe orientale, incredibil de personal chiar, Myrath a devenit încet-încet una dintre cele mai fascinante formații de pe scena internațională, iar acum revin în România. Aducând împreună influențe progressive și ritmuri catchy, ultimul lor album, „Shehili”, combină muzica arabă și bucăți groovy din „Tales Of The Sands” (2011) cu aranjamente muzicale lucrate cu grijă și structuri intrigante din cea mai recentă operă, „Legacy” (2016).
Inovativ și totuși fidel sunetului specific Myrath, „Shehili” îndrăznește să stabilească un contrast între melodii vesele și versuri extrem de bine gândite, dar triste. Acest aspect se poate observa cel mai bine în „Dance”, piesă care spune povestea „unui dansator sirian care primește amenințări cu moartea de la Isis, dar a ales să continue să danseze, chiar dacă asta însemna să danseze printre ruine și morminte”, așa cum spune Zaher Zorgati. „Țelul muzicii noastre este să inducă fericire și bucurie, să fie un tribut pentru cei care refuză să cadă sau să se oprească din a spera, chiar și într-o lume plină de ură și incertitudine.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2rKORvyOcM

Departe de clișeele care se regăsesc la multe formații metal moderne, ”Shehili”, deși produs cu o grijă extraordinară, păstrează o aromă organică și naturală. Tobele au fost înregistrate în Hamburg, Germania, de Eike Freese (Deep Purple, Gamma Ray), părțile de vioară – datorită chiar Orchestrei Simfonice din Tunisia – au fost trase în Tunis, iar restul albumului a fost înregistrat de Kevin Codfert care s-a asigurat că absolut fiecare notă și-a găsit locul.

„Shehili” a fost produs cu pasiune și o deosebită atenție la detalii de trei producători: Codfert, Freese și Jens Bogren (a mai lucrat și la „Legacy”), astfel fiecare piesă a primit cel mai bun tratament.

Acum, ce înseamnă „Shehili” vă întrebați? Acest cuvânt arab enigmatic și poetic e numele unui vânt antic care vine tocmai din dunele Saharei. Atingerea blândă a unei brize care-ți șoptește legende la ureche și-ți deschide calea către vise… N-aveți de ales, trebuie să ascultați aceste minunate melodii și să vă pierdeți în ele.

Cu simfonii armonioase, heavy metal și un show live captivant, Eleine a devenit una dintre cele mai apreciate formații metal tinere care oferă un spectacol ce nu trebuie ratat. Încă de la lansarea albumului de debut în 2015 și al doilea album, „Until The End” în 2018 care s-a aflat pe locul 1 în topurile de vânzări suedeze, au fost ocupați cu turnee europene, în Japonia și Marea Britanie ca headlineri, dar și ca support act pentru formații ca W.A.S.P., Moonspell sau Arch Enemy.

Biletele, în număr limitat, se pot achiziționa exclusiv de pe AmBilet.ro la următoarele prețuri:

  • 80 lei 59 lei – Earlybird (preț redus pentru primele 50 bilete)
  • 80 lei 69 lei – Presale (preț redus pana pe data de  28 februarie, inclusiv)
  • 80 lei – Acces (preţ în ziua evenimentului, atât online cât și la intrare)

Taxa de procesare: 5 lei / bilet.

Evanescence Brought Bucharest to Life

Bucharest was definitely Brought to Life! Once again Evanescence graced us with their music and presence and we were there for it.

The night was opened by Chaos Magic, who were bringing a nice rendition of symphonic metal. The crowd was gathering surprisingly early and they did play to a lot of people. The lead singer, Caterina Nix, can really show off powerful vocals. It was a nice way to start the evening.

Next up were Veridia, who I can only describe as “Ariana Grande with guitars”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think they sounded very good and were a good choice opening up for Evanescence. But the singer had her ponytail and moved and sang like Ariana Grande :)) They were fun and I will probably listen to their material some other time. Yes, many people were upset because “it’s not truuu metal”, but I am petty like that so I want to like the band even more.

There aren’t a lot of bands that make me as nostalgic as Evanescence does. The main difference is that they still got it. The could be touring with the same setlist for the next few decades and it will not be enough. There’s nothing quite like hearing “Bring Me To Life” sang live. Yes, it was missing the male vocals. But knowing that they were only included in the song by sheer force of the label, who though Amy Lee could not anchor a song on her, I am more than happy to hear the crowd fill in and try to sing both parts at once.

Image may contain: one or more people and people on stage
Photo by Carlos Funes

The setlist moved graciously through energetic songs and heart-wrenching ballads. The audience was not all that energetic, but on softer songs like “My Immortal”, “Call Me When You’re Sober” or “Lithium”, they joined in for a very emotional rendition of the songs. As for the more energetic “Going Under”, “What You Want”, or “All That I Am Living for”, I screamed my lungs out. I cannot pretend to be the biggest Evanescence fan. I am more of a “I used to listen to it in 7th grade and I hope I still remember the lyrics” fan, but I still enjoyed the show.

An extra special moment was the last song, or rather last songs. The show ended with a medley of Haunted / My Last Breath / Cloud Nine / Everybody’s Fool / Weight of the World / Snow White Queen, a new addition for this tour.

Amy Lee did not sit still for one moment. Running from one end of the stage to the other, she lived each song and interpreted it in a way only she can. Whether she was singing and jumping around, running to the keyboard and back, she was truly mercurial. The more I see her do it, the more impressed I am with her.

Image may contain: one or more people and people on stage
Photo by Carlos Funes

She interacted with the public much more than in previous concerts and seemed genuinely happy to perform and thankful to be here. Genuine is a word that would describe her whole presence, where it is clear she is performing, but you can feel it’s really her living the show and giving her very best on each song.

She reminded us that the video for Bring Me To Life was filmed in Bucharest all those years ago. More than that, it was the first time she got a passport and traveled abroad, so Bucharest has a very special place in her heart. She later posted about it on Instagram as well.

While I went on and on about Amy, I do have to mention the rest of the band played their very best. Musically they lived to every standard. My impression however, was that they were there just as a support for Amy. Whether they were singing on stage or somewhere off stage would not have made that big of a difference. I didn’t really get that “band” feeling. In their defense, it’s hard to catch up with Amy on stage.

The reason Evanescence is still so important all these years later is hands down because of Amy Lee’s impressive creativity. I have talked at length about her great voice and incomparable stage presence, but the real reason is just how good a songwriter she is. Her songs meant so much to us and they still do, so we’ll come back again and again to hear her sing them.

The stories behind our actions

Do you ever sit and think about why are you doing some things and consider who has done or said them first? It may sound as overthinking. This is not something we do all the time; unless one is fond of digging towards the root of things.

Some people study history in order to find an explanation for their present days, others study etymology in order to understand the whys behind the language they are speaking. There can be many weird, maybe even funny stories that can come out of this research. I went ahead and selected a few interesting and important ones, which have profound consequences to this day. Let’s see how those go.

The universe of storytelling comes in many shapes – realistic stories, fictive stories, myths, legends, fairytales, the story our grandpa told us from back in his time or a simple occurrence told by an old friend. Most of the times we are not aware of the effect that this has on us in the long-term.

Some brief examples: the tooth fairy, the monster under your bed, the acts of love we usually do, the “pandora’s box” phrase – there is an explanation behind all of them. Where do we use them and what is the connection with the “past”? Let the overthinking start.

closeup photo of castle with mist

Fear of the dark and other childhood stories

Remember that night of insomnia you might have experienced at some point. Amongst all the other twisted thoughts in your head, you were probably thinking about the terror the dark creates within you – that terror that gives you a strange feeling and it remembers you of your childhood. What was it that scared you so much back in time? Maybe the monster under your bed

The fear of the monster under the bed is very common within children and we may sometimes find ourselves recalling this fear. However, where did it come from? Who started this? Some parent, at some point, threatened his child for the first time with the appearance of the monster from under their bed, when they did not want to sleep. Anyway, even this idea and affirmation comes from an older story and from some developed human instinct. From the beginning of time, every attack and every malefic occurrence was happening during nighttime. Then there is also the common and normal fear of what we cannot see. We cannot protect ourselves and neither beware of our “enemy” in the ark. This phobia is being fed by the numerous horror stories we read or watch. This psychological thig mixed with ancient and modern stories will make one turn on, one by one, every light of their house when they hear a noise. We have all done it at some at some point.

While for adults it is a bit hard to overcome this fear, as it turns into a more serious one, it is possible to, at least, help children fall asleep. Mythology gives us the “good guy” as well – the “Sandman”, who actually helps children fall asleep. It is a Scandinavian myth that says that he is throwing magical sand in their eyes, which is also meant to bring the good dreams. In the mind of a child, this could work as a psychological effect, just as the “placebo” effect works on us when we take a pill. The Sandman is also a good example of how old stories and myths could inspire art – we can find him as a main character in Neil Gaiman’s comic books, The Sandman and as a symbol in Metallica’s Enter Sandman song. Some stories live through other stories and most of them start as a childhood story. Here is another one:

Do you remember fairies? We used to love them as a child. I have one that was also present in our childhood days – in an apparent, physical way, in our naïve mind – the Tooth Fairy. As a child, losing a tooth was neither a simple procedure, nor an event without consequences. It hurt, but hey! – we were getting money for it. Maybe not us in Romania, but American kids surely were getting some gold for their teeth. The old myth says that if we left your lost tooth under your pillow during the night, the tooth fairy would come and pick it up. As a reward, she would leave us some money under the pillow. In our innocent childhood days, this was a moment of happiness. And this myth was told for the first time in the medieval era. It is impressive how we still use this technique with kids nowadays (like Santa Claus, just that not as popular).

woman in white dress wearing green fairy wings

Maybe you have a vague memory about throwing your tooth over the roof of your house. This would be another made up myth of how to be rewarded for your lost tooth, which is applied in other cultures. It doesn’t bring money but it is said to bring good luck to kids. Not that much worth the pain, right? I remember believing strongly in it though.

Children are fascinated with stories; their world revolves around them. That’s why it is so easy for parents to educate them with the helping-hand of a good story. In fact, we are led by stories, too, even though we don’t realize it. We can take a deeper look into the adulthood world.

When did the romanticism start?

Love stories

Taking one of the nicest things adults enjoy doing today – nice, romantic stuff with or for their partners. Some things might be done by instinct but others are inspired from stories heard before, although we may not realize where and how we heard them. It could be a recalled tale from your childhood, an old movie you watched before, a glimpse you took into your mother’s romantic novels or some simple gestures and adventures noticed outside there, in your surroundings.

photo of woman hugging man under clear umbrella

Romeo and Juliet is one of the most commonly used comparison when referring to an in love couple. “Be my Juliet and I will be your Romeo”, “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity”, “A lovestruck Romeo sang the streets of serenade” – some songs that made use of these characters and of the ever-lasting love story. It’s taken as an example of true love and sacrifice, as a whole, but also as an example of a prohibited love. Anyway, since the 16th century people long to find their Romeo/Juliet. This is an older example, but most of the idealistic love stories depict a feeling that can overcome any challenge, a feeling that is stronger that any barrier in life.

There are some more examples that could quickly come to mind: Tristan and Isolde, Beauty and the Beast and The Sleeping Beauty or some more modern stories like Rose and Jack´s one from Titanic. Oh! And let´s not forget Jane Austen´s books and her particular characters and dialogs she builds between them. We have proof that love examples and inspiration can date back in any cycle of our life. As a kid, we don’t recognize their importance; as a teenager, we desperately wish to live the same stories; and as an adult, we don’t really realize that we had looked for that feeling before.

Talking about Tristan and Isolde – the end of their tragic love story depicts a rose that grown on Tristan’s tomb – a rose that will live forever. When did we first hear about roses, by the way?

The rose

This flower of passion is a symbol for love and romanticism since the beginning of art and culture. We have the Greek mythology as a reference and Aphrodite’s legend – the flower would grew with her tears and the red color would be given by her lover’s blood. It’s marvelous how a simple legend can have such an influence over the world and their customs; and this is just a legend out of thousands, maybe million others. Maybe you have come upon Saint George’s one:

red rose on top of piano

Dragons “lived” way longer than in George R.R. Martin’s books. The legend made Saint George the main character of a brave battle with a Dragon and a beautiful love story. He saves a princess whose destiny had made her the perfect sacrifice for the dragon who was threatening the city. From the dragon’s blood there grew our famous rose, which he offered to the princess.

photo of knight riding dragon action figure

Saint George is the patron Saint of various towns and countries but I would choose Catalonia (Spain) for some “did you know” facts here:

  • during Saint George’s day, according to tradition, men have to offer roses to women.
  • the legend is so powerful within Catalans that even their flag contains the image of the Saint, on a horse, killing the dragon with his sword
  • the architecture of “Palau de la Música” in Barcelona is beautifully portraying, amongst other impressive statues, the statue of Saint George and, also, a ceiling where multiple roses surround the bright stained glass.

This is how a simple story can become a culture and how it can turn into art as well.

Hand-kissing

Here we are looking through another example of romanticism, which is, perhaps, a more rarely encountered one. It is a special gesture because it suggests respect and honesty. It would be interesting to talk a bit about its origins: we can go way back to the Roman empire when it was employed as a sign of submission and respect for monarchs (it could have settled the base of its evolution). It was later on, in the 17th century, in the Polish and Spanish courts as an expression of courtesy and esteem. In time, it turned into the romantic gesture we all know today, still having as main symbolism respect and sincere appreciation. We can consider it fully valuable.

Even words have a story

Now let’s get to something even more common and which we often encounter in our lives: the language, our daily speech. During our day-to-day conversations, we find ourselves saying some sentences or more like expressions that we had surely heard before, that are specific of the language or quoted from some old story.

Whenever we are joking around with our friends, we use all kinds of quotes and phrases we had heard in movies and books. So whenever I say that my room is my private space, “you shall not pass!” Most probably, the first thing that comes to your mind is Gandalf´s face and Lord of the Rings. However, this phrase was shouted for the first time during the First World War, within the battle of Verdun. It was emphasizing the determination of the French army to defend their territory from the Germans. The original expression is “they shall not pass”. Nowadays it is still used in similar situations and propagandas, given the power and courage that it evokes.

If we were to have a wider, cultural view, the sentence has been adapted in various languages, too, although one may utter it in English most of the times. In Romania, for example, “pe aici nu se trece” has been said during the “battle of Marasesti” (still against the Germans) and it gave the name to a Romanian movie inspired by the historic WWI happenings.

Browsing through the infinite quoting scenarios, from different cultures, there are some funny ones that come in view (well…in “hearing” actually). Latin America is a fully alive and full of humor land. That is why they also have a great deal of weird and amusing quotes and phrases. “Vete al carajo” could totally fit into this category.  It is literally translated as “go to the carajo” but we have to see with this carajo means, as it is a typical Spanish word.On the old Spanish sailing ships there was this guard post on the highest point of the ship, which was very uncomfortable due to the windy conditions and the movements of the ship which were making it unstable. Given its bad position, it was also used as a punishment. Crewmembers who were disobeying the rules were being sent there. Therefore, each time latins get mad at someone they send them to “el carajo”. Thinking about it, it is actually one of the few phrases that actually make total sense. Consider it for the next time.

The English “fair play” term is an accurate example of how language adapts to the passing of time. The one who “gave birth” to this way of expressing justness was Shakespeare. He used it in “The Tempest”, where it was pointing out the negotiation of kingdoms. Currently, we are using it in sports or in any other day-to-day similar circumstances. Sometimes it’s interesting to think about its origins; it is not “fair play” to not give credit.

Some stories are traveling through time

We have seen that stories affect us unconsciously and they sometimes inspire us as well. There is more to it, anyway, when somebody taken action on them. Things flow along with time and people use, recycle and modernize learnings from before.

The modern art and technology is even using old discoveries in order to make them real or to create a piece of art.

The parallel universe, mentioned by Plato hundreds of years ago, is taking more and more shapes today with the scientific discoveries. It also creates some pretty terrifying horror movies (Example: Stranger Things series)

Oh, Bella Ciao! 

Does this sound familiar to you? It’s that kind of song that gets stuck in your head instantly and unwillingly.

The Bella Ciao song, initially composed as a defensive against fascism and chanted by the Italian partisans is still intonated during protests for freedom and opposition. Besides, it also makes the main theme of the famous “Money Heist” show. In the series, the song conveys the shouting for strength and resistance. Its symbolic meaning can be applied in a variety of scenarios and it can be a tool for art creation. I bet you would feel like playing that song on the background even in some small, glorious moments of your life, too.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an adult or a child. Everybody deserves a story and, consciously or unconsciously, that old or modern fairy tale is leading your way through life. They say kids are smart in their tiny, imaginary world. This is why we should be kids from time to time and use this adulthood tales to develop something bigger out of them; or in order to just enjoy and escape from reality from time to time.

Codrina Pavalachi

Sonata Arctica have released new album “Talviyö” and video for “Who Failed The Most”

Sonata Arctica are back in force with a new album and video! They have released today their 10th studio album, »Talviyö« (“Winter Night”), and it’s definitely a good one. It is symphonic, atmospheric, and powerful, everything you can wish from from the Finnish band. With both cheerful tunes and their trademark sad ballads, not the mention the usual touch of cheesy lyrics, we could not be happier.

The video for Who Failed The Most was directed by Patric Ullaeus and it is the second from this album, after Cold.

Keyboardist Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg states, “The wait is finally over, now all of you will hear what we’ve been working on for the past year or so as we present our latest album »Talviyö.« It was quite an experience getting this album ready for you guys and for the first time ever, we had some outside help from our very own Mikko Tegelman who produced the album. We focused on playing live this time and I think the album really captures how SONATA ARCTICA sounds like today. It will be a blast to go out and perform this new music alongside selected cuts from our catalogue. See you soon and meanwhile we hope you enjoy the album as much as we did making it.

»Talviyö« – Track Listing:

  1. Message From The Sun
  2. Whirlwind
  3. Cold
  4. Storm The Armada
  5. The Last Of The Lambs
  6. Who Failed The Most
  7. Ismo’s Got Good Reactors
  8. Demon’s Cage
  9. A Little Less Understanding
  10. The Raven Still Flies
  11. The Garden

United Stories of American Women

Americans are proud of their history. They are proud of the independence they fought for, and they even, sometimes, bury the not-so-honorable portions of history to remain prideful. Growing up in America, you learn of this soil’s history nearly as soon as you start school, but it is painfully clear that the history we learn is full of men. Men fought and won the Revolutionary War. Men fought the Civil War. A man abolished slavery. Our presidents are filled with nothing but testosterone. It was all men.

That causes one to wonder: where were all the women?

Were they not allowed to be involved? Were they confined to their homes, bearing and taking care of children? Were they waiting patiently for their husbands to come home?

The answer is simple: they weren’t. Women are scattered all across American History. This country’s history is saturated with the efforts of women, trying to make a difference. The only difference between these men and women is the men’s efforts are documented. They are taught in school, and they are celebrated during national holidays. Women’s stories are not. And it is not because they don’t exist. It is simply because they’re silenced.

Woman Sitting on Floor While Reading

Sybil Ludington

          The British are coming! The British are coming! If you have ever lived in America, learned anything about American History, you know the name Paul Revere. He is the brave man that journeyed through the night, letting everyone know the enemy was arriving.

            What is not very well-known is that Sybil Ludington did the same exact thing at sixteen years old, no less. 

            Ludington was born in 1761. Her father was loyal to the English throne until three years before America signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Joining the Revolution, he was promoted to Colonel of his regiment.

            On April 26, 1777, Sybil Ludington took the ride of her life when another man was simply too tired to continue. She alerted her father’s men, that were scattered at the time, of danger and telling them to return to the front lines. It is estimated that she rode twice as far as Paul Revere, ranging to about 40 miles in total.

            Because of her noble efforts, men were able to march and face the British in the Battle of Ridgefield. And even though, she is often forgotten today in history, George Washington did honor her for her efforts.

Coretta Scott King

            Most people know Coretta Scott King because of her husband: Martin Luther King, Jr. But what many do not know is that King was a very integral part of the Civil Rights Movement.

            Before she met her future husband, King dreamed of becoming a famous singer. However, she soon sacrificed that dream in the name of fighting for her civil rights. She excelled at a young age, graduating from high school as the valedictorian before moving on to receive her BA in music at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. King was then awarded a scholarship to further her education at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she met Martin Luther King, Jr.

            After marrying her husband, King found herself in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, fighting peacefully alongside her husband. Because of her family’s participation, her and MLK’s proximity to the movement, they often received death threats. Their home was a never-ending target for groups against their efforts. King also openly criticized the way in which the movement tended to exclude women while she fought for injustice.

            Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4th, 1968. Even after her husband’s death, King continuously supported the efforts of the movement, participating in a labor strike only days after her husband’s funeral. She remained the voice of several women’s right causes, traveling to lecture about those issues as well as racism and economic ones.

            Because of this, King was awarded the Universal Love Award. She also published a memoir, documenting her time with Martin Luther King, Jr. and their fight for justice. It was her hard work that finally paid off in the materialization of the federal holiday in 1983, honoring her husband.

“Agent 355”

Some women in history remained so unknown that their name is not even documented. Agent 355 is one of them. She was one of George Washington’s most reliable spies during the American Revolution.

She was seen with Britain’s highest-ranking officers, working for the other side of the Revolution. She often attended cocktail parties and soirees with the British elite, though her intentions far passed simply socializing.

 Agent 355 was the member of America’s first elite spy ring, though little to no information is known about her person. Though people have described her as many would a typical spy, one who has wit and charm like no one else.

Because of Agent 355, America could defeat the world’s most powerful military of that time. She is the only member of this spy ring whose identity remains unknown, and no one knows what became of her after the Revolution. But it is because of her that the Patriots could gain their independence.

These women are only among the hundreds that have been silenced throughout American History. The success and tenacity of these women have helped build this country to what it is today, though there is still much more work that needs to be done.

            Simply because these women achieved great things does not mean the achievement of their male counterparts are lesser, though these women’s efforts do get buried while the efforts of men are celebrated on a public forum and in large scales. National holidays are created in honor of men while many women’s efforts are not even taught in educational settings.

Shedding light on just a few important women helps brings them to an equal level as men. At the end of the day, that is all women ask, even present-day. People are so used to men being superior that placing women at an equal scale is seen as “man-hating”.

We do not want to be superior to men. We simply want to be seen as equals. Our hard work makes a difference, and it should be celebrated just as men’s hard work is.

            Gabrielle Clawson

Mother Tongues

Mother Tongue (noun): the language which a person has grown up speaking from early childhood.

            My mother tongue is English. My father’s mother tongue is English, too. My father’s father’s mother tongue was Yiddish. It was the only language he spoke until he was eight, when he fled his hometown.

            My father’s father married a woman who spoke Yiddish. They spoke it sometimes to each other, but they did not speak it to my father. They did not speak it to my father because they were afraid for him; they were afraid that even though they were raising him in America, where they came in hopes of being safe, teaching him Yiddish would mark him for violence and alienation. Even here, they were afraid.

white printer paper

Schmuck (noun, pejorative): a foolish or contemptible person, lit. male genitals.

            “I just think it’s such a perfect word for him,” my non-Jewish thirteen-year-old friend said about the word schmuck. The “him” in question was a classmate she had a not particularly well-founded distaste for her. I didn’t know how to tell her that to many Yiddish speakers, schmuck is too offensive a term for this context. 

            “Yiddish just does such a better job of expressing things than English!” she gushed. It would be the better part of a decade until I was finally taught that many Jews in concentration camps only spoke Yiddish. They could not express anything to their captors or their non-Yiddish speaking neighbors. Many of them would never express anything again.  

Shtetl (noun, historical): a small Jewish town or village in eastern Europe.

            “Do you know the name of the shtetl your family is from?” I am asked by another Jewish father figure. His family has been here longer than mine has. He knows more Yiddish; his mother is less afraid. Sometimes, she teaches me words, mostly insults. I have a difficult time using them; they don’t sound right in the middle of an English sentence. I don’t know enough Yiddish to make Yiddish sentences.

            “No, I never knew my grandfather.” I know some things. My father’s father thought he was from Ukraine. Our family friend said that the area was under Polish control when my grandfather left. If my grandfather knew the name of his shtetl, he would have known it in Yiddish. I’m afraid that if I’d ever known my grandfather, he would have had a difficult time telling me my own family history. I’m worried that he would have been afraid to talk about it. He spoke English, but it wasn’t his mother tongue. We wouldn’t have spoken each other’s languages.

Koved (noun): honor, dignity, respect.

            “Look, I got it. Can I get some koved-ing?” I asked my friend. I don’t remember what “it” was.

            “Some … what?”

            “Koved-ing” is a Yiddish-English hybrid word I think my family invented. It is always used in the context given above – koved-ing is always demanded. It means, roughly, respect, praise, lauding. “Can I get some koved-ing?” is a way of asking for acknowledgement, sort of. It’s hard to describe exactly what it means, which is why, when I want koved-ing I ask for koved-ing, rather than asking for something in English.

            “Um, it’s like …” I trail off. I have a hard time explaining it to my friend.

Mother Tongue (noun): the language which a person has grown up speaking from early childhood.

            My father did not speak Yiddish to me because he could not, because his father did not speak it to him. It cost me three hours of work to buy the updated Yiddish-English dictionary on Amazon. It contains tens of thousands of words.

vintage books collection

My father did not speak Yiddish to me, but I hope, one day, I will speak Yiddish to him.   

By Sasha Uchitel

Interview: Bad Blood

Bad Blood are a new project promising to make a big splash. Even before their first album was released, they came up with a new way of thinking about music and revenue, allowing fans to buy stake rights to their song, by partnering with Vezt. They then lined up some commercial endorsement and made sure people knew about them. They surely got Jason Momoa hooked on their music, as if you needed an extra reason to listen to them.

Teen Art Out: How did the idea to partner with Vezt first come about? 

Chris Clemence: I was first introduced to Vezt by my friend Maxim Horner who was working for them at the time. He had me come into the office to meet the founders Steve Stewart (Stone Temple Pilots manager) and Robert Menendez to check out the app and I was blown away. I was like “This is it. This is the new music business right here.” I signed with them and had immediate success for my single “Let’s Go” that I put out as a solo artist. I knew partnering with them and Bad Blood was definitely the right decision for the new upcoming record. Vezt is an amazing way for us to connect with our fans on an even deeper level and share in the ownership of the music together. In the end we’re all in this together. We should all share in the profits of the songs. They aren’t just mine, or the bands, they are everybody’s, and by that I mean the fans. We all create the success of the music together.

Chad Cherry: We’re riding into the future of music production and making a pact with the fans. It’s exciting. 

Teen Art Out: What kind of impact did that have on how you approached your album?

Chris Clemence: I think I would have written the songs the same way. I’m always trying to top myself, better lyrics, better hooks, and I believe this Bad Blood record is some of my best work as a songwriter yet. The fact that our fans can share in the ownership of these songs now through Vezt is just amazing and I’m inviting them in, arms wide open. Every time we all stream the music, promote it on social media so more people hear it, watch the music video, etc we’re all going to profit from it. That’s the amazing thing about Vezt. Those who have ownership in the music earn money just like the band does. It’s truly a revolution for the music business. 

Chad Cherry: I never think about anything other than just the music when I’m making a record. That’s my focal point while in the studio. 

Teen Art Out: What are 5 words that describe the album best?

Chris Clemence: Uplifting, powerful, huge, anthemic, ROCK.

Chad Cherry: Hard Ass Rock And Roll. 

Teen Art Out: The album promises to be big even before it is released, not just with the app partnership but with the song licensing deals. How did those come to be?

Chris Clemence: We’ve been very fortunate to land some big commercial spots and a video game placement before the record has even come out. So far we’ve landed a Bentley commercial, William Henry commercial and 2 songs in the video game Mutant Football League on PlayStation and Xbox. We have a few other big ones in the works as well. We’re super proud of these deals and I think it shows the music speaks for itself. And these deals give our fans even more confidence to buy in shares of the music with Vezt. The record is already successful and it hasn’t been released yet. It’s wild!

Chad Cherry: I feel that we have crazy fans for our music before it’s even released! I can’t explain it but I can tell you that I love it. It’s a great feeling. The music speaks for itself. 

Teen Art Out: What was the hardest part about getting this record out? What about the most fulfilling?

Chris Clemence: In the beginning of making this record we were dealing with some really difficult people both on the creative and business side. I’m not going to name any names, but they made everything impossible and seemed to want to sabotage the project at every turn. But we didn’t let it happen and we didn’t let them win.  And I think the best and most fulfilling part is that right there. We didn’t give up, we didn’t quit, we pushed through and now we are releasing an amazing album that’s already getting an incredible response and landing lots of amazing placements and deals. The “bad blood” we had with these individuals only made our group stronger as a unit of brothers and we know we can’t be stopped. 

Chad Cherry: From the very beginning we had to fight the ones who opposed to get to where we are now. The classic “dog eat dog” is real. We rise above. 

bad blood

Teen Art Out: How do you approach songwriting? Do you start from musical lines or lyrics?

Chris Clemence: I do most of the lyrics and melodies and Chris (Iorio) does a lot of the main music parts and riffs. Chad and Kenny always have amazing ideas and parts as well. We’ll have a basic skeleton and then just keep making it better and better until we’re ready to record it. Some of the stuff we just came up with on the spot in the studio. I remember we still needed a second verse for Own The Night and I just wrote it on the fly while we were tracking the song in the studio. Sometimes that’s when the best stuff happens. Everyone in the band is a seasoned songwriter and I love the record we came up with.

Chad Cherry: I’m the Cherry flavored icing. 

Teen Art Out: What can we expect from Bad Blood on tour?

Chris Clemence: A hell of a show. We’re taking no prisoners when we hit the stage.

Chad Cherry: I’ll give you the same answer from a question you asked earlier: HARD ASS ROCK AND ROLL. 

Teen Art Out: How long does it take you when you’re back from tour to miss being on tour?

Chris Clemence: I think I start to miss it the moment we’re finishing recording a song we’re really excited about. It makes me want to get out and play it for everyone.

Chad Cherry: I have so much going on in life that touring is sort a balance. We all keep busy enough so time flies and the next thing you know you’re back out on the road again. It becomes part of your lifestyle. 

Teen Art Out: When was the first time you thought of yourself as an artist?

Chris Clemence: Just now? Haha I don’t really think of myself as one even though that’s what we are. This is just what we do and I love that other people are digging what we’re doing and are excited about it. That’s what keeps me going.

Chad Cherry: I would say that I’m just fan. I’m not really an artist. Michelangelo was an artist, aha! All the stuff we do is just an extension of who we are. 

Teen Art Out: What was your first job? What did you like or not like about it?

Chad Cherry: First time I remember making real money was when I painted on some leather jackets for some cool older rocker dudes in a band. I still have that job today with Chad Cherry Clothing! I made pizzas too at one point. That was a greasy job, but hey, free pizza. 

Teen Art Out: If you could have a carpool karaoke with anyone, whom would you choose?

Chris Clemence: Grimace from McDonalds. It would be more entertaining to see him try to get in the car than to hear him sing though.

Chad Cherry: Oscar the Grouch. His voice is melodious. 

Teen Art Out: What is the best compliment you have ever received?

Chris Clemence: The best compliments are always from fans about how a song I wrote helped change their life in a positive way or helped them in a hard time. Anything to make their lives better. That means the most to me.

Chad Cherry: Definitely have to agree with Chris on that one. Music is the universal language and when it helps heal or change something for the better that’s a very special and extremely important thing.