“We wanted to tell our fans that we are not a band from whom they can expect what comes next” – Interview with Beyond the Black’s Jennifer Haben

Beyond the Black have just released their newest album, HØRIZØNS. The singles released so far painted a different picture for this album, with quite a strong change of direction. For older BtB who weren’t feeling it yet, I have to say hang on. There will be something there for you. For those feeling open to change, this is a very positive and uplifting album, and you might like it.

I want to start by sharing their brand new video for Humans, which is by far my favourite song of the album. It is one of the most symphonic ones, which mixes their old style with the new elements. And in an album full of “let’s be positive” of course I would pick the song that says
“We’re born to die, we are human in the end // Cause after all we are born to die, my friend” . I am more of a cynic and I do love the darkness of it all… and so does Jennifer: “That is very good to hear, it is one of my favourite songs. We did a lot more of this in our previous album. I know people who are thinking like that as well, but I try to maybe get them into the boat, to see that you can change your mind as we changed our music and lyrics. Maybe people can take that journey with us and change as well.

The album as a whole is not as heavy as their previous work and with more electronic influences. That would surely make it more radio-friendly and mainstream, but it’s not in a genre that takes that very well. Symphonic metal fans are not the nicest, to put it kindly. Nor are they able to deal with change. According to Jennifer, “we wanted to tell our fans that we are not a band from whom they can expect what comes next. I think this is something I love about other bands as well, even if in the beginning I am also… An example is Paramore. They did something totally different in the beginning and then they came with that modern stuff. My first thought was the same – oh, I expected something totally different, I don’t know if I like that – but I was open enough to actually love it in the end. So this is something I had to learn for myself. I hope that our fans are open enough to listen to the songs and maybe love it in the end.

Their first single was Misery, a song they also played live on the previous tour. It did get a reaction from the fans at the time for being different, but by now most critics came around.

Many of the songs follow the positive and uplifting message, which couldn’t have come at a better time. Jennifer Haben (lead singer) says that “At this moment a lot of people need positive energy and positive music as well.
I am a very positive person and I am watching myself become more positive than before, so I think this is something I wanted to do in our lyrics, as well. We always try to show a little bit of hope. For me, that wasn’t enough anymore, I wanted to make more of a positive change. Something that I felt in our band as well the last two well when we trusted ourselves a lot more. This is a whole step in a direction where we know we will break out of everything that the people want us to be and we just be.

The change within the band was visible with the last tour, when they felt more united and the live show took another level. “Last year and the year before we came more and more together. Since 2016 we are in this format and we have gotten to know each other. It didn’t feel like it does now, so of course you can see on stage that we know each other a little bit more. Of course, this is something that shows in our songs, that we feel we know each other and work well together. For all the aspects around Beyond the Black, this is really really good to see. “

With all this change for the better, I wanted to see what gives Jennifer personally self-esteem. Her response truly says a lot about who she is: “I care a lot about other people, especially the people around me. I think I am not selfish and this is something I think is very positive and I am proud of that. I learned that very fast during the last 4 years. I think it’s normal when you’re growing up and you’re 24 that you learn a lot. For me this is something that feels amazing and that I really like about me

***

The songwriting was definitely a different process this time around. The pressure was on to deliver after the last album and tour and many people expected more of the same, which we certainly didn’t get. But it shows growth and belief in themselves, which can only be good. Jennifer adds that “On The Heart of The Hurricane or on the other albums we have much less time than we had for this one. We had a much better situation, having 6 months of just writing songs and after that we went to our label and said – okay, this is what we would put on our album -, and they said they loved all the songs. Then we went to our producer and recorded the songs. These 6 months were so important for us because we wanted to change something and you cannot change if you don’t try things out. We never had that amazing situation of meeting 2 or 3 times and if nothing comes of it, then it’s cool. We don’t have to have it now. We always had to create stuff instantly for previous albums. Now we could say let’s just write a song like Misery, which we knew was different from what we did before. We wanted to free our minds of what we did and to break these chains and then continue with what we did with this song.

Another single we knew from the album was Wounded Healer, featuring Elize Ryd. This would have been so lovely to see on the co-headlining tour with Amaranthe, which unfortunately got postponed. But I am sure it’s gonna be a great production and tour and hope to see it.

I want to give a shoutout to Marching On, which is another one of my favourites. It was great to see Chris step up and join for lead vocals and do an actual duet. It was a nice surprise for me seeing him the last tour that … he can really sing. Jennifer of course agrees “yes, he can, he can. He has been practicing a lot and I think he is getting better and better. He didn’t sing before Beyond the Black ever on a stage. Not main vocals. He is just experiencing all of that now and I think he is doing a really good job. He was nervous at first doing the first main vocals on stage but now he’s a pro.

Last but not least, I want to mention I Won’t Surrender Feat. Tina Guo – beautiful ballad and Tina is bringing such a great nuance to the song and frankly album. She knows how to play the strings of my heart (pun intended). BtB have produced many ballads I loved so far and I was waiting for another one on that level, and it seems it just came.

***

We’ve talked about how the band is more united and has grown, but I am curious to know what is something specific to each of the band members for this album. Whether they liked or disliked something more and came up with an idea, what is their unique view. “First of all, everyone is super happy with the result. Chris very much likes Marching On because he likes to sing now and he wrote it with me, so I know that. Kai likes most … maybe I Won’t Surrender or Golden Pariah. I am not sure but he said these are his main songs. Not sure with the other boys. But I know of thing that was interesting for me was that I was in love with Humans with just acoustic guitar and vocals from the beginning, but all the boys said – fuck, that’s so boring- and I thought what?? this has so many deep things inside. I am super happy that I said no, we do that song, if you don’t like it, then don’t like it, but this song is really amazing.” Jennifer added and she was definitely right with that one.

Sometimes less is more. One of the quotes I like is Coco Chanel’s “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”, which I find that sometimes can be applied to music as well. Not as much for symphonic metal, where, as Jennifer says, “it’s usually a lot of orchestra and stuff, but I think that especially when you do a balld it’s better to just have acoustic piano and acoustic guitar and less is more. On these points. When it’s not symphonic, this is something that can also be good. 

***

All in all, this is a bold new step for Beyond the Black and it will be exciting to see where it takes them. A little more positivity was so badly needed and BtB delivered it! There is enough diversity in the album for fans to find something for themselves. Let us know what your favourite songs from the album are.

Epica, Loch Vostok și Magnetic confirmate la Maximum Rock Festival 2020

Maximum Rock Festival revine în forță cu cea de-a opta ediție, de această dată Open Air, care promite să fie una de neuitat și să depășească toate așteptările. Așadar, între 13-14 iunie 2020 ne vedem la Arenele Romane din București pentru un weekend demențial!

EPICA (Olanda), LOCH VOSTOK (Suedia), MAGNETIC (Bulgaria) se alătură celorlalte formații confirmate până în acest moment: DEVIN TOWNSEND (Canada), KATATONIA (Suedia), THERION (Suedia), ORPHANED LAND (Israel), LOCK VOSTOK (Suedia), SUBTERRANEAN MASQUERADE (Israel).

În diversitatea uneori ameţitoare de formaţii de metal simfonic, EPICA face cu siguranţă figură aparte. Având ca semn distinctiv vocea maleabilă a frumoasei Simone Simons, ce creează contraste expresive cu vocalizele death-metal ale iniţiatorului Mark Jansen, trupa olandeză te poartă printr-un periplu aventuros presărat cu elemente stilistice dintre cele mai surprinzătoare. După cum scria Eduardo Rivadavia de la baza muzicală de date online Allmusic, atracţia principală a muzicii Epica provine din „explorarea contrastelor sonore dintre lumină şi întuneric”. Cu opt albume de studio la activ (dintre care două în două variante), Epica este un nume demult consacrat pe scena internaţională metal şi în circuitul concertelor. Cronicile foarte bune de pe site-ul Encyclopaedia Metallum confirmă gustul publicului pentru această muzică a cărei dimensiune live merită urmărită cu atenţie.

După ce a făcut un prim pas important spre consolidarea statutului pe scenele internaţionale într-un turneu cu Therion şi Leprous – când a ajuns şi în România – trupa suedeză Loch Vostok a părut să intre, cel puţin pentru spectatorii români, într-un con de umbră. Însă Teddy Möller şi compania s-au ţinut de treabă cu tenacitate şi au lansat, la intervale mari, dar regulat, albume care să le creioneze tot mai clar propria marcă de metal extrem progresiv.
Reîntoarcerea Loch Vostok în România este un prilej, pentru trupă şi pentru public, să recupereze timpul scurs de la o ultimă prezenţă bine primită de rockerii autohtoni.

Bulgarii de la Magnetic aduc în atenția publicului o combinație de nu metal, progressive, crossover. În 2016 formația reușește să lanseze primul EP, iar după câteva turnee naționale trupa ajunge să cânte la Rock Camp Satu Mare Open Air (2018), în calitate de co-headliner alături de Firewind, Jinjer și Majesty, dar și la Rock n Iași Indoor 2018.
În 2019 Magnetic susține, alături de Annihilator, câteva concerte prin Europa.
În prezent Magnetic lucrează la primul LP și la un turneu de promovare ce va include și Maximum Rock Festival 2020.

Vă anunțăm că prima categorie de bilete este deja Sold Out, iar în acest moment sunt disponibile abonamentele la prețul de 249 lei (ultimele bucăți) exclusiv pe www.ambilet.ro.

Reamințim categoriile de abonamente:
300 lei 149 lei – Abonament Earlybird (primele 100) – Sold Out
300 lei 249 lei – Abonament Presale 1 (următoarele 1000 bucăți)
300 lei 279 lei – Abonament Presale 2 (până la data de 12.06.2020)
300 lei – Abonament Regular Access (preţ în ziua evenimentului, atât online cât și la intrare)

Copiii sub vârsta de 7 ani au intrare libere, dar aceștia trebuie însoțiți de un adult.

P.S. Cei care doresc bilete cartonate (pentru colecție), pot preschimba la acces biletele online în bilete cartonate, sau pot achiziționa aceste bilete direct de la sediul Maximum Rock din București – și primesc automat/gratuit o revista Maximum Rock.

Evenimentul este organizat de către Promusic Events & Maximum Rock, recomandat de Rock FM.

Obscura si God Dethroned la Bucuresti: Program si reguli de acces

Obscura revin la Bucuresti pe 21 februarie in Club Quantic din Bucuresti. In deschidere vor canta God Dethroned, Fractal Universe si Thulcandra.

PROGRAM

OPEN DOORS 19:00

Fractal Universe 19:30 – 20:00

Thulcandra 20:15 – 20:50

God Dethroned 21:05 – 21:50

Obscura 22:10 – 23:35.

REGULI DE ACCES SI INFORMATII UTILE

Este interzis in zona de concert:

  • accesul cu arme sau obiecte periculoase
  • accesul cu alcool sau alte bauturi si alimente din exteriorul salii de concert.
  • accesul cu materiale inflamabile, canistre pe gaz sau masini de gatit de orice fel
  • aparate foto profesionale sau semi-profesionale (cu obiectiv detasabil)
  • aparate de inregistrare audio-video profesionale sau semi-profesionale.

Biletele se gasesc in format electronic pe www.iabilet.ro si in magazinele Flanco, Diverta, Carturesti, Metrou Unirii 1, Muzica, IQ BOX, Uman, Casa de Balet si pe terminalele Selfpay. Online, puteti plati cu cardul, Paypal,carduri de tichete culturale Sodexo, pe factura la Vodafone sau Orange sau ramburs prin Fan Courier oriunde in tara.

Biletele costa in presale 79 de lei iar la intrare 100.

Un eveniment METALHEAD powered by ROCK FM

25.10.2019
Concert Obscura si God Dethroned la Quantic pe 21 Februarie
Obscura revin la Bucuresti pe 21 februarie in Club Quantic din Bucuresti. In deschidere vor canta God Dethroned, Fractal Universe si Thulcandra. Primele 100 de bilete costa doar 59 de lei si se gasesc pe iabilet.ro

Obscura sunt un nume cunoscut deja pe scena death metalului progresiv. Din 2002 pana in prezent, formatia germana a lansat 5 materiale de studio. Obscura este cunscuta pentru pasajele muzicale complexe, lucru datorat si faptului ca membrii formatiei au studiat teorie muzicala Formatia a atras atentia destul de repede, la doar 4 ani de la infiintare plecand in turenul alaturi de Suffocation prin Europa. Au urmat apoi concerte sustinute in Statele Unite si in Asia alaturi de Nile si Triptykon, dar si prezente pe scenele principalelor festivaluri din Europa.

God Dethroned vin din Olanda, fiind una dintre primele trupe de metal extrem din aceasta tara. Formatia a luat nastere in 1991 si a activat cu mici intreruperi pana in prezent. Au la activ 10 albume in care trateaza teme specifice black si death metalului. De-a lungul timpului au avut turnee alaturi de nume importante ale scenei black metal precum Marduk, Immortal, Deicide sau Impaled Nazarene.

Thulcandra vin din Germania si abordeaza un melodic black metal cu influente de death metal pe alocuri. Numele formatiei vine de la demo-ul eponim lansat de Darkthrone in 1989. Pana in prezent au lansat trei albume si un EP bine primite atat de public cat si de presa de specialitate. De-a lungul timpului au impartit scena cu formatii precum Triptykon, Taake, Testament, sau Venom. De asemenea au participat atat la festivaluri de underground, dedicate stilurilor extreme, dar au urcat si pe scena marilor festivaluri precum Maryland Deathfest sau Ragnarok Festival.

Fractal Universe vin din Franta si abordeaza un death metal progresiv. Infiintata in 2013, formatia a lansat doua albume de studio, cel mai recent, Rhizomes of Insanity fiind scos anul acesta. Temele lirice abordate de Fractal Universe sunt de natura filosofica de cele mai multe ori.

Primele 100 de bilete costa doar 59 lei, urmatoarele 100 de bilete costa 69 lei, in presale 79 de lei iar la intrare 100.

Biletele se gasesc in format electronic pe www.iabilet.ro si in magazinele Flanco, Diverta, Carturesti, Metrou Unirii 1, Muzica, IQ BOX, Uman, Casa de Balet si pe terminalele Selfpay. Online, puteti plati cu cardul, Paypal, pe factura la Vodafone sau Orange sau ramburs prin Fan Courier oriunde in tara.

Un eveniment METALHEAD powered by ROCK FM

Interview: Olof Mörck and Elize Ryd (Amaranthe)

I was lucky enough to catch Amaranthe on the Great Tour, supporting Sabaton around Europe. I’ve been a fan for many years and was ready for some traditional energetic and bombastic displays of power. I knew both Olof and Elize to be not just incredibly talented people, but the absolute loveliest, and so it was.

Simona: Let’s talk about the Great Tour. How has it been so far playing such an extensive arena tour?

Olof: I’ve been saying this the whole time: it’s been unreal, completely magical. Like, every time that you wake up in the morning, you go to the venue in a place like this [Wembley Arena]. The last time, with Powerwolf, they did play some really, really big places. I guess the biggest one was in Munich with 6000 people. That’s actually equivalent to one of the smaller shows in this tour. So, I mean, it’s an absolute dream come true. And today, Wembley Arena … I just have to say, I’m so damn proud or Sabaton guys for achieving this.

Simona: And you as well

Olof: Well, to be honest, we’re just really happy to be here. And it’s really helping us in so many different ways.

AMARANTHE

Simona: How long in advance do you start working for such a tour?

Olof: Pre-production typically starts with the boring stuff, sending the emails and all that maybe half a year before something like this. It depends a little bit With the US tour that we did at the end of this year or at the end of the summer actually, we started to plan that a whole year in advance. So it depends a little bit. And I think on the tour, you know, on this scale, on this level, they probably started a year and a half in advance with the first plan. But as artist and musician, preparing usually starts like a month before the tour, when you start to get your stuff together.

Simona: Why did you choose 82nd all the way for a cover? How was the process of turning someone else’s song into something so typically Amaranthe?

Olof: We didn’t choose it. No, it was chosen by Par from Sabaton because we had the common idea. We started talking to him on messenger actually that it would be really fun to show that we’re actually good friends and that it’s not only having a great time, also people that we’ve known for a long time. Like Hannes, for example, was on our second tour ever, playing drums with Evergrey at the time… and so on and so forth. So we wanted to show that friendship and what better way than, you know, to do a cover? And he suggested the song because he probably obviously knew that from the Sabaton songs this is going to work. When I heard the song, this was before it was released, I was like, OK, that choruses. It’s going to be an Amaranthe song more or less. So it worked really well.

Simona: A while ago you and Elize had a special project in Spain. Perhaps related to new material?

Olof: Yes … But to clarify, it’s actually not about the new album, but it’s about new music and about new stuff. And I can also say something that I haven’t told to anybody else. What day is today? 8th? People will know within six days, and it’s something that we’re really excited about. It is something quite different from what we’ve done,  something a little bit a little bit deeper. But still with the Amaranthe classical, you know, fun attached to it. Let’s say.

Photo by Tim Tronckoe

Simona: What about the last album? Which songs from the last album had surprising fan reactions? Either expected them to do better or outdid all expectations? 

Olof: It’s tough because I don’t really put that much expectations before, because some thing is that when you’re working.

[Elize joins the interview. Olof says he’s goona answer and Elize will think about it]

Olof: I think that when you’re working on an album, you don’t really put up these kinds of expectations and before, because sometimes you can be setting up yourself for disappointment. Sometimes the songs that we find are the strongest are not thesongs that the label wants for a single or not what the fans are the most enthusiastic about. There was a couple of albums in a row where we chose the completely wrong singles and people stepped in and said that no, we should do this one. The Nexus, for example, was on number nine when we did the initial tracklist. But when it comes to the new album, I think that maybe Helix worked quite abit better than I was expecting. I really love the song. It’s definitely one of my favorites from the last few albums actually, but it’s a little bit more of an introverted and slightly darker song in some way. But the fans, and especially labels and they seem embrace it.

Simona: How good of an indicator are streaming numbers when creating a setlist? Do you find that popular songs are also the best hits live?

Elize: No, it’s actually very different. It depends on the country, actually, what style they like. And also depends on our songs. Some of them are very produced and many people think they sound even better live.

Simona: Are there any plans for Amaranthe live DVD?

Olof: Oh, yeah. I mean it’s something that we’ve been talking about doing our entire careers.  In the last couple of years we have gotten a whole lot better as a live band because we’vebeen touring really hard.  Now we have a finalized line-up. For a long time we were changing singers back and forth after Jake left, and I think at this point it’s really, really starting to make sense. So because there’s no plans set yet, but I would say that in 2021 it’s something that we should aim at actually.

Photo by Tim Tronckoe

Simona: One of the things I love the most about Amaranthe is how upbeat the music is and just giving people such a great feeling. Is it ever hard to sustain that level of “happy energy”?

 Elize: Oh, that’s a good question. I think it reflects what kind of people we are inside our hearts. And also it reflects that we are so in need of positive energy ourselves and create that. My happiest place is to make music, and therefore I think it reflects into the songs. So if I just walk in the street, I mean, OK,  I’m kind of a positive person. But of course, you have a lot of inner sorrows. But the music can take us away from, you know, the reality. So, therefore, I think it’s easy. As long as we love to make music, then we get something positive out of it.

Simona: What is something you think people don’t understand about what it takes to be a musician?

 Olof: they have no idea how tough it can be, actually. We’re not going to complain because we’re still love traveling and we still love doing this. But it takes a toll, a toll on your physical and mental health and it’s always a strain on relationships and things like this. So it’s really, really a double edged sword. I mean, for me, I would have a very hard time doing everything else. Because if you ask me at the end of the tour, I will probably want to go home and rest for at least one or two days. And then I could continue. But as soon as I’ve been home for a month or something like that, you really start tocrave to get back out again.

Elize: It’s more of a lifestyle. It’s not just, oh, I love to sing and I want to sing, but I also need to change your whole life for the music. And that’s what people probably don’t understand, that it takes so much more strength than just a voice or a great guitar playing or whatever. To create a career like, you need to be fucking strong minded and watch out for the traps that you could fall into, like harming yourself through all the others temptations available in the music industry. And also the touring is of course, the hardest. Like that. We’re living on the road. That becomes your whole life.

Simona: What do you dislike the most about the art world?

Olof: This is quite an obvious one mean, when it comes to every artistic venture, I think the music business in particular, but also in a business where there’s so much corruption and so many people that are taking advantage. This is a massive problem for the industry and it’s really destroying talented and real artists. If it weren’t for these people who are trying without any talent to capitalize on other people’s skills, then you would have two thousand more great bands in the metal genre, for example. So it’s these people are a problem. But I think that more and more people are changing, as you know, these businesses start to open up because of the Internet and so on. And yet the movie business, particularly the #MeToo campaign, for example. There’s been similar things  in the metal world. I think people are starting to wake up to this. Just a little bit because it’s not a hidden world. Hollywood in the 90s was completely sheltered. You could behave and act however you wanted. And I hope that this trend will continue in the next 10 to 20 years and really start to the clear away these idiots and assholes.

Elize: I hope so, too. I think it’s up to us to address this. We need to get together as musicians. That kind of change means, for example, how some contracts are formed. Why would there even be a 365 deal? Probably that needs to do a revolution and say like, fuck you guys. We don’t accept these kind of contracts because we’re actually humans. And no, it’s like slavery working like that now. That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s why I love to speak out. But it’s like, you know, asking the question. So as long as people become aware of it. Don’t look up to people that want to use you. And then if somebody wants to sign you, then you should think, oh, maybe I do have something that’s really great. It’s expensive to hire a lawyer, but you can go to the musicians union and get help for free or for cheap. Or ask someone. Because that’s what we thought, too. Like, oh, my God, people want to work for us. They want to take like 80 percent of our income and it  is fine because otherwise we never get this opportunity. You know, that’s not nice. But most musicians are also like that in their minds, they want to feel appreciated. And this is a way to do that. Otherwise, you could just be thrown away like. Okay, next. You know.  So you have to agree on things that you feel afterwards that you’ve been very userd or you feel like like it’s a rape of your art.

Simona: Something I was thinking about while you were answering the previous question is something that I’ve been talking to with my friends who also listen to symphonic metal… which is that it’s not just people in power who behave like that. Sometimes fans are… not nice, let’s say.

Olof: Tell me :))

Simona: There is this saying that every country has the rulers it deserves. I kind of say that every band has the fans it deserves. I think that there are some cases where there needs to be a discussion about what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

Olof & Elize: Well, yeah.

Olof: This is true. I mean, just a quick comment. I mean, even if I do agree with the fact that you get the kings that you deserve or the fans that you deserve, but you will always get a certain amount of assholes. I think that the ratio of it is what matters. Like what is the ratio of assholes listening to your music? I have to say that in our case, if we do have them, the amount is surprisingly low as they’ve always been supportive, supported the stuff that we do and so on.

Elize: Now I’m thinking about humanity in general is the problem. We also need to love somehting and we also need to hate something and I don’t understand that. Why would you want that? Why would you need to hate something that is not harming anyone? You could hate obvious things. I wouldn’t like go there and actually comment on something, on music I don’t like. I would just to keep it to myself. I like listen to the stuff I like so I don’t really understand. I could encourage the fans that have so much hate that they can write the most evil and awful things online that they should focus their hate on something that needs to be hated. That deserves to be hated.

Olof: Yeah, exactly. And the thing that they need to fix is not the new Nightwish album, which is a great album, by the way.

Elize: So yeah, they should absolutely use that energy to do something. Could be a good thing in the end.

Simona: Both of you do a lot of songwriting even outside of Amaranthe. What do you think makes a good songwriter and what makes a good musician? Can those be different?

Olof: Oh, those two are completely different animals. There’s so many good musicians who can’t even write the most basic song. And there’s also a lot of great songwriters who don’t really know how to play an instrument besides four chords. Like Max Martin, for example, who wrote some of the biggest hits. So basically, I think that what constitutes a great song is that there’s a real meaning behind it. It doesn’t need to be in the lyrics. It just needs to be there spiritually. You can learn how to put chords together, you can learn how to orchestrate symphonies. But if you don’t put meaning and your heart and soul into it, that won’t translate into a good song. It can have all the right chords, all the right melodies  and people will feel nothing when they hear it. And that is at the end of the day the beauty of music, that it’s a language of emotions. That’s really what you’re trying to convey when you’re composing a song.

Simona: What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Olof: Trouble in general or in the music business?

Simona: I would say in general, maybe. If you don’t want to share something recent, maybe something you did as a kid

Olof: This is something that I was talking about yesterday. My sister was studying in a small town in Sweden and she invited me there. Obviously, there was a lot of 18 year olds there hanging out. I was fifteen at the time, had long black hair, so I looked the same age as everybody else. As soon as I arrived there, I got a beer in my hand. I got pretty drunk. I even smoked. And then my mother found out at 8 o’clock in the morning, so after that  I was in big trouble.

[Elize stays quiet]

Simona: You haven’t gotten into trouble yet?

Elize: I haven’t gotten into trouble *laughing*. Ask me that next time :))

Simona: Last but not least, since we are a Romanian based magazine, we cannot just let you off the hook without asking: what are some Romanian foods or traditions you enjoy and some you don’t? Also to Elize, since you’ve been there.

Elize: I’ve been there many times. I love it.  It’s truly amazing.

Olof: It’s not something that she says. She absolutely loves Cluj. She would ask all the time “Can we just move here, please?” But when it comes to food, I really like the eggplant salad. This is called…

Simona: “Salată de vinete”

Olof: “Salată de vinete” and  of course, the sarmale. It’s one of my favorite dish. We also love the Romanian wines.

Elize: I think I drank the best wine ever in Romania.

Olof: Like the “Prinț Mircea”, for example. Fantastic wine. But I tried a lot of really, really good things from Romania. One thing that I hate love relationship with is obviously the palinca. Oh, yeah. The thing is that if you don’t drink it as shots because it’s obviously very dangerous. Like at my wedding, for example, people consume thirty five litres of palinca or

Simona: How many people?

Olof: Hundred and ninety.

Simona: That is a lot.

Olof: That is a lot. But I was still told that it was nowhere near some other Romanian weddings.

Simona: Oh, yeah, for sure.

Olof: I was impressed. But anyways, if you eat like cold cuts, like meat and some cheese and if you have really, really cold palinca and you drink it slowly, it actually fits really well together. But never as shots, God damn it!

Simona: Haha. On that note, let me say thank you for a great interview and cannot wait to see the show.

Obscura și God Dethroned la Quantic

Obscura revin la Bucuresti pe 21 februarie in Club Quantic din Bucuresti. In deschidere vor canta God Dethroned si Fractal Universe.

Obscura sunt un nume cunoscut deja pe scena death metalului progresiv. Din 2002 pana in prezent, formatia germana a lansat 5 materiale de studio. Obscura este cunscuta pentru pasajele muzicale complexe, lucru datorat si faptului ca membrii formatiei au studiat teorie muzicala Formatia a atras atentia destul de repede, la doar 4 ani de la infiintare plecand in turenul alaturi de Suffocation prin Europa. Au urmat apoi concerte sustinute in Statele Unite si in Asia alaturi de Nile si Triptykon, dar si prezente pe scenele principalelor festivaluri din Europa.

God Dethroned vin din Olanda, fiind una dintre primele trupe de metal extrem din aceasta tara. Formatia a luat nastere in 1991 si a activat cu mici intreruperi pana in prezent. Au la activ 10 albume in care trateaza teme specifice black si death metalului. De-a lungul timpului au avut turnee alaturi de nume importante ale scenei black metal precum Marduk, Immortal, Deicide sau Impaled Nazarene.

Thulcandra vin din Germania si abordeaza un melodic black metal cu influente de death metal pe alocuri. Numele formatiei vine de la demo-ul eponim lansat de Darkthrone in 1989. Pana in prezent au lansat trei albume si un EP bine primite atat de public cat si de presa de specialitate. De-a lungul timpului au impartit scena cu formatii precum Triptykon, Taake, Testament, sau Venom. De asemenea au participat atat la festivaluri de underground, dedicate stilurilor extreme, dar au urcat si pe scena marilor festivaluri precum Maryland Deathfest sau Ragnarok Festival.

Fractal Universe vin din Franta si abordeaza un death metal progresiv. Infiintata in 2013, formatia a lansat doua albume de studio, cel mai recent, Rhizomes of Insanity fiind scos anul acesta. Temele lirice abordate de Fractal Universe sunt de natura filosofica de cele mai multe ori.

Bilete în rețeaua iabilet.ro.

Interview: Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell)

Teen Art Out: Hello Fernando and thank you for sparing a few moments to answer this interview. Congrats on the upcoming re-release Sin/Pecado 21 years after its original release! What would you say is the most important song or idea you hope to bring back to the metal realm with this release?

Fernando: Hello, my pleasure. Actually, I don’t know here to start with Sin/Pecado. Because I feel it’s an album that stretched and divided our fanbase back then and still today, its diversity makes it hard to pin down what songs represents it best. If we want to go for “shock-value” Second Skin, the video and the “lalalalas” on the chorus might be revealing but also we had stuff like Handmade God and Let the Children that mixed in heaviness with the electro, the pop influenza of Sin, or Hanged Man, a quite simple song but very revealing of our search for simplicity. So, it’s up for grabs the true reach and meaning of this album which is a good sign that what we did in 1997/1998 still raises eyebrows and splits sensibilities.

Teen Art Out: What do you reminisce and miss more from the late 90’s and that era of Moonspell?

Fernando: People thought music was a bit more than a commodity. There was a true competition for musical territory, an urgent need to expand and to question classical metal. This is gone from most of the scene. We have beautiful songs in between but people who voice out their requests at our gigs, can’t get past Alma Mater or Vampiria – great, emblematic songs I agree – but very low on sophistication when compared for example with some of the Sin songs, or Everything Invaded or Breathe (Until We Are No More).

Teen Art Out: If your past selves from 30 years ago could see you now, what would they think is the most unbelievable thing you have achieved?

Fernando: The fact we are still together and can still summon the creative energy, and maybe friendship enough not to give up in a world that loves our band but also hates it because we are not black metal anymore. The rest it is just what it is, and we try to go around and still play our songs and be free enough to try out our ideas.

Teen Art Out: You are currently in a very ambitious tour – when it comes to the number of shows and cities visited – with Rotting Christ and Silverdust. How do you guys prepare yourselves mentally and physically for such a long run?

Fernando: It’s a hard, crazy tour indeed. Perhaps we didn’t know it would be so full of drama and eventful. On the other hand, Moonspell is maybe playing their best shows ever and that’s the motivator right there. As a singer I take it day by day, night by night, and try to work on the group first and foremost, as with so many people around it’s quite impossible to focus on everyone’s demands. Personally, I think I have been well, took the right decisions. I can’t say the same about everyone and I feel that this tour has been harder because people can’t think of anything else than their bit and their needs. If we all thought like a group, we could do 100 dates no problem. Maybe next time I am going to get some robots to work with us hahahah…

Teen Art Out: We know you ran into some border issues along the way, and in a recent interview you said that you have been travelling in a “more prejudiced and bankrupt Europe”. Were you expecting such issues?

Fernando: To a certain extent yes and that’s why we did our homework, paid for the visas, for the Carnet activation, pre-produced the hell out of this tour. But nothing can prepare you for the abuse of small powers of border bureaucrats, to the arbitrary rules that actually are the law on those places and not any kind of international law or agreements between countries. That’s a big joke for newspapers and tv news, and the joke is on us.

Teen Art Out: Still about “a failing Europe”, can you recognise that reality at home, in Portugal, as well?

Fernando: Some people in Portugal say that we are too loose about our immigration laws, but the fact is that we are a safe country and so far, thanks to our coolness and patience, everything has been fine, on the contrary of countries that have enforced martial laws or build barbed wire fences.

Teen Art Out: What do you think is lacking and should be improved when it comes to artists travelling across Europe?

Fernando: Respect. Touring artists are the jesters, the fools of an oligarchic Europe. We are taxed, searched, persecuted, ripped off, let down, cancelled and we have no security at all. It’s still a monkey business and the European Parliament couldn’t care less about us clowns.

Teen Art Out: Tell us about your biography Wolves Who Were Men. What was the catalyst for the writing of this book? Why now?

Fernando:  I have a big friend who has a publishing house. Now he’s top ten in Portugal and releases many best sellers ranging from George RR Martin to Nora Roberts or the “diets of the famous”. In spite of this, and I am not criticizing, I am very proud of him and his label and I have always collaborated with him. He started with Poe, Lovecraft, etc and I was helping with some translations (Richard Matheson, I am Legend, for example) and one thing led to the other. The fact that Moonspell was 25 years old then was the trigger but I didn’t want any history of Moonspell according to Fernando Ribeiro. That’s why Ricardo S. Amorim got in the picture and only his involvement and superior work made this possible.

Teen Art Out: Did looking back at your history with Moonspell both through the rerelease of the album and biography spark anything new about the future of the band? Or about you personally?

Fernando: The biography was like an x-ray to heal what was broken and to privilege what’s good. It’s like a user guide for me. I know that the other members share my opinion. It made time more relative and just like a good book it has the power of questioning, exposing, healing and when a fan does read it instead of just collecting it, it has the key to some of the decisions we made that people didn’t get at the time.

Teen Art Out: As Moonspell gets bigger, do you think that your relationship with the fans has changed and/or evolved over the years?

Fernando: Like anything else in the world I feel we have never been so much loved and so much hated. There’s nothing we can do about this except keeping it true for ourselves and the “real” fans and do the best music and live performances we can ever conjure. I will never let Moonspell become a product, I rather be a small band than a big commodity.

Teen Art Out: Do you recall any fan encounter with special fondness? What about the complete opposite, was there a time when fans crossed a line and you felt that you needed to gain some distance?

Fernando: Yes, I do. I recall, for instance, sitting down with “fans” discussing German Philosophy and Russian literature, having Georgian wine. Or being with the pack visiting Lisbon and telling them about my city without the ass-licking or them being star struck, just human beings. As for the other side of the coin, I am disrespected on a daily basis, especially by Portuguese metalheads, far right metal fans. I go on the street and they call me son of a bitch from their car window, or when my son was born people made a mock page online. But I shall never surrender to hate. I prefer love and that’s why most of that stuff people – throwing cigarette butts, spit, coins at my face – is not in the biography, because we wanted to talk about grandeur and not pettiness.

Teen Art Out: Now that the end of this tour is drawing near, what will be the first thing you will do when you get home?

Fernando: Wolf hug my son and my wife. Have a single malt. Listen to my 16 Horsepower LP’s and clean my storage room.

Teen Art Out: How long does it take you when you’re back from tour to start missing being on the road again?

Fernando: I never ever miss it. I already travelled and played more shows than I ever imagined. I don’t miss the traveling, the people. To be honest I just miss being on stage and performing.

Teen Art Out: With the Winter Holidays just around the corner as well, do you have any special traditions or rituals during this period that you wouldn’t mind sharing with us? Favourite dishes, places to be?

Fernando: Christmas for me doesn’t have a catholic connotation at all. It’s family time, spoil your kids with gifts, get hammered with your father and eat codfish and potatoes. That simple.

Teen Art Out: We would like to thank you again for your time and to end this interview, a very cliché question: what are your wishes for 2020?

Fernando: Peace on earth.

Interview by Lúcia Correia

Concert Rhapsody Of Fire in martie in clubul Quantic

Pe 7 martie 2020, in club Quantic din Bucuresti, Final Step Productions prezinta un concert inedit alaturi de legendara trupa de power metal Rhapsody Of Fire. Concertul face parte din turneul de promovare al albumului “The Eighth Mountain“, lansat pe 22 februarie 2019, dar si turneul aniversar de 20 de ani al albumului “Dawn Of Victory“. In scurt timp vor fi anuntate si trupele ce se vor alatura acestei seri memorabile.

Pret bilete concert Rhapsody Of Fire in Quantic:

59 lei – Earlybird (primele 50 de bilete)

75 lei – Presale (pana in ziua concertului)

90 lei – Normal (in ziua concertului si la intrare)

Ice Nine Kills deschid concertul Papa Roach si Hollywood Undead

Papa Roach si Hollywood Undead canta pe 3 martie la Bucuresti la Arenele Romane in cort incalzit. In deschidere vor canta Ice Nine Kills.

Ice Nine Kills vin din Statele Unite, mai exact din Boston si abordeaza un Metalcore cu influente de punk si chiar symphonic metal pe alocuri. Activeaza din 2002 timp in care au lansat 5 albume de studio, cel mai recent fiind The Silver Scream din 2018. Cel mai de succes material al lor, ‘Every Trick in the Book’ a ajuns pe locul 122 in US Billboard 200. Pana acum au urcat pe scena alaturi de nume mari precum As I Lay Dying, A Day To Remember, Suicide Silence sau Paramore.

Biletele se gasesc in format electronic pe www.iabilet.ro si in magazinele Flanco, Diverta, Carturesti, Metrou Unirii 1, Muzica, IQ BOX, Uman, Casa de Balet si pe terminalele Selfpay. Online, puteti plati cu cardul, Paypal,carduri de tichete culturale Sodexo, pe factura la Vodafone sau Orange sau ramburs prin Fan Courier oriunde in tara.

Biletele au urmatoarele preturi:

– presale: 175 lei Acces General si 225 lei Golden Circle

– la acces: 200 lei Acces General si 250 lei Golden Circle

La pretul tuturor biletelor comandate in earlybird si presale se adauga comisionul de emitere bilet de 10 lei.  Golden Circle este in fata scenei si este limitata la 500 de bilete.

Se pun in vanzare si Pachete Meet and Greet cu fiecare trupa in parte la urmatoarele preturi (la care se adauga comisionul de procesare de 10%)

‘Top of the World’ Meet and Greet Experience & Documentary Screening Package

Pret: 1.109 lei

Pachete disponibile: 30

Pachetul include:

• Bilet la Golden Circle

• Meet & Greet cu Papa Roach

• Fotografie individuala cu Papa Roach

• Te vei numara printre primii care vor vedea documentarul inca nelansat despre Papa Roach unde vor fi incluse filmari nepublicate pana in prezent si povesti nestiute de nimeni inca.

• Revista de promovare Papa Roach cu autograf

• Zona de merch VIP dedicata

• Badge oficial meet & greet

• Disponibiltate foarte limitata

‘Elevated’ Documentary Screening Package

Pret: 769 lei

Pachete disponibile: 100

Pachetul include:

• Bilet la Golden Circle

• Te vei numara printre primii care vor vedera documentarul inca nelansat despre Papa Roach unde vor fi incluse filmari nepublicate pana in prezent si povesti nestiute de nimeni inca.

• Revista de promovare Papa Roach cu autograf

• Zona de merch VIP dedicata

• Badge comemorativ VIP

• Disponibiltate limitata

Dove VIP Package

Pret: 840 lei

Pachete disponibile: 100 

Pachetul include:

• Bilet la Golden Circle

•Meet and greet cu Hollywood Undead

•Fotografie cu Hollywood undead

•Setlist cu autograf

•Sosete Hollywood Undead

•Revista “Dove&Grenade” cu autograf

•Ecuson laminat comemorativ

•Acces la merch prioritar

•Acces prioritar

•Cantitate limitata

Grenade VIP Package

Pret: 504 lei 

Pachete disponibile: 100 

Pachetul include:

• Bilet la Golden Circle

•Sosete Hollywood Undead

•Revista “Dove&Grenade” comemorativa cu autograf

•Ecuson laminat comemorativ

•Acces la merchandise prioritar

•Acces general prioritar

Un eveniment BestMusic Live Concerts powered by ROCK FM

Moonspell and Rotting Christ – The art of waiting after midnight/concert review

I always enjoy coming a bit early to most of the concerts, just to get used with the vibes, meet people, share the excitement and some opinions. Needless to say, the hype about Moonspell and Rotting Christ was real. Unfortunately, we were told the bands are going to be a bit late because of some problems at the Turkish border so the show was delayed until midnight. Luckily, Quantic is a great venue with a lot of space outside the stage area so we won’t have to freeze outside.
I found out later that Silver Dust wasn’t going to perform due to technical issues and well, more delaying, which was a boomer, but I knew the bands were going to give us a hell of a show.

Midnight was delayed once again but the people were still pretty patient, even though many of them were coming from outside the city and were already tired.

For me, this was the first time I was seeing Rotting Christ live, even though I am a fan for some years now. There is something out of this world about the sound of this band that just hooks me and transports me to other worlds. They created a balance between emotions and spirituality that makes them unique in their field. And apart from the late hour, they started playing which took enough energy out of me, every cell in my body vibrated to the heavy riffs, fast drums and powerful chorus. I was sitting almost in the first row and I was afraid that the sound was going to be far from great, given the lack of time the bands had for soundcheck. Praised be the sound engineers because every song was almost crystal clear. Tracks played in no particular order were ‘Apage Satana’ from the last but one album ‘Rituals’ which is just one awesome ball of percussive noise suffused with the chant of ‘Apage Satana’ which finishes with wiry, sinewy guitar and guttural screams. ‘666’ was the opener! Still, one of my favorite songs was ‘In Yumen- Xibalba’, a song that conquers your fears and builds a mystical power within your soul. We also took a trip down into the bowels of Inferno, with ’Grandis Spiritus Diavolos’.

Photo by Carlos Fune

Even tho the album ‘Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy’ provided most of the tracks, „The Heretics” was also present through ‘Fire God and Fear’ and ‘Dies Irae’. The audience hit the highest level of enthusiasm when the famous „Cine iubeste si lasa” intro came in. The old Romanian curse was reinterpreted in a very dark and spiritual way, one that builds tension, creating a misty atmosphere transcending the audience straight to the hell of the cursed. The whole show was a journey through religion, beliefes and through the darkest corners of our souls. The main man Sakis Tolis screamed, cried and bellowed the tunes, each linked in the melodic tremolo picking and raw, blasting percussion coming from founding member Themis Tolis. Needless to say, the show ended with a sea of applause and screaming of an audience asking for more. For a 2 am concert which we thought we won’t see anymore, it was pretty amazing. The audience was still full of energy and excited about what was coming next.

Photo by Carlos Funes

Moonspell

As the night was still young, around 2:30 AM, MOONSPELL, who hail from the Amadora district of Lisbon, took the stage. From the crowd in the front row and right to the back of the venue, the energy was STILL palpable. Fernando asked the audience many times “Are you having a good time?” and every time he got a response, as loud as the people could be.

Unfortunately, the band wasn’t flattered by the sound, which was pretty bad in some songs, due to lack of time for soundchecks and the takeover from Rotting Christ. I kept my position and I could barely understand what Fernando was singing. However, we need to take into consideration the fact that both the bands got out of the bus and right on the stage, out of respect for their fans. They got up there and did their best to give us an unforgettable show.

Photo by Carlos Funes

The proceedings started with the track ‘Em Nome Do Medo’ from the ‘1755’ album, Fernando Ribeiro taking to the stage carrying a candle lamp setting the scene for this dark operatic drama. The next two tracks carry on this theme. ‘1755’ starting out with operatic voices accompanied by soaring keyboards and that warm gloopy five-string bass. Later on ‘Opium’ and ‘Awake’ sounding more like dramatic FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM than apocalyptic. By the time the track ‘Breathe’ was played I was trying too hard to keep my eyes open.

The audience overall was still headbanging, dancing, screaming and having a great time enjoying the oriental guitar and vibes mixed with heavy drums and Fernando’s dramatic voice. When ‘Vampiria’ made her presence known, I knew the show was coming to end so I dragged my legs to the door . I love this track as it has a deep connection to our country, our culture and history so I was slowly caught in its spell, even tho I tried not to. I guess that’s the magic behind Moonspell. It doesn’t matter it’s 3 AM in the morning, if they are playing, you’re wired to stay, watch and get charmed. Horns were raised into the air as the first bars of ‘Alma Mata’ kick in! Satisfyingly anthemic with punchy emphasis on the bass, the crowd swaying and swirling and writhing like one organism perfectly synchronized to a universal rhythm and feeling.

I think the show ended around 4:30 AM and If I had to, I will do it all over again. We waited for hours but so did the bands. The fact that they spent so much time on the bus, trying to solve the border issues, came right on the stage with no previous soundchecks and did their best just shows us how much they respect the audience and their fans. Who cares when the show starts when we don’t know when it ends, right?