Ad Infinitum’s Melissa Bonny: “You can do as much as you can handle with the 24 hours of the day”

Ad Infinitum are a band that skyrocketed to the top of my favourite bands after hearing just one single from their debut album, namely “Marching on Versailles”. It was everything I wanted in a song or band I just didn’t know it yet. When they followed that with “See You in Hell”, I was absolutely sold. Their album “Chapter I: Monarchy” was released in April and if you haven’t checked it out yet, what are you waiting for?

One of my biggest regrets with this pandemic is that I couldn’t see them live this year. However, they kept super busy and managed to give us new and new content, including a new acoustic album “Chapter I Revisited”, to be released December 4th. We had already heard 2 songs in acoustic version from the Deluxe edition of the first album and they are worth all the praise, so an acoustic album is exciting and very appreciated.

To tell you more about everything they have been up to and particularly the upcoming album, we had the chance to talk to Melissa Bonny, frontwoman of the band.

Q: What was the greatest challenge and the greatest surprise in doing the Acoustic album?

Melissa: The greatest challenge was to actually find the sound of the album both for the electric version and the acoustic version, because, you know, it’s our first album, the band is just starting and it’s really important to find the right direction. And then when we adapted the album to make it acoustic, it was not just about taking the guitar and singing the same songs. It was really about creating a new atmosphere so that people who already know the album can still rediscover those songs differently.

Q: I saw that you that your favourite reinterpretation was Fire and Ice. After listening to the acoustic version, I could tell why. It had such nice effects added to it.

Melissa: Thank you. Yeah, I think it was my favourite to readapt because I’ve created some different vocal lines that I liked a lot. And it was already one of my favourite tracks. It was the very first song that we finished. So it’s something special for me because when I was working on the original version with Oliver Phillip, it was the first one he worked on with the orchestrations and when the demos came to life and actually became real songs. And that was a very first one. I remember this this feeling very well.

Q: I could hear a lot of flamenco influences on the new tracks. Is that simply because flamenco is traditionally acoustic or is there more to it?

Melissa: Oh, it’s because Adrian is just very good guitar player and he spends a lot of time adopting those songs and putting all his knowledge into it, both with acoustic guitars, classical guitars and electric guitars. He did a lot of things, you know, he replaced the whole orchestration parts with guitars, and he had so many tracks. He’s just a brilliant musician who can do anything.

Q: Have you decided yet which songs you are going to play acoustically and which ones you are going to play electric in a concert?

Melissa: I think it will really depend on how much time we have. So far, we haven’t had any opportunity for headliner shows. I don’t know yet in which circumstances we will be able to have both electric and acoustic songs. But we did this one show in Cologne where we couldn’t have any audience. We just recorded a show to put it on YouTube. So we did an acoustic song which was Tell Me Why.

You can still watch their live show here

Q: We obviously know all the ways this year and lockdown has been bad, but what is one good thing about this whole period for Ad Infinitum? Other than obviously the new acoustic album

Melissa: The good thing is, I think, that when we realized that we would not be able to tour, probably when the first tour was cancelled, we had to brainstorm and think about other ways to connect with everyone. And the good thing about this is that in the end we created this year six videos, one live show, two albums, and this is probably a much better way to connect with everyone in the world and not just people who would have attended those shows.

Photo credit: Claudia Chiodi

Q: Have you been watching any live shows that other bands have been putting out for streaming? How do you feel about them as a viewer, as a fan?

I’ve watched the show of Illumishade and I liked it very much. They created something beautiful, a nice stage, nice songs. They had kind of the same situation as us, because they released their first album this year. And they were not able to tour, I think. I think they played a festival, an online festival, and I’m not sure what else, but they had kind of the same situation. They started their career as a band during the lockdown. So yeah, they did this way before us actually, this live show that they recorded, and it was really well done and loved it.

Q: Hoping that the tour is still happening, it will surely be adjusted with safety precautions. How do you personally feel about going on tour? Even with less transmittable illnesses, once someone got sick on a tour bus, usually everyone got sick.

Melissa: Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know what, actually. I don’t really think about this right now because I assume that when we will be able to tour again, you know, people would have a vaccine and it, the whole planet, it will be safer. I mean, that’s, maybe we will not be allowed to tour if we’re not vaccinated. So I don’t know. I just wait to see how it’s going to be.

Photo credit: Claudia Chiodi

Q: In this magical post-corona world where tours do happen, one of my worries is that all the shows and tours within one year will battle for the same slots and there will be a clash there. Is that an actual concern?

Melissa: Oh, yeah. I mean, you, you could see her already this year. When we started to cancel the shows for the beginning of the year, everyone was taking the slots of September, October, or beginning of next year, but mainly September, October. So yeah, I, I fear that people will try to go on tour as soon as we are allowed to.  I guess the fans will have to choose.

Q: On the upcoming tour with Serenity you are a support act and hopefully soon enough we’ll see you on a headline tour as well. What something most people don’t know, I think, is how financially unstable touring is. What would it take for you to have a profitable tour?

Melissa: I would say that we are already very careful with what kind of tours we accept for now and, as you said, we try to only take support tours. Because it’s a good way to get known, to get our name known. And and you know, if we tour with bigger bands, then we can profit of their fans in terms of audience, and then we can hopefully sell a bit of CDs and merchandising. This is something that is interesting for us right now.

Q: Let’s talk about DIY in the music scene. You have obviously been very hands on in every step of the way. How much can you do yourself and be thrifty about?

Melissa: Oh, you can do as much as you can handle with the 24 hours of the day. But yeah, we’ve been doing a lot of things and, you know, we have four band members, but we’re in four different countries. It’s sometimes difficult to just separate the work into four people when it’s like sending shirts, because then it’s a little bit more complicated. We’ve tried to balance it. Like okay, this time it’s Adrian and me; next time, it will be the two others. Or how Nick has been working a lot on the records and now I have more time, so we try to balance it a bit. And so far, it’s works pretty well.

Ad Infinitum_photo credit_Claudia Chiodi.jpg
Photo credit: Claudia Chiodi

I mean, sometimes it’s definitely a little bit tiring because, you know, we do what other bands have a crew to do, and we have to figure out what’s the best way to do it. Because for example, when it comes to the merchandising we’re not used to handling a shop, so we have to really figure out how to do it, and on top of this, with the pandemic right now, the conditions with the post offices are more complicated. It’s just more small problems that we must figure out. But yeah, I guess, I guess it really depends on how much time you have, how many band members you have, and your motivation.

Q: You have built quite a large community of fans around the band and already have fangroups and fanpages. How do you see the role of fanclubs when it comes to Ad Infinitum and what kind of relationship do they have to the band?

Melissa: We are super thankful, super grateful for all the people following us and supporting us. I see everyday people sharing our content when we have new interviews, it’s shared by the members of the fan club. And it’s so encouraging to see that people are so enthusiastic about our music and it plays a big role for us because it’s really motivates us. You know, when we have a new album to write, we think about how well the first album was received and how much encouragement we’ve received. And, and it’s just, yeah, it’s just this extra motivation that we need sometimes. And also, it plays a big role when, when it comes to spreading the word of what we’re doing, you know?

Q: The pandemic has given us quite a lot of time in a way. What do you do when you’re bored? Maybe something non-musical.

Melissa: I love baking and I also, I mean, baking, cooking, I also like sport a lot. I like to explore the nature or just have nice to walk by the beach. And I like I like a lot of TV series.

Q: Have you watched The Crown?

Melissa: Oh yeah. I’ve watched the two first seasons. And I think that the third one just came out that seen something about this. Yeah.

Q: If I am not mistaken, you recently moved to Denmark.  How is it living in a country with a monarchy?

Melissa: Well, you know, you don’t really feel it because it’s less pronounced than in England, for example, where the Monarchy is very, very much present in the society. Here, from what I’ve experienced, there’s a Queen and I’ve seen her apartments in Copenhagen, but then there’s the vice-presidents in charge of all the official matters. So I would not say that it makes a big difference for me going from Switzerland to Denmark in that sense.

Thank you so much to Melissa for her time and answers and we cannot wait for the new album to hit all the streaming services! Do make sure to listen to it because it’s gonna be a good one!


Interview: Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided)

Swedish melodic death metal formation THE UNGUIDED hit hard with their full-length album Father Shadow, released today. The explosive full-length breaks down the barriers between melodic death metal, metalcore and fitting electronic sounds. Clean hooklines explode in classifying screams, leading up to a unique symbiosis of pure harshness. 

Their albums always tell intricate stories and come up with incredible concepts. About all that and much more we had a chance to interview Richard Sjunnesson.

Teen Art Out · Interview: Richard Sjunnesson(The Unguided)

Listen to the interview to find out more about the album, the band, their incredible stories and lore, why this album has some Sonic Syndicate covers, how they are dealing with Covid and much more!

(note: the interview was recorded on Oct 7th)

K1600_The Unguided.JPG

Release Date:

1. Childhood’s End
2. Never Yield
3. War of Oceans
4. Breach
5. Where Love Comes to Die
6. Crown Prince Syndrome
7. Fate’s Hand
8. Stand Alone Complex
9. Lance of Longinus
10. Seth
11. Gaia (feat. Erik Engstrand)
12. Jailbreak (Bonus Track)
13. Denied (Bonus Track)
14. Jack of Diamonds (Bonus Track)

Photo Credit: Patric Ullaeus

The Unguided are:
Richard Sjunnesson – vocals
Jonathan Thorpenberg  – guitar / vocals
Roger Sjunnesson – guitar / keyboard
Richard Schill  – drums

The Unguided online:

Interview: Martijn Westerholt (Delain)

There’s no secret about how big of a Delain fan I am. They are bringing it every time with new albums mixing heavy songs and softer ballads, with pop and electronic influences. Their shows are always a good party. But more than anything, they are just the coolest bunch of people. So of course I jumped at the chance to ask Martijn Westerholt more about their brand new album, Apocalypse & Chill, to discuss music and life and so much more.

Simona: Congrats on the new album and the tour and everything. Something that has surprised me personally the most about it was the very techno and synth infused beginning of the album, which really was stronger than on any older material. How did that come to be?

Martijn: That’s funny because I hear that a lot. But you know, when you make music, you kind of are in your own bubble, so you don’t really notice those things. You just write a song and you go with the flow. What I do know is that we  used elements we always used. However, we used more of it. I think that with the arrangements. But it’s also with Charlotte’s vocals, with the choirs, with the electronic elements, with the guitar riffs. So I think all the elements are there and it’s the same, but there’s a little bit more of everything.

Simona: Listening to the album, I realized there were a few clusters of songs in terms of sound and message. Did these come about from having different periods of writing and recording?

Martijn: You know, my role is also to be the producer. I always say, OK, I want heavy and hard songs, because those are the most difficult to write for us. The ballads and the more soft stuff comes easier. So we started with the more heavy stuff and a song like Burning Bridges, but also a song like Masters of Destiny, which is just more intense. But that’s what we started with. And in the later period, we we did more the softer stuff.

I think the time factor really did kind of separate the the style of the songs a little bit. Normally we always write in one go, and then we record in one go, the classic way of doing it. This time we split everything in pieces. So that might have helped as well.

Image may contain: 1 person
Photo credit: Carlos Funes

Simona: What song from the album came together the easiest and which one gave you the most trouble?

Martijn: Masters of Destiny was really easy. I wrote the instrumental part really quickly and then I gave it to Charlotte and she gave back pretty quickly as well. Vengeance is Mine was a really hard one. Its internal structure was really hard and also with guitar riffing. It just didn’t click entirely and we worked a lot and changed a lot to make it work.

It’s funny because you can never predict when the song is easy or when the song is difficult just sometimes it just is so. Another easy song would be Ghost House Heart. I first thought it needed more flesh to the bone, but no, it doesn’t. It’s just short. People say “oh, it’s too short”, sure, but that’s kind of a compliment because it makes people hungry. But I did put it aside for a long time before finishing it and making a decision on it. The Greatest Escape was difficult because it has kind of two parts and we needed to connect them. It was kind of difficult.

Simona: When you have a song like this one and you just can’t seem to connect it, how do you get about getting through that? I wouldn’t say it’s a writer’s block, but maybe a composer’s block?

Martijn: How we work is that we have a little concept. So, for example, a verse and the chorus, or a riff and a chorus, or something like that. And we have let’s say twenty-five of those. We then sit together and say, okay, let’s work on that. I feel like working on this one, so we start working on that one. And really quickly if we try to elaborate on it and nothing comes, then we don’t even give it a chance to be finished. We just write it off. So we have songs laying around because they don’t make it. If we work on it and something comes up and there’s little more flesh to the bone, then it goes out. I often finish it with writing in little parts and then put the structure together. Sometimes I go to Timo and then we have the parts but not the structure complete, so we finish that. That’s a little bit how we work. But we don’t really have songs where we think, oh, we really want to finish it, if only we knew how. Then we just write it off and don’t give it a chance.

Simona: You don’t force it.

Martijn:  No, because it has to, you know, it will sound forced.

Simona: Is there any song on the album you would’ve liked to have as a single, but it just didn’t make the cut?

Martijn: Oh that’s a good one. Yeah, that’s a good one, because I never thought about it. We kind of made four singles with One Second and with Ghost House Heart, Masters of Destiny, and Burning Bridges. But if there would be another one, one I really, really like is Creatures. Because Creatures has a very gloomy guitar riff. We called it the Amon Amarth song because of that. But at the same time it’s also not very heavy because it’s almost like The Hurricane on our previous record. It’s almost a ballad, but it has really heavy duty elements and it’s a really weird combination, and I really, really like the sound. When we play it live, it really touches me. So it wouldn’t  be the first choice as a single, perhaps, but for me, it’s kind of it’s nice.Simona: I asked because sometimes some songs from different album get forgotten, or I would not say forgotten, but that they are not as highlighted.

Martijn: No, it’s true. But the good thing about that is that a lot of those songs  become audience favorites when you play them live. And when it works really well, you keep playing them.

Simona: How has it been taking the album on the road with the UK tour?

Martijn: Well, I was really pleasantly surprised when we played the stuff live because they really work and that’s never a given. You know sometimes you have songs on an album which work really well in an album but not live. Sometimes it’s the other way around. We have a song, for example, Don’t let Go, which was kind of a bonus track on The Human Contradiction. But live it always creates a party and it puts a lot of energy out there. I guess that’s that’s a good example.

But I think Burning Bridges works really well. It’s really intense live. I always put a softer song after, because any song you have after will always sound less heavy than Burning Bridges itself. It will always lose, so that’s kind of funny. But so far, the crowd really likes the songs and this is a kind of surprise. Whenever you do a new song live, you know, you worked on it for a long time and then you put it up on stage for the first time. And it is a surprise if it will work. So far, yeah, really good experience with it. I’m really, really pleasantly surprised.

Simona: I know you sometimes play a couple of songs way before the album was out and showcase them. Would you ever go back and change something to the songs after their life debut?

Martijn: Yes, actually, that’s a very good question. Not a lot of people asked. We had for example for the song Turn The Lights Out and we even had it with songs in the periods of We Are The Others, where we changed Get The Devil Out Of Me, for example. We changed the entire chorus. And it’s funny because indeed sometimes when you play a song live you notice certain things. For example, that song is too fast and you make it slower, so we did that a couple times. From our debut album there’s a song called Shattered, and we almost played it faster live. And now the other way around, we played Ghost House Heart in the UK for first time and it sounded rushed. So I  stretched it down with a couple BPMs. And now it sounds better. It’s really funny.

Image may contain: 1 person
Photo credit: Carlos Funes

Simona: Now that we talk about like creating the music and presenting it live, how separate is art from entertainment in your view? Not just for you in Delain, but in general.

Martijn: That’s a that’s a difficult question. I think it will offend people but I will say that I think that art is entertainment, but entertainment sounds a little bit too light for some art. Do you know what I mean? But in general, art is to amaze or inspire people, or make people think. And to me, that’s kind of what makes life interesting and does entertaining. The word entertainment is almost like Bugs Bunny with a hat.

With our music, what I sometimes struggle with is that, for me, a show is successful when people will go crazy and the roof blows off, so to say. But there are also people who don’t really express themselves like that and just stand there and take the music in and enjoy it just as much, only it’s more difficult to see. Sometimes I kind of measure the success to the amount of intensity I get back from the crowd. But that’s not always trustworthy. So, to say, OK, we need more “party” is not always good, because some songs are too serious for party in our genre. That’s kind of always a little bit of a struggle. Therefore, in a sense, I also kind of make this sequence of the setlist and I’ve tried to make a flow in that. We start with the big bang and then we have some serious songs. And then in the last part of the set we go to the party songs. So there’s kind of a flow in the set and that’s what I’ve tried to do.

Simona: With The Gathering and Don’t Let Go.

Martijn: Exactly, We’ve never played The Gathering as a first song.

Simona: Too much :)) people would then be able to handle it.

Martijn: No, you’re just sober or something, you know?

Simona: What was the first time you thought of yourself as an artist?

Martijn:  Oooh, sometimes I still don’t think of myself as an artist. That’s a good question, when did I think of myself as an artist? I think when I played live with Within Temptation on Dynamo, where we had the backstage pass say “no artists, just talent”. And I thought of what it said, just talents. Like, oh yeah, so I’m regarded as an artist. But I don’t know if I see myself as an artist. Good question. I’m not usually thinking like that for myself.

I also remember that people can look at you differently when they know  you are an artist or make music. People experience a bit of magic. I also have that with … let’s say Star Trek. I love Star Trek very much. I am Trekkie. Definitely. That’s magic. But if you meet an actor like that in real life, that magic is kind of gone. You know what I mean? That is how people approach me and I think and like unjust human being. But for them, it’s a special moment. I don’t want to take the special moments away from them. Those are special moments, to see how your music touches people. I mean, what bigger compliment can you get. That’s  really beautiful.

Simona: Finding out those are just actors or musicians is the best case scenario. There is reason why we have a saying “never meet your heroes”.

Martijn: Its funny. For example, Tuomas Holopainen is a good friend of mine. And when I met him for the first time, I was like “I’m a really big fan of your music” and he said “no, I’m a really big fan of your music”. And that was so weird.

Simona: Like the Spiderman meme.

Martijn: Yeah, really funny. And at some point, he said, for example, I don’t want to meet Hans Zimmer. He had a couple of moments when he could meet Hans Zimmer. The reason he didn’t want to meet him is that he wants to keep that magic there.

Photo Credit: Tim Tronckoe

Simona: Are you personally an Apocalypse& Chill kind of person or are you more worried than cynical?

Martijn: I’m actually an optimist. Also, when I look at the world Apocalypse& Chill for me is not judging. It’s more like observing. It’s just very interesting to see the two worlds. One, like, for example, the social media, where you see really awesome pictures of people’s lives, where it looks really cool. On the other hand, there are always articles where you see Australia on fire or California. And it’s the same world, which is kind of fascinating. It goes without saying that I don’t like it with when forests or houses or things are on fire. Not at all. It’s terrible. And I’m kind of worried about global warming, which I think it’s scary. But then again, I am also very optimistic because the best feature of the of the human race is that it’s so adaptive. There’s not a single specie on here which is as adaptive as the human race. I kind of have faith that we will solve it. I hope so, at least. That’s more who I am.

Simona: Are there still any music acts you’re excited to see?

Martijn: Oh, yeah. Rammstein. That’s a big experience and I am always excited to see them life. Nightwish is another example, but that’s more because I know them personally and I like the people very much. And I love the music, but it’s more of a weird position. The same is with Within Temptation. I’m so excited to see them, but that’s family and I want them to have success. But also Sabaton, for example. I really admire how those guys build their bands and what kind of spectacle they make. And I’m a history addict, I love history. They are very much about military history, which I find very interesting. So, yeah, I am excited about it.

Simona: Lastly, what are your best tips and the words of wisdom when it comes to traveling?

Martijn: Well, I think you get life experience when you travel because you see how other people live. And if don’t only go to the tourist places, but also go where the tourists are not and try to soak in that place and the space, it just keeps you life experience. I don’t have a phrase for it.

Simona: It’s called going off the beaten path.

Martijn: Yeah. I am totally  with that. Absolutely.

Simona: Yes! Thank you so much for the interview!

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.

Image may contain: 1 person, night

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.

Image may contain: 1 person

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!

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. 

Everything worth having requires a sacrifice of some sort: interview with Elyes Bouchoucha

I have been following Myrath for some years now and I could not be happier to see them get more and more successful. Their latest album, “Shehili” took the charts by storm (pun intended – Shehili is the name of an ancient wind, coming all the way from the dunes of Sahara). Oriental metal never sounded this good, but the band did not start with just creating a strong album and went forward to a huge production of live shows. With fire jugglers, belly dancers and even an illusionist, their show caught everyone’s attention and earned them the headline spot at Sweden Rock Festival.

We caught up with Elyes Bouchoucha (keyboards) to find out more about their album and future plans, plus some fun questions to get to know him better.

Teen Art Out: With each album you expect a bigger and better response, but with this one it was really there. Do you find it to be more an acknowledgement and recognition of everything so far, or is it just a starting point?

Elyes Bouchoucha: It is both really, because on one hand we have been working really hard over the past years to reach the level we have reached today and by consequence the recognition or acknowledgment, and on the other hand it is also a starting point for Myrath as the forerunner of this unique genre of Blazing Desert Metal.

Teen Art Out: At any time during the process of a new album, do you go back and listen to the previous records to perhaps compare or see where the new one would be placed?

Elyes: We have all of our music imprinted on our minds and, to be honest, after these many years we reached a point where we can immediately recognize a tune or compare to a previous melody when discussing a new one.

Teen Art Out: You have talked a lot about your great relationship with producer Kevin Codfert and now the lyricists you have worked with. How easy is it for you to let others come into your project? I imagine sometimes egos must be put aside to recognize other people’s creative input.

Elyes: To put it in a manner that is related to our latest album Shehili, our creative process is somewhat of a collective sandstorm of creative ideas; we start with a lot of input swirling around and then move ahead by selecting what we think is best to work with and refining the rest further. It is more of a team work and everybody has a say. Our work has always been like this, a family effort where there is no place for egos because our mutual goal is Myrath’s music and its success rather than individual victories or recognition.

Teen Art Out: “Believer” was such a huge and amazing video, which now got two sequels in “Dance” and “No Holding Back”. When did you first think of the songs and videos as a trilogy?

Elyes: We always thought that we need to have a sequel to Believer as we liked the idea of Myrath’s members in an alternate reality, especially after we saw the huge positive feedback from fans and critics. The idea then came while working on Shehili, we thought it was best to build on what we already started with Believer and Zaher’s peculiar objects that transports to other realms. 

Teen Art Out: How strange is it to work with as many visual effects?

Elyes: It is very exciting to work with CGI because you can never know what the final result would be until you see it, we have to work with imagination and a green screen while hoping for the best. The results were awesome although we definitely hope to reach Game of Thrones CGI level one day, Haha!

Teen Art Out: Last year you had an extremely impressive concert at “Festival International de Carthage”, with thousands of people cheering for you in your home country. How have the international tours and success influenced the way you are received in Tunisia?

Elyes: It is not only due the international touring and growing recognition but also the amazing support of our fans in Tunisia who came in their thousands for the 3 festival concerts we did in 2017, and that of course helped in having us play Carthage International Festival 2018 as the first metal band to ever feature in the prestigious festival.

Photo credit: Nidhal Marzouk

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

Elyes: About a day or two! Haha. It is very rewarding to be on the road with the band and getting to meet our large family of Myrath’s fans in a new city every day, it is an experience like no other and despite the tiresome daily routine of packing, unpacking and moving from city to city, once it is over I miss it immediately.

Teen Art Out: What are some pieces of home you would like to find wherever you travel? It can be places, ideas, customs, foods, anything.

Elyes: I love travel and I am very interested in exploring new places, cities, food, and customs. I do not look for home in the places I visit but rather try to experience them in their own way. I always make sure to try the local coffee wherever I go as I am a coffee addict J I also like to try new food and get to know the local areas and shops. I especially enjoy taxi rides when the local radio would be on and I get to listen to the music of the country we are in.

Teen Art Out: What are some of the things people cannot understand about being an active touring musician until they become one?

Elyes: The hectic speedy tempo of the daily routine where everything must be done in the fastest time possible to ensure being on time for the show. Life on tour is a very special experience and I honestly think you need to experience it for yourself to fully realise what it means. It is exhausting and exciting in equal measures and every day is an adventure in itself.

Teen Art Out: One of the themes we have dealt in our issues is “Art Kills”. Must Art be a sacrifice to be true and real? There is of course the myth of the lone and misunderstood artist.

Elyes: I came to realise that everything worth having requires a sacrifice of some sort. If you want to get good grades in school for example, you will have to sacrifice your leisure time and spend it studying instead. Art is similar in this aspect; if you are to connect to your creative spirit and produce art then you must be willing to sacrifice long hours of solitude and hard work. I do not think that ‘Art Kills’ per say, but it does require a great deal of effort and energy to produce it, you might be lonely at times or you may feel misunderstood but when the final result comes out, you will realise it was worth every moment. The outcome is always rewarding and worth your sacrifices.

Teen Art Out: How competitive would you say you are as a person? Is it safe to play Monopoly (or other games) with you 😊?

Elyes: I don’t think of myself as being competitive but I do enjoy a good challenge! It is definitely safe to play Monopoly with me but you should also bring out your best game because I won’t make it easy, I play to win! haha.

Teen Art Out: What is your limit for adventure-seeking? Do you go on the scariest rides in an amusement park, would ever skydive?

Elyes: The scarier the better! I love a good adrenaline rush and I always go for the adventures that push my fear limits further. I would definitely try skydiving one day when the opportunity comes.

Finally, thank you very much for this nice chat and stay blazing desert metal 😉

Interview by Simona Mihalca

Interview: ZFG

Teen Art Out: Let’s start by asking you how you guys ended up together to form a band?

Trev: We all had our own separate projects going at the time we decided get together in the studio. Josh and I met through a mutual friend a few years back and hit it off immediately. We ended up becoming roommates. I knew of Josh and that he is a beast of a drummer. He knew of me and dug what I did. We always wanted to jam together. I knew that we met for a reason other than just being roommates. Our projects at the time weren’t showcasing what we do as musicians. So we planned a day in the studio to let loose which lead to Sam on bass. Sam and I have known each other our whole lives. Our dad’s were in a band together. It’s crazy it took 27 years to actually play together. First time was when I was MDing for Diamante on a short tour run a year back. I played guitar on Dia’s record so they asked me to bring some of my guys out. The universe spoke and told me to call Sam for the gig. Immediately, Sam and I had a music chemistry as well as being family. His groove is so deep. Sam and Josh together are one frightening rhythm section. So he was our go to for bass. Jules and I kept running into each other in the Hollywood Jam circuit. He was doing his solo thing. Very soul, R&B Pop. When we were looking for a singer to get in with us, he happened to post a video of him performing on stage. He’s one hell of a performer. He went to his high register which then morphed him into Steven Tyler, Myles Kennedy, and Axl Rose cocktail. I text him to see if he would be into the idea of doing a rock project for fun. He was all about it. We walked in the studio not knowing what would come of it. Just to make music with no rules or overthinking. Just to have fun. The phrase we said was “No commitment unless we have to commit.” So we called the session ZFG (Zero Fucks Given) We recorded Holehearted that day. The band chemistry was undeniable. The vibe and love in the room was undeniable. We knew at that point, this was bigger than us. We had too much fun creating that song and that was it. We dropped our projects and became ZFG. It stuck as the band name.   

T.A.O.: When coming up with your sound, how did you describe it to each other?

Trev: My pop called us heavy Earth, Wind and Fire. We laughed but it’s kind of right on. It’s a mix of funk, rock with a touch of sexy. You want to sing chorus’ and at the same time move to them, mosh to them. We bring a bunch of our separate influences into one. It’s exciting.   

Jules: This was something so new to me. Although I always listened to everything, I never thought I’d be in a rock band. When I heard the first few bars of the track that Trev sent me to write to, I immediately was impressed by the sound of it all and found it very easy to write to. I just brought my own thing to the table, which comes from the realms of RnB and Soul. We described to each other as ZERO FUCKS GIVEN. Obviously we’re rocking out, but the ingredients to the recipe are coming from different corners of the world. We’re unique.   

Sam: I wouldn’t say that we ever sat down and had a discussion about what sound we wanted for the band. Everyone just bring in our own style and influence to the music. Even though the end product is very rock sounding there is a lot of other influences that are a huge part of the sound. That’s part of what makes this band so fun, everyone can bring in and try whatever they’re feeling and it leads us to some pretty awesome outcomes creatively.

T.A.O.: What were your wishes for your first studio material and how has the result been similar or different than your expectations?

Josh: We just really wanted to bring the shell of the songs we had written to life and create something unique and something we all were proud of, I can safely say it definitely surpassed all our expectations. We all had a similar visions as to how we wanted every song to come to life and I feel it went above and beyond that mark. Its funny, you go into the sessions with certain favourite songs you create, and you come out afterwards with new favourites. Its a beautiful process.Trev: I feel at this point, going to the studio will always be greater than our expectations. We now sit with each other while we write with all acoustic instruments. Guitar, Bass and Josh has this crazy cajon on crack and we figure out harmonies, grooves and arrangements. When we get in the room and hear with our gear turned up and for real, it’s only mind blowing.
Sam: I’d say that we just wanted to come out of the studio with something we could be proud to show the world. We came out with exactly what we were after but I think the process of being in the studio turned out to be above our expectations. The process of writing and fleshing our the songs in the room together really just went to another level. I think there’s something to be said for not having an exact layout of the song and just seeing where you can go creatively in the moment.  

T.A.O.: You all bring different experience, with other bands and tours. How is it going from that to starting a new band?

Josh: For me I had always been the ‘hired gun’, as a session player. So it was so nice to be able to really give a part of me to these songs and create something with my brothers that is authentic and real. These songs and this sound is who we are, theres no smoke and mirrors or pretty production coverups. Its raw, what you see and hear is what you get.  

Jules: I was doing the solo artist thing for a few years in LA. It was awesome because it taught me how to take care of my business, how to deal with musicians and producers and such. The great thing about being in a band when it works is that you’re not the only captain of your ship, and you’re happy about it. It’s inspiring because you know you won’t be alone facing challenges and successes along the way. Happiness is meant to be shared at the end of the day. This is our happy place.   
Sam: I look at it like a new adventure. Every project is different and some allow you to express different things. Any time you can create something new with people you connect with is always an incredible experience.

T.A.O.: A recent study I encountered read that “becoming a successful artist is more about who you know than how creative or original your art is”. Would you agree with that?

Josh: It can be sometimes a case of who you know, but thats not the ‘end all, be all’. If you’re a carbon copy of the artist to your left and right, your music will be here today, gone tomorrow. I know between us, we all know a lot of people in this industry from all levels, yet its not about trying to win them over just because we ‘know’ them, its creating something that is unique and special to us, and connecting with the REAL people in charge of this industry.. The FANS! The rest falls into place.

Trev: From experience, its not ALL about who you know. You really have to make a name for yourself and be humble. People only want to work with people they love hanging with. There will always be someone “technically” better than you but it’s not about that. Be yourself, be respectful and bring your own vibe to the music. People will catch on.   

Jules: To make it simple. If you suck at what you do, everyone you know will know, and you won’t get anywhere with it. It’s best to be great at your craft, and surround yourself with great people.   

T.A.O.: You are preparing for quite the extensive tour. What can we expect from ZFG on stage?

Trev: A lot of fun energy! We want to provide an escape for the person watching us. Make them forget about the stress at work or at home. Get lost in the moment with us like we do with them.  

Jules: Backing Trev on this one! ENERGY and CONNECTION!!!   

T.A.O.: When starting a new band, the hope is that it will last for many years. However, if someone were to take a normal job, the prospect of signing up for something for 5-7-10 years or even more could be quite daunting. How do you see that part of it?

Jules: There is nothing normal about this “job” haha. It’s a relationship, it’s a pact, it’s a vision. It’s not daunting, it calls for epic years ahead of us.   

Sam: I don’t really see it as something daunting. Everything is just so natural and free flowing with this band. We always have a great time no matter if we’re writing, rehearsing or hanging out. It never feels like work or a commitment with these guys.  

T.A.O.: A musician friend of mine just said that “the myth of the rock star is almost like that of the Greek Gods”. How do you feel about this myth, and what is actually happening?

Josh: What goes on tour, stays on tour.Trev: myth of the rockstar? Haha The truth is it’s not 1985 anymore. For the most part everyone has toned down the crazy. We are all human beings with our own unique talent to bring to this life and this world. We are all rockstars. I want to eliminate the pedestal. 
Jules: I guess we will see how it plays out. It’s not dead, superstars are still walking our earth, and the concept of it is evolving with our society.   

Sam: I guess I can see the comparison. Every once in awhile you get someone who explodes onto the scene and then kind of burns out from the pressure. In a way it’s kind of like Icarus. The myth of the rock star is something so built up in peoples mind. Then there’s also the side of it where someone starts to think of themselves in that way when they find some success.   

T.A.O.: Do you feel that you have a social or political responsibility through your art, messages, and examples set in the public eye? Or can you exist outside of that?

Josh: Yeah, its a strange time we live in, especially with social media, everybody has a voice, yet very few people are tolerant of other peoples opinions. If it goes against the current popular flow of thought then its deemed negative. I prefer to stay away from saying or leaning to any one side, ESPECIALLY politics, religion etc. That just causes separation and divide, which is sad and serious steps in the wrong direction. I just want to create music for people to escape from all the every day bullshit, no matter where they stand in life.

Jules: No politics or religion in our music. It’s all about sex 😉   

T.A.O.: Last but not least, dream big! What are the highest hopes, the dreams, the big things you would set on a vision board?

Josh: I see us playing at Wembley Stadium, I can genuinely see it clear as day right now… I can’t wait.

Trev: We gotta play the Forum here in LA. It’s a dream I know we can accomplish.  

Jules: Greek god myth, all the way 🙌🏼   

Sam: My dream would be to keep making more music and do more shows with these guys. This is just the beginning.  

Dirty Shirt despre noul album: „Letchology a luat ce a fost mai bun din Dirtylicious, FolkCore DeTour și Freak Show”

De ceva vreme, pe la ultimele concerte marca Dirty Shirt am avut parte de bucăți din noul material, râdeam când auzeam „asta nu știm cum se numește, dar v-o cântăm că e nouă și faină” și apoi ne rupeam capetele și picioarele în fața scenei. Iată că a venit momentul mult așteptat și am primit noul material cu tot cu numele pieselor care erau nebotezate și incomplete, dar care ne-au plăcut oricum.

Cine ne putea spune mai multe despre „Letchology” dacă nu chiar trupa? Băieții de la Dirty Shirt au fost de treabă și au răspuns la toate întrebările și curiozitățile fanilor, într-un interviu Maximum Rock.

Nu mai batem câmpii, așa că haideți să aflăm care-i treaba cu albumul, turneul și truda care stă la baza succesului unui proiect folkcoreist de amploare.

Tocmai ați lansat un nou album. Trebuie să recunoaștem că acesta are un nume foarte interesant. De unde denumirea aceasta?

Rini: E foarte simplu. Lecso-ul e mâncarea numită ghiveci. Ne place mult cum sună. În engleză e hotch-potch. Și asta a fost o variantă de nume, dar am insistat pe caracterul zonal al denumirii. Dirty Shirt e un maglavais de stiluri de muzică, oameni de vârste diferite, personalități, meserii, deci ghiveciul e o chestie care ne caracterizează.

Mihai: Cristi a venit cu ideea de a transforma letcho în letchology, adică știința sau arta de a combina elemente foarte diverse.

Am ascultat noul album (un teaser cu piesele incluse a fost disponibil de ceva timp pe net, iar acum ați postat întreg materialul audio) și vedem că trupa nu se îndepărtează de linia precedentului material. Totuși ce aduce nou față de „Dirtylicious”?

Mihai: Din punctul meu de vedere, „Letchology” a luat ce a fost mai bun în „Dirtylicious” / „FolkCore Detour” și „Freak Show”. Pe de o parte am continuat și extins colaborările cu muzicieni veniți din orizonturi muzicale diverse, însă influențele sunt mult mai variate, albumul e mai experimental și mult mai puțin axat pe folclorul românesc. În afară de „Latcho Drom” toate piesele sunt compoziții originale, versurile fiind adaptate din folclor pe „Nem Loptam” si parțial la „Pălinca”.

Rini: „Letchology” e mai vesel, mult mai vesel.

Odată cu „Dirtylicious” am observat că publicul formației s-a lărgit, în sensul că aveți din ce în ce mai mulți fani mai tineri, dar și fani foarte în vârstă. Să fie părțile de orchestră sarea si piperul care atrage noua „pătură” de fani sau…?

Mihai: Într-adevăr, proiectele cu orchestre fac muzica noastră mult mai accesibilă unui public nu neapărat fan de metal, ceea ce nu e rău, zic eu.

Rini: E normal să se lărgească publicul. Trece timpul, cei care au ascultat până acum ascultă și în continuare, dar deja încep și alții mai tineri să audă de tine, să te vadă și să le placă. În plus, deja vedem la concerte că oamenii își aduc și copiii, în cazul unora copiii deja sunt fani Dirty Shirt de mai mulți ani. Le mulțumim celor care au reușit să le transmită și lor gena D.S.

Ați folosit din nou o orchestră la înregistrări. Cât de ușor este să lucrați cu o orchestră pe partea de înregistrări?

Mihai: Majoritatea muzicienilor cu care am colaborat în studio fac parte fie din Ansamblul Transilvania, fie din Transylvanian FolkCore Orchestra. Deja ne cunoaștem bine și am colaborat atât în studio cât și în concert. Oricum de la bun început a fost o plăcere să lucrez cu asemenea muzicieni talentați și deschiși.

Noul album va fi promovat și printr-un turneu prin Europa (unele concerte împreună cu orchestra). Cât de ușor a fost să puneți la punct acest turneu? Cât de ușoară este organizarea unui concert care include și orchestra respectivă?

Mihai: De departe turneul actual este cel mai mare turneu până în prezent din istoria trupei. Doar în prima parte a turneului avem 25 concerte în 7 țări, din care o parte cu orchestra, atât în țară cât și în străinătate. Pentru organizarea turneului suntem reprezentați de mai multe agenții de management & booking în diferite țări (Promusic Events în România, Brainstorm Music Marketing în Germania, Sherep Prod & Replica Promotion în Franța, Digital Rock Media în Cehia și Slovacia), altfel ar fi fost imposibil pentru noi să organizăm un asemenea turneu. Concertele cu orchestra sunt o altă poveste: toată logistica, partea tehnică și bugetele iau alte dimensiuni… E complicat, e stresant, e nevoie de multă muncă, dar cred că merită, spectacolul oferit e de asemenea la alt nivel.

Este primul material discografic care va fi scos atât pe CD cât și pe vinil. O noutate acest vinil pentru trupă…

Rini: Vinilul Letchology este un vis devenit realitate. Personal am început să ascult muzica pe pick-up-ul părinților mei, o sculă rusească care zgâria „plăcile”. Așadar, copil fiind, când cântam în fața oglinzii ascultând Black Sabbath, Judas Priest sau Iron Maiden, îmi imaginam ce fain ar fi dacă într-o zi aș face parte dintr-o formație. Să existe un vinil cu trupa mea – nici nu mi-aș fi putut închipui. Abia când am mai crescut și am început să cânt, atunci când am plătit pe cineva să tragă pe video primul concert sau am tras primul demo pe o casetă, abia atunci am început să visez și la vinil. Dar nu mi-am imaginat vreodată că va veni și ziua asta.

Mihai: De mult ne doream să scoatem și vinil, chiar am cochetat cu ideea la FolkCore DeTour. A fost o surpriză pentru mine ce succes a avut vinilul in România, astfel stocul inițial a fost epuizat doar din precomenzi.

Pe 8 februarie a fost lansat un videoclip animat cu un prim single extras de pe viitorul material. De unde ideea acestui videoclip animat?

Mihai: Clipul a fost realizat de colegul nostru Cristian Balanean (chitară) cu ajutorul lui Székely Szilárd, cunoscut pentru animațiile „Unguru’ Bulan”, dar și chitarist/solist în Ultimu’ Nivel. A fost ideea lui Cristi, noi am ajutat ici, colo cu mici chestii.

Al doilea clip la piesa „Killing Spree” a fost lansat pe 1 martie și se pare că a fost filmat in Franța. Ne poți da mai multe detalii?

Rini: Robi Metalistu’ e cuprins de febra banilor și rupe tot. Asta se întâmplă în general cu cei ce câștigă la loto. Banii mulți deodată le iau mințile. Ca idee, oricum își pierd tot ce au câștigat în 2-4 ani. În cazul nostru, Robi e pe cale să-și piardă prietenii. Noroc că e doar un vis 🙂

Mihai: Clipul a fost produs de Igor Omodei și filmat la Montpellier. A fost o experiență foarte faină și suntem foarte mulțumiți de rezultat.

A ajuns Dirty Shirt să fie o formație rentabilă, din care trupeții să își plătească facturile sau încă se mai lucrează la acest aspect?

Mihai: Proiectul Dirty Shirt este rentabil în sensul că toată activitatea trupei este asigurată, precum și cheltuielile noastre, însă nu se pune încă problema ca noi să ne putem plăti facturile din muzică. Deja în formula standard suntem 9 oameni pe drumuri, cu costuri mari, veniți din diferite orașe din țară, dar și din străinătate. Imaginează-ți care e amploarea bugetelor când suntem cu orchestra. Însă cel mai important e că an de an trupa crește și noi ne simțim extraordinar să facem muzică.

Rini: Dirty Shirt în mod clar e o trupă rentabilă, deoarece nu mai trebuie să aducem bani de acasă. Hahaha. Trebuie păstrat echilibrul. Creștem și reinvestim tot: în albume, în scule, în promovare, în imagine, în turnee. Cred că s-ar putea și mai mult, dar în varianta respectivă am fi nevoiți să renunțăm la joburile noastre și nu putem să ne susținem familiile din muzică. Totuși, e și o parte bună în asta, deoarece așa nu suntem nevoiți să cântăm ce se cere numai ca să ducem o pâine acasă. Așa cântăm ce vrem noi, adică joburile susțin pasiunea noastră.

La 5 ani după performanța voastră la Wacken Metal Battle (locul 2 în 2014) sunteți pe afișul principal al festivalului Wacken Open Air. Ce înseamnă pentru voi acest lucru, cum vă simțiți?

Mihai: Multă lume credea (noi inclusiv) că după ce am luat locul 2 la Battle, gata, trupa are asigurată o intrare pe scena europeană. Chiar dacă Battle-ul ne-a permis să sărim cateva etape, a fost nevoie în continuare de o creștere organică a trupei să ajungem din nou la Wacken. Între timp am scos două albume de studio plus un album live cu orchestra, am avut activitate live susținută, atât în țară cât și în străinătate. Și iată, că suntem pe afișul principal la Wacken. Suntem foarte bucuroși și mândri, trebuie să recunoaștem. Și de asemenea nerăbdători, sigur va fi fenomenal.

Rini: Pentru noi e un lucru foarte mare să ne întoarcem la Wacken. E un lucru însemnat să primești invitație de la Wacken să cânți în cadrul festivalului. Din câte știu, au cântat Negură Bunget în 2008 și Dordeduh chiar în 2014. Ne-am bucurat când i-am văzut acolo. În 2014 pe 1 august, pentru mine a fost cea mai fericită zi. Toate lucrurile bune mi s-au întâmplat acolo. Am fost anunțați că Dirty Shirt a luat locul 2, mi-am luat Judas Priest – „Painkiller” pe vinil, am văzut Russkaya, Skid Row, Motorhead, Slayer și King Diamond. Să fii la Wacken e deasupra tuturor lucrurilor bune care ți se pot întâmpla. Și mai ales să știi că ești pe afiș și cânți în compania tuturor trupelor existente în festival – wow, e ceva la care visăm de 5 ani: să ne întoarcem, dar cântând în recital.

Și pentru că suntem la început de an și muții fac bilanțuri pentru 2018, iar alții încearcă să voteze bugete (vai mama lor 🙂 ), am să te întreb ce nu a realizat trupa Dirty Shirt din planurile pe care le-ați avut pentru 2018 și ce v-ați propus că trebuie să realizați în 2019?

Mihai: Pentru mine nu sunt proiecte nerealizate în 2018. Singura chestie negativă a fost faptul că am avut întârziere cu producția albumului, ceea ce a redus considerabil deadlineurile și a crescut în consecință nivelul de stres. Însă totul este bine când se termină cu bine 🙂

Rini: Oh, da! Nu am mai făcut Dirty Fest pentru că nu am avut timp și pentru că o colaborare cu autoritățile este încă destul de grea. Publicul rock nu e chiar targetul lor, deci nu prea se direcționează fonduri către acest gen de muzică. În general, cam ce ne-am propus am și realizat. Am făcut un pas important în a sparge gheața pe Vest, am cântat în deschiderea trupelor Orphanade Land și Skindred. Acestea au fost experiențe foarte faine, pe care dorim să le multiplicăm. Dorim inclusiv să facem schimburi cu alte trupe din străinătate, astfel încât să cântăm noi la ei și ei la noi.

Acum că știm cu ce se mănâncă, cu ce se bea, cu ce se dansează și cântă noul album, mergeți la următoarele concerte Dirty Shirt de pe plaiurile românești – anunțate pe pagina de facebook -, de pe plaiurile altora și, mai ales, dacă vă țin buzunarele, mergeți să-i susțineți cu tot graiul la Wacken Open Air vara aceasta.

LEPROUS launch new single & video “Angel” (Massive Attack cover)!

Norwegian progressive Rock group LEPROUS are releasing a new digital single and video clip (Directed by Costin Chioreanu / Twilight13Media) of their cover version of “Angel” by Massive Attack today.

Check out the video here: 
And the single here:   

LEPROUS frontman Einar Solberg checked in with the following comment about “Angel”:

There’s a first for everything, LEPROUS has made a cover version! Massive Attack has always been a big influence on me. To make something so rich out of something so simple has been their trademark, and it’s something with their atmosphere that just hits the right nerve in me. We’ve been playing this one live for a few months, and we’re super excited to finally release the song!

After having toured restlessly across European and North America, LEPROUS are now delighted to debut in Latin America next month as next step of their touring cycle for their current and much acclaimed album release “Malina”. Here is a list of all upcoming dates for 2019 announced so far:

LEPROUS Live 2019:
22.02.2019 Drammen (Norway) – Union Scene

LEPROUS – Latin American Tour 2019:
28.02.2019 Guadalajara (Mexico) – C3 Stage
01.03.2019 Mexico City (Mexico) – Plaza Condesa
02.03.2019 Bogota (Colombia) – Ace Of Spades
03.03.2019 Lima (Peru) – Centro Amistad Peruano China
05.03.2019 Santiago (Chile) – Club Chocolate
07.03.2019 Santiago (Chile) – Club Chocolate
08.03.2019 Buenos Aires (Argentina) – El Teatrito
10.03.2019 Sao Paulo (Brazil) – Carioca Club

LEPROUS Live 2019:
22.03.2019 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Prognosis Festival 
23.03.2019 San Gwann (Malta) – Metal Over Malta
27.04.2019 Toulouse (France) – Slasher Metal Fest
09.06.2019 Tomas (Portugal) – Comendatio Music Fest

More dates to be announced soon…

Previously, LEPROUS also released the stand-alone digital single “Golden Prayers”, which can still be checked out here: 
and here:

Also check out material off the “Malina” album by LEPROUS here:
“From The Flame” (Video):
“Stuck (Radio Edit)” (Video):
“Illuminate” (Video):
“Bonneville” (Drums Playthrough Video):
“Coma” (Drums Playthrough Video):
“Mirage” (Drums Playthrough Video):

“Malina” hit various sales charts upon release: Germany: # 34, The Netherlands: # 68, Finland: # 23, Switzerland: # 39, Austria: # 42, Belgium (Flemish): # 52, Sweden Physical Album Chart: #29, Sweden Vinyl Charts: # 14, UK Rock Album Chart: # 19, USA Billboard Heatseekers: # 21 and USA Billboard Current Albums: # 190.

“Malina” is still available as Jewelcase CD and Digital Download, but also as limited edition Mediabook CD (+ extended booklet & bonus-track) and as Gatefold 2LP on 180gr. vinyl (+ poster, bonus-track & entire album on CD), also as limited coloured editions.

Order the physical formats of choice from IOM here:“Malina” is also available digitally here:

LEPROUS online:


LEPROUS – Angel (Massive Attack Cover / OFFICIAL VIDEO)