Lycanthia Interview with Alternativ Musik Webzine [July 16, 2013]

Posted by Nick Skog on Friday, July 19, 2013 Under: Interviews
Published: July 16, 2013
Original Link <- This link is in German, the following text is the English version

Tristan: For nearly 15 years Lycanthia exist largely, albeit wrongly, not really perceived by the general public. Here, the last album came Oligarchy quite at the press of positive and they were able to share in their native Australia with quite renowned bands on stage. One reason for the band to their previous work to question changes within the band, their new album and their plans for the future. And then of course, why you should not miss live. Enjoy the read!

First of all: Please tell our readers in brief who you are.
We are ‘Lycanthia’ from Sydney Australia. We play Melodic Death-Doom Metal, and feature grim death vocals, dual female vocals, violin, guitars, drums and keyboards.

You released two Albums so far, however there are 13 years between these two albums. How did that come?
There was actually a release between those two albums “Within The Walls”, as well as many singles released for compilation albums. There was a hiatus period as well in that time, but in the end we rebuilt for the love of creating music. The latest album ‘Oligarchy’ was due for release a few years earlier but ended up being scrapped and we started over as we were unhappy with it and there were too many technical issues. There’s no risk of it taking long next time around though, we are all quite inspired and energized by the latest demos we have been writing and can't wait to finish them up and get into the studio to record them and get them out to the world.

What changes occurred during these many years?
The line-up for one. Obviously in that many years people’s lives change etc. we’ve had to say goodbye to some close friends due to work, health and family issues over the years, but at the same time I feel that as we have lost people we have gained so much with new members as well. The line-up at the moment has stood solid for 2 years now and we are all very happy with how we work together, and the music we create. The music has still got the same heart and soul but has grown to be so much more

After Lycanthia was released "Oligarchy“ by yourself you signed up with hypnotic dirge records. How did you get into contact?
We found their contact info on their website, we had sent out press kits to many labels and were met with great response from many labels. This time around we were able to picky and choosey, and select the best deal for us, with a label that represented music that we love, and had similar values to us.

The press seemed to be quite fond of the album, are happy with the feedback?
We are extremely happy with the feedback we have received. It’s been great to see such a positive response to all the hard work and time we put in and we truly appreciate it.

Which song would you describe as a typical song of the album?
It’s always hard to pick just one song to represent your band, but I do think that ‘The Essential Components Of Misery’ represents us quite well. It showcases a lot of different movements that our music goes through, the brutality, the fragility, the anger, the despair, and everything in between.

How does the process of songwriting look like. From the first ideas to the final version.  
Most often our songs start with the riffs, an idea is created and we build the structure from there. After this we go about placing the layers and writing arrangements of violin, vocals and keys. Sometimes it works best to come up with our parts without the influence of the rest of the band, other times we get our best ideas when we work together. Every song is different and if something isn’t as good as we think it can be, we work on it until we are happy with it. Lyrically, poems are written sometimes inspired by the sound, sometimes we have a preconceived idea and wait on it until we have a song that suits it. Our lyrics are never set out in concrete and are able to be manipulated to suit vocal melodies, it is my firm opinion that melodies and lyrics have to be able to stand on their own, as well as together.

How would you describe the process of creating a new album: From conceptualization to recording and mastering...
Writing is a lot of fun, though at times if you cant get something quite how you like it, it can be frustrating. We are never willing to put out something we aren’t happy with anymore though, if we cant stand by it, why would anyone else want to hear it! We try not to have a preconceived plan before writing begins, but rather see what comes together in the early stages, usually a theme will come together quite easily within the first few songs and sets of lyrics. We demo tracks first, listen to them, see how they sit with us. Test them jamming, see how they feel, if upon playing them, do we feel anything needs changing? Once we are getting happier we sometimes will “road test” a song, i.e. play it live and suss out crowd response. In the past we had written what we thought was a 12 minute epic, we road tested it a few times and it just didn’t gel being played live, it dragged on and got boring and just bombed haha. We scrapped it. Crowd response can often allow you to almost hear your song again for the first time, by experiencing other peoples reactions to hearing it for the first time. After time when we have enough tracks together that we are completely happy with, we enter the studio. Start out with drums, then bass, guitars, keys, vocals and violin. Capturing the sound is a very important part of making sure, when it’s released, it will be heard the way it is intended to. There’s nothing more disappointing than getting an album by a and you love, and it sounds flat. You want to be able to hear as much of that live energy as possible. That’s why upon mastering this time around, we chose to go to the best: Jens Borgen of Fascination Street (Katatonia, Opeth, Devin Townsend etc. the list of incredible acts he has worked with goes on and on). He did an amazing job mastering our last album and we all cant wait to work with him again.

If you hear the term Gothic Metal today most people might think about Bands such as Nightwish or something. In my eyes your music is much more sinister because of the Doom aspect. What do you think about „popular“ Gothic Metal Bands?
Nightwish themselves don’t identify as Gothic band, they’re Symphonic Power Metal. It’s really unfortunate, but it seems as though people these days just label anything with female vocals as “Gothic”. It’s become a dirty word. When I hear it, I personally think of old Tristania, harsh grim vocals mixed with soft female vocals, and the epic choir vocals and old Theatre Of Tragedy; the minor chords, piano parts etc. A lot of press has called us too inspired by these bands which is, to be honest, a little disheartening. In the early days Theatre Of Tragedy was an influence, as was The Third and The Mortal and Paradise Lost, because they were some of the first bands using female vocals and classical instruments. We wanted to start a band that, rather than just featuring those elements, would focus on those elements. We had released our first demo and album long before we ever heard the name Tristania. Don’t get me wrong they are great bands and since hearing of them we have bought many of their albums, but we actually try not to have our female vocals sound soft and pretty all the time, but also have a hard edge and at times be powerful and forceful.

I could not find out whether you play live as well or not. Do you? Will you play shows in the future? Maybe even in Europe?
Yes we do.  We have recently completed and Australian east coast tour and in October this year will be heading to America to play a small number of dates.  Definitely Europe is on the cards and if all goes to plan it will be next year or the next year.

Is there a Band you would love to play live with?
Anathema, My Dying Bride, Dranconian just to name a few.  We recently supported Eluveitie on their Australian tour which was amazing and would love to play along side them again in the future.  Great people.

If yes: Why should someone come definitely come to see you?
There’s a great atmosphere that comes from hearing live classical instruments entwined with heavy riffs. Especially for Vanessa who likes to often deviate from the preset violin lines, and add something authentic to each performance. 

Which song you would have loved to have written yourself. Why?
There are so many to choose from.  I guess one of many would be Gaia by Tiamat.  I mention this particular song because I’m almost jealous (hahaha) of the emotions in this song and how they can still create a reaction in me even after so many years.  

Now the final question: Where do you see the Band in ten years?
Hopefully doing what we are doing now,  writing and playing the music we love.  Playing live with more touring and recording and sharing our music with all who enjoy.

That's it! The final words are as always yours...
Thank you for the interview.  Also a huge cheers to everyone that has supported us.

In : Interviews 

Tags: lycanthia oligarchy gothic doom metal death-doom death metal atmospheric female vocals violin draconian my dying bride