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Theatres Des Vampires – Tour and Interview
Cult Vampiric/Gothic Metal band Theatres Des Vampires have recently released their ninth studio album Moonlight Waltz, their first for three years, which some critics have dubbed their best to date.
The album comes with a video for Camilla (which you can view at the bottom of this piece) and the band also are planning a rare visit to UK shores, including their first in the North.
The band play: Newcastle Riverside (May 27th) London O2 Academy (May 28th) and headline the Femme Metal Festival at the Asylum in Birmingham (May 29th) tickets for all dates are available from www.seetickets.com
Dominion caught up with Sonya Scarlet, the bands front woman, for a little chat about the band.
Interview conducted by Jacob Ovington.
Your latest album; Moonlight Waltz has received some excellent reviews and ratings across the internet, and many say it is the best Theatres des Vampires ever made, has the albums success met or even exceeded your expectations?
We do not plan anything when we compose a new album. We’re so focused mixing all of the ideas, recording every single note and sound, listening carefully. We start again and again several times then we have no time to think about what the public comments will be on it. We know we always give our best to get the best possible result, because we want to give to our fans good music and something special every time. Moonlight Waltz is having big success, it’s true and I’m really satisfied because we worked on it for a long time. We had very good reviews and I’m happy to read them especially when they come from some countries that usually give us a low rate. It’s really good.
In the future can we expect something even better than Moonlight Waltz?
We have grown up as people and as musicians, we have a long experience on the road and the feeling between us is stronger every day. What we want to give to our fans is something more complete, mature and full of ideas. We try to do something better in every new album. We’ll do the same for the next one.
The Carmilla video is an excellent production. Are there any plans to do any music videos in the future?
David Bracci is the director of Carmilla and he’s been a friend of ours for a long time. He also filmed our first video and he knows our story, music and attitude. He knows exactly what he has to do because he knows what we want and what we need to express through our songs. Carmilla is a perfect video for our kind of music, the place was amazing and his staff were professional and really good. We will surely do another video with him, we’re thinking about it but we have an important appointment before. We’re doing a movie with him, I’ll be the actress together with Abram Fontana, the actor of the Carmilla Video, and I’ll start to act in June 2011. It will be a great experience, the storyboard is secret at the moment, I read it some days ago and it’s really great. Perfectly connected with us! We will also write the entire movie’s music.
How did you become interested in music?
I was involved in music when I was really young. I started to listen to classical music when I was only 4 years old because I studied ballet, and I did it for the most part of my life. I went to The Italian National Academy, the most important ballet school here in Italy where each class had an own pianist, playing live music for us during the lesson. I was very lucky. They taught us all the musical grammar and everything connected with art. My parents also loved opera music so I used to listen to their albums all day long learning all the lyrics…My favourite opera was Turandot by Puccini. Later I decided to study opera singing leaving the ballet.
The band is well known for its vampiric image, how seriously do you take the whole idea of vampirism?
The charm of vampirism is surely strong and so ancient. There are so many novels and stories connected with folklore, books and paintings that represent vampirism in all its forms starting from the vampire seen as an animal without charm, a walking death without speech that rises to bring with him his past family to become later a kind of dandie, a seductive and elegant feature, with culture, richness, castles, beauty that kills his or her victim with a macabre dance. I love all the stories about it and the deep meaning hidden behind his mantle…the research of eternal life through the blood itself, through the same life…the chance to live another life far away from death, becoming the death itself.
If the band wasn’t Vampiric, is there another theme that you would focus on?
As you can see from the lyrics I write I like to talk about many things, from poetry, literature to the state of mind, a feeling, I cannot change my attitude; I have a dark side inside me that slides like a snake behind everything I do. I can have the inspiration from everything is around me, a colour, a poem, a painting, a feeling, the life itself inspires me every time. The passion for vampirism is something more that completes my way of being.
Although you do have a loyal fan base, Theatres des Vampires is a relatively underground band, do you consider yourselves famous or not?
I consider us musicians that believe in what they do, always. We write our songs because we love to express our passion and feeling without thinking about business or the necessity to sell so many albums. We’re not Iron Maiden and we’re not an unknown underground band but we’re rising up with our strength and so many years on the road, and people support us and love our music. It gives us the chance to travel all around the world to spread our music and meeting all the people that believe in us. That’s all.
Do you think that the band is underrated at all?
People that love TDV show it to us every day. As you said before we have so many fan clubs all around the world and I’m really proud of it. I believe that metal music in general is underrated, especially here in Italy. We do what we can but, as you well know, the mainstream eats all the other genres of music and the business is always at the first place. It damages a lot of the musicians that really believe in what they do. The big majors sell their products and drive peoples attitude in the direction they want… the sad thing is that people follow them at 95%…and the world is full of banal and mediocre bands for banal and mediocre people…
Is there anything in your career that you haven’t achieved so far that you would like to achieve?
I’m really happy with what we have today, we worked really hard to be at this point and today we are the result of what we did yesterday, so, no, there’s nothing I would like to delete cause everything was a part of an important step in our long career. We learned a lot of from our mistakes cause we’re not perfect and we did some things wrong as everyone else…but those mistakes gave us the chance to grow up becoming stronger than before.
Who are Theatres des Vampires main influences?
Each of us has different life experiences and therefore has different influences. We love gothic metal but we also like different kinds of music. Our drummer, Gabriel, likes prog metal, Stephan loves black metal and the old bands that made the story of metal, Fabian loves classical music, lots of rock bands, ebm and more, I like opera music, gothic, folk and doom metal but I also appreciate ebm music. The story of horror movies has got a strong influence in our music, the soundtrack of some old horror films but also different kinds of art. Everything can influence our mind inspiring us, everything that goes deep inside our soul and give us strong emotions.
Do you have any favourite bands or any role models in the music scene?
I do not have any hero in music and in life but I appreciate a lot some really good bands. I personally like Sentenced, Poisonblack, Katatonia, Diary of Dreams, Siouxsie, Diamanda Galas, Samael, Therion, Elend, Charon,To/Die/For, the Kovenant, Nine Inch Nails and many others.
Musically the band has a unique style, how do you describe the Theatres des Vampires style of music?
The soundtrack of your best nightmare…
Do you have a specific song writing process, and how do you get your ideas?
I start to write down the lyrics by myself because I need a strong and good inspiration to write down what I feel inside and I have to be alone. They separately write down some part of the music, just the idea, than we mix all together, we give suggestions and together we create something new changing everything again.
We never follow a precise process but it’s very important to talk about the new album before bringing our idea so all that we have on the table follows the same point of view.
Do any of you have any other jobs or careers other than Theatres des Vampires?
In Italy is very difficult to survive as an artist…in our country we have and we had such great artists but nobody considers art as a real work and you’re forced to do something more to live in this fucking society…We do many things extra than the band.. most of them are obviously connected with it, we have lot of interviews to do, things to buy, gigs to organize, we have to play our music and the time left is not so much, anyway each of us also do different things cause metal music is not a good genre to make money and to live without problems. But we love what we do so we prefer having other activities and doing the music we really like than doing something we really don’t like just for money.
What is the strangest experience you have had at a concert?
We have a lot of strange experiences:
The exorcism of the place where we played years ago. It was so close to the school of the city. The local priest made an exorcism and the children didn’t go to school the day after…he tried to make something judicial against us but he failed…
Another time the police stopped us in Germany before starting our gig in a huge and famous festival. They talked with me for hours checking if the blood I use on stage was real or not, it happened again in England…
Going on, we were in Moscow and some guys of the band where completely drunk, the organizers were drunk as well after several bottles of vodka and they all forget the address of the hotel…So it was a long night all around the city before going back to the hotel…we reached the hotel before them thinking they were kidnapped by..I don’t know who…cause we were probably more drunk than them…
And the list is really long, believe me.
The favourite city and country you have visited?
Everyplace is different and interesting at the same time but in the band we have different points of view about it. Sometimes the guys love or they don’t like a place and for me it is exactly the opposite. You should make five different interviews for each on us and you will see how different our answers would be. I would be very happy to go back to Russia next week because it is one of the countries I really love and I’m looking forward to travel all around the world during our upcoming Moonlight Waltz tour. It will be great.
Again, thanks so much for taking the time to look at these questions, is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks Jacob for your nice interview… I would like to thank readers for the attention and a bloody kiss to all our fans from UK that support TDV writing to us every day. We hope to see you on our upcoming tour.
Theatres des Vampires Official Facebook page
Theatres des Vampires on My Space
Theatres des Vampires Official Site