First, a few generic questions. How would you describe SATYRIAN in a sentence or two?
SATYRIAN is an international Gothic Rock band, combining dark atmospheric lyrics with Wave, Rock, classical orchestration, piano and heavy guitars.
What would you like to tell somebody who has never heard of SATYRIAN?
Basically I’d like them to give the band a fair listen and though the band seems to get categorized in general as a Gothic Metal band, I think the band has more to offer that that very general term. A certain amount of open-mindness is definitely needed when listening to the album and I hope that we don’t let the listener get away too easy. The sound of the band is partly defined by the use of more singers than an average band, two female and two male. The songs are pretty much different from each other style wise, though there are majority of up-tempo dark Rock songs. But you can also find orchestral slow epic songs there, some industrial influences, Folk and even danceable tunes. Some songs are arranged plain and simple – straight to the point -, some then again are filled with hooks and breaks and are even close to Progressive Rock with lots of guitar work, piano and orchestrations. Also some songs have more Metal sound with double-bass drumming and metal guitars. So I guess it is a big challenge for a listener to get into, but once you do I’m sure you find the SATYRIAN world interesting and hopefully also enjoyable and at least worth to find more about.
What are your goals with SATYRIAN?
That is very good question indeed. I think that like every musician you hope for certain recognition for the work you do and in that way I’m no exception. I think that the purpose of the record is fulfilled once it touches the listener in a way or another. In this respect I think we are already on the right way since we have received many nice comments and personal e-mails from people who have enjoyed the music. That means very much to me. I have been already a while in the music business so I’m also realistic enough to see what is possible and what is not for a band in our style so I don’t think we’ll be up to the world domination here by any means if you know what I mean. I’m personally already satisfied knowing that we have a chance to release more albums and hopefully to find a steady place in the genre. Sure as for professional goals you always strive to make better records with better sounds and all, but that is the “boring part” of the process. The fun part is to be creative and get your creations released. There are many musicians, who don’t write music and are happy just with playing their instruments, but for me personally making music goes further than just playing an instrument and writing and arranging songs gives me that pleasure. A couple of nice concerts to go with that is very nice since for me the music becomes live on stage. Also there are still many countries to visit and people to meet out there, so one of the goals would probably be to do as many shows as possible – in as many countries as possible.
How is SATYRIAN the same and how is it different from other bands you’ve been in/are in?
It is the same in a way that we function as a band and we also do things like all the bands do, but it is also different in a way because there are no real expectations from it. You are in that way much more free with the music and the concept. You can actually do whatever you feel like and write different kinds of music. With many other bands I joined in when they already existed and had released some material, like LACRIMOSA, IMPERIA or ANCIENT RITES. Those bands had/have their style that people expect to hear. Though said that, those bands also evaluated through time. But basically you are kind of limited to a certain “style” so that’s why I always had side-projects to explore different musical fields. With SATYRIAN we actually start from the scratch – also one point why we changed our name from DANSE MACABRE. If you start a new band it takes a while before you get categorized and that gives us time to explore. The band is also based on a friendship, so I knew everybody for years already – except our singer Roman, who I got to know later. The core of the band, me, the bass player
How has fan reaction to “Eternitas” been?
I’m very positively surprised so far. I‘ve noticed that there obviously is progress in response from the time of our former label Karmageddon Media. So I think our new label Lion Music is doing very good and has good distribution channels. For example, we hardly had any comments or e-mails from the
What’s the process for writing a SATYRIAN song? Is it planned out or does it come naturally?
It always comes very naturally. I don’t think you can force the creative process anyway, so the inspiration comes or it doesn’t come. You can never write a song by just sitting down and starting to work on it like technical routine – at least I can’t. Normally when getting ideas, I would just fool around with the keyboard, piano or guitar and most of the times I come up with a basic riff or melody to start with. Nowadays I think it is actually even more the piano which gives me inspiration. It is such a
A little more personal, the transformation from DANSE MACABRE to SATYRIAN is a rather storied affair, but different sources I came across in writing the initial review said different things about how it occurred. Could you give us your side of it?
Hmm, yes I know that there have been some stories circulating around. Probably the fact that we as a band never commented the split – or didn’t want to throw mud or accuse anybody – made some of the stories even more absurd. It was sometimes even pretty much fun to read some of those and we had quite many laughs too. Anyway, what basically happened is that for a longer time the band didn’t feel comfortable with our ex-singer. I don’t want to get into the details here, but I guess everybody who knows him has noticed the change to the more extreme with him. That was a problem for me and the rest of the band obviously too, since we didn’t share his views at all. So that was personal. While in the studio with this album I had made the decision to quit the metal band he was also in – for the same reasons. Everybody in the studio and also my friends and family knew about that. The final split took place in May 2003. The problem was that we had a booked and confirmed tour ahead of us in June in
How has your sound changed since DANSE MACABRE?
I think the main difference lies now in the vocals. We have much more female singing on the album and the interaction between Kemi and Judith is pretty cool to my opinion. Also the male vocals of Roman are heavy and rawer and also Oliver sings this time. As for the rest it is kind of direct continuation from DANSE MACABRE as the songwriting and the band is the same. So the playing sounds the same obviously. Also we used the same studio and more or less the same instruments that on the “Eva:” album of DANSE MACABRE. As for the music, I think we have here even more variation and different styles. The production sounds also heavier to me.
With the band members from so many different places, is SATYRIAN primarily a studio band or are there also plans to tour?
It is true that everybody is involved in different bands, Kemi, Roman and Merijn are in THE DREAMSIDE, Oliver and Judith in EVERON and I’m pretty much busy with IMPERIA and ANGEL. But as long as there is energy and motivation, that’s absolutely no problem. And at least I have enough inspiration for many more records. The fact that we live in different countries and different cities is of course a thing which limits us in a way that we can’t jam around as often as we probably would like to so the rehearsals only happen with a certain goal in mind: the recordings or preparations for them, or gigs. But nonetheless, everybody feels really connected to the band and playing live is what we also like to do, so certainly we will hit the road with SATYRIAN as much as possible. We’ll play on a metal festival in The Netherlands in July and in the autumn there are some shows planned for
From reading the band’s biography, it took nearly three-and-a-half years (December 2002 to March 2006) between the beginning of recording and the release of “Eternitas.” What took so long?
Yes it is true that it took a very long time to record the album and to release it. The initial recordings lasted some two months I guess and then we returned for a few weeks later to finish the vocals, to change and add some details and instruments (we added also one more song to the mix). And of course we had to mix the album as well. So we were not like three years in the studio in a row (we’re not that rich you know =), though the recordings were a lengthy process anyway. Actually the first reason for the delay is the line up change and the replacing the ex-vocalist and after that it took us a while to prepare ourselves for the next recordings. After we were finally finished in April 2004, our label back then kept us waiting. At a certain point I asked if we could emigrate to a more suitable label anyway, because they were mainly releasing death or black metal. And finally the label agreed if that was what we really wanted to do and if the finances were right. So then I just sent a bunch of promos around to different labels and Lion Music was one of the first to catch my serious attention. When talking to Lasse in person I right away figured out that they would do a good job for us and they run the label for the right reasons. I’m still very good friends with the former label of course since we worked very hard for so many years together, so the switch of labels went down in a very friendly spirit. After that we had to wait a short while with the release schedule of Lion Music, but that was pretty fast in the end. So I guess this whole process took quite a while, but for different reasons, some of which were out of our hands. It was a rocky road to get it released indeed but we’re very happy to have it out there now finally!
Since there was such a difference in time between when the recording was complete and the album released, have you already started working on new material? If so, how does it compare to “Eternitas”?
As you can imagine we haven’t been standing still through all that time so there are plenty of ideas for the next one, the follower of “Eternitas”. As for the style I think it’ll follow the same paths: different atmospheres and different feelings. There will be some up-tempo Rock/Metal songs for sure but we are not afraid of experimenting with sounds or styles either. One thing I already know and that will be that we will take these experiments with two female vocals even further. We already in a way tried many things out when re-arranging some of the old DANSE MACABRE songs for live for two voices and that sounds pretty cool to my humble opinion. So I’m sure we’ll definitely do much more different things with the vocals the next time. And in general, as the releasing “Eternitas” took ages, we’re eager to start preparing and to record the next one. This time we won’t let it take as long for sure!
I’ve always had Folk elements in my music and I listen pretty much of that. Maybe it is something which comes from your native country and heritage as well, in this case
Given infinite resources/possibilities, who would you like to play a show with and where?
That is very hard to say actually. There are so many cool bands and musicians around. But all that is in reach if you get lucky. Therefore something that is impossible would rather trigger my imagination and fantasy, like going back to the past when the rock scene was in it’s begin days and not a huge industry like it is today. That’s why I always liked bands that made it by their own hard work, especially in the sixties. Also the seventies with the begin days of Heavy Metal and the guitar heroes seems pretty interesting period too. Especially when you consider the recording methods of those days and how evergreen some of those tunes have become nonetheless. And that “do it yourself” feeling was definitely there when those bands started. I notice myself also thinking sometimes how primitive we used to work in the eighties, playing live on an analogue recorder and all that. But probably the time makes a trick here since basically a “Rock band” is still a “Rock band” with the same instruments as always and the rock music itself hasn’t evaluated that drastically, no matter what we consider as “modern” now. Other types of popular music have done that evaluation rather and new genres have emerged. Only the sound – or rather our expectation of what sounds “good” in technical terms has been changing through the years and the working methods have become accessible for everyone now. But as for playing with whatever band of today, I take it as it comes. Therefore I don’t have any bands in my mind which would blow my mind or which I would die for to play with. There are some great musicians around I would like to work with on some of my projects and I know that there is much to learn from them. Also there are plenty of countries to explore still. I’ve never been to
Is it important for you to make songs of a specific type or genre, or is it more important to simply make music?
I don’t want to limit myself for one genre or style personally, because I think there are good songs in every genre, from Black Metal to Techno. When I feel touched by a piece of music or
Now that “Eternitas” has been released, would you do anything different if you did it over again, knowing what you do now?
Probably not, it is part of what we believe in and a sign of that. I might think differently after a few years, but right now it is exactly like it was supposed to be. Technically there are things to improve, but that is like it always is. You might think to change a detail or two, but in the end I see it as a nice album for which we worked very hard together, so I’m only proud of it as it is.
If we were to look in your CD player right now, what would we find?
Hmm, believe it or not, today (3rd of May) my old buddy from the PRESTIGE time – Aku - came over to deliver some DVDs which had been converted from the old VHS live tapes of our band. So actually I have been checking that all out. It’s kind of journey to the past. So that is what is NOW in the player. But that’s not really what you are after I guess, so let’s see: the last album I’ve been listening was the new TÝR. I find it very refreshing album in their genre. I also have been listening to some demos of my other project SINMASTERS, which we still have to record. I think I have to disappoint you, but the last real CD I bought is already a time ago. I do actually order sometimes Metal or Gothic compilation CDs or DVDs to check out. The last band I saw live was ANTHRAX a week ago, in the original line up, so the spirit is still there I guess =)
Thanks again for your time. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Well, thank you for this opportunity to say some words – I appreciate that. I hope that people will enjoy the album as much as we enjoyed making it and I hope to see you all around on our shows or at our sites. Cheers.
2006: Eternitas (CD, Lion Music)
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