Friday, May 9, 2008

Symphonia interview

It was a pleasure doing an interview with one of the most talented bands I've listened to lately and it's none other than Symphonia. The band from Kuala Lumpur was kind enough to send me its' answers to my questions, so enjoy what these inspiring musicians have to say...

When was Symphonia formed and how difficult was to find the appropriate members?

Symphonia: Back in 2004 with the 1st batch and since 2007 comes the best/newest line-up until now. Not too difficult as they're formerly Symphonia's close friends/followers who believe and have passion for this kind of music. Back in 2003, its quite hard to say but through our experiences, we have found a formula to minimized the hardparts. With the right tools/technique of self-practise. We've minimized errors down to 80% in the whole group practise sessions. So, the better system of individual practise and then in the group session is the key to be a better musician/band.

Was it hard for you to find band members that were interested in performing Neo-classical Metal?

Symphonia: Normally it'll depend on the situation & offcourse the attraction that we has...u might find there only quite a few bands plays this kind of music in malaysia, as its the most oustanding/demanding of Metal - its hard to find one band that has good musician's quality as in group - some bands are very good on the guitars only and some on the drums. Normally one of the members has been quite long in this band-they'll become very musically-good/advance-so there'll be a high demand for them to be invited to play outside as the sessionist. we do hope and place our support so that there will be more local bands concepting this genre and has a better system to develope their musical's quality as in group better package/product.

Tell me about what "Satria Naga" means and I want you also to comment the lyrical content of your songs.
Symphonia: Its just a cliche's of those strong/conquer elements over the weak/manipulated entities! Most of thelyrics potrait common issues - such as bad politicians, corruptions, personal faith and how to do the right thing in bad situation - sits up to readers to sub-understand it as once a lyric sung with the music it might produce a different feeling/emotion. We might record the vocals again in english and place them as bonus tracks in our next album.
Which are your favorite tracks from "Satria…" and why?
Symphonia: Every songshas different feelings and expressions on its own so its hard to choose which one the best, but for technical aspect we choose "Satria Naga" & "9 pendita" since it has an every bit of complexius rhtymn, blistering solo and amazing challenging drum patterns. For vocal tracks we choose the following: "Manusia", "Wira" & "7 penjuru" as these turn-out very well sounding-details advance compositions aspect. "Hasutan", "7 penjuru", "Lagenda trilogy" has the most shred/baroques elements throughly.

You are also recording a full tribute CD to Yngwie Malmsteen. Why you decided to do this?
Symphonia: YJM has been one of our major influences on us-throughout the time, we've understand his trademark composition/skills-finally can play and record his songs, not just claim/say it but unable to prove that we could play has been our ultimate dream to produce this prove to the world of how deep was YJM influences on us!.weve being on practising a lot of yjm tracks that u might never see him does on his live show.kind of tribute in Symphonia way - certain part we keep the original and some solo parts will be improvise by Aman.
Please mention your favourite guitarists and bands.
Symphonia: Bach/Paganini violin pieces - we wish we know who has influenced this maestros Yngwie J. Malmsteen's all albums - from the low-gain in the early 83' swe, we also like his newer sound,his impovised solos in newer albums, whie the latest compositions are also good!
Newer: Katsu Ohta strat's tones and solo/interlude/improvised licks, Richard Andersson's song's arrangement and keyboard single-coil sounds/solos.
Technically: we prefer most single-coil tones and sound guitarist,we dislike humbucker/high-output tones as its will weaken the sweet elements/freq tones.

Are you satisfied with the sales of your debut CD so far?

Symphonia: quite good! it has surpassed our basecost last month, luckily we have minimized the production cost through self-effort - private owned record label. By end of May we'll get the actual total collection from dealers/associates - positively 2nd reprint will follow soon. Thanks to u too brother-those reviews really has spread the Satria Naga news.

You are also preparing your 2nd album, with lyrics now fully written in English. Give us some info on your preparations.

Symphonia: Its all on the right track - 70% progress so far! 10 tracks has been recorded without vocal yet..we do spend on this an extra hours as we understand the demand & competitiveness are higher than the 1st album..this 2nd album will potray our differentiate and progressive ideas toward neoclassical-baroque platform..rhtymn will be improvised with more modern feel/style and solo will be as baroque/classical as before!the guitar sound will be the same trademark-single-coil -big/low-gain and fatter/raw/big than before...sure things will be all english vocal tones, kind of the asian-way delivers the lyrics in english.we hope all of these will turns more success for us and hopefuly the acceptance from international fans.

Tell me about the Metal scene in your country. Is it easy for a Metal band to survive?

Symphonia: Local Metal mostly focus on Non-neoclassical Metal such as straight/heavy metal/death/black/punks o there quite great scenarios for these followers-a lots of gigs and show for them-good demand/supporters for them.but there're nearly few to none a band concept favours the wordly acclaim/accepted power/melodic/speed/baroque metal style as in europe,consider it as underground here, many major label wont sign these concept until now, only a brave indie/private self-fund label will go through it.luckily some and growing no of metal online website/blogging has unite all these metal genres and features/dedicate/provide many forum's sections for all these kind of metal through their channels.

Did mySpace help Symphonia to establish a strong fan-base? Do you have fans from other countries as well?
Symphonia: Yes it is indeed one of the right/most viewed channel currently! Good for promotion. We've fully utilised this channel. We're glad to have more friends and fans through this way. Plus countless promotion on guitar metal/non-metal musical related websites, many local/intl. musical forums also help! Yes, so far we had good local followers through self-efforts/close friends-agent promotion channels. International will be on progress basis - on the way to make it happen!were now planning to spread our music in asian countries first - more on Indonesia (big population) as Ark Storm does now. There're also a number of fans from Sweden, USA, Japan, Greece (thanks to u) as well.we would like to gather as much as reviews now-one of the promotion tools.
Which is you ultimate musical dream?
Symphonia: To achieve the greatest musical success internationally and of course by that time Symphonia will have its' own identity of fans-accepted/blended musical ideas/elements.
Dimitris Starakis

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