BENDIDA is a band to check out. Start with this interview and work your way through. Anders Ekdahl ©2020
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you? How important is it to have the right name?
– The name of our band – BENDIDA has a very special meaning. She is the Goddess of the Moon and the keeper of Nature, she is bearing the sacred flame and the spark of creation, she is the Goddess of the Ancient Thrace named Bendida.Our first album is called “Goddess of the Moon”. The name is very important of course and it gives the first impression and a lot of information about our music, conception and style.
Who would say have laid the foundation for the kind of sound you have? Who are your heroes musically and what have they meant to you personally and to the sound of your band?
– It started all with the idea of Mr. Vinnie Atanasov ( our precious guitar-player, vocalist, songwriter and author of the lyrics and arrangements of BENDIDA songs.)Our sound is much different now than it used to be in the very beginning /12 – years ago/. In the proccess of our developement, we added more and more new instruments and amazing musicians in the team. We’ve got drums, guitar (acoustic and electric), bass,keyboards, violin, French horn and viola da gamba ( Actually we are the only metal band in the World that includes this ancient Baroque instrument in the official team. We use flute(Baroque and Classical) as well, tambura and other interesting instruments. Tambura is a traditional Bulgarian instrument with and 8 strings and very specific sound.About the vocals,I am responsible for the lead, back female vocals, Vinnie sings the clean and harsh male vocals. In our brand new album called “First of the Heroes”, you can hear an amazing choir as well. We are happy that our friends from Academic Choir ” Sveta Paraskeva” took part in the studio records, you can also see them involved in our brand new video “Civilization”.We play and sing togather in every possible moment when we have a bigger stage for performance.
When we talk about the heroes…They are very special figures, leaders, inventors, they set an example for the others, they are brave,powerful, clever, fair, wise, loving, caring, immortal,talented semi-Gods fighters against The Evil. Our heroes can travel through space and time, they sometimes appear with human look, sometimes look like an animal or bird, wind or waterfall. They are beautiful, natural and epic for sure.For me personally….my heroes are my beloved colleagues from Bendida:
Vinnie Atanasov – guitar, vocals, compositions
Bisera Dimitrova – violin
Velislav Kazakov – drums
Alexander Panayotov – bass
Ralitsa Georgieva – keyboards
Viara Grancharova – viola da gamba
Plamen Dimitrov – french horn
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
– Yes, we have two different ways of performing our music. Our acoustic concerts sound very different than the metal-version-concerts. Vinnie writes new rearrangements for all the musicians and if we have a whole choir participating, they also need some specific vocal parts.We have some fans that love the acoustic versions, other love the metal versions, and most of them love both of the versions.
Will your music work in a live environment? What kind of stage environment would best suit your music; a big stage or a small club?
– We are a big band, almost an orchestra, therefore we always need more space for performing. In our last promo concert with our friends from the choir, we gathered around 40-50 people on stage and it was necessary to build an extra-part of the stage especially for the choir “Sveta Paraskeva”. Usually we bring our specific spirit wherever we go and perform, so indoors or outdoors…we love to play both if we have lovely audience.
It is very hard to be 100% satisfied. Everybody seems to be disappointed with something they have released. Is there something that you in hindsight would have done differently on this your latest recording?
– We are all very pleased and excited about the final result. I’m 99% satisfied with this album, it means I will keep the 100%-mark for the next album.
Promotion can be a bitch. Even today with all different platforms it can be hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
– The best promotion should be achieved when you make a solid combination between perfect sound, great looking and comunication with the right people/promoters and fans. Official videos, live performances and active online advertisement – these are all necessary things. Well, we all have that big problem causing trouble to all the World called… “Corona”. Our concert plans were totaly damaged so we are trying to make some noise with online promotion and new videos.
To me art work can be the difference between bust or success. What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
– I am the designer of our front covers and artworks, booklets, posters and other graphic design artworks and the band stylist as well. I believe that it’s very important to use the visual art as a way to complete the “painting” in the listener’s mind. Visualisation of the music is very ncessary part of it all. The front cover should speak about the band, about the music and everything with just one look.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? Is a local/national scene important for the development of new bands?
– We are very actively participating in the local metal-scene-life. I don’t know if our music and activity had influenced some new bands in their way of developement, because we are not performing the typical styles in Bulgaria. We’ve got just few local bands in the whole symphonic metal department here(maybe five or six bands close to the style). Symphonic metal is a serious genre that takes a lot of work to do, you have to work really hard and spend a lot of time in practicing. It may sound a little sad, but I think the Continuity between the generations is not from the strong points in our local stage.
I could just be me but I got the feeling that the live scene is not what it used to be. Could be that more and more people use the net to discover bands instead of going out and supporting new bands live. What is you experience with the live scene?
– I think it’s about the space between rock stars and fans. It used to be different before. People simply killed the magic nowadays with the social medias and platforms. There are so many “stars” right now and on facebook/instagram everybody is a star, no matter of the sphere. You’ve got few beautiful pics, you’ve got success!
The easy way to communicate with your idols nowadays, the possibility to hang around in their personal virtual space… all those things spoiled the magic. Yes, you can see your idols like real human beings. They don’t seem like extra-ordinary creatures anymore. You can add them as a “friend”, you can even waste their time with some stupid things. You can send them a message “Sorry, bro, I can’t come to your gig tonight, because my girlfriend has a birthday.”
As we are a 12-years-old band we’ve got some serious experience on stage. There are lots of bands, lots of concerts very day and when “the fridge is always full, the kids may become spoiled”. It’s a global situation i think.
What does the future hold?
– The best is yet to come!
I want to thank you for your support and the interesting questions. Best wishes!