I’ve almost had some sort of Greek metal abstinence for a while but then along comes CHRYSILIA and saves me. Answers by Chryso, lead singer and co-composer Anders Ekdahl ©2017
Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
– Chrysilia started as a music project of composer Elias Pero (Sovereign) and myself. Initially, we composed most of the songs and came up with the concept. Very soon Chrysilia was a full band, including a few of Greece’s finest musicians, and preparing the debut album with producer and close friend, Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Serious Black, Outloud). He made this idea come to life and we are now ready to release our work and hit the stage. It’s a personal project becoming a full band with a full album and an interesting concept, so this has gone even better than expected!
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
– We feel quite proud of this! A great production by Bob Katsionis, full choirs, real strings, different but coherent songs that tell a powerful story through an epic/soundtrack metal point of view with many celtic elements, but also quite a few introvert moments, like a song that Bob wrote for our album. It’s like what you would expect from a soundtrack: epic but also sentimental moments.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it ?
– Absolutely! Due to our diverse influences and music backgrounds, we have the opportunity to create a blend of sounds which travel from symphonic power metal to folk, also touching jazz and minimalistic paths.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you?
– It is very important to us that the lyrics are not only a poetic match for the music, but also a story worth telling and creating different thoughts and emotions.
What kind of topics do you deal with?
– Our album is called ‘Et in Arcadia Ego’ and it is a concept album. The main theme is Arcadia, which is a fascinating place in mountainous Greece, full of mythology and history, but also known in the Renaissance as Utopia, the dreamland that our souls travel in the afterlife or just by achieving a higher state of intuitive enlightenment. Our album however has a metaphorical meaning. It is a journey through time and fantasy, myths and reality, through the eyes of a girl growing up: Chrysilia!
How important is the cover art work for you?
– We believe that the cover art is a window to our music, a first taste of what the audience is about to absorb in their heart.
Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
– Unfortunately, times have changed and people rarely browse CDs in shops. However, a characteristic and well-made artwork can still play an important role and it’s, after all, a visual introduction to the music content. We have worked a lot on this part!
Why is it so hard for bands that come from places not the US or UK/Sweden/Scandinavia to break big? What is success to you and is it something you’d like to achieve?
– I think that bands that do not come from the UK, Germany, Scandinavia or the US , have a difficulty to make the big bang, partly due to the fact that they come from smaller scenes and audiences, but also because record labels would probably invest more easily in what they know best and trust more. However, we are still romantic about this and we believe that if you have something important to show, you will make it. Take Orphaned Land, for example. Who would expect a band from Israel to become that popular? If you’re really good, someone will notice.
I would be lying if I said that we don’t want to succeed, although success is so subjective nowadays! It would be great to have the chance for our creation to be heard and performed live and there is already a good vibe building around it.
Today the competition is harder. You got plenty of digital platforms for new talent to display their music. How do you do to really stand out in a world where everything but the music is blind to the listener?
– Digital has made it easier and harder at the same time. Everyone can get their work out but audiences are a bit overwhelmed. There is much music out there that good promotion and a decent label, together with good music and strong live performance will ultimately do the trick.
What is your local scene like? How important is a national scene for a band to be able to break out and make it international?
– Heavy metal still stands strong in Greece! However, not many bands have made it to the international scene, but I would never know why. It’s quite characteristic that bands like Firewind and Rotting Christ play dozens of shows abroad and only one or two in their homeland. I don’t know if this has to do with promoters or just the fact that Greece is, well, small compared to Germany! It is, however, very important to have local support, but it is even more important if you “think” in a more international way. We would like to believe that we are doing well in that aspect.
Rock and metal has come a long way since the early 70s but still some people’s attitudes towards it seem to be left in the stone age. How accepted is metal in your area? Is it like in Finland where it seems to come with the mother’s milk?
– Rock and metal was always popular in Greece and in recent years you can even listen to mainstream TV trailers with symphonic metal background! I think that Greeks are progressing in that matter, although it still does not appeal to the majority, which is, well, let’s say more traditional. I would love to import Finnish milk though!!
What does the future hold for you?
– Difficult times to plan ahead in music, but Chrysilia are very enthusiastic and are already building a solid fan base. Our first goal is to collaborate with decent people so that our music can be heard and we can’t wait to play live! Our first album is not out yet, but we are already planning the second one. Always staying true to our taste for good music, catchy but also innovative.