How hard was it to come up with a band name and how does the name fit the music?
Amanda: It was a challenge, but that’s always the case when it’s about first impressions and so much is riding on what will ultimately define you as a group. We settled on a name that I came up with that had history and tied in with femininity. We wanted something that would represent female empowerment getting mixed up with the “dark side.” Of course in the biblical story of Adam and Eve, Eve is cast out of the garden of Eden for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. We’re saying we’ve willingly cast ourselves out of roles that would traditionally have us being these innocent, unknowing, fragile creatures just meant to look good and keep our mouths shut. We’re in a typically male-dominated scene that’s aggressive and tough and we can keep up with that AND wear dresses!
Clementine: Well, for sure, since we were so many people involved, the conversation about the band name was the longest we had so far. It was very important for us, ladies, to choose our own name and we’ve been throwing ideas in our group chat for many days! We wanted the band name to carry a meaning or words that people could interpret in different ways.
Our interpretation of “Exit Eden” is that we wanted to show how women can be strong and daring, independent, colorful, stepping out of clichés of just being pretty and decent. Our music concept is daring and our voices aren’t the clichés voices you hear either in pop or metal music. We kept elements of both genres of course but we wanted a name that stood for our will to get out of clichés regarding girls in music and women in general.
Anna Brunner: It was very hard! It’s alway the same thing…. first you have no clue and then you come up with all sorts of ideas. The 4 of us were brain storming about it a lot, via skype. Amanda had a couple of ideas we liked and after discussing them we thought Exit Eden, it was!
Thats a reason why we liked it. It really fits the music. Exit Eden: to leave the shiny, safe, “beautiful” garden eden for something new. This is like taking the shiny, pretty, harmless pop ballades and turning them into some strong, rough and powerful metal anthem.
What is it that makes you stand out from all the other metal acts that are around today?
Amanda: Of course, being that we’re 4 women and that our album is solely comprised of covers of pop songs that have been reimagined as metal songs, that’s quite different. We’re simply having fun. We’re not in this for any kind of popularity contest and if people don’t dig what we’re doing, that’s totally fine and it isn’t going to break us.
Marina: Besides the fact that we are 4 singers from different countries, all girls, singing Lady Gaga and Rihanna to metal fans?
Clementine: We are four singers, from four different countries, with four different voices. For now we create massive metal songs out of pop hits! We are the only band doing it this way!
Anna Brunner: Well, there are a lot of symphonic metal bands out there, sure… but I don´t know any band having 4 powerful front women. Plus we cover songs and rearrange them into our style. This is definitely what makes us stand out. I think this is also special and we put so much energy in this and it’s just great to see it being out there. We think it’s something new and we love it, thats what it’s about in the first place
As I am no musician I have no idea how it works, but how do you make your own music based on what influences you? What parts do you pick?
Amanda: Some musicians I know have their “set formula” that works for them when it comes to songwriting. For me, it’s different every time. I write a lot of songs; some for myself and my own projects, some for other bands, sometimes by myself and sometimes with co-writers. Most songs I write are based on some kind of personal experience or feeling, but sometimes inspiration comes from a situation I’ve witnessed or a movie I saw. Sometimes a song will begin as simply a poem and melody and chords come into play later, sometimes it begins as a vocal melody, sometimes it begins as chord progressions and sometimes everything comes together all at once.
Marina: One’s influences always shine through, no matter what you do.When writing my own stuff, it’s less about picking and more “seeing what flows”.
Clementine: An influence should not be obvious or it means it hasn’t been assimilated yet. To be yourself and unique, you have to make your personality stand out, which is the result of all the influences you had in your life. You should not pick things from other existing songs but imagine how these songs were created and use the same approach. You can learn a new way to write music from other musicians, but you don’t copy the result. Otherwise you’re a copycat and this is not what being an artist is about.
Anna Brunner: Well, when I write own songs, it usually starts with an idea: either a melody, chorus line or both. Since I love rock music, I usually hear a guitar riff even if I compose with the piano. I find the chords, and a fitting melody and work on the song from there. Usually I write the lyrics fort the verses in the end but sometimes they just come to you while composing. Since our album Rhapsodies in Black is a rearrangement of cover songs it was a different approach than starting a totally new song idea.
When you are in a band does it feel like you are a part of a worldwide movement?
Amanda: It does in the sense that I believe music to be the most universal language there is to truly bring people from all walks of life together. And on the other hand, it’s something that’s so personal that you can feel like it’s only you and the music and you’re in your own little world all on your own.
Marina: It definitely feels like what you say and do have a way bigger reach than it would normally have, yeah.
Clementine: We do receive messages from people all around the world and since music is available almost everywhere thanks to internet, yes for sure, once something is online we know people from different countries will have access to it and it’s a wonderful feeling to know there are few frontiers for music!
Anna Brunner: Yes, absolutely. I think music really unites people and being at a concert makes you feel it more than anywhere else. It does not matter if you´re on stage or in the crowd, it is just an amazing feeling. Music makes you feel a connection between each other. And it does not matter where anyone comes from. You feel close to each other and you can really move something.
How important is it that you look the part in promo shots and stuff? How important is the graphic side of the band?
Amanda I think the visual image is a very important tool used in bringing across the message of what you’re trying to convey as an artist. For someone who has no idea about your music or what you sound like, that is the first impression you have to make! That and your name. 🙂
Marina: For Exit Eden it is VERY important. We wanted this theatrically oriented imagery to be a center part of the concept.
Clementine: The visual part was very important as well. We wanted to attract attention for sure but also to create an entire universe that would be our own. We took part of all the decisions regarding the visual aspect of the band as we also wanted to feel comfortable with the direction, on a personal level. It is easier for us to promote something we have made our own!
What would you say influences your lyrics? How important are they?
Amanda: I’ve always been a lyrics freak. It was the first thing I did when I was a kid and would be at the record shop; open up the album or cassette or CD booklet and read the lyrics. If I found them to be trite or petty or lame, I was totally turned off! I’m a poet at heart, so words and how they’re put together carries a lot of weight with me.
Marina: My lyrics are either influenced by what I’m feeling, a book I’ve read, or a theme I want to talk about. I believe for certain genres meaningful lyrics have more importance than for others, but all in all, they should make sense with your proposal and help your music reach where you want it to go.
Clementine: Regarding Exit Eden, since the songs from our album are covers, we haven’t written the lyrics!
But when it comes to writing lyrics for my own band, Visions Of Atlantis, it is extremely important to me that they convey the meaning I want to share. Lyrics must mean something for me, carry my thoughts and emotions, so that I can put all my heart when singing them afterwards.
Lyrics are influenced by my experiences, my thoughts, my analysis of the world we live in.
Anna Brunner: Since this album is a rearrangement of cover songs, we didn’t write the lyrics ourselves. So it’s hard to answer this question for Rhapsodies in Black. for this album basically the lyrics are the only thing that stayed exactly like in the original. The rest was changed completely
Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
Amanda: Unfortunately not as much, I think. Whatever you want to blame it on, and this can be a chicken / egg scenario, it’s definitely how our culture has developed. Everything’s got to be on-demand, easy-access, quick, pick-and-choose…
Marina: A physical copy of an album is definitely becoming more and more a collector’s piece, or for those with the good old CD-Player in the car, hehehe. Digital is the future, and it’s great and more democratic.
Clementine. Digital is killing the records sales for sure and for many years now. Regarding the way people enjoy music, they enjoy songs, playlists, parts of an album, but listening to whole albums now is no longer the main way to enjoy a band’s music. However, the album is still a piece of art that reflects the band’s music at a given period of time. Albums create discographies, the promotion done by labels are still around albums mostly so it is important for artists to write albums as they are the starting point of new tours and press releases that still totally takes part in developing a band’s career.
And there are still a lot of people who keep buying the records they love and they make a huge difference too!
Anna Brunner: No, of course the times have changed. Only few people buy CDs now in compared to the 80s. Many people just watch songs on youtube, stream or download them. And especially just the singles. This is very sad because we put so much work and energy in the whole album. With the cover, photos…. and lots of people don’t appreciate this anymore. But I am so glad to say that especially the metal fans are different. Some fans really still see the value of owning an own CD. And as long as these fans are there it is worth making whole albums.
Where will the future of format end – digital verses physical verses whatever?
Amanda: I’m not much into speculating about that. I remember people saying 10 years ago that in 10 years there would be no such thing as a CD anymore. I remember 20 years ago people saying that the “mini disc” was going to replace everything. My parents still have an 8-track player in their bathroom because that was all the rage when they built their house 35 years ago, so…!
Clementine: Haha I have no idea! I think there are still too many people to enjoy physical albums for bands to stop making hard copies. The vinyl record came back too, showing people are still into real objects and not just data. I don’t think the demand for physical copies will disappear. But the next generations will tell us
Anna Brunner: Oh this is a good question. I hope that physical CDs will become more popular again. That people enjoy holding the CD in their own hands, paging through the cover and putting the CD on their wall. But I’m not sure if this is just wishful thinking…
How much of a touring entity are you guys? What is/will a live experience be with you?
Amanda: It’s something we’re growing into. We’ll have our first show Sept. 22, so we’ll see!
Marina: We have for now one show scheduled in Hamburg @Metal Dayz Festival on the 22.10. After that, we’ll have to wait and see. We really want to make this happen, so help us out!
Clementine: We are meant to tour. Exit Eden is a real band and these songs are meant to be played live! We have a first show coming on September the 22nd at Metal Dayz in Hamburg and we are very much looking forward to that!
Anna Brunner: If I speak for myself here: I love to be on tour and I can’t wait to play shows with Exit Eden. To perform the songs will be so much fun and I am very excited! It was already so cool to sing the songs in the studio or on the video shoot and we definitely want to make it an extreme powerful and amazing live show.
We’ve had so many people from different countries responding to us, I hope we will be able to announce a tour soon. We hope the request continues to be so high that we can make it happen. So please keep it up, everyone!
What lies in the future?
Amanda: I’m excited to see where this new adventure takes us. I never have any expectations. I do what I love to do and give my best; there are never any guarantees in this industry! I can say for myself that I’ll be making music for as long as I physically can. 🙂
Clementine: For now the present is very intense as we are in the middle of the promotion of „Rhapsodies In Black“! Once this period is over we might start conversations about tour plans for next year!
Anna Brunner: Oh, this is hard to answer… right now we’re just so happy that our album is out there and we just want it to cut its path. It is great to see that the responses are so positive and right now we are looking forward to our first live show on the 22nd of September…. So we’ll see what the future holds for us.