If you like progressive, organic metal that twists and turns you might want to read this interview with Romanian Fading Circles. Anders Ekdahl ©2011
You formed in 2002, released your first album in 2009 and now in 2011 we see the follow up. Has it been a long and bumpy ride to get to where you are today?
-Well, yes it’s been a hopeless fight J. First of all I’d say that here, in Romania there are no real possibilities to get noticed. Music is our hobby and that’s why we’re still here. Our goal is to improve our musical skills, to become better musicians… and to commit commercial suicide… it’s a joke, of course but under the actual circumstances: the better musician you are, the less you sell.
I know very little about Romania in general and the metal scene in specific. What kind of following/support do you get from your native scene?
-On the one hand: Romanian bands are seen as second rank bands even here. Everything coming from abroad is more interesting and better in the eyes of many. If you try to be original, it’s even harder to get noticed. On the other hand, nothing is non-political… so if you create something that a political party can relate to, you win – as a rule.
-And I have to remark that we come from Romania but actually we’re Hungarians, that’s why we cling to call ourselves Transylvanian and sometimes certain gates are closed…
Even if you’re not close to Negura Bunget in sound they’re still the first metal band from Romania I think of. Can you draw any positive feedback from their international success?
-Not really, sincerely I don’t even know their music. Of course we have heard about them but their musical style is far from our taste. Being a musician, working with music all the time (I am a music teacher by profession) I haven’t got enough energy to listen to other bands’ music, except the big ones, such as Rush… they’re my favorite or Dream Theater, Toto, Satriani…
I’d say we are like parallels in our work, even in promotion we have to find our way, we cannot easily fit into any category.
Romania is often seen as the backwaters of Europe. Does this general view affect you in your contact with the rest of Europe/World?
-Yes, prejudice… the truth is that this prejudice about our country proves to be right. We have so many unresolved social problems, people are forced to become delinquents, it’s impossible to make a living here (in an honest way). So it’s a miracle that we’ve recorded such interesting albums.
Economically speaking, we are the wastebin of Europe, but there are benefits of this situation. I mean sometimes we can catch sight of things which one couldn’t notice in the lap of luxury. But regarding our relationship with the rest of the world, we haven’t faced any problems so far. In heavy metal there are no borders, this music is global, and I watch myself as a citizen of the world and not of a certain country.
I’m pretty taken by “Cyber Whirlwind”. It features so many different moods, and that’s just in one song. Don’t you feel that it at times is borderline overkill to have so many twists and turns? You might lose the listener in the process.
-Thank you… we are musicians and it’ s really important for us to be free when it comes to composition, we don’t want to build fences around us and to repeat ourselves just because the modern lifestyle is so impatient. I believe our music is art first and not just entertainment. That’s why we mentioned in our promotion that this music is for the ones who don’t like fast food music… this is something more. We might lose some listeners but we can keep the ones who really appreciate values. I know there are not too many but sometimes it is good to look into the mirror, it’s a case for conscience.
Where do you get inspiration from? If I were to guess I’d say that Pink Floyd played as much a role as say Opeth in forming your sound.
-Everything surrounds us. I used to be a huge Pantera, Sepultura, Metallica fan in the 90’s, it may still have influence on me, afterwards I used to listen to progressive metal and rock, such as Dream Theater, Psychotic Waltz, Pain Of Salvation, Queensryche, Fates Warning. But I also like classical music too (Mozart’s Requiem for instance) and recently- after our first studio experiences – I realized the differences between what it is like to play live and deceiving the listeners with computers. That’s why I like Rush… in my opinion they’re the best. So we have a conservative, some may say obsolete approach but we like modern sounds too.
The cover to “Cyber Whirlwind” has got to be one of the most simple I’ve seen in a long time. What do you want to say with the simplicity of the cover?
-Music is all that matters. During the recording sessions we all agreed that we needed something really simple, I had Metallica’s Black Album cover in my mind … But when we started to work on the cover art we changed our minds somehow. The designer had the idea of a whirlpool, or undertow in a digital manor (pixellated image), but we still wanted it to be humble.
Judging by the title of the album you’d expect some sort of technical wizardry but instead you get a very organic sounding album. What do you want to say with the title of the album?
-I’m concerned about our lifestyle (the band’s name reflects the same… the circles are fading). Nothing is more important than a good circle of friends. What do we get instead of it? Social networks, cyber sex, etc. The diagnosis is mass neurosis. We cannot go like this anymore, I wonder how far we can go this way. Our lyrics are all around this topic. “There’s no escaping, Whirlwind absorbing!”
When you come from such a small, internationally speaking, metal scene, how easy is it to set up tours across the Globe and to build a global following?
-We don’t know yet. The internet could be a way to spread our music but we know it’s not enough. We’d gladly play wherever we are asked to but it is not easy to set up shows. We have our plan, but unfortunately we haven’t got enough money to invest, nowadays it is more important to have a good PR manager, to invest in advertising instead of learning to play an instrument and create something original.
With 2 albums to your name and several gigs around your area, where do you take it from here to reach the next level?
-It’s a good question. I think that if we want to survive all we can do is to play our music as far as we can, and not to sell our souls. Businesswise we are searching for a label to distribute our music, but until then we have a contract with an mp3 spreading company, and thanks to this opportunity our music is available worldwide: For the list of stores access http://artistcamp.rebeat.com/fading-circles/cyber-whirlwind/5999505136718/index.html. In Hungary Cyber Whirlwind is distributed by Nail Records (Hammer Music).