Ireland gave us Phil Lynott and Mama’s Boys and Guiness but what else? We’ll to tell the truth there is a whole lotta more going on, like SELENE. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-We are Selene from Northern Ireland, we play symphonic power metal that we try to keep fresh and modern. To date we have released 2 EPs and our new album “The Forgotten” was released November 19th 2015.
How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
-The new release is definitely a continuation from our last EP “Paradise Over” except the overall feel of the album is definitely a bit higher tempo overall and we feel it is a bit darker as well lyrically and in terms of atmosphere. The biggest change though is because it is a debut LP we were able to take more risks and be more experimental on certain songs, having 11 tracks means we can try out new ideas and be more experimental than with a 6 track EP because it will be seen as variation rather than incoherent.
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-We never actually discuss the overall sound, I (John) tend to have the songs mostly written and revised a few times before they are even shown to the rest of the band, they then will arrange their parts etc and sometimes the vibe will completely change depending on their view on the song. We also talk about what songs we prefer doing live and we found the faster songs were much easier to be energetic with and enjoyable to play live so thats why a lot of the new material followed suit.
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-Lyrics can make or break a song really, typically I aim to avoid fantasy cliches and a lot of story telling and instead aim for universal feelings/emotions that are relatable overall, they are based around events/interactions I’ve had but rather than have a set “this is what it means” we want people to be able to put themselves in the songs.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-The artwork was done I believe around 6 months before the album was finished, every once in a while I start designing something and keep working at it until it comes into place, originally I believe that was finished as the cover artwork for “Our Story” which we were going to release as a single earlier in the year but we liked it so we kept it for the album.
Where outside of your country have you had success with your previous albums?
-We tend to sell most of our albums outside of our country, Japan was actually a big seller for this release and also mainland UK.
Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
-Being from this country and touring is a huge issue as there aren’t many cities in Northern Ireland/Ireland in general so a tour here would only last about 4 days at the most however as soon as you want to leave to play another country, boats/planes are involved which costs a lot. The attitude of organising a tour and sleeping in the car doesn’t really apply here because of that because you either need to transport the car via boat or hire one when you get there. I think that is probably the biggest issue.
What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
-The Metal scene here is small but vibrant, there are lots of really great bands however there is also very few, once you have done a couple of the bigger shows you really know everybody you need to. To be honest I don’t think we are too sure at the minute, we are really the only band in the country at the minute gigging and playing symphonic metal so there were no obvious bands for us to gig with at first, however I think word is spreading and the following is steadily growing, we have been fortunate enough to get offered some big gigs right from the start thanks to the success of the EPs, so we have never really had to do our ‘time in the trenches’ really and more and more we have seen people come out to gigs to specifically see us when we have been on the bill which is a great feeling. I believe one reviewer local to us said in their coverage of the last EP than we were “Northern Ireland’s best kept secret”
What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
-Metal here is widely ignored when it comes to the general population, the metal scene and fans here are great and dedicated, but overall I think its very looked down upon. Councils etc here always brag about the great vibrant music scene and successes, but all the funding etc will go towards acoustic acts and indie bands rather than metal bands despite the fact a number of metal bands here have done european tours. We actually have an orchestra on board to do a big symphonic rock show where it is Selene and I believe a 48 piece orchestra/choir and when we went looking for funding we found they lost interest faster than they would if we weren’t a metal band.
What does the future hold for you?
-At the minute we are getting gigs booked throughout 2016, we have more booked at the minute than we did for the entirety of 2015 which is great as one of the ones in the works will get us to mainland UK to do our first show there. With the success and reviews of “The Forgotten” we are hoping will we get the orchestra show in the works this year also, then its back in the studio for album number 2!