Do you feel that is has gone the way you intended when you formed back in the days?
-The evolution of the band certainly surpassed some of my expectations. When we first recorded our debut EP in 2013 I never thought we’d get to a second full length album, that we’d embark on a proper tour and play some of the biggest festivals in Spain, and win some many awards from various media outlets. It has been quite a journey and I look forward to continuing it.
How do you feel about your latest recording? Did it come out the way you expected it to?
-If you’re talking about the Metal Monster album, I honestly never expected it to end up as good as it did. Because, at first, we thought surpassing our previous record – Ultimate Sin – was a near impossible task. But we worked hard for almost two years, juggled with a whole bunch of ideas, tried new things and the results speak for themselves. But, as a funny fact, Metal Monster isn’t our latest recording. When the album was already done we decided to also release a physical version of our Mask of Reality single and we needed an exclusive song for that CD. So we wrote and recorded The Hunt (the extra song for that single) in a matter of days (two or three, if I’m not mistaking). And I feel great about how it ended up, it sounds great.
Do you feel that you by now has found a sound that is the band and that you can build on it?
-Definitely. Welcome To The Snake Pit (our debut EP from 2013) and Ultimate Sin (2015) were the first steps to actually achieving “our own sound”. We consider Metal Monster as the logical evolution of that initial vision.
Is having a message in the lyrics important to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-I always thought our albums are very “balanced” lyrics-wise. Some songs try to send very powerful social messages (such as Blood of The Damned or The Cross is a Lie from the Ultimate Sin record or Circus of Fools and Rise Up (The Red Plague) from Metal Monster). But we never forget just to have fun with our music: some songs are simply what we could call “metal anthems” (such as the title track off Metal Monster) or tell fictional stories inspired by different mediums, such as video games (Rise of The Triad and Shadow Warriors from the first album, Edge of The World from Metal Monster). We also approached some of the songs from the new album with a Sci-Fi mindset: that’s why Into The Unknown, Evolution, Cyberkiller or Sign of Death ended up as they did.
How important is the cover art work for you? Can a really cool cover still sell an album in this day and age of digital download?
-A good cover still plays an important role. Before actually releasing a new record you need to do a lot of promotion around it and the cover artwork becomes a sort of image of the album before people get to listen to the actual music. We could say people get their first impression of the album from its cover artwork, be it digital or a physical copy.
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 honestly don’t know. Coming from Romania to play in a Spanish band is already a whole new adventure for me, so I’m taking it step by step. I would define success as getting to a point where people get very familiar with your music, where you’re blessed with the inspiration and energy to write and release new music on a regular basis and play concerts to big crowds and have a lot of fun while doing 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?
-Today’s technology advancements also make some things a lot easier. Today you can actually record songs directly at home, using a bunch of tech gadgets (such as a capable computer and a good sound card), and make them sound really, really good. So, basically, everyone gets access to properly recording music. Then, there’s only the matter of actually writing some good music and being able to play and record it. And promoting it, making it accessible worldwide, if possible… Yeah, today’s tech also helps a lot.
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?
-As I said before, the transition from my local scene (in Romania) to the Spanish metal “ecosystem” was a real revelation for me. I’ve been a major supporter of melodic metal and this particular genre isn’t very popular in my home country. On the other hand, people in Spain really appreciate this kind of music and welcome it with an open heart. Also, Spain has a lot more quality bands and venues dedicated to this kind of music.
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?
-Unfortunately, I think Romania’s still stuck in the middle ages when it comes to accepting and understanding metal music. A few years ago, we had a tragic event at a metal concert, which ended up with a big fire and over 60 dead. Some famous people in Romania said the metalheads there deserved to have died in flames because they were Satan worshippers. Fortunately, Spain is a lot more open to this music and the people are a lot friendlier and willing to accept different approaches to music than the ones they’re familiar with.
What does the future hold for you?
-We’re currently rehearsing for our Metal Monstour 2018, which is scheduled to begin a month from now. We’re really excited to take the new songs on the road and hope we’ll meet a lot of new fans during this tour!