In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with URIEL. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
we live in a world where there are literally millions of bands to checkout. What do you have that sets you apart?
Dave: I think we have a good balance between metal and classical music. I’ve heard so many bands that went full orchestral but the ‘metal’ part was too simplified or the opposite. We mix these ‘genres’ as evenly as possible to give a new musical experience.
Ariane: We are lucky to be a group of six musicians with three women and three men. Our originality is reflected in our mix of style. Every time we do a show, we see the curious looks in the audience, eager to see how we will present the mix where the strings, all in arabesques, cotoies the purest screaming.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
Phil: it was pretty easy. I always loved mythologies from here and there. Uriel is the angel of knowledge who went crazy because he was left alone. It’s also a character of my favorite author Clive Barker who had an incredible version of that angel in his books. The idea that the one who have the knowledge went crazy of loneliness and kept that knowledge from mankind, it left a strong impression on me.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
Phil: definitely Unexpect, Dark Tranquility, Igorrr, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Slayer, Haendel, Vivaldi, Wagner, The Agonist, Obscurcis Romancia, Amon Amarth,
Jess: Unexpect, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Igorrr, Eluveitie, The Agonist, Bach, Vivaldi,Beyond Creation…
Dave: Personnaly,it started with the band Stratovarius when I was 8 years old.Two years later,Rhapsody released the album Dawn Of Victory and it changed my life. It still gives me goosebumps even to this day.
Gaia: I have such a weird story with music, I listened to classical music from an early age (my dad is a classical trained musician). I discovered punk-rock music around 12 years old, electronic music at 13 and finally metal music at 15. I’ve a lot of influences from Bjork, Depeche Mode, Evanescence, Nightwish and Gotye. While I don’t listen to a lot of metal at the moment but it is still one of my favourite genre to write and play.
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
Dave: I like the vinyl more because of the ritual that goes with it, you need to sit down, put it on the turntable and actually listen to the record while you read the sleeve. Unfortunaly, it’s more expensive to make. CD is what I call the ‘safety net’ because when your hard drive decide to die one day without warning, you’re very happy to have them while rebuilding your digital library.
Phil: I’m an oldschool CD lover: I love to have a physical copie. As a musician, it’s way cooler to have the result of your work, something you can hold. As a listener, I love to buy a CD at a show: it’s a great way to meet passionate people. I’m not a vinyl fan. Digital is the most practical: no place needed to store it.
Jess: I love to own a CD and it’s a great way to encourage bands. Vinyls are cool if you’re in the retro trend, the cover is way better, the sound is different. Digital is rapid +and easily accessible but it’s sad that people buy less and less CDs.
Gaia: This year, it’s the first time since 1987 that Vinyls are predicted to outsell Cds. While they are more expensive to produce, I think the fact that they are considered like a high quality product, the demands is high for fans. People who still buys CDs want
things that are limited and not mass produced. I really hope that releasing a Vinyl version of Multiverse will eventually be in our future.
Ariane: The biggest problem is not the digital, but the inertia of the government against the giants of the web, like GAFA (google, amazon, facebook and apple store). The web becomes a kind of far west where these big companies set their own rules. Musicreleasing platforms should be required to pay taxes in order to redistribute this wealth within the music industry. Unfortunately, money is one of the ways that musicians can go further, so if the monetary return was as beneficial to the digital as the CD or vinyl, the digital would undoubtedly be the real King.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when your out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Dave: I’m aware that music sales and streaming doesn’t pay well. As musicians, we need to find creative ways to get people. You can’t download a real live concert experience or physical merch like shirts, hats, etc..
Jess: With the rapidly changing technologies and the free downloads, I fear there will be less and less chances for small bands. It costs so much money to make music that some people with beautiful ideas can’t afford to show those ideas to others.
Gaia: Honestly, I think that we need to stop fearing streaming services. I know the percentage we get from streaming are ridiculous, but we have the opportunity to be accessible to a larger audience. I know that fans want to support their favourite artist one way or the other. We need to stop being afraid and use online streaming as a tool/weapon not an enemy.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
Gaia: I designed the artwork with an extremly talented artist Jonathan Sardelis. We’ve work together for a few years now. I first reached out to him after seeing a painting he had done of the creature that we have now on our cover. When I got the blessing of the band to do the visual artwork/layout of the album. I asked Jonathan if he could make a 2019 version of his painting for us. He did an incredible job, I can’t be happier with the final results. I feel it is very straight forward but also leaves a lot of space for interpretation.
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? *Playing live and word of mouth.
Phil: for me, playing live is the ”over the top” aspect of having a band: I love it soooo much! I love to write songs and play them in front of an audience. For the promotion, it have its pros and cons: you don’t have to go to every shows to give your flyers but everything is so forgetable on the internet.
Jess: you got to go with the flow! In the era of internet, you can’t only use the oldschool ways. Word of mouth is always a good way but you can reach more people with internet.
Gaia: I love the fact that we can have contact with fans all over the world. There’s a proximity that a few decades ago wasn’t even thinkable. Both type of promotion is importante, thankfully in our band we have different views on that. While I’m good with social media, I do struggle with social anxiety and this is where Jessica helps a lot with face to face promotion. We complete each other a lot.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
Phil: feel we’re definitely part of the local scene, I wish nationnal scene and I dream of internationnal scene.
Gaia: We’re obsviously part of the local scene, we are lucky that Montreal has a really good metal scene. I also feel part of the Canadian scene, we are working hard on reaching a bigger audience and I feel like Multiverse will help us get to that.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
Dave: I wish we could tour more. Playing everywhere is still the way to go. It’s also so much fun meeting new faces.
Phil: we do shows from time to time, here and there. As a band, we all wish we could tour everywhere but you need to have a fan base and a lot of money. Usually, when we do a show, a fair amount of people know us but we meet a lot of people who discover the band. So much bands, it’s hard to pierce your way through the mass.
Jess: of course it is! The more shows you do, the more people you reach. A lot of people still go to shows.
What will the future bring?
Jess: lots of fun for sure! I hope for a tour and more shows. More albums (we’re writing another one at the moment).
Dave: Bigger shows,more new music and a lot of great experiences.
Gaia: with this album, we’ve learned a lot, so I would say more maturity as musicians and humans. Also more gigs! That’s for sure, we are working on that at the moment!