Is Weeping Silence a Goth metal or a doom metal band? What are the biggest differences between the two styles?
-Weeping Silence is an atmospheric gothic/doom metal band with various influences from within the styles and other genres too. Labelling styles is tedious yet sometimes required for people out there to get an idea of what they are about to pop into the CD tray. Nowadays all styles have evolved so much that blends of music are to be expected. As a general thought, I’d say that on one hand doom metal originated from the works of Black Sabbath, with songs like Iron Man and Electric Funeral. Then pioneer bands like Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass helped doom metal to be the style that we know today. Lyrically it is very versatile and could have many themes although the most common are death, despair and sadness. On the other hand gothic metal originated from bands like The Cure, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy. The style was continually evolving and in the beginning of the 90s bands like The Gathering and Anathema incorporated gothic into metal; by the end of the decade bands like Tristania and Within Temptation evolved gothic metal into symphonic/gothic metal developing the style further. Musically the style is dark, usually more melodic and less heavy compared to doom metal. Lyrically it is also very vast but common themes are dark and mystic topics and their beauty.
I can only think of one other metal band from Malta, Beheaded. How big is the metal scene on Malta?
-Malta is a tiny island of around half a million people. However, this country produced big bands such as Beheaded and other closer to our roots such as Forsaken (to mention a second). For the small population we have, we can stand proud of the regular attendance to concerts and festivals in the country. So, I’d say the metal scene in Malta is big at heart!
Coming from an island must mean extra difficulties that mainland European bands don’t have to deal with. Can you name some things that make life extra hard for you as a band coming from an island?
-You can say that twice! Living on an island means that you are physically constrained. To play live outside our borders means to incur travel expenses larger than of mainland bands. This is the biggest problem.
You have two full length albums out but they are 3 years apart. How much momentum do you lose when it takes that long between albums to be released?
-Composing an album usually takes about a year for us. We are on a good spell of composition for the past few years, and Weeping Silence is riding a good wave for creating music. The biggest obstacle is attracting record labels with the financial power and willingness to invest in a band that is not already a giant. The music industry has been reduced to downloads and bankrupt record companies and bands. Of course, this is reflected in the years that it takes to publish a record. Do we loose momentum? The situation pushes one to loose hope more than momentum … it’s the endurance that is tested mostly here!
How fickle and ADD are the fans today when they can access everything instantaneously? Howe hard is it to build a following today?
-People today tend to be impatient. Everyone has the right to be as patient or impatient as he/she feels appropriate, yet sometimes it takes more than a half-hearted listen to appreciate music. I know that some of the best music I’ve listened to took me some time getting used to. Yet this helps with its appreciation. This is the famous ‘it grows on you’ addendum! Now, downloading allows people to have things instantaneously and thus reduces the need for patience, which sometimes contributes to a trend of not dedicating the time necessary to listen to an album well enough and absorb its musical content.
How long can you work on an album before it starts to get tedious and lose its charm? When is enough enough?
-Well there is no magic number I can magically chum out … However, it is true that after some time, maybe years, musicians get bored of the composition and want to move on. I get this feeling after recording an album and endlessly listening to mixes and master versions of it. I would need to take a break from the album and allow some time to adjust back to normality.
How hard is it to find the right channels for your music to reach the right kind of crowd? How much leg work do you have to do yourself for it to happen?
-The channels are in fact the promoters and the magazines like yourself. Without the right support bands tend to fade away, regardless of how good they are. It’s hard, believe me! And it seems that the more time passes the harder it gets. Yet, the feeling of accomplishment that is achieved through music can never go away!
Does the art work have to match the music or can it be something completely different than expected?
-It could be both. The artwork is normally a vision of what the artist sees in the music.
With the music you play does a lyrical theme follow? Can the lyrics be about anything or do they follow a scheme?
-Weeping Silence usually carries a life experience theme for the music. This has fit nicely with our styles over the years. ‘End of an Era’ was more melancholic than ‘Theatre of Life’ and this was evident from the lyrical theme too.
How are you going to make Weeping Silence even more prolific on the international metal scene?
-The band has now recorded the new third album. It features me (Joe) on backing vocals, apart from Rachel as main. It also features Anders Jacobsson of Draconian as guest vocalist. The album is heavier than any of our previous albums, and it also carries a stronger doom theme than Theatre of Life. We are in the stage of discussing deals with record labels. We are happy with our current record label – Ravenheart Music Records, yet our contract was for one album and we need to re-negotiate an agreement. Hopefully we will see this new album hit the shelves this year. We are looking forward to what you, out there, think of it. We would also like to thank you and all at Battlehelm Mag for this interview … and all our fans and friends who have followed and supported us for all these years. It is truly an honour to have your support – keep it metal!