The first time I heard ZEPHYRA I wasn’t too impressed by their metal. But I rather take a bad demo/EP any day of the week over a bad album. This band’s debut turned out to be anything but bad. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
I cannot say that I was too impressed with your demo when I reviewed it. How have you progressed since then, what sides have you strengthened?
-Well, not everybody can like everything out there. The EP; ‘Kämpaglöd’, that you are referring to, had a bunch of good songs. Some of them actually ended up on our debut album. The only thing that we weren’t totally happy about was the production, but still, it was because of that very EP that we got signed.
Since then we have become more confident and tighter on our respective instruments. That’s the major difference we think.
Can you give us a short introduction to ZEPHYRA?
-Zephyra, hailing from Sweden, plays melodic metal, often referred to as groovy.The influences are taken from thrash, power and melodic death metal.
Zephyra is fronted by female growls and clean vocals.
Since the official start, back in 2011, we have released a couple of EP:s, played shows around Sweden (among others on NEMIS Stage at Metaltown ), done live shows on the radio, and frequently been aired in american and british radio shows.
After signing a record deal in 2014, the debut album; ‘Mental Absolution’ was released on Wormholedeath label, and the first official video from the album came out the month after.
What dimensions does using clean and growls add to the music?
-The dynamics! Especially when the same person sings both. We never have to force either clean or growls into a song. A couple of the songs doesn’t really have any growls at all and some have more focus on growls. It really depends on the song.
When using the dual vocal approach, how do you avoid being repetitive and boring from song to song?
-Hard question. We take it song by song basically. We don’t have like a ready mold on how the vocals should be. We try to mix things up with different kinds of verses, choruses, canon, different melodies and so on. When we made ‘Mental Absolution’, our goal was to make a diverse album, and reading the reviews so far, we would have to say that we succeeded.
Do you feel like you are a part of the Swedish metal wonder? Gives being Swedish some extra advantages given the track record of other bands?
-I don’t know. It could easily be the other way around too. “Here comes another Swedish band”-mentality could mean that you never really get a chance either. We think it work both ways.
How did you end up signing to an Italian label? What do you expect to get from being signed?
-They actually found us through Jonny Mazzeo, that runs Mathlab Recording Studio. He found us, presented us for the label and they got interested. After quite some time we finally accepted the offer, signed the deal and went to Italy in the end of the year. We ended up recording in Jonnys studio, so he became our producer and he also mixed the album.
So far WormHoleDeath has done what we’ve hoped for. We felt at the time that we have done all the we could ourselves and couldn’t really get more recognition alone. The next natural step was to have a good label that were willing to work for us, and that we found in WHD. We still work hard in the band but we have good help from and contact with WHD.
How important is cover art work and booklet layout in a time when more and more people download?
-We feel that the cover art is really important, no matter if it’s a physical or digital copy. It acts as a mirror image of the songs and what they are about. It can also be a way to the get a feel for a band, musically.
About the booklet, there´s a slight difference. As long as we’ll release physical copies there will be booklets. In digital forms, not as sure. It would be kind of cool though if there were digital booklets as well, so that the whole album could come as a package with lyrics etc.
Is image important? Is it necessary to look the part of a metal band?
-Yes, we believe so. It doesn’t have to be something over the top stuff like makeup, costumes and so on. Though, it’s important to represent yourself as a band with an image. Its kind of like the cover art, logo etc. It should get you an idea for what the band are about. It doesn’t matter if it consists of corpse paint or just plain worn down jeans. It’s important to at least have thought it through how people might see you as a band.
What kind of touring possibilities are there for a smaller band? How do you promote your record the best way?
-We promote our album on a wide sets of things. We are active on all the social medias, we have made two music videos and a third is on its way. We try to work with a lot of people so that the band name get spread around that way. But a big part of the promotion part is to play live. We don’t have a tour for the album per se, but more and more gigs are being booked and confirmed.
It could maybe be a smaller tour in works though, but we can’t talk more about it right now.
What do you see in the future?
-The album will be released in Japan now in March and that’s very exiting! Can’t wait for that.
Our new music video and new band photos will be released about the same time.
Other than that we are rehearsing ‘Mental Absolution’ like hell for the upcoming shows, as well as working on new stuff!