Early Graves – “Red Horse”

Early Graves – “Red Horse” (No Sleep Records)

Rest In Peace mah brutha. In the summer of 2010, this San Francisco noise core crew suffered the tragic loss of singer Makh Daniels, killed in a van accident. After a year of mourning and no doubt wondering if the band should continue given the daunting task of replacing Makh’s considerable vocal and onstage presence, as fate would have it Funeral Pyre’s John Strachan (who bizarrely were in the same van during the accident!) decided to step up to the plate. “Red Horse” is his baptism of fire and brings the same fucked up beyond shit, feedback drenched pummeling noise core that brutalized us to musical ecstasy the first time around and now does the same again on obnoxious songs like ‘Skinwalker’, ‘Days Grow Cold’ and ‘Apocolyptic Nights’. Loud, dirty guitars, distorted bass and pummeling drum work form the backdrop for Strachan’s tortured, throat strained vocals – which although higher than Makh’s – lack no less the intensity of his much missed and legendary predecessor. Early Graves live on, carried thru the darkness by the steed known as “Red Horse”.

Orden Ogan – “To The End”

Orden Ogan – “To The End” (AFM Records)

Widely known as the successors to Blind Guardian and Running Wild, Germany’s Orden Ogan predictably play melodic power metal although touring with the likes of Grave Digger, Van Canto and Freedom Call has certainly enhanced their sound on this superb album! Along with their galloping speed comes a more epic and even singalong feel to songs like ‘The Things We Believe In’, ‘Till The Stars Come Out’ and ‘Mystic Symphony’. They even venture into djent territory on ‘This World Of Ice’ but thankfully keep it to this one song – although competently played, I don’t feel it’s Orden Ogan’s forte. Elsewhere racy melodic guitars, soulful Seeb’s vocals and epic choirs combine with pianos, violins and acoustics on a big sound production to create a sense surround symphonic experience full of passion – a magnum opus par excellence indeed!

Velvet Star – “All Or Nothing”

Velvet Star – “All Or Nothing” EP (www.facebook.com/velvetstarband)

Named after the tatt on vocalist Danny’s butt, this is what street punk rock n roll is all about! Mix the adrenaline kickin rock of GnR with the high energy fueled roll of Hanoi Rocks and an amped up Iggy Pop and Velvet Star is what u get. Four skanky dudes glazed in rocker sheen (that’s sweat to you & me boyo lol – Ed), covered in tatts and a liberal use of eye liner – but can they kick it! Songs like ‘Crash & Burn’, ‘Overrated’ and the bruisin’ opener ‘Bring It On’ show a powerful, lean n hungry machine built to destroy pussy and burn your town to tha ground!

Depth – “Waiting For The Waves”

Depth – “Waiting For The Waves” (www.facebook.com/depththeband)

This young mellow core band from England have already been making waves on a Red Bull Bedroom Jam competition with a fair number of endorsements following suit! Paul Hardy’s rumbling bass brilliantly contrasts his high punkish vocals while the Holliday brothers’ dueling guitar work matches in ferocity meets melody on songs like ‘Hope In Mind’, ‘All I Know’ and ‘Whispers’. Inspirationally, it takes elements from Funeral For A Friend and Killswitch Engage and mixes them in with other mello punk bands like say, Billy Talent whilst still retaining enough of their own touch to warrant some cred.

ADORNED BROOD

You might have seen the name ADORNED BROOD float about in the sea of metal that we all swim in but for some reason never really bothered to check them out. That is until now. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Adorned Brood is a band that I’ve been aware of for a long time but haven’t bothered to check out. How would you like to sell me the band in order for me to rush out and check out your back catalogue?
-We are a band that always wants to improve their style and add new elements to the music. As a result we have a continuous progress in our music.
When we started the band in 1993, Black Metal had a strong influence on our music. But due to the fact that we use a concert flute, there was and always has been a folkloristic and more classical approach in our music. From album to album we concentrated on the progress of our song-writing and improved the arrangements to always come out with killer songs which kick ass. Therefore every album has its own character and each of them represents an important stage of our development as a band. E.g. on our “Erdenkraft” album we had very present female vocals, on our “Noor” album we used accordion tunes and on our new album “Kuningaz” we have a guest musician which plays the viola.

To me Adorned Brood has always been folk/pagan/heathen metal long before these sub-genres were even thought up. How would you describe your sound?
We play a style that could be described as Pagan Metal. But we additionally use certain elements such as the classical flute, acoustic instruments plus extended and atmospheric parts which add a really special and unique character to our music. Another very strong element in our music are the vocals including the self-made choirs, especially on our last three albums. The guitars have a very elaborated riffing and we always place some progressive parts in our songs. Despite all that facts, we use catchy melodies in our songs and most of the time deliver choruses that invite to sing along.

What kind of developing curve do you feel that the band has taken over the years? How do you keep evolving without losing touch with original idea of the band?
-Over the time we experimented with a lot of new elements and influences and added them to our sound. The pure Metal attitude of the first songs we wrote still builds the strong fundament of our music, but the riffing and the arrangements became more diversified.
Throughout all albums you can hear the progress, but the genuine spirit is still alive and vivid.
Our upcoming CD “Kuningaz” will feature more acoustic instruments than we ever had before and, as a consequence, a lot of instrumental parts. Nevertheless it is a very hard album and could be seen as a link between past and present Adorned Brood songs.
We also re-recorded our old song “Totenmarsch”. It is a bonus track on the limited digipak edition of “Kuningaz”. We added it as a special thanks to all our fans out there. Though it’s an old song, it fits perfectly to the other songs on the album.

With your long history you must have made decisions that in hindsight might not have been the best ones. What has been the worst decision you’ve made in order to further the band and what did that decision do to hinder the band from moving forward?
-It is always hard to find good partners which support the band and give their best to push things forward. That concerns labels, booking agencies, managers, etc. In the past we had several negative experiences which caused a lot of trouble. But we came over these times and are now very happy with our new partner Massacre Records. They really kick ass.

Have you always had titles and lyrics in German? What does the German language bring to the music that English can’t do?
-Yes, German lyrics have always been an important element in our music. On some older CDs about half of the lyrics are in German. For us, being a German band, German lyrics of course are very natural.
But it is hard for us to tell how German lyrics are perceived by someone that does not understand them. Over the years we were told that the German language seems very harsh to non-native speakers. For that reason, we think that songs with German lyrics sound harder than the ones with English lyrics. On our upcoming album you will also find German lyrics besides the English ones.

When you don’t sing in English does that limit your potential reaching more fans worldwide? Or is it enough to just reach out to the German speaking audiences?
-It does not seem to limit our potential to sing in German. Actually some of our German songs are global favourites of our fans. Especially our cover versions of German folksongs.
And we personally like to listen to other bands with native lyrics that we don’t understand, e. g. Alcest (fr), Kampfar (nor) or Arkona (rus).

How much a part has the German folklore played in shaping the band? Do you draw influences from old German music too?
-Folklore in general is a good possibility to get an impression on the way our forefathers lived and to understand it in a better way.
We used this knowledge to form the band and keep it going for almost 20 years.
A big variety of musical influences builds the background of our song writing skills. Of course old Germanic music also has an impact on this.

I understand that there a number of renaissance fairs in Germany during the summer. What is so fascinating about that era and where does Adorned Brood fit into that whole scene?
-Nowadays a lot of people live in a full industrialised country with a very technical surrounding. Although live is very comfortable now, it also can be very stressful and complicated. In our opinion it is the human need to be or feel close to nature, that arouses peoples interest in the way our forefathers lived. People need a connection to nature for their balance.

Is there a specific German mentality of embracing the old or is that found all over Europe too?
-No it is not a typical German mentality. It is more like a European continental interest in our history and our shared and multi-facetted culture.

What future do you see for Adorned Brood once the new album is out?
-We are focusing in playing more shows outside of Germany and outside of Europe. In December we will play in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In general we will concentrate on playing live to present our new songs to a growing audience. Next year we celebrate our 20th anniversary as a band and a tour is already being planned. Check out our new album “Kuningaz” which will be released on 23rd of November and see you at our shows!!!

https://www.facebook.com/Adorned.Brood
http://www.adornedbrood.de/

AT THE LAKE

AT THE LAKE. Just the name alone got me interested. And after having searched the net for their music too I knew that I had to interview them. Read the interview to understand why you too should check them out. Anders Ekdahl ©2012.

What was it that made you want to be in a band yourself and not just be the spectator?
Milena: This is an interesting and… tricky question. The idea of setting the band up was found accidentally. When I was 17 years old I was listening to Rhapsody. I liked their arrangements so much that I started to dream of writing a song and sending it to the Rhapsody. Then I though maybe they would like to perform it. Yes, I am a dreamer. But! When I told my mother about this idea she asked me one question, which later showed to be one of the most important and carrying the biggest change questions in my life. It sounded: “Why are you going to waste you ideas for someone else? Why won’t you set up your own band?”. My own band? My own band! Holy God! I’m setting my OWN band!” – that was more less my rea_ction. Next steps like searching for people who would like to start this journey with me, first song, first rehearsal went on very smoothly. Like everything was so obvious.

Do you feel that the band name has to match the music you play? How important is the band name compared to the music?
Milena: Band’s name should be somehow connected to its inspirations. At least it is in At the Lake’s case. Both me and Krzysiek were fascinated with Scandinavian culture, especially Finnish one. I was reading many books written by Finnish writers, we were listening to all kinds of Scandinavian music. Finland is called the Country of Thousand Lakes. That’s the origin of our name.

When you write music what kind of process do you go through?
Milena: Usually it is a melody or a chord sequence which comes to me first. When I have a melody I start to fit it to the chords. If I have chords I am searching for a melody. This is very exciting stage of the process because you suddenly realize that literally you made something of nothing! I’m always enjoying this fact like a child – I run, I scream, I cry and laugh at once… but okay. What next? When the whole song is ready, a mean, the form is ready – chorus, verse, bridges and so on, I record it at home (yes, I sing – I officially beg my neighbours pardon… poor creatures) and send it to the members of the band. When they finish digesting the audio file that I sent them we start to arrange it together on a rehearsal. And this is the second most exiting stage of the process – suddenly from imagination we move our ideas to the reality, so again… I run, scream, cry and laugh at once and the rest of the band looks at me like I was crazy. However, I wish everyone have such a moment of total ecstasy when he realizes that the dream comes true, as it is with music in my life.

How do you find the right words to go with the music? Do you try a lot of words to see if they fit?
-Milena: No, I never try words. Words carries very strong message. I always know what I want to say by the song’s lyrics. Usually the first words come with the line of melody or a chord sequence. It happens simultaneously.

How important are titles? Should they tell what the song is about? Or are they just a necessary evil?
Milena: Titles are very important. They cannot say too much about the song, but only turn the listener’s imagination up. Sometimes it takes a long time after the song is ready to find a good title. However, sometimes it comes first, even before the first word of lyrics or a melody.

What kind of feelings does holding your finished record in your hands bring out?
-Milena: Very ambivalent. The recording session is very tiresome, but… one could not live without it. When I was holding our “Maya” album first time I suddenly realized, that… this is over! I was so amazingly happy about that! But in the same time, the consciousness that from now nothing can be changed was like first notes of Beethoven’s symphony no 5. God! That was thrilling and terrifying. I know the weak points of this album and I took my composing lesson of it. But, there are many bright notes on the album, many succeeded experiments. I am proud of it.

How does the digital V/S physical consumption of music affect smaller bands? Is there a future for the physical product?
Krzysiek: I’m certain that physical records will never be killed by mp3. Just like with books and e-books. I agree that digital media are much more convenient for daily usage but when you really want to enjoy reading or listening you take a book or play a CD. Digital distribution simplified the process of music production especially in foreign markets but I doubt if our society is ready to switch to digital consumption. I’ve got orders for CDs from all continents, maybe except of Antarctica, so it proves people still need to keep the music on their shelves and not only on hard drives or mobiles 🙂

Illegal downloading has become a massive problem. What can you do to stop people from robbing you of your intellectual material?
Krzysiek: Actually, we support the pirates 😉 But seriously speaking we consider this kind of obtaining our album as a sort of promotion. We believe that people who really enjoy our music will sooner or later buy it. Of course it’s great support for us when someone decide to pay for our songs and we strong encourage to do so as we’ve got no financial support of any main labels or sponsors but we won’t sue anybody for downloading ‘Maya’ from peer to peer networks. 🙂

Do you think that the social media soon will have played its role? What is there beyond the social media?
Krzysiek: Social medias are great way of communication with our fans. We always listen to their feedback after shows. It has in example impact on set lists. I guess there are songs we’d give up playing long time ago but they became fundamental parts of concerts because people still ask for them 🙂 Moreover, Facebook is obviously a great tool of spread the word promotion.

What future do you see for At The lake?
Milena: Tons of good music. Unforgettable adventures. Strong friendships.

BUST A MOVE

When hardcore is really good I mosh with the best. BUST A MOVE might have a name that lead you to think of other things but once they get started there’s no stopping them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Bust A Move sounds more like a name of a hip hop act to me than a deathcore band. What’s up with the choice of name?
-Bust A Move means something like “get with the groove” or “move your ass”. In this spirit we make music that makes people bang their head, mosh like there’s no tomorrow and move to our breakdowns. Furthermore the abbreviation of Bust A Move is BAM – and that’s pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Can you please explain the difference between hardcore, metalcore and deathcore?
-Let’s make this clear with a little metaphor: If hardcore is the father of modern metal, then metalcore and deathcore are his sons. Metalcore is a little more mature and even-tempered than his younger brother deathcore. On the other hand, deathcore has a very explosive and boisterous character. Nevertheless, father hardcore and his two sons metalcore and deathcore live together in harmony and influence each other every now and then.

How important is compartmentalization to a band? Is it important to be put in the right bracket?
-Not really. We actually do not care which compartment we are put in, we just create music we like. Every genre and sub-genre is more or less intertwined nowadays and we think that a strict compartmentalization is not even possible. Is it deathcore? Is it metalcore? Or is it even electro-dance-gravity-core? Who cares, if it sounds great?

How much has the geographic location of the band meant to the sound? Would you have sounded different if you’d been from another area of Germany?
-From our perspective the geographical location of bands in Germany has nothing to do with their sound. In Germany you can find all genres and types of metal scattered all over the country. So there is no such thing as “Bavarian metalcore” or “Northern deathmetal”.

Is it a myth that the more you suffer the better an artist you get? What kind of topics do your lyrics deal with?
-Why do you have to suffer to write great songs or good lyrics? For us, it’s actually the other way around: The better and more comfortable you feel, the more confident you are in writing and playing music. Our lyrics deal with the concept of homeland and belonging somewhere. The album “There’s no Place like Home” tells the story of a man searching for home, affiliation and identity. However, the world’s atrocities and woes prevent him from getting there. Metaphorically speaking this means that every person on this planet has to find out where they belong. This search can sometimes be difficult but yet it is indispensable to find your personal home, the place where you belong. In other words: “There’s no Place like Home”.

When you are core this or core that where do you fit in on the extreme music scene?
-We like to be put into the “deathcore”-scheme, which means that deathmetal as well as hardcore influence our songwriting: Our music consists of deathmetal orientated riffs and blast beat sections mixed with more groovy, headbanging, hardcore beatdowns.

Are there any specific gains to be signed to a more specialized label like Bastardized? Can they work your music better than had you been on a broader label?
-The problem is that we are a new, young, relatively unknown band that plays deathcore. As deathcore is not a type of music that the majority of people listens to it is rather unlikely that a broader label wants to sign us. If you consider a broader label in the heavy music scene like Nuclear Blast or Century Media we have to be realistic and admit that we are just starting out and probably wouldn’t be profitable for the label. Therefore, Bastardized Recordings is the perfect choice, as it has a good reputation in the underground metal scene and the owners are musicians themselves. They know how to treat a band like us best.

What kind of live scene are you part of? How do Bust A Move go down live?
-We prefer to play live shows that are thrilling, energetic and powerful. In order to play tightly and professionally our live set is prearranged, our drummer plays with a clicktrack and samples lead the audience from one song to the next to create a coherent performance. Furthermore our outward appearance is aligned, we all wear mostly black clothes.

What would you say is the best social media to use as a promotional tool?
-The best social media tool is (big surprise) Facebook. As the majority of people are in this network it is very easy to reach our fans and provide them with the latest news etc. We also have a Tumblr, check it out: http://bustamoveofficial.tumblr.com/

What future is there?
-With the signing to Bastardized Recordings and our upcoming album “There’s no Place like Home” we hope to become better known in Germany and the rest of the world. We also plan to tour Europe with our labelmates The Green River Burial in 2013.

GIVE EM BLOOD

Had it not been for hardcore who knows what our beloved thrash scene would look like. Anthrax and even Slayer have paid the HC scene huge tributes in the past. So give Austrian HC mob GIVE EM BLOOD a big cheer. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

The label describes you as metalcore, and while I do hear traces of that I’d describe you more as a hardcore band. Where do you see your music fit in the best?
-Hmm I would say that our music fits right in between those two genres, but we all grew up with Hardcore so I guess that´s the reason why there are more HC influences in our music. Also I guess every Band says that but when you are in a Band you write music for the enjoyment of listening to it so it´s quite stupid that you have to put your music into a certain “sub-genre”.

How political is the band? Has politics totally disappeared from hardcore these days?
-We try to stay away from political Lyrics as much as we can. I think music is music and politics are politics. And no, there are a lot of political Bands out there but in the end it´s all about the music. At least that´s how we look at it.

I grew up with punk and a feeling of community. Is there anything of that left in today’s scene?
-When it comes down to Bands I would say yes. Almost all Bands that played more than once with us are now good friends of ours so we are always happy to share the stage again, help each other out, have fun and stuff. When it comes down to the audience it depends. I always feel like an outsider when we play shows in different countries, maybe it´s because we are from Austria I don´t know hahaha

How much of DIY is there still left with bands signing to labels that are way more organized than they used to be in the 80s and 90s?
-I guess it´s almost the same because if your Band is signing to a Label you still have to think about every move you make. Having a Label doesn´t say that you can sit back and let others do the work for you. You still have to book your shows, write your music, design your shirts, pay your bills… I don´t want to say anything wrong cause I have no clue how Bands used to work in the 80´s but that´s how I see it.

How much has the social media played in desensitizing people? Are people as involved as they were in the 70s and 80s?
-Haha once again I don´t know how it was in the 70´s and 80´s. But nowadays the social media is one of the most important things for a Band.

Can you make a career out of playing hardcore? Do people still shout sell out if you sell records?
-I don´t think so. It´s soo hard to get recognized out there in this mess of Bands nowadays. And i think they would shout that we are selling out even if we are not.

What would you say are your greatest influences/inspirations?
-Puhh hard question. I would say everything good I guess haha I don´t want to pick any Band because there are so many. But anything from Black Metal to Hardcore.

What part of today’s life do you use as fuel for lyrics? What are you lyrics mainly about?
-On this record we decided to write about a relationship story based on the seven sins. So you have seven songs on the record, each song stands for a sin with personal note from myself.

What is Austria like as an extreme music country? I don’t get too many releases by Austrian bands sent to me.
-It´s hard for a Band like us to grow even in our own country but there are a lot of good Bands in Austria. I have to pull the friendship card now haha Check out Forever in Decay, Treated, SHOWYOURTEETH, Red Square Scenario, Almost failed, to name but a few.

What would you like to plan for the future?
-Working our asses off and play a shitload of shows for no money.

THE GREEN RIVER BURIAL

GREEN RIVER BURIAL caught my attention just by the name alone. With such a name this gotta be something special. And special enough it turned for me to wanting to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I gotta admit that you have one of the better band names that I’ve come upon in months. What was the idea behind the choice of moniker?
-The basic idea our first line-up pursued was to musically and lyrically unravel und understand the mind and deeds of the American serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway (also known as The Green River Killer) who brutally murdered over 48 women and buried their bodies at the infamous Green River. We started out analyzing police reports and psychograms to be able to picture the intentions and feelings behind such horrible actions, but due to numerous line-up changes we more and more lost track of the initial concept, changed the direction but kept the name.

I haven’t got the best clue about German cities and their scenes. Are there any difference in scenes between cities in Germany?
-It’s not only a difference of cities but as well a difference of regions. For example, the Ruhrpott-area in the far west of Germany is well known for its Hardcore/Beatdown-scene. Definitely, Berlin has also been a magnet for lots of bands and clubs ever since. We as a band fell a little in love with Eastern (cities like Riesa, Rosswein etc.) and Southwest Germany (Stuttgart, Kaiserslauten etc.) to be honest. The people there are some of the best we ever met and we always are excited about shows in these areas.

What is Frankfurt like to be a hardcore band in? Do you interact a lot with other bands? How big is the DIY scene?
-When we started out in late 2008 there was not that much of a hardcore-scene in Frankfurt. There were a couple of DIY-promoters in the surrounding cities and two small clubs in Frankfurt itself but people of our age usually just went to Electro-parties and huge Rock-concerts. Luckily, over the last years and probably due to the easier connection of hardcore-kids via Facebook, there has been a great development in the local scene and at least one hardcore-show in Frankfurt per week thanks to two local promoters that risk their private funds by booking great bands.

I often wonder why fans into a specific sound look down on people into a totally different sound, like hardcore fans think less of emo fans. Why is that? When does great music become bad music?
-The quality of music always is a matter of perspective and as such people should just start respecting other people’s taste and accept what they can’t change. We ourselves have a huge variety of different tastes and musical influences in our band and that’s what helps us keeping our songs fresh and avoiding to repeat generic genre patterns. Our singer came from the Punk-scene, our drummer played in various Screamo-bands, our guitarist is an ex-Big Band-Member and has the broadest Hardcore-record collection of us all and our bass player likes to listen to black metal as well as free jazz. Still on the way home from a show we enjoy 90’s Hip Hop and our general overlap and differences in tastes are what makes writing with this band such a joyful experience.

Is it necessary to put labels on what you do in order for people to pick up your music? How would you like your music to be described as in a perfect world?
-We worked completely DIY for almost three years before we got signed, and still we are doing a huge amount of tasks on our own. It can work out both ways, in the end it just depends on you as a band. As we can see there actually are some bands that get really big without any label at all – just take a look on Breakdown Of Sanity for example. But of course, in most cases labels just will offer you the support no one else could do and push you three steps forwards. Still, the most important thing is the band and the music. In the end, that’s all what counts.

I’ve been into punk since the 70s and one thing that always bothered me has been that punks are no more enlightened than the average Joe. Why do you think that people within a certain click become so protective of their territory?
-Maybe this is part of the natural isolation process a sub-culture is inevidantly going through while coexisting with a completely opposite mainstream. General belief (and fact) is that most “normal” people don’t get how one can enjoy loud music, screaming and shouting singers and violent dancing or pogo at a concert. Based on this lack of understanding punks probably tend to act on the maxime of “If I’m not welcome in your society, you’re not welcome in mine as well” because they fear for their last bastion.

Another thing that always has bothered me is that there isn’t enough equality within punk/hc. You don’t see as many females as males playing music. Why is that?
-Maybe because when boys start to throw matchbox-cars at their friends girls play with loving barbie and ken?

When you play live how conscious are you of the bands you play with? Are there any bands, apart from the obvious ones, that you wouldn’t play with?
-We as a band really appreciate it when the other musicians on shows also come out and – at least – have a glimpse on the rest of the bands instead of just hanging around and being cool at the backstage area. It’s a sign of interest and open-mindedness, therefore we are pretty thrilled about getting to know other bands, different music and basically new people. You can only tell that you don’t like a certain thing after you checked it out, therefore we want to play with as much new bands as possible.

What kind of live scene is there these days around Europe for a band like The Green River Burial?
-Basically, a growing scene. Hardcore/Metal is being comercialized in these times, just image what a business the guys at Impericon just built up. Or the big tours like Never Say Die! etc., that’s all about some real big deals out there. Of course, this is not only a good thing for everyone. But still if there are lots of guys saying that the scene is losing their integrity and so on… this development also brings a lot attention to extreme music and more kids get connected. They might start by buying Parkway Drive-Merch, but they also might end up going to underground concerts and supporting their local scene.

What plans for the future do you have?
-This November (2nd) we are going to release our full length debut “Separate & Coalesce” worldwide via Bastardized Recordings and there will also be a new music video coming out two weeks earlier. So we are actually very excited about the future and have lots of stuff in mind. There will be a release-tour for the album as well as some more for the next year are already in planning stage. It’s just about pouring and growing, from day to day.

HIGHLIGHT KENOSIS

HIGHLIGHT KENOSIS didn’t seem too sexy the first time I came upon them. But some further investigating turned me on to them so much that I had to interview them. Oana answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I often go for a band just on the basis of the name. How important is it that the band name feels right pronouncing it? How important does the combination of words become for it to work?
-At the very beginning Matei called the band just Highlight. That was not such a good idea because if you would google it, a lot of highlights from sports, news would show up. So he came up with another name not giving up on Highlight and that was Hihglight Kenosis somehow in the same idea expressing the light from above and simplicity. It is not a simple name for a band, for people to remember it easily but if somebody is interested in our music they will learn our name also. I think is important to have a good short name that people can remember fast but obviously we don’t care to much about that theory.

When you live in your own little bubble things might tend to be clearer and make more sense. Have you ever felt embarrassed or awkward about something you’ve written or done when it has been pointed out to you?
-I am a very opened person and I talk a lot about my problems, thoughts, joy, love, family with my friend and often with people that I barely now but that I feel that they are reliable. Writing lyrics is quite the same for me because all the songs are about experiences that I had with: love, my brothers sickness, my parents love, my friends, my fake friends, God, believing in it and so on. I never had the chance of feeling embarrassed or awkward and I can’t feel like that if a situation will appear because usually I write about true things and that does not make feel bad about it.

When you play in a band I guess it is a constant struggle between people. How do you go about getting everybody to be on the same track?
-Well everybody in the band knows what are their attributes. Matei is the composer and the guitarist, I take care of the lyrics, the vocal part, the computer stuff and the technical arrangements and the others play their instrument in a professional way with a contribution for orchestrating the new songs.

When you stand on the outside looking in, at a concert for example, everything looks so glamorous. What is it really like to be in a band?
-It’s like having a full time job and a family in the same time.

From my experience there are a lot of scumbags out there trying to cash in on you. How do you avoid being taken for a ride by the less serious parts?
-It’s the first time I have this question and I’m happy because is true: there are a lot of scumbags out there and I have a lot of stories in 7 years of singing professionally in a “rock band”. If it’s something that sounds profitable for the band I think it over, I’m analyzing, comparing and usually get to a conclusion that most of the time is the correct one. If it concerns me as a singer I usually don’t listen to much because I know my way and what I want to do and the only thing that I focus on is to have a good performance and the rest the manager can take care of it.

On the other hand. How do you find the people that you can trust in this business?
-I don’t know how to find the people that I can trust in, there were some people that just showed up in my life, first in a professional way and after they became good friends. I think it’s good not to have great expectations from people, this way you will not feel betrayed or disappointed.

When you have finished/accomplished something, what do you do with the feelings you get? Do you take them with you and build on them or are they just there for the moment?
-The feeling of accomplishing something gives me peace and a moment of good silence that I enjoy alone and after that I go back on the road and start doing something new, with new energy and more trust in myself.
How do you keep building the bands reputation in a world so full of competition?
-I don’t think too much of the competition. We just make music to enjoy ourselves and our fans and the reputation is the result of our work that often surprises us also.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
-The two albums “Glowing” and “Change”.

What future would you like to see?
-I just want to see myself singing, performing, creating, experimenting with music and musicians, make people happy or help them with something through my work like other artists helped me in different difficult moments of my life.