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Karolina, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! Here we go:
You rocked the stage at the MFVF 10. How did it feel to be part of this special event and to play for such a huge crowd of fans of female fronted Metal & Rock music?
Thanks a lot for the compliment! MFVF has very special place in my heart because it’s a very unique fest dedicated only to metal female singers. It made me feel really wonderful to be again on this magical stage and perform with my guys! Believe me, when I saw so many smiling faces in the public, I couldn’t stop smiling myself! It’s an incredible experience! When you see that people appreciate what you do, you stop to see how many thousands are out there. You just see them as one big friend. And yes, you feel like you are among your own family or army :-)
From the musician's point of view, could you please tell me: what were the most important experiences and impressions for you at this MFVF-weekend?
There are many! First of all, to be there again is part of yearly dream. I can meet many friends that I can see only there. It’s also a good place to present Skeptical Minds’ music to the fans. It feels like finding a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Festival itself is already 10 years old and Skeptical Minds also have 10! Nice coincidence, double celebration!! This year, I’ve also met my sisters from Eve’s Apple! Most of us knew each other only via internet until MFVF ;-) !!!
It wasn't your first performance at the Metal Female Voices Fest. Was the awesome atmosphere at this festival the main reason to record your gig there in 2010 for your first DVD named Watch Your Live?
Indeed!!! To be honest, the fest provided the recordings. It was a good opportunity to use them to release a DVD. The second point is that we really feel home there. We are from Belgium and many faces from the crowd are familiar to us. In the future, we’ll see... I think that if you feel good in a place you want to remember that moment forever and also give the fans the opportunity to watch it again too! ;-)
Since when do you play with the current band line-up?
I joined the band in September 2008. I met the guys thanks to our common friend Stephane Odent. He took us to Amsterdam, so we could spend some time together (in a Metal bar) and I must say everybody could feel there was a spark in the air ;-)! Since then, we felt like family and Skeptical Minds has very strong complicity.
Could you please introduce the members from Skeptical Minds and tell us a bit about the history of the band?
Let’s start chronologically. First was Mich... then, Chuck Norris created God and God created the world... hahaha. Ok, let’s be serious now... in fact, Mich created God... ok ok ok, I stop! :-)
Mich is the only remaining band former member he plays the guitar and he’s Greek!!! The band was formed in 2002 and the starting idea was to create a band mixing 3 influences: Metal guitar riffs, Electro-Industrial music and melodic female voice. In 2004, Gab joined the band at the drums. The band used electro beats and rhythms between 2002 and 2004 but then, they decided to add a bass and drums to be louder and more powerful on stage. Gab also cares for electronics and he’s Italian!!! Pat, the bass player, joined the band in 2007 and he also cares about all the websites, online shop, developing and programming. He’s French!!!! Thomas is the last who joined the band and he’s cello player. The cello takes now a more important place in Skeptical Minds’ music. We use it like a classical cello or like a second electric guitar. That gives a lot of possibilities!!! You’ll hear that more and more and especially on next album to come in 2013! :-) :-)
Your CD Skepticalized was released in 2010. How was the feedback from the press and the fans?
Feedback was really good. We received many pleasant compliments and reviews from magazines and webzines. Fans of course gave one of the best feedbacks! We were nicely surprised that so many of them sent us emails with congratulations from all around the world! And you know what? The most active are Belgians, Greeks, Polish and Russians (!!!) followed by lot of South American people!!! It’s simply incredible. We also have regular contacts with American and Canadian people. The rest of Europe is also well represented by French people, Germans, Dutch and Italians!!! It’s really touching when you know that new songs can actually grab someone’s heart or help to pass through hard times. Such kind of feedback is not rare and I love it! You feel useful and it’s wonderful to feel that your music can provoke happiness or real help!!! It’s like distant miracle, like magic.
How much of the plannings/prearrangements for the next album did you get done up to now?
I think we already have 11 demos but we’ll develop more to keep the best ones. Generally, we develop around 15 songs until the end and we keep the ones we prefer and the ones that fit the most in the global project.
Could you please tell our readers something about the lyrics from Skeptical Minds - who write them, what are they about, what is the inspiration?
In Skeptical Minds, we all write the lyrics. We share our inspirations with each other, we mix and then you have lyrics. We write about everyday’s life, fears that we all have and that we are afraid to talk about too loud or simply to share with anyone. We decided pick the challenge and take those things out from the shadow. We wanted to show to people that they are not alone with their nightmares or fears and that we all have things that we would prefer to hide in the basement forever. There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. We hope that our songs can bring some understanding to everyday’s life and will help our fans to stand up and fight.
How would you describe your music in your own words?
Skeptical Minds’ music is a mix of Electro and Metal guitar riffs. General ambiance is dark and/or cold. We try to make music that will amplify what we sing about: when there is song about loneliness, you will hear soft chords of guitar, longing sound of cello or something that makes you feel that loneliness. But when feeling of aggression comes, you will hear furious guitar, blasting electro, heavy drums. Music has to follow or to provoke the feelings.
If you would have the free choice to select a duet partner, female or male, across all music styles – which singer would you choose?
Hmmm right now, my choice would go to Sakis Tolis from Rotting Christ (great Greek group!). Why? Because it’s rare that music from heavier ground can make me feel really energized. That’s exactly what happened when I heard their album Aealo. Inspiring lyrics, motivating music, original voice, there is something strong and inspiring. It’s like war music to me. This is Sparta!!!
In which age did the music „catch“ you and when did you start your career as professional singer?
I was always singing since I can remember and the dream about being professional was always on my mind. I followed my path with faith, even when it was very hard sometimes. I can say that pro career came when I joined Skeptical Minds. Those guys have clear (and skeptical ;-) ) mind and they are serious about music. Constant work to improve, learn. They brought me where I am now. But I know, there is still long way to go. Like Bon Scott says: “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock and Roll” ;-)
What´s your opinion: are female singers enough defined about their voices nowadays or now and then, nevertheless, too much about their appearance?
I think that fans now prefer to hear the singer than watch her ‘’assets’’. Of course it is hard to avoid to be judged by the way you look, it’s in human nature to watch, and being classified especially when you are a women. But in my opinion, female singers really start to have their place as singers now.
Talking about Rock & Metal in your home country Belgium: is there a big scene for this music, is it often played on the radio?
There are hundreds of bands and most of them are amateurs and have to do most of things by themselves. Rock and Metal receive almost NO help from no one. Some structures and helps exist, but it goes easier when you play some other musical style (Jazz, Classical, Pop,...). It’s sad to see that... but it’s the reality. We have some nice Rock and Metal radio programs on independent radios and most of animators are also passionate guyz who do that for the pleasure and for free!!! It has to be said! To summarize, 99% of Rock and Metal musicians in Belgium do it with passion and for free (or from their pocket because auto-produced!).
Social networks like e.g. Facebook and Twitter are indispensable for bands nowadays. Do you see it as a good chance and as a kind of inspiration for your music to get contact with your fans there and to read their opinions?
Social networks give us great opportunity to communicate more often with our fans, listen their opinions. We consider fans as a part of our family and we like to communicate with them almost every day!!! Go and see :-) So yes, it’s very important for us to stay in contact with the fans... Fans exist because there is music they like and bands continue to exist because and for the fans! We all need each others! Social network is the ideal tool to make both parts be and stay in contact!
What is on your plan for the future - short term and long term?
Short term: the end of the world (in 2 weeks... oulalala).
Long term, nothing if I consider the end of the world will happen hahaha.
If not, we already have plans ;-) we didn’t wait the confirmation of the end of the world :-). Both, short and long terms are connected with music. First, we are going to finish our new album which we plan to release during summer 2013. We are also working on new dates and small tours for 2013!!! :-) As you can see, there is music and music! :-) Also some surprises, but I cannot say more for now ;-) Stay tuned!!
What CDs are spinning in your CD/MP3 player the most these days?
There are quite few: Rotting Christ - Aealo, Septicflesh - The Great Mass, Meden Agan - Erevos Aenaon and plenty of classical music: Mozart, Chopin, Hans Zimmer, Bach, Vivaldi etc, and Cretan music!
Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Yes :-) I wanted to thank you very much for your kindness and to propose me this interview. I also want to thank all the great people who will read this. Thanks a lot for your support! Keep on rocking and I hope to meet you all one day at the gig! Stay Sparta!
Thanks for your time. We wish you and the band all the best and much success!
It was a pleasure. I thank you too! Best of luck!
Live-Photos ©2010+2012 by Hans Clijnk