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Martin Harb

Visions Of Atlantis

Interview at MFVF 9


Visions Of Atlantis @ MySpace
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Our MFVF 9 Special



We meet here at the MFVF9. This is your second performance at this festival, right? How did it feel for you to rock this stage for the first time and to meet all the other bands?
The third – we were already here in 2006, in 2010 and today, too. The first time was very special, because we are in this female scene since the band started and this festival is the ne plus ultra for this special scene. The first two times we were here, we played in the afternoon and now we're able to go on stage in the late evening. That shows our development inside this female scene, too.

Our singer Maxi Nil doesn´t like to name it that way, because she says that then there must be a male scene too. Which is right. But here are just bands with all those women who have a major role in some way play, which is absolutely ok and great. The present day is pretty special for us, because we are so looking forward to the DVD recordings - and we prepared a proper Best-of set.

Was your first experience here at the Metal Female Voices Fest the reason to record this years gig for a DVD-release?
The ambience here is so special because this part gets 100% attention, just Metal Female - and because you never, actually in no event, get this concentration of people that have the same taste. I love to play at all the other festivals, because I´m a big fan of many bands and like to go there. But here you know: everybody who visit this festival like all bands, well, almost. That is unique. So the decision to do the recordings here at this festival was obvious. Here, it's magic, it always was.

There were some changes in the band. Could you please introduce the members of the current line-up?
So this would be at first the female singer: Maxi Nil, our singer from Greece. Then Mario Plank, our singer, who is in the band for 8 years now. Christian, our guitarrist, who just joined this year. Our drummer is Thomas Kaser, part of the band since the beginning, who set up the band. And me – Martin Harb – keyboards, long-established, live since 2003 and a permanent member since 2005. That's the current line-up.There is no bass player, because we didn't want to include one as a permanent member. We have superb programmed bass samples. And it fits for us, because the team just acts so perfect.

The album  Delta  was released 8 months ago. How were the reactions, from your fans and the press? Are you happy with the feedback?
The reactions for  Delta  were actually very very overwhelming after 4 years of not being back on track. Many many reacted as it would be the best we ever did. This was the main reaction, also from the press and everything like that. So for us it is very special. Delta  is not just only special because we just returned with it. With this album we could proof we have our real own style, because now you can say this is  Visions Of Atlantis. People always said, we are like this or like this and like this but now you can say this is  Visions Of Atlantis.

Also the new EP  Maria Magdalena, which was released on Friday 21st now, you have to check out. Because this is pure  Visions Of Atlantis. So the reactions were just great and this is why we´re already really hard working for the next release. We are very happy and very motivated. I always promised, I told the fans the last 2 years with  Delta  this was the last time you had to wait for years, and I kept my promise. We now released  Maria Magdalena  and in 2012 I can promise already another album. Songwriting is almost done, we will do a DVD and we will be back on track every year now.

What was the reason for the early EP release after you've released the album? Was it to show that Maxi is now songwriting too because the songs for  Delta  was written before she joined the band?
Maxi did also not directly participating in EP songwriting. But for the next album she does. Because also tracks for the EP was already written before. But our label Napalm Records told us if  Delta  would be running good, there is a chance that we can make an EP in the year. And we were talking a long time for covering a song. This is why we choose Sandra´s  Maria Magdalena. Because Mario Plank and me were sitting together two years ago. We said, if we would ever cover a song, which one would you say? And I was always say: something from Sandra. At first we were talking about  In The Heat Of The Night  and then Mario said: oh  Maria Magdalena  is cool. We kept it in mind. And now we have a complete release for this and I think for almost half an hour of music of  Visions Of Atlantis, it´s about 7-8 Euro, depending on the shop, it´s real big big value for money.

So the reason for the EP was to give the fans something back. Because over the years - without them you are nothing. When you take the booklet of  Maria Magdalena  you can read: thanks for purchasing original music. This is it what is all about in towns: everyone is just downloading and then wondering why bands don´t come to their town and then saying: why don´t you play my town and not buying original music. This is why we say we give you an half hour of music for just the price of a single with nothing like orchestral version, with no B-sides. All these tracks would have also been worth being on a regular album and this was the most important thing for us. This is actually the reason for doing the EP  Maria Magdalena.

And you said you already written songs for the new CD?
Yes, of course, the songwriting for the new album is almost done. About 90 % is completely written. And this is why we can announce that we will go in the studio next year about April/May.

Which bands would you name as your greatest influences?
For my person in songwriting... oh, I am passionate CD collector, I love it to collecting CDs and have tons of different. But my influence reaches from atmospheric Black Metal to  Lacrimosa, which is one of my main influences, and goes from  Labyrinth  to  Graveworm  to early  Edguy, early  Sonata Arctica. Most of them early because I prefer the older albums. Another main influence, too many to mention actually, but also classical stuff and 80s pop I would say.

Social networks like MySpace and Facebook are nowadays important platforms for musicians. Do you see it as an inspiration for your music to get in contact with your fans there and to read their opinions? Do they send their ideas how  Visions Of Atlantis  should sound too?
Actually not in this particular kind. They don´t tell us: please do another song like this or that. But as we are very very active in the internet, we try to give the fans as much information as possible. We have our own YouTube channel, we have the Facebook page, we have connected Twitter and everything. I try uploading material as often as possible. You know what I mean because the most important thing is that you stay a fan. This is the best thing when you are a musician. We all take it as a hobby, it´s a privilege doing this, it´s great fun.

And staying a fan of music is the best thing what you can do. Because you want to get in touch with the people and if people say: “hey I like  Memento or “hey I like from  Trinity  this song” or whatever please do another like this, I will say we will do our best of course. Because we are the last band to say I want to develop and I completely change my style, because I loved this style previous albums, so why should I change? Don´t I love this style now? I think with every new record  Visions Of Atlantis  fans, which were fans over more albums, will remain and they won´t be disappointed. And I think with  Delta  and especially  Maria Magdalena  many people are very very surprised.

What CDs are spinning in your CD/MP3 player the most these days?
For actual releases: the new one of  Thulcandra  is very good. Then  Sehnsucht  from  Lacrimosa  is very often in my CD-player. The new  Ballads 4  from  Axel Rudi Pell  because I´m for 10-12 years big  Axel Rudi Pell  fan and from every Ballads album because Johnny Gioeli is one of the best singers in the world. So when I´m driving in my car most times  Axel Rudi Pell  and at the moment something from  Soilwork  and Austro-Pop. We call it Austro-Pop, it´s Austrian music, Rainhard Fendrich, Wolfgang Ambros. At the moment I listen a lot to it. I don´t know if you may know it.

And my all-time-favourites, when I mention all, there is a Top 5 list actually, it would be:  Heavenly Sign Of The Sinner  album, it´s a Speed Power Metal band from France. Lacrimosa Elodia, it´s actually my favorite. Then the first of  Sonata Arctica  and  Manowar´s   The Triumph Of Steel> this was the reason for starting playing music for me. And the Nr. 5 all time, would be maybe  Aeternitas  -  Requiem, a great Gothic band.

What is on your plan for the next months?
For the next few months we will concentrate on finishing the songwriting, getting the studio staff booked, getting ready for entering the studio, we have to arrange stuff to orchestrate everything and to be prepared completely for entering the studio. Because everything is really prepared to 90 %. There is a lyrical concept behind it, because we try doing maybe something like a concept album, but we will figure out if we do it in the end. And so the next months are just for preparing for the studio actually.

Is there anything you would like to add to this interview?
Thanks for the support, thanks for the respect. Thanks for purchasing original music still in times of downloading and metal on.

Thanks for your time. We wish you all the best!
Thank you. See you at the show!





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