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Satyrian interview with Melodichardrocktoday.tk
By Arne
Arne
Hi Jan, Satyrian is a new gothic rock band, can you tell us about your history members++?

Jan
The history of Satyrian goes back to December 2002. That is when we started recording the “Eternitas” album in the Space Lab studio in Germany. So that marks the starting point of this album. But the history of the band itself goes further into the past. The first gig we played in 1998 and we released two albums (as Danse Macabre): “Totentanz” in 1998 and “Eva” in 2001. We also released a mcd “Matters of the Heart” with some video clips in 2002. The core of the band is still the same, but due to line up change and the new vocalists we started using our new moniker SATYRIAN in 2003. Also in many other ways Satyrian feels as a new band and actually we want to press this fact too, because it is a new start for us. All the members of the band have a long history in gothic and metal music and have played or still play in bands like Pyogenesis, Lacrimosa, The Dreamside, Everon, Imperia, Angel, The Bloodline etc.

Arne
Satyrian has just released the debut album Eternitas, on Lion Music. How have the reactions been so far?

Jan
The reactions have been pretty rewarding till now. I have noticed that this time we have received quite much attention from the AOR and progressive magazines, which we never had before. The reason for this is probably our new label because they seem to have very good contacts and name in these genres. This is very nice indeed. The reviews I have seen have been very positive so far. Also the reactions through the e-mail and our website have been very nice and it seems that the band has been accepted by the old fans and new listeners seem to have found the band too. Also a difference to the past is that now we get a lot of mails from the USA, which is of course cool.

Arne
Can you describe your music, and tell a bit about your influences?

Jan
The music style is pretty hard to categorize because we use different kinds of songs to different kinds of feelings and atmospheres. But generally speaking it is kind of Gothic rock music, with a slight edge of metal to it. We use a lot of piano and orchestrations and the style varies from pure up-tempo rock songs to epic atmospheric slow songs and even to industrial sounds or pieces of folk music. In one German magazine I saw our style described as Atmospheric Orchestral Folk Classic Goth Rock. So I guess we just created a brand new genre here, ha-ha. I couldn’t have said that more complicated myself. As for influences, that is also pretty impossible to define. I guess it all depends on the mood I’m in when writing the music. Anything can trigger your inspiration, even some MTV stuff or a piece of classical music. Many times a song just starts with one single melody, like a flute melody for example. Then you build everything else around it. Most of the time I use these melody ”hook lines” in the songs and build them up this way. But sometimes an inspiration can come out of a heavy guitar-riff too. So it all depends. I do listen a lot of music and I also used to work on a radio station for years in the past so I’ve always been completely surrounded by music. Of course I have some favorite songs of other bands but I don’t think I have any band in mind whose total oeuvre I like. So basically I’m more of a “song -person” than a “band -person” if you know what I mean. But one thing I know for sure I can’t do: writing any happy tunes. I guess that’s just not in my genes as being a Finn, ha-ha.

Arne
You started the recording process of the album back in 2002, can you tell about the recording process and production of the album?

Jan
Yes, we started the recordings in 2002 in Germany with the producers Oliver Philipps – who later joined Satyrian as a pianist and a vocalist – and Moschus Moos. You might have heard of them from their band Everon too. I’ve used this studio for many years and we are very familiar with it. In fact we recorded our pre-Satyrian last album there too. I’ve been in plenty of very good studios in my life, but with them I found a kind of special understanding for the music I write. So their strength lies definitely on the creative field. Oliver is a very talented musician so he helps us out a lot with the keyboards and orchestrations, but also with the vocals or even with the guitar-lines when needed. And it seems that his and my ideas and feelings are quite similar towards the music we do together. I think that we recorded the basics like the drums, guitars and the bass this time still with their 24-track analog machine and the vocals we recorded a year later with the HD-recording system. All the recordings put together might sound as a pretty lengthy and extensive process – which it also was – but there are several reason’s for this. First of all the line-up change and our decision to continue with our new vocalists took some time. So the basics were already for the biggest part recorded but we had to return to finish the vocals. Luckily our label back then agreed with us to continue with the new members. We also re-recorded some pieces and instruments in the same time and added an extra song to the mix. After that we had to wait for our former label and their schedule, which also took time. During that process we had already made the decision to emigrate to a more suitable label and fortunately our former label agreed in the end if that was what we really wanted. So in this way we got in contact with Lion Music and we are very happy about that.

Arne
Is there a special story behind your band name?

Jan
Yes there is. We had lots of names to choose from, but this one stuck to my head from the very beginning. And the reason probably is the Gothic club I ran for seven years together with our bass player Milos in Amsterdam. The club was called ”The Cave Of Satyr”. We actually had to make a break with the club due to renovations about the same time couple of years ago so this name was very much in the air. We always called the club just ”Satyr” and while picking up the name for the band, ”Satyrian” sounded like made for us. It’s like continuing the club too, but in a band form. I feel that the name also describes the band pretty nicely since Satyr’s are very fascinating and weird creatures. They are most of the time up to no good, but they do enjoy the music and the life itself obviously. Everybody liked the name so it was a very democratic choice.

Arne
Your cover artwork is really nice! Is there a connection between the artwork and the title of the album?

Jan
Thank you, that is nice to hear. I always like to put a story to my artwork so in this cover there is one too. First of all I like to see the band as a direct continuation from our past – just with different vocalists. So this is why the model of the cover is also the same person as on our previous album. In this case she presents a captured angel, who has waited a long time to get free from her captivity – that is why even her wings have turned to branches by the long wait. She holds a sand clock in her hands to symbolize the term Eternitas. But she is also smiling and looking up to the light and by this also to the future. And the passion she has in her makes the wings to catch up flames. The circle around her is circle of fire, which here symbolizes the bond the band has to the music. It also refers to the term of Eternitas in a way that this special bond will be there forever. This is how I felt when waiting the album get finished and also to get through the whole process of changing the name and all. I kind of felt like being captured in an unbearable situation. But I also saw an outcome from all of it in the end, like the angel does in the picture. If you look at the last page of the booklet, she is gone. So by reading the booklet (and by listening the album) the listener - and she - have finally found the solution and are free. And this is actually through the music itself. So in a way it is a very personal and emotional image to me.

Arne
It`s not often we find three singers in a band, can you tell about it?

Jan
That is true. Well we always had guest vocalists on our previous albums, but they only had a side-role to play or they only did the lead singing on one slow song. The new situation after we ended the co-operation with the ex-singer gave us the opportunity to start working from a complete new concept idea when it came to vocals. And by this I mean that we right away decided that we should now change the role of everybody from only just being “guests”. They should become full members and also by this they should work together instead of just doing small bits and pieces here and there. In this way it would be also fairer for everyone involved. We didn’t have to be stuck on one “front-figure” anymore, but we were now free with that. And of course this fact provided many more options and possibilities. As for the singers, Judith Stüber I know for a long time already and she was singing on our previous album too, so I asked her to join in again. And gladly she agreed and this time she was willing to go even further and so she became a full member. Then I asked Kemi Vita from the band The Dreamside if she would be interested. I actually had asked her already in ’98 if she would like to work with me and she liked the idea very much so we started keeping contact. But it was not until now that the opportunity actually came so I was very pleased when she agreed to join our team. Her “Apaika” – album is one of my favorite albums, so it was great to have her on board. And Kemi introduced me then to Roman Schönsee whose role was to provide the rough voice and to add the needed contrast to the female voices. Also his expertise on the other musical fields (he’s a producer himself) is a very nice thing and he’s a very creative person. So we arranged all the songs completely again with the three singers and everybody also got their own songs to work on. It was truly a creative process when doing the vocals. Everybody was at the studio and made suggestions and came up with ideas. Also Oliver got carried away by it and now he sung on some songs too. So it was like one huge vocal-brainstorming machine at work in the studio. Live we have arranged some old songs again too to fit to the three voices and that is very interesting as well. And I’m sure that the next time we will take these experiments even further. It’s pretty fascinating to work this way and of course it gives the band countless options and makes the songs even more interesting to my opinion.

Arne
You have written all the tracks on the album, while the lyrics are written by the three singers. Would you mine to say a few words about each song on the album from 1-12?

Jan
Eternitas - This song is kind of combination of most of the elements on the album. It starts with the piano piece of Oliver and then the band falls in with a heavy beat. It’s an up-tempo rock song where all the three singers are singing and which also has the slow passages and lots of guitar. This would be a typical “Satyrian” song if I’d have to explain the music.

Invictus – The heaviest song on the album. It has an industrial vibe to it and kind of monotonous rhythmical heavy guitars. We added some small electronic loops to it in some spots to strenghen this industrial feel. Also Roman’s singing is the most extreme on this one. For this song we are busy making a video clip now. The clip should be ready in a few weeks and then everybody can download it from our site.

Feel the Rush – We called this song a long time as ”Kemi’s song”, since she sings the leads here. It is a slow ballad like song with an up-tempo part in the middle (with a piano/guitar duel). It is one of my favorite songs and has a nice fragile feel to it from time to time and then again it gets very rough and hard. This song has quite many different atmospheres in it. The song ends with a nice slowing down piano melody with only Kemi’s voice on top of that.

My Legacy – On this one Judith does the lead vocals and Roman does the rough singing. It is a compact up-tempo rock song without too many breaks and parts: straight to the point. This one gives contrast to the end of the previous track like: now, let’s get back to business.

The Dark Gift – This song is inspired by 80’s dark wave and it is a kind of homage to that kind of music. It has a slight dance beat underneath (played with the drums though) and very simple guitar riffing. The singers make the song here. Roman and Kemi are doubling each other on the choruses. We even added some old school synths to it to get the right feeling.

Sacred Lies – This song is probably my favorite on the album. It is a very epic slow song with loads of orchestrations. It’s sung by Judith and Kemi and they make a duet out of it. The song has a very sad doomy character in it and I find it quite touching...

The Bridge Of Death – This song is actually a result of a jam-evening between me and our drummer Merijn one evening at the studio. Basically it is a folk-song, played with acoustical instruments and sung by four singers. The percussions (djam-be, bongos and a rainstick) are played by Merijn. The lyrics I found in a poem by Henri Murger. I was totally charmed by the poem and I found it perfectly fitting to the feeling of the song. So we made a kind of musical out of it with different roles and ”actors”. It was very cool to work on this one...

Fall From Grace – This is a fast dark rock song which starts with double-bas drumming. It’s probably the most ”metal”- like song on the album with lots of guitar. It is sung by Kemi and Roman.

No Tears, No Embrace – This we called ”Judith’s song”, because she wrote those touching lyrics to it and she sings it alone. She wrote the lyrics with a friend of hers in mind so they are very personal. It is a kind of mid-tempo song with melodies played with classical guitar by Oliver.

The Haunted Lovers – A mid tempo rock song with a chorus where we built a choir out of the singers. This was actually Oliver’s choice as an opener for the CD. On the first recordings we didn’t use this song, but we added it to the mix later. The feeling of the song I like very much and it has a kind of “sing-along” character to it.

This Dream – This is the most progressive song on the album. It has many different parts and is sung by Kemi, Roman and Oliver. It has a very epic feel to it although it actually is a midtempo rock song and not even very long. The lyrics in the last double-bass part I always found very touching and they describe good how I felt a couple of years back when it was still unclear to us what we were going to do and which direction to take.

Ewigkeit – This song was first supposed to be a kind of an outro, but actually Judith, Kemi and Roman made a complete song out of it. It is a slow ballad with a piano and both Judith and Kemi sing on top of each other with answering lines. I find it very beautiful and it is a perfect end to the album and after hearing this it really feels like everything has been said.

Arne
Have Satyrian planned any tourdates to promote the album?

Jan
We’ll be playing at a festival in Holland in July and there are some concerts coming up in France. We are also busy with negotiations with a booking agency so I’m sure we’ll do some more concerts to promote ”Eternitas’. For the rest it is not always easy to arrange shows since everybody is involved with other bands and projects too, but we’ll try to get out there as much as possible for sure!

Arne
You have been apart of the music scene for many years now, is there a special story from a live show or another happening that you can tell to the readers of this interview?

Jan
Oh there have been so many things during the years that I wouldn’t even know where to start. Most things seem to stick to mind when it gets really hectic. And most of the times it seems to get hectic, no matter how good you prepare yourself. But one of the nicest things with Satyrian was our summer-tour of 2003 in Finland. We probably drove like 3000 km in three days or something, but you didn’t even notice since it was always light outside like it is in summertime up there. We played at the most northern rock festival in the world in Lapland, far above the polar circle. God knows why we got booked up there, but there we were. It was actually very funny, because the festival was located on a ski-piste. But of course in the summer there was no snow, so you kind of played in the woods. It was kind of luxury even, because we were provided with our own bungalows, sauna’s and all. Yeah, sometimes it can be pretty rewarding even if having to drive a million miles for it.

Arne
I wish you good luck with Eternitas, and thanks for taking time to answer my questions! If you have a last message you want to tell to the readers of this interview or to your fans this is your chance.

Jan
Well I hope that the listener will enjoy the album as much as we enjoyed making it. It was a long and a rocky road to get it out there and it is nice to notice that people appreciate our effort. Thanks for the support.


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