Monday, November 13, 2006

Interview with Howling Syn

A Goth Metal band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Howling Syn has been "Staying Evil" for 6 years now. Possibly the friendliest "evil" people I've met, I hope you enjoy reading the interview at least half as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

Here comes the question that probably gets asked all the time: how did the band get started?

SOPHIE: Patryk started alone in 1998 with an instrumental project. When I met him in 1999, I encouraged him to put his instrumental demos on the late website. The feedback was so awesome that we finished those songs that were still instrumental and recorded our first album with Patryk's longtime friend Éric Mireault.

I noticed there seems to be a storyline that goes along with each album. What are the difficulties to writing songs that fit a story or concept, and what are the advantages?

SOPHIE: Actually, only the first one is a concept album. We didn't start in that direction, but the story took form quite naturally, one song at a time. For the next album, we asked ourselves if we should try to write it around another story, but we didn't want to put limits to our creativity and the songs didn't come out that way. Our third album looks like it will also be made of "standalone" songs. But it doesn't mean that we will never write another concept album.

I guess it wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination to assume you're all fans of the Horror and Dark Fantasy genres?

SOPHIE: Of course, we can't and don't want to hide it! Our inspiration comes mainly from these two themes. I've always admired the "chiaroscuro" painters like Rembrandt, whose works have a deep, mysterious darkness that I find strangely enticing. It is that same darkness that I try to depict in our songs. Plus, we don't think that happy endings should be strictly for the "good ones". We like to take sides with the bad guys/creatures and have our own kind of happy ending.

How much of an impact do you think Goth Metal will make on the music industry over the next few years?

PATRYK: Of course I hope that this musical genre will have a much bigger impact in the music industry. Moonspell is one of the first international bands from this genre to get some recognition. They are sometimes too heavy for the mainstream music fans but they have proven to be like chameleons by using so many different styles over the years. They've also just won an MTV Euro award so the future looks bright for the gothic metal scene worldwide. We will carry on and try to add some new elements to our music so that this music genre will not die from lack of creativity.

There's a lot of Metal bands with female lead singers popping up these days. What do you think makes such bands so popular, other than the obvious uber-babes with great vocals appeal?

SOPHIE: When we started Howling Syn, there weren't many bands with a female singer. The one who really inspired me back then was Vibeke Stene from Tristania. I admired the softness and power that her voice added to the songs and the elegance that she projected. I think that a female voice can make a band more accessible for those who don't necessarily like extreme metal and that the metal-girls can relate more to those bands.

PATRYK: Sex sells and humanity knows that. Howling Syn is not about this gimmick, Sophie's role in the band is much more important than just selling her image to sex addicts or anything like this. She is the portrait of a strong woman with a brain! Besides the singer duties she also takes care of a lot of stuff in the band like promotion, translation and much more. She has a more theatrical presence on stage that has nothing sexual to it. Some may find it attractive and that's fine but that's not our goal. She looks great and sings great, that's what we want about her - oh and by the way, you can look awesome without looking like a whore ;). And some other metal bands thinks that way and they have huge success so that proves that the music can also sell.

What's in Howling Syn's near future?

SOPHIE: We will continue to feed on the energy from our two big Halloween shows and take some time to prepare the last details before we enter the studio in December to record some new songs for our third album. Having already two albums gives us the opportunity to take what we think was best from both of them and blend it with our personal experiences and learnings. So the expected result should be Howling Syn's best album to date. And of course, everything that goes along a new album will follow...

PATRYK: After that, we'll need to find a good label to help us reach all the synners out there! We will have to build a new live show with the new songs and I hope that will lead us to play outside Canada cause the demand is there.


Post a Comment

<< Home