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Elisabeth Vasquez (Six Magics)

Interview with Elisabeth Vasquez from Six Magics
by Harry Papadopoulos at 19 April 2010, 5:04 PM

Between release parties and some live shows in Germany, me struggling at work and a big earthquake, making everyone talk about and knowing the difficulties that they went through in Chile , we finally made this mail interview with Elisabeth. Friendly, kind and with big expectations about the band, she wrote a couple of lines about the past, the nonce and the future of SIX MAGICS, alongside their experience in Germany and what the people of Clile went through. Hope to see you guys sometime.

Hi Elizabeth. Where does this mail find you and the rest of the band?
Hello. Yes, we are fine here now. We had returned from our promotional trip in Germany and after 8 hours we had been with our family and friends, the earthquake started. it was really scary. Fortunately, we just had some material stuff. The real tragedy was in the south of the country. Now we are trying to stand up and hug everything we love. The real effects of the earthquake are still being revealed: economy is being affected and normal life has changed too. Nobody is the same since that day. We are emotionally damaged but after these weeks we are getting better, at least.

I know that this is supposed to be an interview about your album “Behind The Sorrow”, but some things come first. A few days ago a big earthquake hit Chile. Like everyone else on this planet, we are deeply sad about that thing. How are things right now?
Things are still hectic and people are trying to come back to their centre. After this tragedy, the government had to change its priorities, normal life is not “normal” anymore. Many people in the south are still without a place to live but they are being helped for the government. But, for example, materials for building houses or repair them are not enough and many industries are still closed. So sometimes you can’t find the same products you had at the supermarket or for example, tomorrow, gasoline will rise to the sky!!! The country has been affected emotionally and psychologically first, and now the economical issues are also appearing. People have became more united and the national spirit has also got stronger… We are alive and fine. So we have learnt how to live after a earthquake. For example, I have recently felt an aftershock while I’m writing this…

We all hope for the best from now on. Let’s discuss a bit about the band and your album. You may have a history of ten years in the music industry, if I’m not mistaken, but many metalheads in Europe don’t now many things about SIX MAGICS. Can you give them a small bio of the band?
Well the band started as a band of friends. I met them when they had recorded a demo tape in Spanish when they won a school contest. They were among 14 and 18 years old. They were talented even then. So I started being their manager. I could feel they could do bigger things. After some years the singer left the band and we met Sergio Dominguez, he joined the band and recorded 2 albums. With those albums we were distributed in Europe from an Italian label and so the album was released in France, Germany and Japan. The band was very successful here in Chile and it’s considered as one of the biggest and more popular ones in the country. Some years ago, Sergio left the band and he decided to be an actor and right now he is well recognized here. So we needed to find a new singer. I was also looking for a new one when the band asked me to be the singer. I said no, they insisted, and as I wanted to be rejected I asked to record the most difficult song from the album David Prater was producing. But the band liked it and David too!! So I started being their singer. I was confused and impressed, but they convinced me to do it. I’m very happy with the band and our last album “Behind The Sorrow” has had really good comments, and the main thing is that people like it. And we always thank that!

In what way do you believe that the band has made some steps forward over the years?
I think that our music has grown up with us. We started singing in Spanish, after that we recorded an Epic album, then we decided to make something related to our culture, so we had “The Secrets of an Island”, which includes Chilean typical instruments and a real Chilean concept: the myths of a Chilean island called “Chiloe”. Then we wanted to say something more about our country and culture, so we decided to make something different. We needed to express ourselves not only with music but lyrics, too. So we wanted to work with a producer and David was perfect for us. This album is very realistic, we talk about the feelings and thoughts we have about our lives and the world we live in.. I think our music represents our lives; it has been a beautiful process of growing. We love every stage and period of our music…

When I saw the tracklist of “Animal” and “Behind The Sorrow”, I found out that the only change was in the arrangement of the tracks and that in the first mentioned album you have a song called “Carcass”, which is not in your latest release, and a song called “Animal” that is not in the 2008 album. Why is that?
When we decide to record an album with David Prater, Sergio was still in the band, so in the middle of the process I took his place and people were really impatient to hear the new album. It was crazy but none of us could open his/hers windows messenger or chats, because we were “attacked” by people and media asking for the new material. But it was with David in the States being mastered!! So as soon as we had the master, we decided to make some copies, just a few, for friends and relatives. “Animal” was the promotional album for the real “Behind the Sorrow”, but we like it too :-)

So, where do you spot the differences between “Behind the Sorrow” and “The Secrets of an Island”?
The composition of those albums is absolutely different, musically speaking “The Secrets of an Island” is very complex and some people can’t understand the message at first… you need to listen to it more than once. “Behind the Sorrow” is more direct, for me, it has the beauty of simplicity, “The Secrets…” also has Chilean rhythms and instrumentation, well lyrics also are part of our culture, but “Behind the Sorrow” is an album that for me it’s not pretentious, it has just what it needs to be understandable and simple. The lyrics show what we think about different topics and of course it also represents the evolution we have had through all these years.

I now that it is too early to say something like that, but are there any small details in this album that you would like to change?
Not for this album, but recording an album is a great experience and fortunately we are really happy with the results, we love this album! (as we also love the others ha ha) you are always saying you could have done something better, but I wouldn’t change anything…But I know that I would do some different stuff for another album. But this is perfect for me now :-)

What is the feedback that you have from the press and the fans for “behind The Sorrow” so far?
It has been better than what we could expect! We have had an excellent relationship here with Chilean media, we really respect the job of all the people involved in this area, so we have always been supported here by local media and fans. That’s the most beautiful thing. We have got emails and messages from different parts of the world supporting our music and also the label has been very supportive. In Germany people are adorable!!! We had an amazing experience there in our promotional tour! Media has been very nice, especially after the disaster we suffered, so I want to say “thank you” to the people and specialized media for all their words and support!

Elisabeth, the NIGHTWISH influences along with the DREAM THEATER ones are obvious. But can you tell us some other bands that are a big influence for SIX MAGICS and to you?
I met NIGHTWISH when they came here the first time in 2001, SIX MAGICS was the supporting band, and I was still the manager, I started a nice relationship with Tuoma Holopainen, who I love! And every time they come to Chile we meet each other. he is adorable and of course I also admire his music. But there is already a NIGHTWISH and they are fantastic! The classical influences in our music are because Erick, the guitarist loves it! I like r&b and jazz, and Metal of course!!!! My favorite singers are Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Peabo Bryson, Freddy Mercury, Dio and many other metal singers. Erick is very influenced by classical music and thrash like MEGADETH, SLAYER, ANNIHILATOR, METALLICA, etc. He also likes composers like John Williams, Zimmer and John Williams. The drummer started with glam music like GUNS n’ ROSES and drummers like Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta among others. The rest share their interest in metal and composers like Bach, etc…so as you can see, we really enjoy different kinds of music!

David Prater (producer of DREAM THEATER) was the engineer in this album. How did you got in touch with him?
A couple of years ago we decided to record a new album. Our main idea was getting this new album considering other sounds, rhythms, melodies and lyrics. He had recorded another band here in Chile some years before and as we knew these guys we could contact him rapidly. We wanted this third album being different from the previous ones. We also thought it would be a good idea to reach this goal if we worked with a producer. With all of this in mind we contacted some people to make this job and after some months we decided to produce the new material with David Prater. He wanted to work with us because he thought the band had enough potential to get good results and the idea of working with him was quite attractive to our cause. Talking with him about music, he wanted the same we wanted. I mean, we were lucky because we found a producer that didn’t want to change our music as his wishes and we want to do the same he wanted!

It was a long time in which many things happened. Since his arrival, we had almost everything recorded and the singer quit the band, so then I took his place and David had to come to Chile again to record the vocals and me having a very serious illness etc… At the end of the process we realize that everybody was very happy with the result and that all the sacrifices we did were absolutely paid with this new album. I think what he brought to our music was the idea of simplicity, the previous albums had thousands of notes sounding at the same time and the musical spirit went more for having a lot of complex arrangements working together at the same time. Fortunately we wanted to do something simpler too.

You made some shows in Germany if I’m correct. How did that gigs go?
We mainly had some release parties there and the gigs we had were amazing, especially in Aachen. We played with two more young bands from there and it was absolutely cool. Something really funny took place at the end of our show, because we were backstage and people started singing aloud something in German. We couldn’t understand it so we didn’t know what to do! The thing was that singing sounded like bad words in Spanish, so we though “wired, they was crazy with us!! And now they are saying something rude”. Fortunately our German manager who also speaks Spanish went to the backstage laughing and said “you are lucky, they are asking you another more song”!!! Ha ha, it was really funny! So I must say we love German metalheads. They are so friendly and supportive!

What are the differences between the European audience and the metalheads in South America?
I think that maybe the main difference is that the reason people from Latin-America go to concerts is because they really want to be there. So they support the band since the very first moment of the show. You don’t find people who were bored at home and saying: ”Hmm ,,ok..who will perform today? Hmmm I think I can go and spend my time there at the concert”, but as tickets are very expensive here (some bands tour and the more expensive tickets from Latin America are the Chilean ones) people prepares themselves for that concert, so they want to be there more than anything. But we have been very lucky and Chilean people have supported SIX MAGICS since the very beginning and now we had a real good promotional tour in Germany. I can say both are quite similar. Maybe years ago the difference was wide but not now.

Do you have any other plans for live shows in the near future in Europe?
Sure! We are working on a tour for the next semester and we have some festivals already confirmed but we will announce more when we have more news about some other gigs. So we are so excited about it!! I hope we can visit as many places we can. So we hope to see you there!!!

What should we expect from SIX MAGICS in the future and how far do you believe that you can go?
We want to share our music and live making music. We are just opening our wings and enjoying life and the people we meet everyday. Since we are also hard workers, we will be doing our best to continue showing our music to people. The main things now is promoting the album and perform, the rest will be seen soon. As you can imagine we need to enjoy every single moment in life, step by step..

Well, that’s all from me, Elisabeth. All the best to you and your band. The last words belong to you.
No more than saying thanks so much to all of you, the media and fans for being with us in our hard times. You will never know how your words, emails and messages have helped us to stand up. I’d love to be in Greece some day too. All my respect to your people and culture.


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Edited 28 January 2023

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