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George Charalambous (Winter's Verge)

Interview with George Charalambous from Winter's Verge
by Angela "MetalDancer" Van Der Kreeft at 11 July 2012, 2:24 PM

After nearly ten years of activity, it can't be declared that WINTER'S VERGE from Cyprus are just another Power Metal band with the same European attitude. With their new album "Beyond Revenge" via Massacre Records, it was proven. MetalDancer talked with George Charalambous, lead vocalist, about the new album, his favorite moments and experiences.

Hello there George, it is a great honor to have you for this interview for Metal Temple, how are you doing?

Hey guys, I’m doing great! The honor is mine!

You guys of WINTER’S VERGE released a new album under the name “Beyond Revenge”, via Massacre Records. Is this a sort of a vampire story?

The album is not a concept album, although the name is part of the whole saga that we have created. There is a song on every album that continues our vampire story. On the first album it was the song “Eternal Damnation”, on the second album it was “I Swear Revenge” and now we have “Unto the Darkness”. The name “Beyond Vengeance” has to do with the story, but not with the album as a whole.

When it came to singing, what did you consider as the most challenging song to sing on this album and why?

The most challenging songs concerning vocals are “Unto the Darkness” and “A Dream for a Dream”. “Unto the Darkness” was hard because I had get into the role of the ‘hero’, and sound upset and very passionate about the whole story. “A Dream for a Dream”, because there is no room for any mistakes, as it was only vocals and keys. Any wrong note could be heard and there must be a very good balance between being entirely correct with the notes and actually trying to pass the feeling across to the listener.

Which of the songs of “Beyond Revenge” is your personal favorite and why? What did you consider to be the most complicated song in the grand total on the album when it comes to musical terms?

My favorite song on the album is torn between 3 songs. "Unto The Darkness", "Semeni" and "Bleeding Heart". I believe the most complicated song concerning musical terms, has to be “Semeni”. There is practically a little bit of everything in there. The song goes from an acoustic intro, to power verses, epic choruses with choirs, time changes in the bridges and interludes, solos, and many different melodies and breaks throughout the entire song. It has to be the most challenging on the album.

Learned that you’re co-writing the songs together over the internet, how do you practice before you’re going into the studio?

I think for each one of us it’s different. For example I will burn a CD with the demo that we create, and throw in my car’s stereo. This way I will be able to listen to it for a quite a bit before the actual recording and maybe even think of different ways to make it better vocal wise either by adding 2nd and 3rd backing vocals or even in the main voice. Harry connects his guitar with his laptop and plays along with the demo. For each one of us it varies.

Which of the songs of “Beyond Revenge” did change the most inside the studio?

Two songs on the album really changed in the studio. “Threads Of My Life” had a totally different introduction, which made the song about a minute longer and the second song was “Angels of Babylon” that was actually created in the studio, and that’s why there are no keyboards in it, as the keyboardist was not there at that time.

Let me ask you straight, when and why did you decide to become a vocalist?

I decided to become a vocalist when the vocalist of my older band decided to leave. I said I would sing until we found someone better, gradually I felt I was getting better and feeling more comfortable with the microphone. When I created WINTER'S VERGE I was singing and playing rhythm guitar, later we found a much better guitarist than me and I just stuck with the vocals. After 8-9 years… here we are!

What did you do to train your voice to the power it has now or did you already have a powerful voice right from the start?

Thanks for the kind words, I had gone for only a few vocal classes, to learn how to breathe properly when you are singing, but the rest came with practice and experience. I think that each person can find his/her ‘right’ way to sing, as long as you follow a couple of ‘rules’.

What kind of direction you don’t want to go with WINTER’S VERGE?

The only direction I don’t want to go with WINTER’S VERGE is becoming something we are not just so we can make more money, or to be on 1 more page in some magazine. If the music we make doesn’t first make us happy, then there is no point in continuing what we are doing. This is something you do because you love it. Not because you have to, or want to become famous. We all have to pay our dues, in order to become a bigger band, and the more you try, the more it shows how much you love what you are doing!

What would you consider to be a challenge to try out on any future albums?

I can safely say that in the future we would like to use a real symphony on at least 1 of our albums. It would give our music depth and add elements that you cannot have with just a keyboard or samples.

George I would like to thank you for this interview, I wish you the greatest luck with the new album and  hope to see you on your tour

Thanks a lot! Keep it real and we will see you soon! Cheers


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