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Kessier (Seraphim)

Interview with Kessier from Seraphim
by Makis Kirkos at 25 July 2004, 7:25 PM

Our dear editor, Makis, has an open eye for anything going on in the planet. This time he discovered a band from Taiwan, called Seraphim. He was pretty thrilled about them since he reviewed their new album, Ai and he demanded an e-mail interview with the band. Well…here it is! Enjoy this quite long interview with one of the band's guitar players, who's also the main composer, Kessier.

Welcome to Metal-Temple.Com! Please introduce the band to our readers…

Well, Seraphim are Quinn (vocals), Kessier (guitar), Jax (bass & vocals), Simon (drums) & Lucas (guitar), a Melodic Power Metal band from Taiwan, formed in the beginning of 2001.

Our debut album The Soul That Never Dies was released in 2002, 2nd album The Equal Spirit was released in 2003, Ai album is our latest release this year. All albums were released under the Spanish label Arise Records.

I admit I haven’t heard any Taiwanese Power Metal acts before and I

was quite surprised. How difficult or easy is it to be supporting Heavy Metal from somewhere so far away?

It is not easy to support Heavy Metal, especially as we’re coming from Taiwan and Metal bands in Asia are not so popular, and introducing our music to the world became the most important thing to us.

I guess cause of your terrain it would be extremely hard to promote the band to the rest of the world…

Yes, I guess so. Although we’re playing European Power Metal,  it seems so difficult to promote the band to the rest of the world.

How do you manage to go on tour? The expenses must be huge…

We’ve been in contact with some promoters who’d help us with the tour around the world. In fact, we’ve already got some support from them and it will not cost us much.

Let’s talk about your new album, Ai. The European release date is on June 25th, right?

Yes, on June 25th it will be released in Europe.

What’s Ai stands for?

Ai is the word for Love in Chinese. We’d used many different elements on this concept album, you may find out some different progressive styles that appear on this album.

The artwork is amazing. Whose idea was it? Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, the artwork is great. It was designed by Mattias Noren, we’ve been discussing it via email before we started working on it. The cover concept was Mattias’s idea, the lonesome stone-lovers image tells of love in solitude.

What about the story of the songs? Is it a concept album? If so, please tell us the story…

Actually, I can’t say there’s some story behind the songs. Although it is a concept album, I think - every songs was regarding to the title,Ai, such as the tears of love, resurrect form love, love & implementation etc…

Could you tell us something about each one of the songs? Just the main story…

This is a short intro with acoustic guitars, opening for this long concept album. We use 3 beat & 5 beat combinations in each 8 beats bar, a kind of special performing style for an acoustic guitar, it was written after all songs except The End.

The album title, Ai, is the word for love in Chinese. Every single song on this album tells of the love of Seraphim in different ways.

Tears that tells the tears of love, just like the lyrics Who’s gonna shed the teardrops that fall in loneliness? Is that you? Maybe it’s me…

A speedy tempo with melodic guitar riffs in this song, also change the tempo during guitar’s solo part. Tears is the typical style of Seraphim’s music.

We use the middle-eastern style of the sitar with heavy power chords as a background to make the song more weird, open with a lonely night-singing at the beginning of this song. The love will resurrect? you may judge after listening to this song.

A kind of a hard tempo change style before the guitar solos is one of the important parts of this song, the guitar duet solos of Resurrect are my favorite in this album.

The duet of operatic female vocals & male Death vocals that first appear in this album. The dialogue between the angel and the devil.

The harmony guitar duets opening for this song build a strong song structure in the beginning, this song talks about if you’re eager to be love, you have to know about how to love and implement.

I only have a humble mind that longs for love & implementation, and you?!

This song is the first attempt to write in mid-tempo with sad atmosphere. Love usually instigates everyone breaking in the abyss of despair.

Love is a game, easy to start, hard to finish.

06.Can’t Take
A typical high speed Power Metal style of Seraphim’s music. The crazy double bass drums and the powerful guitars picking rhythm make this song explode ordinary peoples’ mind while listening to it at midnight. You can find out the melody from Pachelbel’s Kanon in the end of this song, a very  interesting thing with such heavy music background… No matter how difficult it is to separate love, you just can’t take…

A sentimental ballad with clear male vocals that appear in this song. It’s also the fist attempt to write  song with clear vocals and, actually, I couldn’t imagine how this song would be between the operatic female vocals & the clear male vocals while it was being written. Finally it doesn’t seem bad…I think. Walk alone leisurely, don’t let tears down before your eyes, I’m staring at you in a hush, there’s only sadness, yeah, it’s the love of mine!

08.In The Air
A blaming mistake from the screaming beast tells the love will disappear in the air. We use a harpsichord in the beginning of this song, trying to make it sound more emotional and we also use the different repeat chapter to make some change in this song, pretty cool idea!

Love is gone when you’re listening this instrumental.

The firstly written song of this album, many more chapters and just a little repeat for this song. The Progressive tempo at the chorus section sometimes makes me go insane, our lead vocalist, Pay usually complains about this, especially as a classical opera singer…but I love to do that… :)

Yeah, it’s you , makes my courage disappear, I can’t recall before I was in love.

11.Is That?
A musical recitation of words, this song’s main structure is with acoustic guitars and a solo cello, you may just listen her angelic singing, that is enough!

A typical Epic closer again. I tried to make this song slower although it is standing on the most important part of this album. I use a modulation when the song’s going into the chorus, a minor key directing to a major key, one of my favorite techniques of song writing. Sounds good?! Hehe…

The complicated chapters and the variety of this song make every band member hate me, but I’m still interested in it.

An instananeous love turn into an eternal fate…who knows?!

13.The End
Yeah, it’s the end of this album, continuing the music from the previous song with acoustic guitars in the background again. Pay’s lyrical singing is an interactive opus to the intro.

14.My (In Chinese)
Same as  My in English, but this track is specially coming from our new vocalist, Quinn Weng, the first recorded piece in her lifetime! Just check it out! You’ll find out how amazing it is!!

I realize you hired Quinn two months ago. What happened to Pay?

After the Ai album had been done, Pay had decided to leave the band because she was very busy with her classical lessons in Germany and didn’t have too much time to take care of both the band & the class, so she had to made her choice.

Musically speaking, your compositions remind me of Nightwish and Stratovarius. Do you consider them to be your main influences?

I don’t think of Nightwish & Stratovarius as our main influences, there are many great bands that I like, and may have influenced me during the time when I wrote the songs.

How do you manage to compose such a complex music? Is it hard or is it normal for you?

It’s normal for me. Do our songs sound complex? I dodn’t find them to be complex…sorry :)

Although you are from Taiwan, you sound very European… Is that mainly because of your production?

Not really. I think the music style is the main reason, post production is the 2nd cause.

By the way, even though I don’t understand a word in Chinese, I like your Chinese edition very much…

Thanks for your words, I love the Chinese edition a lot too.

You are hard workers concerning the fact that you’ve released an album each year, in two editions (Chinese & English ). How do you manage this? Where do you find the time?

We usually spend a month to write the new songs & have the demos recorded. Albums recorded & post production took about 3 months. It didn’t take us a lot of time to do it. And how do I find the time? - Need no sleep is a good way! haha!

Do you all participate in the compositions?

No, all compositions are done by me.

Could you explain the composition procedure?

It depends on my inspiration at that time. I usually write the song with my guitar, trying to play some riffs helps me find out some new structure for the song…

Allow me to ask you some general questions now. Are you into any other kind of art?

Website design, just like Seraphim’s site.

Describe a typical Seraphim day…

Nothing special! Listening to some music , surfing the internet, watching TV…

Do you have other jobs as well?

Yes, I have a commercial studio; I need to work, Jax composes some music for TV commercials, Wuinn is a student, Simon as a salesman, Lucas is a high-tech engineer that I don’t really understand…

What’s your biggest ambition? As a person and as a musician…

To become a famous Metal band in the world, let more people like our music…

As a person…I’m not a human being…so, my ambitions are not common. :)

Ok, back to Ai. Do you have any other plans for its promotion? A video clip maybe?

We’re on a World War Tour this summer, and we will be playing in Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Germany, S.Korea, China & Taiwan.

Maybe we will release our first live-DVD which will be taken from our tour in China.

Any tour plans arranged?

As above. We’re not going to arrange too many, because Quinn needs some time to take care of her new class in September.

What’s the media’s response to Ai so far?

Pretty good. It was better than we thought. Some magazines and metal websites called it the best of Seraphim’.

By the way I forgot to ask you… why did you chose Seraphim as a band name?

Pay is a Christian, we chose Seraphim which was taken from the Holy Bible, Isaiah 6-2. Seraphim always singing and praying for the Lord. We hope the band’s name is not too hard for a band with a female lead singer. So we chose it.

Ok, this interview turned to be really huge, so my final question would be…do you have any plans for a DVD release?

As above, maybe we will. Many procedures need to discussed about first!

That’s all, please end this interview as you wish.

Well, thanks to Makis & Metal Temple. Take care! Hope to see ya soon!!!


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