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Vintersea's Avienne: "No matter how high the bar is raised; I believe that there is no ceiling or barrier! I love challenging myself to see how far I can take an idea, and discovering different modes of expression."

Interview with Avienne from Vintersea
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 September 2019, 2:19 AM

There is the top, and there is over the top. Basically, there is no certainty that this term "over the top" is accurately distinguished by anybody. However, with albums such as Vintersea's " Illuminated", you might be getting closer to understanding this complex term. Signing with a new label, getting more attention, as they rightfully deserve, Vintersea are only in the beginning of a new chapter in their career. Steinmetal had a talk with Avienne, the band's vocalist, about the new album, changes, raising the music bar, and more…

Greetings Avienne, I highly pleased to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing?

It’s a busy time for us at Vintersea! We’re thrilled with how the album is being received, and we have received so much support from our fans both new and old for our upcoming album, "Illuminated"!

It is certainly true, a lot has been happening surrounding Vintersea, in particular due to the release of your sophomore album, “Illuminated”. For the release of “Illuminated”, you were able to find a home at M-Theory Audio record label. How does it feel to be signed in comparison to your period of time as an independent band, which included releasing an album on your own?

We learned so much as an independent band, and formed wonderful relationships and friendships with our fans, booking agents, and musicians in the local metal scene. When we joined the M-Theory label, it opened our horizon and reach to our listeners. We want nothing more than to share our music with as many people as we can, and the label has supported us in our endeavor to reach and interact with a wider audience.

On that note, do you believe that bands nowadays should still strive to sign in record labels? Does the support of the label still valid as it was in the past, where labels would fund bands for various activities, and not merely promotion and printing?

Our journey as a signed band has just begun, and being signed has been a positive experience thus far. The record label will take a band as far as how hard the band is willing to work for their success. I think it’s completely valid for a band to be signed to a record label to deepen their success, as it may lead to further opportunities in the future.

Right from the get go, and it has been evident since your debut, Vintersea has high standards when it comes to its music. To be always diverse, provocative in a way, but simply put, to be outstanding. “Illuminated” proved that you can do that pretty well with the incorporation of a number of sub-genres of Metal into your progressive reality. How do you find your efforts on this new album?

Those are very nice words, so thank you! I’ve always strove to put in my best efforts when producing an album, but I think I was able to dig deeper and experiment at a heavier level in terms of my writing and vocal style with the newest release.

In comparison to the debut, what would you say were your main focuses while writing the music? 

To create something beautiful, complex, and devastating. Since there is a conceptual element to the album, I wanted to make sure that the story flows, and that the emotion shines through while still making sense.

What can you tell of the songwriting process of “Illuminated”? Is there a main songwriter that takes the lead or it is rather a group effort to come up with the ultimate brainstorming, which might take more time?

Before we got into the nitty gritty portion of the songwriting process, we laid out the foundation of the album’s theme, concept, and story arch. It can be a very focused or spontaneous effort. However, since the spontaneity comes in spurts, we dedicated focused time to pen the lyrics and music for "Illuminated". There are many times where we write our own parts, but ultimately, we collaborate and tweak the music to create a sound that is undeniably the sound of Vintersea.

 “Illuminated” is also an album that is showered with drama, and I might even argue that there is a kind of a theatrical showcase going on. What is your take on that? Do you believe that these elements powered this album up? 

The album is riddled with atmospheric elements that emphasize the vibe or theme of the song it appears in. I’ve always loved albums that go H.A.M on wild elements like that, and it serves as an auditory queue as to what the album’s protagonist is feeling, or where they are in their journey.

When thinking about it, with this kind of effort to go out of your way by keeping up the music fresh, and brutal, at the same time, is there anywhere to go from here? It is possible that with this album you raised the bar quite high

No matter how high the bar is raised, I believe that there is no ceiling or barrier! I love challenging myself to see how far I can take an idea, and discovering different modes of expression. I think there’s so much undiscovered terrain in our creativity and style, and I’m looking forward to seeing where that takes us!

What is inspired the lyrical content on the album? Is there a joint theme that unites the tracks’ lyrics or are we talking of standalone songs, simply pointing out different things?

The birth of the album’s concept was conceived when I was playing the game “Horizon Zero Dawn”. That piqued an interest in where humanity and civilizations will lie after experiencing their downfall and destruction time and time again. The album takes it a step further and explores what the new civilization will face once it is rebirthed in the post-apocalypse.

Once again your artwork is displayed the cold colors of Blue and Green, portraying quite an interesting outcome. On “Illuminated” it is even greatly noticed. What was the inspiration behind this artwork? What does it symbolize?

Our artwork was done by Xenoyr of Ne Obliviscaris, whom we had the pleasure of sharing the stage with in September 2018. He really captured the concept, meaning, and mood of the album through the art that he produced for "Illuminated". The blue and green hues symbolize the innocence and purity when the album protagonist enters the World, but it also represents the somberness and melancholy that the protagonist suffers when he realizes that the world isn’t what he was taught it would be or what he was expecting.

Gabe Johnston and Troy Glessner made wonders to your sound, and made sure that the term crystal clear would be a part of your personal lexicon. What is your appreciation of their work on “Illuminated”? Did their efforts defined the band’s sound to be maintained in the future?

Both Gabe and Troy brought our ideas to life. Gabe worked with us to create the sound we were looking for through his mixing and recording, and Troy polished our sound to make it what it is today. I really can’t say enough about them both, so you’ll just have to listen to the album to hear their work that “illuminates” the album!

 “Illuminated” displays highly varied vocal tones and styles, quite inspirational. It appears that you outdid yourself, gave your whole for a great purpose. Would you say that this album challenged you while recording? Did you have to keep enhancing your voice in particular for this album or you were already ready to nail it?

Thank you! We worked with incredible people (both in the band, and outside of the band) and each of us individually in Vintersea pushed each other to produce the best and most meaningful sound. My creativity and imagination went wild with what I wanted to sing and scream on this album, and that itself pushed me to reach a new level in my vocal ability and writing



What is your favorite track out of “Illuminated”? That one piece of music that made you sit down and think, after listening to the outcome? Let’s go even deeper, a track that made you see yourself, your image. Please elaborate on your pick

One of my favorite parts of the writing process was each song that appears on the album was my favorite song at one point or another. If I had to pick one song out of the album, it would be “Crack of Light”. I really bled my heart into the track, and it still cuts my heart (in a good way) every time I listen to it. I love music that really digs deep into an emotion, or can make you think about yourself or the world around you when you listen to it. It’s a really special thing to have a track on the "Illuminated" album that does just that.

Upcoming at the beginning of next month you are inbound to perform in your own release party. What is are you planning for this occasion?

Yes! We are performing at The Twilight Café and Bar in Portland, Oregon on October 4th with Von Doom, When Empires Fall, and Kybalion. We are all so excited to present the album in its entirety!

Going forward into the end of 2019, and on towards 2020, what are your plans to support “Illuminated”? Have you thought of performing in Europe, maybe in the Summertime in the festival season?

We do have some plans brewing for both national and international shows. However, they are going to be kept up our sleeves for the time being *wink wink*. So keep an eye out on our announcements on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Avienne, thank you so much for the interview. You guys achieved a piece of music that is solid and positively overboard, well done. I wish you all the best.

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak about the album! We have so much more to share with our fans, and we are so excited for what’s to come.

Vintersea’s “Illuminated” is available on www.vintersea.com and our European fans can find the album HERE



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Edited 30 May 2020
 

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