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Serenity Tour @ Backstage, Munich, Germany + SERENITY Interview

SERENITY / Beyond The Bridge / Midriff
in Friday, 11 April 2014 at Backstage
by Erika Kuenstler

April sees the second leg of the War of Ages tour over Europe, almost a year after the first leg. Headlining this tour is SERENITY, presenting their 2013 album “War of Ages”, with MIDRIFF and BEYOND THE BRIDGE as supports.

Opening the night was MIDRIFF, a relatively new Austrian Rock trio. This band is unusual in that the drummer also fulfils the role of vocalist, with two brothers playing bass and guitar. This band played with undeniable enthusiasm, catchy stage presence, and good, solid melodies that quickly dialled up the notch and set the mood for the rest of the night.

The penultimate band of the evening was the German Progrock band BEYOND THE BRIDGE. One thing that completely stood out about BEYOND THE BRIDGE was the pure sense of joy that the band seemed to exude. They really gave the impression that there was nowhere else in the world that they would rather be than on that stage in Munich that night, which was spectacular, seeing as the band has recently lost a member. This exuberance was an infectious attitude that soon had the crowd partying along. BEYOND THE BRIDGE’s final song off of the album “The Old Man and the Spirit” left the crowd yelling for an encore, although the band skilfully channelled this enthusiasm, transforming the cries for more into cheers for the final band, SERENITY.

The headliners of the night were SERENITY, a Symphonic Metal band from Austria. Starting out with the intro to the famous TV series “Game Of Thrones”, which I have to imply that there is a certain chill or electrical charges caused by that intro as its influence is far reaching. Right afterwards, SERENITY launched straight into searing set that had the audience singing along for the most part, astounding as the big hit that they appeared to be. Earlier on I noticed that fans arrived three hours before the concert was even supposed to begin. I really liked when I found out that the band took the time out to meet with people. It occurred not only before the concert, but afterwards as well. All in all, it was a great show on the stage flowing with wild energies in comparison to other acts of the genres that I saw earlier on, filled with the band’s latest hits that really pierced the audience, fantastic Symphonic Metal as a cutting edge. SERENITY delivered the goods with a good sound quality along with the band’s catchy flavours that were still stuck in my head a day later.

1. Intro Game of Thrones
2. The Matricide
3. Coldness Kills
4. Velatum
5. Legacy of Tudors
6. The Chevalier
7. Fairytales
8. Reduced to Nothingness
9. Royal Pain
10. Heavenly Mission
11. Wings of Madness
12. Age of Glory
13. Serenade of Flames

Interview - Clémentine Delauney (Serenity)

Up until fairly recently, SERENITY has been a male fronted band. But that all changed when Clémentine Delauney joined the band, and took on the role of female lead vocalist, complementing the male lead. At SERENITY’s recent show in Munich, I got to have a chat with Clémentine on her part in the band, her future aspirations for SERENITY, and a bit on the band’s history, including their latest album, “War of Ages”.

What have your experiences been like, being the newest member in the band?

You have to adapt yourself quite a lot, and you have to know what the band has been through in the years before in order to understand how it works. It takes a little time to find your place, your part in the band. But it’s always very exciting.

I can imagine it’s difficult, considering the shared history that already exists between the others.

Yeah, whatever you do or say, you’re the newbie. It’s like you don’t have their experience, you haven’t been through what they have been through, so it’s like your point of view is rather less to be taken seriously. It can be difficult sometimes. It’s not because I haven’t been in a band that I don’t have a view of how things are working. I’ve been into the music business for quite some years, behind the scenes as a promoter.

It must be so different coming from the business side of things and then suddenly changing to the performance side where you actually appear onstage!

Yes, I really actually love to have this overview of how it works. It’s great!

With about a dozen shows on this tour, are there any you’re particularly looking forward to?
I’m actually very much looking forward to PPM Fest in Mons because festivals are always very important for bands, and it’s a bigger stage where you can express yourself more freely, so I am very much looking forward to this. And to Budapest, to come back there, because from what I remember from a previous tour, the audience there was quite crazy, so it’s really nice. This tour is to cities and countries where we have been already, like we’ve already played this Backstage venue, the bigger one in the other part. And they, when I was not in the band, played here several times, so they’re regular clubs.

About the band’s history, there are conflicting dates as to when it all started, with some saying it was 2001, and others saying 2004. When did it all start?

Actually, the very very first time this band was called SERENITY was when it was created in 2001 by Mario Hirzinger and they made the first EP. There was no Georg Neuhauser, no
Thomas Buchberger, nobody from the next lineup was there, except Mario I think, and maybe the bass player, I’m not very sure. But this was the start, and then they had to look for new musicians, and then Georg and Thomas came in. And they completely revisited it; they kept the name, but the music had nothing to do with the previous stuff. They professionalised it and found a record deal, and the first SERENITY record could be considered as their first studio effort because the very first EP had nothing to do with the entire discography.

And what about the latest album, “War of Ages”? What was the influence behind it?

We wanted to keep the direction of having each song dealing with a famous character in history. And when Tom and Georg started to write the music, it appeared to be a bit darker than the previous record. So all in all when we had all the songs, we were like “Yeah, the general feeling is a bit more heavy and darker”. There are different influences; there’s one song which is very melancholic. So we thought that maybe we should try to bring topics of darker times. So we found characters who had their own inner problems or state problems, like Napoleon with wars and we brought in Beethoven with his inside war with fighting against these diseases making him deaf, and the Bathory Countess also starting to get mad and stuff like this. We gathered a lot of different topics, and we saw that the red line was a war, whether it was an outside physical war, or it’s someone fighting against himself, or inner war. So we called it like this. And it was different periods of times, so it was not representing one period especially, but several.

With the album being out for a year already, why do this tour now?

We made one right when the record was out. We made a headlining tour, which was actually the first SERENITY headlining tour ever, right in March 2013 when the record was just out, so that was the first leg. And since then, we knew we were going to do a second leg which we would have loved to have happen a bit earlier, but that’s how it went. So we have the second part now one year thereafter, so it’s like a one year anniversary!

Seeing as it has been a year, have there been any thoughts on writing new material? A new single perhaps?

So far because of booking this tour and because of the fact that we work with a lot of distance, everything is a bit slow this time. And Thomas is not here with us on this tour because he could not manage to handle everything and he has different priorities in his life, which is completely understandable. So we’re taking it slowly. I think we will start working on new material when we are done with this tour and a couple of gigs we have in May. Maybe in the summer when we are a bit more relaxed.

What happens with the writing process, especially now with your addition to the band?

The thing is that SERENITY has been around for ten years now, and they have found their way of song writing. They have their method. And it’s always difficult when you have a new member, even with Fabio when he entered, it was always difficult to open the process to new people, to change the way you were working which was working efficiently. So it was hard for the guys to bring us into the song writing process, honestly. But we are very lucky to work with a very very good producer, Oliver Philips, and he helped me especially get more parts in the records. We worked together at least on how to get my voice more present on the record because at first I was not meant to sing as much as I do. It’s always difficult, and with the distance, we can’t meet up continuously every two weeks, so it’s always difficult, but that’s how it goes; it’s ok.

Being the new vocalist, what would you like to contribute to the band, or how would you like to change it?

When they offered me to join, the idea was to make SERENITY a duet fronted band, like VISIONS OF ATLANTIS is, or like AMARANTHE is somehow, which means we would have shared equally the singing part. And I would have loved to create duets with characters talking and sort of more dramatic, with the history behind it; something richer, because you have more voices to play with. And even Fabio is a very awesome vocalist, so Georg said he would try to have him have lead vocal parts too. And it would have been great to have this sort of vocal richness; it brings new stuff to the music. It opens possibilities. But of course it implies that we work more together, and for the moment, it’s been pretty difficult. I hope that in the near future, after this tour, we will start thinking about the next record, and maybe just sit and discuss it all.

Wow, well, best of luck with all of that, it sounds great! And thanks for your time!

No, no worries, it was great, thank you.

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