Happy New Year guys! Hopefully this will be a good one for you and me, so let’s start with something I haven’t done on this page in a long time: an interview. I stopped doing interviews a year and a half ago or so, when I decided it’s easier for me to just focus on one of my loves: photography. However, when the opportunity presented itself to have a nice chat with my friend Dan from Between Colors about their awesomely talented group and the new EP Simulacrum (at whose release concert I was invited and took some lovely photos also featured here because shameless self promotion) I couldn’t say no. Dan is an awesome guy and it’s always a pleasure to hear him talk about his art. Check out what he said below!
Alex: First of all, congratulations for Simulacrum, it’s a very cohesive album and I could feel it’s undoubtedly a step up sound-wise! My favourite song from the record is ‘Garden of Steel’ so I want to ask you if you could tell me more about the song as far as the message goes as well as your state of mind when writing/composing it?
Dan: Thank you so much! While working on the demo of it, I wanted it to start first with a very long and more space-y intro, with a lot of synth work and an atmospheric ambiance. Then the huge toms would kick in and the song would basically turn into a metalcore-ish track, with references to the intro in the bridge. I really wanted to make it an epic, long song, but we decided against that, to make sure that the essence and the energy wouldn’t be lost, so we cut out a lot of it.
Both albums had their own individual theme and universe that revolved around them. While it may be too early to ask about certain future concepts, what are some that fascinate you and you could see the band mixing into its unique style?
Dan: I’d personally like to delve more into the psyche and the emotional side of the human experience. Drawing from our own histories, both with the good and the bad and explore further the depths of what a person can go through and come out the other side. Since “The Wall” by Pink Floyd and “The Fragile” by Nine Inch Nails are my favorite albums of all time, I’m quite inclined to such themes.
As your sound turned more towards electronic/industrial, how did your creative process change from ‘M.A.D.’ to ‘Simulacrum’?
Dan: We strived to simplify it. We focused our stylistic and compositional choices and tried to do one thing well instead of 10 things like we did on “M.A.D.” I also worked a lot more on sound design and layering, rather than having a huge complex tapestry of elements all playing different things.
What are you hoping to achieve in 2018? Do you have a to-do/to-reach list?
Dan: First of all, we want to play as many gigs as possible. For the last two years we’ve had more and more concerts, but we’ve focused a lot on studio work and preparing the two special album launch shows, with all the logistics those entail – rehearsals, props, video projections, costumes, custom lights etc. There are a lot of ideas and other plans floating around for 2018, but I can’t talk about those right now, it’s too early.
There are not many world-famous Romanian metal bands, do you find that to be a challenge or an opportunity?
Dan: It’s a bit of both. It’s still very hard to poke your head out through all the bands that already have an international following and even more so if you’re from Eastern Europe. But at the same, because there are so few Romanian bands that are known outside our borders (and even on the national stage), there’s a sort of untapped niche there. The best thing to see would be that all of our best bands would get the attention that they deserve, of course.
When did your journey with music start and how did you find each-other?
Dan: Well, I started this band in 2012 and after a year of line-up changes, we sort of stumbled into each other through a huge coincidence. First was Rach, our bass player, who just happened upon my ad online, then just randomly found Mihai, our drummer in her friend list on Facebook. The crazy thing is that he is a guitar player but was open to fooling around with the drums. Then at a filming for a commercial, Cristina, our singer, heard Rach talking on the phone about try-outs for lead vocalists and, although she didn’t want to be in a band at the time, she came and from there, the rest is history, as they say.
If you could share the stage with 3 artists for an amazing one evening concert, who would they be?
Dan: Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, and Celldweller or Blue Stahli would be simply amazing. We’ve already shared the stage with a band that has guided me personally in my musical journey and been a part of my life for many years: Evergrey, which was simply a magical experience. They are truly some great people and simply excellent musicians and we had the great fortune of even taking a photo and talking a bit with them backstage and I was simply stunned to silence and awe-struck.
What would be the first or the most important thing you would change in the music industry if you had a chance?
Dan: I guess it would be people’s perception of it. A combination of the pop music industry (which I do enjoy), mass media, education and the rise of social media has kind of ingrained in the public that music is just a product, and one which needs to be consumed quickly. Even major label artists seem to get very little more than 15 minutes of time in the spotlight and that kind of frightens me as an underground musician. If they can’t hold the limelight for more than that, with all that promotional power behind them, how can we hope for more? This is a very broad generalisation and I know a huge percentage of the public doesn’t feel this way, but I think this is the biggest thing that worries me. I still force myself to listen to albums, and I don’t want to sound old-timey, but yeah, how many people spend a few hours with a record, taking it in, pondering its themes, and having genuine emotional reactions past “hey, this is catchy, I should share” or “this is crap, I should share”? But this fear makes me appreciate even more the fans that do give their time and hard-earned money and are open enough to feel along with us or any other band!
Thank you so much for your time! Any last thoughts for our readers?
Dan: Thank you so much for all your support, it never ceases to amaze us, BC loves you!
You can find Between Colors here:
And check out their new video here: