Elysion is a greek band driven by metal elements fusing pop, rock, electro and alternative together. Their name is derived from the “Elysian fields” from Greek history, and is interpreted as “dreamy” or having a “romantic perspective of things”, as described by the band’s lead vocalist Christianna. This alluring songstress can rock out any stage she steps foot on. Her voice is like liquid flowing through your veins; once she’s started there’s no escaping her.
Elysion has peeked the interest of many with their debut album “Silent Scr3am” and are now hard at work developing new material for their follow-up. Amidst the band’s busy schedule, Christianna spared some time for EY to give us an exclusive interview. So, indulge yourself with the otherworldly song “Far From The Edge” and check out the interview with Elysion’s vocalist below:
EY: How and when did the band come together?
C: First of all I would like to thank you on behalf of all Elysion for having us! Elysion was founded in 2006 by Johnny Zero and Elysion’s former singer Maxi Nil, who then invited friends they considered to be very talented musicians to join them in what they hoped to be an ambitious and beautiful plan. Gladly, chemistry worked perfectly and that was just the beginning. Five years later, some of the team members have changed including myself joining Elysion in 2008 . Apart from myself and our guitarist and composer Johnny Zero, Elysion includes FxF, our bass player, Nid on the quitar and our dear youngest, Ilias P. Laitsman behind the drums.
EY: Who came up with the name and what is your interpretation of Elysion?
C: Well, the name Elysion has a kind of mythological reference. In detail, “Elysian fields’’ in ancient Greek history were supposed to be an island where a sort of ancient Paradise would lie, a place of rest for the virtuous after their death. One of the reasons why we chose it was because we treasure all this dreamy concept behind it, thinking it is a perfect match for our somewhat romantic perspective of things, we love the fact that there is a strong sense of hope and promise behind all this.
“…it is all you might ever want to whisper or cry out to life itself, hoping to be heard.”
EY: How do you describe your musical style?
C: I think our music is a combination of many different elements ranging from atmospheric metal and rock, to gothic and electro influences. We wouldn’t like to label our music since music is about emotions and emotions cannot be categorized. Elysion’s sound is clean and simple but at the same time strong and alluring. If we had to describe the sound of our debut album in a sentence, we would say that “Silent Scr3am” to us is a fluid ray of light sneaking into a dark room…
EY: Tell us about the rock scene in Greece as oppose to the United States.
C: Well I wouldn’t know exactly how the rock scene in the States works, as I can tell we are dealing with a huge mass there, but the Greek rock scene is in fact very crowded, given the fact that Greece is a small populated country. Over the past years we are thrilled to see standards going way up and local bands really making it international after Rotting Christ, Septicflesh and Firewind. The scene is flooded with bands and musicians striving to break through and make their dream come true…most of us have to work extremely hard for many years just to make a living and continue chasing our dream at the same time. But dreamers we stay…
EY: How involved is each member when it comes to creating music, in terms of writing the lyrics and arranging the instruments?
C: We are all as involved as it can get! Johnny Zero is our main composer but in a band everyone has to get his share to contributing his personality in a song otherwise the team cannot function properly. We have all been playing together for quite a while now so there is great trust among us when it comes to knowing that whatever one of us chooses to play it will be well justified by Elysion’s character.
EY: What is the concept behind your first album “Silent Scr3am”?
C: Well, although there is no strict concept behind “Silent Scr3am“, all songs are connected by the same emotional platform. They are all pieces of anyone’s private thoughts and feelings. We consider “Silent Scr3am” to be a celebration of the human soul in all its times of weakness or grace, it is all you might ever want to whisper or cry out to life itself, hoping to be heard.
EY: Can you explain why there’s a “3” instead of “e”?
C: Well, I guess it’s the first time someone actually asks this question 8) I could tell you an imaginary story about some hidden meaning behind this but I’ll just choose to tell you the plain truth: no mystery at all, just a way to captivate the eye easier when one visually comes across the title. And maybe make one wonder why it stands there…unfortunately, I just killed the mystery, hope my bandmates forgive me for it 8)
EY: The album’s artwork is quite interesting. What is that all about and who came up with the idea?
C: The artist responsible for Silent Scr3am‘s cover is Natalie Shau. We have actually been following her work for several years and loving it. She is an extremely talented artist and has worked miracles with so many bands, among them “poisonblack” and “lacuna coil”. She was the first to come to mind when it was time for us to decide upon our cover. The overall atrwork of the album was also directed by Seth Siro Anton, who again, was no stranger to us, as we had always been huge admirers of him and our very own Septicflesh. Apart from his exceptional musical talent he is also a very important artist, having done amazing artworking for Paradise Lost, Moonspell and so many others. We couldn’t have made a wiser choice than to absolutely trust them both. We needed the outside to match the inside. We wanted Elysion’s simplicity and beauty to be captured on the cover and be just what the title says: a silent scream is quiet but loud at the same time. Natalie took this all to the next level: she managed to come up with something so pretty, inviting and eye-catching but at the same time dark and weird, we knew from the moment we saw it that this was it. The girl on the cover is so still and silent, but yet breathtaking and intense, it couldn’t have worked any better!
EY: How did you select the songs for the album and are you all satisfied with the end results?
C: I have to admit that this was quite of a tough call because, lucky for us, we had a very rich material to choose from and work on when recording Silent Scr3am. It’s always difficult to decide which songs should be left out of the album since you get attached to each one for different reasons and plus, you can never know for sure whether a song will move people or not. In the end, it all came down to deciding which songs we could not possibly live without, rather than thinking of which ones to reject. Now that we can see things from a distance we are 100% satisfied with the result, both regarding our choice of material and sound for the album.
“I have every reason to believe this will be a very revealing and overwhelming transformation!”
EY: Track 4, “Weakness in your eyes”, is one of my favorites on the album. The lyrics are just so intense, as are all the others. What was the inspiration behind that one in particular?
C: One thing we love about Silent Scr3am is that despite the fact that some of the lyrics are based on personal experience, it’s easy for one to relate to the song and find his own interpretation that maybe matches his own emotional condition. ”Weakness in your eyes” is one of these songs..
EY: Christianna, you have such a lovely and emotional voice that blends so well with the instruments. Did you always wanted to be apart of a band and how do you deal with the negative views some have regarding female lead vocalist in bands?
C: Thank you so much for expressing such a complimenting opinion for me 8) I have been apart of some bands for over fifteen years now and honestly I wouldn’t know what it feels like NOT to be in a band…not just any band that is, but in some sort of a family with common goals and vision in life. My best collection of memories and feelings all include my dear bandmates over the years and if I had to delete these memories from my life I would be an empty shell. About the negative views some have regarding female lead vocalists in general now…I could never pay attention to some critics that generalizes all female singing population and comments on this all as if all people were the same. It is just as stupid as claiming that all male singers and rock bands are alike. When negative views are well justified and specific, I enjoy the arguments and try to extract from them something that might help me evolve. Otherwise it’s just narrow-minded lack of judgement stuff to me.
EY: You guys are working on your second album. Can you give us an idea of what to expect?
C: I believe I am the most excited of all to talk about the second album, since back when Silent Scr3am was recorded I had just joined Elysion, whereas now my involvement and contribution to the album is much wider, which only thrills me. Again, we believe we have great material to choose from as we never stopped writing songs all this time since the release of the first album. My preview of the second album got me to believe that this is the best possiple way for Elysion to evolve: not altering the character but yet building up a more intense version of ourselves. There will still be clarity and simplicity in our music, but i guess the emotional level will go way up, making everything sounding more powerful. I myself don’t know exactly what to expect yet because we add new elements to the songs and i see them transforming every day. I have every reason to believe this will be a very revealing and overwhelming transformation!
EY: In what way has Elysion evolved since its debut and where you hope the band will go in the future?
C: Let me start by saying that when recording our debut album there was no platform for us to start building from, it was all vague. In a way now we can continue from where we left things, taking everything one step further. We wouldn’t want to repeat ourselves in the second album, although it would be a somewhat safe choice. We try to choose what we best liked from Silent Scr3am and do it better. And then there are all sorts of new ideas and inspiration that have to blend their way in with the original character. We have also evolved as people and bandmates, that’s for sure. Like before, we cannot really tell where the band will go in the future but once we do all we can to follow our dream we are sure the journey will be beautiful.
EY: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Please leave a message for your fans.
C: The pleasure was all mine, so allow me to once more thank you on behalf of all Elysion for allowing us to talk to you about the most important thing in our lives. Apart from thanking anyone who might have found interest in us, I’ll choose to leave you with an invitation: Elysion is our very own most precious lifetime journey, so kindly join our ride 8)!
Purchase “Silent Scr3am” on iTunes and visit the following links for more:
Images courtesy of Elysion