|Interview by Burt Wolf with Aleix, drummer for PERSEFONE.
Interview done November 6th, 2005.
CAN YOU GIVE THE HISTORY OF THE BAND & HOW YOU FORMED. ANY PREVIOUS BANDS
YOU WERE IN BEFORE?
Well, yes, PERSEFONE formed back in 2001. Back then, well, what happened is that Carlos had come to
Andorra to live & wanted to form a band. He joined Jordi Gorgues & Toni Mestre in guitars & bass, and Xavi
Perez on drums. All of them had been playing in previous bands, like RUDI GANAN, ICE BLAST...& some
others. They spent some time playing cover songs from the Death Metal scene majors & they started writing
some things, but it wasn't until Moe (keyboards) joined the band that things got really serious. It was then when
they really started writing seriously for what would be the "TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES" album. In those
days I was playing in AMONG THE MIST & I used to record demos & stuff in my studio ORION STUDIOS
for other bands. PERSEFONE contacted me to record the demo for one of the songs they had written,
"Niflheim". We all embraced the project as something special & it turned out to be a great sounding demo &
song. Happy as they were with the result, they decided to record the full album with me too. We spent a lot of
time recording, almost six months, as we had no compromises to fulfil or whatever, we thought we might do it
as best we could. And that's what we did. In the end we ended with a great sounding album. During the later.
With the album finished we sent some copies to management companies & record labels. We were completely
unaware of which way to take or how to act in the music business. That's when INTROMENTAL
MANAGEMENT took charge of these affairs & got us into the license deals we actually have in Europe, Russia
& Japan. The album was remastered by Peter in de Betou & hit the streets. So far we really don't know how the
sales have done, but so far the reviews & interviews have been great & it seems the album was very well
received. Right now we are in the middle of recording the second album.
WHY WAS THE NAME PERSEFONE CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
Well, when the band started looking for names it happened almost what happens to everyone else. Either the band
name was already chosen or it really sounded too cheesy. Well, after some serious brainstorming sessions from
which nothing came, Carlos came up with the idea after hearing the name in a popular television series. He went
on to find out about it's mythological story & after sharing it with the rest, we all thought it sounded great & the
sad, dark story fit what the band was about pretty well.
WHAT OR WHO ARE SOME OF THE
THINGS THAT HAVE HAD AN
INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE & IN
When you are 14 & start listening to
music for real, not just what you hear on
TV, you immediately think you've heard it
all & that METALLICA, MEGADETH,
IRON MAIDEN...are the supreme truth.
No one plays better, no one plays
faster...you know what I mean. So that's
what you do, you form a band & start
covering those bands & start writing
music that somehow sounds a bit familiar.
work on it for something right to sound & you let go, or you continue no matter what. If that is so, then love for
music becomes something that goes beyond comprehension (at least in my case) & you start buying CDs
compulsively. So, with thousands of CDs in our collection we found out that those bands were not the only ones
playing good & that there were also many other interesting bands & styles to discover. I guess that pretty much
happened to every one of us in PERSEFONE & still happens. We never stop learning or discovering some great
bands. We are very open minded in these matters, our influences could vary from Death Metal bands to Prog
Music (not only Metal) & also of course by Classical music.
HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE STYLE & SOUND OF PERSEFONE?
As you could guess from the previous answer, PERSEFONE's music is very hard to describe. We have all those
influences coming from everyone of us. So, basically, you'll have a Death Metal band with some elements from
Classical music (thanks to Moe) & some Prog...& some how, what ever comes to mind & sounds good. On the
second album we are trying to focus a bit more on having a darker sound, we'll see how it turns out.
YOU WORK WITH INTROMENTAL MANAGEMENT. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM?
HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
If it weren't for them we wouldn't be anywhere we are now. That's it. We live a hyper-massified Metal scene
where everyday you discover hundreds of new bands. Being someone, or getting in touch with these many
magazines & all is very hard to do on your own. When we started sending demos, we didn't even know what a
Management company was, who does anyway? So we really didn't know what to expect. It turned out they sent
all the promotional stuff to companies, trying to find the best place for us to fit in. And it worked really well!
C'mon, we have our album in Japan! What else can you expect for a debut album!!!
YOUR CD "TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES" HAS BEEN OUT FOR A WHILE NOW. HOW WELL HAS
THE CD BEEN DOING? WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE?
The response has been brutal. Lots & lots of interviews, lost of great reviews. We never really expected such
response from fans & the media. We love it & we are really thankful for that. Let's see how the response for the
second will be. Hopefully even better, we are truly putting it all into this second one.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE COVER ART A LITTLE BIT & WHO DID IT?
Yes, sure. The cover art for "TRUTH INSIDE THE SHADES" was done by Dani Gil. He is a friend of Moe &
Carlos back in Albacete. He also plays in a Metal band & as I have a recording studio, he does the cover artwork
for his band & others. The cover tries to show the suffering of the soul, shown as the burning butterflies.
WHAT IS SOME OF THE SUBJECT
MATTER IN YOUR SONGS LYRICS?
The album focuses on two main points.
First of all, the five illnesses of the soul.
Each of the songs focuses on one of
them. Secondly, we tried to see these
during the transition from live to death.
That's basically what all the album is
about, although the lyrics are pretty
metaphorical. We think everyone should
find out by himself or herself.
THIS ALBUM WAS PUT OUT BY ADIPOCERE RECORDS. HOW DID YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH
THEM? HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM? ARE YOU STILL WITH THIS LABEL?
Yes, we are still working with them. As I commented before, actually, INTROMENTAL found the license deal
for us. We only signed the contract. They did a great promotion job in Europe & of course in France where they
are mostly known. Working with them it has been great. No problems so far.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW MATERIAL AVAILABLE? CAN YOU GIVE US SOME INFORMATION?
Well, this is getting interesting. Yes, we have new material. We are currently working, as you can check in our
web page, in "TRUTH's..." successor, "CORE". The second album is being recorded as we speak. We are all
really excited with the new material. We have been working on this for more than a year. Right when we ended
"TRUTH..." we started thinking on how the second one was going to be like. We didn't want to do another easy
10 songs album, full of Metal songs. We wanted to do something different. So we started balancing possibilities
& we decided to do a conceptual album based on PERSEFONE's mythological story. This is what "CORE"
(alternate name for PERSEPHONE) is going to be about.
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE BAND HAS PROGRESSED OVER THE YEARS?
We have progressed, of course...we are more aware as a band which direction we are following & what is the
way we want to go. In the beginning everything was a bit more chaotic, where everyone had it's own influences
& wanted to put that on the album, I guess this is something we'll have to see how it evolves through the years,
but so far things have started to go on a one way direction & we are happy about it... I guess this is what's going
to define the final PERSEFONE sound in the future.
DOES PERSEFONE PLAY OUT LIVE A LOT? WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED
THE STAGE WITH? WHERE ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED?
We really don't play live that much, we have done some gigs here & there & we've had some offers to play
concerts in France, but we are a pretty small band still. We are focusing on having a great sounding album first,
that's what we've been doing for the last year & a half & during this time we've only played live like twice or so.
We don't want to be distracted from our main job right now. We'll have time to play when "CORE" is done. We
expect to be able to join bands in the future, but so far, we haven't played that much live.
DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD BAND STORIES YOU COULD SHARE WITH US?
I guess I could explain some funny stories about the rest of the guys, mainly from the way they play, or things
they do when playing... but that wouldn't be fair as they can't talk about me. Hahaha!!! I guess we'll have to wait
a bit more in the future.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BEST
& WORST PART ABOUT BEING IN A
When you get in a band, you normally, at
the age of 16 don't do it for the money.
There's no possible way to sustain your
life with concerts & so...so you get into it
because that's what you want to do, play
music no matter what. From this point
everything else is a continuous going
down. Really bad rehearsing rooms, poor
instruments until you have played enough
to afford something better, crappy studios
where you record really bad sounding
demos...but somehow you are happy with
recording better, in better studios, things start to sound better, somehow you get to travel to play abroad & not in
lousy bars where the most you'll get is a poor tasting pizza & not even beer. In this point is when you know all
the crappy stuff you've been through was worth it. We'll see what comes next... It's all about the music.
WHO DO YOU FEEL ARE SOME OF THE BETTER BANDS, LABELS & ZINES FROM YOUR AREA?
In Adorra there's a really small Metal scene. I'd say that in our area AWAKE is a great sounding band that is
really working hard. They really deserve to be heard a bit more. Somehow, other bands have started to form, but
these are still very young. I personally think that something good we'll come out of it. As for labels & zines,
that's easy, there are none.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?
Yes! All of us are into lots of music styles besides Death Metal. In fact, I think most of us would tell you that
Death Metal is the one of styles we hear the less, it's been a while since something interesting has come from this
genre, but hey, that's just my opinion. We have rediscovered some great classics thanks to great re-editions. As
for other genres I'd say Prog is pretty heard this days & of course Carlos & Jordi focus a lot on guitarists...I
can't really tell, lots & lots though.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU EVER BOUGHT? WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU
EVER WENT TO?
My first album that I'm aware of was probably ALICE COOPER's "HEY STOOPID". Back in those days DEF
LEPPARD had released "ADRENALIZE" which was a lot on MTV & as a 15 year old I got hooked by that
sound. After that all went pretty fast & I discovered great bands. As for concerts, when I moved to study abroad
I think the first concert I attended was a MOTORHEAD gig in Barcelona, great stuff & it's amazing what a three
guy formation can do live...
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
This is a good one, you don't really get interesting questions anymore when promoting a debut album, but I guess
I'll have to think about this one a bit more...Let's see, I'm an average guy, nothing really interesting comes to
mind...hmmm. Damn it, for once I get an interesting questions I don't know what to answer!!!
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF
PERSEFONE DO WHEN NOT DOING
ANY WORK FOR THE BAND? JOBS,
Well, we all have jobs apart from the
band, Jordi & I work in computers
systems. Carlos & Moe work in shops in
Andorra & Toni & Marc work in the
building industry & as deliverymen. Apart
from music I think none of us has really
many hobbies. I record albums in my
studios, Toni loves mountaineering,
Carlos is all about Japan...but I don't
know...mostly music after all.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEXT FROM PERSEFONE?
now, record & record & record... So far everything is going smooth. We already have the artwork done & we
are now working on the layout. I guess we'll still be a while on studio & after that we'll try to promote it playing
live somewhere. We'll see how it all turns out. So far, all great!
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW
THAT IT'S OVER?
Before answering this interview I was attending some conferences for my daytime job. Now I'm at the airport
answering this interview & hopefully by the time I'm done with it I'll be again in Barcelona ready to spend some
serious cash on CDs!!!
THANX A LOT FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW. FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE
TO CLOSE OUT.
Thank you very much for the interest once more. Hope to see you again soon when "CORE" is released.