Friday, July 12, 2013

interview: Aphelium (Venezuela; power metal)

Just in case you missed it, here's a new version of the interview with Aphelium from Metal Bulletin Zine #36. Number 36 is now complete, and I thought it would be good to check out their power metal, if you have not done so.
-- Aphelium (Venezuela) The previous issue of this zine had a positive review of these traditional, melodic power metallers’ demo. Now, here they are again, explaining their musical journey in metal. Aphelium is Marcos (bassss), Yohan (drmrrrr), Ismael (grrrrr), Joan (waaah!), and Christhian (keybrrr). www.facebook/com/ApheliumBand -- Greetings, Aphelium! How is life for a power metal band in Caracas, Venezuela in 2013? Are metalheads in Venezuela becoming fans of Aphelium? What do fans and zines, and webzines say about you?
Joan: First of all, we'd like to thank Mauricio for this interview and say hello to all the Metal Bulletin followers.
Ismael: Greetings from Venezuela! Life for any Metal band is not easy in the beginning, but when you love Metal, you go on, no matter how hard it is. Even though Caracas has one of the most important Metal scenes in Venezuela, it is difficult for Metal bands to endure throughout the years, since there's hardly any support from producers. There are some producers who make great efforts in order to help maintain the local scene, but it is not enough. This could be explained by the fact that Metal culture is not fully developed in our country.
Marcos: About the fans issue. Well, we are really beginning our road as a band, we don't like to talk about "fans", we prefer the term "followers", people who like our music and support us. And we are thankful with all those people who have been to our shows and who have downloaded or bought our Demo. Joan: So far, our Demo has had excellent reviews, which makes us really happy, since we've put a huge effort in our music. Local pages like "La Movida Metal", "Hermanos del Rock" and international pages like "Sorrow Eternal" and "Metal Storm" have talked about how they enjoyed it, and have encouraged us to keep on working on our music. Of course, we'd love to have more songs in it, but that's all we've been able to record until now.
What are your earliest memories of metal music in Venezuela? A show, a video or a metalhead friend?
Ismael: The first time I listened to Metal, I was like 14 years old and I was at my cousin's house. We were watching the MTV's top ten and I saw a music video of Rata Blanca's "La leyenda del hada y el mago". I loved the song but I didn't know what it was all about. The other moment that made me love metal even more was the Stratovarius show at "La concha acústica", a venue in Caracas. I really enjoyed that show because Stratovarius is one of my favorite bands, and also, "Metempsicosis", a Metal band from Caracas which is currently inactive (and one of my favorites), was going to perform as the support band for Stratovarius.
Marcos: Undoubtedly, the Motorhead concert. Lemmy Kilmister is a badass motherfucker! Watching him was priceless!!
Joan: When I was around 8 years old, I remember I saw an Iron Maiden video on TV. I had no idea what it was, but I really liked it. Several years later, I started listening to Rock music thanks to a friend in high school and I got the chance to discover the song from the video (which was Man on the edge!). I also remember my first Power Metal album. I saw the Cover and, at first, I thought it was a game or something. I decided to buy the CD because the guy who was selling it told me I might like it, if I liked fantasy and Classical music. When I got home and pushed play, I discovered music I had never imagined, Epic and wonderful; it was Rhapsody’s Dawn of Victory!
Yohan: If you're talking about Venezuelan Metal, my earliest memories are related to Metempsicosis. My brother showed me that band and I've always regretted not being able to see them live, since I was too young to go to their shows. I had their first record, "Alpha", which was a huge inspiration to me and made me realize I could have a band, a record and fill venues! Another memory I have, is the first concert I went to. My brother took me to an Iron Maiden concert! I was very young, and that was the moment he taught me what Metal was and I started to love it!
Cristhian: In my case, it was when I was14 years old. One day my neighbor showed me "BYOB" by SOAD and I was amazed by the melodies in the verse. The next day I bought the Mezmerize album.
What do you think about Arkangel and "Represión latinoamericana"? Is that band interesting to you?
Joan: Arkangel is one of the most influential Heavy Metal bands here in Venezuela. We think the way they expose our reality in "Represión Latinoamericana" is remarkable. And it is interesting how some things they describe in their songs haven't changed much.
Did Joan sing Venezuelan pop music when he was a child? Since you are from Venezuela, did you rebel against the music of José Luis Rodríguez "el puma"? I suppose that it is almost impossible to avoid his music in Venezuela? He was very famous in the 80s, but now only old people like his music?
Joan: I used to sing jingles and stuff like that, but besides that, and Choir music, I've never liked Pop music. The music of "El Puma" is not something one can't avoid in our country, as you might think (Thank God!). He was, and still is, very famous indeed, but, just like you said, mostly older people like his music. A Venezuelan singer who is definitely one of my influences is Torre de Marfil's first vocalist (Torre de Marfil is a Power Metal band from Caracas).
Lastly, how do you imagine Aphelium in ten years? And what are your objectives in the next couple of years, after the demo? Is Reverbnation or Facebook good for knowing what is happening with Aphelium?
Ismael: Right now, we are trying to keep the same active rhythm we've had over the last years. Ten years from now, we hope to have increased significantly the reach of our music. Our dream is that, in the near future, a lot of people throughout the world feel inspired by our music. We have some planned objectives; for example, we are currently working on our first album material and we hope to get more gigs, in our country and internationally. Regarding Facebook and Reverbnation, we consider that both are essential tools nowadays. Facebook is ideal for connecting with your followers and know firsthand about their opinion on the band and their expectations. On the other hand, Reverbnation is more focused on the music and lets musicians keep statistics of their musical activity in social networks, so it's extremely useful to know how good we're doing with the band. We think these are the best tools for new bands like us, so we'll keep on using them in the future. THE END.

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