Tuesday, April 10, 2018

interview: Evolucija

Evolucija is a melodic metal band that on its latest album Hunt (2018; Pure Steel Records) takes its self-described gothic metal into the energies of power and traditional heavy metal, a concoction that it is both rocking and melodic. In addition, it should be mentioned that the album is rather uptempo, which makes for a joyful and fun listen for fans of the melodic genres. Let me say it again: This is not sad, keyboard music; this band rocks.
Hi! Good job on Hunt! Can you tell us a bit about the life of your band in your city or town, in Serbia, right?
Ilana: Hey guys, thank you for your interest and the possibility for us to introduce ourselves to the American crowd. Yes, we live in Serbia, in its central part, 150km south of Belgrade, in three neighboring towns, Paracin, Cuprija and Jagodina. Those are small towns, surrounded by nature, which provides a lot of inspiration for all of us. We played in a lot of places in Serbia, everything from small club gigs to big festivals, and of course we played some shows in our hometowns.
The band began in Switzerland but now continues in Serbia. Why the change in location?
Stevan: Yes, the band was founded in Switzerland by Dragisa Marinjes in 2007. In 2010 Ilana joined as vocalist, and we recorded soundtrack “Pale Rider” for the German movie “Die Templerherren’’ directed by Andreas Leffler. In 2012 they decided to move to Serbia and restart the band there, but Ilana being Swiss, and the fact that Dragisa lived there for 30 years makes Switzerland important part of their lives, therefore, we are Swiss-Serbian band. One of the reasons they moved to Serbia was more time to dedicate to family and music. And now, except from the music, all band members have some other ‘eco-friendly’ hobbies like bee keeping, gardening, etc.
Who are the members of the band now? Who is answering this interview?
Dragisa: After moving to Serbia we had to find band members, so Stevan is with us from 2015, and Igor joined us in 2017. Our newest member is Aleksandar Kastevarac on drums, who joined us just a couple of weeks ago. Me, Ilana and Stevan are answering your questions.
The artwork of the album shows the concept of “evolution,” but the last person walking is struck down by a hand in the sky. What is the story here? That “progress” is difficult?
Dragisa: Yes, exactly, and your question contains part of the answer haha. When we look around ourselves and see all the things happening in the world, it’s easy to think that evolution kinda started turning backwards, which served as an inspiration for our newest album artwork. People might discuss if the evolution theory is right or wrong, but the fact is that humanity does some things that really make us wonder if we are going in the right direction.
I think that the album has a good sound. The guitars are clear, and I can hear the bass guitar working. It is good to hear the bass and drums working together for the rhythm. How many recordings does your band have?
Ilana: Thank you very much. This is our third album. Our first album was recorded in “Cameleon studio” in Zemun, and we recorded second and the latest album in “Youth center studio” in Kragujevac., produced by Dragan Urosevic Uros, and recorded by Ivan Ilic Cili and Predrag Pavlovic. We are very happy with the material, but of course, we are looking forward to making the next album even better, because we are still learning. I should also say that we are very happy we got Pure Steel records as our publisher, they have been nothing but great to us. In the meantime, we got to meet mix and mastering engineer Robert Romagna, and we want him to help us record our next album.
The first song “Hunt” establishes the sound of the album. What did you envision with the first song?
Dragisa: I always loved songs with triplets, that is something that our ethno music also has. My grandfather is also musician, and he used to play some songs with triplets to me when I was a kid. Besides writing all the lyrics, our friend Predrag Pedja Pavlovic helped us with this song by singing some male vocals. Theme of the song are basically mistakes we make, thing that end up hurting people we love, the irony of life pretty much.
What did you imagine as the style that you wanted for your band?
Stevan: All of us have grown up and listen to different genres of music, and that influences our music. Journalists have put us in the symphonic metal genre, but our main focus for this album was heavy guitar sound combined with melodic vocal lines. Basically we want the people to be able to sing with us live.
All the songs sound like hits that listeners can remember.
Ilana: Wow, that’s great to hear, thank you guys! That was our goal actually, we wanted our songs to be easily recognized and memorable, you know, opposite of the “couple of great songs and a bunch of fillers” recipe. Right now we are waiting for the reactions, so we’ll see if we were successful.
When you write the songs, when does the singer do the vocal melodies and lyrics?
Ilana: Vocal lines are crucial part of our songs, so we always do them first, and after we have some basic lines and harmony, we’ll start adding lyrics and arrangements.
The album has no ballads! Did you decide consciously to avoid ballads? “Metamorphosis” is one of the heavier, midtempo songs. Why did you choose it as the last song?
Dragisa: Well, we consider "Poet" to our ballad haha. At the start it was a pretty classic ballad, but during the recording we decided to change some arrangements and tempo, and after the album was done we noticed that there are no ballads. So that was kind of a surprise for both the people listening to the album and to us as well. Besides, we all know the writing ballad that doesn’t sound boring is hard these days haha. As for the Metamorphosis, everything about it was “last”. It was the last song we did, the last we recorded, and we felt that it really fits as the closing song. We also play it last in our live shows.
Now that the album is finished, what is next for your band? What are your plans?
Stevan: Since this is our first album that’s being released worldwide, we can’t wait to hear the reactions from the fans and the media. Our plan is to promote it as good as possible with our publishers, Pure Steel Records (worldwide) and RNR Records (ex-Yugoslavia countries), and of course, to play live as much as possible.
Where can people hear the complete album?
Ilana: Of course, you can listen to the album on majority of digital platforms like iTunes and such, and you can also purchase physical or digital copies through our publishers.
How can your fans give support to your band?
Dragisa: It’s very easy to communicate these days with all the social networks, and we are looking forward to every message or comment we get, and we are answering them all, too. And of course, the greatest act of support would be the opportunity to come and play in your country.
Is there anything else that you want to mention?
Ilana: Even though rocknroll might not be powerful like it was in the ‘80s, we think there will always be people that like that kind of sound, which will make rocknroll evolve even further. Cause let’s face it, there is nothing better than going to a good old live show and sharing the energy with the band on stage. We feel we’re part of the whole Rocknroll movement, and we are happy because of that because rocknroll is a music with a message, that can potentially motivate people to do (mostly good) things.
When will you come to the USA?!
Stevan: Of course, live shows are the best and the most important thing regarding music to us. Being on stage, and sharing the energy with the people is something that all of us absolutely enjoy doing, and so we try to do it as much as possible. One of our biggest dreams and goals is to be able to play in America.
Thank you for your time!
Evolucija: You’re very welcome, thank you for your support and this interview opportunity! See you on the road!

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