Rave The Reqviem's Filip Gains the Attention of the Underground Scene

Rave The Reqviem was founded by Filip Lönnqvist in 2011, the purpose of this project was not only the music but the style of it. To combine the use of rock and metal with a modern electronic twist, including everything from electro to industrial to drum n' bass and even dubstep, it was all included, making these guys truly unique. But that's not all that was included, Carola the mother of Filip joined in on the fun with her son, adding her own style of uniqueness to create an even better effectiveness of the band. Through it all the band has gone on to release material including their Self-Titled debut album as well as gotten signed to so much more, they not only have taken upon the underground scene but above ground soon enough. Frontman vocalist, song writer, Filip Lönnqvist discusses their debut and the plans for the upcoming year and future.

1. How do you describe your music to people?

Filip: I usually describe Rave The Reqviem as a mixture of industrial metal and dubstep/drum 'n' bass with very melodic choruses. But it happens quite often that people refer to us as "call-it-whatever-you-want", which I'm very amused by. My goal with Rave The Reqviem has always been to tear down walls and combine elements which originally are very different from each other.

2. Rave The Reqviem is the name sake you chose, but what does it mean?

Filip: The name is roughly translated into "dancing at the death mass". The name captures the essence of my music; to let darkness meet light, to let the hard meet the soft, and to have no limits doing so.

3. What's it like to be in a band alongside your own mother?

Filip: Both fantastic and horrible! She's incredibly talented and easy to work with, which truly is a dream situation for any producer during the recording process. We've also been singing and playing together since I was a child, so all of my compositions are tailor-made for her voice. However, since I'm her boss in the band – and she's my boss in real life – sometimes things tend to get complicated.

4. What does she think of the band and the music that it portrays?

Filip: She thinks my music is fantastic. She's been enjoying melodic heavy metal music for a long time, and even went to rock festivals with me when I was younger. When it comes to our image, she's also very comfortable with it. She's a drama queen – just like me – and love extreme expressions. So she actually encourages my art, rather than try to suppress it.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Filip: I have an extremely vast range of different influences. The American nu metal scene in the late 90's is the probably the most important one for me though, with bands like Slipknot, Korn, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. That was also when I was first introduced to electronics and samples being used alongside traditional metal instruments, and I was blown away. But I'm also a huge fan of 80's pop, ambient chill-out, techno and progressive rock.

6. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Filip: Yes, I am the only song writer and producer in Rave The Reqviem. The songwriting process differs from time to time, but usually a beat or a melody pops up in my head while doing something else. That's why my smartphone voice recorder is my best friend in the whole world! After that, I sit down with a guitar or by the keyboard and start composing the song as a whole. There's always a very specific feeling which has inspired the song, so the songs are usually already finished inside of my head before I get a hold of an instrument. That part is more about polishing the details of the idea. The last part is the producing process, which is about finding the right for sounds for the song. By now, I'm very aware of what my synthesizers are capable of, so I usually already have a general idea of what I'm looking for.

7. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Filip: The pain of being alive. Music is my catharsis where I cleanse my soul from all shit, mostly revolving around personal, emotional and psychological issues. Also, I love to use religious and mythological themes as metaphor s for whatever I'm really singing about, even though we are not a religious band. I have a few political songs, but they are always written from a personal and emotional point of view. My personal belief is that music is a personal experience for all human beings. That's why I would never ever take side in any conflict. My goal is that each and everyone should be able find something in my music which appeals to the them, no matter who they are. I try to approach core feelings which all human beings can relate to.

8. Why did you want to go and release "Aeon" as a single and have a video accompanying it?

Filip: It was originally my label boss' idea. As a composer, you always have a hard time being objective towards your own music. However, "Aeon" was always the most likely candidate for being the first single, mostly because of the catchy melody and simple yet effective arrangement. A music video is the perfect way to visualize the idea behind a song. I always have a visual idea inside of my head whenever I write a song, so it's not a difficult transition for me to make. I basically already knew what I wanted to say with this video.

9. Where did the idea for "Aeon" come from and why did you want to make a video for it?

Filip: As most of my other songs, the idea came from a horrible and painful personal experience. I can not and will not go into details, but this one specifically covers shame and guilt. To make a video for it was an easy decision – both because of its promotional value and the fact that I love to visualize my art.

10. How did you and the Japanese-based label Digital World Audio come together?

Filip: My label was originally introduced to me by one of my best friends; Fredrik Croona of Cynical Existence. He knew my label boss who told Fredrik that he really liked my music and that he might be interested in signing me, so I contacted him. After about 6 months, I signed a record deal.

11. Why did you want to go and Self-Title your latest album?

Filip: The meaning behind the name does not only sum up our music in general, but also especially this album. The album is an introduction to what we do and what we will continue to do for a long time. But most importantly – all important behinds in history always self-titled their debut albums, like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden!

12. How does it feel to have released your debut album?

Filip: It feels beyond awesome. I have been fighting a lot and sacrificed a lot in order to be here. So I definitely deserve it. However, as a composer and entrepreneur, you're always one step ahead. I'm often simply too busy preparing for the future to be able to actually enjoy what's happening right now. My reward comes with being able to express myself and my inner chaos – that's my primary fuel.

13. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Filip: Most definitely. I've always been a fan of very expressible bands with strong and extraordinary image. Music, like all art, serves the purpose of taking the human mind to a dimension beyond reality. My religious imagery enhances that purpose. People should know what the music video will look like before it's even been made!

14. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Filip: My personal favorite is probably The Svlphvry Void, mostly because of the lyrics. It's by far my best effort of trying to explain what it's like to be bipolar and to know that you will fight that demon for the rest of your life.

15. Do you have any new music in the works?

Filip: I always have new music in the works!

16. What are the plans for you guys for 2015?

Filip: To expand the faith of our bizarre little sect and play as many live gigs as possible!

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