Illvsionia have been hard at work over these past 8 months, writing and recording for their constellations themed EP release "Vrania". To create VRANIA, Illvsionia teamed with vocal engineer, Sam Guaiana (Like Pacific, Rarity, Seaway) and mastering done by John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, A Skylit Drive, Knuckle Punk, Real Friends) at Nada Recording Studio. The quartet band consist of female vocalist Lyra Von Rose, guitarist Jad Sater, bassist James Lord Parker, and drummer Josiah Clelland who formed together after playing in previous bands. That said, the band got together to discuss this stellar EP and what the future has in-store for them.
1. What role do you play in the band?
Lyra: I'm the vocalist in Illvsionia.
James: I play bass in the band.
Jad: I play guitar in Illvsionia.
Josiah: I play drums in the band.
2. Illvsionia is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Lyra: It’s a name of this fictional place I thought of. It’s a place somewhere between Mars and Jupiter. There, everything you imagine becomes real.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Lyra: We are all lovers of heavy music but everyone also has a different musical background, which adds uniqueness when all of us are merged.
Jad: Yeah we definitely tried to bring everyone's musical background into the songs. Overall our sound can be described as metalcore/post-hardcore, but you'll also notice some parts are jazz influenced, punk influenced and even pop influenced.
4. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Lyra: the majority of the lyrics that I write are metaphors/fiction, with a heavy influence ranging from astrophysics, metaphysics, video games, and also Greek mythology.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
James: Usually our drummer Josiah or someone else will show everyone a song they've been working on. Josiah's a sound engineer so we'll go to his place, record the instrumental parts, and spend the next few weeks loving, hating, and tearing the songs apart until we can all agree on every part. In the meantime Lyra will write lyrics and vocal melodies for the songs.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Lyra: metalcore, post-hardcore, ambient, easy-listening.
Jad: Djazz Rock.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
James: Experimental comes to mind. The lyrics are obviously very symbolic and the instrumentals play with the listener's expectations and attempts to keep them on their toes. For example, in Altair, the first track on our album VRANIA, we start the song up with an intense buildup, only to have it switch to a slowed down, ambient, jazz-inspired solo seconds later. Rhythm and pacing are both factors that definitely stand out in the album, both vocally and musically.
8. You will soon be releasing your new EP, "VRANIA" can you tell me a little bit about it?
James: The EP features 6 songs (1 instrumental track, the rest with vocals) and is bound to send you on a journey. It's heavy, melodic, and the vocals will leave you breathless.
Jad: We also really tried to keep a constant groove happening throughout the album. We want people to be able to move around, dance, and mosh along to ever track.
9. What is the concept behind the EP and how did the idea come about?
Lyra: the Universe and the stars. I named our album Vrania after the star chart, ‘Urania’s Mirror.’
10. What is your favourite song on "VRANIA" and why?
Lyra: I really can’t pick one as I love them all. But if I have to choose one then it would be Orpheus- it’s the heaviest song of the album yet the most romantic in my opinion. Oh! and I’d always have a little thing for Lyra because I legally changed my name after writing this song and having a vivid dream!
Jad: Honestly, the songs are all really close to all of us, but if I had to choose, I would say Poseidon or Betel. They're both heavy, groovy and parts but also very melodic and catchy at others.
11. What can fans expect from the new EP?
Josiah: The new EP will take you on an emotional journey through the good and bad times in your life. As humans we experience a variety of ever changing emotions each day, so we believe music should too.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?
Josiah: At first we did some experimentation with tunings and song structures, but we eventually found a style of instrumentation for our project that we all agreed on and we began writing. Sometimes a song would take 1 week to finish, and sometimes a song took 1 month. As we changed every day our songs did too. We worked hard every day for 6 months to write and record this EP but never once rushed or cut a corner. The most important thing was if anyone in the band had an idea, we would try it. We had to love every second of every song, and now we do.
13. Why do you think people should check out your new EP once released?
Josiah: There is something for everyone. Catchy chorus's, guitar solos, breakdowns, bass grooves and maybe even a little tambourine.
Jad: Also because life's too short not to give new things a chance!
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Josiah: We all really care about having fun. The best part of going to a show is having fun and meeting new friends!
Jad: For sure, I think that it's important to take your craft, such as songs and performance, very seriously, but not take yourself too seriously. People go to shows to step out of reality for a bit and enjoy their time, so even though we play music that's on the heavier side, we definitely like to create a very light-hearted, chill environment.
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Josiah: As a band, we would love to keep creating music that we and our fans enjoy listening to.
Lyra: I want to tour! I hope to travel with my bandmates really soon and meet all the cool people in the world and make new friends!
James: If we can continue writing and performing songs we love and make enough money to afford food and coffee, we'll be a happy band.
16. What does next year hold for Illvsionia?
Jad: Seeing as we're releasing our first EP next month, we're definitely looking to play a few shows! But we also want to focus on constantly creating and writing new stuff.
Josiah: Yeah, we're actually planning to start recording another album, this time full-length, make new music videos and play shows across Canada and the States, and anywhere that will have us.
17. Describe Illvsionia in three words.
Lyra: Stars, imagination, hope
Josiah: Imagination, Emotion, Evolving.