Theatres Des Vampires have been around for close to 25 years, does that matter to a band of Vampires? Not so much, because music is what counts for them, as they have just released their latest album "Candyland", with already a work in progress for the next album! As well as time for some showcases of course! Frontwomen vocalist Sonya discusses with us, the history of these Vampires, the music they have created, changes to be had, with all new music on the horizon, plus much more!
1. First of all, please introduce your band and band members to our readers.
Sonya: Hello guys, we are Theatres des Vampires! It’s never easy to describe yourself , I’ll try to do it in few words: we are bloodsukers , bad ass people and our music is the soundtrack of your best nightmare. Theatres des Vampires are : Zimon lijoy bassist, Gabriel Valerio drummer, Flavio Gianello our new amazing guitarist and me, the bloody singer . Sonya. So, watch out for your neck and let's start your interview.
2. Can you give us more insight about the formation of the band. How did you guys meet, is there a story behind the band's namesake Theatres des Vampires?
Sonya: Everything started more than 20 years ago, currently Zimon and Gabriel are still members from the first line up of the band. They joined the TDV project since the beginning. About me, I joined them in the late 2000. At the time they were looking for a backing vocalist. But in 2004 I became the lead singer of the band, releasing the album "Pleasure and Pain" in 2005.
During our career, we were first primarily influenced by symphonic black metal, but later tended to include differing influences, including: classical music, opera, dark wave, death rock, gothic rock and several industrial subgenres. Throughout this stylistic deviation, a few characteristics of our band's music have remained consistent; melancholic atmospheres and dark lyrics, vocal styling's akin to gothic metal, and our vampiric image.
The name "Theatres des Vampires" was inspired by a fictional location created by Gothic fantasy writer Anne Rice of the same name. Rice's Theatres des Vampires is a Parisian theatre in which vampires pretend to be mortal actors.
Their performances consisting of the feeding on mortals disguised as part of a play and staged in front of human audiences. The location is mentioned in several of Rice's books, including Interview With the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. We all have a great passion for vampirism and I think our kind of gothic metal, is perfectly linked with this attitude, in all our albums we create an obscure atmosphere…sometimes more symphonic..sometimes more violent. But you can always feel a melancholy that drives our songs.
3. What can you tell us about the concept and lyrical themes of all your previous releases to date?
Sonya: The album's title always encloses the most important meaning of the whole work for me even if some lyrics can deal different themes. It's strange for me to write all the lyrics for a real concept album; I always write 2 or 3 songs on a specific topic but then I get bored, I always need to say something more and I can never know where it will end in my mind as I write. I always feel the need to explore what is hidden in my soul. Everything can inspire me, a book, a painting, the life itself. In our albums there is always a part of me, a part of all my world, of my life.
In the last album, the title "Candyland," is inspired by a room, different from all others, with colored walls and bars on the windows. A room described as hell on earth by the inpatients of the infamous Pennhurst Asylum in Pennsylvania, where for decades adults and children with severe mental problems where hidden away from the public eye. A sad but alas true story, and the patients themselves renamed that room - with its brightly colored walls from which nobody could leave - Candyland.
"Candyland", is a journey through the corridors of the asylum, through the dread of those who - locked away inside the bulwarks of Pennhurst - were left to live in the lone company of their deepest and most harrowing fears, told through their words, accompanied by their cry of desperation.
Never to be understood. Never to be free. Never to be truly alive. Each song has got its strange and scary story, but most of them are not linked to that gloomy asylum.
4. Would you say that there is a special reason for choosing your music conception?
Sonya: We all have a great interest for vampirism and stuff like that, but we have different musical background and that's our trademark and our strength. Our sound is a mix of all the things we love, and together we create our own sound. Everything always happens in a very natural way. We do not like to plan our work too much but we prefer it to be our inspiration to guide us.
5. How do you guys manage to create music at all? What challenges do you face while writing and recording an album?
Sonya: Everything starts with a concept, an inspiration that I have in mind and we develop it together. I describe to the boys the atmosphere of the album, the concept from which we must start to develop our music and they find the inspiration to compose the music of the album. But every time is different, as I told you before, there's no limits and no rules to our creativity.
6. You released your latest and newest album "Candyland", which happens to be your tenth studio album overall. What comes to mind when hearing such a thing?
Sonya: We are very proud of our work. We did many albums but the good thing is we are full of energy and inspiration and we’re looking forward to play around the world again and making even more new albums. "Candyland", has been released for a few months but we are already working on our new album. Enthusiasm is the secret to being able to carry on a project for so long. Enthusiasm, passion, love, constancy, friendship and patience, a lot of patience!
7. Did you ever think that starting Theatres des Vampires way back in 94 you would have gotten this far along?
Sonya: Honestly we have never noticed how the time passes us. We are doing the same thing more than 20 years ago, as we do today, we do our rehearsals, we drink a beer together after that, we talk lot of about everything.We are real friends in everyday life. In the meantime, you tell us that the years pass, but we do not really realize it!
8. Speaking of way back when, your band has been around for over 20 years, almost 25, did you or do you plan on celebrating in anyway. Whether it be a private party for you as a band or something for all to witness?
Sonya: Time seems to fun fast for us Vampires but we really don't care. We do not like to celebrate much, our 20 to 25 years of our music careers. What we really want to do is write good albums and play our music all around. So, I don't think we will have a real party. We have the parties in each of our concerts. We do so for us, is the best thing to share our music, with our fans is the best party! But I will think about it. Let us see if for the 25th year, if we will do something or not.
9. "Candyland" was your first album in over 5 years since your previous release "Moonlight Waltz". Why the long time gap between releases?
Sonya: After a long stop of more than 3 years, there have been many changes within the band. We found a new balance and a new strong energy with a renewed line-up. We wanted to show it with a bloody new album with a powerful sound.
Our producer Christian Ice and I, together with the band, worked hard everyday on the new album. After our split with Fabian we had started to arrange the new songs from a different point of view, no more starting from the keyboards but from my lyrics, arranging them and on the rhythm of my words for the whole album.
So, what came out was a different and strong sound with great guitar’s riffs, surely different from the previous works, cause it was a different message, we wanted to give to our fans. In that moment, we still kept our style. The next one will be different it will be more vampiric and more us.
10. This album went ahead turning the themes of vampiric to occult, why the change of pace?
Sonya: This time, I needed to explore different themes, the dark side of the human mind, our fears, our madness, the death and scariness of real stories about ghosts and spirits....the afterlife. I'm already working on new lyrics, for the next album. We'd really would like to do a concept album, this time but I think as always, I will need to explore other things after just 3 songs of this material. My mind never stops so we'll see!
11. On the topic of vampiric material, are all of the band mates Vampires? Or is that something you want to remain hidden from the eyes of the public?
Sonya: Well.... it's quite hard to hide something like that. Especially with a name like ours! Vampirisms is a state of mind and a way of life, it is the research of eternal life through the life itself, the blood, strength, power, it is all sensual, ancestral, and a strong concept. It's really fascinating we walk on a dark path, are we real life Vampires? Is the blood on the stage real blood? Who knows! But in doubt be careful and do not get too close to us!
12. "Candyland" has been out for sometime now. Do you have anything new in the works, in terms of a follow-up release?
Sonya: We just released our new video for "Resurrection Mary", taken from our album "Candyland" and we have already started work on the next album!
13. Can we ever expect to hear your music played in the acoustic format or is that something you would not want to try out?
Sonya: It would be surely amazing. I never really thought about it, in a serious way but I think maybe in the next couple of years it could be possible. I would like to play our old songs with a real live orchestra on stage with us. We will see.
14. Has Theatres des Vampires ever played in the U.S.A. or plan to do so in the future?
Sonya: We have never played in the U.S.A. but this is one of our many dreams. I hope it will be possible in the future!
15. What are your plans between now and the rest of this year if anything at all?
Sonya: We are planning our next gigs. We have a tour in Latin America, some in Europe and Russia. We are also working on new songs for our next album, so it will be a busy time for us!
16. Thanks a lot for your time! It’s really nice to know more about you. Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers?
Sonya: Thank you for your amazing interview. Thanks to your readers for the attention. Blood is life!