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In Words: Elysion

- Christianna & Johnny - Feb. 2010 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Elysion

Christianna & Johnny - February 7th 2010 (by email)

Elysion is a new band who many won't know. To share a little light on Elysion we sent over some questions which been answered by Christianna and Johnny.

Many metal fans won't know much about Elysion, so please tell us a bit about the beginning of Elysion!

Christianna: First of all I would like to thank you on behalf of all Elysion for having us! Elysion were founded in 2006 by Johnny Zero and Elysion's former singer Maxi Nil, who then invited friends they considered to be very talented musicians to join them in what they hoped to be an ambitious and beautiful plan. Gladly, chemistry worked perfectly and that was just the beginning. Today the will to make our dream come true is stronger than ever... Apart from myself and our guitarist and composer Johnny Zero, Elysion are Petros Fatis (drums) and FxF, our bass player.

And why did you choose this name? A kind of reference to the Elysian fields, right?

Johnny: Right! The name Elysion has that kind of mythological reference, actually one of the reasons why we chose it was because we treasure all this dreamy concept behind it, thinking it is a perfect match for our somewhat romantic perspective of things. In detail, Elysian fields were supposed to be a place of rest for the virtuous after their death. We love the fact that there is a strong sense of hope and promise behind all this, but other than that it is the human soul and its feelings that inspire our music.

Christianna, you were the singer of Bare Infinity. When did you leave Bare Infinity? Was the offer to join Elysion the reason?

Christianna: My ways with Bare Infinity parted sometime during the summer of 2008. It definitely had nothing to do with the offer to join Elysion, that offer was made few months later, in November of the same year. I can only say that the timing was perfect for me!

Please tell us a bit about the musical background of the Elysion members!

Johnny: Elysion's influences vary a lot since we all have combined our different music backgrounds in metal, rock, gothic and electro into forming our final sound. Each of us brought a different element to his contribution to the band and luckily, all these elements combined formed an interesting outcome. We didn't choose to sound a certain way and certainly never labeled what we play, our sound is the result of the mixture of our musical identities.

As far as I know you all have a profession connected to music... Right? What are you doing?

Christianna: That's true and it is a bless to be able to dress our everyday lives with music and the whole thrill that derives from it… We are involved with musical producing, as well as composing music for many different projects and bands. Nid, who completes our line-up at live shows as a second guitarist, runs a rehearsal and recording studio, which is also a great help to us because we get to practice anytime we wish in our personal space.

How long did you work on the songs for Silent Scr3am?

Johnny: We had a lot of material to work with when making Silent Scr3am, a lot of songs to choose from, and we believe we have chosen the best ones! We had been working on the songs for a couple of years but the recording process was an extremely creative time for Elysion, during which the songs formed their final shape. Our producer, Mark Adrian, played a very important role in helping us reach our full potential as musicians. The entire recording period, altogether with the mixing and the mastering of the album took us something like 9 months to finish.

Are the songs a kind of band effort? Or is there a main song writer and the others only have little influence?

Johnny: In Silent Scr3am I was the main composer, with a great help of Elysion's ex-singer Maxi Nil in some songs, who also came up with some wonderful lyrics. However, it is important to point out our sound as an outcome is the result of the contribution of all Elysion, each of us blending our ideas and musical personalities with the rest. This is why I think that this album contains the very best of all of us!

Some might say your songs have a pop appeal in the way that it's somehow commercial... But I think that there are some details to discover... How important is it for you to have a kind of catchiness / simplicity in your sound?

Christianna: We had no plan of intentionally composing the melodies to be catchy, but we did want our music to be simple and straightforward, strong, but beautiful in its simplicity. The final outcome of the composition was a mixture of different elements , ranging from atmospheric metal to electro, with our personal musical identities as musicians. We didn't choose to sound a certain way, we only wished to create a beautiful musical platform to lay our emotions upon.

And how much did the change on the microphone effected the way the album turned out?

Johnny: Actually, we were no strangers with Christianna since we had shared the same stage several times in the past, not belonging in the same band of course. So when the time came for our very first rehearsal altogether, her voice and character as a singer was something we were familiar with. We surely had been anticipating seeing how she would fit in with our whole atmosphere and luckily she was very quickly adjusted, so we began the vocal recordings for Silent Scr3am right away. Not only don't we think that her contribution altered the original atmosphere of the songs but she also managed to blend her character as a singer so nicely into the music that the outcome was even stronger and more emotional.

How was working with Mark Adrian and Ted Jensen?

Christianna: We feel we were blessed in all aspects concerning this album. Working with one of the top sound engineers of the industry was a huge honor and opportunity, to begin with. Over the years we have been very impressed by Ted Jensen's work, since it has contributed so much to the sound of many of our favorite bands and artists, so we totally trusted him to do whatever he thought best with our music and , of course, he did. We should at this point give great credit to our producer Mark Adrian who did an amazing job recording and mixing the album, and therefore 'feeding' Ted Jensen with a very high standard material so he had a wonderful platform to work on and master Silent Scr3am. It was very important for us to have our very first album sound exactly the way we had dreamt it would, it was a thrill to have the production bring out the best in our music!

What about a video clip?

Johnny: Making a video clip is now among our top priorities... We are trying to pick out which tracks are going to be visualized but it's a tough call... But we can let you know that Killing My Dreams is probably going to be our first video clip!

You already played some shows before the album was released... How was it going?

Johnny: We are nothing but grateful for all the amazing feedback we have had so far! Elysion were lucky enough to share the stage with The Gathering, Christian Death, Diary of Dreams, Star Industry even before our album was released and all these were very important moments for us. However, it is important to say that we cherish every show and honor individually everyone who has come to see us, because it is the people and what we stare with them while on stage that make our music meaningful.

I guess, you have some helping hand.... So, who is completing your line-up live?
Christianna: We are so grateful that you asked about this, because we feel obliged to give great credit to several people who help us in all live sets. There is Nid, who is the fifth member of Elysion on stage and always does an amazing job with the guitars apart from myself. It is a fact that our sound is quite demanding and what out of respect to the people who honor us by coming to our shows we try to make sure that what they hear is as good as the CD. In order for Elysion's live sound quality to be best possible there are also some programming, keyboard and loop arrangements handled by our sound engineers, Mike Skarakis and Wee, again a huge plus for the whole team. Elysion are very lucky to be surrounded by such talented and devoted professionals and we owe them all big time!

From outside Greece it looks like there are not too many bands and most are in the more extreme kinds of music, but I think that's a misjudgment... Please tell us about the Greek scene!

Johnny: It's getting quite crowdy, actually! Competition is getting greater and greater and this is a good thing because it's very beneficial for the greek scene to see the standards improving. I am proud to see talented bands hitting the international scene. After Rotting Christ, Septic Flesh and Firewind there now seems to be quite of an activity going on in Greece. Still, it is difficult to overcome certain obstacles and stand out, but I still am a romantic thinker who believes that whatever the difficulties, there will always be space for beautiful works and talented people.

Are their any news about upcoming shows? A tour? Anything you can share?

Christianna: Live dates are to be announced any day now! Touring is our top priority at the moment, like you mentioned we have already begun by touring Greece. We wish to honor our homeland first for all the great support and have our European tour follow right after that. An American tour is probably going to follow in second half of 2010 so we are thrilled about this all, looking forward to visiting as many countries as we possibly can and getting in touch with all this wonderful energy existing in live shows!

What are your plans for 2010?

Christianna & Johnny: Like we said, touring is Elysion's top priority for 2010 and our top reason to be overly excited, so we truly hope we get to see you in an upcoming show the soonest possible! Apart from that, we are always working on new songs and feel very creative at the time being, with a lot of new ideas to make sure that we come up with something even more beautiful and strong in the future.

I have to thank Christianna and Johnny for taking time to answer my questions and hope to talk to them in person soon. Hopefully they will hit the road and stop somewhere in my area...

Claudia Ehrhardt


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