EMETROPIA SYMPHONIC METAL FROM SWEDEN Band Questions answer by Liam Strand
Please introduce yourself and the band members briefly? Hi, my name is Liam Strand, keyboardist and main song writer for Emetropia. Then wehave Lisa Wallenberg, our vocalist and lyricist, OlleRenius as lead guitarist, Jonatan Jakobsson as rhythm guitarist and Oscar Heikkinen as our drummer. What does the band name mean and how do you get it? We took the name Emetropia from the word Emmetropia, which “is the state of vision where a faraway object at infinity is in sharp focus”. We thought the word meant something cool but decided to remove and “m” for esthetical reasons. Where and how was the band founded? Emetropia was founded in Linköping, Sweden, in the winter of 2017. However, the band has origins which can be traced all the way back to 2011 but Olle is the only remaining original member from that band. Have you played in other bands before? Lisa and Jonatan played in “A Mace” before joining us. Otherwise, I used to play in a simple heavy metal band from my hometown (before I moved to Linköping) Was it hard to find suitable band members who fit musically and humanely with the band? Not really. We were already a well synchronised group before Emetropia was formed and once we found Lisa it was clear that we would play symphonic heavy metal. What are the lyrics about and who of you is writing them? The lyrics for our EP are the essence of a larger concept. The main story is about two fighting kings, each representing summer and winter, who are in an eternal conflict of who is supposed to the rule the land. Unbeknown to them is the fact that one is always bound the loose only to win at a later time period (in the same way that seasons work) Then, the “protagonist”, a young boy has realised that this is a cycle and will now do everything in his power to stop this conflict. He feels sorry for the kings and does not realise that them fighting actually has an important role – for seasons to change and that without this the world would kind of fall apart. Which bands inspired you and how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard a sound from you? We’re definitely inspired by other symphonic metal band such as Epica and Nightwish etc. More interestingly, we’re also inspired by more the progressive metal band Amorphis which like to experiment with time signatures. Other bands I’m inspired by are Stratovarius, Imperial Age, Alestorm, Freedom Call. We like to describe our music as symphonic power metal with a progressive touch. It can also be described as dynamic music since I like to experiment with changing BPM’s and the general mood during a song. Why should people listen to our music? People should listen to our music since it has something to offer for most metal fans. There’s lightning fast parts with typical “power metal drums” and shredding guitars; there’s changes to time signatures (sometimes more subtle, sometimes not so subtle) and the BPM for fans of progressive metal; finally, we have a greatly talented vocalist in Lisa which would impress anyone who enjoys good vocals. How long have you been working on the EP Procession of the Kings and who was helpful to you? We wrote the first songs back in 2016 (Seasonal Warfare, Lord of the Blizzards and A Summer Breeze) but couldn’t really finish them until Lisa joined. The music for title track Procession of the Kings was written in April 17 and we entered the studio for the first time only a month after. All music was recorded and mixed by February 2018 but we had to wait until July until we could release it since we had to change the album cover artist by May. The most helpful person was Lukas Beles at “Flock of Crows Design” which made the lyric video for Procession of the Kings. Also, Steve Kitch who mastered the EP. Are you already working on new songs and when can we expect your debut album? Yes. We have a whole concept album written for the “Procession of the Kings-theme” but at the moment we don’t have any plans for when to record it. An inconvenience with playing symphonic metal is how time- consuming it is to record all the symphonic tracks. For the EP it was like 45 tracks only for the keyboard. Since it takes a lot of time, it becomes quite expensive to book a studio. So we’re hoping to find a record label which wants to release our music. However, we’re planning to record a single of a new song. Also, we recorded our show in Belgium last month, so you could expect a live video summarising the show. What was your first concert as a fan? and what memory do you have of it? My major first concert was Iron Maiden live at Ullevi (Gothenburg) way back in 2006. I was only ten years but can still remember singing along to “Running Free” and “Run to the Hills”. One memorable moment was when Eddie came up on the stage, as a kid it was fun to see him. What are your live highlights and with which bands did play? We’re really pleased with our performance last month in Belgium. We had prepared for the show for almost a year and played our longest setlist, to date, with over one hour of our own material. The other bands at the venue “Rockfest 28” were Ironborn, For Evigt (Volbeat tribute) and Powerslave (Iron Maiden tribute) Has the bandalready resulted in friendship? Definity, I can speak for us all when I say that we will be friends forever. When you spend so much time together and share the same passion you get a special connection. With what do you earn your money except with the music? We have recently released merchandise in the form of CD’s and T- shirts which is our second income after shows. How important is social media for you as a band? It’s very important. It is the most cheap and effective way of reaching out to new fans and interacting with our current fanbase. We always try to be creative when posting on all our channels so that it doesn’t become the same post every time. What would you want to achieve with the band? We have an ambition of becoming professional musicians and make a living out of playing for Emetropia. What do you think about the Swedish metal scene in general? In general, it is tough to be a symphonic metal band in a country where melodic death metal, black metal and (kind of)metalcoreare the most popular genres. There aren’t many events where we fit as a support act etc. Maybe you can recommend some bands from your area? The most obvious band is Ghost, but most people know them these days. I would like to recommend Dead Soul. The have like a dark industrial tone to their music which to me is quite original. PERSONAL QUESTIONS ! Where did you grow up and how was your childhood? I grew up a small town called Avesta. My childhood was quite ordinary you know, I played football, ice hockey, went to school etc., nothing out of the ordinary. I began playing the clarinet at a music school when I was like seven years old but became quite bored of it quickly. Then, I changed to guitar when I was nine and learned music theory and everything of the instrument for the next decade. However, four years ago, I decided to change my focus from playing guitar to learning how to play piano. I felt like solely knowing how to play guitar wasn’t enough to be able to express myself musically. Now with my keyboard I can create a whole orchestra with choirs etc. It gives me more musical freedom. How was your school time you were rather the good student or the break clown? I was the good student haha. At the moment I’m taking master’s degree in economics so I also enjoy to study and learn. How did your parents react when you started making metal music? did they support you and how do they feel about your music today? My parents have been supportive since day one. They are both metal fans, so it has never been a problem. They enjoy our EP and like to give input when I ask for their input. Are you someone who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city? Or are you looking for peace and relaxation in nature? For me, Linköping is an ideal city. It has like 150  000 inhabitants. Nature is quite near, and you have all the properties of a larger city (with infrastructure, shops, night-life). Do you actively practice sports or are you more of a passive spectator? I play football for a local club and I’m also a massive fan of Liverpool FC. However, the rest of the band aren’t too interested in sports. When it comes to your physical well you can cook or let you cook for you? (Don’t really understand the question) But I like to cook and to take care of myself and my body. What does your environment tell you about your passion for metal (friends / family / colleagues)? In Sweden it is quite common to listen to (or appreciate) metal so there aren’t too many comments concerning that. How do you see the problem with the haters on the internet who have to announce their mental garbage in anonymity always and everywhere? I believe it’s quite awful. It should ok to have a discussion and disagree on a subject. Being anonymous isn’t a license to be a bad person. What do you think about the internet in general? a blessing or a curse? It general it is a blessing. It brings people closer and makes communication easier. Without it, I wouldn’t be answering these questions right now. I reckon that the internet helps a lot of minor bands getting their music out there which make easier to be seen. What would you personally like to do in your life? If I can’t be a professional musician I’d like to be a great economist working in the EU or somethings similar. Which question would you like to have answered and why? How’s the symphonic metal scene in Austria and how did you find us? ( I find you on metal archive !   Haschi) Nightwish or Edenbridge Nightwish! Metallica or Savatage Metallica Taco-kväll Tacokväll is awesome and if you come to Sweden you should try to experience it. Beer or Juice Beer takes this one, although juice is underrated. Köttbullar Can’t go wrong with Swedish meatballs haha. I like it. Death Metal I prefer more melodic death metal like Amon Amarth, Amorphis. But pure death metal isn’t melodic enough for my taste. Holiday A holiday should be spent relaxing as much as possible, drinking good beverages and having lovely food. Family Family is important to me, but I’m not the person who supports everything a family member does. Drugs My view on drugs is that, if someone’s consumption isn’t affecting me, I won’t care. However, I personally avoid any other drugs than alcohol. Soccer or skiing Football! Movie or Series A like to binge watch series haha. Your faves At the moment, my favourite music albums of all time are: Epica – Design Your Universe (2009) Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (1988) Indochine – 13 (2017) Gamma Ray – Majestic (2005) Lana Del Rey – Born to Die (2012) The closing word is yours? Thanks for taking the time to interview us. I hope you enjoy the answers and to any readers; if you like our music, please check out our Facebook-page and hopefully you’ll hear more from us. All the best Liam Strand from Emetropia.
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